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September 2012 Reference List

There is a dearth of information and serious analyses in regard to Syria presented in the Australian mainstream media.  Therefore, to develop an understanding of the crisis and to participate in efforts for peace, it is vital that people do the hard research.  This website is one tool that can be used in that task.

Most of the images of Syrian people presented on this page are from Syrian TV, August and September 2012.  The images chosen are mostly ones of people attempting to lead a normal life. The photos of ‘rebels’ and refugees usually presented in the media tend to distance the experience of people in Syria from that of people a world away leading peaceful suburban lives.  They should be seen because it is necessary to know there is a war and suffering in order to try and stop it.  However, empathy for others may depend to some extend on Mirror neurons , as described in an ABC radio program. In other words, for us to feel real empathy for Syrians today, it helps to see the people of Syria in circumstances we can relate to; the more familiar the gesture, the smile, the glance or simple shrug, the easier it may be to feel an understanding for that person and their story and to want to do all we possibly can to bring peace and stability back into their world – their world is our world, after all.

Many of the people whose images you see on this blog are speaking about anything else but war. Hope can be retained if normality is remembered … for it to be regained.

NB: there are also links to articles or reports prior to September 2012 which remain relevant and deserve attention.

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This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow includes images of a reciter of the Quran, people interviewed in the street, actors from a Syrian TV drama, Fairuz (the Lebanese diva and perhaps the most popular singer in Syria), and news presenters from satellite TV.

An up-to-date look at the Christian response to the crisis in Syria

A priest in Aleppo (September 6, 2012) has spoken out against the US Administration’s support of the ‘rebels’ in Syria.  In his videoed speech, he refers to the words of Barak Obama’s former preacher, Rev Wright and his “God damn America” sermon.

The priest supports the views expressed by Mother Agnes Mariam on Irish radio (RTE).  They both speak of the terror in Syria inflicted not just against Christians, but also against ‘moderate’ Muslims, which would include millions of Alawi and Sunni Syrians.

They criticize the western media’s reporting on Syria as it allows the terror to continue.

For example, few people in the west would realize that tens of thousands of Christians were targeted in Homs by Islamist fighters and forced to flee, often unable to take anything with them.  

Also, in January 2012, Father Basil Nassar was shot and killed by armed men in Hama in January 2012.  Although he was killed by armed men, a photo of Fr. Nassar was held up by a young boy at a Melbourne rally organized by people who support the armed opposition to the Syrian government; there was the clear intention to mislead the public about Father Nassar’s murder. Those at the rally could do this as the Australian media does not inform us about such events when they occur.    

Beyond the internet, there is virtually no mainstream public forum for serious debate or discussion on Syria while the efforts to censor  Syrian media outlets continue.

Note, the views of the Aleppo priest and Mother Agnes do not correspond with those of the Italian Jesuit priest, Father Paolo Dall’Oglio who is travelling the world meeting western politicians, religious figures and media to put the case for the ‘rebel’ fighters in Syria.  He is quoted by those who support the armed fight against secular Syria; he is not quoted by those who support peace, dialogue and reconciliation.

To suggest that Christians have always supported the ‘regime’ out of fear for their fate if it is replaced by a non-secular state skews the reality.  As Rev Awad  and the Archbishop of Aleppo  have explained, Christians have been voices of dissent for many years.  Mother Agnes  also makes it clear that many Christians work hard for peace and justice, and this can mean they have stood  in opposition to the government.

According to the Patriarch of the Syriac Catholic Church in Beirut, Ignatius Ephrem Joseph III,  the West’s attitude to the Syrian conflict was described as “hypocrisy” and sharply criticised: “For many governments it’s merely a matter of economic interests.”

While Lebanon’s Maronite Christian Patriarch , Patriarch Bishara Rai,  draws a distinction between supporting a ‘regime’ and supporting the state.

Note, Christians in Syria have been reluctant to focus on their suffering in Syria, one reason being the fear that drawing attention to religion can only fuel sectarian violence.  Also, Christians are not the only targets of Islamist extremists. As mentioned above, Moderate  Alawi and Sunni Muslims are also targeted by extremist clerics who call for blood. Sheik Qaradawi, the Muslim  Brotherhood cleric based in Qatar who issued a fatwa against Syria  in March 2011, has declared on Al-Jazeera that “it is ok if 1/3 of the population of Syria is killed if it leads to the toppling of the  heretical Syrian regime”.  Note: the majority of that government are Sunni Muslims as is the majority of Syrian people, but unlike most militia members they are not Wahhabi, Takfiri or Salafi jihadists.

What do Australians know about the views of the clerics who target secular Syria?  Not just for the sake of the people of Syria, but also for our own people and peace in Australia, we should be better informed: Qaradawi on Christmas .  Qaradawi on Hitler and the Jewish people.  Qaradawi on the dangers of female masturbation. There are more links to Qaradawi in an Andrew McCarthy December 2011 National Review Online article which refers to the US Administration calling on Qaradawi to be the middle man in talks with the Taliban. 

If people fear that condemning extremist clerics and Islamist fighters is a condemnation of Islam the religion, there would be 100s of millions of  peace-loving Muslims who could assure them this is not the case. The victims of their terror in Bali, London, NY, Iraq, Afghanistan and many other places would support such a condemnation.  However, as John Pilger writes, there must be condemnation of the ‘liberalism’ which supports the crimes of Islamist terrorists in Syria and which censors the news and discussion of it.

The fact that mainstream media reports on Syria rarely present the point of view of people affected by the terror in Syria means that many  Australians, including those from Christian and Muslim communities, accept the simple, dangerous narrative that has dominated in the media: “the president is a brutal dictator killing his own people and he is the head of an Alawi regime which oppresses the Sunni people”.  Even Amnesty International is implicated in the continuing terror in Syria as it adopted the narrative at the beginning of the crisis in Syria and it sticks to it no matter what evidence presented refutes it.  In Syria, people are losing their lives because they have tried to tell the truth about the terror or because they have worked for peaceful reform or their family members support peaceful reform, evolution not “revolution.  But this is not the case in Australia. People in the media or in government should have no such fears.  Why is there so little truth being disseminated when the lives of millions depend on it?

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Egypt satellite company to stop Syrian state TV broadcast

Published Wednesday, September 5, 2012

http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/egypt-satellite-company-stop-syrian-state-tv-broadcast

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Syria and Us (Part II)

By: Ibrahim al-Amin

Published Sunday, August 19, 2012

Of all the Arab and neighboring states, Lebanon and the Palestinian people will remain the most affected by the Syrian crisis…..

http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/11245

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Press TV

Egypt still follows some Mubarak-era policies: Analyst

5 September 2012

http://www.presstv.com/detail/2012/09/05/260044/morsi-continues-old-geostrategic-guidelines/

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THE INDEPENDENT:

Robert Fisk: In Maaloula, the past has relevance to Syria’s tragic present

3 September

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-in-maaloula-the-past-has-relevance-to-syrias-tragic-present-8101501.html

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It has often been often alleged in Australian mainstream media that ‘rebels’ in Syria are supporting the Sunni majority against an ‘Alawi’ regime.  What is ignored is the fact that the vast majority of Syrian politicians, including ministers, are not Alawi and that Syria is a secular country, so the religion of ministers would be, in theory at least, irrelevant in a country which works hard to avoid the lethal mix of politics and religion.

Al- Zoubi: Syria Facing Massive Conspiracy and Terrorist, Extremist Mentality… Solution is Purely Syrian

4 September 2012

DAMASCUS, (SANA) – Information Minister Omran al- Zoubi said that what is happening in Syria is a massive conspiracy and an aggression using barbaric tools whose elements are obvious, stressing that Syria is facing a terrorist, Wahabi and Takfiri mentality and an extremist culture in various guises and under various names…

http://sana.sy/eng/21/2012/09/04/439409.htm

Syria 360

SANA HEADLINES SEPTEMBER 3, 2012

Information Ministry: Qatari, French Experts Set up Devices in North Lebanon to Jam Syrian Satellite Channels Broadcast

The Information Ministry said that a group of Qatari and French experts are setting up devices and mobile stations in Wadi Khaled and Akroum Mountain in North Lebanon to jam the broadcast of the Syrian satellite channels and wiretap communications in Lebanon and Syria.

The Ministry said that the Qatari intelligence intends to set up satellite broadcasting devices in North Lebanon to be used by the armed terrorist groups, adding that French technical experts have started execution. The Ministry said that the stations are connected to communication devices connected with communication bases north of the occupied Palestine.

http://syria360.wordpress.com/2012/09/03/sana-headlines-september-3-2012/

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INTERVIEWS WITH HASSAN NASRALLAH, HEAD OF HEZBOLLAH 

The WikiLeaks Discussion Forum:

Julian Assange interviews Hassan Nasrallah, April 17 2012

http://www.wikileaks-forum.com/index.php?topic=10465.0

Syriaonline.sy

Nasrallah: They Want Syria to Change into a Country of Renunciation

4 September 2012

http://www.syriaonline.sy/?f=Details&catid=12&pageid=3510

Hezbollah leader Nasrallah calls for dialogue in Syria

4 September 2012

Hezbollah Secretary General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah says “political settlement and dialogue” between the Syrian government and opposition is the rational solution to the Syrian crisis.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/09/04/259737/nasrallah-calls-for-dialogue-in-syria/

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Hassan Nasrallah was interviewed by Ghassan Bin Jeddo, former Al-Jazeera Beirut office head who resigned from Al-Jazeera in protest in April 2011 over its presentation of the ‘Arab Spring’, particularly in regard to news on Bahrain and Syria.  He interviewed Nasrallah on Lebanon’s Al Mayadeen TV.

France 24

‘Anti-Al Jazeera’ channel Al Mayadeen goes on air  12/6/2012

…….Ali Hashem, another journalist who quit Al Jazeera to join Al Mayadeen, made headlines in Lebanon in March when he vented his anger over the one-sided coverage of Syria on Al Jazeera in several emails, which were leaked by Syrian hackers.

In his emails, Hashem criticized the Qatar-based channel for refusing to cover the anti-regime uprising in Bahrain, a Shiite majority Arab country ruled by a Sunni monarch.

“I felt in one way or another, I am losing my integrity as a journalist, being pushed to lie. It’s the owners of Al Jazeera, those who own Al Jazeera, the Qataris. They are pushing this channel toward journalistic suicide,” said Hashim in an interview with FRANCE 24…….

http://www.france24.com/en/20120612-al-mayadeen-new-anti-al-jazeera-channel-media-lebanon-syria

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THE EXTERNAL OPPOSITION TO THE SYRIAN GOVERNMENT:

An analysis in The Guardian by Charlie Skelton (featured previously on this blog)

The Syrian opposition: who’s doing the talking?  12 JULY 2012

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jul/12/syrian-opposition-doing-the-talking

 

Bloomberg News

Anti-Assad Figure Resigns Citing Syria Opposition Discord

By Flavia Krause-Jackson on August 28, 2012

Bassma Kodmani, a prominent voice of the Syrian National Council, resigned from the main political opposition body to President Bashar al-Assad, citing disappointment in the group’s failure to work together more than 17 months after the uprising began.

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-08-28/anti-assad-figure-resigns-citing-syria-opposition-discord

 

George Sabra: A man for all seasons?

9 April 2012 by Malik Al-Abdeh, Former chief editor of Barada TV (Charlie Skelton: “According to the Washington Post’s report: “Barada TV is closely affiliated with the Movement for Justice and Development, a London-based network of Syrian exiles. Classified US diplomatic cables show that the state department has funnelled as much as $6m to the group since 2006 to operate the satellite channel and finance other activities inside Syria.””)

http://syriaintransition.com/2012/04/09/george-sabra-a-man-for-all-seasons/

See  photo on a Facebook page of George Sabra meeting Adnan Arour, the notorious extremist cleric based in Saudi Arabia.  If it is genuine, it raises even more very worrying questions about the external Syrian ‘opposition’.

An alternative “man for all seasons”: a Syrian elder in the Syrian Australian community:

http://pool.abc.net.au/media/who-will-have-last-laugh

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THE INDEPENDENT

Robert Fisk: Syria’s road from jihad to prison

For the first time, a Western journalist has been granted access to Assad’s military prisoners  2 September 2012

Mohamed Amin Ali al-Abdullah was a 26-year-old fourth-year medical student from the northern Syrian city of Deir el-Zour. The son of a “simple” farming family in Latakia, he sat in the governor’s brown leather chair in a neat striped blue shirt and trousers – given to him, he said, by the authorities – and told us he had encountered “psychological problems” in his second year. He twice broke down in tears while he spoke. He said he had followed medical advice as a student but also accepted psychological help from a “sheikh” who suggested he read specific texts from the Koran.

“This was a kind of entrance to my personality and from time to time the second man gave me disks about the Salafist cause, mostly of speeches by Saudi sheikhs such as Ibn Baz and Ibn Ottaimin. Later, he gave me videos that rejected all other sects in Islam, attacking the Sufis, attacking the Shia.” The “sheikh” was imprisoned for a year but later joined Mohamed as a roommate in Damascus. “Then he used to show me videos of operations by jihadi people against Nato and the Americans in Afghanistan.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-syrias-road-from-jihad-to-prison-8100749.html

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Manufacturing Dissent

31 August 2012  A documentary about Syria

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwv7JXgPxLI&feature=player_embedded

http://www.manufacturing-dissent.com

Media Conspiracy against Syria: Lizzie Phelan

Interview with one of the makers of “Manufacturing Dissent” (Both transcript and video available on page.)

Alaa Ebrahim (Syrian Presenter) — What are the main points of view that you will be raising in this documentary?

(Lizzie Phelan) — The main point is to basically deconstruct the main fabrications that have been put forward by the global media, mainly the western media and channels, particularly Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya. And these fabrications are that the army is on a mass systematic scale killing peaceful protesters, that there is no democracy in Syria, that there is no respect for human rights and that there is no support for President Bashar Al-Assad. So the documentary deals with all of these fabrications and in effect shows that in many of the cases they are complete and outright lies….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myxV3wPk9P4

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Syria TV News 2.9.2012: Robert Fisk visited Syrian jail, Qatari airplane smuggle telecommunications; US and Wahhabi ‘freedom fighters’; detainees released; protest in Turkey

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3jcss1YeIU&feature=player_embedded

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George Galloway responds to a question from a member of an audience who supports the ‘revolution’ and fight for ‘freedom’ in Syria

(published on Youtube 1 September 2012)

Al Mayadeen TV channel with British Member of Parliament George Galloway speaks the truth about what is called Syrian Revolution and its supporters. He answered Question from Lebanese Tayyar AL mustakbal representative who supports NON Muslim Brotherhood terrorists in Syria….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=in_3G_X4Gi0&sns=em

NB: Alastair Crooke’s assessment of the ‘revolution’.

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Robert Fisk: Another week in the violent, murderous and divided world of Syria

DAMASCUS SATURDAY 01 1SEPTEMBER 2012

Christians and Armenians among latest to die

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-another-week-in-the-violent-murderous-and-divided-world-of-syria-8099884.html

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Syrian rebels give airlines ’72-hour warning’ before they plan to seize civilian airports 1 September 2012

The Free Syrian Army (FSA) gave a 72-hour advance warning to airlines to suspend flights to Syria before the rebels try to seize civilian airports in Damascus and Aleppo. They claim the Syrian Air Force is using them ‘illegally.’

­The 72-hour period begins on Saturday, September 1, the FSA told Asharq Al-Awsat, the major pan-Arab daily newspaper based in London.
The FSA believes that Syria’s civilian airports are being used to support pro-regime military operations…. International law prohibits attacks on civilian airports, whether during internal conflicts or wars between states. Prior to the FSA’s ultimatum, some international companies already cancelled flights to Syria over security and cost concerns.

 

http://rt.com/news/rebels-warning-civilian-airports-114/

RT interview with Syria Tribune Editor-in-Chief, Ali Mohammad, about the foreign rebel warning and the support for the ‘rebels’

1 Sept 2012

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mzNmyRWz9A&feature=player_embedded

Global Research

NATO Terrorists to Target Syria’s Civilian Airports By Tony Cartalucci

Global Research, September 01, 2012

Land Destroyer

http://www.globalresearch.ca/nato-terrorists-to-target-syrias-civilian-airports/

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US, Certain Regional States Dispatching Al-Qaeda Elements from Yemen to Syria  2 September 2012

TEHRAN (FNA)- One of al-Qaeda ringleaders in Yemen disclosed that the US and certain regional states plan to dispatch al-Qaeda terrorists from Yemen to Syria to help their counterparts intensify attacks against the Syrian people.

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=9106061476

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Although these reports are from August, the concerns are on-going and demand attention.

French & US Intelligence Chemical Weapons False Flag in Syria Exposed uploaded 28 August 2012

A meeting between Al Arabiya news channel manager with a US diplomat then with French & US intelligence plan to use chemical weapons on Syrians and accuse the Syrian Army for it, the long anticipated, exposed, consumed False Flag.. 

A Saudi company has already arranged for 1,400 ambulance cars equipped with chemical & poisonous gas filtering system for swift military intervention when needed..!

A public spontaneous revolution or a NATO covert & overt military intervention with NATO mainstream media coverage?! You decide.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxKIyk5dgqk

Chemical Weapons False Flag against Syria

Uploaded 3 August 2012 by SyriaGirlpartisan

A new recent shipments of Gas masks has turned up in syria for use by the Syrian foreign funded insurgency affiliated with AlCIAda. Perhaps in preparation for the planned false flag chemical weapons attack that will be used by NATo as a tool to get sanctions and interventions approved by the UN. And in the last 24 hours the Israeli ambassador to the UN repeated the accusations that the syrian govt would use chemical weapons against its own people, laying the ground work for the false flag event to take place. This video is a summary of recent and past events

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbMdll58lis&feature=related

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Protest in Turkey against Erdogan’s support for the US foreign policy and its support for aggression and instability in Syria  1/9/12

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

Al-Jazeera report on Turkish people marching for peace in Syria; note the editorial comments. 

http://blogs.aljazeera.com/topic/syria/video-report-turkey-protesters-march-support-assad

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PRESS TV interviews American analysts (from August 2012):

US analyst from Executive Intelligence Report interviewed by Press TV, August 2012

He refers to the fear that a 30-year war will be created in the region if the conflict continues. Iran is being targeted, but the ultimate targets are Russia and China.  It is not the US military or the most of the intelligence community who want the conflict in Syria, but the Obama administration and their British allies.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2dR2F_hgis&feature=player_embedded

US, allies using Turkey to start war in Syria: Analyst

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/257857.html

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Press TV

NAM can put brakes on wars in Middle East: Analyst

31 August 2012

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/259147.html

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NATO’s Secret Armies Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe

(Sourced from “Friends of Syria” blog)

Uploaded 1 September 2012

Interview with Daniele Ganser, author of »NATO’s Secret Armies.
Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe«

http://friendsofsyria.wordpress.com/2012/09/03/natos-secret-armies-operation-gladio-and-terrorism-in-western-europe-interview-with-daniele/

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August 2012 Reference List

Editor’s note:  The aim of the reference lists on these posts is to offer alternatives to the generally accepted mainstream narrative on Syria. Excerpts from articles of interest are presented. NB: not all articles would be fully supported by members of Australians for Syria. However, the range of reports, analyses, and views should help readers build a picture of what is happening in Syria which is much more complex and accurate than that provided in the local mainstream media.

There may be some articles from previous months on this post as they have not been presented before and they are of some interest.

Images: People  in Australia who support a political solution to the crisis in Syria and images from Syrian television.  The audio interviews of members of Australians for Syria and Hands Off Syria can be found at

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This August page highlights three courageous women: Yara Saleh, Mother Agnes Mariam, and Oksana Boyko.

For the most recent August updates, please see below the information about these three women.

 

YARA SALEH, Syrian journalist, cameraman, and driver abducted by ‘rebels’.  16 August NEWS UPDATE: YARA, AND HER TWO COLLEAGUES HAVE BEEN RESCUED.

A report by Yara before her abduction:

Syrian Army

A live report from Damascus city about the Syrian Army and how Syrians see their army and what they want to say to the army on the 67th national day of the Syrian Arab Army.

August 1, 2012

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qw0Ndc_yhmc&feature=player_embedded

Yara is embedded Syrian soldiers:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMWTald6_-E

This video shows the three held captive by Islamist rebels:

http://documents.sy/videos.php?id=1756&lang=en

Video:  TV journalist Yara Saleh and colleagues from Syrian TV station are rescued

 

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

 

Note: Another Syrian journalist was assassinated in or near his home on Saturday 11 August.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/08/14/256146/iran-slams-killing-of-syrian-journalist/

NB: Report of 3 Hungarians kidnapped

http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/three-hungarians-feared-kidnapped-syria?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+AlAkhbarEnglish+%28Al+Akhbar+English%29

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MOTHER AGNES MARIAM

Highly Recommended:

RTÉ.Video: Mother Agnes Mariam of the Cross, from Homs province, speaks about the Syrian conflict   10 August 2012

http://www.rte.ie/news/av/2012/0810/media-3363784.html

If the above link fails to open, the interview with Mother Agnes can be accessed on link below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Is_JJ9R9dAQ

IrishTimes.com

Media coverage of Syrian violence partial and untrue, says nun

13 August 2012

PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent

A NUN who has been superior at a Syrian monastery for the past 18 years has warned that media coverage of ongoing violence in that country has been “partial and untrue”. It is “a fake”, Mother Agnes Mariam said, which “hides atrocities committed in the name of liberty and democracy”…

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2012/0813/1224322099930.html

This is a link to a report  written by Mother Agnes in 2011.

In the Flood of Disinformation, the Situation in Syria

http://www.maryakub.org/downloads/PDF/In%20the%20Flood%20of%20Disinformation%20-%20Mother%20Agnes%20Mariam.pdf

Note: Another Catholic travelling the world to talk about Syria is Father Paolo, an Italian Jesuit priest, who lived in Syria for 3 decades and presents a very different perspective to that of Mother Agnes.  He was expelled from Syria (there were requests for him to leave before the beginning of the ‘Arab Spring’, apparently).  He supports the FSA and romanticizes their fight for ‘freedom’.   He has been ‘disowned’ by the church in Syria. (see document below) He is now based in a monastery in Kurdistan (Iraq).

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=gmail&attid=0.1&thid=13922be556902f74&mt=application/pdf&url=https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui%3D2%26ik%3D6aa6b4fd16%26view%3Datt%26th%3D13922be556902f74%26attid%3D0.1%26disp%3Dsafe%26realattid%3Df_h5ub49x20%26zw&sig=AHIEtbSYLqKzJRK480vLUBVkiFZh8QOdMQ

Interview with Father Paolo in Canada after he met with the Canadian PM.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyILiqbE10o

NB: This Des Spiegel article from July 2012 about Christians forced to flee their homes in Syria refers to the terror faced by some Christian communities, airbrushed over by Father Paolo, but of great concern to Mother Agnes.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/christians-flee-from-radical-rebels-in-syria-a-846180.html

The Irish reporter Mary Fitzgerald responds to the views of Mother Agnes Mariam, the Palestinian Lebanese nun who has been based in Syria for the past 18 years.

IRISH TIMES.COM

Nun on Irish visit accused of peddling ‘regime lies’ about crisis in Syria

MARY FITZGERALD, Foreign Affairs Correspondent 18 August 2012

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2012/0818/1224322385595.html

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Oksana Boyko, Russia Today reporter based in Syria

The title of this report doesn’t point to the main subject which is  NO ONE IS SAFE IN SYRIA AS CIVIL SERVANTS ARE TARGETED BY THE ‘REBELS’ .  The report includes an interview with the brother of a Syria Air pilot, ambushed and assassinated on his way home from the airport.

 

SYRIA CIVIL WAR: Turks and Saudi caught in OPERATION ALEPPO

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZUWK0wLM7M&feature=player_embedded

 

Oksana interviews a member of the internal unarmed opposition.

‘Syria rebels just hostages in hands of allies’

Published on Aug 13, 2012 by ‪RussiaToday

A former Syrian politician persecuted and forced underground for more than ten years tells RT what he thinks is going wrong with his country.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhWiFSUY8gY

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31 AUGUST 2012 UPDATES

Note: Most of the images are of Syrian people taken from Syrian satellite TV, August 2012.  Many of the people are ‘ordinary’ Syrians stopped in the streets of Damascus to be interviewed by reporters about different subjects, often unrelated to the crisis in Syria.  However, most of the links to articles and videos below relate to the war and present other images.

Images of Syrians who are not ‘rebels’ determined to destroy the country can be found on other blogs linked to Australians for Syria: SocratesandSyria.com  and also here.  To ponder what peace and war might mean for Syrians or, for that matter, any other people facing terror and war, please go here.

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Syrian envoy to UN censures Saudi Arabia, Qatar

31 August 2012

 

Bashar Ja’afari said in an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on the humanitarian situation in Syria on Thursday that Riyadh and Doha should answer to the world for the turmoil in Syria.

 

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/259091.html

 

Bashar Ja’afari (Syria) on Syria – Security Council Media Stakeout (30 August, 2012)

 

http://webtv.un.org/watch/bashar-jaafari-syria-on-syria-security-council-media-stakeout-30-august-2012/1815258209001

 

NOTE:  

Qatar builds up anti-Syria Wahhabi army

28 December 2012

Qatar has built up a strong army of hundreds of Wahhabi forces to help overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a new report has revealed…. The Qatari and Saudi rulers approved the program for the Qatari chief of staff Major General Hamas Ali al-Attiya to join the anti-Assad army for rapid deployment on the Turkish-Syrian border

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/218149.html

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Russia Today

No-fly zone over Syria ‘not ruled out’ by France, UK

31 August 2012

“UN is being used to promote war instead of peace.”

Britain and France say they’re not ruling out any options in Syria, including a military-enforced no-fly zone. The deadlocked UN Security Council has again held a meeting on the crisis, with Turkey also pushing for the creation of a buffer zone. Professor Paul Sheldon Foote of California State University, who specializes in Middle Eastern affairs believes the US and its allies are using the humanitarian situation in Syria to pursue their agenda in the region.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=fCUwZrxHTUM

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 Russian Today

‘Morsi slams Assad at NAM summit at US bidding’

31 August 2012

Interview with UK journalist and blogger, Neil Clark

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXLOBy_Y1bs&feature=relmfu

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 ‘I saw rebels beheading men for religion’ – Syrian cleric

Published on Aug 30, 2012 by ‪RussiaToday

RT talks to Mother Agnes Mariam, founder of monastery in Qara in Syria and witnessed what the people went through when the first sparks of trouble ignited the war.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iogH78kXccU&feature=relmfu

 

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NAM Summit Closes with 680 Point Statement but Results Pertaining to Syria Doubtful

By  Christof Lehmann  31 August 2012

 

http://nsnbc.wordpress.com/2012/08/31/nam-movement-summit-closes-with-680-points-statement-but-results-pertaining-syria-doubtful/ 

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Bashar al-Ja’afari in UN General Assembly: “Turkish govt. allows terrorists to set up training camps on their soil”

August 30 2012

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMW1Zo1iC_k&feature=youtube_gdata

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President Bashar Al-Assad’s interview with Addounia Tv Channel, Damascus 29/08/2012- 2nd,3rd part

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxZpTmQ7-X0

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The Real News: Pt.3 Who Supports Assad in Syria?

Published on Aug 6, 2012 by ‪TheRealNews

Sami Ramadani: The Syrian Civil War and Big Power Rivalry: Assad has a social base of support, but if opposition had not militarized, he would have been pushed out by now

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VTlWDkrWtI&feature=related

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Humanitarian aid to Syria must be neutral – Russia’s UN ambassador

August 31 2012

 

http://rt.com/news/un-syria-humanitarian-situation-996/

 

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INTERVIEW

The remapping of the Middle East

By Claudio Gallo   31 August 2012

La Stampa interview with Dr Jeremy Salt, an Australian academic working at a university in Turkey.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NH31Ak01.html

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BBC’s HARDTALK  interviewer demands answers to difficult questions from a supporter of war against Syria.

BBC’s HARD Talk interview with US paid lobbyist Brian Sayers for Syrian Support Group, which helps fund FSA

NATO employee Brian Sayers to act as a full-time Washington DC lobbyist, on behalf of intervening in Syria and arming the rebels. In April, one of the organization’s leaders, Maher Nana of Florida, registered the organization as a non-profit corporation based in Washington DC. On May 24th, the SSG’s lawyer, Mazen Asbahi, applied for a license to fund the Free Syrian Army. [1]
Media attention was given to the group starting in June of 2012. By June 25th, the then-little-known organization had received donations from 59 people. On the 23rd of the following July, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control granted the organization it’s license to fund the Free Syrian Army; a fact which became public knowledge on Friday, July 27th[2] . The story was in turn reported by many other news organizations. On Wednesday, August 1st, a Treasury Department official confirmed that they had given Syrian Support Group this license. The license requires that the organization make monthly reports of their expenditures to the U.S. Department of State

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_cC2kUd4x4&feature=player_embedded

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Amnesty International has supported the US Administration narrative on Syria since the beginning of the crisis there. Ref: http://socratesandsyria.com/uncle-of-syrian-australian-killed-by-terrorists-in-april-2011-amnesty-international-silence/

WASHINGTON POST

Amnesty International Web site hacked by supporters of Syrian government

28 August 2012

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/amnesty-international-web-site-hacked/2012/08/28/9628e83a-f121-11e1-a612-3cfc842a6d89_story.html

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The Corbett Report

From the Houla Hoax to Chemical Weapons – Deceptions in Syria

30 August 2012

http://www.corbettreport.com/from-the-houla-hoax-to-chemical-weapons-in-syria/

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 German blogger who has visited Syria several times recently explains that the German media is very one-sided and does not represent the reality on the ground.  He explains Germany is under pressure from the US to follow its line on Syria.

RT – M. Klostermayr – German hypocrisy towards Syria

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOi_aqqw9V8&feature=player_embedded

 

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 Tunisian Al Qaeda Jihadists in Syria

25 August 2012

 

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

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THE INDEPENDENT

Robert Fisk: How a failed Syrian prisoner swap turned into a massacre in devastated Daraya …

Wednesday 29 August 2012

….Another man said that, although he had not seen the dead in the graveyard, he believed that most were related to the government army and included several off-duty conscripts. “One of the dead was a postman – they included him because he was a government worker,” the man said. If these stories are true, then the armed men – wearing hoods, according to another woman who described how they broke into her home and how she kissed them in a fearful attempt to prevent them shooting her own family – were armed insurgents rather than Syrian troops.

The home of Amer Sheikh Rajab, a forklift truck driver, had been taken over, he said, by gunmen as a base for “Free Army” forces, the phrase the civilians used for the rebels. They had smashed the family crockery and burned carpets and beds – the family showed this destruction to us – but had also torn out the internal computer chip parts of laptops and television sets in the house. To use as working parts for bombs, perhaps?..

 

http://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/robert-fisk-how-a-failed-syrian-prisoner-swap-turned-into-a-massacre-in-devastated-daraya-3214447.html

 

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 SANA REPORT ON THE KILLING OF PEOPLE IN ZAMALKA TO INCITE WORLD OPINION AGAINST SYRIA  29 August 2012

 

http://sana.sy/eng/337/2012/08/29/438556.htm

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Press TV

Western media distorts truth in Syria

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epqycRFR2L8&feature=player_embedded

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Note: The Czech Ambassador was quoted on Syrian TV, 29 August 2012, “What is going on in Syria is not a civil war, but a fight between the government and armed men. Many of the European ambassadors had left Syria with pain in their hearts.” 

Czech diplomats continue working in Syria despite hostilities

ČTK | 29 AUGUST 2012 

http://praguemonitor.com/2012/08/29/czech-diplomats-continue-working-syria-despite-hostilities

 

AXIS OF LOGIC

Analysis of the differences  which apparently existed between former French ambassador to Syria and Sarkozi’s foreign minister, Alain Juppe:

http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/Article_64405.shtml

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Press TV

Ban Ki-moon in Iran for NAM summit

28 August 2012

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVqyfEwWzxw&feature=youtube_gdata

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Blog “Wrong Kind of Green”

SPEAKING TRUTH: A PROFOUND MESSAGE TO AVAAZ FROM POET GABRIEL IMPAGLIONE OF ARGENTINA

 

http://wrongkindofgreen.org/2012/03/12/speaking-truth-a-profound-message-to-avaaz-from-poet-gabriel-impaglione-of-argentina/

 

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Syria – A car bomb killed 12 citizens in Jaramana during a funeral procession 28-08-2012 

From Addounia TV  28 August 2012  (parents weep for their children). Warning: Graphic 18+

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXF5J5DHxQM&feature=player_embedded

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THE INDEPENDENT

Robert Fisk interviews Walid Muallim, the Syrian Foreign Affairs Minister

Tuesday 29 August 2012

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/exclusive-we-believe-that-the-usa-is-the-major-player-against-syria-and-the-rest-are-its-instruments-8082457.html

 

Evidence of Media Complicity With Terrorists Slitting Throats in Syria  Uploaded 27 August 2012

Syrian TV station Addounia examines the claims of Al-Jazeera in regard to the slaying of men on the outskirts of Damascus.  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CecJuIQ0T4o&feature=player_embedded

 

For an examination of Al-Jazeera’s reporting of events in Syria and its links with those involved in the killings of soldiers and civilians, go to interview with Ali Hashem, former reporter as well as that with the mother of Sari Saoud, a young boy killed in Homs last year. What also relates to this story is one reported by Dr Fiona Hill about her Syrian ‘nephew’, a young army conscript, being abducted by ‘rebels’ and told he had four choices: join them and be prepared to kill, destroy utilities etc, get his family to pay a ransom, or be killed.

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Alakhbar English

Syrian archbishop flees to Lebanon

Published Monday, August 27, 2012

The Melkite Greek Catholic archbishop of Aleppo has fled to Lebanon and his offices in the war-ravaged city have been looted, Vatican media said on Monday, amid fears over the fate of Christian minorities.

http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/syrian-archbishop-flees-lebanon

An interview with the Archbishop on France 24 in January 2012

http://www.france24.com/en/20120113-interview-jean-clement-jeanbart-archbishop-aleppo-syria-bashar-al-assad-christian-community

Reuters reports the story of the Archbishop’s fleeing, but qualifies it and muddies the water by claiming the following:

Christians make up around 10 percent of the population and many have remained loyal to President Bashar al-Assad – a member of the minority Alawite faith, an off-shoot of Shi’ite Islam – fearing that the majority Sunni Muslims would trample on religious rights if they took power.

However some senior members of the opposition are also Christians.

 

Many questions are raised by these claims, not least the following:

1.  If it were just the Christians and Alawis who remained loyal to the president, how could he stay in power? Note: The Minister of Defense is from the Sunni majority and the majority of Syrian soldiers would be Sunni.

2. Why would Christians fear the Sunni majority when they have been living alongside them peacefully for many centuries?  Is it the extremists they fear, Wahhabis and Salafis in particular who are incited to violence by extremist clerics against anyone who doesn’t support their cause?

3.  What are the differences in religious and political views between the Wahhabis, the Salafis, and the majority of Sunnis in Syria?

4.  There are senior members in the unarmed opposition who are Christians, some of them stood against the Baath Party in the recent elections and at least one is an MP. Are they the Christians the reporter is referring to?

5.  If not, is he referring to Christians fighting alongside jihadists, mercenaries, Al-Qaeda, Salafis, ‘rebels’ who believe in the violent overthrow of their government?  Can the reporter name them?

6.  If he is referring to Christians in the Syrian diaspora who support the armed opposition, can he tell their story?  Why do they support Islamist fighters that have forced over 80,000 Christians to flee Homs?

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/27/us-syria-crisis-christians-idUSBRE87Q10L20120827

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Charlie Skelton’s article published in The Guardian in July should be referenced whenever claims by anonymous ‘opposition activists’ about massacres resurface.

The Syrian opposition: who’s doing the talking?

The media have been too passive when it comes to Syrian opposition sources, without scrutinising their backgrounds and their political connections. Time for a closer look …

  

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jul/12/syrian-opposition-doing-the-talking

 

Something to ponder: John Howard and Stephen Harper read from the same script to justify war against Iraq, 2003

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8YwJC_nBgw&feature=player_embedded#!

 

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 BLOG:  FRIENDS OF SYRIA

Darayya Massacre: Innocent people killed by FUKUS backed FSA

 

Includes report by Addounia TV in Syria

http://friendsofsyria.wordpress.com/2012/08/26/darayya-massacre-innocent-people-killed-by-fukus-backed-fsa/

Warning: Graphic images of victims in Darayya

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

http://www.youtube.com/verify_age?next_url=/watch%3Fv%3DwPzKIkNepyo%26feature%3Dplayer_embedded

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Russia Today report on the Darayya massacre

‘Hundreds of bodies’ found in Damascus suburb after govt assault – opposition watchdog

 

26 August 2012  Interview with U.S. radio show host Dr Kevin Barrett.

http://rt.com/news/daraya-massacre-reports-syria-590/

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Los Angeles Times report of the Darayya Massacre

Dozens more bodies found at Syria massacre site

By Patrick J. McDonnell  27 August

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/middleeast/la-fg-syria-violence-20120827,0,3137672.story

 

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Interview on Skype with a young engineer who lives in Damascus, 17 August 2012, speaks from a suburb on the outskirts of Damascus.

 

People maintain “hope” for peace.  They place their hope in the army.  There is reference in the interview to young men being kidnapped from street by ‘rebels’.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMLnzboSrt0&feature=player_embedded

 

An interview with a Syrian Australian activist who refers to the killing of people who have been kidnapped in order to create a massacre:

 

http://socratesandsyria.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/hanadi.mp3

 

FRIENDS OF SYRIA

 

Innocent people massacred on a daily basis…

25 August 2012

Includes graphic footage of kidnapped men later killed by ‘rebels’.

 

http://friendsofsyria.wordpress.com/2012/08/25/innocent-people-massacred-on-a-daily-basis-by-obamaclintons-fsa/

 

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FRIENDS OF SYRIA

 

Questions raised by the shooting down of a Syrian helicopter,  27 August 2012

 

http://friendsofsyria.wordpress.com/2012/08/27/helicopter-shot-down-by-a-us-missile/

 

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Analyst: Alastair Crooke, former British diplomat and intelligence officer, and Middle East expert.

Video interview with Alastair Crooke from May 2012, following the Houla massacre:

Style of Killings in Houla very unlike Syrian Islam

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLN3NvaMp5I

NB: Transcript of  an Al-Jazeera interview with Alastair Crooke in August 2005 in regard to the radicalization of young Muslims.

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Tunisian Al Qaeda Jihadists in Syria

 

August 2012

Video from Lebanon’s Al Mayadeen channel. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Mayadeen

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

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THE INDEPENDENT

Robert Fisk: ‘Rebel army? They’re a gang of foreigners’

23 August 2012

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-rebel-army-theyre-a-gang-of-foreigners-8073717.html

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MEDIAWERKGROEP SYRIE

LiveWire Amnesty calls on UN to stop the US, Qatar and Turkey funding and arming Syria rebels

28 August

http://mediawerkgroepsyrie.wordpress.com/2012/08/28/livewire-amnesty-calls-on-un-to-stop-the-us-qatar-and-turkey-funding-and-arming-syria-rebels/

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Aleppo Residents Celebrating Cleansing Their Neighborhoods From Turkey’s FSA Terrorists

August 23 2012

Video from Syrian TV

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-ydyIQU6vo&feature=player_embedded

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FRANCE and SYRIA

This discussion on France 24 about the French response to Syria draws a connection between French politics and a tough stand on Syria:

France 24

‘Copé’s concerns about Syria’  10 August 2012

http://www.france24.com/en/20120810-syria-cope-sarkozy-hollande-golden-court-economy-camoing-holidays

President Hollande has responded with very tough talk, reminiscent of the France before Syria gained independence in 1946.

Reuters

France warns Syria over chemical weapons use

27 August

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/27/us-syria-crisis-france-idUSBRE87Q0UH20120827

France Urges Syrian Opposition to Form New Government

By STEVEN ERLANGER     Published: August 27, 2012

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/28/world/middleeast/rebels-claim-to-shoot-down-syrian-helicopter.html

World War 2 and Independence

….France was adamant in its demand that its cultural, economic, and strategic interests be protected by treaty before agreeing to withdraw the Troupes Speciales du Levant. In May 1945, demonstrations occurred in Damascus and Aleppo and, for the third time in 20 years, the French bombed and machine-gunned the ancient capital….

.

http://countrystudies.us/syria/10.htm

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Talk of FALSE FLAG operations against Syria

Analyst on Syria writes about the ‘false flag’ needed to start wars

Syrian False Flag Planned?

By Stephen Lendman

August 23, 2012 “Information Clearing House

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32273.htm#.UDaZQb_1XH0.email

US conservative commentator

Tilling the Ground for the Seeds of Terrorism 
By Rep. Dennis Kucinich

22 August 2012

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32261.htm#.UDXFSavxSHk.email

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The Los Angeles Times

U.S. has plans in place to secure Syria chemical arms

22 August

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-us-syria-20120823,0,6157005.story

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The Telegraph

NHS doctor ‘led extremist cell in Syria’  27 August 2012

An NHS doctor led a group of Islamic extremists who took a British photographer hostage as he covered the conflict in Syria, the former captive has claimed.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9501364/NHS-doctor-led-extremist-cell-in-Syria.html

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GLOBAL RESEARCH – THE NAM SUMMIT, IRAN AND SYRIA; A COUP AGAINST THE WEST?

by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya  26 August 2012

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=32501

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RT interview with analyst, James Corbett, editor of the Corbett Report  http://www.corbettreport.com (James Corbett refers to the ‘rebel’ bombing in Damascus which seemed directed at UN observers. )

‘Don’t expect West to condemn Syria terror attacks’

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pISbxp8F2xM&feature=player_embedded

 

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TURKEY AND SYRIA

 

Press TV News Analysis looks at Turkey’s role in the crisis in Syria

‘Turkey’s anti-Syria alliance with US, lethal embrace’

24 August 2012

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/08/24/257876/turkeyus-alliance-lethal-embrace/

 

An analysis by a Turkish commentator

The National Interest

Turkey’s Syria Conundrum

Sinan Ulgan, August 24 2012

 

http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/turkeys-syria-conundrum-7385

 

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Syrian media sources include the following:

SANA

http://sana.sy/index_eng.html

Libyan Terrorist Relates Details of How Terrorists are Trained in Libya with Funding from Arab Gulf Countries and Sent to Syria

Aug 26, 2012

http://sana.sy/eng/21/2012/08/26/438111.htm

Syrian satellite TV

 

Chilling Crimes By Terrorist Jaber Mustapha Shihabi in Aleppo

22 August 2012

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QUrhlmZzQY&feature=player_embedded

SYRIAN RADIO AND TV

http://www.syriaonline.sy/?

Friends of Syria report:   US Continues to Wage War on Syria’s Media

 

… misleading sides have created a spoof email address named (sana@sana.sy)….

http://friendsofsyria.wordpress.com/2012/08/25/us-continues-to-wage-war-on-syrias-media/

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NEW YORK TIMES

Concerns About Al Qaeda in Syria Underscore Questions About Rebels

By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK     21 August 2012

What is Al Qaeda doing in Syria?

 

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/21/concerns-about-al-qaeda-in-syria-underscore-questions-about-rebels/

 

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On THE MEDIA

Sultan Al Qassemi generally supports the mainstream narrative on the Syrian government but  says the bias of Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya is clear and sinister.

Audio Interview:

In Foreign Policy, political commentator Sultan Al Qassemi made the case that Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya are, for political reasons, misrepresenting the reality on the ground in Syria. Bob speaks with Qassemi, who outlines what he sees as the problems with the coverage of the region’s most important news sources.

GUESTS: Sultan Al-Qassemi

HOSTED BY: Bob Garfield

http://www.onthemedia.org/2012/aug/24/arabic_language_tv_and_covering_syria/

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Matt Carr is a British blogger and writer to follow:

Damages

http://www.infernalmachine.co.uk/?p=1996

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Neil Clark, British blogger and journalist. 12 August 2012 interview on his blog page.

RT interview: Rebel atrocities turn Syrians away from the opposition

http://neilclark66.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/rt-interviewrebel-atrocities-turn.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQHr_ngLZgg

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SKY NEWS reporter Tim Marshall is currently based in Damascus

On twitter:

http://twitter.com/@Skytwitius

Assad’s Forces ‘Kill Over 200 In Syrian Town’

The Syrian army is accused by activists of killing hundreds of people in Daraya, including many during house-to-house raids.

http://news.sky.com/story/977153/assads-forces-kill-over-200-in-syrian-town

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2012-08-22

ASIA/SYRIA – Over 12 thousand Christian faithful “starving” in the village of Rableh: humanitarian law is invoked

 

…For more than ten days the village of Rableh is subject to a strict blockade by armed opposition groups, which surround it on all sides. One of the leaders of a local parish, B.K., who requested anonymity for security reasons, told Fides that a few days ago three young men of the village were killed by snipers…

http://www.fides.org/aree/news/newsdet.php?idnews=32078&lan=eng

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21 Century Imperialism:

 

Britain and US plan a Syrian revolution from an innocuous office block in Istanbul

An underground network of Syrian opposition activists is receiving training and supplies of vital equipment from a combined American and British effort to forge an effective alternative to the Damascus regime.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9500503/Britain-and-US-plan-a-Syrian-revolution-from-an-innocuous-office-block-in-Istanbul.html

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An interview by Tim Marshall from Sky News with a Christian leader in Damascus

Patriarch Laham Exposes Terrorists Tactics

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsScmtVDSv8&feature=player_embedded

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The UN and Syria

 

A UN representative responds to questions about Christians in Syria (word ‘terror’ not used; there appear to be gaps in her knowledge about what is happening on the ground)

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hF8B0CXbyR8

 

UN report on Houla 

 

Houla massacre: UN blames Syria and militia, 15 August 2012

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/interactive/2012/aug/15/un-inquiry-syrian-arab-republic

 

UN News Centre: Syrian Government and opposition forces responsible for war crimes – UN panel

15 August 2012

 

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=42687&Cr=syria&Cr1=

 

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Press TV in NY

USA-West and Gulf dictators are arming the terrorists gangs with no mercy for the Syrian people  23 August 2012

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8YDTpBqbMY&feature=player_embedded

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Indigenous Christians in Syria, Iraq and Egypt targeted by Islamists. Original peoples

Yvonne Haddad  29 July 2012

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7EyBmQHzYw

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A Channel 4 documentary which sympathizes with the ‘FSA’ fighters in Homs, March 2012 (no reference to the 80,000 or so Christians forced to flee Homs by Islamist fighters). 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=2CRArDjblGU

 

Orthodox Church says 90 per cent of Christians have been expelled from Homs

By JOHN PONTIFEX on Monday, 26 March 2012

 

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2012/03/26/orthodox-church-says-90-per-cent-of-christians-have-been-expelled-from-homs/

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DAILY STAR  26 AUGUST 2012

NEARLY 200 elite SAS and SBS troops are in or around Syria hunting for Assad’s weapons of mass destruction, we can reveal… Men of the special forces units plus 1 Para are on the ground working alongside MI6 and the CIA plus American and French troops…

 

http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/view/268989/SAS-hunt-bio-arms/

 

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BBC News HD – Syrian rebels try to use prisoner for suicide bombing 2012

SyrianGirlpartisan

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fbxz6THXsf4

The New York Times

Life With Syria’s Rebels – The Lions of Tawhid

 

August 22 2012

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgsI21x3ab0

 

NYT’s Article

Life With Syria’s Rebels in a Cold and Cunning War

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/21/world/middleeast/syrian-rebels-coalesce-into-a-fighting-force.html?_r=1

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American journalist missing in Syria

 

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/08/american-journalist-missing-in-syria/

 

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Robert Fisk  has spent some time in Syria embedded with the Syrian army in Aleppo.  He has therefore added another perspective to his usual reports on Syria.

Robert Fisk:

‘No power can bring down the Syrian regime’

After gaining exclusive access to Bashar al-Assad’s army officers, our writer reports from the Aleppo front line

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-no-power-can-bring-down-the-syrian-regime-8070029.html#disqus_thread

The bloody truth about Syria’s uncivil war

….Bashar al-Assad’s government faces a resourceful, well-armed and ruthless enemy whose Islamist supporters are receiving help from the West – just as the Islamist mujahedin fighters were funded and armed by the West when they fought the Russians in Afghanistan during the 1980s. With up to 50,000 men under arms and perhaps 4,000 battle tanks, the Syrian army, per se, cannot lose. But can they win?

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-the-bloody-truth-about-syrias-uncivil-war-8081386.html

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CounterPsyOps

Chechen Fighters Join Syrian Extremist Rebels

22 August 2012

 

http://counterpsyops.com/2012/08/22/chechen-fighters-join-syrian-extremist-rebels/

 

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Wahhabism and Wahhabi Islam: How Wahhabi Islam Differs from Sunni, Shia Islam

Critics of Islam & Islamic Extremism Must Understand Wahhabi Extremist Beliefs

By Austin Clin

http://atheism.about.com/od/islamicsects/a/wahhabi.htm

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The Telegraph

Security services ‘failing’ to stop British jihadis heading to Syria 

Fears are growing that a new generation of British jihadis may be cutting their teeth in Syria, reports Andrew Gilligan  25 August 2012

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/9499202/Security-services-failing-to-stop-British-jihadis-heading-to-Syria.html

ABC report on the death of a Sydney Sheik in Syria, evidence of locals going to Syria for a jihad against the secular government.

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Preparing The Public For The Attack On Hezbollah

By Dan Lieberman

 August 23, 2012 “Information Clearing House

 

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32269.htm

 

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Sydney sheik killed in Syria rocket attack

Updated Wed Aug 22,

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-08-21/sydney-sheik-killed-in-syria-rocket-attack/4213460

Meeting in a Sydney bookshop of supporters of Sheik Majzoud

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TWDgTYI7eA

Reference to the death of Sheik Majzoud on an Indonesian web page with the flag of Al-Qaeda in its mast-head

http://hizbut-tahrir.or.id/2012/08/22/kutipan-email-sheik-mustapha-al-majzoub-dari-sydney-yang-syahid-di-suriah/?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed

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LAND DESTROYER REPORT

TUESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2012

Amnesty International is US State Department Propaganda

Amnesty run by US State Department representatives, funded by convicted financial criminals, and threatens real human rights advocacy worldwide.

by Tony Cartalucci

http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/amnesty-international-is-us-state.html

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From the U.S., a view which challenges the mainstream narrative on Syria:

What if the Empire Project Fails in Syria?

By Michael Collins

http://www.themoneyparty.org/main/2012/08/what-if-the-empire-project-fails-in-syria/#more-4817

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INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE

Syria is Only a Pretext 

Re-engineering of the global balance of power.  By Thierry Meyssan  14 AUGUST 2012

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32174.htm#.UCs69jzk7Zc.emailF

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Paul Craig-Roberts

Is Washington Deaf As Well as Criminal?

16 December 2012

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2012/08/16/is-washington-deaf-as-well-criminal/

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World Socialist Web Site

US proxy war in Syria spreads to Lebanon and Iraq

By Eric London 
18 August 2012

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/aug2012/leba-a18.shtml

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COUNTER PUNCH  17-19 AUGUST 2012

Regime Change is About Establishing Sunni Dominance Not Democratic Freedoms

Syrian Australians Demand an End to Foreign Intervention

by CHRIS RAY

Sydney.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/08/17/syrian-australians-demand-an-end-to-foreign-intervention/

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ANTI-WAR.COM

Libya Fighters Head to Syria’s Front-Line

Fighters Hope to ‘Export the Revolution’ to Damascus

by Jason Ditz, August 14, 2012

http://news.antiwar.com/2012/08/14/libya-fighters-head-to-syrias-front-line/

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NEWS.COM.AU

Syrian minister hints that Bashar al-Assad could step down

22 August 2012

….Mr Jamil rejected the idea of making Assad’s resignation the condition for any future negotiations – a demand made not only by the armed opposition but also Washington and several big European states.

But he said the president’s departure could be a topic of discussion….

http://www.news.com.au/world/syrian-minister-hints-that-bashar-al-assad-could-step-down/story-fndir2ev-1226455366698

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GLOBAL RESEARCH

WHO IS REALLY WAGING WAR ON SYRIA?

by Boris Volkhonsky  21 AUGUST 2012

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=32430

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LAND DESTROYER REPORT 

MONDAY, AUGUST 20, 2012

US Desperation Surfaces in Syria

Obama’s bizarre threats indicative of losing strategy and increasing desperation.

by Tony Cartalucci

http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/us-desperation-surfaces-in-syria.html

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Editor: Does it matter whether the president of Syria is an Alawi Muslim?  To whom? Why?

This opinion piece makes no reference to the president of Syria, but it does raise a similar question.

Opinion Phillip Jensen.com

Does It Matter Whether Catherine Is Protestant?

http://phillipjensen.com/articles/does-it-matter-whether-catherine-is-protestant/#

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CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR

Hillary Clinton floats a Syria no-fly zone. How real an option for US?

13 August 2012

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Foreign-Policy/2012/0813/Hillary-Clinton-floats-a-Syria-no-fly-zone.-How-real-an-option-for-US

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Interview on RT with British ME analyst

Historical amnesia taking place among Western leaders; they’d rather support anyone; Assad has become a bogey man.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHUi9wPeaw8&feature=player_embedded

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Rebel Dark Side: Syrian ‘charities’ mute on atrocity claims

Published on Aug 13, 2012 by ‪RussiaToday

The embattled Syrian opposition has made a fresh plea for foreign action, as activists claim people’s support for the insurgency is dwindling amid new allegations of rebel atrocities.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RX46rux2Hyo&feature=player_embedded#!

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What if the Empire Project Fails in Syria?
By Michael Collins

August 14, 2012 “Information Clearing House” –  — Al Jazeera’s weekend coverage of the critical battle for Aleppo, Syria reveals a major obstacle for the United States-NATO Empire Project. Hardly anyone in Aleppo is signing up to fight with rebels….

….McNaught followed up: “Why now, when the Free Syrian Army was so quickly consolidating its hold, were its ranks not being swelled by volunteers from the city?”One of the rebels (gesturing in image) responded: “They are afraid of the situation now. It’s new to them. It’s not like the countryside all around here which has had time to get used to the fighting.”  Trauma requires practice.

Al Jazeera is owned by the government of Qatar. Qatar partnered with NATO in Libya by providing troops on the ground and cash to the Libya rebels. The built in bias gives credibility to the claim of tepid local support. Like the people of Damascus who also kept their distance from rebels, Syrians in Aleppo are not consumed by anti-regime passion. That may have something to do with public polling showing that “most Syrians are in favour of Bashar al-Assad remaining as president.”

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32179.htm#.UCtCZiZ5k4A.email

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Syria and Middle East: The Fallacy of Missing the Forest for the Trees

Keeping the tragic transformation of ‘Arab Spring’ in historical perspective

by Jiwan Kshetry

August 15, 2012

…..Perkins gives the stark summary of those developments that the Saudi Royals literally bartered the national interests, the regional interests and the interests of the oil-producing countries for one thing: the U.S. support for the autocratic regime in the pretext of transforming the Arabian deserts into plush western-style cities. In chapters that follow, Perkins insinuates into the Saudi behavior in the aftermath of the win-win arrangement with the U.S. when it tried to compensate for the loss of moral and religious values in the kingdom brought about by the western commercialism by exporting the Wahabbi ideological fundamentalism to other countries…..

http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2012/08/15/syria-and-middle-east-the-fallacy-of-missing-the-forest-for-the-trees/

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SYRIA/ “Blessed are the peacemakers”

Editors

 

August Sun 12, 2012

A letter by Gregorios III, Patriarch of Antioch, on the Church’s attitude to the widespread talk of arming Christians, and on the role of the Church and of her bodies in supporting mediation and reconciliation in the country.

Damascus, 3 August, 2012

http://www.ilsussidiario.net/News/English-Spoken-Here/Culture-Religion-Science/2012/8/12/SYRIA-Blessed-are-the-peacemakers-/311409/

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SATURDAY, AUGUST 4, 2012

Massacres in Aleppo, Syria

“Responsibility to Protect” crumbles as Western-armed terror front slaughters civilians while foreign sponsors attempt to tie hands of Syrian security forces.

by Tony Cartalucci 

August 4, 2012 – For the people of Aleppo, their only hope is Syria’s security forces restoring order. In the pockets of Syria’s largest city the so-called “Free Syrian Army” (FSA) has dug into, a campaign of systematic detention, torture, and mass murder has been carried out against “enemies of the revolution.” Demonized as either “Shabiha” or “government supporters,” men have been rounded up, lined up against walls, and gunned down en mass. Others await barbaric “drumhead trials” where FSA warlords deal out arbitrary justice under the guise of “Sharia law.”

http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/massacres-in-aleppo-syria.html

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After Aleppo: A Return to the Status Quo

By: Nicolas Nassif

Published Monday, August 13, 2012

The battle for Aleppo is not completely over, but it is almost there as far as the Assad regime is concerned. Ending the presence of the military opposition there may require a few more days. Reclaiming the strategic part of the city, the Salaheddine neighborhood, made up for the morale blow that the regime and President Bashar al-Assad received from the defection of prime minister Riad Hijab…..

….this majority-Sunni army managed to fight the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist militants, who are also Sunni, without disintegrating or collapsing…

http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/after-aleppo-return-status-quo

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The NATION

 

Obama’s Regime-Change Policy in Syria

Robert Dreyfuss  13 August

 

http://www.thenation.com/blog/169367/obamas-regime-change-policy-syria

Regime Change in Syria: Part II

Robert Dreyfusson August 14, 2012 – 11:53 AM ET

 

…..Back in 2009, Obama was right not to intervene in Iran or to egg on the Iranian Greens. Why did that change in Syria in 2011-2012? Politics, maybe? Does the United States have the right to decide to force out of office anyone it doesn’t like? Or only the ones that the Israel Lobby wants to get rid of, in an election year?

http://www.thenation.com/blogs/robert-dreyfuss

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Asia Times online

Covering Syria: The information war

By Aisling Byrne  July 12 2012

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NG12Ak01.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

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Editor: It appears the US,UK and France  now want to blame the Gulf states for the presence of extremists fighting in Syria despite the warnings about the terror from the beginning of the crisis and despite the calls from extremist clerics in those Gulf nations since March 2011.  The west imagines it (like a benevolent god) can engineer a ‘clean’ war against a people who want neither an armed revolution nor a war?

The Guardian

Syria crisis: west loses faith in SNC to unite opposition groups

US, UK and France seek to build more direct links with disparate rebels amid fears that Islamists are getting Gulf donations

            Julian Borger, diplomatic editor

The Guardian, Tuesday 14 August 2012

The US, Britain and France are scrambling to retain their influence with Syrian opposition groups amid fears that most support from the Gulf states has been diverted towards extremist Islamic groups.

Rising concern that an increasingly sectarian civil war could spread across the region, combined with reports of brutality by some opposition groups, and evidence that the best-organised and best-funded rebel groups are disproportionately Salafist (militant Sunni fundamentalists), has triggered an urgent policy change in western capitals.

Washington, London and Paris now agree that efforts to encourage a unified opposition around the exile-led Syrian National Council (SNC) have failed, and are now seeking to cultivate more direct links with internal Syrian groups.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/13/syria-opposition-groups-national-council

 

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Foreign Policy Journal

The U.S. and Its Comrade in Arms, Al Qaeda

And other tales of an empire gone mad

by William Blum

11 August 2012

…So, if you want to understand this thing called United States foreign policy … forget about the War on Terrorism, forget about September 11, forget about democracy, forget about freedom, forget about human rights, forget about religion, forget about the people of Libya and Syria … keep your eyes on the prize … Whatever advances American global domination. Whatever suits their goals at the moment. There is no moral factor built into the DNA of US foreign policy.

http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2012/08/11/the-u-s-and-its-comrade-in-arms-al-qaeda/

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US is helping Israel and others to talk up a “horrible event” which might precipitate action from West and Turkey which the ‘international community’ can find acceptable in the circumstances.

Preparing For A ‘Horrible Event’; The U.S. And Turkey Plan For Syria’s Collapse  August 11 2012

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/08/11/158622467/preparing-for-a-horrible-event-the-u-s-and-turkey-plan-for-syrias-collapse

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The Guardian newspaper has generally come out on the side of NATO, Saudi Arabia and Qatar in regard to Syria.  In a recent article, a representative of the Muslim Brotherhood was given a chance to put an argument for regime change in Syria. It is very unlikely the leader of secular Syria will be given a chance to respond.  Comments in response to the article suggest Guardian readers have a more sophisticated understanding of the ME than the editors.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/06/syria-middleeast

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This report refers to efforts by the US and UK to destabilize Syria in 1957.

 

Anglo-American Secret Plan to Assassinate the Syrian President. Déjà Vu?

By Prof. Michel Chossudovsky

August 13, 2012 “Information Clearing House” -

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32164.htm#.UCnuoYA8crQ.email

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Macmillan backed Syria assassination plot

Documents show White House and No 10 conspired over oil-fuelled invasion plan

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2003/sep/27/uk.syria1

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PRESS TV

Israeli-US script: Divide Syria, divide the rest

By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

What is happening in Syria is a sign of things to come for the region. Regime change is not the sole goal of the US and its allies in Syria. Dividing the Syrian Arab Republic is the end goal of Washington in Syria.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/08/14/256166/us-harbors-divisive-plots-on-global-scale/

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American Stingers’ First Casualty is Diplomacy: Syria’s Parallels with Afghanistan

By Deepak Tripathi 

August 13, 2012 “Information Clearing House” –

The revelation about President Barack Obama’s decision to provide secret American aid to Syria’s rebel forces is a game changer. The presidential order, known as an “intelligence finding” in the world of espionage, authorizes the CIA to support armed groups fighting to overthrow Bashar al-Assad’s government. But it threatens far more than the regime in Damascus.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32168.htm#.UCntEBnkYWo.email

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RT

US and Turkey to consider no-fly zones for Syria

11 August 2012

…..According to Middle Eastern history and politics Professor Jeremy Salt, the opposition has little hope of winning the conflict without the help of its Western allies.

“As of now, Damascus has mostly been cleared of rebels. Aleppo on its way to being cleared. We can see that the army has a strategy here. It cleared out the Salah al-Din district within two days, and now it’s working its way through other suburbs. So unless the rebels get more support in terms of heavy weaponry, they are very much fighting on the back foot. So that’s why Hillary Clinton is in Istanbul. To ask the basic question, ‘What’s next?’” Salt told RT.

 

 

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Foreign-backed armed groups targeting Syrian history

Published on Aug 11, 2012 by ‪PressTVGlobalNews

Castle of Aleppo, is a large medieval fortified palace in the centre of the old city of Aleppo. It is considered to be one of the oldest and largest castles in the world. Usage of the Citadel hill dates back at least to the middle of the 3rd millennium BC.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xStmV_ai_jY

 

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Qatar offered Syrian ambassador $5.8mn for defection – report

11 August 2012

Qatar’s ambassador in Mauritania allegedly offered his Syrian counterpart an advance payment of US$1 million and a monthly salary of $20,000 over 20 years, trying to convince the diplomat to defect and voice support for the opposition…

http://www.rt.com/news/syria-ambassador-qatar-defection-421/

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Secret Protocols of Putin’s Talks in Israel

Israel’s Plan for Syria: Somalisation

By Israel Shamir

http://www.israelshamir.net/English/PutNet.htm

Israel supports regime change in Syria: Israeli spy chief

8 August 2012

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/255109.html

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GLOBAL RESEARCH

TERRORISM AS AN INSTRUMENT OF U.S. FOREIGN POLICY: UN-BACKED ROGUE STATES PLAN SYRIA’S SLAUGHTER

By Felicity Arbuthnot

11 August 2012

Veteran Russian politician Yevgeny Primakov …

“Mercenaries and volunteers from other states are fighting (Assad) jointly with” violent internal forces. Most Syria opponents are nonviolent. They want peaceful conflict resolution. Washington has other ideas.

“President Obama has given a direct order to the CIA to support the Syrian opposition.”

“That is flagrant interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state, which does not endanger the United States or anyone else.”

“Saudi Arabia and Qatar are funding militants. Turkey is giving them active support.” So are other regional countries (iv.)….

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=32301

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Press TV

‘West plan to destroy Syria, decades-old

11 August 2012

Interview with Dr Randy Short  (http://www.linkedin.com/in/drrandyshort )

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJ28ho-CxeM&feature=player_embedded

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Editor: Much of the propaganda war against Syria has been based on video ‘evidence’ which is very difficult to verify.  Therefore, in order to understand the crisis in Syria it is important to go beyond that. Lives have been lost, no doubt, to create such footage in the PR war against Syria.

However, in order to understand what Syrians mean when they talk about ‘terror’ in Syria, some footage perhaps needs to be presented.  This is a very disturbing video and is definitely not recommended for anyone under 18 or for the faint-hearted.  (To understand the terror to some extent at least without viewing such shocking videos, it would help to see the interview with Sari Saoud’s mother.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDUF72f0w2s )

Very disturbing video: FSA kills Syrian citizen

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151150681002667

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PRESS TV

 

Iranian pilgrims are abducted soon after they arrive in Damascus

 

UNSC met on Syria kidnapping     9 August 2012

It was Monday that Press TV first asked Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s office for a condemnation of the kidnapping. On Tuesday — it was made official — as Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister Ali Akbar Salehi formally requested Ban’s help in resolving the crisis.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gd0diDNT-dg

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Los Angles Times

Professed Syrian rebel says Iranian hostages are militiamen

As Iran works with allies of the Syrian opposition to secure the release of nearly 50 Iranians, the rebel commander appears in an ominous video.

By Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times

August 6, 2012

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-syria-iranians-20120806,0,1990364.story

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Editor: Reports on Syria in Los Angles Times appear to be more measured than the mainstream reporting seen in Australian news outlets since the beginning of the crisis.

Syria: Some in opposition fear rebels miscalculated in Aleppo

13 August 2012

The Syria activists fear that the Aleppo offensive may lead to a humanitarian crisis and undermine the revolution by turning the city against them.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-syria-aleppo-20120814,0,4861280.story

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US REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN RON PAUL – STRAIGHT TALK

Ron Paul: Interventionist Policies Make Us Less Secure

“… by promoting civil war in Syria, we end up supporting Al-Qaeda….This raises the question as to whether the US is supporting the same people we are fighting in Afghanistan…”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxNnYrVgUpg

Another American with similar views to Ron Paul of the US foreign policy is Laurence M. Vance.  He presents what he views is a Christian perspective and describes the U.S. foreign policy as ‘evil’.

War, Foreign Policy, and the Church

by Laurence M. Vance
by

“The greatest crime since World War II has been U.S. foreign policy.” (Former US Attorney General, Ramsey Clark.)Laurence M. Vance

http://www.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance114.html

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PRESS TV

WG Tarpley  “US downplaying Iran´s crucial role resolving Syrian Crisis”

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ioCq1qlixg

 

Press TV

Uprising against Saudi monarchy to ruin NATO’s Syria plans: Tarpley

8 August 2012

“You’ve got again this whole archipelago of revolutions that could break out in the [Persian] Gulf. This would I think shift many elements of power, not even in the region but in the world,” American author and historian Dr. Webster Griffin Tarpley said in a Press TV interview on Tuesday.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/255142.html

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Editor: This is an analysis which challenges and raises disturbing questions.

Perfecting The Method of “Color Revolutions”
Western leaders slip back into childhood

By Thierry Meyssan  7 August 2012

 

………A strange anomaly can be detected with regard to Syria. The CIA did not locate groups of young Syrians willing to chant this slogan in the streets of Damascus and Aleppo. So it is Barack Obama, François Hollande, David Cameron and Angela Merkel themselves who repeat the slogan in chorus from their respective foreign offices. Washington and its allies are trying out the methods of Gene Sharp on the “international community”. It is a risky bet to imagine that foreign ministries can be as easy to manipulate as youth groups! At the moment, the result is simply ridiculous: the leaders of the colonial powers have been stomping their feet like angry, frustrated children over a desired object that the Russian and Chinese adults won’t let them have while ceaselessly wailing “Bashar must go!“.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32110.htm#.UCH7IIbUtDM.email

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Jandar Resort Massacre in Homs

16 workers in a resort area killed by ‘rebels’; members of one Christian family killed

7 August 2012

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRI7Qs61IZs&feature=player_embedded

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FOR QATAR, IS IT ALL ABOUT GETTING ITS GAS CHEAPLY TO EUROPE

Analysis of the crisis in Syria on the blog of Italian journalist and writer Silvia Cattori

Dismembering the Arab World

3 AUGUST 2012

by Dr Makram Khoury-Machool is a Palestinian scholar, based in Cambridge, UK

…..Through its orchestrated media campaigns transmitted over the decades to its own public,Israel has constructed a concept of Syria as the major threat to its existence in the Arab world. Arguably, the governmental vacuum that might be created in Syria could be filled by al-Qaeda-like groups giving sufficient justification for Israel’s actions (against Syria and/or Iran) and would also promote the idea of a conflict between ‘civilized-democratic’ Israel and ‘savage’ Islamists…..

….In terms of gas reserves, Russia is number one, with Iran and Qatar in fourth place and Saudi Arabia in sixth. With neighbouring Saudi Arabia as one of the ten leading producers of gas in the world, it is clear why the export interests of Qatar and Saudi Arabia are particularly important and this ranking should give us a clear idea of the alliances that have formed in light of the Syrian conflict.

….Qatar’s aim is to export its gas to Europe, compete with the Russians and gain important political bargaining chips. In order for the export of Qatari gas to Europe to be feasible and competitive, a gas pipe must be laid through Syria. As Russia’s long-standing ally and with the precedents of numerous joint deals dating back to the USSR era, Syria is unlikely to allow anything to threaten the destabilization of Russia’s interests in their last strategic stronghold in the Arab world. This is the main reason why Qatar and Saudi Arabia are supporting the opposition’s struggle to topple the Syrian government……

http://www.silviacattori.net/article3487.html

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Al-Qaeda’s  Specter  in  Syria

Author: Ed Husain, Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies
August 6, 2012

http://www.cfr.org/syria/al-qaedas-specter-syria/p28782

Note: Ed Husain was an Islamist in his student days in Britain.  He is the author of “Why I joined radical Islam in Britain, what I saw inside and why I left: the ISLAMIST” Penguin Books.

Ed Husain and his wife spent some time working at the British Council in Damascus. He writes this in his book: “My time in Damascus changed my perception of the Christian faith forever. Arab Christians of all denominations freely and with no qualms used the word Allah for God. At first this was extremely difficult for me to digest. Allah, I thought, was the preserve of the Muslims. Granted, I knew it was a translation of God, but did not realize that “Allah” was an intimate part of lives of millions of Arab Christians. Everywhere in Damascus, Muslims and Christians used phrases that I thought only Muslims used: inshallah (God willing), mashallah (as God willed it), alhamdulillah (praise be to God). There was no sense of religious zealotry or grandstanding in the name of God…..”  page 224.

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Editor: The article below about Sunni Islam and Wahhabism indicates the complexity of Islam (of any faith).  This editor includes the article for consideration only – I know too little about Islam to confirm the statements of the author or deny them.

Sunnis are oppressed in Saudi Arabia, not in Syria

http://alazerius.wordpress.com/2012/03/04/sunnis-are-oppressed-in-saudi-arabia-not-in-syria/

For a deeper understanding of Islam, William Dalrymple could be consulted.  Dalrymple revisited (?) Syria recently to write this article (published in The Australian 9 August 2012)

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/fatal-lot-of-christianitys-homelands/story-e6frg6ux-1226446237488

Editor: While searching for information about Islam, I came across the following views:

From Ibrahim’s point of view, “the Salafists believe God is separate from creation, but we believe we can see God’s face everywhere”. He adds, “The split within Islam is worse than that between the West and Islam”. 

 

This is more or less exactly the phrase the writer William Dalrymple used in the excellent Channel 4 TV film Sufi Soul (worth seeing, and available from World Music Network) directed by Songlines editor Simon Broughton which has some atmospheric footage of Fes music and the medina). When I met the Pakistani Ambassador, she firmly disagreed. “The West exacerbated the split between the Sunnis and the Shias, in Iraq they got on perfectly well until the war.” I decided not to mention the Iran-Iraq war. But what about the Islamists who destroy Sufi shrines? “They are not Muslims” she said, with some finality.

 

http://www.theartsdesk.com/new-music/theartsdesk-fes-bjork-among-gnawas

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This article relates to Iran and sanctions, but could apply to Syria.

ANTI-WAR.COM

Sanctions Will Kill Tens of Thousands of Iranians

by Muhammad Sahimi, August 09, 2012

http://original.antiwar.com/sahimi/2012/08/08/sanctions-will-kill-tens-of-thousands-of-iranians/

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Monday, 13 August 2012

How defence spending ‘contributes to American 
prosperity’

by Bernard Keane

http://www.crikey.com.au/2012/08/13/how-much-our-defence-spending-contributes-to-american-prosperity/

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Editor: Australia’s foreign minister, Bob Carr, refuses to meet people from community groups which support a peaceful political solution to the war in Syria, yet he meets Tony Blair….

THOUGHTLINES WITH BOB CARR

Talks with Tony Blair on Middle East peace

AUGUST 8, 2012

http://bobcarrblog.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/talks-with-tony-blair-on-middle-east-peace/

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Terror in Syria: family killed, child hanged.

http://friendsofsyria.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/hillarys-terrorists-hang-shiite-child-after-killing-family-members/

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COUNTER PUNCH  AUGUST 06, 2012

Persecution Complex

Syria’s “Liberated” Future

by SHAMUS COOKE

A fascinating shift has happened in the U.S. mainstream media: After a year of anti-Syria war propaganda and lies, glimmers of truth are making their way into the public’s view. This may be too little too late: the country is being torn at the seams into the nightmare of ethnic-religious cleansing and massacres.

After non-stop war mongering, The New York Times took a second to wipe the blood off its hands to report the true state of things in Syria.  Apparently, the previous, ongoing reports about the Syrian army indiscriminately massacring citizens in the city of Homs was simply a lie, repeated over and over…..

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/08/06/syrias-liberated-future/

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NEW YORK TIMES

Writer Defends His Handling of Interview With Assad

By RICK GLADSTONE

Published: August 5, 2012

Even when his country was not convulsed by war, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria rarely gave televised interviews to foreigners. His session with Barbara Walters in December was a public relations disaster. So it seemed surprising a few weeks ago when Mr. Assad granted another Westerner a face-to-face chat on camera……..

Mr. Todenhöfer’s preoccupation with Syria reflects what he called his hatred of war and a long fascination with the Middle East and Islamic cultures that began when he traveled to Algeria at age 18. During the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, Mr. Todenhöfer said, he visited Afghanistan three times, entering on foot from Pakistan via the Hindu Kush frontier area….

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/06/world/middleeast/fallout-continues-over-germans-assad-interview.html?pagewanted=2&_r=2&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha22_20120806

 

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YOUTUBE

 

Syria; Protest in Support of Bashar Al Assad – Sydney 5/08/2012

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MG_d05A0jkY&feature=player_embedded

  

SYDNEY RALLY – 5 August 6, 2012

7 NEWS

SYDNEY, Aug 5, 2012 (AFP) – - Hundreds of people rallied in Australia on Sunday in support of the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad, urging no intervention by foreign powers in the conflict.

Organised by a group calling itself “Hands off Syria”, the demonstration began with a short rally of several hundred people at Sydney’s town hall but numbers swelled as the group, many of them families, marched through the city.

“I am here to show my support for the president and the people of Syria,” one young woman draped in the Syrian flag told AFP.

“We have to expose the lies that have been (made) through the media.”

Protesters waving Syrian flags and carrying banners which read “Thank you Russia and China 4 vetoes” and “Let the whole world hear: Syria is our nation, Bashar is our leader”, the group marched to government offices in central Sydney.

Hanadi Assoud, one of the organisers of the event, said the protesters were against the United States or NATO intervening in Syria, where the conflict has reportedly claimed more than 21,000 lives since the uprising against Assad’s regime erupted in March 2011.

She also accused the media of misrepresenting the conflict, saying that opposition forces had been responsible for any killings that had taken place.

“Why would the government kill its own people?” she said.

She said those marching wanted to have their voices heard in Australia after comments by Foreign Minister Bob Carr, who has condemned the Assad regime.

“We know that Bob Carr has got an agenda. He was saying that the Assad regime must go. How can he be so biased?” Assoud told AFP.

Syria closed its embassy in Australia in late July, two months after Canberra expelled the Syrian charge d’affaires along with one other diplomat over the killings of more than 100 people in Houla.

http://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/-/world/14466010/hundreds-rally-in-australia-for-syrian-regime/

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SBS Radio Interview with Marlene, an organizer of the rally to support Syria on 5 August 2012

http://www.sbs.com.au/news/radio/episode/226888/Sydney-rally-supports-Syrian-government

Interview on ABC Triple J:  Sophie McNeill interviewsa representative of the Syria Australia Association which supports the armed opposition to the Syrian government and Tim Anderson from Sydney University and a member of  “Hands Off Syria” which organized the Sydney rally on 5 August.

https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=2&ik=6aa6b4fd16&view=audio&msgs=139010a2f2ae58fc&attid=0.1&zw

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SYRIA  360

MASS RALLY HELD IN SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA IN SOLIDARITY WITH SYRIA

Posted on August 5, 2012 by Alexandra Valiente

http://syria360.wordpress.com/2012/08/05/mass-rally-held-in-sydney-australia-in-solidarity-with-syria/

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Grandfather Attacked by Terrorist Supporters in Sydney

Posted on August 5, 2012

http://friendsofsyria.wordpress.com/2012/08/05/grandfather-attacked-by-terrorist-supporters-in-sydney/

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PRESS TV

West attempts to destabilize the Syrian government: Analyst

Syrian security forces have clashed with foreign-sponsored insurgents in several areas of the northwestern city of Aleppo.

Meanwhile, the Syrian state TV said the army has arrested a group of Turkish and Saudi officers in Aleppo.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told the Turkish Cumhuriyet daily in an interview in early July that Turkey “has supplied all logistic support to the terrorists who have killed our people.”

Many people, including large numbers of security forces, have been killed in the turmoil in Syria that began in March 2011.

On August 5, US senators John McCain, Joseph Lieberman and Lindsey Graham said Washington should “directly and openly” provide assistance, including weapons, intelligence and training, to the insurgents in Syria.

On June 21, the New York Times reported that a group of CIA officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey and that the agents are helping the anti-Syria governments decide which gangs inside the Arab country will receive arms to fight the Syrian government.

Press TV has conducted an interview with Professor Michael Chossudovsky, Director of the Center for Research on Globalization, to further discuss the issue.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/08/06/254815/west-attempts-to-destabilize-syria/

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Cham Press: Explosive device blast inside Radio and TV Center causing minor injuries  6th August

DAMASCUS- An explosive device on Monday exploded inside the building of the General Organization of the Radio and Television in Damascus.

SANA reporter was informed that the explosion took place on the third floor of the building and caused a number of injuries.

Information Minister: All Workers Are Safe

Minister of Information, Omran al-Zoubi, stressed to the Syrian TV by phone that the explosion at the building was the result of an explosive device blast that caused minor injuries and material damage only, assuring that all the workers are safe.

http://www.champress.net/index.php?q=en/Article/view/5480

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SYRIAN SATELLITE TV NEWS 6th August 2012 (in English)

http://friendsofsyria.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/real-syrian-news-for-today/

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The Telegraph

Muslim Brotherhood establishes militia inside Syria

The Muslim Brotherhood has established its own militia inside Syria as the country’s rebels fracture between radical Islamists and their rivals, commanders and gun-runners have told The Daily Telegraph.

By Ruth Sherlock, Richard Spencer in Beirut

6:48PM BST 03 Aug 2012

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9450587/Muslim-Brotherhood-establishes-militia-inside-Syria.html

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ANTI-WAR.COM

Syria Rebels Face Growing List of Crimes

Despite extra-judicial executions and torture, support from the US and its allies continues

 

by John Glaser, August 04, 2012

The rebel militias fighting to topple the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad face a growing list of accusations of executions, murder, and war crimes, but aid and support from the US and its allies continues to flow.

http://news.antiwar.com/2012/08/04/syria-rebels-face-growing-list-of-crimes/

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Editor: This article points to the involvement of Al-Qaeda and other extremist groups in Syria. However, the writer does not condemn the support of countries to violently overthrow a government which has the support of the majority of its people; he assumes ‘Assad will fall’ and suggests Washington should be supporting ‘the right rebels’.   Does that mean he believes international law must be ignored?  That it is acceptable in the 21 century for the whole world to be deemed as the Wild West to be tamed by the US?

Increasing Evidence of Jihadists in Syria

By Patrick Brennan

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/312679/increasing-evidence-jihadists-syria-patrick-brennan

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Editor:  Two articles from The Los Angeles Times report the abduction of Iranian pilgrims on the outskirts of Damascus.  There seems to be a serious attempt at balance in the articles. It is interesting to compare the reporting of the kidnapping with that of the ABC (Australia).

Iranian pilgrims kidnapped on trip to Syria

Dozens are seized by gunmen in the Damascus area, prompting Iran’s foreign minister to ask Turkey to intervene. Meanwhile, fighting continues in the Syrian city of Aleppo.

By Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times

August 5, 2012

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-syria-kidnap-20120805,0,7290703.story

Professed Syrian rebel says Iranian hostages are militiamen

As Iran works with allies of the Syrian opposition to secure the release of nearly 50 Iranians, the rebel commander appears in an ominous video.

By Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times

August 6, 2012

BEIRUTIran said Sunday that it was seeking the aid of Turkey and Qatar, nations with close ties to the Syrian opposition, in securing the release of dozens of Iranian citizens kidnapped the day before in Syria.

  

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-syria-iranians-20120806,0,1990364.story

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Australia’s ABC generally relies heavily on sources which support the fight against the Syrian government (and people).

ABC Radio:The World Today

 

Regime intensifies bombardment of Aleppo

Barney Porter reported this story on Monday, August 6, 2012 12:30:00

 

http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2012/s3561326.htm

 

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However, this report from ABC’s Matt Brown who is in Aleppo embedded with the rebels is an attempt at a more nuanced view of the rebels

 

Syrian rebels accused of public executions

By Norman Hermant and Matt Brown

Updated August 02, 2012 09:19:59

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-08-02/syrian-rebels-accused-of-rights-violations-in-aleppo/4171274

 

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MATT CARR

Imperial Chaos: the Road to Domination

August 5, 2012

….Out of the broken shells of Syria, the US and its allies hope to create a new kind of order that they can manipulate to their advantage, as they attempted to do in Iraq,  and more recently in Libya.

And behind the mask of humanitarianism and the sanctimonious concern for the welfare of ‘the Syrian people’,  you can bet that there are foreign policy bureaucrats who, like the US envoy in Gaza ‘like this violence’ and are doing everything they can to ensure that it gets a lot worse before – if – it gets better.

http://www.infernalmachine.co.uk/?p=1961

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‘Russia sends military warning to US on Syria’

Published on Aug 4, 2012 by ‪PressTVGlobalNews

Russia is sending three military ships with hundreds of marines aboard to a Moscow-leased naval facility in the Syrian port of Tartus. According to the Russian military, the landing ships, each with up to 120 armed navy personnel on board, will visit the Syrian port in coming days and spend a few days there. 

Press TV has conducted an interview with Vyacheslav Maluzov, Middle East expert, to further discuss the issue.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tm6HbsBRTu8&feature=player_embedded

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Editor:

TOO CLEVER BY HALF

“A stupid person can make only certain, limited types of errors; the mistakes open to a clever fellow are far broader. But to the one who knows how smart he is compared to everyone else, the possibilities for true idiocy are boundless.”

—   Vlad Taltos, Iorich

Robert Fisk continues his “too clever by half” approach to Syria.  In the article linked below, he presents information which is not highlighted in Al-Jazeera or the western mainstream media, but which is very familiar to people in the ME, as well as to those who have done their own research on the internet. (But note, he exposes the tip of a tip of an iceberg only.)  And he presents ‘left-wing’ views that many readers would warm to.

However, in the end, after taking the reader on a very circuitous route, adopting the same basic assumptions of the #MSM about the Syrian government, using the same rhetoric (eg ‘rebels’ vs ‘Assad’s brutal regime’) after avoiding reference to other facts which would challenge stands he takes on Syria (eg what is happening to Christians in Homs; who is being assassinated and killed; how the lives of Syrians are affected by the ‘terror’ of ‘rebels’; what the Salafi jihadists from Lebanon are doing in Syria; what Fisk’s Lebanese patron Walid Jumblatt  – a fairly safe assumption – and Jumblatt’s political allies, Samir Geagea and Saad Hariri are doing to support the ‘rebels’ and why they support them; what extremist clerics continue to say to foment violence in Syria;  who the majority of Syrians believe are responsible for massacres in Syria; etc  …….) , Fisk does not inform; he manipulates.

Fisk does not present anything more controversial or challenging than the mainstream media line. He does not present views respectful of 22 Syrian people. He does not present views and information that would lead to people marching in the streets for peace. His articles are written for readers who want to be informed but who are also comfortable with the thought that the “Arabs are at it again” and  that Fisk knows, so we know.  Perhaps he is MI6’s man in the Levant, (as one reader suggested in a comment recently) or is he just Walid Jumblatt’s?

A critical eye, not Robert Fisk’s nor any one person’s but your own, is needed always.

Robert Fisk: SYRIAN WAR OF LIES AND HYPOCRISY 

The West’s real target here is not Assad’s brutal regime but his ally, Iran, and its chemical weapons

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-syrian-war-of-lies-and-hypocrisy-7985012.html

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While Australian reporters and others enter Syria via Turkey illegally in order to join the ‘rebel’ fighters (= terrorists/Salafi jihadists/Al-Qaeda/mercenaries/terrorised youth forced to kill or be killed etc), the people of Aleppo are ignored. We rarely see their images unless they support the ‘rebels’.  Over many months the people of Aleppo were very vocal in their support of the president and of peaceful reform the Syrian way, not the Saudi Qatari US Turkish Israeli way.

VIDEO: Pro-government rally in Aleppo 19-10-201

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3f9QB_z-_Q&feature=youtu.be

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VIDEO: Syrian Reporter is shot by ‘rebels’; later interviewed in hospital (in Arabic)

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DKmXbikJzQ&feature=share

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VIDEO: GRAPHIC – Executing Berri Tribal Elders In Aleppo, Syria

https://www.youtube.com/verify_controversy?next_url=/watch%3Ffeature%3Dplayer_embedded%26v%3DARV5LrK9S-k%26bpctr%3D1343814643%26skipcontrinter%3D1

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ON TWITTER:

RUSSIAN REPORTER IN DAMASCUS

Oksana Boyko

https://twitter.com/OksanaBoyko_RT

Oksana Boyko @OksanaBoyko_RT

Al-Nusra Front that carried out killing of Syrian TV presenter calls for Sunni improvement in ‪#Syria - all part of democratic uprising

Oksana Boyko ‏‪@OksanaBoyko_RT

Syrian TV host Muhammed al-Saeed kidnapped by militants mid July found dead. His killers said he was “shabih” so no need for trial ‪#Syria

Oksana Boyko ‏‪@OksanaBoyko_RT

3 Syrian Airways pilots ambushed by rebels on airport highway in ‪#Damascusystrd. 2 Sunnis let go, Alawi pilot killed ‪#Syria

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Kidnapped Syrian TV host executed

SYRIAN television presenter Mohammed al-Saeed, kidnapped from his Damascus home in mid-July, has been executed, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says.

“The television presenter, a well-known figure on state TV, has been executed, and the Al-Nusra Front has claimed responsibility for the killing,” the Observatory’s Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

 

(NB: Rami Abdel Rahman who fronts the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is quoted as if he is a reliable source. He is quoted rather than a legitimate Syrian sources. And there are no images of the reporter: that would be humanizing him!  )

http://www.news.com.au/national/kidnapped-syrian-tv-host-executed/story-fndo4eg9-1226442901484

Islamist rebels execute Syrian journalist

Published Saturday, August 4, 2012

http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/islamist-rebels-execute-syrian-journalist

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REUTERS

Obama authorizes secret support for Syrian rebels

By Mark Hosenball

WASHINGTON | Wed Aug 1, 2012 9:04pm EDT

(Reuters) – President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing U.S. support for rebels seeking to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government, sources familiar with the matter said.

Obama’s order, approved earlier this year and known as an intelligence “finding,” broadly permits the CIA and other U.S. agencies to provide support that could help the rebels oust Assad.

This and other developments signal a shift toward growing, albeit still circumscribed, support for Assad’s armed opponents – a shift that intensified following last month’s failure of the U.N. Security Council to agree on tougher sanctions against the Damascus government.

The White House is for now apparently stopping short of giving the rebels lethal weapons, even as some U.S. allies do just that….

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/02/us-usa-syria-obama-order-idUSBRE8701OK20120802

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INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE

Obama Admits Funding Fake Revolutionaries to Attack Assad

By Susanne Posel

August 03, 2012 “Information Clearing House” —   Obama has signed a secret order authorizing US support of the Free Syrian Army (FSA). The CIA and other agencies were empowered by Obama earlier this year to provide intelligence and training. As the FSA’s efforts have intensified in the last few months, the Obama administration is now admitting to arming them….

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32083.htm#.UBxZoG8C5PQ.email

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Obama Does Syriana

By Pepe Escobar

August 03, 2012 “Asia Times” –It took Reuters quite a while to be allowed to report that US President Barack Obama had approved an intelligence finding [1] letting the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) loose in its support for the weaponized “rebels” fighting for regime change in Syria.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32070.htm#.UBxaEdm9r0c.email

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HUFF POST POLITICS UNITED KINGDOM

The West Should Not Support Syrian Rebels

Posted: 31/07/2012 12:12

By Charles Shoebridge

Security analyst, and former army and intelligence officer

 

Follow most mainstream media, and you’ll know even from its terminology the situation in Syria is pretty straightforward – on one side a brutal dictatorship killing its own people, on the other a popular rebel army fighting for justice and freedom.

Given this portrayal, and that Bashar al-Assad actually is a dictator, and that the armed insurrection grew from the violent suppression of initially peaceful protest, it’s unsurprising that well-meaning, intelligent people have sympathy for the rebels. But in doing so, many have assumed that those who oppose a dictator also therefore support democracy.

Evidence to justify this presumptive mainstream narrative is hard to find. Whilst the opposition includes democrats, many of the West’s preferred leaders are of limited relevance inside Syria, having for years lived comfortably abroad. Syria’s regional importance and sectarian complexity also render unreliable superficially attractive comparisons to potential democratic outcomes elsewhere.

To some extent, we can use our own senses to assess who those with power on the ground in Syria are. Watch rebel videos, broadcast daily by our media, and consider how often you’ve heard ‘Allahu Akbar’ shouting Sunni protesters or fighters make any mention of democracy, tolerance, human or women’s rights – or indeed women playing any role at all. The rebels’ agenda is to overthrow Assad.

Objective observations on the ground corroborate this assessment. Repeatedly, the UN and others have documentedrebel abductions, torture and sectarian murder. Unreported in the UK for example, AFP recently reported how Iraqi soldiers witnessed FSA rebels dismember and murder disarmed Syrian border guards…..

  

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/charles-shoebridge/post_3720_b_1722772.html

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RT QUESTION MORE

UN adopts tough resolution on Syria

Published: 03 August, 2012, 21:01

The UN General Assembly has voted in favor of a non-binding resolution on Syria pushed by several Arab states. Before the vote, Russia announced that it would not support the resolution, calling it unbalanced.

The bill was passed with 133 votes in favor, 12 against, and 31 abstentions.

The resolution, authored by Saudi Arabia and actively supported by Egypt and Bahrain, demands that President Bashar al-Assad transfer power to a transitional government and that the Syrian Army ceases tank and helicopter attacks against rebel forces.

It also demands that Syria refrain from using chemical and biological weapons. This clause comes after a recent announcement from Damascus alleging that Syria possessed chemical weapons, and would not hesitate to use them against an invading army.

The General Assembly denounced the Syrian crackdown on rebel forces while criticizing the Security Council’s inaction.

http://www.rt.com/news/syrian-resolution-un-assembly-711/

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CHAM PRESS 4 August 2012

Al-Jaafari: Draft resolution on Syria hysteric and misleading, violates international legitimacy principles

NEW YORK- Syria’s Permanent Representative in the UN, Bashar al-Jaafari, on Friday said that the draft resolution on Syria submitted by Saudi Arabia to the UN General Assembly is hysteric and misleading, violating all international legitimacy principles, primarily the principle of respecting national sovereignty and non-interference in countries’ internal affairs.

In a speech before the UN General Assembly, al-Jaafari stressed that the Qatari-Saudi-western draft resolution serves only the interests of Israel.

Al-Jaafari said that adopting the draft resolution sends a wrong message to extremists and terrorists in Syria and elsewhere, since the terrorist acts these people carry out as an alternative to dialogue and peaceful settlements are encouraged and supported by UN member countries, which will only exacerbate the situation, increase violence and strengthen terrorism in Syria and the entire region, which will eventually cause terrorism to reach the very areas that spawned it, including some of the countries that adopted the draft resolution……

http://www.champress.net/index.php?q=en/Article/view/5323

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AL-MANAR

Bashar Jaafari Receives Death Threats, Personal Attacks by Media   4 August 2012

As he stressed he was proud to defend his nation, UN envoy to the UN Bashar al-Jaafari said he had death threats and personal attacks by media in the Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

The envoy told the UN General Assembly he was “proud to defend the interests of my nation against all conspiracies.”
But in countering a resolution condemning his government, Jaafari hit out at the death threats and at personal attacks he said had been made by the media in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

http://www6.almanar.com.lb/english/adetails.php?eid=63710&cid=56&fromval=1&frid=56&seccatid=68&s1=1#.UBy4AJ2CLGE.twitter

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ALAKHBAR – ENGLISH ONLINE

Syria: Shameful Performance of Western Media

By As’ad AbuKhalil – Mon, 2012-07-30 19:11- Angry Corner

The performance of the Western media (American, British, French and others) regarding the Syrian conflict has been quite shameful. One does not expect much from American media. Ill-informed foreign editors and correspondents and political cowardice turn American media into tools of US foreign policy.

This is especially true when it comes to coverage of the Middle East, where extra political courage and uncharacteristic level of knowledge and expertise are rather rare, even though they are essential to challenging US foreign policy. But when it comes to Syria, British media – including the liberal Guardian which has often been brave in challenging Western foreign policies and wars – have been indistinguishable from American media.

These media have failed their readers on many levels. Their shortcomings can be summarized as follows:

1. Resorting to methods of documentations that are never accepted when covering the Arab-Israeli conflict; like the reliance on accounts of people through Skype and email whose names are not obtained through a random process, and the reliance on Saudi or Qatari press media offices.

2. Hiding behind the cliché that “the Syrian government does not allow journalists in” to justify the various anthologies of errors contained in media reports. Many journalists have either been allowed in or have managed to sneak in, so the general disclaimer used daily in the New York Times is inaccurate and misleads readers. Such a disclaimer is never used against Israel, which imposes rigid forms of censorship on reports emanating from Israel, especially when Israel is perpetrating its regular war crimes and massacres.

3. The reliance on exile Syrian opposition reports without any scrutiny or healthy skepticism….

http://english.al-akhbar.com/blogs/angry-corner/syria-shameful-performance-western-media

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Reuters removed two or three stories from its pages.

REUTERS AND TRUE NEWS OR NOT?

Screen shots of the chemical weapons story that reuters took down.‪#Syria ‪pic.twitter.com/qEHsOvd3

https://twitter.com/Partisangirl/status/231671613039472640/photo/1

4 August 2012

Western Media Jump To Rescue Reuters Credibility

New York Times ‘Blogs’ have taken on their shoulders the mission to try to rescue whatever is left of Reuters credibility compromised by the incident yesterday, when the western News Agency, which is the source of all NATO aligned media, have posted at least 2 reports on its blog site, one of them an interview with the head of the Turkish (NATO members state) sponsored terrorist group the FSA, Free Syrian Army, or to justify their terrorism call them ‘Freedom Fighters’, this so called leader cries in the interview of being a victim to a ploy by the Qataris and Saudis, the FSA’s main financiers and weapon suppliers, that they’re leading his troops to their slaughter by the Syrian Army, and his declaration of withdrawing from the city of Aleppo after sustaining heavy losses, 1,000 FSA terrorists killed, over 1,500 arrested by the Syrian authorities, and his intention to further withdraw from all other cities

…..And like this hit order where they place a picture of a target and all they need to do is label him ‘an informant’ or a ‘Shabeeh’, and all his crime would be a ‘Public Employee’ refusing to join their ‘peaceful revolution’:..

http://democratic-syria.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/western-media-jump-to-rescue-reuters.html

The link to one missing page:

http://blogs.reuters.com/mediafile/2012/08/03/rebels-preparing-to-smuggle-ghaddafis-chemical-weapons-into-syria-via-turkey/

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FOREIGN POLICY

Breaking the Arab News

Egypt made al Jazeera — and Syria’s destroying it.

BY SULTAN AL QASSEMI | AUGUST 2, 2012

While civil war rages on the Syrian battlefield between regime loyalists and myriad rebel factions, another battle is taking place in the media world. Al Arabiya and Al Jazeera, the two Gulf-based channels that dominate the Arabic news business, have moved to counter Syrian regime propaganda, but have ended up distorting the news almost as badly as their opponents. In their bid to support the Syrian rebels’ cause, these media giants have lowered their journalistic standards, abandoned rudimentary fact-checks, and relied on anonymous callers and unverified videos in place of solid reporting.

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/08/02/breaking_the_arab_news

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INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE

Flipping The Script: The Western Media’s Syria Propaganda Is Falling Apart


What is written in the press is lies. What is hidden in plain view is the truth.

By Saman Mohammadi 

July 31, 2012 “Information Clearing House” —  Do you remember this guy, Jason Russell? He was the frontman for the short-lived and over-hyped “Kony 2012″ propaganda campaign that exploited young people’s emotions to popularize a U.S. military invasion of Uganda. After his lies were exposed on the Internet he had a shocking meltdown in public. He ran around naked near traffic lights, smashed his fists on the pavement, and screamed bizarrely. The heavy spirit of Madness conquered his weak will.

The day before his freakish breakdown Russell was idolized in the mainstream press as a saint on a mission to save the children of Africa. His war propaganda documentary about the deceased CIA contractor Joseph Kony became hugely popular on Facebook and other social media outlets. But as soon as his mask came down and his craziness was captured by cameras, the media vultures forgot about his crusade and quickly moved on to the next hot story.

The new story that captured the corrupt Western media’s attention was Syria. The conflict was heating up, and the “international community” was being pressed to take action against the country. “Assad is killing his own people,” they said, without offering any evidence. “This is the next domino to fall in the Arab Spring, the rebels must be supported and Assad has to step down,” so went the propaganda. And yadda yadda. The media’s insane lies were repeated for months. Major media channels were engaged in non-stop propaganda warfare to destroy the independent Syrian state and reduce Syrians to slavery….

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32031.htm#.UBjKQq2x4cw.email

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Syria Picture Faked, Say Bloggers 


By Austrian Times

August 03, 2012 “Austrian Times” –   Newspaper bosses in Austria have been accused of faking a dramatic photograph of a family fleeing Syria’s civil war-torn city Aleppo.
….

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32073.htm#.UBxWxn9QDRI.email

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Letters to the Guardian on Syria

 

Time to end sabre-rattling and covert support in the Middle East

 

guardian.co.uk, Thursday 2 August 2012 20.59 BST

Your editorial calling for urgent diplomatic action on Syria (28 July) overlooks the fact that the Syrian armed “opposition”, not the government, sabotaged attempts at meaningful negotiation under Kofi Annan‘s UN peace plan. Taking their cue from the US’s bellicose stance, shamefully parroted by our own foreign secretary, these fragmented forces made clear their intransigence to anything but the removal of President Assad from power. As they try to undermine the regime, propped up by arms from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and colossal Nato logistical support, we are subjected to inflammatory media hysteria over the Syrian government’s alleged brutality – notably unsubstantiated accusations of massacres. When the geopolitical agenda of the US and its allies in trying to overthrow the Assad regime by force is so transparent, can one blame Syria, a sovereign country, for doing all possible to defend itself?

Peter GodfreyIsle of Harris, Western Isles

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/02/sabre-rattling-support-middle-east?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

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INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE

 

Syria’s Crumbling Pluralism

Civil Disintegration and Ethnic Cleansing.

By KAPIL KOMIREDDI

   August 03, 2012

NY Times” –  DAMASCUS — The day begins here with the call to prayer and ends with the roar of gunfire. Syria’s pluralistic society, which once rose above sectarian identity in a region often characterized by a homicidal assertion of religious belief, is now faced with civil disintegration and ethnic cleansing….

Syria’s 2.3 million Christians, constituting about 10 percent of the country’s population, have generally known a more privileged existence under the Assad dynasty than even the Shiite Alawi sect to which President Bashar al-Assad belongs. Yet their allegiance to Assad was never absolute. Some Christians openly clamored for political change in the early months of the anti-government uprising. But as the rebellion became suffused with Sunni militants sympathetic to or affiliated with Al Qaeda, Christians recoiled.

A churchgoing Syrian told me that he used to see himself primarily as “Syrian” and that religious identity, in political terms, was an idea that never occurred to him — until an opposition gang attacked his family earlier this year in Homs. “It’s a label they pinned on us,” he said. “If their revolution is for everyone, as they keep insisting it is, why are Christians being targeted? It is because what they are waging is not a struggle for freedom, and it’s certainly not for everyone.”

As Saudi Arabian arms and money bolster the opposition, the 80,000 Christians who’ve been “cleansed” from their homes in Hamidiya and Bustan al-Diwan in Homs Province in March by the Free Syrian Army have gradually given up the prospect of ever returning home.

The rebels’ conduct has prompted at least some Sunnis who had supported the rebels and once-wavering Syrians to pledge renewed loyalty to Assad. Many who once regarded the regime as a kleptocracy now view it as the best guarantor of Syria’s endangered pluralism…

Washington is aware of the scale of the problem. As early as June 2011, Robert Stephen Ford, the U.S. ambassador to Syria, briefed his counterparts in Damascus about Al Qaeda’s penetration of the opposition forces. By still ploughing ahead with its support for Saudi Arabia’s effort to destabilize Syria, Washington, far from assisting Israel or weakening Iran, is helping to fuel a humanitarian crisis that will come back to haunt the United States.

Kapil Komireddi, an Indian journalist, has written from South Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

 

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32080.htm#.UBxYRsvO-oc.email

 

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SAUDI  ARABIA,  CONSERVATISM, WOMEN, AND THE OLYMPICS

 

Mixed reaction after Saudi Arabia’s 1st female in Olympics displays her fight to the kingdom

By Associated Press, Saturday, August 4, 5:43 AM

CAIRO — There was no way Alaa al-Mizyen, a 22-year-old Saudi investment consultant, was missing this Olympic match. While her family slept in late Friday morning, she alone was awake nd glued to the TV…

 

 

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THE US, CONSERVATISM AND A LYNCH  MOB MENTALITY

 

‘Assad better get the hell out’ – Panetta

Published: 31 July, 2012, 12:29

US Defense Sec. Leon Panetta has advice for Syria’s President Assad: “If you want to be able to protect yourself and your family, you’d better get the hell out now.” Panetta also warned that the US would not repeat the mistakes it made in Iraq.

“The United States and the international community has made very clear that this is intolerable, and have brought their diplomatic and economic pressure on Syria to stop this kind of violence, to have Assad step down and to transition to a democratic form of government,” he said in an interview with CNN during a visit to Tunisia.

The international community has yet to reach consensus on the ongoing strife in Syria. Russia and China oppose removing Assad, saying his government is supported by a majority of Syrians.

http://www.rt.com/news/panetta-syrian-military-intact-458/

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AL-ARABIYA (SAUDI MEDIA OUTLET)

Christian Syrian famlies seek asylum in Lebanon

Friday, 03 August 2012

As cities of Damascus and Aleppo entered into the confrontation where the Christians demographic weight is at its most, the number of Syrian Christian families displaced to Lebanon is increasing significantly.

Refugees have been distributed along the extended length of the coastline between Antelias and Byblos area where residents are predominantly Christian.

George fled with his family from Homs to Lebanon four days ago after the Syrian army destroyed their home as a result of a violent artillery bombardment, causing the death of his wife and his mother-in-law.

“We were displaced because the government forces have fired artillery at our home, as a result my wife and my mother were killed. I managed to save the rest of my family and we succeeded to flee Homs for Damascus in a six-day journey until we reached Lebanon,” George said.
….

http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/08/03/230209.html

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INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE

The West and the Glorification of Terrorism

By Thierry Meyssan

August 03, 2012 “Information Clearing House” — The U.N. Security Council met shortly after the July 18 attack that decapitated the command of the Syrian security forces. The two sessions that followed addressed the Resolution proposals submitted by the Western powers and Russia. It was incumbent upon the Council to condemn terrorist action on principle, as it does in all similar circumstances. The practice is to unanimously adopt a declaration and have it read by the sitting president of the Council, in this case the Columbian, Nestor Osorio. Protocol dictates that he present his condolences to the member state under attack.

However, the Council remained silent. The Western members refused to apply to the attack in Syria one of the most basic principles of international relations: the condemnation of terrorism. Even worse, in their respective declarations German, British, American and French leaders instead condemned the victims, making them responsible for the violence they had been the targets of and reaffirming support for the forces that perpetrated the attack. Immediately, the Western media set about defiling the memory of the victims as if their deaths were still insufficient to quench their thirst for Syrian blood.

No one doubts that terrorism in Syria is being sponsored by NATO and the GCC but until now it was being carried out behind a veil of hypocrisy. Unable to bombard and raze the country because of the Russian and Chinese double veto, the Western powers and their Arab partners decided to bleed the country while setting it up for an attack by mercenaries. Then on February 12 came the call to jihad issued by Ayman al-Zawahiri. Suddenly, NATO, the GCC and al-Qaeda found themselves pursuing the same objective. Notwithstanding, Brussels took the view that the Egyptian sheik’s declarations were his alone and were therefore unworthy of comment as if to underline that NATO doesn’t revise its positions in response to such fatwas. This rationale remained unconvincing because it ignored the issue of the common objectives shared by the self-proclaimed advocates of democracy, on the one hand, and Islamism, on the other. It did allow appearances to be preserved. The masks are now off. The Western powers have acknowledged their links with terrorists.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32069.htm#.UBxXfnEQIs0.email

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INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE

Inside Syria: Aleppo’s Christians Arm Against Islamists

(NB: Such reports have been disputed by Christian leaders in Syria)

As foreign and local radicals rise amid the chaos of Syria’s civil war, Christians are taking arms from the Assad regime.

By Hugh Macleod, Annasofie Flamand and a reporter inside Syria

August 01. 2012 “Global Post” — ALEPPO, Syria and BEIRUT, Lebanon — As evidence mounts that foreign Islamists are fighting alongside Syria’s increasingly radicalized rebels, Christians in Aleppo and elsewhere are taking up arms, often supplied by the regime….  INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32050.htm#.UBoat0REtZk.email

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INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE

 

Only a Ceasefire will End the Nightmare in Syria


Unending violence, sectarian concerns and the geopolitics over Iran threaten to destroy Syria’s territorial integrity and plunge the region into a bloody conflict

By Patrick Seale

  August 01, 2012 “Gulf News” — Once one of the most solid states in the Middle East and a key pivot of the regional power structure, Syria is now facing wholesale destruction. The consequences of the unfolding drama are likely to be disastrous for Syria’s territorial integrity, for the well-being of its population, for regional peace, and for the interests of external powers deeply involved in the crisis.
..

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32052.htm#.UBobpoXCeB0.email

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The Role of CIA-pampered Saudi Spymaster in Syria

By Ismail Salami 

August 01, 2012 “Information Clearing House” —  An enigmatic personality who has periodically vanished from the scene of politics in different junctures in time, Prince Bandar bin Sultan was appointed as the Director General of Saudi Arabia’s main intelligence agency on July 19, an appointment which took place at a critical time, namely when the unrest in Syria was growing gravely worrisome thanks to the influx of the Saudi-funded rebels infiltrating the Syrian soil…..

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32051.htm#.UBoYg6CeDfc.email

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Editor: Al-JAZEERA REPORTS ON TERROR OF THE MILITIAS/MERCENARIES/FSA/JIHADISTS/TERRORISTS, but …why?  Al-Jazeera has taken a very active role in the Syrian crisis since the beginning, supporting and fomenting anti-government sentiments and activities. The militias may have uploaded evidence of their terror to strike fear in the hearts of millions of people in Aleppo who support the government.

Video – Syrian MP Executed Publicly by “Free Syrian Army” Firing Squad: 

On Tuesday, the Free Syrian Army (FSA) executed a member of parliament from Aleppo named Zeino al-Barri. 

By Al Jazeera, New York Times

August 01, 2012 “Information Clearing House” —  Video posted by antigovernment activists showed more than a dozen men, some with bloodied faces and torn clothing, who are said to be members or associates of the clan. Held in what appeared to be the room of a school, they were made to give their names and accused of being pro-government militiamen known as shabiha. The man sitting in the center and said to be a leader of the group said his name was Ali Zein El Abidin Barri, also known by the nickname Zeino.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32055.htm#.UBoaPA9mx_A.email

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July 2012 Reference List

All images on this blog were taken by Susan D., unless otherwise stated. Most of the photos were taken on trips to Damascus in 2009 and 2010. They present pictures of people whom the photographer  believes would not support the armed opposition to the secular Syrian government.  There is good reason to assume that, along with the vast majority of people in Damascus, they  would support peaceful political reform in Syria.

 

Since the beginning of the crisis in Syria, images presented in the mainstream western media have been mostly of  anti-government  ‘activists’,  or of ‘refugees’ in Turkey fleeing the government and army, or of members of anti-government militias. Editors choose not to present the everyday  ‘face’ of Syria; they  seem to want Syria to be defined by the ‘opposition’ not by the millions of vibrant warm-hearted secular Syrians you encounter in Syria. It would appear that the west wants to present Syrians as either ‘victims’ or as ‘rebels’.  They are objectified; they are not like us.  This means there is minimal empathy  felt for them; there is limited questioning of what the ‘west’ and its Arab allies have planned for them.

 

Images in the mainstream:  http://www.theage.com.au/world/syria-is-stronger-troops-fight-to-regain-ground-in-aleppo-20120730-237nu.html

 

UPDATED July 30, 2012 

The JULY REFERENCE LIST includes links to articles or press conferences from other months, some may be on other posts on this blog, but the overwhelming number of references on this page will be from July.

Editorial:

Every individual has a story and a reason for doing what they do or don’t do.  Their actions are not solely motivated by abstract high ideals or principles; their path in life also takes them to where they stand today. That life story is sometimes worth investigating especially if their actions can have serious repercussions on the lives of many innocent people. 

We are all cogs in one wheel or other.  We should choose our wheels with care and perhaps work harder to oil them and determine their path.   

The references on this page are to offer some assistance in putting the puzzle of Syria together.  There are so many other pieces to the puzzle to search for, and you may wish to discard some of the pieces presented here – for one reason or another.  Some of the key pieces to the puzzle may be elsewhere on this blog.  They all should be turned over and examined.  For the world, the  puzzle must be worked at.

Interviews with members of Australians for Syria can be found on this link:

http://socratesandsyria.com/australian-voices-on-syria/

Note: there are excerpts only from articles on this page. For the complete article, please follow link.

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“…..I find the whole treatment of the Syrian situation abominable.  Especially disturbing is the implicit support for the rebels and the refusal to understand that the government, just like any other government, has a legitimate reason for opposing them.  In the case of the situation in Aleppo and its possible ‘blood bath’ I would expect that the international community, instead of condemning the government for its actions, would argue that the rebels should lay down their arms and submit themselves to the protection of the Red Crescent or Red Cross (and the international community).   Instead he international community seems, by its actions, to be to advocating the very thing that they condemn the government for instigating.”

 

Comment by a concerned Australian 29 July 2012

 

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Syria: Washington’s Latest War Crime

By Paul Craig Roberts

July 28, 2012 “Information Clearing House” –  One wonders what Syrians are thinking as “rebels” vowing to “free Syria” take the country down the same road to destruction as “rebels” in Libya. Libya, under Gaddafi a well run country whose oil revenues were shared with the Libyan people instead of monopolized by a princely class as in Saudi Arabia, now has no government and is in disarray with contending factions vying for power.

Just as no one knew who the Libyan “rebels” were, with elements of al Qaeda reportedly among them, no one knows who the Syrian “rebels” are, or indeed if they are even rebels (Antiwar.com). Some “rebels” appear to be bandit groups who seize the opportunity to loot and to rape and set themselves up as the governments of villages and towns. Others appear to be al Qaeda. (Antiwar.com)

The fact that the “rebels” are armed is an indication of interference from outside. There have been reports that Washington has ordered its Saudi and Bahrain puppet governments to supply the “rebels” with military weaponry. Some suspect that the explosion that killed the Syrian Defense Minister and the head of the government’s crisis operations was not the work of a suicide bomber but the work of a US drone or missile reminiscent of Washington’s failed attempts to murder Saddam Hussein. Regardless, Washington regarded the terror attack as a success, declaring that it showed the rebels were gaining “real momentum” and called on the Syrian government to respond to the attack by resigning. (reuters.com)

The following is from a leaked intelligence document describing a previous Western terrorist intervention in Syria just in case any reader is so naive as to think that “our government would never do that.”

“In order to facilitate the action of liberative (sic) forces, …a special effort should be made to eliminate certain key individuals. …[to] be accomplished early in the course of the uprising and intervention, …

Once a political decision has been reached to proceed with internal disturbances in Syria, CIA is prepared, and SIS (MI6) will attempt to mount minor sabotage and coup de main (sic) incidents within Syria, working through contacts with individuals. …Incidents should not be concentrated in Damascus …


Further: a “necessary degree of fear .. frontier incidents and (staged) border clashes”, would “provide a pretext for intervention… the CIA and SIS [MI6] should use … capabilities in both psychological and action fields to augment tension.” (Joint US-UK leaked Intelligence Document, London and Washington, 1957) (globalreasearch.ca)

Obama has not said why his government is so desperate to overthrow the Syrian government. The current president was an eye doctor in London who was brought back to Syria to replace his father, who had passed away, as president of the country. Washington is reticent about its real motives, which it masks with high-sounding humanitarian rhetoric, but Washington’s motives are transparent.

One motive is to get rid of the Russian naval base in Syria, thus depriving Russia of its only Mediterranean base.

A second motive is to eliminate Syria as a source of arms and support to Hizbullah in order that Israel can succeed in its attempts to occupy southern Lebanon and acquire its water resources. Hizbullah’s fighters have twice defeated the Israeli military’s attempts to invade and to occupy southern Lebanon.

A third motive is to destroy the unity of Syria with sectarian conflict, as Washington destroyed Libya and Iraq, and leave Syria to waring factions to dismember the country, thus removing another obstacle to Washington’s hegemony…..

……..Far from bringing “freedom and democracy,” Washington brought endless mayhem and death. And this is precisely what Washington is in the process of bringing to Syria.

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32003.htm#.UBR6Bx82p4o.email

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 The Telegraph

Amnesty International’s latest arms trade campaign is colonialism with a kindly face

 

By Brendan O’Neill Politics Last updated: July 25th, 2012

If you needed any further proof that Amnesty International is to the 21st century what rum-swigging bearers of the White Man’s Burden were to the 19th, look no further than its current campaign for a global arms trade treaty. Amnesty is basically agitating for the West, which it considers civilised and responsible, to prevent the rest, or what Amnesty euphemistically refers to as the “wrong” people, from getting their hands on guns and bombs. It is a call for a colonial-style carve-up of the world, between those judged decent and grown-up enough not only to own guns but also to determine who else may own them (us), and those judged too infantile and brutal to be let anywhere near a gun lest they unleash “the worst kind of atrocities” (them).

Given that America has used its vast armoury to cause more destruction around the world than any other nation over the past 10 years, it is bizarre that Amnesty should be pleading with it to lead the way on restricting the flow of guns to the “wrong” countries. Amnesty wants Washington to give its blessing to a treaty that would restrict the global sale of weapons if there is a “substantial risk” that those weapons will be “used to commit serious human rights violations”. (I’m not being funny, but what else would the weapons be use for? To tickle people?) Amnesty says Washington should “demonstrate true leadership” on the issue of arms trading and “send a clear message to other world leaders” that it will not tolerate weapons falling into “the hands of human rights violators”.

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/brendanoneill2/100172438/amnesty-internationals-latest-arms-trade-campaign-is-colonialism-with-a-kindly-face/

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US position on Syria directly endorses terrorism – Lavrov

 

RT  25th July 2012

Washington’s reaction to blasts in Damascus is a downright justification of terrorism, slams Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. US State Department announced that terror acts in Syria are not surprising in light of the Assad regime’s actions.

“This is direct endorsement of terrorism. How are we supposed to understand that?” Sergey Lavrov shared his astonishment at a press conference in Moscow. “This is a sinister position, I cannot find words to express our attitude towards that.” 

Lavrov also expressed his surprise that the UN Security Council refused to condemn acts of terror in Syria. The US permanent representative to the UN Susan Rice has stated that terror acts in Damascus contribute to speeding up the adoption of a resolution on Syria according to the Chapter 7 of the UN Statute, which implies harsh sanctions, including resorting to force.

“In other words this means ‘We are going to support such acts of terrorism until the UNSC does what we want’,”Lavrov commented on the US representative’s actions.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said recently that there should be closer work with opposition in Syria as it captures more and more territories to prepare new actions of resistance to the government in Damascus……

http://www.rt.com/news/us-position-syria-terror-lavrov-006/

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 Syria News 28 July 2012. Armed Forces Clear al-Hajar al-Aswad Liberate Two Italian from Terrorists

This news report includes an interview with the two Italian engineers who were abducted and held for two weeks by an armed group.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wfwtc8lgg4Q&sns=tw

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Syria: British Journalist John Cantlie Kidnapped With Jeroen Oerlemans Is Released By Free Syrian Army

Huffington Post UK  |  By Felicity Morse

29 July 2012

A Dutch and British photojournalist who were kidnapped in Syria by Islamist militants have been freed by members of the Free Syrian Army after a harrowing ordeal.

John Cantlie, a British photojournalist who has worked for The Sunday Times and The Sunday Telegraph, as well as the BBC, was held hostage alongside Dutch photographer Jeroen Oerlemans. The two men are recovering in Turkey after suffering gunshot wounds during their ordeal.

Oerlemans has been the first to describe their experience.

Speaking to Dutch media on Friday, Oerlemans said their captors were not Syrians, but from Britain, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Estimating that between 30 to 100 held them captive, Oerlemans said some of the gang that held them had “Birmingham accents”, he told Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblat.

At least one had a “heavy south London accent” reported the Sunday Telegraph, quoting a source close to the incident.

Oerlemans described the men as “foreign jihadists,” who captured the men “almost immediately” after they crossed the border from Turkey at Bab al-Hawa, on 19 July.

“In no time we had a circle of men around us with Kalashnikovs,” Oerlemans told Business News Radio, according to Associated Press.

The journalists were accused of working for the CIA, before their captors decided to hold them for ransom. Oerlemans’ account supports reports that Islamist extremists are infiltrating the uprising in Syria.

“All day we were spoken to about the Koran and how they would bring Shariah law to Syria. I don’t think they were Al Qaeda; they seemed too amateurish for that,” Oerlemnas told The New York Times….

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/07/29/syria-john-cantlie-jeroen-oerlemans-free-syrian-army_n_1715827.html?utm_hp_ref=uk

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US Authorizes Financial Support to Free Syrian Army 


By Laura Rozen 

July 28, 2012 “Al-Monitor” — A US group that supports the Free Syrian Army has received a waiver from the US Treasury Department authorizing it to provide logistical and financial support to the armed Syrian resistance.

The waiver was received from the Treasury Department Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) last week, Brian Sayers, of the Syrian Support Group, told Al- Monitor in an interview Friday.

“The OFAC decision is huge,” Sayers said. “It gets us the leeway to support the Free Syrian Army in broad terms.”

The Syrian Support Group hired Sayers, who previously spent six years working in NATO operations in Brussels and Kosovo, four months ago to be the Washington agent for the group.

With backers from the Syrian exile community in the United States and Canada, the Syrian Support Group’s goal “has always been to support the Free Syrian Army in different ways,” Sayers said.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32011.htm#.UBR3jH1glWA.email

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‘World being readied for aggression against Syria’

 

RT 25 July 2012

World opinion is being orchestrated towards a military operation against the Syrian regime, researcher and author F. William Engdahl told RT. Still, any decisive action against Assad will be postponed until after the US presidential election.

http://www.rt.com/news/syria-aggression-opinion-engdahl-989/

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CENSORSHIP OF NEWS OUT OF SYRIA

Champress, a Syrian news agency, provides updates on events in Syria.  Champress and other Syrian media outlets can help people outside Syria and dependent on mainstream reports to make an intelligent, independent assessment of the crisis there, as it is experienced by Syrians.

http://www.champress.net/index.php?q=en

There are serious efforts afoot to close the outside world’s access to Syrian news media.  This editor is having difficulty accessing the webpage of SANA, the Syrian Arab News Agency.

Syrian SANA News Agency website is under fierce attack 07-14-2012

 

The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) website on Saturday was attacked by foreign sides which try to prevent the Syrian national media from conveying the truth of events and unmasking the conspiracy hatched against Syria. After the failure of several attempts to hack the website and publish fabricated news on it, foreign sides targeted the website with a distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS attack).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1i0ATn0byF8

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 Youtube 

Syria – Dr. Bashar Al Jaafari speech 19 July 2012- Russia and China veto resolution on Syria at UN

Published on Jul 19, 2012 by ‪MrGeourg

Dr. Bashar Al Jaafari speech 19 July 2012- Russia and China veto resolution on Syria at UN President Assad

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hndl2IVgBu4

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Editor’s note: Spiegel Online generally presents the single narrative of virtually all western mainstream media outlets, “the Syrian president is a brutal dictator who is killing his own people and the west must do something to save them”.    As well as repeating this narrative, this article does present the real fears and suffering of millions of people in Syria.

SPIEGEL ONLINE INTERNATIONAL

07/25/2012

‘We’re Too Frightened to Talk’

Christians Flee from Radical Rebels in Syria

By Ulrike Putz in Qa, Lebanon

 

Thousands of Syrians are fleeing into neighboring Lebanon — not entirely due to fear of the Assad regime. The country’s minority Christian population is suffering under attacks waged by rebel troops. In the Beqaa Valley in eastern Lebanon, Christian families are finding temporary refuge, but they are still terrified…

 

…As a border town, Qa is a magnet for two types of refugees, says Mansour Saad. “On the one hand, you have the Christians who are fleeing from the rebels,” he says. “And then you have the refugee families of men who are fighting within the ranks of the FSA.” The two enemy groups sometimes clash in Lebanese exile. “There is a lot of tension between them,” says Saad. “We do our best to keep the two groups apart.”

Like many Lebanese and Syrian Christians, Saad is also a supporter of the Assad regime. As a religious minority in the Middle East, Christians don’t have much choice other than to align themselves with a strong leader who can protect them, Saad says. “The rebels haven’t managed to convince me they are fighting for more democracy,” the mayor says.

And while there may be a number of open questions about the Assad regime, like the fact that “there is certainly no freedom of expression in Syria,” he says the rebels aren’t one bit better. There may have been respectable aims at the start of the uprising, but the insurgency has since been hijacked by Islamists, the mayor argues. “And we know the types of Muslims who have emerged at the head of the rebellion: The ones who would like to lead the people back into the Stone Age.”

 

* The names in this story have been changed in order to protect the identity of the interview subjects.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/christians-flee-from-radical-rebels-in-syria-a-846180.html

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Editor:  On the same page, there is reference to a Spiegel article on the Houla massacre.  It is from a Spiegel reporter who claims to have interviewed witnesses to the massacre who accuse the government and its supporters of carrying it out.

Questions to be asked when considering who was responsible for the massacre in Houla:

1.    Was the FSA in control of the towns in the Houla area?  If so, how could any pro-regime militias have entered the area without a serious battle between two militias? If there was such a battle, was there evidence of it?

2.    Who were the victims of the massacre?  Were they supporters of the government or not? If one family was related to a Syrian MP does that suggest that they were killed because of this family connection with a member of parliament?

3.    If the FSA or other militia groups were responsible for the massacre, were they the people who welcomed the UN observers and western reporters into the area after the massacre?  If so, what was the story they told?  Who were the ‘witnesses’ they presented to the world?

4.    When listening to the stories of ‘witnesses’ with conflicting statements, which ‘witnesses’ sound most convincing?

5.    How much would fear be a factor in determining the stories ‘witnesses’ tell… or  the stories we don’t hear as ‘witnesses’ fear to tell them?

6.    What would lead hundreds of men to kill women and children in such brutal ways?   It is necessary to consider both possibilities:  What are the beliefs of the ‘rebels’?  What could motivate them to kill innocent people who support the secular government?  What motivates groups who support the government?  What ‘ideology’ could lead them to kill women and children?

7.    Who has benefitted from the killings in Houla, the Syrian government or the US, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, NATO countries which want to take tough action against the Syrian government?

8.    How many witnesses have to present the story of Houla before we can understand what really happened there?

9.    What do the majority of Syrians believe is the truth behind the massacre in Syria?  Would they support the government if they believed it was covering up the truth of Houla and that in fact pro-government militias committed this heinous crime? Would it be possible to keep such information from a population?

07/23/2012

A Syrian Bloodbath Revisited

Searching for the Truth Behind the Houla Massacre

By Christoph Reuter and Abd al-Kadher Adhun

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/a-look-back-at-the-houla-massacre-in-syria-a-845854.html

This article should be read in conjunction with other reports on the massacre, some of which can be found on the following link:

http://socratesandsyria.com/2012/06/08/terror-in-syria-mainstream-australian-views-vs-alternative-views/

One alternative voice to the mainstream narrative since the beginning of the crisis in Syria has been Michel Chossudovsky, a professor at the Center for Research of Globalization, Montreal. He is interviewed with other analysts in this Real TV report.

Washington funded Houla-style massacres: Analyst

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/06/14/246228/washington-behind-houla-massacre/

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WASHINGTON POST

Turkey a hub for Syria revolution as illegal border crossing points abound

By Liz Sly, Published: July 26

….Turkey’s role in the revolt goes far deeper than helping refugees, though to what extent it is actively aiding a war that has spun beyond the reach of world diplomacy is unclear. Turkey seems to be groping for a strategy to address the unfolding chaos on its doorstep, said Hugh Pope of the International Crisis Group in Istanbul.

“Turkey wants to have a say in what happens in Syria,” he said. “But I’m not sure it’s got any easy answers to what is going on. This is all new and unexpected for Turkey.”

What is clear is that the Syrian conflict has already reached deep into Turkey. The quaint and ancient city of Antakya, the preferred destination for most Syrians crossing the border, pulses with the intrigue and gossip of the war next door.

Free Syrian Army fighters stride through its narrow streets, sunburned and sweaty from the battlefield, hoping to meet benefactors to provide them with money and arms.

Salafi Muslims, who have come to offer help from the countries of the Persian Gulf region, huddle over kebabs, their long beards and robes conspicuous in secularist Turkey.

Men who identify themselves as representatives of rebel battalions rent cheap hotel rooms and apartments, swelling the population of a city, once part of Syria, where many still speak Arabic as their native tongue…

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/turkey-a-hub-for-syria-revolution-as-illegal-border-crossing-points-abound/2012/07/25/gJQADKO29W_story.html

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Turkey ‘would abandon’ EU for Shanghai Five

ANKARA – Hürriyet

 

Turkey may discard its European Union bid if it is accepted by the Shangai Five, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said jokingly, speaking of his recent visit to Moscow, daily Hürriyet reported yesterday.

“I said to Russian President Vladimir Putin, ‘You tease us, saying “What [is Turkey] doing in the EU?” Now I tease you: include us in the Shanghai Five, and we will forget about the EU,’” Erdoğan said.

The Shanghai Five group was created April 26, 1996, in Shanghai by the heads of state of Kazakhstan, the People’s Republic of China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan. Turkey’s EUaccession talks are stalled, as the rotating EU presidency is held by Greek Cyprus as of July 2012.

July/27/2012

 

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-would-abandon-eu-for-shanghai-five.aspx?pageID=238&nid=26455&NewsCatID=338#.UBPmqfzM_fU.twitter

 

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ANTI-WAR.COM

Al-Qaeda Infiltrating Syrian Opposition, With US Support

Russia slammed the US for ‘justifying terrorism’ in Syria

by John Glaser, July 25, 2012

Al-Qaeda militants and other Sunni extremists are becoming a greater and greater part of the conflict in Syria, just as the US officially announced it was abandoning any pretense of a diplomatic approach in favor of toppling the regime through proxy rebel groups.

“The evidence is mounting that Syria has become a magnet for Sunni extremists, including those operating under the banner of Al Qaeda,” reports the New York Times. “The presence of jihadists in Syria has accelerated in recent days in part because of a convergence with the sectarian tensions across the country’s long border in Iraq.”

According to one US intelligence estimate, as many as a quarter of the 300 rebel groups in Syria may be fighting under the banner of al-Qaeda, says Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

Strangely, the fact that Washington, in cooperation with its allies, is now sending communication gear, military intelligence, and weapons to militias in Syria with considerable – and growing – ties to al-Qaeda has not made the Obama administration blink.

Russia on Wednesday criticized the US for not condemning the July 18 bombing in Damascus, which they called an act of terrorism. ”This is directly justifying terrorism. How can this be understood?” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

“In other words, to say it in plain Russian, this means ‘we (the United States) will continue to support such terrorist acts for as long as the UN Security Council has not done what we want’,” Lavrov added. The CIA is supposedly employing a “vetting process” to avoid having the aid get into the hands of Islamic extremists, but the process is made up of untrustworthy, third-party sources and intelligence officials have recently told the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times that the truth is that the US doesn’t know who is getting the money and weapons.

Apparently, even arming and strengthening al-Qaeda isn’t enough to disrupt Washington’s plan to change the regime in Syria, in order to eliminate Iran’s main ally in the Middle East and to gain an even stronger foothold in the region.

But extremist infiltration of the Syrian opposition carries other problems. The Obama administration runs the risk of helping to bring these extremists to power if and when the Assad regime finally does collapse. Moreover, as happened in Afghanistan after the US proxy war there with the mujihadeens, the potential for deadly blowback is very real.

http://news.antiwar.com/2012/07/25/al-qaeda-infiltrating-syrian-opposition-with-us-support/

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 Reuters

Exclusive: Secret Turkish nerve center leads aid to Syria rebels

27 July 2012

By Regan Doherty and Amena Bakr

(Reuters) – Turkey has set up a secret base with allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar to direct vital military and communications aid to Syria’s rebels from a city near the border, Gulf sources have told Reuters.

News of the clandestine Middle East-run “nerve centre” working to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad underlines the extent to which Western powers – who played a key role in unseating Muammar Gaddafi in Libya – have avoided military involvement so far in Syria.

“It’s the Turks who are militarily controlling it. Turkey is the main co-ordinator/facilitator. Think of a triangle, with Turkey at the top and Saudi Arabia and Qatar at the bottom,” said a Doha-based source.

“The Americans are very hands-off on this. U.S. intel(ligence) are working through middlemen. Middlemen are controlling access to weapons and routes.”

The centre in Adana, a city in southern Turkey about 100 km (60 miles) from the Syrian border, was set up after Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah al-Saud visited Turkey and requested it, a source in the Gulf said. The Turks liked the idea of having the base in Adana so that they could supervise its operations, he added.

A Saudi foreign ministry official was not immediately available to comment on the operation.

Adana is home to Incirlik, a large Turkish/U.S. air force base which Washington has used in the past for reconnaissance and military logistics operations. It was not clear from the sources whether the anti-Syrian “nerve centre” was located inside Incirlik base or in the city of Adana.

Qatar, the tiny gas-rich Gulf state which played a leading part in supplying weapons to Libyan rebels, has a key role in directing operations at the Adana base, the sources said. Qatari military intelligence and state security officials are involved.

“Three governments are supplying weapons: Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia,” said a Doha-based source…..

….Reuters has established that Obama’s aides have drafted a resolution which would authorize greater covert assistance to the rebels but still stop short of arming them….

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US Proxy Al Qaeda Death Squads in Syria

By Stephen Lendman

July 28, 2012 “Information Clearing House” — Washington’s agenda involves death squad diplomacy. Evidence mounts proving it. It’s standard practice in all US direct and proxy wars. It’s how America treats its enemies.

Massacres and unspeakable atrocities are committed. Women are raped. Civilians are treated like combatants. They’re indiscriminately killed.

Others are targeted for opposing US aggression. Children are harmed like adults. Prisoners are tortured. No crime’s too gruesome to commit.

Lies, duplicity, and coverup follow. Media scoundrels bear direct responsibility. Their hands are bloodstained like US officials, forces and proxy killers.

Vietnam’s Operation Phoenix became a prototype for today’s wars. It included intimidation, kidnappings torture, and mass murder. At issue was eliminating opposition elements. Terrorizing people into submission was policy.

Southeast Asia tactics are replicated in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. Barbarism defines US policy.

On July 11, German writer Jurgen Todenhofer confirmed  the presence of Al Qaeda insurgents in Syria. He met with them, he said. He holds them and others like them responsible for mass terror attacks…

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32004.htm#.UBR5RlvN9Oo.email

 

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Replacing government 101: Syrian rebels learn democracy in Germany

RT 28 July 2012

A group of top Syrian opposition figures took courses in governing a country in Berlin. The training, partially sponsored by the US State Department, is meant to come in handy after the Bashar al-Assad regime falls.

The group consisted of over 40 individuals, including Syrian defector generals and members of the Muslim Brotherhood. They learned economics, law, security practices and other areas of governance, which would be needed in the transition period.

“We created a framework that basically made it possible for Syrian participants to focus on the kinds of challenges that would emerge in the course of a transition in each of those issue areas,” Senior adviser at the US Institute of Peace, Steven Heydemann told ABC explaining the program….

http://www.rt.com/news/government-rebels-training-us-301/

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TIME Exclusive: Meet the Islamist Militants Fighting Alongside Syria’s Rebels

 

By Rania Abouzeid / Idlib Province | @raniaab | July 26, 2012

As foreign jihadists rally around the cause of Syria’s rebels, TIME meets two factions of Islamist fighters seeking to overthrow the Assad regime and set up a political state in their image

…… There has been much speculation about whether Islamic radicals have gained a foothold in the chaotic battlefield that is Syria today. They have, albeit a small one. While there are jihadists, both foreign and local, inside Syria, their presence should not be overstated. At this stage, they remain a minor player in the conflict. But as Karl Vick’s story in the Aug. 6 issue of TIME (subscription required) relates, should the conflict spiral out of hand, their role may grow exponentially……

Read more: http://world.time.com/2012/07/26/time-exclusive-meet-the-islamist-militants-fighting-alongside-syrias-rebels/#ixzz223UE5S1q

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Press TV

 

US, Israel taking revenge for 22-, 33-day war defeats on Syria: Jalili,   29 July 2012

 

Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Saeed Jalili says Washington and Tel Aviv are targeting the Syrian nation in revenge for the 22- and 33-day war defeats.

“Today, they (US and Israel), with the help of terrorists and regional dictators, want to take revenge on the Syrian nation for the 22- and 33-day war failures,” Jalili said in a meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem in Tehran on Monday.

The US and Israel have long-standing enmity toward the Syrians, Jalili added.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/07/29/253386/us-israel-avenging-defeats-on-syrians/

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Press TV 29   July 2012

Israel ex-minister of military affairs says Iran strike ‘catastrophic’

 

Israel’s former minister for military affairs Shaul Mofaz has warned of the “catastrophic” consequences of a possible strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

“We need to ask ourselves… two questions,” he Mofaz said in an interveiw with Israel’s Channel 2 on Saturday.

“Will an early attack by Israel change Iran’s strategic situation regarding the nuclear program. My answer is no. And the second question is, will an early strike by Israel, in the current circumstances, in the existing situation in the Middle East…will an early attack lead to war?” Mofaz questioned.

“My answer is that the probability for this is very high,” he stated….

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/07/29/253273/iran-attack-catastrophic-shaul-mofaz/

 

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THE NEWYORKER

July 27, 2012

SYRIA: GUESTS OF THE WARLORD

Posted by Jon Lee Anderson

…. The source of Abu Ibrahim’s power is a curious matter. In our first encounter, several days ago, in the former Syrian customs office on the border that he also controls, I asked him whether he had received weapons from foreign countries. He said he had not, and that his men’s arms had been acquired either on the black market or as war booty, in battle. But he said that he had received some foreign financial assistance; thus far, a total of 1.3 million euros in cash from the government of Qatar, which, along with Saudi Arabia and, to a more ambiguous extent, Turkey, has openly backed the anti-Assad rebel forces…

Read more http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2012/07/syria-aleppo-rebel-bashar-assad.html#ixzz223WAdzop

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“My god, we need everything. We are dying. We don’t have bread to eat. There is nothing. No communications. No weapons. No medicine.”

(Not to mention NO Support from Syrians for foreign serial killing mercenaries–JCProletariat)

The Newsweek/Wall Street Journal based rag “The Daily Beast” laments the failure of NATO’s FSA Death Squads. Will Amy Goodman, al-Jazeera, Pacifica, FSTV, & Link_TV follow?

JCProletariat

THE DAILY BEAST

Syrian Rebel Leader Mustafa al-Sheikh Says Victory Against Assad Not in Sight

by Mike Giglio Jul 26, 2012 4:45 AM EDT

The general who heads the Free Syrian Army says his forces are dangerously divided and underfunded, al Qaeda is gaining a foothold in the conflict, and a major win that could topple the regime, like seizing Aleppo, is still out of reach….

…“Into this mess come more conservative Islamist groups who are able to get greater access to weapons from places like the Gulf,” he says. “Then there’s this difficult problem: They’re not al Qaeda, but they are radicals. That’s hard for the West to parse out. Where do we put these guys on a spectrum?”

The article below has been featured on this blog already, but attention is drawn to it again because it may help to better understand the complexity of the current situation in Syria and the local vs the international response to it.

OPINION MAKER

U.S. Ambassador to Syria in charge of recruiting Arab/Muslim death squads

12 September 2012 by Wayne Madsen

WMR has been informed by reliable sources that the U.S. ambassador to Syria, Robert S. Ford, is the key State Department official who has been responsible for recruiting Arab “death squads” from Al Qaeda-affiliated units in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, and Chechnya to fight against Syrian military and police forces in embattled Syria. Ford served as the Political Officer at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad from 2004 to 2006 under Ambassador John Negroponte, the U.S. ambassador to Honduras from 1981 to 1985. Negroponte was a key figure in the covert U.S. program to arm the Nicaraguan contras and his support for vicious paramilitary units in El Salvador and Honduras earned him the nickname of “Mr. Death Squad.”

Negroponte tasked Ford with implementing the “El Salvador option” in Iraq, the use of Iraqi Shi’a irregulars and Kurdish Pesh Merga paramilitary forces to target for assassination and kidnapping/torture Iraqi insurgency leaders in Iraq and across the border in Syria. The operation was named for Negroponte’s death squad operation in Central America in the 1980s.

Ford has become the point man in the recruitment of Arabs and Muslims from the Middle East and beyond to battle against the security forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad. The U.S.-backed terrorists have not only carried out attacks on Syrian security forces but have also massacred civilians in “false flag” operations later blamed on Syrian government forces. WMR has been informed that Ford’s operations in Syria are being carried out with the assistance of Israel’s Mossad.

The “El Salvador” option has also been used in Libya, where Al Qaeda irregulars, drawn from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Yemen, have been carrying out murders of Libyan civilians, especially black Libyans and African guest workers, on behalf of the Libyan rebel government. Some of the murders of civilians have been blamed on pro-Muammar Qaddafi forces but they have, in fact, been carried out by Al Qaeda units fighting with the rebels and which are being directed by CIA and MI-6 advisers. Ford has been providing advice to the Libyan rebels on how to carry out their death squad attacks…..

http://www.opinion-maker.org/2011/09/u-s-ambassador-to-syria-in-charge-of-recruiting-arabmuslim-death-squads/

About the authorWikipedia: Wayne Madsen (born April 25, 1954) is a Washington, D.C.-based investigative journalistauthor and columnist specializing in intelligence and international affairs.[ He is the author of the blog Wayne Madsen Report.

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German intelligence: al-Qaeda all over Syria

By John Rosenthal

German intelligence estimates that "around 90" terror attacks that "can be attributed to organizations that are close to al-Qaeda or jihadist groups" were carried out in Syria between the end of December and the beginning of July, as reported by the German daily Die Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ). This was revealed

by the German government in a response to a parliamentary question.In response to the same question, the German government admitted that it had received several reports from the German foreign intelligence service, the BND, on the May 25 massacre in the Syrian town of Houla. But it noted that the content of these reports was to remain classified "by reason of national interest", Like many other Western governments, Germany expelled Syria's ambassador in the immediate aftermath of the massacre, holding the Syrian government responsible for the violence.Meanwhile, at least three major German newspapers - Die Welt, the FAZ, and the mass-market tabloid Bild - have published reports attributing responsibility for the massacre to anti-government rebel forces or treating this as the most probable scenario.
 
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Media Lens

The Right Kind Of Terror

23 July 2012      By David Cromwell and David Edwards

When is an act of terrorism not terrorism? When the victims are officially sanctioned state enemies. This was clear from the political and media response to the assassinations of senior ministers of the Syrian ‘regime’.

On 18 July, a bomb attack on the national security headquarters in Damascus killed three top Syrian ministers: Defence Minister Daoud Rajiha, President Bashar al-Assad's brother-in-law Assef Shawkat and General Hassan Turkomani.  Two days later, Syria's national security chief, Hisham Ikhtiari, died from injuries he received in the attack.

Reuters reported U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta saying that the situation in Syria was ‘spinning out of control’. For good measure, he added that President Bashar al-Assad's government would be held responsible if it failed to safeguard its alleged chemical weapons sites. The brazen echoes of the propaganda campaign against Iraq a decade ago could be heard reverberating around the world’s news media.

UK defence minister Philip Hammond, standing alongside Panetta at a Pentagon news conference, said that the bomb attack demonstrated Syria’s growing instability:

‘I think what we're seeing is an opposition which is emboldened, clearly an opposition which has access increasingly to weaponry, probably some fragmentation around the edges of the regime as well.’

Neither men described the bombing as a terrorist attack.....

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the Washington Post   NATIONAL SECURITY

In Syria conflict, U.S. struggles to fill intelligence gaps

By  and , Tuesday, July 24, 9:07 AM

Sixteen months into the uprising in Syria, the United States is struggling to develop a clear understanding of opposition forces inside the country, according to U.S. officials who said that intelligence gaps have impeded efforts to support the ouster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

U.S. spy agencies have expanded their efforts to gather intelligence on rebel forces and Assad’s regime in recent months, but they are still largely confined to monitoring intercepted communications and observing the conflict from a distance, officials said

Interviews with U.S. and foreign intelligence officials revealed that the CIA has been unable to establish a presence in Syria, in contrast with the agency’s prominent role gathering intelligence from inside Egypt and Libya during revolts in those countries.

With no CIA operatives on the ground in Syria and only a handful stationed at key border posts, the agency has been heavily dependent on its counterparts in Jordan and Turkey and on other regional allies.

The lack of intelligence has complicated the Obama administration’s ability to navigate a crisis that presents an opportunity to remove a longtime U.S. adversary but carries the risk of bolstering insurgents sympathetic to al-Qaeda or militant Islam.

The administration is exploring ways to expand non-lethal support, officials said.

“But we’ve got to figure out who is over there first, and we don’t really know that,” said a U.S. official who expressed concern over persistent gaps and who, like others interviewed, spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was discussing intelligence matters. “It’s not like this is a new war. It’s been going on for 16 months.”.....

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/in-syria-conflict-us-struggles-to-fill-intelligence-gaps/2012/07/23/gJQAW8DG5W_story_1.html

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(This article from Al-Akhbar presents the CIA and Al-Qaeda with a common cause: trying to topple the Syrian government. )

Germany reveals Al-Qaeda activity in Syria

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An important article:
24 Reflections and observations on the current situation in Syria 16/07/2012


His Beatitude Patriarch Gregorios III (Laham), of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church in Syria, 
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From a Facebook page:
#Syria: Dr. Makdissi's speech deliberately taken out of context by the agressorsDamascus, SANA / The Foreign and Expatriates Ministry issued a statement commenting on how some negative media outlets dealt with its previous statement delivered by spokesman Dr. Jihad Makdissi, deliberately taking it out of context and portraying it as a declaration of possessing non-traditional weapons by Syria.The Ministry said that the goal of the statement and the press conference wasn't to declare but rather to respond to a methodical media campaign targeting Syria to prepare world public opinion for the possibility of military intervention under the false premise of weapons of mass destruction (similar to what happened with Iraq) or the possibility of using such weapons against terrorist groups or civilians, or transporting them to a third party.The statement affirmed that such allegations are completely false, noting that nonetheless they are dangerous allegations as they are made by the same sides that are rallying against Syria in mass media and international circles, noting that these are the same sides that fabricated lies about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction which turned out to be false later.The Ministry said that Makdissi's statements were meant to explain the state's general defensive policies in response to false media speculations and allegations, stressing the need to commit to precision and professionalism in news related to Syria and putting them in the proper context.
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This NYT article doesn't seem to question the US plan to 'remove Assad', no matter what the cost to Syria and Syrians.  (And America? It expects no costs?  There is no karma for countries? )
NEW YORK TIMES

Stymied at U.N., U.S. Refines Plan to Remove Assad

By  and    21 JULY 2012

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has for now abandoned efforts for a diplomatic settlement to the conflict in Syria, and instead it is increasing aid to the rebels and redoubling efforts to rally a coalition of like-minded countries to forcibly bring down the government of President Bashar al-Assad, American officials say.

Administration officials have been in talks with officials in Turkey and Israel over how to manage a Syrian government collapse. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta is headed to Israel in the next several days to meet with Israeli defense counterparts, following up on a visit last week by President Obama’s national security adviser Thomas E. Donilon, in part to discuss the Syrian crisis.

The White House is now holding daily high-level meetings to discuss a broad range of contingency plans — including safeguarding Syria’s vast chemical weapons arsenal and sending explicit warnings to both warring sides to avert mass atrocities — in a sign of the escalating seriousness of the Syrian crisis following a week of intensified fighting in Damascus, the capital, and the killing of Mr. Assad’s key security aides in a bombing attack.

The administration has had regular talks with the Israelis about how Israel might move to destroy Syrian weapons facilities, administration officials said. The administration is not advocating such an attack, the officials said, because of the risk that it would give Mr. Assad an opportunity to rally support against Israeli interference.

Administration officials insist they will not provide arms to the rebel forces. Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are already financing those efforts. But American officials said that the United States would provide more communications training and equipment to help improve the combat effectiveness of disparate opposition forces in their widening, sustained fight against Syrian Army troops. It’s also possible the rebels would receive some intelligence support, the officials said.......

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Barak: Israel may seize advanced weapons in Syria

By HERB KEINON, REUTERS
07/20/2012 23:15

Defense Minister says military prepared for operation should Syrian gov't hands missiles, chemical weapons to Hezbollah.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak made clear over the weekend that Israel would take military action if needed to ensure that Syria’s advanced weapon systems and chemical weapons do not fall into Hezbollah’s hands.

“Syria has advanced antiaircraft missiles, surface-tosurface missiles and elements of chemical weapons,” Barak said on Friday in a Channel 2 interview. “I directed the IDF to prepare for a situation where we will need to consider the possibility of an attack.”

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(Imagine if the title of the article below were, "Islamic fighters flocking to Australia"; or "Islamic fighters flocking to the U.S.".  The response of people in those countries would be very similar to that of the vast majority of Syrians.)

Islamic fighters flocking to Syria

PATRICK MARTIN

The Globe and Mail

Published Friday, Jul. 20 2012,

In the 1980s, it was Afghanistan to which international Islamic fighters came, helping the mujahedeen successfully take on the Soviet army and its puppet regime in Kabul. Then came Bosnia in the 1990s and Iraq in the 2000s, in both of which veteran jihadists fought a sectarian war on behalf of outgunned Sunni minorities.In 2012, they’re flocking to Syria.

With funding from private organizations in Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait, they are making their way across the frontiers from Iraq and Jordan, hooking up with opposition elements in Syria and taking the battle to Damascus and the heart of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Money from Qatar is helping finance the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood and the fledgling Free Syrian Army (FSA). And United States CIA operatives are reportedly helping distribute weapons andmatériel to the mainstream opposition forces. However, the international jihadists, many of them so-called Salafists linked to al-Qaeda, have agendas of their own that don’t stop at forcing Mr. al-Assad from office. To them, the real target is Shiism, the religion of Iran, and the crescent of Shia forces that Tehran has promoted that stretch from Iran to the Mediterranean.

Many Sunni Muslims, and certainly Salafi jihadists, view Shia Muslims as heretical and the Alawite sect of Shiism, (the sect to which the al-Assads and many other powerful Syrians belong) as positively diabolical. As such, it is not out of the question that ethnic massacres of Alawites would take place in the aftermath of an Islamist victory in Syria. To escape such a fate, many Alawites would take refuge in the sect’s heartland in the northwest of the country where the al-Assads have built up defences......

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For voices of Syrians:  

Syrian Army Evacuating Citizens - Damascus

Published on Jul 22, 2012 by 

The Syrian Army entered al-Midan district in Damascus and helped evacuate citizens after armed terrorist groups had infiltrated.

These are the citizens giving their accounts.

Video interviews of Syrian soldiers fighting militias in Damascus this month (July 2012).  As different articles on this page attest, their enemy includes groups linked to Al-Qaeda and Salafi jihadists from various countries, and some of them are committing the most heinous crimes against Syrian people:
 
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"Progressive" Journalism's Legacy of Deceit
by Prof. James F. Tracy  GLOBAL RESEARCH 20 July 2012

Progressive-left media persist in acting as propaganda outlets for the US-NATO destabilization of Syria, thus placating a politically conscious audience that might otherwise be mobilized against acts of imperialism and violence. The historical record suggests how this is not the first time "Progressive publicists" were used to sell a war.

A recent report in the UK Guardian by Charlie Skelton explains that Western news outlets remain willing victims (or accomplices) in a propaganda campaign for US -NATO led Syrian intervention being carried out by skilled and well-financed public relations practitioners. According to Skelton, “the spokespeople, the ‘experts on Syria’, the ‘democracy activists’ … The people who ‘urge’ and ‘warn’ and ‘call for action’" against the Assad regime are themselves part of a sophisticated and well-heeled public relations effort to allow NATO forces to give Syria the same medicine administered to Libya in 2011. “They're selling the idea of military intervention and regime change,” Skelton reports,

“and the mainstream news is hungry to buy. Many of the "activists" and spokespeople representing the Syrian opposition are closely (and in many cases financially) interlinked with the US and London – the very people who would be doing the intervening. Which means information and statistics from these sources isn't necessarily pure news – it's a sales pitch, a PR campaign.”[1]

If one thinks that a revelation of this magnitude would be cause for other major Western news media to reassess their reportage of the Syrian situation they would be greatly mistaken. Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now is a case in point. Since the beginning of the “Arab Spring” color revolutions the foremost broadcast venue of “independent” progressive-Left journalism in the United States has used its reportage to obfuscate and thereby advance the campaign for regime change in Egypt, Libya, and now Syria. The tactics of disinformation and death squads employed in Libya and Syria should be easily recognizable since they were refined against popular Central American moves toward popular enfranchisement by the Reagan administration during the 1980s.

As Finian Cunningham recently observed [2] Democracy Now’s adherents look to Goodman on a regular basis because of her perceived credibility; she is the self-avowed “ exception to the rulers”—a tireless crusader against the restrictive corporate media where there remains a “deafening silence … around the issues—and people—that matter most.”[3] Today Goodman’s vaunted program is contributing to the very violence being committed by Western-backed mercenaries against the Syrian people.

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DEMOCRACY NOW

Syrian Activist in Hiding: “We’re Not Looking for Intervention, We’re Looking for Support”

Syria’s 16-month uprising has entered uncharted territory after Wednesday’s bombing that killed three members of President Bashar al-Assad’s inner circle, including his defense secretary, interior minister and brother-in-law. Fighting between government troops and opposition rebels has been reported across Damascus, including locations within sight of the presidential palace. We’re joined from Syria by an activist who requested anonymity to protect her safety. “They’re losing control,” she says of the regime. “A lot of people were glad about [the bombing] yesterday, but it just makes us, deep inside, scared. What is the regime going to do next?”

RESPONSE TO DEMOCRACY NOW INTERVIEW WITH ACTIVIST

The list of questions below are ones Amy Goodman from “Democracy Now” could have asked an anonymous female Syrian ‘activist’ interviewed by DM. …..

  • If the FSA and other armed fighters kill more leaders and soldiers it could seriously undermine Syria’s defense capabilities.  Does it concern you that it could make it very difficult for Syria to successfully defend itself from, for example, an attack from Israel?
  • There are signs that the Syrian army is still strong and united.  To topple the government it would be necessary to kill tens of thousands of loyal soldiers.  What belief or ideology can justify such large scale killing?  If the army is destroyed, Syria could become a terrorist stronghold; bloody fighting could continue for decades. Is this a concern for you? ……..
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FP

The Fog of Civil War

What’s really going on in Syria is too complicated to fit in a headline

BY STEPHEN STARR | JULY 23, 2012

In the midst of recent fighting in Damascus, activists asked for God to elevate the city to the status given to Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem. I wonder what Syria’s Druzes and Christians think of this. I also wonder what Sunnis think of the Christians who quietly root for the regime to wipe out the protesters.

But there is an even deeper division opening up in Syria that has been overlooked because of the difficulties of reporting the conflict. It is the division between the activists and rebels who are hammering away at the Assad regime and those who simply want a quiet life — regardless of who is in government. The complexity of the situation was perhaps best summed up by a 28-year-old dentist I spoke to in Damascus last January: “We hate the regime, but we want peace,” he said more than once. “The regime is better than civil war.” …..

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“War Child”, another NGO which is naive and/or which is cynically cashing in on the Syrian crisis, so it presents a well-trodden ‘truth’ which won’t rock any boats…despite its not presenting the reality as it’s lived by the vast majority of ordinary Syrians?  Or is there a political agenda, too? Does funding depend on a certain ‘narrative’?
Research needed.
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‘Time to end Syrian regime,’ say rebels near Damascus

23 July 2012

The BBC’s Paul Wood accompanied rebel fighters as they slipped into Syria from neighbouring Lebanon, to a rebel-held town close to the capital, Damascus.

A line of smugglers and fighters move up the side of a mountain in the dark.

It is steep – our legs are aching, our lungs screaming – and there’s three more days of this.

But it’s the only illicit route into Syria from Lebanon at the moment. The Syrian regime, fighting for its life, has managed to close all the others…..

The men showing us around are with the Free Syrian Army (FSA). There is another, rival armed group here: the Salafis – hardline Islamists. They are the biggest group in this town, because they are getting guns and money from outside while the FSA is relatively poor…..

..
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Express.co.uk

20,000 RUSSIANS ‘WON’T BE RESCUED IN SYRIA

By Marco Giannangeli   22 July 2012
…A British Army source revealed last night that former SAS soldiers are training Syrian rebels in Iraq in military tactics, weapons handling and communications systems.

More than 300 have passed through a base just inside the Iraq border, while a command course is run in Saudi Arabia.

Groups of 50 rebels at a time are being trained by two private security firms employing former Special Forces personnel. “Our role is purely instructional teaching tactics, techniques and procedures,” said a former SAS member.

“Some of these guys are shopkeepers and schoolteachers who have lost everything.

“If we can teach them how to take cover, to shoot and avoid being spotted by snipers it will hopefully help.”

In Britain, military commanders have drawn up contingency plans to evacuate UK passport holders from Lebanon and Jordan if violence spills over from Syria.

A joint naval exercise with France, codenamed Exercise Cougar 12, would be headed by a Royal Naval assault ship, HMS Bulwark, and carry 650 Royal Marines from 45 Commando.

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A reminder of the victims of the Iraqi war; the humiliation and destruction of a country and millions of people by ……
Inside Iraq – The Mystery Behind Margaret Hassan Murder
by grtv

Margaret Hassan was an Irish aid worker who had worked in Iraq for many years until she was abducted and murdered by unidentified kidnappers in Iraq in 2004, at the age of 59. A look at her murder case and the mystery behind solving her abduction and murder case.

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What Is Really Happening in Syria?

By Patrick Seale
 
July 19, 2012 “Information Clearing House” –  It is undeniable that President Bashar al-Asad’s Syrian regime has, over the past 15 months, made many mistakes and committed many crimes. An early example was the savage punishment of a dozen children who had scrawled anti-regime graffiti on a wall in the southern city of Daraa in March 2011. This ugly incident was soon made far worse by the use of live fire against peaceful protesters……
 
There are now said to be about 100 armed rebel groups engaged in urban guerrilla warfare against the Syrian regime. Money is flowing in from Gulf States and from Syrian businessmen abroad, fuelling a brisk black market in weapons. Large numbers of jihadis, armed Islamic extremists, have crossed into Syria from neighbouring countries — and also from Kuwait, Tunisia, Algeria and Pakistan — to swell the ranks of the fighters. Muslim clerics in several Arab countries are inciting young men to go to Syria to fight. Rebel groups conduct ambushes, attack check-points, destroy public property, kill government troops — about 250 were killed in ten days in late May and early June. They also kidnap, rape and slaughter pro-regime civilians…
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The Death of the West

Nikolai MALISHEVSKI | 19.07.2012 | 00:00
…..Carving up the South Slavic statehood in the 1990ies, the US and Great Britain opened a sweeping campaign aimed at building a partnership with Muslim extremists and establishing control over their organizations. Several centers of Wahhabism in the Saudi Arabia were nominated as the West’s new allies, and Great Britain started to undisguisedly host a widening network of Muslim extremist groups. Provided with new opportunities, those took to publishing dozens of newspapers and promptly acquired their own broadcasters. In no time, Germany’s BND was also patronizing a conglomerate of Wahhabi formations.

Over 700 Wahhabi groups functioned freely in West Europe by the spring of 1999. Internationally, they were given a key role in funding and supplying Albanian extremists, who were known to be deeply involved with the drug mafia and were instrumental in unleashing the war against Yugoslavia.

As for London, it gradually evolved into a global terrorist hub. These days, the city is home to a cohort of “Muslim dissenters” like the notorious Akhmed Zakayev, a Chechen terrorist envoy charged in Russia with kidnapings and the murders of over 300 people in October, 1995 – December, 2000……

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Robert Fisk is someone seen by many in the West as THE ME expert. (Could a Japanese, Colombian, or Indian etc etc be “the Australian expert” – to the neglect of Australian voices?) In the article referenced below, Fisk not only quotes his ‘favourite dinner host’ Walid Jumblatt directly, but presents him as a hero. To understand Fisk, one must know Jumblatt.
For reference to Jumblatt and Fisk, check:
Druze clergy and Walid Jumblatt:
General ME view of character of Walid Jumblatt, a skit from Lebanese TV presenting Jumblatt as an opportunist seduced by Saad Hariri’s moneyhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4F6lXMFa04M
 
THE INDEPENDENT

Robert Fisk: If Alawites are turning against Assad then his fate is sealed

The Long View: There seems to be a Baathist pattern of destroying Sunni villages on the edge of the Alawite heartland

ROBERT FISK 23 JULY 2012

……………Take the faint outline of the old French mini-state of the Hauran where Syria’s Druze communities now live in growing disharmony with the Assad regime. This month, there was a dangerous outbreak of kidnapping in the region – resolved only after Walid Jumblatt, the Lebanese Druze leader, made a series of phone calls to prominent Druze in Syria. Jumblatt himself has had a friendly-hostile-friendly-hostile-relationship with the Assad family – I may have left out a couple of ‘friendlys’ and ‘hostiles’ there – but there is no doubt where he now stands.

Last week, he urged the Druze as well as the Alawites in Syria to join the revolt against the Assad regime. He has even attacked his allies in Moscow, calling Russia’s support for Assad “no longer acceptable, morally or politically.”

And not without reason does he speak thus. Three Syrian Druze have died in the revolution this month. Majd Zein, a Druze Free Syrian Army member, was killed during an attack on Rastan. Shafiq Shuqayr and Yasser Awwad were executed by the Syrian army when they were discovered to be helping government soldiers to defect in the area of Lajat. Now Jumblatt is calling upon all Alawites to join the rebellion instead of allowing themselves to remain a minority dependent on Assad for their survival. “I say to them that they must say they are Syrians before they are Alawites.”

And a final statistic to explain the revolution outside Damascus. Latest figures show that 58 per cent of Syrian’s population under 24 years old are unemployed (higher, even, than Egypt), while 48 per cent of the 18-29 year-old age range – a statistic only beaten by Yemen – have no jobs. They do now, of course. Most have joined the Syrian revolt.

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-if-alawites-are-turning-against-assad-then-his-fate-is-sealed-7965154.html

Robert Fisk: Sectarianism bites into Syria’s rebels

The deathwish of fighters in Damascus terrifies many who oppose Assad

22 July 2012

……Now, of course, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, where al-Jazeera is based, make no secret of the funds and weapons they are running into Turkey and Lebanon for the resistance – without apparently caring very much who the “resisters” are. The Lebanese army managed to stop one out of five shiploads of guns, but the others, carried on Sierra Leone-registered vessels, were able to unload.

One of the two organisations that claimed responsibility for last week’s Damascus bombing, Liwa Islam – the Islam Brigade – raises again the Salafist element in Syria’s armed opposition. One newly arrived refugee from Syria told me last week that they have forbidden alcohol and openly say they intend to die fighting in Damascus. Given the savage response of the Syrian regime, they may get their last wish.

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-sectarianism-bites-into-syrias-rebels-7964251.html

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‘Don’t be duped by Western humanitarian rhetoric on Syria’ – Russia’s UN ambassador

By RT

July 20, 2012 “RT”

 
In an exclusive interview with RT, Vitaly Churkin gave his explanation of what is going on in Syria and why he thinks the conflict has spread beyond that country’s borders.RT: Russia’s decision to veto this latest resolution has caused consternation and widespread criticism of Moscow’s stance – is Russia supporting the Assad regime?Vitaly Churkin: Of course not. It is all about what needs to be done in order to settle the crisis. Unfortunately, the strategy of our Western colleagues seems to be to try to whip up tensions in and around Syria at every opportunity. And this time they took the occasion of the need to extend the mandate of the monitoring mission in Syria and attached a number of unacceptable clauses to their draft resolution. So, we needed to veto together with China that unacceptable draft to allow Kofi Annan more space to work on the document which was adopted by foreign ministers of a number of countries of the so-called “action group”, which calls for setting up transitional national body and that requires of course the dialogue between various parties. So, in this context, to introduce a resolution which would only entail pressure and almost inevitable sanctions on the Syrian government did not look like a good idea to us at all and we blocked the decision, which in our view was counter-productive.RT: So, Moscow is not supporting the Assad regime, but America, Britain and France say Russia’s failed the Syrian people – how do you react to that?….
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The body which the Syrian opposition in Australia gets their statistics regarding those killed, imprisoned etc is the SRCC. The director, Ausama Monajed,  can be seen in a photo shoot with president Bush in September 2008.

Mr. Monajed founded the centre in 2010 and continues to develop it. He is widely quoted in and interviewed by prestigious international media outlets. He previously worked as a communication consultant in Europe and in the U.S. and formerly served as the director of Barada Television, a Syrian broadcast station, as well as served as an economist and projects manager with the European Commission and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP. Mr. Monajed holds a postgraduate degree in politics and communications from the UK and an undergraduate degree in economics and management from Syria.

STRATEGIC RESEARCH AND COMMUNICATION CENTRE
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Iran and Syria are not a threat to the United States

Wag the Dog Arrives at Last

By Philip Giraldi
The Passionate Attachment

July 18, 2012 “Information Clearing House” –  Few commentators have taken note of the truly significant shift in the Israel-United States relationship. To be sure, Israel has for many years been able to control many aspects of Washington’s policy in the Middle East while simultaneously drawing on the US taxpayer to sustain its military predominance. But even as recently as 2003, when the United States invaded Iraq in part because Israeli interests called for such action, Tel Aviv was not able to bring about a war without marshaling additional arguments. Tel Aviv arguably enabled the Iraq war in that the Israeli Lobby had the power to stop it, but there were also other elements to include George W. Bush’s seeking revenge for the alleged assassination plot against his father, the fact that Iraq is a major oil producing country and the war would “pay for itself,” and the totally false claim that Iraq had somehow been involved in 9/11. Israel alone, acting in its own interests, could not force America to go to war. George W. Bush, for all his faults, would not have gone to war solely for Israel and it has even been reported that he was strong enough to block a subsequent Israeli bid to attack Iran.

 
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STRATEGIC CULTURE FOUNDATION

USA and Al Qaeda: Holy Alliance

Igor IGNATCHENKO | 17.07.2012 | 00:24

Syria is flooded by terrorists of all kinds. Al Qaeda has committed a number of terrorist acts. According to former Commander of Turkish Naval Academy Admiral Turker Erturk it gets support from the USA. He says that the West and its Arab allies have decided to repeat the “Salvadorian scenario” counting on terrorist groups stepping in instead of the opposition. The suicide bomber raids in Damascus corroborate the fact. Let me remember the operation aimed at destabilization of Salvador with the help of suicide bombers was headed by John Negroponte, who later became US ambassador to Iraq, and would be US ambassador to Syria Robert Ford.

Peter Oborne, a Daily Telegraph commentator, confirmed that the USA and Great Britain have intensified clandestine cooperation with Al Qaeda recently joining efforts in fight against the Syrian government. In its article Syria’s Crisis is Leading Us to Unlikely Bedfellows he points out that the terror acts committed in Damascus before the New Year had all earmarks of the ones committed by the terrorist organization in Iraq. According to the British journalist the Al Qaeda militants had come to Syria from Libya across the “Turkish corridor”. Peter Oborne sees “the triple Washington-London-Al Qaeda alliance” as a great menace for the UK.

Omar Al-Bakri, a religious extremist residing in Lebanon, confessed in an interview to the Daily Telegraph that Al Qaeda militants supported by Al Mustaqbal headed by Saad al-Hariri have already infiltrated into Syria from Lebanon. At a press-conference held in Baghdad Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari confirmed the fact that Al Qaeda does infiltrate into Syria across the Iraqi border in order to commit terror acts and bring in weapons.

The Guardian has recently published an article called Military Interventionin Syria Would Be Disastrous for Its People. The author Sami Ramadani points out the fact an alliance between the USA and Al Qaeda has taken shape. The USA and Turkey intensively destabilize Syria using the oil funds provided by Qatar and Saudi Arabia. While Hillary Clinton is trying to persuade the world community an intervention in Syria is a necessary step, the CIA is actively involved in providing support and training to the militants. As is known the USA and NATO allies have recruited heads of terrorist organizations and common criminals from different countries of the world as mercenaries to make them go through special drilling course in the training camps located in Turkey and Lebanon. For instance, while in Homs a member of the League of Arab states observer mission working for Iraqi special services was very much surprised to see Pakistani, Iraqi and Afghan mercenaries. Especially striking was the fact that some of them had been his kidnappers in Iraq. It’s important to note that over a hundred of hirelings from Arab and other countries, including a significant number of French legionaries, were captured by Syrian authorities after freeing Homs.

Hala Jaber, a Sunday Times correspondent, is sure religious extremists and foreign mercenaries infiltrating Syria from the territories of adjacent countries contributed to the exacerbation of violence to make international observers terminate their mission. Hala Jaber emphasized the calls of Saudi sheikhs to cross the Syrian border were followed by dozens of people coming from Lebanon, Tunisia, Algiers, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Egypt, Jordan and Kuwait full of fanatic aspiration to create an Arab caliphate in Syria and the region. …….

http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2012/07/17/usa-and-al-qaeda-holy-alliance.html

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Tremseh killings targeted rebels – UN monitors

15 July 2012

The attack on the Syrian city of Tremseh, widely condemned by the West as civilian murder, actually targeted rebels and army defectors, says a UN investigation. The findings contradict opposition claims of civilian killings by Assad forces.

A team of monitors visited the site of the killings on Saturday. After a preliminary examination they concluded that “the attack on Tremseh appeared targeted at specific groups and houses, mainly of army defectors and activists.

A variety of weapons were used in an attack on the Syrian village of Tremseh, where more than 150 people were killed this week, with the homes of rebels and activists bearing the brunt,” the UN mission said.

However, the mission said the death toll was still unclear. Damascus says 37 fighters and two civilians were killed in their “military operation,” while the activists are talking of around 220 civilians dead after “clashes with opposition protesters.”

The UN monitors plan to return to the area and continue the investigation, many conclusions of which so far appear to coincide with Damascus’s claims that the attack on Tremseh was part of a counter-terrorist operation in the area.

Armed forces units on Thursday morning carried out a ‘special operation’ in Tremseh … that targeted the gatherings of terrorist group members,” said Syrian state news outlet SANA, quoting a military source.

The Syrian government said the operation was launched in response to civilian pleas for help in the area, claiming that they had been victims of “criminal acts at the hands of armed terrorist groups.

At the same time, the Syrian Foreign Ministry rejects Kofi Annan’s claims that helicopters and tanks were involved in the Tremseh “clashes”.

Government forces did not use planes, or helicopters, or tanks or artillery. The heaviest weapon used was an RPG (rocket propelled grenade),” the ministry’s spokesman Jihad Makdissi told reporters in Damascus.

Earlier, both the UN observers and opposition activists said they saw attack helicopters firing at targets in Tremseh. Having entered the town in the Hama province, the UN mission concluded artillery, mortars and small arms had been fired, but did not make any further comments on the use of helicopters or tanks.

Following reports of the killings, the international community was quick to condemn the Assad government for the “massacre”, with Washington branding Syrian leaders as murderers.

UN leader Ban Ki-moon said that the reports cast doubt over President Bashar al-Assad’s commitment to UN envoy, Kofi Annan’s peace plan.

Meanwhile, the International Committee for the Red Cross has changed the status of the Syrian crisis to “non-international armed conflict” which amounts to a civil war. The new status can lay grounds to prosecute war crimes, such as murder, torture, rape, or use disproportionate force against civilian areas.

Media war rages on

Author and historian Gerald Horne said that anti-Assad rhetoric immediately triggered by the Tremseh killings was indicative of a media “blame game.”

“First of all it’s very curious that just before important UN meetings we hear reports about massacres.” He added that speculation over the number of victims and whether or not women and children were involved undermined the credibility of media reports on the killings.

Horne went on to stress that there were many interests at play in the Syrian conflict and that “regime change is the name of the game with Syria.”

He told RT that some parties involved “would like to see a replay of the Libyan misadventure when cries for humanitarian aid were really just a mask for regime change.”

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NEW YORK TIMES 

Details of a Battle Challenge Reports of a Syrian Massacre

Published: July 14, 2012

By 

BEIRUT, Lebanon — New details emerging Saturday about what local Syrian activists called a massacre of civilians near the central city of Hama indicated that it was more likely an uneven clash between the heavily armed Syrian military and local fighters bearing light weapons….

Although what actually happened in Tremseh remains murky, the evidence available suggested that events on Thursday more closely followed the Syrian government account. But Syrian officials colored that account with their usual terminology of blaming “foreign terrorist gangs” for all violence. The government said the Syrian Army had inflicted “heavy losses” on the “terrorists.”

The picture emerging is that there was a large group of fighters from the town and the local area bivouacked in Tremseh. The Syrian Army moved in early Thursday, blocking all exits and blasting away with machine guns, tank shells and rockets fired from helicopters, laying waste to the town.

“Whenever the Syrian Army knows there are fighters concentrated in an area, they attack,” said the leader of the Observatory, who goes by the pseudonym Rami Abdul-Rahman for safety reasons. “The majority of people killed in Tremseh were either rebel fighters from the village or from surrounding villages.”…….

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Addendum to “Whenever UN meeting on Syria starts…” -

RT’s full interview with Sharmine Narwani

Published on Jul 14, 2012 by 

BREAKING UPDATE: Syria ‘massacre’ dead mostly rebels: activist,
http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/new-syrian-massacre-hama-province

Addendum to “Whenever UN meeting on Syria starts, there’s a massacre” – RT’s full interview with Sharmine Narwani. (Read main article onhttp://youtu.be/v-wMr_7xUEg)

Sharmine Narwani, a political analyst and specialist in the Middle East affairs from St. Antony’s College at Oxford University, agrees with his point. “These so-called massacres have taken place before critical [UN] Security Council meetings,” she said in an interview with RT.
Narwani points out two important events that accompany the Tremseh Massacre. The first one is the return of the UN special Syria envoy Kofi Annan from his visits to Syria and Iran.
“The Western GCC [Gulf Corporation Council of the Arab States] do not want Iran involved in any collaborative efforts on the resolution. So [it] comes out of Syria with the new energy about continuing the mission and agreeing with Assad how this could be done to reduce violence,” she explained.
The second important factor that completes the picture is that the current UN observer mission will have its mandate expired on July 20. The possible extension is already being discussed in the United Nations, and any “perception-building activities on the ground that [those interested] can use for propaganda purposes” will affect the final decision.
“There are people who will want to spoil this mission from going forward… This mission is a very important venture. It is collaborative, it works with all parties — regional, external and internal, it is fact-finding, and its mission is to reduce violence. There is no other option right now,” Narwani said.

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Twitter by William Hague, 16 July 2012

I’m urging Libya’s new leaders to support tough sanctions on #Syria. Syrian people are enduring what they endured, on a greater scale

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Editor:   Unless you refuse to open a newspaper or turn on the TV, it is difficult to avoid the mainstream narrative on Syria. It is a very seductive one;  it requires little to no thinking…. if you accept it.

Syrian opposition to Obama: Waiting for election day to act is ‘unacceptable’

Editor: Below is a link to an article from February this year by John Pilger, who is sometimes like the boy who saw that the emperor had no clothes on. And he said so.  (Pilger encourages thinking; he is so controversial.)

Let’s learn from Blair’s crimes, so we don’t repeat them in Syria

BY JOHN PILGERPUBLISHED 16 FEBRUARY 2012The warmongering and human rights abuses of the New Labour years seem forgotten by all but ….

……..a media salivating for “intervention” in Syria that the civil war in that country requires skilled and patient negotiation, not the provocations of the British SAS and the familiar bought-and-paid-for exiles who ride in Anglo-America’s Trojan horse.

http://www.newstatesman.com/global-issues/2012/02/pilger-blair-syria-iraq

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Hillary Clinton’s Iraq war speech on the Senate floor in October 2002. Hillary Clinton explains why she is voting to go to war in Iraq.http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=DkS9y5t0tR0

In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members… 

It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons.  Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well, effects American security. 

This is a very difficult vote, this is probably the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make.  Any vote that might lead to war should be hard, but I cast it with conviction.” 

Senator Hillary Clinton (Democrat, New York)
Addressing the US Senate
October 10, 2002 

Hillary Clinton: Every Nation Must Be With Us Or Against Us

Uploaded by  on Oct 24, 2007

Remarks from Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) on September 13, 2001, during an interview on CBS Evening News with Dan Rather

“Every nation has to either be with us, or against us. Those who harbor terrorists, or who finance them, are going to pay a price.”

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

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Land Destroyer

 JULY 15, 2012

Hillary Clinton Must Resign (Op-ed)

Cites false reports regarding Syria “massacre” to call for UN Chapter 7. Irresponsible warmongering leaves American credibility irrevocably damaged.
editorial by Tony Cartalucci
Image: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has attempted on numerous occasions to leverage fabricated atrocities to stampede UN resolutions through the Security Council to allow the same destructive, tragic military campaign against Syria that was waged against Libya. Her latest outburst was so overtly fraudulent and patently false, her continuation as Secretary of State risks a permanent and exponentially accelerating decline in US legitimacy worldwide. 

….

July 14, 2012 - The unhinged state of US foreign policy is exemplified best by this week’s Tremseh, Syria “massacre.” Before any confirmations could be made, and based solely on “activist” accounts, Hillary Clinton penned a US State Department statement that read:

I was deeply saddened and outraged to learn of reports of yet another massacre committed by the Syrian regime that has claimed the lives of over 200 men, women, and children in the village of Traymseh. Credible reports indicate that this unconscionable act was carried out by artillery, tanks, and helicopters – indisputable evidence that the regime deliberately murdered innocent civilians. Syria cannot be peaceful, stable, or democratic until Assad goes and a political transition begins. We call for an immediate ceasefire in and around Hama to allow the UN observer mission to enter Traymseh. Those who committed these atrocities will be identified and held accountable.

As long as the Assad regime continues to wage war against the Syrian people, the international community must keep increasing the pressure on the regime to halt the violence and allow for a political solution to go forward. The Security Council should put its full weight behind the Annan plan for an immediate ceasefire and a political transition and make clear to the Syrian regime that there will be consequences for non-compliance. History will judge this Council. Its members must ask themselves whether continuing to allow the Assad regime to commit unspeakable violence against its own people is the legacy they want to leave.

The Security Council of course would be putting its “full weight” behind Kofi Annan’s “peace plan” with Chapter 7 provisions in place - meaning that sanctions and military intervention, as it was in Libya, would be subsequently implemented.

What US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attempted to do, was propose a UN Security Council resolution authorizing military intervention (and by consequence, long sought after regime change), then used fabricated reports to sell the resolution in the court of global public and diplomatic opinion. It constitutes an overt crime against peace, and conspiracy to wage aggressive war -both Nuremberg offenses.

Tremseh was a Battle, Not a Massacre  
 
As the facts emerge as to what really happened in Tremseh, Syria, it becomes evidently clear the US State Department, along with its British, French, German, and Australian counterparts, has attempted to sell yet another NATO war of aggression based on a patently false pretext. The New York Times in their article, “New Details of a Battle Challenge Reports of a Syrian Massacre,”reported that “activists,” the so-called “Free Syria Army” (FSA), and the Western-backed “Syrian National Council” (SNC) all gave conflicting reports.
What could be verified by UN monitors who arrived at the scene, is that the vast majority of those “massacred” were men of fighting age, with some opposition figures conceding that they were indeed militant fighters. The number “200″ that Clinton cited, was actually the number of militants that had gathered in Tremseh to plot the next leg of their terrorist activities. Locals had passed the information on to the Syrian Army who surrounded the area and neutralized the fighters during a pitched battle the FSA ultimately lost.Not only that, but the UN confirms that Syrian security operations targeted “specific” rebel locations rendering Clinton’s accusation that government forces “deliberately murdered innocent civilians” a bold-faced lie.
In other words, Hillary Clinton falsified her statement, given before the entire “international community,” claiming “200 men, women, and children” were deliberately massacred, when in reality it was the Syrian military restoring order in the face of armed terrorists. After the military secured the Tremseh area, they put on display a vast cache of weaponry found in the area, as well as captured FSA militants including both Turkish and Libyan fighters – meaning that those not killed in the fighting, were not “executed” as earlier reports falsely stated…….

http://landdestroyer.blogspot.ca/2012/07/hillary-clinton-must-resign-op-ed.html

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Lavrov: We oppose any tendencies aimed at downfalling the Syrian state, refuse extortion and paving the way for military intervention in Syria

16 July 2012

MOSCOW_ Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday said that the Russian suggestions towards solving the crisis in Syria are right ones and they should be listed in the draft resolution at the UN Security Council.

In a press conference in Moscow, Lavrov said that violence should be stopped by all the Syrian sides, adding that “We oppose any tendencies aimed at downfalling the Syrian state and refuse extortion and paving the way for military intervention in Syria.”

He stressed that Moscow’s foreign policy is “firm and based on the international legitimacy and laws,” adding that the participants in Geneva meeting started to distort the results of this meeting.

Minister Lavrov said that some international sides are asking Syria’s leadership to stop violence and at the same time, they are not practicing any influence on the Syrian opposition that is seeking power.

He stressed that Moscow agrees on any decision made by the Syrian people regarding their future, adding that “After Syria agreed on Annan’s plan, we started to hear strange words on its failure and an escalation of violence on the ground and we have documented that in Geneva statement.

After the final approval of President al-Assad on the appointment of an envoy for negotiation, our partners began to put conditions, demanding the use of Chapter VII at the UN Security Council.

“We should implement Annan’s plan. Our international partners should practice influence on the armed groups to take constructive procedures. Moscow will not allow a UN Security Council’s resolution under Chapter VII,” Lavrov said.

He warned against great risks in destabilizing the whole region, including the Gulf states, adding that “We don’t want the Gulf states to be destabilized. It is legal for us to express concern over the human rights issue in Saudi Arabia,”

Lavrov stressed that there are no attempts to ask the armed groups to cease fire, adding that all pressures are being exerted on the Syrian government only.

He pointed out that the needed resolution from the UN Security Council is extending the authorities of the UN observer mission, adding that there is no need to terminate the work of the mission in Syria.


http://www.champress.net/index.php?q=en/Article/view/4188

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Makdissi : What happened in al-Treimseh a military operation between the army and gunmen who terrorised civilians

DAMASCUS_ Foreign and Expatriates Ministry spokeman, Dr. Jihad Makdissi, stressed what happened in al-Treimseh village in the countryside of Hama province was not a massacre but a military operation and armed clashes between the army forces and armed groups that do not believe in dialogue or the political solution.

In a press conference held on Sunday, Makdissi said the army forces did not use any heavy weapons upon entering the village in response to the resident’s pleads, adding that damage due to the clash was caused to only five buildings in which the terrorists were positioned along with their weapons.

Makdissi: Annan’s Letter Is Hasty and Not Based on Reality

He referred to a letter received by Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem form the UN envoy Kofi Annan regarding the events in al-Treimseh, which Makdissi described as “hasty to the furthest extent” and not based on the reality of what happened in the village.

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The Telegraph 

Al-Qaeda tries to carve out a war for itself in Syria

Al-Qaeda has infiltrated into Syria and is working to establish footholds in the war-torn northern provinces.

By Ruth Sherlock, Idlib Province

7:52PM BST 12 Jul 2012

Whilst the militant Islamic organisation’s influence remains small, home-grown jihadist groups that are linked with, or sympathetic to the ideals of movement are growing.

The Daily Telegraph has seen al-Qaeda’s flag flying openly in some areas of Idlib and Aleppo provinces that straddle the borders with Turkey and Iraq and fighters in the rebel Free Syrian Army have told how representatives of the militant group have tried in past months to win control of towns and villages.

“An al Qaeda group led by a man who called himself Abu Saddiq took control in Der Tezzeh,” said one FSA rebel speaking on condition of anonymity.

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All Roads Lead To… Iran? ‘War At Core of MidEast Turmoil’ 

Saudi Arabia is sending additional troops to its Eastern region of Qatif – with the government fearing riots. Public anger is rising in the area – with reports of more marches planned in support of two local activists, killed at a rally on Sunday. The demonstration was in response to the violent arrest of a prominent Shia cleric. The deaths brought tens of thousands onto the streets of the city of Qatif – for marches that have continued throughout the week. Discontent is fueled by a lack of political and civil freedoms and ongoing detentions of dissidents. The clampdown has been ignored by the west which unconditionally supports the regime. For more RT talks to Dan Glazebrook, a political analyst from UK.

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TIKUN OLAM 

Israel Invents Syrian WMD Threat, IDF Commanders Threaten Intervention

by RICHARD SILVERSTEIN on JULY 13, 2012 · 13 COMMENTS

in MIDEAST PEACE





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INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE

Two Faces
The Most Successful Terrorist Of The 20th Century
By Uri AvneryJuly 14, 2012 “Information Clearing House” – TWO FORMER Prime Ministers of Israel are in the news these days. They represent two of the many faces of Israel.They also raise a universal question: which is preferable – an honest fanatic or a corrupt pragmatist?YITZHAK SHAMIR died two weeks ago and was buried in the cemetery of the “Great of the Nation” in Jerusalem. He was 97 years old and had been vegetating for years in a state of dementia. Most Israelis did not know that he was still alive.When I described him on TV as “the most successful terrorist of the 20th century”, the interviewer raised his eyebrows. But it was an accurate description.Shamir was not a great thinker. In his teens he joined the right-wing Zionist youth organization of Vladimir Jabotinsky in Poland, and since then he did not change his world-view one iota. In this respect he was absolutely immovable. He wanted a Jewish state in all of the historical country. Period. No nonsense about Arabs and such.We both joined the Irgun underground at the same time. I was too young to take part in actual terrorist actions, he, eight years my senior, carried them out. At the time, the Irgun killed scores of Arab men, women and children in attacks on Arab markets, in retaliation for Arab attacks on Jewish civilians. We defied the policy of “self-restraint” ordered by the Zionist leadership.

……..SHAMIR, THE dead honest fanatic, has many followers. Olmert, the living corrupt pragmatist, has very few. Netanyahu, their current successor, has the vices of both and the virtues of neither.

Uri Avnery is an Israeli writer and founder of the Gush Shalom peace movement. A member of the Irgun as a teenager, Avnery sat in the Knesset from 1965–74 and 1979–81

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Syria – The True Story

Published on Jul 11, 2012 by 

What are the forces at play in the world today? A question that remains unanswered by those entrusted to communicate to us, the truth.

Yet we ourselves fall short from attaining it, not for lack of access, but because of an unbroken fear that has obscured our vision.

This documentary is the true story behind Syria.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrtNd5h2L_Q&sns=em

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RUSSIA TODAY

‘WMD’ + ‘ethnic cleansings’ = case to bomb Syria?

Published: 13 July, 2012, 14:08

US officials say Damascus is moving parts of its chemical weapons arsenal, an allegation denied by Syrian authorities. Some in Washington imply that the weapons may be used for “ethnic cleansing”.

Syria is believed to have a large arsenal of chemical weapons, including sarin nerve agent, mustard gas and cyanide, which is undeclared due to the country not being a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention.

The Wall Street Journal cites unnamed US officials as saying that parts of the arsenal are being relocated from their storage facilities.

The Syrian government denied the alleged move when asked for comments.

“This is absolutely ridiculous and untrue,”
 said Syria’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Jihad Makdissi. “If the US is so well-informed, why can’t they help [UN envoy] Kofi Annan in stopping the flow of illegal weapons to Syria in order to end the violence and move towards the political solution?”

The White House, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Pentagon declined to comment.

But WSJ sources insist that it is happening, although they differ on the reasons for the claimed relocation. Some believe Damascus is doing it to secure from being taken over by the armed opposition. Others say it is a veiled threat against potential supporters of the rebels – both inside the country and abroad.

The most pessimistic say the Syrian military are preparing to use the chemical weapons against the rebels and civilians.

“The regime has a plan for ethnic cleansing, and we must come to terms with this,” one US official said. “There is no diplomatic solution.”

“This could set the precedent of WMD [weapons of mass destruction] being used under our watch,” another one said.“This is incredibly dangerous to our national security.”

The source did not specify which of the many ethnic groups mixed in Syria the government may wish to attack with the highly indiscriminate weapons in a move which would doubtlessly provoke international condemnation.

HTTP://WWW.RT.COM/NEWS/SYRIA-CHEMICAL-WEAPONS-MOVED-110/

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Syria Crisis: Where Syrian Fighters Get Their Weapons From

Reuters  |  Posted: 07/13/2012 8:43 am

By Jonathan Saul and Mariam Karouny

LONDON/BEIRUT, July 13 (Reuters) – Syrian rebels are smuggling small arms into Syria through a network of land and sea routes involving cargo ships and trucks moving through Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq, maritime intelligence and Free Syrian Army (FSA) officers say.

HTTP://WWW.HUFFINGTONPOST.COM/2012/07/13/SYRIA-CRISIS-REBELS-WEAPONS_N_1670780.HTML?UTM_HP_REF=WORLD

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LAND DESTROYER

SATURDAY, JULY 14, 2012

Latest Syria “Massacre” – Goebbelsesque Propaganda

Claim “UN blames regime forces for Syria massacre ,” admits “neither activists’ claims nor the videos could be independently verified.”
 by Tony CartalucciJuly 14, 2012 -  Surely if nothing “activists” have so far said about latest so-called “massacre,” in Tremseh, Syria can be verified, it is impossible to “blame” anyone for the alleged deaths that are said to have occurred. Nevertheless, the Associated Press, Reuters, AFP, and many other mainstays of the West’s corporate-run media machine ran with titles such as, “UN blames regime forces for Syria massacre” (AP), “Syrian regime condemned for Tremseh massacre” (Reuters), “Syria crisis: Tremseh ‘massacre’” (Guardian), and “Syria unrest: Kofi Annan shocked at Tremseh ‘atrocities’” (BBC)

HTTP://LANDDESTROYER.BLOGSPOT.COM.AU/2012/07/US-BRITISH-CAUGHT-PEDDLING.HTML

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LAND DESTROYER

SATURDAY, JULY 14, 2012

BOMBSHELL: Defected Syrian Ambassador Admits Role in Killing US Troops

In Telegraph interview, Western-coddled Nawaf Fares admits he organized “Jihadi units” to fight US troops in Iraq.
by Tony CartalucciJuly 14, 2012 - Nawaf Fares, former Syrian Ambassador to Iraq who just recently defected and is now harbored in Qatar, admitted in an interview with the London Telegraph that he personally organized “Jihadi units” to fight US troops in Iraq. Fares maintains that he did so under orders by the Syrian government, and that a recent string of bombings in Syria were carried out by “Al Qaeda” in coordination with Syrian security forces.

Unfortunately for Nawaf Fares, who has just admitted to being an international terrorist, not only does he fail to provide any actual evidence to suggest the Syrian government had ordered or condoned his terrorist activities during the US occupation of Iraq (as even the Telegraph notes), nor provide any evidence at all that “Al Qaeda” had coordinated its bombing campaigns with Syrian security forces, but a myriad of confirmed reports and evidence already exist contradicting entirely Fares’ statements.

That President Bashar al-Assad is a “collaborator” with Al Qaeda is farcical at face value. The following headlines help illustrate the absurdity of Fares’ claims: “Al Qaeda head calls for fall of Assad” (AP), “Top US official: Al Qaeda in Iraq joining fight against Syria’s Assad” (McClatchy), “Al Qaeda’s Zawahiri calls for war to oust Syria’s Assad” (AP), just to name a few. Additionally it was reported by Seymour Hersh in a 2007 New Yorker article titled, “The Redirection,” that not only was Al Qaeda being arrayed against the Syrian government since as early as 2007, but it was in fact the United States, Israel, and the Gulf States that were organizing, funding, and arming them. ….

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Russia Today

Deadly Descent: New massacre blame game in Syria

Published on Jul 13, 2012 by 

France is leading calls for more UN Security Council action to stop the carnage in Syria – where over 200 people have reportedly been killed in a massacre in the central province of Hama. Both government and rebel forces are blaming each other for the slaughter – while the world body remains paralyzed on whether to extend its observer mission, or impose sanctions. Maria Finoshina reports.
And, Jeff Steinberg from the Executive Intelligence Review, believes it’s the foreign backing of the rebels that’s the main obstacle to peace in Syria.

RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-air

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0YhNtUs7Ns&feature=player_embedded

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Asia Times


Covering Syria: The information war
By Aisling Byrne
12 July 2012
The narrative that has been constructed by the Western mainstream media on Syria may seem to be self-evident from the scenes presented on television, but it is a narrative duplicitously promoted and coordinated so as to conceal and facilitate the regime-change project that is part of the war on Iran.What we are seeing is a new stage of information war intentionally constructed and cast as a simplistic narrative of a struggle for human rights and democracy so as deliberately to exclude other interpretations and any geo-strategic motivation.The narrative, as CNN puts it, is in essence this: “The vast majority of reports from the ground indicate that government forces are killing citizens in an attempt to wipe out civilians seeking [President Bashar] al-Assad’s ouster” – the aim being precisely to elicit a heart-wrenching emotional response in Western audiences that trumps all other considerations and makes the call for Western/Gulf intervention to effect regime change.

But it is a narrative based on distortion, manipulation, lies and videotape….

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NG12Ak01.html


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NEW AMERICAN 

After U.S. Uproar, Another Syrian “Civilian Massacre” Story Falls Apart

14 JULY 2012 by Alex Newman
Yet another alleged “massacre” of “civilians” by the Syrian regime was in the establishment-press headlines this week, supposedly a brutal killing spree by dictator Bashar al-Assad’s forces in the village of Tremseh that left up to 250 people dead. As has become typical, Western governments and mainstream media outlets — the New York Times, the BBC, and others included — parroted anonymous “opposition activists” for the claims. But within days, after foreign powers seeking regime change had their chance to beat the war drums even louder, the carefully constructed tale was already falling apart.U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, one of the top defenders of the dangerous “rebel” coalition operating in Syria at American taxpayer expense, immediately claimed there was “indisputable evidence that the regime deliberately murdered innocent civilians” — “over 200 men, women and children,” in fact. She did not present or cite any of the alleged evidence, but vowed to punish those responsible amid more calls for immediate regime change. Other Western leaders and financiers of the violence in Syria issued similar condemnations and more threats.Despite hysterical reporting and wild statements by political leaders, however, even “opposition activists” were conceding early on that most of the dead were actually armed combatants who had staged attacks on the regime’s military forces. More recent reports, even those based on anonymous “opposition activists,” also suggest that closer to 100 people had died. Almost all of the dead were military-aged men, too — a far cry from Clinton’s “over 200 men, women and children.” ……..
Both sides — the barbaric Assad regime and the anti-Assad foreign powers backing the rebels — are undoubtedly using propaganda to advance their narratives. However, a disturbing pattern has emerged over the last year: numerous massacres blamed on the dictatorship’s forces were actually conducted by the Western-backed rebels. Christians in particular, who have found one of the last Middle Eastern refuges in Syria under Assad and therefore largely support the regime, are being exterminated by the foreign-financed Islamist opposition in what observers have called a real example of “ethnic cleansing.”Of course, none of the information presented here is meant to defend the barbarian tyrant ruling over Syria. The point is that there is much more going on than Western governments and the mainstream press would like citizens to realize — and people are dying based on gross deceptions perpetrated by the highest levels of the establishment. More will undoubtedly die in the coming months.Instead of presenting the truth, powerful establishment forces are using lies and deception, as well as taxpayer money, in an effort to impose a new regime on the Syrian people by force of arms if necessary. And unfortunately for the populations of Syria and maybe Iran next, more than a few analysts worry that the new rulers — if and when the bloodshed ever stops — might be even worse than the current situation. Only time will tell.

http://www.thenewamerican.com/world-news/asia/item/12079-after-us-uproar-another-syrian-“civilian-massacre”-story-falls-apart

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‘Syrian rebels create mayhem to blame it on Assad regime’

13 July RT  Interview with Tariq Ali 
Moscow says those behind the latest massacre in Syria want to unleash sectarian violence and ignite full civil war. Over two hundred people are believed to have been killed in the central province of Hama. Both government and rebel forces blame each other for the slaughter – while the UN remains paralysed on whether to extend its observer mission, or impose sanctions. RT talks to author and Middle East expert Tariq Ali who joins me now from London.
A video of rebels/mercenaries/terrorists celebrating after some sort of victory.

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GLOBAL RESEARCH CANADA
Western Media Report New Syrian Massacre as US Pushes For Military Intervention
 
by Finian Cunningham

13 JULY 2012

Here we go again. More high-flown Western mainstream media reports of “another massacre” in Syria – once again blamed on the government forces of President Bashar Al Assad.

The latest alleged atrocity occurred Thursday morning in the village of Tremseh, in Hama Province. CNN, BBC, Financial Times, Guardian, Daily Mail, among a clatter of Western media outlets, claim that over 200 civilians were massacred by the Syrian army and pro-Assad militia in what is said to be the single-biggest atrocity in the 16-month conflict.

The reports bear the same formula of previous massacres in Syria, such as in the villages of Houla and Qubair on 24 May and 6 June, when 108 and 78 people were reportedly slaughtered.

Strident headlines rush to accuse the Syrian army of the killings; but the text of the articles contains scant details that can be verified on who carried out the attacks.

A recurring feature is that all the reports rely on ubiquitous, unnamed “opposition activists” for their claims. A closer look at the individual media outlets’ sources shows a preponderant use of one or two news agencies, Reuters or Associated Press.

In its reporting of the latest massacre, Britain’s Guardian claims that there are many narratives coming out of Tremseh all saying the same thing, that it was the result of regime forces, and therefore this must be credible. The fact is that the “many narratives” that the Guardian is referring to are actually coming from the same source of unnamed opposition activists whose allegations are being relayed by one or two news agencies, which are then picked up and amplified by a plethora of outlets, such as the Guardian. This is not independent corroboration; it is simply repetition of unverified claims.

CNN, a multi-billion-dollar corporation, in its account of the Tremseh killings takes the standard of news reporting to a new low.

It reports: “Activists in the city of Hama told CNN that witnesses inside Tremseh told them by telephone that Syrian military forces had launched a full-scale attack against the opposition Free Syrian Army inside the town, which was surrounded by government tanks and artillery.”

In other words, CNN, a supposedly world-class news service, is getting its information third hand from faceless, unnamed voices down a remote phone line.

Typically, in the Western media reportage, buried beneath several paragraphs, comes the usual disclaimer: “We are not able to independently verify these claims”. But, by then, the damage of biased reporting has been done. The reader is liable to be inculcated with the headlined assertion that the Syrian armed forces have committed another atrocity.

Admittedly, these reports do give a line or two to the government version of events that the killings are the work of foreign-backed armed terrorists. But the government’s line is always put in quotation marks that imply “this is unreliable hogwash”. It is also telling that, despite the consistency of such government claims, there is no follow-up investigation by the Western mainstream media into what are alarming implications, that is that Western governments and their allies are supporting terrorist subversion in a sovereign country. That is a war crime on multiple counts.

All the Western mainstream media outlets claim that the village of Tremseh was subjected to hours of artillery shelling and fire from helicopter gunships. Then the unknown pro-government militia, referred to as Shabiha, are said to have allegedly moved into the village to kill civilians “execution style”.

This same scenario was reported for the earlier massacres at Houla and Qubair. Yet careful follow-up reports published by the German newspaper, Frankfurter Algemeine Zeitung and Russia Today, among others, have found that the perpetrators of such atrocities were in fact Western and Arab-backed mercenaries. This has been corroborated independently by Catholic Church sources and other civilian sources in Syria.

Another significant factor is the timing of these atrocities. The massacre at Qubair happened just as the UN/Arab League Special Envoy Kofi Annan was about to submit a report to the Security Council on violations of the 12 April ceasefire. The ceasefire was dismissed from the outset by Washington and London as being “flouted by Assad” even though the Syrian government had signed up to it and the violations being reported at the time were by the Western-backed armed groups. The West’s Qatari ally – and arms supplier of the opposition – Shaikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani said that the proposed Annan truce “had only a three per cent chance of succeeding”. Why was such pessimism expressed so confidently? Conveniently for the Western powers, a massacre allegedly committed by Assad’s forces should occur at that sensitive moment.

This latest outrage comes hours before another sensitive meeting of the Security Council members in which the US, Britain and France are pressurizing Russia and China to vote on a resolution that would pave the way for a NATO-style military intervention in Syria.

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The armed forces carry out “qualitative operation” in al-Treismeh and causes heavy losses among terrorists

HAMA COUNTRYSIDE- A military source on Friday stated that some of the armed forces units on Thursday morning carried out a “qualitative operation” in al-Treimseh town in the countryside of Hama province that targeted the gatherings of terrorist groups’ members as well as a number of their leadership’s whereabouts and dens which they used as a springboard for their criminal acts and a base for torturing kidnapped citizens.

The operation, the source said, came in response to the pleads of the inhabitants of al-Treimseh town who had been exposed to various forms of criminal acts at the hands of armed terrorist groups including acts of killing and terrorizing in addition to exploding a number of houses……

http://www.champress.net/index.php?q=en/Article/view/3991

Russia, China vehemently condemn al-Treimseh massacre against civilians in Hama countryside

MOSCOW/BEIJING_ Russia on Friday vehemently condemned the bloody crime committed against civilians in al-Treimseh town in Hama countryside, stressing that this crime serves the forces that don’t seek peace.

“Without anticipating the results of the investigation of the crime, on which we insist, we would like to stress that we have no doubt that this atrocity benefits the forces that do not seek peace but obstinately keep trying to sow the seeds of sectarian strife and civil conflict in Syria, and those for whom the grief and suffering of the Syrian people mean nothing, ” Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said.

He added that Moscow, with great pain, had received the news of this new massacre against the Syrian citizens who were shot point blank by unidentified monsters….

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KOFI ANNAN is often quoted in the mainstream media to support Western narrative on Syria. But he is quoted very selectively. To know what he really views is necessary to bring about peace in Syria, it helps to get as much of his original text as possible and to be prepared to read between the lines.

Annan to Syrians: Cease fire or face consequences

12 July 2012  RT

The UN special envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, has urged the Security Council to warn Assad and the opposition of “consequences” if they do not comply with the ceasefire plan. Meanwhile, the Western members and Russia came up with two rival resolutions.

UN news centre

Secretary-General, UN-Arab League envoy condemn latest attacks on Syrian civilians

13 JULY 2012
“I condemn these atrocities in the strongest possible terms. It is yet another reminder of the nightmare and the horrors Syrian civilians are being subjected to,” Mr. Annan said. “It is desperately urgent that this violence and brutality stops and more important than ever that governments with influence exert it more effectively to ensure that the violence ends – immediately.”
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WHOSE SIDE IS THE UN ON? 

07.02.2012

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey 

After reading the statement on Syria by UN SG Ban Ki-Moon, the notion arises that far from being impartial, the United Nations Organization is in fact two organisms – one, a humanitarian institution to pull the wool over our eyes and the other, to pander to the geo-political caprices of its master, in whose house it is a guest and a hostage.

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NEW YORK TIMES 
Syria General’s Absence Raises Questions on Defection
By DAN BILEFSKY and MAÏA de la BAUME
Published: July 12, 2012

PARIS – Nearly one week after the commander of one of Syria’s elite Republican Guard units defected, he has not been seen in public or tried to contact the opposition, raising questions about his motives and intentions, senior officials and opposition members said.

The mystery surrounding the whereabouts of the commander, Gen. Manaf Tlass, has dampened some of the enthusiasm that first greeted news of his decision to abandon President Bashar al-Assad. The United States and other governments critical of Mr. Assad pointed to the general’s departure as a promising sign that the Syrian government was cracking under the pressure of an unrelenting uprising.

At the time, the French Foreign Ministry described his defection as a “hard blow” to the Syrian government and said he was on his way to France. On Wednesday the Foreign Ministry had to concede it did not know his whereabouts. Senior Turkish officials said they, too, were unaware of his location, or even if he was in Turkey.

Friends who have been in recent contact with his family in Paris said that General Tlass planned to make a public announcement next week.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2012/07/12/world/middleeast/syrian-general-manaf-tlass-fails-to-surface-after-defecting.xml

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This link is to a critique of Democracy Now’s coverage of the Syrian crisis.  It should be noted that Democracy Now did present some of the recent interview with President Assad juxtaposed with an interview with an ‘opposition’ spokesperson.

“Democracy Now” and the “Progressive” Alternative Media: Valued Cheerleaders For Imperialism and War
by Finian Cunningham

The major Western mainstream media outlets have been running a “shock and awe” propaganda offensive against the Syrian government of President Bashar Al Assad for nearly 16 months. The misinformation has been unrelenting, monolithic, unverified, one-sided and, frankly, increasingly preposterous.

With the suppression of mounting facts that Western governments are waging a covert war of aggression in Syria, the Western public is right to treat the conventional media sources with skepticism and outright contempt. Such media are seen as “politicized” and “unreliable”, serving a naked imperialist agenda for Western regime change. In a word, they are damaged goods.

This is where a segment of the so-called alternative media can play a valuable propaganda function for Western powers. Because such media are supposed to be independent, critical, non-corporate, the public tends to consider their reports as objective and unbiased.  One such “alternative” news service is “Democracy Now” hosted by Amy Goodman. Goodman is seen as something of a campaigning critical journalist shedding the light of truth on the depredations of the US government, corporations and the Pentagon. But a closer look at what Goodman’s “Democracy Now” is reporting on Syria shows that the purported critical broadcaster has become a purveyor of Western government propaganda. While the mainstream media’s propaganda function is obvious to the informed public, Goodman’s Democracy plays a more subtle role. Camouflaged with the trappings of critical, independent journalism, “Democracy Now” serves to sow powerful seeds of misinformation in a way that the “compromised” mainstream media cannot.

This misinformation from “Democracy Now” is valuable to the ruling elite because to many of its readers it is not seen as misinformation.

Rather, the “news” on “Democracy Now” is viewed as reliable and representing the views of the anti-war, anti-imperialist constituency. In this way, Goodman is a valuable asset to Washington and Wall Street because her broadcasts can serve to disorient and undermine a constituency that is normally opposed to Western warmongering and imperialism. Many of the subscribers to “Democracy Now” may see through the misinformation. Many, though, may not, and therefore will become embedded with the imperialist agenda. The fact that Democracy Now ratings appear to be holding up would indicate that a lot of its followers are oblivious to the insidious effect of such misinformation. As such, Democracy Now is more valuable to the powers-that-be than, say, the New York Times or the Financial Times. “Democracy Now” ensures that the agenda of the powerful becomes infiltrated in a constituency that would otherwise be opposed to that agenda…..

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DANGEROUS PARTNERSHIP: Private Military and Security Companies and the UN

The United Nations is increasingly hiring Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs) for a wide array of security services. The UN’s leadership says these services are needed to protect the organization’s staff and worldwide operations from growing threats and unprecedented dangers. But many reports from governments, NGOs and the media have shown how PMSCs have committed serious human rights abuses, killed or injured innocent civilians, engaged in financial malfeasance and committed many other breaches of the law. Given the track record of these companies, serious questions arise as to whether PMSCs are appropriate UN partners for the complex task of creating a secure, just and lawful world.

http://www.globalpolicy.org/images/pdfs/GPF_Dangerous_Partnership__Executive_Summary.pdf

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SYRIAN BLOGGER AND REPORTER MAYA NASER

Sanctions hurt ordinary Syrians

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/07/13/250643/sanctions-hurt-ordinary-syrians/

4 July 13, 2012  HOMS, THE UNDERWORLD CITY

http://syriapolitics.blogspot.com.au/2012/07/part-i-homs-underworld-city.html

8 JULY

Damascus, Syria

Maya Naser wrote:

To begin my article, I’d like to ask my readers to examine the following paragraph quoted from the National newspaper.

“CAIRO // An Egyptian university student was fatally stabbed as his girlfriend looked on after three suspected Islamic militants confronted the couple in a park and said they should not be together if they were not married, security officials said yesterday.”

Syria; the Cradle of Contradictions

In Syria we are the result of a Maroni marriage of a Mediterranean cultures, our society can be described as anything except being one color community, or even two… we have the Muslims of all cults and factions (Sunni with at least 4 factions, Shiia, Alawites with at least 3 factions, Ismaili, Murchidis, Druze…), Christians are no exception when it comes to Syria, (Maronites, Jacobins, Nestorians, Protestant. Catholics, Romans…)

In my country, you can’t kill two people for walking in the street under Shria law, unless of course you divided the state into cantons and separated communities the same as the west did in Lebanon, or displace all the Christians and other Muslim minorities into other states, similar to the Iraqi case.

In my country; most of us still enjoy dancing, singing, gatherings, and discussing life matters of all kinds without killing each other or expiation each other.

So far; all attempts to transform Syria to another Iraq, or Libya or even Saudi Arabia have failed, and no matter how much the west sends Al Qaeda fighter to my country, apparently we will continue enjoying our life and I will keep holding my girlfriend’s hands in the streets, I will not be anyone but this Syrian Man who shares his life with Syrians no matter what gender or religion they are.

http://syriapolitics.blogspot.com.au/2012/07/syria-cradle-of-contradictions.html

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A report by the German writer who interviewed President Assad.  In this piece, he refers to visits to hotspots in Syria and interviews with ‘rebels’.

Report by Jurgen Todenhofer, a German journalist in Syria.

Syria: The rebels of the Syrian city Homs

Syria in April. Omar is a rebel of the “Free Syrian Army” (FSA). My son Frederic and I have met him in a dark back room in Damascus. On 27 February, he fled with his comrades from Baba Amr, the district of Homs, which was their stronghold for months. He wants to return to Homs. In order to avenge his younger brother, who has died in his arms.

Omar had joined the rebels early. He has seen how the army had fired on peaceful demonstrators. Even children were killed. Not specifically, but that doesn´t matter. He estimates the number of his comrades in Baba Amr to about 2000. Ten percent were deserters. Also Frenchmen, British, Americans and Iraqis were there. As consultants and trainer.

I have asked him about the open letter of “Human Rights Watch” (HRW), which accuses the rebels of torture, taking hostages and killing of Syrian civilians. Omar replied that the FSA only kidnaps people, to have a tool for pressure to demand the release of prisoners.

They normally do not kill civilians, but only traitors. You will not be tortured, but “hard interrogated”. Once they are convicted, they are executed. In his presence, 20 Alawite collaborators were “executed”.  By headshot or by the cutting through the throat.

Although he had heard from relatives that Assad still has 50 to 60 percent behind him in the rest of the country. But he does not care about the majority.  Assad is a man of Israel. He will always fight him.

http://www.juergentodenhoefer.de/presse/english-articles-interviews/

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INTERVIEW WITH PRESIDENT ASSAD 8/7/2012 (transcript and video)

 

Das Gespräch mit Baschar al Assad (englisch)

Jürgen Todenhöfer: Mr. President, members of the opposition and western politicians say, that you are the main obstacle for peace in Syria. Would you be ready to step down as president if this could bring peace to your country and stop the bloodshed?

Baschar al Assad: The president shouldn’t run away from challenge and we have a national challenge now in Syria. The president shouldn’t escape the situation, but from the other side you can stay as president, stay in this position only when you have the public support. So, answering this question should be answered by the Syrian people, by the election not by the president. I can nominate myself, I can run for the election or not run, but to leave or not to leave, this is about the Syrian people.

http://www.tagesschau.de/ausland/gespraech-assad-englisch100.html

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A very interesting article, which presents some of the arguments of those who believe that it is necessary to fight ‘the brutal dictator’ at home first even if this means an alliance with the “evil empire”.

FIGHTING THE BIGGER OPPRESSOR FIRST

http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/fighting-bigger-oppressor-first

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This is an article to pay particular attention to:

THE GUARDIAN

The Syrian opposition: who’s doing the talking?

The media have been too passive when it comes to Syrian opposition sources, without scrutinising their backgrounds and their political connections. Time for a closer look …

THE GUARDIAN article by Charlie Skelton 12 July 2012

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jul/12/syrian-opposition-doing-the-talking

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This is old news, but news which is remains relevant.

WASHINGTON POST

U.S. secretly backed Syrian opposition groups, cables released by WikiLeaks show

By Craig Whitlock, Published: April 18, 2011

The State Department has secretly financed Syrian political opposition groups and related projects, including a satellite TV channel that beams anti-government programming into the country, according to previously undisclosed diplomatic cables.

The London-based satellite channel, Barada TV, began broadcasting in April 2009 but has ramped up operations to cover the mass protests in Syria as part of a long-standing campaign to overthrow the country’s autocratic leader, Bashar al-Assad. Human rights groups say scores of people have been killed by Assad’s security forces since thedemonstrations began March 18; Syria has blamed the violence on “armed gangs.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/us-secretly-backed-syrian-opposition-groups-cables-released-by-wikileaks-show/2011/04/14/AF1p9hwD_story.html

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Syrian National Council in Moscow for first-ever talks

RT  11 July 2012

In an effort to pave the way for a peaceful resolution to the Syrian crisis, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met with the head of a major Syrian opposition group in the Russian capital.

It was the first time Russia has engaged directly with the major opposition movement, the Syrian National Council (SNC).

In the course of the two-hour meeting, Lavrov forwarded Russia’s position that the most effective way for the Syrian government and opposition groups to resolve their longstanding conflict is to follow the Annan Plan.

“By having backed the (Annan) peace plan, we confirmed a commitment (by both sides in the conflict) to immediately cease violence and enter into a dialogue,” the Russian minister said following talks in Moscow. “This will allow the Syrians themselves to decide on their fate.”

Seyda described his talks with Lavrov as “constructive.” 

“Moscow has put forth the draft that we will discuss,” he said. “We agreed to continue the contacts.” 

Meanwhile, the Syrian opposition remains adamant about not wanting to start a national dialogue until President Bashar al-Assad resigns, a position that seems to have helped perpetuate the violence in the Arab country.

 

http://rt.com/politics/syria-russia-lavrov-moscow-talks-912/

 

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THE AUSTRALIAN report below suggests mainstream media outlets are as irresponsible as ever in regard to reporting on Syria. The Australian via AFP presents the “Syrian Observatory for Human Rights” as a reliable source while eschewing serious analyses.

Reports say new Syria massacre has left more than 100 people dead.

 

From:AFP  July 13, 2012 8:33AM

SYRIAN troops using tanks and helicopters have killed more than 100 people in the central province of Hama, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says.

“Government troops bombarded the village using tanks and helicopters,” Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said, putting the death toll in the village of Treimsa at more than 100.

 

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/reports-say-new-syria-massacre-has-left-more-than-100-people-dead/story-e6frg6so-1226425059737

 


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A blog to recommend for those keen to research the media war against Syria:

  

SYRIA – THE MEDIA WAR 

http://syriathemediawar.blogspot.com.es/2012/07/syria-opposition-and-us-puppets-who.html

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Journalists and Family of Martyr al-Buni escort his body to final Resting place

DAMASCUS- Syrian journalists and the family, friends of martyr, professional cameramen in al-Thawra Daily, Ihsan al-Buni on Thursday escorted his body to his final resting place in Damascus.

Al-Buni was martyred on Wednesday by an armed terrorist group in Daraya, Damascus countryside while he was returning from his work to his house.

Al-Buni in his fifth decade, was a field cameramen in al-Thawra Daily.

http://www.champress.net/index.php?q=en/Article/view/3967

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Is Israel Inciting Genocide Against Alawites as Prelude to Creation of Kosovo-style Enclave in Syria?

By Maidhc Ó Cathail

July 12, 2012 “Information Clearing House” – Within the past week, fellows at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies have used rather unfortunate analogies to describe the plight of Syria’s besieged Alawite minority. The comparison of the Alawites to two of the region’s least popular interlopers in Arab and Muslim memory was hardly calculated to endear them to an already resentful Sunni majority.

Writing in the neoconservative flagship Weekly Standard on July 6, Tony Badran claimed:

Bashar al-Assad’s campaign against his Sunni adversaries recalls the strategy employed by the Crusaders, as invading European armies fortified themselves against various Muslim coalitions in the Levant, from the 12th to the 13th century. Indeed, the Crusader castles dotting the Western part of Syria may give us some sort of insight into the regime’s military thinking, and perhaps a preview of its future.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31838.htm#.T_6lplsWQWo.email

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Alain Juppé accused by his own Administration of having falsified reports on Syria

VOLTAIRE NETWORK | 22 MARCH 2012

http://www.voltairenet.org/Alain-Juppe-accused-by-his-own

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ASG’S COUNTER-HEGEMONY UNIT

RETHINKING THE WIKILEAKS’ SYRIA FILE

Disclaimer: I stand corrected; My comrades were right, the Wikileaks Syria File is very suspicious. This is what happens when you are pressed for time and you end up reading excerpts of a statement in the media rather than reading it in the original source…

First of all, I wasn’t aware mainstream media also had publishing rights to the files,I thought Akhbar had exclusive rights as was often the case in the past. So even if Al-Akhbar’s reports balance out the coverage, they will be drowned out by the information warlords who will play up the mails which “embarrass” the regime and downplay the others . Second, I didn’t see this: “WikiLeaks’ Sarah Harrison told journalists that the emails reveal interactions between the Syrian government and Western companies”. This better not be the only Western hypocrisy they are referring to. In fact this charge of “hypocrisy” derives from Empire’s hegemonic view that nobody should do business with the demonic Syrian regime.
Surely there are hundreds of thousands of documents out there which, if obtained and released, would expose the mega-conspiracy against Syria. If Wikileaks is pursuing genuine balance or neutrality in coverage, they should have focused their efforts on obtaining such documents and used them as a counterbalance to mails which expose the Syrian regime. This would constitute true balance between two parties to a conflict, not the publication of material which amounts to little more than an indictment of the West for not being more consistent in its isolation and sanctions policies.

And most importantly, how on earth did Wikileaks manage to amass over 2.4 million POLITICALLY RELEVANT mails from 680 different domain names and 678,000 individual email addresses over 6 years? How is that even possible? The State Department cables covered the entire world and only amounted to a quarter of a million….This isn’t looking good at all, though I am still hopeful some of the documents will incriminate US/NATO/GCC’s involvement in Syria.

http://resistance-episteme.tumblr.com/post/26637468789/rethinking-the-wikileaks-syria-file#.T_0X7Zvcw3l.twitter

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INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE

Syria, the United States and The El Salvador Option 

By Ibrahim Kazerooni and Rob Prince

July 12, 2012 “Information Clearing House” – Every day the news from Syria is more and more somber as the country and the region continue their journey to unknown and more dangerous realms.  Syria appears headed for “beyond explosion”, for implosion and NATO foreign military intervention that could result in unpredictable dangerous consequences.

The most recent news reports are alarming. A curious person asking about the situation would get the following predictable reply: Syria is on the verge of civil war; it is run by a ruthless leader that violates human rights on a biblical scale and needs to be removed so that the `peace loving’ Syrian people can live in harmony and tranquility and it appears the only way to achieve this goal is through yet another NATO-led military `humanitarian’ intervention under the auspices of the United States.

Stepping back from the official (and Fox’s) version of the Syrian analysis, and remembering a few historical facts, changes the picture considerably.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31826.htm#.T_0heFqUOoM.email

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INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE

Anonymous Group Says It Gave Syrian E-mails to WikiLeaks
By Kim Zetter


July 11, 2012 “Information Clearing House” – Days after WikiLeaks began releasing a trove of more than 2 million e-mails stolen from Syrian officials, ministries and companies, members of an Anonymous group have claimed responsibility for the hacks and document dump to Wikileaks.

In a press release published Saturday, a group calling itself Anonymous Op Syria disclosed that its members hacked into multiple domains and dozens of servers inside Syria on Feb. 5 to obtain the e-mails, which it then gave to WikiLeaks.

WikiLeaks began publishing the e-mails on July 5, working with several media partners outside the United States, but didn’t disclose its partnership with Anonymous.

In its intro to the e-mail cache, WikiLeaks indicated that they came from 678,000 individual e-mail addresses and 680 domains, including ones belonging to Syria’s Ministries of Presidential Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Information, Transport and Culture. At least 400,000 of the e-mails are in Arabic and 68,000 are in Russian.

The documents range from “the intimate correspondence of the most senior Baath party figures to records of financial transfers sent from Syrian ministries to other nations,” according to WikiLeaks.

The Anonymous team, composed of members of three groups known as Anonymous Syria, AntiSec, and the Peoples Liberation Front, says it had been assisting activists in Syria since protests began against the Syrian regime more than a year ago, and that the team worked round-the-clock shifts to hack the servers.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31815.htm#.T_0j5OGYDPw.email

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This CNN report shows CNN is not interested in good journalism, just in pressing a point.

CNN

‪U.N. report- Syrian children tortured, used as human shields

‪JUNE 2012

https://www.youtube.com/watcåh?v=Jd5Sni09HWM&feature=related

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This report of the recent meeting between Special Envoy Kofi Annan, Major-General Mood and President Assad is very informative.

alakhbar English

Assad and Annan: Back to Square One

By: Jean Aziz

Published Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Special envoy Kofi Annan and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met on Monday and agreed to initiate another ceasefire plan between the government and the opposition. The following is an account of what was said at the meeting.

The meeting between Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and the international envoy to Syria Kofi Annan on Monday began with the usual pleasantries. They were joined by the [Head of the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria] General Robert Mood and Annan’s political advisor Martin Griffith.

The international envoy began by indicating that he had followed the recent media appearances by the Syrian president, from the German television to the Turkish Cumhuriyet newspaper.

“It seems, Mr. President, that you are intensifying your media appearances in this period,” he remarked…..

….

Getting ready to leave, Annan asked his host, “How long do you think this crisis will continue?”

“As long as the [...] regime funds it,” Assad replied. But Annan was not surprised by the answer. “Do you think they are behind all the funding?” he inquired.

“They are behind many things that happen in our region. They believe they will be able to lead the whole Arab world today and in the future,” Assad said.

The international envoy concluded by remarking, “But it seems to me that they lack the population needed for such an ambition.” This made everyone laugh.

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RT

In search of peace: Annan arrives in Iran from Damascus

Published: 09 July, 2012, 19:31

http://www.rt.com/news/annan-damascus-talks-iran-740/

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RT
The following Russia Today article includes interviews with Syrian people expressing their fears for the future. It juxtaposes these interviews with announcements by Cameron, Hollande, and Clinton who attended the most recent “Friends of Syria” meeting.

Syrian opposition & Co – Freedom fighters or unrestrained criminals?

RT 9 July 2012
Since Syria first became embroiled in an armed rebellion, the West has seemingly taken on the opposition’s cause by consistently calling on President Assad to step down. But what will become of Syria if the armed rebels take control of the country?

Prominent western politicians have been advocating the interests of the Syrian opposition since the onset of the conflict, brushing aside the arguments of the Syrian government.

US intelligence operatives and diplomats have reportedly established contacts with Syrian rebels to help organize their ramped up military operations against President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

The CIA and the State Department have both been helping the Free Syrian Army develop logistical routes for moving supplies into Syria from Turkey and providing communication equipment, senior US officials have revealed.

Meanwhile, Turkey has reportedly been hosting units of the Free Syrian Army, providing material and technical support.

Saudi Arabia and Qatar for their part have admitted to paying salaries to the Syrian rebels for several months now.

And the desecration of Christian churches in Syria some two weeks ago was also linked to Western-backed rebels….

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It is interesting to juxtapose the claims of the outside opposition which supports the armed ‘rebellion’ and  military intervention in Syria with those of many commentators and analysts represented on this blog.  Below is reference to a 9 July DEMOCRACY NOW interview.
As well as the interview with an opposition spokesperson outside of Syria, Democracy Now presents some footage of a recent German reporter’s interview with President Assad.
DEMOCRACY NOW

Syrian Opposition Spokesperson: Any Transition Deal Should Entail Assad’s Prosecution for War Crimes

Monday 9 July
Amy Goodman’s guest is Rafif Jouejati, Syrian ‘opposition’ representative in Washington.

Rafif Jouejati, the English-language spokesperson for the Syrian Local Coordination Committees, a network of activists throughout the country. She’s based in the Washington, D.C., area.

Editor:  Note Rafif Jouejati’s response to the following question:

Amy Goodman, “Where do you see President Assad going and his family?”  Jouejati, “I would like to think that we will proceed with full prosecution at the International Criminal Court. I think the longer this issue goes on and the more violence he commits, the more likely he will wish to have a fate such as  Gaddafi’s”.

What can she mean?  Is it the ethos of the American Wild West which is determining the discourse on Syria in the U.S.?

The Wild West and the American Psyche, by Clarence Henderson

Moral simplicity: On the frontier you don’t waste time in existential debates about right and wrong. 

Link to Democracy Now interview:
FYI: An article by Rafif Jouejati, opposition spokesperson, in Washington
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Alakhbar English

Syrian General Manaf Tlass: Neither Here Nor There

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 NB: The BBC article referenced below includes some video footage of the press conference Kofi Annan held in Damascus after the meeting, as well as the German interview with President Assad (in English).

BBC NEWS MIDDLE EAST  9 JULY 2012

Annan holds ‘constructive’ talks with Syria’s Assad

UN and Arab League envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, has said he has held “very candid and constructive” talks with President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus.

He told reporters they had “agreed an approach” to end the violence, and he would share this with rebel groups.

The former UN secretary-general later arrived in Iran to discuss the crisis with leaders there.

On Saturday, Mr Annan admitted his plan to find a political solution to the escalating violence had not succeeded.

A ceasefire was supposed to begin in mid-April as part of his six-point peace initiative.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18764789

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‘Bloody bandits and Western lies: What’s really going on in Syria’

 RT  8 July 2012

Everything you’ve heard about Syria is a lie says Ankhar Kochneva, a Russian journalist who has seen first hand the realities of the Syrian civil war. Kochneva told RT she has proof a Western invasion of Syria will be launched by summer’s end.

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 This is a May interview with President Assad, but it wasn’t referenced on this blog in May, and remains relevant so is presented on this post.

We can’t win media war with West but it’s not battle that counts – Assad

RT 17 May 2012

The media war with the West was lost the day the Syrian uprising began, President Assad told a Russian broadcaster. The authorities appear ready to start another round by showing to the world the foreign mercenaries captured in Syria.

A number of key questions have arisen since Assad gave his last interview over half a year ago. Assad answered them all in a new interview with Rossiya-24 TV channel.

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Russia and Iran must participate in Syria solution – Annan

RT
Published: 08 July, 2012

Annan emphasized that western criticism of Russia and China was senseless “competition”, impeding a process which cannot move forward without international consensus. Annan clearly implied that there was “no alternative” to proceeding without Russia.

“The Russians, like many other countries implicated in this matter, have interests in Syria and the region. Once we agree in principle that there are also common interests, medium and long term, the question becomes: how can we protect these interests?” Annan stated.

Annan also alluded to governments around the world holding olive branches with one hand at the diplomacy table, but handing out aid and weapons to various sides in the Syrian conflict with the other.

“Little is known about other countries sending arms, money being spent, and the situation on the ground,” Annan said.“All these countries claim to want a peaceful solution, but they take individual and collective initiatives that undermine the resolutions of the Security Council.”

Washington has criticized Russia for selling arms to Assad, taking particular issue with a shipment of refurbished assault helicopters that was set to be delivered to Syria in June. The US, on the other hand, has continued to provide monetary “non-lethal aid” to rebels, which critics say is being used to buy weapons and arm the insurgency.

“Shouldn’t the countries [involved] find ways to work together to ensure that Syria does not rip itself apart, not spread problems to its neighbors, and to avoid a situation that creates instability in the region and for the world? Or will these countries continue on the path on which they have embarked, leading to a destructive competition in which everyone will eventually lose?” Annan asked.

“More than anything, we must think of the suffering of the Syrians and people of the region. I hope that reason will prevail, at least in regards to the defense of the interests of the concerned states. In this case, it is in the interest of Russia as well as other countries find a way to work together.”

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Military intervention in Syria would be disastrous for its people

Syrians opposed to intervention are ignored by a de facto alliance against the ‘Shia crescent’ between the US, Saudi Arabia, Israel and al-Qaida

by Sami Ramadani 

Sami Ramadani is a senior lecturer in sociology at London Metropolitan University and was a political refugee from Saddam’s regime

The Guardian 3 July 2012

……..But what goes unreported in relation to Syria is that democratic opposition organisations, at the receiving end of decades of regime repression and probably representing the will of majority of Syrians, strongly opposed the militarisation of the protests. They argued that militarisation weakened the growing mass movement for radical democratic change, left the door wide open for foreign intervention, threatened the social fabric of Syrian society and helped Israeli forces occupying the Syrian Golan Heights, where Israeli tanks are an hour’s drive away from Damascus. They also draw lessons from the destruction of Iraq and the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees who fled Iraq’s fires to Syria after the US-led invasion.

However, the media here and in the Arab world, especially the influential al-Jazeera TV, owned by the Qatari ruling family, act as the cheerleaders for the pro-intervention factions of the SNC and the FSA, founded in and logistically backed by Nato member Turkey.

All this sadly reminds me of the drums of the Iraq war and the media circulation of made-up stories peddled by Blair, Bush and pro-intervention Iraqi factions, while the anti-Saddam but anti-war Iraqiswere marginalised.

There was the WMD big lie of course. But also the lies that Iraqi soldiers tossed away babies from their incubators, and that Saddam usedpeople-shredding machines. Murdoch’s Sun newspaper editor boasted: “Public opinion swung behind Tony Blair as voters learned how Saddam fed dissidents feet first into industrial shredders”.

Those who want Nato to “humanely” intervene say that Syria is not Iraq. They are right, Syria will be much worse. They need to tell us what will happen to Syria’s 25 minority ethnic and religious groups, including the 10% Christians and 10% Alawites, if some of the Saudi-Qatari-backed bloodcurdling clerics come to power? Or to millions of Syrian women, who have immeasurably more rights than in absolutist Saudi Arabia? Or to the Iraqi refugees still in Syria?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jul/03/military-intervention-syria-disastrous-people

Another highly recommended piece by Sami Ramadani is one from 2007 about media complicity in the Iraq war. It informs about the current situation in Syria and Iraq, as well.

http://www.mwaw.net/2007/12/09/ramadani/  Media complicity in the Iraq War

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Everything They’re Telling Us About Syria….is False?

WhoWhatWhy | Jul. 8, 2012, 2:50 PM

Friday, we read in the New York Times and elsewhere about one of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s most important supporters and allies having defected. The impression one gets is that Assad’s government is in a state of collapse— and this gives credibility to those pushing for Assad to turn over power.

But what the media are not mentioning is that Brigadier General Manaf Tlass did not defect directly from the Assad inner circle. He had already fallen into disfavor early in the uprising and lost his command in May 2011—14 months ago. If you had that additional piece of information, you would interpret the news reports in a totally different way.

When a piece of evidence that contradicts the overall impression is absent from the reportage, the reportage itself is almost worthless……
Read more: http://whowhatwhy.com/2012/07/08/everything-theyre-telling-us-about-syria-is-false/#ixzz208DgeGn2

http://www.businessinsider.com/everything-theyre-telling-us-about-syriais-false-2012-7?utm_source=twbutton&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=politics-contributor

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DEFIANT PRESIDENT NOT AFRAID TO MEET SIMILAR FATE AS OTHER DEPOSED LEADERS

NEWS.COM.AU   AP 09 July 2012

…in the interview, the 46-year-old Assad who has ruled Syria since taking over from his father in 2000, accused the U.S. of fueling the uprising, saying that Washington ultimately bears responsibility for the deaths of innocent civilians in the Middle Eastern nation.

The U.S. is partnering with those “terrorists … with weapons, money or public and political support at the United Nations,” Mr Assad said.

“They offer the umbrella and political support to those gangs to … destabilize Syria.”

Mr Assad rejected responsibility of his security forces for the violence, claiming that “supporters of the government, the victims from the security and the army” far outnumber those among civilians.

Instead, he told ARD that an opposition made up of terrorists, gangs, “a mixture, an amalgam of Al Qaida (and) other extremists” is responsible for the violence….

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Kofi Annan attacks Russia and west’s ‘destructive competition’ over Syria

UN envoy calls for end to mutual recriminations and answers critics of his cautious approach in exclusive Guardian interview

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/06/kofi-annan-syria-destructive-competition

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FIDES SERVICE

2012-07-10

ASIA/SYRIA – Towards Reconciliation: more than 300 fighters ready to surrender in Homs

Homs (Agenzia Fides) – More than 300 fighters in the various armed factions of the Syrian opposition in Homs have agreed to surrender, to come under the protection of the interfaith People’s Committee “Mussalaha” and continue an “unarmed political opposition.” This is the result of a historic agreement promoted by the movement “Mussalaha” (“Reconciliation”), born spontaneously from Syrian civil society, which is gaining the confidence of all the warring parties, families, clans, communities, sectors of the government and armed opposition. The more than 300 armed are mostly young people who are barricaded in several streets in the old town of Homs such as Khalidiye, Jouret al shiyah, Qarabis, Hamidiyah, Bustan Diwan and surrounding areas, still besieged by the forces of the Syrian army. Overall, it is estimated that the armed fighters in that area of the old city are more than 1,000.
The Committee of “Mussalaha” in Homs, which includes the Syrian Catholic priest Fr. Michel Naaman, and other Muslim religious leaders and several civil society leaders and community representatives, after a lengthy mediation effort, managed to achieve something unthinkable until yesterday. “The 300 young people ready to lay down arms are young teenagers who had decided to fight, due to the spirit and ideals of the revolution. Among them are relatives, children, friends, people that are part of Mussalaha and this has greatly facilitated dialogue and agreement. They are the children of the Syrian people,” the priest of Homs told Fides. ….

http://www.fides.org/aree/news/newsdet.php?idnews=31895&lan=eng

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President al-Assad to Cumhuriyet Newspaper: Base of Syrian-Turkish Relations is the Relation between the two Peoples

Jul 03, 2012
Damascus, (SANA) - The Cumhurieyt Turkish daily today published part of an interview it conducted with H.E. President Bashar al-Assad about the events in Syria and regional and international developments. A group of Turkish media, including Cumhurieyt, represented by Utku Cakirozer, Kanal D, CNN Turk and Posta newspaper, represented by Mehmet Ali Birand, and Hurriyet newspaper represented by Ertugrul Ozkok, and Radikal newspaper represented by Fehim Tastekin, and Haberturk newspaper represented by Amberin Zaman, requested interviews with President al-Assad. Based on Syria’s policy of opening up to the mass media, it was agreed to grant an interview to the abovementioned media organs. However, four of the representatives of these organs were not able to come to Syria to conduct the interview after they were contacted by the director of the office of the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, asking them not to conduct the interview.

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Syria should not be isolated from the rest of the world and from history.  Occasionally it is important for there to be reminders of events elsewhere in the world to put what is happening in Syria into a broader context.

For example…..

U.S. Helicopter Strike Blasts an Afghan Man to Pieces… As The Pilot Sings ‘Bye, Bye Miss American Pie’
By Daniel Bates

July 06, 2012 —- It is the horrific moment an Afghan man is blown apart by a US missile.

But in a moment of twisted inspiration an American helicopter pilot decided to give it a impromptu soundtrack – by singing ‘Bye, bye Miss American pie.’

He belted out the most famous line of the Don McLean classic at the moment of impact when a fireball consumed at least one man.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31780.htm#.T_joPcJ7ep0.email

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Also…
Israel plans to be brutal in next Lebanon war 
 
July 07, 2012 01:34 AM
BEIRUT: The Israeli army said that it is preparing for the possibility of another war with Lebanon, one which it expects to be much more destructive than the 2006 conflict, according to Israeli media.

“The [Israeli army] is preparing seriously and professionally for another Lebanon war. The response will need to be sharper, harder, and in some ways very violent,” said Brigadier-General Hertzi Halevy in comments published Thursday by Haaretz newspaper.

Should another war erupt, Israel will “strike with full force,” Halevy was quoted as saying by YNet, adding that attacking civilian bases would be necessary because that was where Hezbollah placed its bases.

“We will have to go inside [Lebanon] and wreak havoc – not as punishment, but because that is where the enemy is,” he was quoted as saying……..

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Local-News/2012/Jul-07/179679-israel-plans-to-be-brutal-in-next-lebanon-war.ashx#ixzz20C2Ew2du
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

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Also..

‘Thugs, Islamists & chaos’ – welcome to New Libya?

Published on Jul 9, 2012 by 

After a national election marred by violence and boycotts, vote counting is now underway in Libya. The election marks the beginning of a new, weak Libya, political analyst Richard Spencer told RT. Official results for the historic parliamentary election are not expected to be released for about a week, but the country’s liberal Islamic coalition has already claimed an overall lead, contradicting predictions that hardline Islamist parties would sweep the poll.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uUUmGG2r_w

Furthermore…

Bombing Cambodia – Nixon, Kissinger, and the Khmer Rouge

John Pilger introduces the bombing of Cambodia: illegal and secret US bombing of a country back to the Stone Age.
Link below:  Youtube – images related to US involvement in the Vietnam War and the anti-war protests back in America.  The ‘revolution’ was a response to the war and U.S. aggression; it was not a war.
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Going Rogue: America’s Unconventional Warfare in the Middle East
by Sharmine Narwani  5 July 2012

“The intent of U.S. [Unconventional Warfare] UW efforts is to exploit a hostile power’s political, military, economic, and psychological vulnerabilities by developing and sustaining resistance forces to accomplish U.S. strategic objectives…For the foreseeable future, U.S. forces will predominantly engage in irregular warfare (IW) operations.”

So begins the 2010 Unconventional Warfare (UW) Manual of the US Military’s Special Forces. The manual attached here (TC 18-01) is an interim publication, developed to address the definition of Unconventional Warfare and some other inconsistencies in UW Doctrine. The new UW document (ATP 3-05.1) is in the initial draft and not yet available, though sources tell me it is unlikely to differ much from TC 18-01.

But most of us have not had the pleasure of leafing through this truly revelatory blueprint that shows how America wages its dirty wars. These are the secret wars that have neither been approved by Congress, nor by the inhabitants of nations whose lives – if not bodies – are mauled by the directives on these pages.

A quote from President John F. Kennedy in 1962 opens the document. These few lines illustrate a core Washington belief that US forces have the right to destabilize, infiltrate, assassinate, subvert – all in service of questionable foreign policy objectives, with no evident consideration of a sovereign state’s preparedness or desire for change:

There is another type of warfare—new in its intensity, ancient in its origin—war by guerrillas, subversives, insurgents, assassins; war by ambush instead of by combat, by infiltration instead of aggression, seeking victory by eroding and exhausting the enemy instead of engaging him. It preys on unrest.

Target: Middle East

The Bush Doctrine paved the way for the mainstreaming of unconventional warfare by establishing the principle of pre-emptive actions against a state that may one day pose a threat to American interests. It didn’t offer any specific criteria to gauge those threats, nor did it attempt to explain why anyone outside the United States should be held accountable for US “interests” – be they commercial, security or political.

The doctrine went largely unchallenged, and has been played out with disastrous results throughout the Middle East in the past decade. The prime targets of UW have traditionally been nations and groups that oppose US primacy in the region – mainly the Resistance Axis consisting of Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas – but UW has been carried out to some degree in virtually any nation where this Axis carries some influence.

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Wikileaks Syria Emails – NATO’s Final Media Card

Wikileaks Syria Files have been introduced on this page below. However, more responses and relevations will appear over coming weeks and months, so some of those will be presented as they are brought to the editor’s attention.

The link below is to a response from “Syria Girl”.

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IF THE US LOSES SYRIA, THE US LOSES ITS EMPIRE

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31781.htm#.T_djIC8XU5Q.email

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6 July 2012  A protest letter to Amnesty regarding its double standards and an official response from Amnesty International

http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2012/emersberger060712.html

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Syria Debate: “Should there be military intervention in Syria” Melbourne June 14 2012.  Participants include Arthur Dent (formerly Albert Langer), two members of Australians for Syria, a member of the Syrian opposition in Australia, and a Melbourne University philosophy teacher.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0CknF9II1U&feature=youtu.be

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On 6 July, the UN issued another report on the crisis in Syria.  It is interesting for what it fails to mention. For example, the arming of fighters in Syria by Saudi Arabia and Qatar; the use of Turkey as a base; the training of fighters by the CIA; the recent massacres – investigative reports point to anti-government fighters being responsible; the expulsion of over 50,000 Christian Syrians from Homs by Islamist militia; the use of children as human shields by the anti-government fighters (ref: BBC report of Navi Pillay’s press conference)

http://www.hrw.org/world-report-2012/world-report-2012-syria  UN Syria Report

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=42409&Cr=Syria&Cr1=

There was a link given on this page earlier to the press conference with Navi Pillay on 2 July. That link no longer seems to take you to the press conference. This is unfortunate as Pillay presented some contradictions in regard to Syria. There is the BBC report of one or two comments she made only:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-18684351

A short excerpt of Pillay’s presentation to press on 2 July. (It doesn’t capture the point she made about children being used as human shields by anti-government rebels).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7A6J6pMkyjQ&feature=youtu.be

There is a suggestion by a UN reporter in NY that Navi Pillay gets most of her information from the newspaper.

http://www.innercitypress.com/pillay1syrsudpal062812.html

For more on Navi Pillay and Syria, see link below to a March 2012  Al-Jazeera interview with her.

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/talktojazeera/2012/03/201232144352254346.html

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CHILDREN

A link to a video of a child brigade formed to defend ‘freedom’ in Syria. (Not clear if they are holding real or toy guns.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXuI00fzizU&feature=related

A reference to a young boy led away to join the Syrian Free Army.

http://syria-tribune.com/e/index.php/eye-on-the-media/18-daily-mail-child-soldier

Public Relations companies have been hired to promote war before today.  Could this be the work of one?  It is a fairly slick but simple video of a “Syrian Boy” calling for “Freedom” .  The boy presents the story of the killing of his brother and the returning of the body in a bag to the family.  Many Syrian Australians have been telling these stories for a year or more, but they point the finger to Islamist militias or ‘terrorists’ for such killings.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOM3VTc4_sY

The above video clip may have been inspired by the one below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdkNn3Ei-Lg  Jonah Mowry “Whats going on…”  (nearly 10 mill hits)

An interview with the mother of Sari Saoud, the young boy killed by armed men in Homs in November 2011, has already featured on this blog. It points to the targeting of children in Syria for propaganda purposes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDUF72f0w2s

A Syrian boy angry with Qatar and the emir of Qatar:

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Kofi Annan was interviewed by Le Monde on Saturday 7 July about Syria. It is one week since the meeting in Geneva and just a few days since the ‘Friends of Syria’ meeting in Paris, which Kofi Annan did not attend.  It is interesting to read in reports from different sources how much of the interview is quoted directly, what is quoted and what other material is chosen to pad the quotes and determine the line of the article.

The Sydney Morning Herald presented an article from The Guardian.

INTERNATIONAL divisions over Syria have been laid bare as Kofi Annan issued a blunt warning that world powers must end their ”destructive competition” over the future of the Assad regime even as Hillary Clinton demanded that Russia and China support the Syrian people.

Mrs Clinton, the US Secretary of State, used a conference of the Friends of Syria group in Paris to demand that Russia and China join the three Western members of the UN Security Council to pressure Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over a conflict that has left 15,000 dead and is inflaming the wider region.

But Mr Annan, the UN envoy to Syria who conspicuously stayed at his Geneva headquarters and sent two deputies to Paris, said the bickering had to stop.

http://www.smh.com.au/world/annan-calls-for-halt-in-bickering-over-syria-20120707-21nz1.html#ixzz1zzorhaQL

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ARTICLES OF INTEREST (editing on this section to be completed soon):

http://www.infowars.com/shocking-videos-reveal-truth-behind-syrian-freedom-fighters/  Info Wars: Shocking videos reveal truth behind Syrian Freedom fighters

http://english.al-akhbar.com/blogs/sandbox/homs-opposition-al-farouq-battalion-killing-us   Homs Al-Farouq Battalion

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/21/world/middleeast/cia-said-to-aid-in-steering-arms-to-syrian-rebels.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all  NYT  CIA steering arms into Syria via Turkey.

http://counterpsyops.com/2012/07/07/wikileaks-syrian-files-obtained-by-flame-to-set-up-assad/  Critique of Wikileaks release of the Syria Files, with the press conference of their release.

http://www.rt.com/news/fsa-boycott-opposition-talks-syria-204/   FSA boycotts Cairo

http://www.rt.com/news/clinton-russia-china-syria-569/  Clinton says in Paris that Russia and China must pay a price

http://www.pslweb.org/liberationnews/news/majority-of-people-in-turkey.html   Majority of people in Turkey oppose government’s stand on Syria.

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A critical examination of the media response in the UK to the Houla massacre as well as to the UN Report released on Friday 29 June 2012.

MEDIA LENS  5 JULY 2012

Houla Massacre Update – The UN Report

By: David Edwards

In two alerts on May 31 and June 13, we noted how the UK corporate media system instantly found, not just the Syrian government, but its leader Bashar Assad, responsible for the May 25 massacre of 108 people, including 49 children, in Houla, Syria.

Numerous cartoons depicted Assad smeared with blood or bathing in blood. Just two days after the massacre, the Independent on Sunday’s front cover wanted to know what its readers were going to do about it:

‘There is, of course, supposed to be a ceasefire, which the brutal Assad regime simply ignores. And the international community? It just averts its gaze. Will you do the same? Or will the sickening fate of these innocent children make you very, very angry?’ (Independent on Sunday, May 27, 2012)

Quite what readers were supposed to do, other than gaze, was unclear. After all, one of the great triumphs of modern politics is the near-complete insulation of US-UK foreign policy against democratic pressures.

http://www.medialens.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=687:houla-massacre-update-the-un-report&catid=25:alerts-2012&Itemid=69

 

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Navi Pillay’s July 2 press conference at the UN is significant and should be examined together with other resources, particularly claims which have come from her office over many months. Are they consistent? Can they be trusted? Where is the support for them?  Who contradicts them and what support do they have for their counter claims?  Navi Pillay makes reference to the UN Report on Houla when questioned.

 

Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Syria (2 July 2012) – Security Council Media Stakeout

2 Jul 2012 - Informal comments to the media by Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation in Syria.

 

http://webtv.un.org/search/navi-pillay-un-high-commissioner-for-human-rights-on-syria-2-july-2012-security-council-media-stakeout/1719773329001?term=navi%20pillay

 

BBC report on Navi Pillay’s 2 July press conference

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18683208

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Australian academic and writer, Dr Jeremy Salt’s 4 July article from EURASIA REVIEW; it first appeared in PALESTINE CHRONICLE

 

Straight Talking: The Syrian Cauldron –

 

4 July 2012, by Dr Jeremy Salt

Tension between Turkey and Syria along their border is edging closer to flashpoint. Last week a Turkish air force jet was shot down after violating Syrian air space. The Syrian government said the plane was hit while inside Syrian air space. Turkey says it had already left Syrian air space and was hit in international air space.

 

What the plane was doing inside Syrian air space is another matter. Turkey’s President, Abdullah Gul, said it had ‘strayed’ off course. Other accounts suggest that it was there to ‘light up’ Syria’s radar system or test its missile defences. Turkey immediately sent troops and armor to the border and invoked Article 4 of the NATO Charter, calling for consultation with its partners in the alliance. They immediately endorsed the Turkish version. Hillary Clinton called the shooting down of the plane ‘brazen’ while William Hague thought it was ‘outrageous’, words, one cannot help noting, that they have never used to describe the missile attacks by their armed forces that have killed civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Libya. Another ‘incident’ might lead to Turkey invoking Article 5, the common defence article of the NATO Charter, which regards an attack on one member as an attack on all. War between Syria and Turkey would be then become war between Syria and all NATO members,  leading in turn to confrontation between the NATO/Gulf state bloc on one hand and Russia, China, Iran and their allies on the other…..

 

http://www.eurasiareview.com/04072012-straight-talking-the-syrian-cauldron-oped/

 

 

Report: Senior Assad general defects

Published Thursday, July 5, 2012

A friend of President Bashar al-Assad and a brigadier in his Republican Guard, was reported on Wednesday to have fled to Turkey.

If Manaf Tlas, whose father Mustapha was defense minister under Assad’s father for 30 years, were confirmed to have defected it would be the most high-profile defection from the inner circle of the Syrian leadership.

Several sources among the Syrian rebels told Reuters he had quit Damascus and a news website close to Assad’s security services quoted a Syrian official saying Tlas was now in Turkey.

The Syriasteps website, which quoted a “high-level security source” confirming his flight, also quoted a security official playing it down: “His desertion means nothing,” he said. “If Syrian intelligence had wanted to arrest him it would have.”

But a source in the exiled opposition to Assad, who said a relative of Tlas had confirmed his defection to him, said: “It’s a very important defection. His brigade is very attached to their general, so we can say the true defection has started.”

That source said Tlas had fled Damascus on Tuesday and was in Turkey en route for Paris, where Western and Middle Eastern sponsors of the rebel cause are meeting as the “Friends of Syria” on Friday. The French capital is also the home of Tlas’s sister, widow of a billionaire Saudi arms dealer.

http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/report-senior-assad-general-defects

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WikiLeaks publishing Syria emails as Ecuador says Assange charges ‘hilarious’

  • AAP
  • From: AAP
  • July 06, 2012 7:39AM
  • UPDATE: WIKILEAKS has begun publishing more than two million emails from Syrian political figures as Ecuador declares charges against founder Julian Assange to be “hilarious”.

WikiLeaks says it is publishing emails from Syrian political figures dating back to 2006 but also covering the period of the crackdown on dissent by Syria’s regime.

“Just now … WikiLeaks began publishing the Syria files, more than two million emails from Syrian political figures, ministries and associated companies dating from August 2006 to March 2012,” said spokeswoman Sarah Harrison.

The latest disclosures could illuminate the workings of the Syrian regime and its interactions with allies in the run-up to and during the 16-month conflict, which the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says has claimed more than 16,500 lives.

The first wave of emails released claimed Italian defence giant Finmeccanica continued to supply support for communications equipment to the Syrian regime after the unrest began in March last year…

…WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said in a written statement: “The material is embarrassing to Syria but it is also embarrassing to Syria’s external opponents.

“It helps us not merely to criticise one group or another but to understand their interests, actions and thoughts. It is only through understanding this conflict that we can hope to resolve it.”

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/wikileaks-publishing-millions-of-syria-emails-as-ecuador-says-assange-charges-hilarious/story-e6frf7jo-1226418507756

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WikiLeaks begins releasing millions of documents, emails linked to Syria regime

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says in statement that the released data ‘is embarrassing to Syria, but it is also embarrassing to Syria’s opponents.’

By Haaretz

July 05, 2012 “Haaretz” –  The WikiLeaks website began publishing what it said was millions of documents linked to the inner workings of the Syria regime on Thursday, amid continued sectarian violence that has torn the country apart for over a year.

According to a statement released by WikiLeaks, the more than 2.4 million files are derived “from 680 Syria-related entities or domain names, including those of the Ministries of Presidential Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Information, Transport and Culture.”

WikiLeak’s founder Julian Assange said in the statement that the released “is embarrassing to Syria, but it is also embarrassing to Syria’s opponents.”

“It helps us not merely to criticize one group or another, but to understand their interests, actions and thoughts. It is only through understanding this conflict that we can hope to resolve it,” Assange added.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31761.htm#.T_ZyfnVS0JI.email

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LAND DESTROYER

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2011

Wikileaks’ Assange: Defying Common Sense

by Tony CartalucciWhile there may be highly dedicated, honest, and upright people involved with Wikileaks, and certainly amongst many who believe in it, so would there be in any globalist plot where the vast majority of the people involved are managed through careful compartmentalization and disinformation.The corporate owned media releasing the Wikileaks publicly – do so with a great amount of spin, distortion, careful timing, and irresponsible representations. They are overtly and continuously abusing the cables in a globalist-serving manner. One must wonder why Assange, seeking transparency and to balance an equation he claims as unjust, has “partnered” as he calls it, with the very ones who have done the unbalancing and obfuscating of transparency all along.

http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com.au/2011/02/wikileaks-assange-defying-commonsense.html

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JULIAN ASSANGE, WIKILEAKS, SYRIA PAPERS, AND GEOFFREY ROBERTSON

Editor: Over many months, high-profile Australian UK based lawyer, Geoffrey Robertson has supported Julian Assange in his court appearances as well as in the media.  The political views of Geoffrey Robertson in regard to Syria and Iran are well-known as he is not shy to write and speak on both subjects.  Do they influence Julian Assange?

The GUARDIAN

War crimes: Charles Taylor now, Bashar al-Assad next  30 May 2012

Geoffrey Robertson

Wednesday 30 May 2012

Justice has a momentum, and as Liberia’s ex-leader is jailed, he’s certain to be followed by other despots

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/may/30/war-crimes-taylor-now-assad-next

Britain must end its sordid treatment of the Chagossian people now

by Geoffrey Robertson 8 June 2012

That the US could use the Chagos Islands to bomb Iran is another good reason why the UK must restore them to Mauritius

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/08/britain-end-sordid-treatment-chagossian-people

On Australian television, George Negus interviewed Geoffrey Robertson about Syria on 27 April 2011. NB: Geoffrey Robertson claims that pictures posted on Youtube by ‘activists’ are sufficient evidence….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZdy-kYOIQ0

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A critical response to Wikileaks’ release of the Syria Papers.

nsnbc – no spin news English

When “Wiki Leaks”. Assange Syria Papers: Cover-Up of the Continued Illegal War on Syria

Dr Christop Lehmann questions Julian Assange’s motives for publishing the Syrian Papers and wonders if there is a link between Julian Assange and George Soros.

…. A young US American soldier, Private Bradley Manning is getting a hold on the video and sends it to WikiLeaks. Wikileaks published the video, and if WikiLeaks was what it is claiming to be, there would have been two things that would have been very much different from how the related events transpired.

For one, private Bradley manning would most probably not have been arrested. For the other, if rather than directing all media attention on WikiLeaks, on the discussion whether private Manning is a hero or a traitor, attention would have been directed where it should have been, it is most likely that journalists world wide would have focused on having the shooter as well as the commanding officer sentenced for war crimes. But that is not so, and it is not so because WikiLeaks either has been established as a Western Intelligence Hang-Out-Function, or it has been co-opted and is being used as such….

http://nsnbc.wordpress.com/2012/07/05/when-wiki-leaks-assange-syria-paperscover-up-of-the-continued-illegal-war-on-syria/

For more articles by Dr Lehmann, go to http://nsnbc.wordpress.com or http://www.4thmedia.org/category/christof-lehmann/

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THE MEDIA WAR

Who killed Father Bassil Nassar?

Comment by Alan Lonegan on ABC Late Night Live page which refers to the killing of Father Nassar:

Ever since the killing on January 25th last of Fr. Basil Nassar I have been concerned at the way in which the crises in Syria has been reported. Gunned down in the street while helping a dying parishioner. CNN said he was the victim of the Government’s armed forces but his own Church confirmed that he died at the hands of armed terrorists. Following this I encountered the tragic story (as so many stories are on all sides) of the young Christian boy Sari Saoud, filmed by the “Free” Syrian Army as he lay dying in his mother’s arms and quickly uploaded to the Al Jazeera and Al Arabia the child death was reported as a victim of the regime. In interviews after the event the mother, aunt and uncle of the boy confirm he was killed by a rebel sniper and that if the army had been present her child would still be alive. I have long wondered how many more misreported deaths have occurred. Video of Sari’s story as told by his mother is here with subtitles http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIuWsV79Uok

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/latenightlive/mother-agnes-mariam/4105266#comments

A report on the killing of Father Nassar on a blog:

http://saintjamesprayforme.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/new-martyr-basil-nassar/

One report of Father Nassar’s death.

Syrian TV news of Father Bassel’s funeral (in Arabic) with interviews of people

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9JSTA7_ATo

Young boys at a rally in Melbourne organised by people opposed to the Syrian government wear the head-dress of rebel fighters and carry the photo of Father Basil Nassar. Presumably they want passers-by to assume anti-government ‘rebels’ killed him.  (Picture from Facebook page of local Melbourne opposition activist)

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WEEKEND EDITION JUN 29-JUL 01, 2012

“A Cowardly Escape From the Problems of Peace”

Syria Through the Looking Glass

by RON JACOBS

When wading into the ever muddied waters of the West’s never ending war against the people and states of the Middle East, it is useful to have some kind of mechanism if one is trying to find a bit of clarity.   The mechanism I prefer is that of history.  While not infallible, the fact of its existence tends to create a template of events that ultimately provides a sequence of events that, while often different, provide a context that makes sense out of what might otherwise seem to be random occurrences without connection.  When examining the history of imperial relations, the context is most often the ongoing attempts of the powerful nations to subjugate others.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/06/29/syria-through-the-looking-glass/

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Syria: President Assad is ready for the change

BY

JERRY DANDRIDGE

– JUNE 30, 2012 – POSTED IN: SIDEVIEWS

Interview with the German Middle East expert Günter Meyer about the situation in Syria.

Question: Do you think that an internal political solution is possible under the prevailing circumstances?

Mr. Meyer: After all, parliamentary elections, in which the people had for the first time the choice between several parties, have taken place in May. Although this information can not verify with certainty, they document, however, that there is still a relatively strong support for Assad’s reforms, especially in the cities of Damascus and Aleppo.

Question: The elections and the new government, that was set up by Assad on Tuesday are more than just pro forma reforms?

Mr. Meyer: In the election, various opposition groups were chosen, which have criticized the regime for years, and whose exponents were also in prison. Some of them have now received ministerial posts. I see this as a sign that Assad is ready to some political change. The fact that the radical opposition does not accept this, and that the Western media barely reports about this, is significant.

http://www.syrianews.cc/syria-president-assad-is-ready-for-the-change/

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‘Saudi Arabia fueling unrest in Syria’ 

Press TV  Tues 3 July 2012 

 

UN human rights chief Navi Pillay says the flow of arms into Syria is “fueling the violence” in the Arab country, calling for an end to the militarization of the ongoing conflict.

 

Pillay did not specify where the arms are coming from, but UN diplomats believe that Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been supplying weapons to the armed Syrian rebels.

The UN official claimed that the situation in Syria is “a non-international internal armed conflict,” the legal term for a civil war, saying “there is a risk of escalation.”

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/07/03/249203/saudi-arabia-fueling-unrest-syria-abroad/

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Paul-Craig Roberts, like US Congressman Ron Paul, is very critical of the US policy on Syria. (view his blog)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Craig_Roberts

Paul Craig Roberts (born April 3, 1939) is an American economist and a columnist for Creators Syndicate. He served as an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration earning fame as a co-founder of Reaganomics.[1] He is a former editor and columnist for the Wall Street JournalBusiness Week, and Scripps Howard News Service who has testified before congressional committees on 30 occasions on issues of economic policy.

Roberts is a critic of Israel, calling Gaza “the world’s largest concentration camp” populated by people who were “driven out of Palestine so that Israel could steal their land.” Roberts has been a critic of both Democratic and Republican administrations. Although Roberts praised Ronald Reagan, he has compared supporters of George W. Bush to “brownshirts with the same low intelligence and morals as Hitler’s enthusiastic supporters.” He has opposed the War on Drugs and the War on Terror stating it has “made widows and orphans of millions of Muslims”. He believes the official explanation for the events on 9/11 is a “scientific impossibility”.

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Wall Street Journal

 

Doubts Cast on Turkey’s Story of Jet

U.S. Intelligence, Contradicting Ankara, Indicates Aircraft Was Shot Down by Syria in Its Own Airspace, Officials Say

By JULIAN E. BARNESADAM ENTOUS and JOE PARKINSON

U.S. intelligence indicates that a Turkish warplane shot down by Syrian forces was most likely hit by shore-based antiaircraft guns while it was inside Syrian airspace, American officials said, a finding in tune with Syria’s account and at odds with Turkey.

The Turkish government, which moved tanks to the Syrian border after the June 22 incident, says the debris fell in Syrian waters, but maintains its fighter was shot down without warning in international airspace. Ankara also has said the jet was hit too far from Syrian territory to have been engaged by an antiaircraft gun.

Damascus has said it shot down the plane with an antiaircraft battery with an effective range of about 1.5 miles.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304830704577497081567553846.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

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How the Corporate Media is Snookering You on Syria

By Russ Baker

July 01, 2012 “WhoWhatWhy” –  For those versed in the black arts of propaganda, the hijacking of Arab Spring must be a beauteous thing to behold.

First came evidently spontaneous uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. Then some up-and-comer in Washington or London or Paris had a brainstorm, a new twist on a very old idea: if you can’t beat em, join em. Or even better, co-opt them, and use them for your own purposes.

The old way of getting rid of “inconvenient” leaders was so 20th-century—in the case of Saddam Hussein, a monstrous lie followed by a massive bloodletting on both sides. Tahrir Square suggested how to bring down a regime in a manner far less costly and far more palatable to the public: lots of medium-sized and little lies, war through Twitter, war through expendable proxies. Provide financial incentives to key figures to publicly renounce the old leadership, create a steady stream of heart-rending moments and photos and allegations, generate endless “human rights violations” by baiting the government into a military response, then very publicly petition international bodies for redress of humanitarian concerns.

Muammar Qaddafi, a fiercely independent, quasi-socialistic African transnationalist, was the guinea pig. A brilliant disinformation campaign isolated him, authentic domestic grievances were encouraged, and a whole war was conducted on behalf of the West with nary a Western soldier putting boots to ground…….

Russ Baker. For more than two decades I have been an investigative journalist, doing what I believe journalists are supposed to do – provide information crucial to a well-informed citizenry in democracy. Over the years, however, I have noted a growing gap between what I have uncovered and what I see reported elsewhere. I have become exasperated with what I do not hear, the questions never asked and the stories never told. whowhatwhy.com

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31745.htm#.T_KPZ_FWRU0.email

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Does Israel Really Fear Jihad Terrorism from a Post-Assad Syria?

By Maidhc Ó Cathail

June 29, 2012 “Information Clearing House” — According to an article yesterday in Ynet, the Israeli military fears that “global Jihad terrorists will launch attacks from Syria” if President Bashar Assad’s regime falls. The Israeli newspaper reported:

Army officials are not ruling [sic] a situation whereby terrorists will take advantage of the chaos that may follow a regime change in Damascus to seize control of the border region, as was the case in the Sinai Peninsula after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was overthrown.

Over the past few months the 36th Armored Division (Ga’ash), which is in charge of security along the border, has been gearing for a number of possible scenarios, including a cross-border attack by global jihad, which is operating in Syria against Assad’s regime.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31727.htm#.T_KC178WWUg.email

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NATO Proxies Turkey and Saudi Arabia Move to War Footing on Eve of Syrian ‘Peace Summit’

By Finian Cunningham

June 29, 2012Information Clearing House” – The NATO-backed covert aggression against Syria could be reaching a tipping point for all-out war involving state forces. That should be no surprise. For the past 16 months, NATO and its regional proxies have been steadily increasing the violence and turmoil inside and outside Syria, while the Western corporate-controlled media maintain the ridiculous fiction that the bloody chaos is largely due to the government forces of President Bashar Al Assad cracking down on “peaceful protesters”.

Ironically, the crisis is culminating at the same time that the United Nations convenes an emergency summit on Syria in Geneva this weekend. The meeting, which is ostensibly aimed at “reviving the Kofi Annan peace plan”, will be attended by the five permanent members of the UN security council and other “invited” regional states. The irony is that leading NATO members, the US, Britain and France, as well as their Turkish and Arab allies who will also be attending the crisis conference, are the very parties that have deliberately created the precipice for all-out war in the Middle East.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31729.htm#.T_KB09sGVJc.email

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‘Israel: master of puppets in Syria unrest’

Published on Jul 2, 2012 by ravenise00

Israel is the “ultimate outside power” that is behind the Syrian crisis and foreign countries’ pushes to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government, says an analyst.

The assertion comes as the foreign ministers of Russia, China, Britain, France, Turkey, Qatar, Kuwait, and Iraq, as well as the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, the Arab League Secretary-General, Nabil El-Araby, and the secretary of state of the United States attended a meeting on the situation in Syria at the United Nations office in Geneva on Saturday.

Press TV has conducted an interview with political commentator Mark Dankof to further discuss the issue.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPjdwhdEQt8

 

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45 minutes President Bashar Al-Assad interview with Barbara Walters from ABC News on 07-12-2011

The complete 45 minutes without Editing President Bashar Al-Assad interview with Barbara Walters from ABC News on 07-12-2011

The full interview, which was obfuscated to hide the reality of what the President Bashar
al-Assad talked with Barbara Walters ABC Channel broadcaster

NOW we present the FULL interview of President Bashar Al-Assad with Barbara Walters.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8P6860vIiA

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PRESS TV

‘Assad trying hard to bring about peace’

Published on Jun 28, 2012 by FullNewsTV

Three staff members of the Al-Ikhbariya satellite television channel in Syria and four guards have been killed in a “terrorist attack” on the headquarters of the television in the capital Damascus. The official Syrian news agency, SANA, said the assailants also ransacked the offices of the television station in the attack that was carried out during the early hours of Wednesday.

Press TV has conducted an interview with Haitham Alsibahie, with the Syrian Social Club, to further discuss the issue.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBtfWkMJ-ZU

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Two responses in the media to the final outcome of the Action Group Xinhua.net (China)  Action group reaches key agreement on Syrian-led transition
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-07/01/c_131687466.htmGENEVA, June 30 (Xinhua) — An action group comprising of world powers that met Saturday in Geneva has agreed upon a roadmap that ushered the way for a Syrian-led transition, to end the country’s 16-months’ long conflict.A joint communique after the meeting said that the global community wished to see “an end to the violence and human rights abuses” and that the Syrian people enjoyed rights to “independently and democratically determine their own future.”The meeting specified the steps and measures to secure full implementation of Special Envoy Kofi Annan’s call for an immediate cease of violence in all forms.The key steps for transition, as the meeting concluded, include the establishment of a transitional governing body that includes members of the present government and the opposition, an inclusive national dialogue process, and a review of the current constitution and legal system.Once the new constitutional order is established, free and fair multi-party elections for new government offices will follow, the communique said.The meeting also agreed that the political transition should comply with the aspiration of the Syrian people.Any political transition must offer a future that can be shared by all Syrians, the document said.The communique stressed that the future of Syria should give space to established and newly-emerging political actors to compete fairly and equally in elections.”This also means that the commitment to multi-party democracy must be a lasting one, going beyond an initial round of elections,” it said.The agreement was widely hailed as a major step forward toward resolving the crisis.British Foreign Secretary William Hague represented the five permanent members of the UN Security Council to welcome the outcome.”I think the result is a step forward, it is only a step forward but it is a step forward that is worth having,” he said.Foreign ministers of the Security Council’s five permanent members – Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States – attended the meeting, along with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and delegates from Turkey, Kuwait, Qatar, the Arab League, and the European Union.Representatives of the Syrian government and opposition were absent.In his conclusion remarks to the meeting, Kofi Annan said the international community has taken its cooperation to a stronger level, by being clearer and more specific and therefore have laid out a path that the Syrian people can embrace and work with.The special envoy at the same time cautioned about inaction that might destroy the fragile outcome.”Today’s words must not become tomorrow’s disappointments,” he warned, urging all relevant parties to start working immediately and calling for all Syrians to embrace what has been laid out and work together to stop the killing and build a better future.Though the agreement was built on more consensus and less divergence, some differences remain unabridged, in particular between Moscow and Washington.The rift was apparent when the two countries both gave their own interpretation of what have been agreed just minutes after the endorsement of the communique.The United States still holds pressurizing and subsequently toppling the government led by President Bashar al-Assad as its primary objective.”Assad will still have to go,” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, plainly expressing the United States saw no room for the current president and government in and after the transition.”The text also makes clear that the power to govern is rested fully in the transitional governing body which strips him (Assad) and his regime of all authority if he and they refuse to step down and leave,” she said.Russia, a long-time ally to Damascus, insisted that no changes should occur unless the Syrians first agreed, in other words, the process should be Syrian-led.”We consider it to be of key importance that there is no attempt in the document to impose upon the Syrian side any kind of transition process,” said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.He stressed that the process should not exclude the participation of any group, as was written in the communique, denying preconditions to the transitional process and the national dialogue.Related:

Crisis talks produce little hope for peace in Syria

 

http://www.smh.com.au/world/crisis-talks-produce-little-hope-for-peace-in-syria-20120701-21as7.html

WORLD powers have failed to reach a consensus on calling for the removal of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad from power, agreeing instead on a plan for a political transition with little chance of implementation.

The weekend meeting of nine nations in Geneva to try to end the bloodshed in Syria ended in a now-familiar division, with Russia and China blocking the rest from calling for Dr Assad’s ouster.

Kofi Annan, the UN and Arab League mediator who convened the action group, tried to put the best possible spin on the agreement, which calls for the formation of a national unity government that would oversee the drafting of a new constitution and elections. The agreement, he said, provided ”a perspective for the future that can be shared by all in Syria, a genuinely democratic and pluralistic state”.

But the plan appeared to lack support from either side in the conflict.

”The action group on Syria just gave Assad licence to kill for another year,” said Rafif Jouejati, a spokesman for the Local Co-ordination Committees, a Syrian opposition group.

A pro-government Baath Party analyst in Damascus, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the Assad government had its own plan for political transition: the previously scheduled presidential elections in 2014. ”This is the only way to solve the country’s crisis,” he said. Syria is a one-party state and its elections are widely viewed as neither free nor fair.

The diplomatic developments were marked by another particularly bloody day in Syria, as by one estimate more than 100 people were killed, most of them civilians caught in shelling, and opposition activists posted videos of mass deaths online.

The worst took place at a funeral on Saturday for an opposition activist, Abdul Hadi al-Halabi, in the Damascus suburb of Zamalka. A car bomb exploded, killing 20 to 50 people, according to activists.

The plan agreed to in Geneva essentially repeated Dr Annan’s earlier six-point peace plan, which had collapsed after both sides ignored it, leading to the suspension of a UN monitoring mission on June 16.

The new plan demanded that all parties prepare for a democratic transition that could include opposition figures as well as current government officials chosen by ”mutual agreement”. It is unclear what the new agreement can offer any of the parties to persuade them to stop fighting, and it included no enforcement measures.

The action group, which included the five permanent Security Council members and four Middle Eastern countries, had considered excluding from the proposed unity government those ”whose participation would jeopardise stability and reconciliation,” understood to be a reference to Dr Assad. That language was dropped from the final agreement after Russia, Dr Assad’s strongest ally, objected.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the omission would make no difference in practice. ”Assad will still have to go,” she said.

”He will never pass the mutual-consent test given the blood on his hands.”

In return for these semantic concessions, she said, the US and its allies had ”made clear to Russia and China that it is absolutely incumbent on them to make clear to Assad that the writing is on the wall”.

”What we have done here is to strip away the fiction that he and those with blood on their hands can stay in power.”

Russia, however, did not seem to see it that way. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said there was no requirement that Dr Assad step down.

”There is no attempt to impose any kind of a transition process,” he said.

NEW YORK TIMES

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/crisis-talks-produce-little-hope-for-peace-in-syria-20120701-21as7.html#ixzz1zPICqMtu

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/crisis-talks-produce-little-hope-for-peace-in-syria-20120701-21as7.html#ixzz1zPEoU9B1

 

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30 Jun 2012 –

Final declaration read by Kofi Annan, the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States on the Syrian Crisis following the meeting of the Action Group for Syria
William Hague UK Foreign Minister on behalf of the P5 member

http://webtv.un.org/meetings-events/conferencessummits/rio20-13-22-june-2012-rio-de-janeiro-brazil/press-conferences/watch/final-declaration-read-by-kofi-annan-the-joint-special-envoy-of-the-united-nations-and-the-league-of-arab-states-on-the-syrian-crisis/1714086833001

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30 June 2012  UN Webcast in Geneva: Kofi Annan answers questions after meeting of Special Group on Syria

http://webtv.un.org/meetings-events/conferencessummits/rio20-13-22-june-2012-rio-de-janeiro-brazil/press-conferences/watch/kofi-annan-the-joint-special-envoy-of-the-united-nations-and-the-league-of-arab-states-on-the-syrian-crisis-press-conference/1714099038001

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30 June 2012  UN Webcast press conference; Sergey Lavrov reports on meeting of Special Group and answers questions. Draws attention to refusal of FSA to respect Annan Peace Plan.

http://webtv.un.org/meetings-events/conferencessummits/rio20-13-22-june-2012-rio-de-janeiro-brazil/press-conferences/watch/sergey-lavrov-foreign-minister-of-the-russian-federation-press-conference/1714179474001

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30 June 2012  UN Webcast press conference: Hillary Clinton reports on meeting of Special Group and answers questions.

http://webtv.un.org/meetings-events/conferencessummits/rio20-13-22-june-2012-rio-de-janeiro-brazil/press-conferences/watch/hillary-clinton-united-states-secretary-of-state-press-conference/1714099043001

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22 June 2012:  UN Webcast press conference:

Briefing by the Joint Special Envoy for Syria and the head of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria

22 Jun 2012 - Mr. Kofi Annan, Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the Arab League for Syria

Major-General Robert Mood, head of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria and Chief Military Observer

http://webtv.un.org/meetings-events/conferencessummits/rio20-13-22-june-2012-rio-de-janeiro-brazil/press-conferences/watch/briefing-by-the-joint-special-envoy-for-syria-and-the-head-of-the-un-supervision-mission-in-syria/1702484353001

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June 2012 Reference List

Not all the articles or videos referenced on this post are from June 2012; however, they are all considered essential reading for an in-depth understanding of the current crisis in Syria. It is possible that some links which were on the May Reference List are repeated here. That may encourage readers to refer to the May page for more information.

The images on this page will include pictures of Syrians taken before the crisis so they may be acknowledged as a people with dignity, deserving as anyone of peace and the freedom to choose the destiny for their country themselves.  Syrians will not be the victims of others.

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http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31712.htm#.T-q4ISyb67Y.email

The Evil of Humanitarian Wars

Iraq, Libya, Syria: We have no right to play God

By Jonathan Cook 


Few can doubt that Syria is next on the West’s hit list. And this time, the script-writers in Washington seem to believe that the task of turning a functioning, if highly repressive, state into a basket case can be achieved without the West’s hand being visible at all. This time the white hat has been assigned to our allies, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, who, according to the latest reports, are stoking an incipient civil war not only by arming some among the rebels but also by preparing to pay them salaries too, in petro-dollars.

The importance to Western governments of developing more “complex” narratives about intervention has been driven by the need to weaken domestic opposition to continuing Middle East wars. The impression that these wars are being inspired and directed exclusively from “inside”, even if by a heterogeneous opposition whose composition remains murky to outsiders, adds a degree of extra legitimacy; and additionally, it suggests to Western publics that that the cost in treasure and casualties will not be born by us.


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COUNTERPUNCH

JUNE 27 2012

What Did Turkey Think Syria Would Do?

Syria and the Phantom

by CONN HALLINAN

What was that Turkish F-4 Phantom II up to when the Syrians shot it down?

Ankara said the plane strayed into Syrian airspace, but quickly left and was over international waters when it was attacked, a simple case of carelessness on the part of the Turkish pilot that Syrian paranoia turned deadly.

But the Phantom—eyewitnesses told Turkish television that there were two aircraft, but there is no official confirmation of that observation—was hardly on a Sunday outing. According to the Financial Times, Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, told the newspaper “the jet was on a test and training mission focused on Turkey’s radar defense, rather than Syria.”

Translation: the F-4 was “lighting up” a radar net. It is a common—if dangerous and illegal—tactic that allows one to probe an opponent’s radar system. Most combat radar is kept in a passive mode to prevent a potential enemy from mapping out weaknesses or blind spots that can be useful in the advent of an attack. The probes also give you valuable information on how to neutralize anti-aircraft guns and ground to air missiles.

“Lighting up” radar was what the US Navy EP-3E Aries II was doing near China’s Hainan Island when it collided with a Chinese interceptor in 2001. Nations normally take a very dim view of warplanes entering their air space, particularly if there is tension between the countries involved….

 

Even if Syria identified the plane as a Phantom, they could have taken it for an Israeli craft. Israel was the number one foreign user of F-4s, although they retired them in 2004. Indeed, the Turkish Phantom might even have begun life as an Israeli warplane.

If the Syrians are on hair-trigger alert, one can hardly blame them. The US, the European Union (EU), and NATO openly admit they are gunning to bring down the Assad regime.  Turkey is actively aiding the Free Syrian Army organize cross-border raids into Syria, and it is helping Saudi Arabia and Qatar….

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UN Webcast 15 June Major-General Robert Mood (Head of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria) – (part 2 & 3) Questions and Answers from the Press on Syria 
Major-General Mood says it is important to have reporters on the ground in Syria so there is reporting  which can take note of the complexity and nuances.  He speaks of the many agendas involved in the Syrian crisis, which makes it very complicated.  He makes it clear that which parts of his reports are disclosed to the public is up to the UN offices in NY and Geneva.  He explains that the mission is solidly committed to the welfare of the Syrian people, and he urges “those with weapons to prove that they have that agenda as well ,and to take their fingers off the triggers”.   He states that from the sophistication of the bombings in Damascus etc it is possible to conclude that a ‘third  party’ is involved.  Syrians make it clear to him it is a Syrian problem that has to be solved by Syrians. Those feeding the violence with more arms must stop.  He continues that “We shouldn’t focus too much all the time on weapons.” The issue to address is the attitude of the human beings using the weapons.
UN Webcast 19 June 2012 Dr Bashar Jaafari, Syrian Ambassador to the UN responds to Major – General Mood’s report to the UN on Syria (General Mood is the head of the UN observers in Syria)
UN Webcast 22 June 2012 Briefing by the Joint Special Envoy for Syria (Kofi Annan) and the head of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (Major-General Robert Mood)
UN Webcast 30 May 2012 Dr Bashar Jaafari, Syrian Ambassador to the UN  presents some of the results of the  preliminary investigation into the Houla massacre.
UN Webcast 30 May 2012 SUSAN RICE U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N. SPEAKS AT UN ABOUT SYRIA  - The scenarios for Syria 
UN Webcast 7 June Susan Rice at the UN on Syria and the Annan Plan
UN Webcast 7 June Vitaly I. Churkin (Russian Federation) on Syria – Security Council Media Stakeout 

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THE DAILY BEAST

SYRIA’S PROPAGANDA CLOUD: HOW THE WEST IS FALLING FOR MISINFORMATION

by Riad al-Khouri 22 JUNE 2012

Having just returned from Syria a few days ago, I can confirm that the situation on the ground there is very disturbing, though perhaps not in the way that many might assume. As it stands, the government remains in control over most of the country—including the economy—despite the best efforts of propagandists to say otherwise. Yet if the Syrian economy worsens, and if the crisis there comes to involve more and more groups—both inside and outside the country—there is a growing possibility that what started as a conflict between the Syrian government and a ragtag group of rebels will become a powder keg that could escalate into a regional war and possibly even an international confrontation………These days, unfortunately, this oversimplification is all that seems to make it into the newspapers or on the airwaves. The fatuity of 21st-century media and the blinkered ignorance of audiences, especially Western viewers and readers who are under the illusion that they are well-informed, mean that this circus of disinformation will likely continue. My message in this tawdry mess is for people in the West to be wary of propaganda (especially that coming out of their own countries), which is helping to escalate the Syrian crisis into this season’s geo-strategic summer blockbuster.

Riad al Khouri, a Jordanian political economist who lives and works in the Middle East, is a strategic adviser to the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/06/22/syria-s-propaganda-cloud-how-the-west-is-falling-for-misinformation.html

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“Floor Speech, Syria 19 June 2012″  US Republican Congressman Ron Paul speaks in Congress against military intervention in Syria.
Foreign Policy Journal “Ron Paul Speaks in Opposition to Intervention in Syria on House Floor”
 “We are already too much involved in supporting the forces within Syria anxious to overthrow the current government. Without outside interference, the strife—now characterized as a civil war—would likely be non-existent …… It’s time the United States tried a policy of diplomacy, seeking peace, trade, and friendship. We must abandon our military effort to promote and secure an American empire…..Falsely blaming the Assad government for a so-called massacre perpetrated by a violent warring rebel faction is nothing more than war propaganda. Most knowledgeable people now recognize that the planned war against Syria is merely the next step to take on the Iranian government, something the neo-cons openly admit”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsjAoJfmkuA&feature=related “War with Syria? Not in our Name”  Audio: Ron Paul speech in US Congress on 19 June 2012 Visuals: images of US soldiers.
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http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2012/martinez210612.html  Carlos Martinez, “Interview with Ammar Waqqaf Regarding the Crisis in Syria”   21 June 2012

Ammar Waqqaf is an independent Syrian political analyst based in England.

Q: Why do you think the western powers are so keen to see regime change in Syria?

A: Western powers would be fools not to exploit such an opportunity to turn a key regional player from an opposing side into an allied one.  Achieving such a target would seriously upset the current balance in the Middle East and lead to the total isolation and subsequent fall of Iran.  This would mean a long-term total grip on the region for these countries.

Such dominance is not only vital in securing long-term stability in the energy resources markets, but it is also important in beating competitor powers to such resources.

Q: Do you think that Syria needs political changes, and do you feel that such changes can occur under Ba’athist leadership?

A: I do believe that Syria needs significant political changes, or reforms so to speak.  As for whether they can be achieved under the Ba’ath rule, I can assure you that many would prefer this happening under a progressive secular party than under an Islamic or ethnic one.

The Ba’ath party needs much reform itself, as well, and it is its ability to carry out such reform in a meaningful way that would determine whether people would eventually entrust it with the much-needed overhaul of the political system in Syria.

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“Sergei Lavrov: On the right side of history”  HUFFPOST IMPACT 15 June 2012, / Russian Foreign Minister:   “Only by acting in this way we can keep the Middle East from sliding into the abyss of wars and anarchy and thus stay, as it has become fashionable to say, on the right side of history. We are sure that other formulas that involve external intervention in Syria – ranging from blocking TV channels that do not satisfy someone, to increasing arms supplies to opposition groups, to airstrikes – will not bring peace either to that country or to the region as a whole. And that means that those formulas will not be justified by history.”
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http://www.rt.com/news/lavrov-syria-exclusive-394/  21 June 2012  Interview with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrovabout Russia’s policy not changing and the helicopters shipped to Syria.  He confirmed that a Russian ship bound for Syria was carrying 3 Syrian helicopters that had been repaired in Russia.RTThe Western media this week has been frenzied about Russia sending warships and helicopters to Syria. How do you react to that?Sergey Lavrov: It was part of a campaign and not a very decent campaign, I would say.Brother and Sister*********************************************************************************************************************************************
http://www.rt.com/news/cia-officers-turkey-syria-378/Revealed: CIA secretly operates on Syrian border, supplies arms to rebels”   21 June 2012American secret service operatives are distributing illegal assault rifles, anti-tank rocket launchers and other ammunition to Syrian opposition, the New York Times reports. But due to some rebels’ links to Al Qaeda, the CIA’s task is precarious.The paper reports that for weeks now, officers based in southeast Turkey have supervised the flow of illegal arms to numerous opposition factions ready to fight the regime of President Bashar Assad. The only problem is some of the rebel groups have links with terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda, so the CIA mission must be careful not to arm proven terrorists by mistake.

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http://www.rt.com/news/syria-rebels-us-arms-028/

“Not ‘if’ but ‘when”: US intervention in Syria on countdown”  17 June 2012

“A delegation from Syrian opposition is reportedly in talks with US officials over the targets they want to attack to weaken the Syrian government and the arms they want America to provide to do it. A “Libya lite” operation in Syria may be imminent.

The unnamed US official reportedly said that “the intervention will happen. It is not a question of ‘if’ but ‘when’.”

The delegation from the Syrian Free Army is meeting with US Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford and the State Department’s expert on Syria, Fred Hof, according to a report by debkafile, an Israeli news website, which is considered to have strong ties with the intelligence community.

The Syrian rebels have brought with them two lists for American approval. One is that of targets in Syria they want to attack to hurt President Assad’s government. The second is a list of heavy weapons they need to carry out the attacks, which they want to get from the US, the report says.”

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The Independent “Tensions between UK and Russia soared over Syria – bound helicopters” by David Usborne 21 June 2012 “Britain came alarmingly close to a dangerous clash with Moscow when David Cameron was asked to consider giving an order to forcibly board a ship headed towards the English Channel carrying three Russian-made helicopters for delivery to the regime in Syria, it emerged today.

Any seizure would have been carried out by members of the Special Boat Service, SBS, the only military unit authorised to performing opposed embarkations at sea. The helicopters are believed to be the same ones that prompted US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, recently to berate Russia for sending military hardware to Syria.”

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“U.S. Implementing Afghanistan, Kosovo Models for Syria”  June 19, 2012 “Information Clearing House” — In a feature entitled The ‘Kosovo Road’ to Syria in The Gulf Today, a website based in the United Arab Emirates, author Hichem Karoui succeeded in identifying the template being employed by the U.S. to effect the overthrow of the Syrian government through the time-tested combination of supporting armed insurgents on the ground while plotting a concomitant air war.

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Rare footage from inside Syria of the ‘rebel’ fighters  Footage shot by David Enders May 2012 (14:36 mins)
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A letter written by 5 members of the US Congress dated 13 June 2012. The Congressmen express their concern that the US government is cooperating with individuals within the Muslim Brotherhood, an organisation which – they say the US government has established in a federal court – is set on destroying  “Western civilisation from within”.
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“Penny for your Thoughts”, a blog which asks the penetrating questions regarding news reports on Syria, the questions you would expect the best of investigative journalists to ask.
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Washington Times, “Christians feel vulnerable in besieged  Homs neighbourhoods”
Mother Mariam reports from Syria.  Link to Mother Mariam’s interview on an Irish radio station. “On June 8, 2012, Irish Radio interviewed a Melkite Catholic nun, Mother Agnes Miriam of the Cross, live from the Monastery of St. James at Qara in the Diocese of Homs, Syria.”  She refers to the expulsion of Christian Syrians by the ‘rebels’, or terrorists, as she prefers to call them.
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This ABC  BTN report for a primary school audience is very disturbing as it encourages a very simplistic view of events in Syria, denying the terror faced by the people of Syria.  It seems to encourage a people’s  ‘revolution’ and military intervention.  Unfortunately it is a reflection of the level of reporting and commentary in the mainstream media of Australia.
http://www.abc.net.au/btn/story/s3525259.htm  The Behind the News report on SYRIA CRISIS  19 June 2012
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RT report, 31st May “UN Commissioner report on Houla? But they only talk to Syrian opposition – by phone’   “The Houla Massacre is to be brought before a rare gathering of the UN Human Rights Council. But what kind of findings will be presented? Anti-war campaigner Marinella Corregia worries the HR commissioner talks only to its sources: the opposition. “
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“Set up to be shot in Syria’s No-Man’s Land”, UK Channel 4′s Alex Thomson June 8, 2012 “I’m quite clear the rebels deliberately set us up to be shot by the Syrian Army. Dead journos are bad for Damascus.”
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“FROM MISURATA WE CAME TO FREE SYRIA!” “Homs in the hell of armed groups” by Silvia Cattori , “Homs, now, is nothing but a sinister battlefield where government soldiers face armed groups which, according to independent witnesses about the true nature of the rebellion, are blindly firing cannon shots to sow terror and death, then pretending that only government forces are bombarding the city.” (an older article that has slipped into the June list. Still relevant.)
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“Wars kill people ….as do lies by U.S. and Western Interventionists”
by Michael Scheuer, June 2, 2012  “Washington’s threat mongering about Syria for a long time had to do with both parties’ readiness to earn campaign donations by towing the anti-Syria propaganda line put forth by Israel and its AIPAC-led fifth column of U.S. citizens….As the Syrian civil war lengthens and deepens as the result of the support of U.S.-Western interventionists for the Saudis’ funding and arming of the mujahedin already in Syria and those on the way there form other battle fronts, we will no doubt here more lies about the Syrian threat to the United States.”
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“New FAZ piece on Houla Massacre: “The Extermination” June 2012 . Analysis of Houla massacre with reference to investigation by a German newspaper’s investigation. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung ..”reported that the civilians killed were Alawites and Shiites. They were deliberately killed by armed Sunnis in Taldou, a town in the plains of Houla, while fierce fighting between the regular army and Free Syrian Army was taking place at checkpoints around the village. Our report was taken up by many media outlets worldwide and was rejected by many as implausible. We have therefore to ask four questions: Why did the world opinion so far followed a different version? Why does the context of the civil war makes the doubted version plausible? Why are the witnesses credible? What other facts support the report?”
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“Death Squad Coordinator Robert Ford Keynotes Amnesty International Annual Meeting” 31 May 2012,  “Between 2004 and 2006 Ford worked closely under US Ambassador John Negroponte at the US embassy in Baghdad. During his previous tenure as ambassador to Honduras, Negroponte devised and implemented the policy of funding and training death squads to combat leftist insurgencies in the region. In Iraq, Negroponte charged Ford with a similar task: funding and training militias to carry out sectarian violence aimed at a largely Sunni resistance. In late January of 2011, during the same time that the first protests in the country occurred, Ford arrived in Syria to serve as the newly-appointed ambassador. Since, violence has racked the country and Ford has been accused of recruiting and arming foreign fighters from the region to destabilize and possibly overthrow the Syrian government.”
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“Amnesty’s Shilling for US Wars” by By Ann Wright and Coleen Rowley 19 June 2012   The new Executive Director of Amnesty International USA – Suzanne Nossel – is a recent U.S. government insider. So it’s a safe bet that AI’s decision to seize upon a topic that dovetailed with American foreign policy interests, “women’s rights in Afghanistan,” at the NATO Conference last month in Chicago came directly from her.

Nossel was hired by AI in January 2012. In her early career, Nossel worked for Ambassador Richard Holbrooke under the Clinton Administration at the United Nations. Most recently, she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Organizations at the U.S. Department of State, where she was responsible for multilateral human rights, humanitarian affairs, women’s issues, public diplomacy, press and congressional relations.

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Russia and India Report “Syria: The price of Russia’s Support” February 14, 2012  Yevgeny Satanovsky
There is an Arab saying: “It is dangerous to be America’s enemy, but it is twice as dangerous to be its friend.” Flirting with Islamists will not bring anything but another 9/11, although their sponsors in the Gulf monarchies are demonstrating how “the Arab tail wags the American dog.”
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“Russia’s Diplomatic Solution in Syria – Defending Peace” 13 June 2012 By Thierry Meyssan  “ The nature of the Syrian crisis has changed. The process of destabilization that was to open the path for legal military intervention by the Atlantic Alliance has failed. Removing its mask, the United States has publicly announced the possibility of attacking Syria without the approval of the Security Council, as it also did in Kosovo. Washington must be pretending not to have noticed that the Russia of Vladimir Putin is not that of Boris Yeltsin. After being assured of Chinese support, Moscow literally fired two warning shots in the direction of Washington. The continuing violations of international law by NATO and the GCC threaten to unleash a global conflict.”
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http://www.just-international.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5548:the-next-revolution-islamists-in-tunisia-take-their-jihad-to-syria&catid=45:recent-articles&Itemid=123

“The Next Revolution: Islamists in Tunisia take their Jihad to Syria”  by

DOMENICO QUIRICO   18 June 2012  “

Yusef is set to leave for Syria to fight Bashir al-Assad’s unholy regime. Other young Tunisians have already joined the jihad, recruited in the city’s most radical mosques, and given a ticket to Turkey, along with directions on how to reach the army of rebels. “There are many other brothers: Egyptian, Libyan, Algerian,” says Yusef. Similar international Muslim brigades fought in Afghanistan, Iraq and Bosnia.

Yusef doesn’t look at us as he lays out his life story: poverty, the school, petty crimes to survive — and finally the revolution.

He is one among many other “ street thugs” from the slums who have kept the revolution alive in the streets, under the blows and tear gas. When asked if he is scared of a war which, at the end of the day is not his own, the boy suddenly comes to life: “ You don’t know anything,” he says. “Fear, courage… My strength is not in weapons. It is inside. I am an instrument. Muslims had become dependent on the things that you gave and taught us. This is our rebirth. How can we be afraid of a tyrant’s army? Don’t you see that God is helping us? God moved the Americans’ minds. The Americans are helping, arming and funding us. They are an instrument of the holy cause.”

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http://wrongkindofgreen.org/2012/03/12/argentinian-journalist-stella-calloni-denounces-avaaz-latin-american-unions-follow-her-lead/“ARGENTINE JOURNALIST STELLA COLLONI DENOUNCES AVAAZ; LATIN AMERICAN UNIONS FOLLOW HER LEAD” March 12, 2012  “You lie. You know that hundreds of mercenaries have entered Syria, and special operations troops (the worst and dirtiest within the armies of United States, United Kingdom, France, Israel), and what they have in mind with this story about repression is to do the same as they did in Libya, first sending in these groups and mercenaries to create ‘focus’, so as to later say, when the government under attack defends itself, this it is attacking a rebellious people. You lie, as did Goebbles, who now looks small next to you. …..”

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http://carnegie-mec.org/publications/?fa=48503 “Saudi Arabia Reins in its Clerics on Syria”, Frederic Wehrey, 13 June 2012.   “A column in the daily newspaper al-Jazirah obliquely condemns senior clerics who use their prestige and reputation to extract money from their constituents for uncertain purposes. It goes on to warn that “history will repeat itself,” citing parallels between the Syrian crisis and the Saudi experience in Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Iraq. There, ostensibly charitable donations proved a slippery slope for the recruitment of Saudi youth to fight in these conflicts and also ended up in the hands of al-Qaeda militants who later attacked the Kingdom.” …On June 7, (the regime) followed up on its ban on donations with an edict from the Senior Ulema Council that expressly prohibited calls for jihad in Syria outside of official channels. A clerical member of the Supreme Judicial Council asserted that support to the Syrian people had to be “consistent with state policy” and that unauthorized calls for jihad were an “embarrassment to the state.”

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http://news.sky.com/home/video/world-news/video/16246685  SkyNews “SYRIAN NUN TALKS OF PERSECUTION”  14 June 2012, Mother Agnes Mariam tells Sky why she thinks armed rebels were responsible for the Houla massacre. 
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2vRa-HkuXk  Youtube video: “Priest Basilias Nassar Killed by an Armed Terrorist Group in Hama” January 2012 The priest was killed while he was giving first aid to a man. 
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDUF72f0w2s  “Interview with the Mother of Sari Saoud” Uploaded Monday 11 June 2012. (Sourced from Syrian TV) Sari Saoud was killed in late November 2011. His mother was with him in a street near their home in Homs when he was shot. In this interview, she relates what happened. She explains that the people she believes were responsible for his death were intent on videoing her grieving over his body so they could send the video to Al-Jazeera. Al-Jazeera was very quick to broadcast the footage and claim Sari had been killed by soldiers.
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http://www.rt.com/news/syria-chemical-weapons-plot-532/  10 June 2012 “Syrian rebels aim to use chemical weapons, blame Damascus- report”. “The armed Syrian opposition has got their hands on chemical weapons, which they acquired from Libya, a media report claims. They allegedly plan to use it against civilians and pin the atrocity on the Bashar al-Assad regime.  The report by DamPress claims the opposition group in possession of the weapons is being trained in its use inside Turkey. No further detail on the alleged conspiracy is given. “
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Editor’s note: The following two articles are included to indicate the level of debate in the U.S.
http://theweek.com/article/index/229107/should-the-us-assassinate-syrias-assad  “Should the U.S. Assassinate Syria’s Assad” 12 June 2012  “Last month, President Obama vetoed a proposal by France and Saudi Arabia to wipe out Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his inner circle with a massive airstrike on Syria’s presidential palace, the Israeli intelligence siteDebka File recently reported. While leaving military intervention on the table, Obama reportedly said that targeting Assad would only “increase the carnage.” But the United Nations says thousands of Syrians have been killed since Assad’s military began trying to forcefully put down a pro-democracy uprising last year, and now observers say government forces are attacking opposition strongholds using helicopter gun ships. Is a surgical strike against Assad and Co. needed to end the violence?”
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http://www.inquisitr.com/252775/solving-the-syria-conflict-we-should-assassinate-president-bashar-al-assad-op-ed/ “Solving the Syrian Crisis: We should Assassinate President Bashar Al-Assad” 11 June 2012  “The best way to solve the Syrian conflict would be to assassinate President Bashar al-Assad. Harsh, yes, but consider this: in the last 15 months, more than 13,000 people have died in Syria in a bloody attempt to overthrow him, and any uprising by the Free Syrian Army has resulted in the deaths of innocent women and children.”
Students on an Excursion at the Castle
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http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31586.htm#.T9rFyCwqLLg.email  “Syria: NATO Plans New Sykes – Picot, Middle East Chaos” by M.D. Nalapat   June 14, 2012 “Information Clearing House” — On May 16, 1916, in the middle of World War I, Paris and London approved a secret agreement to dismember the Ottoman Empire and divide the Middle East between themselves.

The Sykes-Picot agreement set new boundaries for many countries in the region, and began a period of direct control of the Middle East that the West has sought to perpetuate to the present.

Since the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the US and Iraq’s former colonial master, the UK, NATO has been transparent in its desire to once again exercise direct control over the countries in the region. The few regimes that are opposed to NATO hegemony are being faced with a concerted effort by NATO and its regional backers to overthrow them.”

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This link is to a blog of Aussie ‘revolutionaries’

http://strangetimes.lastsuperpower.net/?page_id=2  Local Aussie ‘left’ blog includes contributions by Arthur Dent (formerly Albert Langer) and supports US intervention in the ME: “the war in Iraq: the left has always fought against fascism. We therefore supported the overthrow of the fascist Baath Party in Iraq. The United States currently has no choice but to drain the swamps and support the democratisation of the Middle East. We are glad about that!” 

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This report on the Houla massacre by Addounia TV in Syria should be examined by people interested in assessing the truth in Syria. It should be compared with the witness accounts presented by the ‘opposition’. (The Australian media and government could have done well to employ forensic scientists and experienced magistrates and judges  to examine what accounts are available before they rushed to accuse the Syrian government and its ‘militias’.  A lynch mob mentality can lead to greater tragedies. Is it ever too late to consider reassessing a situation? Egg on one’s face is better than more tragedy for Syrian families, surely?)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2_owegdPms&feature=related  Houla Massacre an Inside Job by FSA (Addounia report)
http://sabinachiaburu.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/hulahoms/  30 May Interview by Russian reporter with female witness from Taldao re massacre there and in Houla
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Ron Paul responses to the recent events in Syria with the wisdom of a statesman, something which appears to be a rare commodity in the Western world today. If he can talk peace and sense, why can’t Australian politicians?  Is it because they don’t have the same resources to do the research? No time for Peace?
War Drums for Syria
Getting Served in the Souq
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West Desperately Attempts to Spin Syrian Crisis

SATURDAY, JUNE 2, 2012

http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/west-desperately-attempts-to-spin.html

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The Houla Hoaxsters
Another “Benghazi moment” – This Time in Syria

By Justin Raimondo  June 4, 2012

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31502.htm#.T822VPqVjWI.email

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It is extraordinary that Australia, a predominantly Christian country, is ignoring the plight of Christians in Syria.  The Gareth Evans’ Responsibility to Protect apparently doesn’t extend to them, i.e. over two million people. The current crisis could potentially drive Christians out of the Middle East, or at least out of Syria and away from Straight Street, the Street spoken of in the Bible, where Christians have lived for nearly 2,000 years.
http://www.fides.org/aree/news/newsdet.php?idnews=31658&lan=eng   4 June 2012 ASIA/SYRIA – “The desolation of Homs and the war of information “: the words of a greek-catholic Bishop
Below is a reference to Mother Agnes Mariam, an activist nun in Syria and Lebanon, who has travelled around Syria with foreign journalists and spoken out against the terrorists.

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http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2012/salt140112.html  Who Is Killing Whom in Syria? Interview with Jeremy Salt

by Maria Finoshina 14 Jan 2012

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 A reminder of the nationalities of the majority of the 9/11 hijackers.
An article missed on previous posts refers to two ex-US Senators wanting to take the case against Saudi Arabia in regard to its alleged role in 9/11 to court.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/01/us/graham-and-kerrey-see-possible-saudi-9-11-link.html Saudi Arabia may be tied to 9/11 former US senators say 

There is evidence that suicide bombers from Saudi Arabia are now destined for Syria. Why? Has the misinformation on Syria in our media created a ‘cancer’?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMkpa9guxSM RT report on suicide bombers ‘for sale’ in Saudi Arabia 
Sheik Qaradawi is most prominent cleric who inspires fighters in Syria. Those same fighters justify their killings with their cry for ‘freedom’, a call repeated by Western commentators as if it is a call for freedom from a foreign invader. Again, the media is seriously remiss in its duties to inform by not writing about Qaradawi. Will he and his followers bring ‘freedom’ to the women of Syria?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPXmNXLbuxY  Sheik Qaradawi speaking about the dangers of female masturbation   2009
Qaradawi, who issued his first fatwa against the Syrian government in March 2011, has said on Al-Jazeera that if it is necessary to kill 1/3 of the population of Syria in order to topple the  ‘heretical’ government, then that is OK.  When are the UN, the mainstream media, Western governments and going to face up to their responsibility to protect those 7 million plus people?  Presumably they are ‘heretics’ in Qaradawi’s eyes as well as peace-loving people who bravely stand up to such a blood-curdling ideology.
There is no sign of the US challenging the ideology of Qaradawi; presumably the ideology of neo-cons, hawks, the Pentagon and extremist clerics are feeding each other.
‘Military Option’ for Syria: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff 
By MACKENZIE WEINGER 29 May
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Patrick Seale is a Middle East expert who has written extensively on the ME ,including Syria.  This article in The Guardian challenges most of the hysterical response to the Houla massacre in the Australian mainstream media. Will people be nodding their heads in agreement with Seale in some months time after hundreds or thousands more Syrians have been killed by mercenaries hired by Saudi Arabia and Qatar and trained, perhaps, by the CIA?
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Australian Foreign Minister, Mr Bob Carr, writes on his blog about his decision to expel the Syrian Charge D’Affaires.
http://bobcarrblog.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/expulsion-of-syrian-charge-daffaires/  Bob Carr’s blog: expulsion of Syrian Charge D’affaires
An introduction to the President of Syria who has been demonised in the Australian media and by our politicians since March 2012.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBxdUyX9yCk&feature=fvwp  President Bashar’s interview with Sunday Times Nov 2011
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War Kills People … As Do Lies By U.S. And Western Interventionists
2012-06-04  By Michael Scheuer
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 Responses to the #Houla massacre by people in the diaspora.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngUJsfr5rrA&feature=related  Syrian Girl responds to al-Houla massacre 

http://newmatilda.com/2012/06/04/australias-naivety-syria  Joseph Wakim on naivety in Australia re Syria 
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A reminder of the bigger picture from an interview with John R. Bradley, ME expert rarely consulted by local Australian media.
http://www.rt.com/news/syria-nato-iran-russia-149/  Syria on its knees; prelude to invading Iran  RT interview with John R. Bradley  (31 Jan 2012) Bradley points out that two Arab states play a particularly important role in NATO’s plans for Syria. These are Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

“Saudi Arabia is financially and politically backing the civilian opposition [in Syria], and Qatar has been widely reported to be funding and arming the jihad rebels who were leading this insurrection,” he said. “We can be absolutely sure that this is nothing to do with human rights when it comes to the West’s concern, and even more sure when it comes to the concern of Saudi Arabia. This is how preposterous the Western media coverage is, of this uprising.”


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ABC Australia reports on Syria, 3 June 2012.  Does this report show an understanding of the complex nature of the crisis in Syria?
  ABC News 4 June UN rules out amnesty for Syria’s Assad
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Two excellent webcasts from the UN. They were referenced on the previous post. But they are highly recommended for an understanding of the ‘other side’: the Russian and the Syrian.

http://unmultimedia.org/tv/webcast/2012/05/russian-federation-on-syria-security-council-media-stakeout.html  UN webcast with Alexander Pankin, Russian rep in UN speaking post Houla massacre

Bashar Ja’afari (Syria) on Syria – Security Council Media Stakeout

30 May 2012
 





MAY 2012 Reference List

Image: Young woman killed in a taxi on her way to work when bombs exploded in Damascus on Thursday 10 May 2012.
WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES OF VICTIMS OF MASSACRES

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May 31 UN officials acknowledge armed gangs’ role in Syria unrest

*********************************************************************************************************************************Eye witness account of massacres ( this account should be read together with the ones published in the mainstream media which point the finger at the govt and ‘Alawite gangs’ – a recipe for civil war.)

http://sabinachiaburu.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/hulahoms/

*********************************************************************************************************************************Amnesty’s links with Robert Ford and his possible links with death squads

http://anti-imperialism.com/2012/03/31/death-squad-coordinator-robert-ford-keynotes-amnesty-international-annual-meeting/

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 UN Webcast 30 May Bashar Jaafari  Jaafari presents some of the results of the  preliminary investigation into the Houla massacre.
http://www.unmultimedia.org/tv/webcast/2012/05/bashar-jaafari-syria-on-syria-security-council-media-stakeout-7.html*********************************************************************************************************************************
” In Syria, there is no Plan for Peace”  Patrick Seale, ME expert and author

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/may/27/syria-no-plans-peace

*********************************************************************************************************************************Auction in hotel in Saudi Arabia to raise money for suicide bombers and fighters to go to Syria.  Seems as though money for suicide bombers will go to their family.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ha94Xz59dg&feature=player_embedded

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Israeli views on Syriahttp://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/israels-perspective-on-syria/4045926
Earlier this year Israeli academic and journalist Jonathan Spyer was smuggled across the Turkish border into Syria. On horseback, with local help, he made his way to Idlib and spent a week with rebels from the Free Syrian Army. Two weeks after he returned home, the Syrian Army took the town. He speaks on the regional implications of the conflict in Syria.

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Vitaly I. Churkin (Russian Federation) on Syria – Security Council Media Stakeout

30 May 2012

http://www.unmultimedia.org/tv/webcast/2012/05/vitaly-i-churkin-russian-federation-on-syria-security-council-media-stakeout-5.html

Alexander A. Pankin (Russian Federation) on Syria – Security Council Media Stakeout

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Note: ME experts you rarely hear in the Australian media include: Jeremy Salt, Alastair Crooke, Sharmine Narwani, and John R. Bradley.  Fiona Hill has written several articles for The Drum, New Matilda, and The Conversation. There are references to their articles on these posts, but they can be accessed with a quick google.

 

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There are officially no Syrian refugees in Turkey – only “visitors from Syria.” Well-accommodated and enjoying Turkey’s hospitality, they return home, contradicting the “evil Assad regime scares its own people away” narrative sold by Western media.
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ABC RADIO NATIONAL COUNTERPOINT
After The Arab Spring
Interview with John R. Bradley  30 April 2012
John R. Bradley is a foreign correspondent who has written on the Middle East for The Washington Quarterly, The New York Post, The New Republic, The London Times and The Spectator and author of “After the Arab Spring” Ref: http://johnrbradley.wordpress.com/
The Arab Spring put the Arab world firmly on the path to democracy and a better future, didn’t it? Well, maybe not. It was certainly led by liberals and they rallied the Arab masses but then they were drowned out by the slogans of the better organised and more popular radical Islamists.
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NB: this is from March, but always worth referencing
ASIA TIMES    MARCH 9 2012   Syria: Straining credulity?

By Alastair Crooke

The UN Secretary General was reported on March 3 saying that he had received “grisly reports” that Syrian government forces were arbitrarily executing, imprisoning and torturing people in Homs after retaking control of the Baba Amr district from insurgents. Did he really believe this; or was he just “saying it”?

“One of the defining bifurcations of the future will be the conflict between information masters and information victims” the US officer assigned to the Deputy Chief of Staff (Intelligence), charged with defining the future of warfare, wrote in the US Army War College Quarterly in 1997.

Alastair Crooke speaks at debate some years ago on “Time to Quit Iraq is now”  making some pertinent points for today, e.g. re need for diplomacy and dialogue.
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There is confirmation from various sources that an extremist group linked to Al-Qaeda has been responsible for recent suicide bombings in Syria.
 ISLAMIST GROUP CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY FOR DAMASCUS BOMBINGS  12 May 2012

Al-Nusra Front, an Islamist group unknown before the Syrian revolt, released a video on Saturday claiming responsibility for twin suicide bombings in Damascus that killed 55 people.

The video said the bombings on Thursday, the deadliest since the uprising against President Bashar Assad’s regime erupted in March 2011, were “in response to regime bombing of residential areas in Damascus, Idlib, Hama, Daraa provinces and others.”

Al-Nusra Front, which does not give a precise date for the attacks, says it has launched a “military operation in Damascus against the regime strongholds, targeting the Palestine branch of the security services.”

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BBC Profile: Syria’s Al-Nusra Front

12 May 2012

The al-Nusra Front has said it was behind Thursday’s bomb attacks in the Syrian capital, Damascus, the latest and deadliest since the uprising in the country began in March 2011. The BBC News website here profiles the shadowy jihadist group.

Intelligence Chief Concerned About Al Qaeda in Syria Conflict

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified before Congress today that al Qaeda and Sunni extremists were seeking to gain influence in Syria,  possibly infiltrating some of the fragmented opposition groups engaged in fighting there.

“Another disturbing phenomenon that we’ve seen recently, apparently, is the presence of extremists who have infiltrated the  opposition groups,”  Clapper told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“The two bombings in Damascus in December … and then the two additional bombings in Aleppo, both of which were  targeted against security and intelligence buildings … had all the  earmarks of an al Qaeda-like attack.  So we believe that al Qaeda in Iraq is extending its reach into Syria.” Clapper said.

“The state of the opposition, which is quite fragmented, it’s very localized — the Syrian National Council really doesn’t … command and control these oppositionist groups,” Clapper said.

DAILY STAR:  Militants claim deadly Syria bombings in video12 May 2012

BEIRUT: A video posted online in the name of a shadowy militant group late Friday claimed responsibility for twin suicide bombings in the Syrian capital this week that killed 55 people.

In the video, a group calling itself the Al-Nusra Front says the bombing was in response to attacks on residential areas by the regime of President Bashar Assad.

5.  This is a very important article, and deserves attention.  What is covered by its writer concerns the manner in which the UN is to tackle the violence in Syria if it is serious about establishing peace in the region.  For some reason (perhaps because it raises deep concerns about the approach of the UN to Syria?), it is difficult to provide a link which will take you to the original article. However, it can be accessed from some blogs.

Crunch Time in Syria: The UN Protocol’s Jihadist Loophole

By Sharmine Narwani  9th May 2012

We have arrived at a determining moment in the Syrian crisis. The choices are startlingly simple:

1) Cautious, incremental movement toward political reconciliation and reform spearheaded by the Syrian government and closely monitored by Kofi Annan’s UN mission, Moscow, Tehran and Beijing.

2) Dangerous escalation of violence and militarization that will increasingly include foreign jihadists and is likely spill to over into the broader Middle East.

After only one week of observing events in Syria first-hand, United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) commander Major-General Robert Mood spelled out the dwindling options……….

The 600-pound gorilla in the room is the growing presence of Al-Qaeda and other jihadists operating inside the Syrian theatre.


6.

Homs Opposition: Al Farouq Battalion is Killing Us

by Sharmine Narwani 13 May 2012

It is extremely rare to have a direct peephole into events on the ground in Syria. The hard-fought battle over narratives often leaves truth in the dust. But among the cache of recently leaked emails (exclusive to Al Akhbar) from Syrian National Council (SNC) President Burhan Ghalioun’s inbox, comes this gem – important information that further highlights the glaring loophole in UN Envoy Kofi Annan’s demilitarization plans for Syria: rogue fighters.

7.

CONFIRMED: Opposition Extremists Behind Damascus Bombings

US “officials” admit Al Qaeda running loose in Syria, fail to mention 2007 US plan to put them there.
by Tony Cartalucci


Editor’s Note: The term “Sunni extremist” refers specifically to terrorists who have been approached by, manipulated, and used to carry out violence across the Arab World, as specified in Seymour Hersh’s 2007 article, “The Redirection.” It by no means indicates that Sunni Muslims as a sect are behind the violence – as many Sunnis have been targeted by the West’s terrorist proxy forces as well. 

May 12, 2012 - Regarding the recent, devastating bombings in Damascus, Syria, an Associated Press report, “Syria opposition: Assad trying to destroy UN peace,” featured the “chief of Syria’s major opposition political group Syrian National Council,” Burhan Ghalioun, baselessly claiming “the relationship between the Syrian regime and al Qaeda is very strong.” Also included was the comments of a “Free Syrian Army” commander who claimed, “the Syrian regime wanted through these terrorist explosions to support its silly story of the presence of armed and terrorist gangs.”

However, not even a day passed before another AP report has now confirmed that the terrorist Al-Nusra Front has claimed responsibility for the deadly blasts that ripped through Damascus this week, killing scores and injuring hundreds, and shattering opposition claims that the Syrian government was behind them. The Al-Nusra Front has been at the center of several acts of violence across Syria, as part of a wider Sunni-extremist led, NATO and Gulf State-backed, militant campaign to destabilize and overthrow the Syrian government.AP’s “Militant video claims responsibility for deadly Syria blasts,” also states that, “Western officials say there is little doubt that Islamist extremists, some associated with al-Qaida, have made inroads in Syria as instability has spread since the start of the uprising against President Bashar Assad 14 months ago.” What AP fails to mention is that the West, in coordination with Israel and Saudi Arabia, have been building up an extremist, militant Sunni front since at least 2007, according to a 2007 New Yorker report by renowned journalist Seymour Hersh titled, “The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?.”
8.    Dr Franklin Lamb presents questions here, very pertinent ones, regarding the weapons found on board the Lutfallah.  They had originated from Libya. Questions for investigative reporters, but where are the reporters or the media outlets who will print their disclosures?
THE LUTFALLAH ARMS SMUGGLING SCANDAL
 
by Dr Franklin Lamb  5/5/12

….On 5/2/12, Syria’s ambassador to Lebanon, Ali Abdel-Karim, following a meeting with Lebanese Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour, accused Gulf countries, including Qatar and Saudi Arabia, of being behind the Syria-bound arms shipments.

“The ship was bound for the Syrian opposition; this is sure given that the political and security leaderships in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and other countries are behind these acts, which undermine the security of Syria, Lebanon and the region.”

Many questions remain in need of answers. Any serious first year law student would ask the questions that presumably Lebanese investigating judges and the media will ask. A few of the more obvious ones would include:…..

ARTICLES AND INFORMATION TO BE  ADDED  TO THIS PAGE INCLUDE:
Questions about the visit of  Donatella Rovera,Amnesty’s ME investigator, to Idlib in April. Did she enter Syria illegally?  If so, why and who helped her?  How would that colour her reporting?  Who is she?  She speaks Arabic, but what is her employment history?  Is that relevant when assessing the veracity of her reporting?  (NB Suzanne Nossel, US Amnesty director, used to work for US State Department and wrote ‘Smart Power’, which has been referenced by Hilary Clinton.) Rovera’s  report based entirely, it seemed to this editor, on the claims of anti-government sources, was published in The Guardian just 2 or 3 days before the Turkish PM, Erdogan, visited the camps across the border to give hope to the armed struggle of the ‘rebels’. Why do Amnesty reports on Syria differ so much from Amnesty reports on Libya, which do expose the violence and subterfuge of rebels and anti-government forces, to some extent at least.
For a critique of the work of Amnesty, there will be reference to an article by Dr Franklin Lamb as well as criticisms of Amnesty by US professor of law, Francis Boyle. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Boyle

April 2012 Reference Lists

Updates: April 30

This page presents links to videos and articles mostly published or noted in April 2012.  However, for an understanding of what is occurring in Syria,  there is excellent analyses on other pages of the blog which date back to almost the beginning of the crisis.  Hard work is needed to understand the Middle East, especially now when there is a ‘propaganda and humanitarian war’ being waged against Syria and there is the ‘fog of war’.

Excerpts from articles will be presented.  It is hoped that visitors to the blog will have the time to check out the complete article.

Note it may be necessary to copy and paste the link in order to access it.

On this page, there are more images of Syrians taken from Syrian satellite TV. Much discussion and debate is taking place in Syria in regard to how to move the country forward peacefully. It can be assumed the overwhelming majority of Syrians want a peaceful transition to democracy without the interference of outsiders. (Which is what any population would want, isn’t it?)  Many of the people in the images are involved in the efforts to take the country forward.

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For an indication of the effects of terror on ordinary people in Syria, it is really necessary to see the faces and hear the voices of the people themselves. This can be done by going to Syrian TV. But below are links which indicate what Syrians are confronting.

http://www.champress.net/index.php?q=en/Article/view/116913

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOq-0ZGk1qk

Revolution Racketeers: Industrial terrorism in Syria

Russia – which is a major backer of Kofi Annan’s peace plan – has again criticized Syria’s government and its rebels for breaking the ceasefire. The Foreign Ministry in Moscow also accused some opposition fighters, who refuse to lay down arms, of resorting to outright terrorism. And, as Oksana Boyko discovered, those still at large have little patience for neutrality.

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ABC RADIO NATIONAL COUNTERPOINT 30 April 2012

Interview with John Bradley, ME expert, fluent Arabic speaker, author and correspondent. In this interview, Bradley talks at length about the ‘revolution’ in Tunisia and ‘democracy’ in Egypt.

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/counterpoint/arab-spring/3976176

The Arab Spring put the Arab world firmly on the path to democracy and a better future, didn’t it? Well, maybe not. It was certainly led by liberals and they rallied the Arab masses but then they were drowned out by the slogans of the better organised and more popular radical Islamists.

Interviews with John Bradley have been noted on this blog previously:

The World Today – How Islamists hijacked the Arab Spring 20/02/2012

http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2012/s3434650.htm

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http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/26/us-syria-russia-idUSBRE83P14S20120426

Russia accuses Syrian rebels of using “tactics of terror”

By Thomas Grove and Steve Gutterman   MOSCOW | Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:51pm EDT

bel attacks and accused foreign states of arming the rebels. “Many Western governments, and not just Western … are helping the Syrian opposition with weapon

(Reuters) – Russia accused Syrian rebels on Thursday of using terror tactics and suggested they were more to blame for ceasefire violations than President Bashar al-Assad’s troops.

The remarks by the foreign ministry differed from assessments by Western states which have been calling on government forces to end attacks and withdraw from cities and towns under a U.N.-backed truce.

“We call upon the Syrian side to carry out in full its obligations…” Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told a weekly briefing. “Nonetheless … there is another side in Syria, opposition groups, which have in essence shifted to tactics of terror on a regional scale.”……

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The ABC, for example, relies heavily still on the figures and claims of anonymous ‘activists’.   Little attention is paid to credible reports in Syrian news in regard to the killings of security personnel and civilians. An Australian lost his brother just this week; he was killed by a sniper in Homs. This is unlikely to be reported in our media and Australians generally will remain oblivious to the horrors that Syrians have been facing for one year.  The recent suicide and car bombs are spreading even more fear and terror.
Law-enforcement martyrs of al-Midan terrorist blast laid to rest…16 army and law-enforcement members escorted to final resting place
Armed groups assassinate physician, Lieutenant Colonel in Daraa, a Colonel and Warrant Officer in Hama  
DARAA, HAMA- In the framework of targeting the national and scientific expertise and intellectuals, an armed terrorist group on Monday assassinated Doctor Adnan Tawfik al-Samitt in Daraa.SANA reporter quoted a source at Daraa Province as saying that the armed terrorist group shoot dead Dr. al-Samitt with their machineguns near his house at al-Qusour Neighborhood in Daraa city.In the same context, the source added that another armed terrorist group randomly opened fire in al-Na’emeh village in Daraa countryside with the aim of intimidating the citizens and preventing them from going to their jobs. 
  

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How the information warlords define the concept of terrorism in the case of Syria
by Amal Saad-Ghorayeb


So after today’s suicide bombing by opposition forces (most likely the same al-Qaeda linked/inspired groups that have claimed responsibility for previous terrorist attacks), here’s how the news wires covered the attack:
Associated Press: “The regime blamed Friday’s attack on unspecified “terrorists” – the term it uses to describe opposition forces that it says are carrying out a foreign conspiracy.”
AFP: “The report blamed “terrorists,” the term used by President Bashar al-Assad’s regime to refer to the armed opposition…Assad’s regime has repeatedly blamed “armed terrorist groups” for the violence, and for failing to abide by a putative ceasefire that went into force on April 12.”
First of all, there is the ever-present, and borderline sarcastic, reference to how the regime perceives the armed opposition as carrying out a “foreign conspiracy”. So Turkey’s hosting and arming of the opposition and FSA, and the US and other “Friends of Syria’s” declared intent [if not after-the-fact acknowledgement] to arm these groups, should not be interpreted by the regime as a foreign conspiracy to overthrow it, nor should Israeli officials’ admissions of meeting with elements in the Syrian opposition, or France’s saber-rattling for military intervention. By extension, groups receiving this aid are not involved in this conspiracy and the regime’s depiction of them as such is surely delusional. Well, to some extent it is injudicious of the Assad regime to continue to refer to what is an openly belligerent US-western-Turkish-Arab-Israeli-al-Qaeda war against it as a hidden conspiracy. It is anopenly declared  foreign war on Syria, and not an ill-concealed foreign conspiracy………

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A very feisty Malalai Joya, a former member of the Afghan parliament, was interviewed by ABC’s Lateline program.  The interviewer seems nonplussed as Joya condemns NATO, the US, and even Australia for occupying her country.
http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/msg/1335605330.html

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Al-Akhbar English

Damascus: The Protocols of Annan’s Plan  By: Nicolas Nassif
Published Tuesday, April 24, 2012

http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/damascus-protocols-annan%E2%80%99s-plan

According to close observers, Damascus’ response to the peace plan proposed by the UN-Arab League Special Envoy to Syria Kofi Annan is proving to be positive. When asked, government officials express a willingness to provide the necessary support for the plan, as long as there is a commitment to work with the Syrian state.

Damascus’ cooperation is based on several factors:……

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Editor’s note: It took a brave Julian Assange to interview Hassan Nasrallah. Yet, it seems extraordinary that others haven’t sought his opinions before today. People across the Middle East have been well aware of Nasrallah’s views for many years. Why are they virtually ‘censored’ in the West? Do we need protection from them?  Are we as infantilized as any population, just more cheerily so?  Does everything have to be interpreted and filtered for us?  (Robert Fisk has used the term ‘infantalized‘ in regard to the ME and also US politics. In 2008, he spoke about the media in the US not being willing to challenge power: http://current.com/groups/politics/89376159_the-deadly-infantilization-of-american-politics-robert-fisk-and-patricia-degennaro-on-grittv.htm  NB: Robert Fisk, himself, seems reliant on the swinging views of his friend Walid Jumblatt for his public opinions on Syria, but for many he continues to get enough credit  for his criticism of the US, Israel etc, for him to be considered a trusted source on any issue. )

Julian Assange’s The World Tomorrow: Hassan Nasrallah (E1)

Published on Apr 17, 2012 by RussiaToday

Hezbollah urged the Syrian opposition to engage in dialogue with Assad’s regime, but they refused. Hezbollah leader Sayyid Nasrallah confirmed this in his first interview in 6 years, the world premiere of Julian Assange’s ‘The World Tomorrow’ on RT.

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Editor: Another interview you are unlikely to see on Australian TV.   Would it be treason to present the views of “Syrian Girl” on Australian TV?

James Corbett – Love Bombs for Syria – Syrian Girl on Intervention and Hypocrisy, April 15 2012

http://information-machine.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/james-corbett-love-bombs-for-syria.html

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Editor: Stephen Lendman doesn’t mince words in this article below. It may seem partisan and unacceptable to many, but for Syrians who confront the fear of bombs, abduction and death on a daily basis while the world is silent, or at best ignorant, Lendman’s expression is tame. We should all be shouting “Stop this madness” from roof tops.

Media Scoundrels Promote War on Syria  By Stephen Lendman

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31166.htm#.T5dcrR6DYvI.email

April 23, 2012 “Information Clearing House” — Syria’s a battle zone. Western generated violence is to blame, not Assad. America’s media scoundrels claim otherwise. They want him ousted by any means, including war.

An April 9 Wall Street Journal commentary said “Syrian government forces (keep) bombing and killing….” Assad “reneged on (his) promises to end the bloodshed.”

Washington “and its allies (are) doing little or nothing to depose (his) regime. (The) illusion of diplomatic progress serves as cover for the Assads of the world to do more killing. Your move, President Obama.”

Like all scoundrel media commentators, Journal contributors blame victims, not villains. Their readers are betrayed, not informed.

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Editor: In the Australian media, there is rarely serious reference to SANA or other official news from Syria, while there is increasing reliance on refugees in Turkey for their assessment of what is occurring in Syria.  But there are news reports coming out of Syria which demand attention.  As there were one year ago.  22 million people still live in Syria.  Their stories demand telling.

Armed Criminal Groups Shot and Mutilated Army Officer and His Family  Apr 19, 2011

Syrian Inventor Issa Abboud Martyred by Criminal Armed Gangs

http://www.sana.sy/eng/21/2011/04/19/342253.htm

And today:

Armed groups assassinate physician, Lieutenant Colonel in Daraa, a Colonel and Warrant Officer in Hama   April 25 2012

http://www.champress.net/index.php?q=en/Article/view/117578

DARAA, HAMA- In the framework of targeting the national and scientific expertise and intellectuals, an armed terrorist group on Monday assassinated Doctor Adnan Tawfik al-Samitt in Daraa.

SANA reporter quoted a source at Daraa Province as saying that the armed terrorist group shoot dead Dr. al-Samitt with their machineguns near his house at al-Qusour Neighborhood in Daraa city.

In the same context, the source added that another armed terrorist group randomly opened fire in al-Na’emeh village in Daraa countryside with the aim of intimidating the citizens and preventing them from going to their jobs.

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Monitoring or spying mission to Syria    25 April 2012  

They were in the closed Council chambers for hours first taking in Annan’s briefing and then working on the situation in Sudan. When the UN Security Council emerged acting President for April Susan Rice offered pure statistics from UN Peacekeeping boss Herve Ladsous.

The 300 monitors to be sent to Syria were mandated by Security Council resolution last Saturday. The ink was hardly dry when Rice threatened Syria with “further measures” if the Assad government doesn’t comply with Annan’s six-point plan.

Syrian ambassador Bashar Ja’Afari has spoken repeatedly of states working for the failure of that plan and on Tuesday Rice again indicated she was ready for Syria to fail.

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Editor: You would expect it to be headlines in Australia: “50,000 Syrians forced from their homes by extremists”.  Imagine if it were 50,000 Sydneysiders, or Londoners?  Note, everyone is a potential victim of extremist violence.  The clerics who incite it encourage their followers to kill anyone who gets in the way of destroying the ‘heretical’ Syrian government.  So victims include people taking part in council elections, doctors, professors, imams;  if they can be described as being ‘pro-regime’ their sect is irrelevant. (Where is the West’s support for ‘moderate’ Muslims?)

Israel Today Magazine

Syrian Christians: The Revolution’s Unsung Victims April 5th 2012

http://www.israeltoday.co.il/tabid/178/nid/23182/language/en-US/Default.aspx

The international community and global media are focusing a lot of attention of late on the brutal tactics being employed by the forces of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad as he battles a year-long insurgency that has recently blossomed into full-scale civil war. In the process, the Syrian opposition forces, collectively known as the Free Syrian Army, have been primarily portrayed in a positive light.

But a trickle of reports from sources in embattled Syrian towns reveal that the Sunni-led revolutionaries are guilty of at least as many war crimes as Assad, especially against the country’s Christian minority.

In the latest issue of Israel Today, we wrote about how Syria’s minority communities actually prefer Assad, who is himself from the small Alawite Muslim minority. They fear the alternative, which is rule by a Sunni majority that will likely align itself with the Muslim Brotherhood and other regional radicals.

Their fears appear increasingly justified.….

Islamists force 50,000 Christians to flee from Syrian city of Homs  by OCP on April 17, 2012

http://theorthodoxchurch.info/blog/news/2012/04/islamists-force-50000-christians-to-flee-from-syrian-city-of-homs/

….. Christians in Homs were reportedly told that if they did not leave immediately, they would be shot. Then, pictures of their bodies would be sent to the pro-Syrian-regime-change Al Jazeera — a media broadcaster controlled by the dictatorship ruling Qatar — with a message claiming that forces loyal to Assad had murdered them.….

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Editor: Sharmine Narwani deserves attention in the Australian media. But gets none. We live in a village; we don’t want anyone to point out the village may be wrong in its assumptions about the world outside.

Al-Akhbar English

Western Journalist: Visa Denied  By Sharmine Narwani – Sat, 2012-04-21

http://english.al-akhbar.com/blogs/sandbox/western-journalist-visa-denied

……right now, I honestly cannot think of a group of people less capable of verifying things in Syria than western journalists. And it is not because they aren’t physically there or can’t string together more than two words in Arabic. It is largely because they feast at the trough of their own governments’ narratives on All Things. Western journalists are heady with a sense of righteousness leached from the oxymoronic “western values” shoved down our collective throats. Those same western values that demand “accountability” and “transparency” from all nations – while offering cover for western governments to hack their way through Muslim and Arab bodies in endless “national security” wars.

…..With the exception of a few proud holdouts, western media has made a beeline for the sexy story in Syria – which is essentially the fairytale of the “Arab Spring” with a little twist: Bad regime, good activists – but kick out this dictator and it’s a three-for-one, with Iran and Hezbollah tossed in as a bonus.

There are only three guiding rules for most western journalists inside or outside of Syria: 1) only quote anti-regime populations, 2) do not seek out independent domestic opposition figures, 3) evidence is unimportant, as long as you loosely “source” it:

They head straight for the Syrian activist, the anti-regime demonstration, the man with the gun in a “hot spot.” These are one side of the Syrian story, for sure. But you will not find mainstream western journalism broadcasting a pro-regime rally of tens of thousands, the national flag painted on the faces of Assad supporters – young and old – waving posters of their president. Pro-regime Syrians, a majority of whom voted in a national referendum in February to adopt constitutional reforms, are never interviewed by these reporters.

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STOP THE WAR COALITION

Will sheep fly in Syria if imperial princess Hilary Clinton gets her way? By Saul Landau
20 April 2012

http://stopwar.org.uk/index.php/middle-east-and-north-africa/1359-will-sheep-fly-in-syria-if-imperial-princess-hilary-clinton-gets-her-way

The Syrian conflict continued to boil — or boil over — when Syrian troops fired across the Turkish border on April 9, apparently killing either fleeing refugees or armed combatants.

Then the UN team entered and began monitoring a shaky ceasefire – shaky because the Syrian National Council in exile and their backers in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Washington and western capitals don’t want the fighting to stop. They want to overthrow the Assad government by force and violence.

However, despite continued words of caution from the Pentagon and White House about getting into another messy Middle East war, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton pressed for more intervention.

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Know secular Syria through seeing and hearing the voices of Syrians

This video is in Arabic, but that should not prevent an understanding of the ‘life pulse’ of it.  It a video of a Maronite church service in Damascus attended by imams.  There are interviews with an imam, priest, and members of the congregation.

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Sharmine Narwani has been referenced regularly on this blog.  She is making a courageous and committed effort to analyze the crisis in Syria from many perspectives and (this editor believes) with integrity. She was in Damascus in January and reported on conversations she had with members of opposition groups within Syria.

This interview is relatively short but an excellent summary of some of the key issues around Syria today.

Information and misinformation on Syria

12 April 2012

http://www.english.rfi.fr/middle-east/20120412-events-syria-and-medias

By Rosslyn Hyams

Sharmine Narwani, a senior associate at Saint Anthony’s College, Oxford, and contributor to the English edition of Al-Akhbar, an online arabic newspaper questions the way that information has been circulating about what’s been going on in Syria for the past 13 months. And the effect that it has had on the situation.

One article by Sharmine Narwani referred to previously on this blog is Questioning the Syrian “Casualty List”    Feb 28 2012

http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/questioning-syrian-%E2%80%9Ccasualty-list%E2%80%9D

It may help to read that in conjunction with this short report from Dr Bashar Ja’afara.

30 March 2012  A Letter from Syrian Ambassador to the UN presenting figures of those killed by ‘armed terrorist groups’ in Syria.

http://www.syrianyouth.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Bashar-Al-Jaafari-Letter-to-UN.pdf

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Unfortunately, Australian investigative reporting in regard to Syria is almost non-existent. There is reporting, but it is generally not balanced or seriously investigative.  Therefore, reporting of any substance often needs to be sourced from outside Australia.

Syria: Saving or Sinking-News Analysis-04-12-2012

600 A.M. Syrian time: All appeared quiet in Syria: UN Arab League Envoy Kofi Annan’s ceasefire deal seemed to have worked. Hours later: 2 incidents of violence: One officer dead, 24 others, injured, with a number of law enforcement officers injured in another incident, blamed on an armed terrorist groups with explosive devices. The Assad government has time and again blamed these groups for being part of the problem: Groups armed by some Arab countries, like Qatar and Saudi Arabia, with financial support from both Arab and Western countries, like the US and France.

This edition of News Analysis discusses the situation in Syria

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War photographer Paul Conroy refers to a video clip presented by ‘activists’ in Syria which was of a Mexican drug cartel.

Reporters ‘have to go in’ to Syria – injured photographer

BBC HardTalk

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/hardtalk/9712785.stm

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John Bradley, an expert on the Arab Spring, appears to have only been interviewed once on ABC Australia. http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2012/s3434650.htm   Is this because his expert opinion differs from the single narrative of many established commentators?  (Two of these interviews are from January, but were not published on this blog at till now.)

This first interview is just over 5 minutes long. Another must-listen to interview.

John R. Bradley / Russia Today — Syria and the Wahhabi Counterrevolution

http://firstpost.com/topic/place/syria-john-r-bradley-russia-today-syria-and-the-wahhabi-coun-video-nPoIskYLjXY-15-30.html

JOHN R. BRADLEY / Fox News – After the Arab Spring

26 January

Interview with John R. Bradley on Fox & Friends about his new book After the Arab Spring: How Islamists Hijacked the Middle East Revolts (Palgrave Macmilan, 2012). More info: http://johnrbradley.wordpress.com/

‘Syria on its knees – prelude to NATO invading Iran’

21 January 2012

http://rt.com/news/syria-nato-iran-russia-149/

The idea of the Syrian opposition dancing to a foreign tune has been floated by John R. Bradley, author of the book, After the Arab Spring. He says NATO members are committed to toppling the regime and will make Iran their next target.

­“[Syrian opposition is] under huge pressure from outside powers who want these talks [between the Assad regime and the opposition] to fail even before they begin – most obviously NATO,” he told RT. “NATO is determined to bring the Assad regime to its knees as a prelude to invading Iran.”

Bradley points out that two Arab states play a particularly important role in NATO’s plans for Syria. These are Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

“Saudi Arabia is financially and politically backing the civilian opposition [in Syria], and Qatar has been widely reported to be funding and arming the jihad rebels who were leading this insurrection,” he said. “We can be absolutely sure that this is nothing to do with human rights when it comes to the West’s concern, and even more sure when it comes to the concern of Saudi Arabia. This is how preposterous the Western media coverage is, of this uprising.”

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This blog is recommended for an alternative analysis of news reports.

MOON OF ALABAMA

The Live Videos Of The “Shelling Of Homs” Are Staged

April 14, 2012

http://www.moonofalabama.org/

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SIX WAYS THE MEDIA HAS MISREPORTED SYRIA

19 March 2012

http://www.syrianyouth.com/495_six-ways-the-media-has-misreported-syria.html

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Faux-Feminist’s Ridiculous “Women Under Siege” Syria Map
CIA Asset Gloria Steinem’s “Women Under Siege” Joins Syrian Propaganda Campaign.
by Tony Cartalucci

http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/faux-feminists-ridiculous-women-under.html

April 14, 2012 – Ironically, faux-feminist Gloria Steinem’s “Women Under Siege’s” latest campaign to demonize the Syrian government in tandem with the US State Department and its vast stable of media and intelligence assets, stands to set the stage for extremist ideologues to overrun Syria, ending its secular society and entirely stripping away the “women’s rights” Steinem claims to have spent a lifetime fighting for…..

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‘Syrian ‘opposition’ – West-controlled proxy paramilitary’

13 April 2012

http://rt.com/news/syria-opposition-proxy-paramilitary-948/

With Syria halting military operations as part of a UN-brokered ceasefire, Western powers have been saying they do not trust the government to uphold the armistice. Experts believe the US and its allies are pursuing their own agenda: regime change.

Michel Chossudovsky, Director of the Center for Research on Globalization, noted that Susan Rice, the US Ambassador to the UN, was wrong in saying that Russia and China had blood on their hands.

“NATO has blood on their hands,” he told RT. “The United States has blood on their hands. Why? Because they have supported an armed insurgency from the onset in March 2011. It is known and documented that this so-called opposition is, in fact, a proxy paramilitary formation, which is supported by the Western military alliance.”

He also noted that there is well-documented evidence to support the fact that most civilian casualties were attributable to terrorist acts by opposition gunmen and paramilitary forces. 

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Free Syrian Army Terrorists Expose Each Other, Murder, Rape and Pillage

published on April 12

An interesting clip showing a free Syrian Army commander denouncing the rape, pillage and murder of other Free Syrian Army members. Later he is killed by Free Syrian Army commander. This reminds me of the mysterious murder of Libyan rebel commander Abdel Fatah during NATO’s intervention into Libya. But is obvious that it just Al Qaeda acting as Al Qaeda both in Libya and Syria.

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Syrian Australians react to latest fighting 10 April 2012

http://www.sbs.com.au/podcasts/Podcasts/radionews/episode/210781/Syrian-Australians-react-to-latest-fighting

This SBS radio program presents short interviews with two locals:

Groups representing the Syrian community in Australia have widely different reactions to the latest fighting in Syria.

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Armed men violating Syria’s ceasefire: Report

http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2012/04/13/armed-men-violating-syria-ceasefire-report.html
News | 13.04.2012 | 05:50

Reports from Syria say that anti-government armed groups are violating a ceasefire brokered by the joint UN-Arab league peace envoy Kofi Annan.

Syrian state TV reported on Thursday that armed men assassinated a local government official in al-Mazareeb town.

Meanwhile, armed terrorists also killed an army officer and injured 24 others after they targeted a military bus with an explosive device in Syria’s second largest city of Aleppo.

In a similar incident, armed terrorists targeted a law-enforcement vehicle with an explosive device at Wadi Haj Khaled region in Idleb on Thursday, injuring a number of officers.

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What’s goin’ on at the Turkish-Syrian border?

By Pepe Escobar    April 11, 2012

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31052.htm#.T4ZzWvA4uZU.email

There is a video [1] that could be loosely translated as “Terrorist Turkish border opening fire on the Syrian side” that pretty accurately sums up what’s going on at the ultra-volatile geopolitical hotspot of the moment.

The voice over says, “This is the Syria-Turkey border, and this is an operation of the Free Syrian Army [FSA] … The Gate [that would be the Syrian side of the border, housing the Gate checkpoint] is going to be seized.”

What this means is that Turkey is sheltering the FSA right on the border, only a few meters – and not kilometers – away from Syrian territory. Way beyond hosting a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) command and control center in Iskenderun for months now – a fact already reported by Asia Times Online – Turkey has now advanced right to the border, enabling a back-and-forth by heavily weaponized guerrillas/mercenaries to attack a sovereign state.

Imagine a similar scenario happening, say, at a Mexican-US border in Arizona or Texas.

This can be seen as a very peculiar Ankara interpretation of “safe havens” and “humanitarian corridors” as outlined by what can be seen as the prime blueprint for regime change in Syria: a report [2] by the Saban Center at the Brookings Institution, authored by the usual cocktail of Israeli firsters and Qatar-affiliated Middle East “experts”.

The truth about what happened on the Syrian-Turkish borders.

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This news report is a reminder of the assassinations which have been taking place across Syria for up to 12 months, but which are rarely reported in the Australian media.  An imam, teachers, doctors, candidates in council elections, members of political parties are just some of the people who have been assassassinated in Syria.

Terrorists confess to assassinating Grand Mufti’s son Saria Hassoun, looting and stealing private properties

http://www.champress.net/index.php?q=en/Article/view/117732

Terrorists Ahmad al-Maloul and Ghassan al-Maloul on Friday confessed to assassinating Saria Badreddin Hassoun, son of Syria’s Grand Mufti Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun.

In confessions broadcast by the Syrian TV, the two terrorists also confessed to killing Dr. Mohammad al-Omar, History professor at Ebla University and committing several acts of looting and robbery.

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Although this article by Paul Roberts is not specifically related to Syria, it is a reminder of the divisions within the American public arena in regard to the US role in the world and its war mongering.

Washington Leads World Into Lawlessness

By Paul Craig Roberts

April 13, 2012 “Information Clearing House” — The US government pretends to live under the rule of law, to respect human rights, and to provide freedom and democracy to citizens. Washington’s pretense and the stark reality are diametrically opposed.

US government officials routinely criticize other governments for being undemocratic and for violating human rights. Yet, no other country except Israel sends bombs, missiles, and drones into sovereign countries to murder civilian populations. The torture prisons of Abu Gahraib, Guantanamo, and CIA secret rendition sites are the contributions of the Bush/Obama regimes to human rights.

Washington violates the human rights of its own citizens. Washington has suspended the civil liberties guaranteed in the US Constitution and declared its intention to detain US citizens indefinitely without due process of law. President Obama has announced that he, at his discretion, can murder US citizens whom he regards as a threat to the US.

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. http://www.paulcraigroberts.org

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Turkish opposition slams government over Syria “warmongering”

14 April 2012

http://www.todayszaman.com/news-277303-turkish-opposition-slams-government-over-syria-warmongering.html

“The Turkish Republic has never done as much warmongering as it has today,” leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said at a CHP party meeting on Thursday. He said his party doesn’t endorse interfering in the domestic affairs of another country and said they reject intervening in a struggle between authorities and opposition in a foreign nation.

………Criticizing Turkey’s Syrian policy, Kılıçdaroğlu asserted that the Turkish government was beating the war drum. He added that Turkey’s relations with Iraq, Iran and Syria have worsened because of the government’s interference in the domestic politics of these countries and that this in turn has downplayed Turkey’s ambition to become a regional power. The CHP leader accused the government of taking sides in the conflict and urged the ruling party to invite Iran, Russia and groups from Syria to Turkey for talks if it wants peace not war.

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McCain and Lieberman Meet With the Free Syria Army

By Josh Rogin

April 10, 2012

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31050.htm#.T4U-5Hly-fg.email

Cowboys in Turkey fomenting war and supporting the propaganda necessary for it.

Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) are on a surprise trip to the Turkish-Syrian border to meet with leaders of the Free Syria Army and visit Syrian refugees, who have been under attack by Syrian government forces.

The senators’ trip was not associated with the efforts of U.N. envoy Kofi Annan, whose cease-fire agreement seems to have failed to stop the violence. McCain and Lieberman said in a statement that Syrian President Bashar al Assad has violated the terms of Anann’s cease-fire and that the only practical way forward is to arm the Syrian opposition.

“We respect Mr. Annan’s desire to find an end to the killing in Syria. Unfortunately, Bashar al-Assad does not share this goal. That fact has been clear to many of us for months, but it should now be undeniable for everyone,” the senators said. “Indeed, reports indicate that Assad has used the time provided by the recent diplomatic initiative to kill up to 1,000 additional men, women, and children in Syria. And just yesterday, Syrian forces fired across the border with Turkey, killing and wounding people in a refugee camp on Turkish territory.”

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The Anti-Empire Report

http://killinghope.org/bblum6/aer104.html

April 6th, 2012
by William Blum
http://www.killinghope.org

Putting Syria into some perspective

The Holy Triumvirate — The United States, NATO, and the European Union — or an approved segment thereof, can usually get what they want. They wanted Saddam Hussein out, and soon he was swinging from a rope. They wanted the Taliban ousted from power, and, using overwhelming force, that was achieved rather quickly. They wanted Moammar Gaddafi’s rule to come to an end, and before very long he suffered a horrible death. Jean-Bertrand Aristide was democratically elected, but this black man who didn’t know his place was sent into distant exile by the United States and France in 2004. Iraq and Libya were the two most modern, educated and secular states in the Middle East; now all four of these countries could qualify as failed states.

These are some of the examples from the past decade of how the Holy Triumvirate recognizes no higher power and believes, literally, that they can do whatever they want in the world, to whomever they want, for as long as they want, and call it whatever they want, like “humanitarian intervention”. The 19th- and 20th-century colonialist-imperialist mentality is alive and well in the West.

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Syrian rebels ‘using Turkish refugee camps as base’

10 April, 2012,

http://rt.com/news/rebels-refugee-camp-attack-665/

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Syrians talk of their lives and futures — They invite Americans to Syria

This is a short video uploaded on Youtube before the crisis in Syria. It is an interview with Syrian university students in a cafe in downtown Damascus.  War in Syria would transform their lives completely, the young men’s and the young women’s.  People who imagine they know what is best for Syria should ask Syrians. If that is not possible, then the next best thing is to look at them, listen to them, and imagine their responses.

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Arm the Free Syrian Army Now
9:15 AM, Mar 8, 2012 • By DAVID SCHENKER

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/arm-free-syrian-army-now_633315.html?page=1

This is a writer who is direct in his support of a war in Syria. It was written more than one month ago but this editor has only recently been directed to it. It helps show how enormous are the efforts of good men and women to bring peace to Syria when cowboys only want war and more of it. David Schenker is Aufzien fellow and director of the Program on Arab Politics at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He writes as if a US led war is a clean, good war, and assassinations of leaders is a good thing.

Rather than leading from behind and delegating the task of equipping of the FSA to less-discriminating states, like Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the Obama administration should take a lead role in supplying the FSA and mitigate potential leakage of weapons to nihilistic Islamists. At the same time, by providing materiel to these forces in a systematic manner, Washington can help transform these disparate franchise opposition units into a more disciplined and united force tied to a centralized command. Moreover, working closely with the FSA now will establish relationships that can help avoid a Libya scenario—where independent militias continue to run amok—and potentially enable Washington to better shape the post-Assad environment.

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Tragedies of liberal interventionist thinking in Syria and elsewhere

Posted by Helena Cobban
April 6, 2012

http://justworldnews.org/archives/004257.html

This article asks some questions of those who support US,NATO views on Syria. Here’s an excerpt:

….I truly do not understand how liberal universalists in the west, whose views, representations, and analyses of what is happening in Myanmar/Burma in these months are so uniformly calm and supportive of the wrenchingly negotiated transition to greater democracy there absolutely never stop to ask whether a similar process may not also be the best thing for Syria today (as it was for South Africa, 20 years ago.)

Why is Syria’s current government uniquely picked out by these so-called liberals as worthy of their rage, anger, and militarized “intervention” when those other authoritarian regimes, actually, committed far worse abuses against their citizens over the course of many decades?

Why the racism that is deeply embedded in these kinds of judgments?

And yes, “Avaaz”, I am speaking about you, too.

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UN Blacks Out Syria’s Speech, Ban’s Amateur Hour & Minute of Silence? 

5th April 2012

Editor’s note: The new President of the General Assembly is the Qatari ambassador to the UN.  This is very unfortunate timing when it is Qatar in particular (with Saudi Arabia and Turkey) which is pushing hard to topple the Syrian government by supporting armed groups and by giving a voice on Al-Jazeera to calls from extremists such as Sheik Qaradawi (recently banned from France and the UAE) to ‘good Muslims’ to overthrow the ‘heretical’ government. Here is a report from Press TV about the 5 April suppression of Bashar Ja’afari’s speech in the UN General Assembly, as well as Kofi Annan’s enunciation of Syria’s problem in dealing with continuing militant assaults and its willingness to support his plan for peace:

Syria adopts Kofi Annan’s six-point plan, west and allies still seek regime change

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/234821.html

Syrian ambassador to the UN Bashar Ja’Afari worked all day at the UN Thursday trying to convince the world of his government’s commitment to Special Envoy Kofi Annan’s six-point plan.The problem he says is that many countries don’t like Annan’s plan because they want regime change in Syria.

Ja’Afari is referring to an informal meeting Thursday morning called by the President of the General Assembly Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser of Qatar a country that’s bankrolling armed gangs in Syria.

The meeting began in an open format with cameras rolling with Special Envoy Annan appearing from Geneva via closed circuit TV and saying that the Assad government has given its full cooperation on all points.

Annan added that the Assad government had reassured him that no new forces would be sent into those areas.

Nasser and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon then spoke placing most of the responsibility for peace on the government without much regard to armed groups.

As Ambassador Ja’Afari tried to respond Nasser closed the meeting and threw out reporters.

Inner City Press journalist alerted the world to the media black out so press corps at UN couldn’t view the speech of the Syrian ambassador:

http://innercitypress.com/syria1blackout040512.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRaRV4hc_wA&feature=youtu.be

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qz2tGiTxHBc&feature=relmfu

For Dr Ja’afari’s complete press conference at the UN after the end of the meeting at the General Assembly:

http://www.unmultimedia.org/tv/webcast/2012/04/press-conference-bashar-jaafari-syria-on-the-situation-in-syria.html

Lavrov: Annan plan should not be foiled with threats and ultimatums

http://www.champress.net/index.php?q=en/Article/view/117116

MOSCOW- Sergei Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister, declared Thursday that whatever steps related to the Syrian issue should be directed as to contribute to making a success of the UN Envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan’s plan.

In a statement in capital of Kirghizia, Bishkek, Minister Lavrov pointed out that Annan’s plan, already accepted by the Syrian Government, and which started implementing it, should not be foiled with threats and ultimatums.

The veteran Minister criticized the calls made by the so-call ‘friends of Syria’ participants on the opposition as to take stances contrary what Annan’s plan stipulated.

Minister Lavrov announced that Russia might vote for a UN Security Council statement on Syria, in case such a statement was not to include threats or ultimatums and if it were to contribute to the implementation of Annan’s plan.

Bogdanov:Calls to Arm the Opposition Unacceptable, Inappropriate and Contrast Entirely with Annan’s plan

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AL-AKHBAR

http://english.al-akhbar.com/blogs/sandbox/surprise-video-changes-syria-timeline

Surprise Video Changes Syria “Timeline”

by Sharmine Narwani  4 April 2012

Of all the myths obstructing the honest portrayal of events in Syria this past year, none has been more fiercely guarded by regime-change advocates than this one stark falsehood:

Myth – the Syrian regime has only been shooting unarmed, peaceful protestors until very recently when opposition groups finally decided to arm themselves in self-defense.

On the contrary, there is clear evidence that armed groups have targeted and killed security forces and civilians from within weeks of the first small protests in March 2011. An earlier investigative piece I wrote on the Syrian casualty lists identifies the shooting deaths of nine Syrian soldiers in Banyas on April 10, 2011 as one important timeline marker for premeditated opposition violence.

Ignoring this vital piece of information about the security landscape has helped shape a fundamentally flawed narrative of events in Syria. Furthermore, this false storyline has directly contributed to the escalation of the crisis by inciting rage against the “one-sided” violence of the regime, and emboldening opponents with a misplaced “righteousness” that kills legitimate debate on Syria…………….

(Support for the thesis of this article can be found at http://pool.abc.net.au/media/syria-questions-must-be-asked-and-answered )

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This is a long, detailed analysis of the crisis in Syria with particular focus on the President. It is worth the work. Like most serious analyses of the ‘propaganda, humanitarian and religious war’  against Syria, it is not in the mainstream media. Shame. (Didn’t regular reporters read Orwell or ‘The Quiet American’, Chomsky or ‘Catch 22′, or war poets; or listen to Bob Dylan and Joan Baez? Weren’t they inspired by their English teacher to do great things when they grew up? )

http://creativesyria.com/syriapage/?p=150

The real Bashar Al-Assad

Monday, April 2nd, 2012 | A post by Camille Otrakji

Among the main pillars of the case for a revolution against President Assad is the assumption that he has little support among his people, he is not compatible with moral standards shared by other members of the international community and he does not have what it takes to lead Syria anyway.

Yet, many journalists who visited Syria admit that Assad still enjoys significant popular support and his qualities and his job performance over the years received over the top, bi-polar reviews. In the words of his adversaries, Assad is “internationally respected“, “charming“, “attractive“, “fascinating“, “skilled“, “triumphant“, “most popular“, and in total control … or not in control, “weak“, “delusional“, most hated, “evil moron“, or even Hitler-evil

There is much more material to choose from. Google search returned tens of millions of results for “Bashar al Assad”, higher than Egypt’s “Hosni Mubarak”, “King Abdullah” of Saudi Arabia, long-time Israeli Prime Minister “Benjamin Netanyahu”, or Turkish Prime minister “Erdogan”.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said “We all have a responsibility to work for a resolution of this profound and extremely dangerous crisis that has potentially massive repercussions for the region and the world.” The crisis in Syria could quickly escalate into civil wars in Syria and a number of its neighbors, a massive regional war between the Sunni and Shia alliances, or the return of the cold war. All of which will severely impact global economy.

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http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/ngos-not-beyond-reproach-6719

Unmasking the Democracy Promoters

by Robert W. Merry

This article is a critical look at the shutting down of US NGO offices in Egypt and the UAE.

….The Steven Lee Myers article in the Timesreflects the general view that these NGO activists are merely doing what comes naturally to those who believe American democratic structures represent universal values that should be embraced universally throughout the world.

But the arrogance of many of these people is almost guaranteed to be incendiary in target countries. Consider the words of Michael McFaul, once the NDI’s representative in Russia. “We’re not going to get into the business of dictating [Russia’s] path [to democracy],” he said. “We’re just going to support what we like to call ‘universal values’—not American values, not Western values, universal values.” Who, one might ask, is the arbiter of such universal values, and how does one get appointed as crusader in their behalf? To get an answer you would have to travel to Russia, where McFaul now serves as U.S. ambassador.

One contrarian voice on this issue is Patrick J. Buchanan, the conservative commentator (and member of the TNI advisory council), who argues that such activity is not only wrong but harmful to American interests. He asks: “Does the United States interfere in the internal affairs of nations to subvert regimes by using NGOs to funnel cash to the opposition to foment uprisings or affect elections? Are we using Cold War methods in countries with which we are not at war—to advance our New World Order?”  He replies: “So it would seem.” ….

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There must be an examination of the role and intent of Saudi Arabia and Qatar in arming groups to cause civil strife in Syria, to kill.  People in Syria have so many more social and political freedoms than people in Saudi Arabia do in those two countries. So what is their justification for their desire to destroy the Syrian government and why do Western countries, notably the US, the UK and France, ally themselves with these countries?

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/ND06Ak01.html

Saudi Arabia’s Syrian jihad
By Joshua Jacobs

If there was any doubt as to Saudi intentions in Syria, that veil was ripped away on Sunday at the Istanbul “Friends of Syria” conference. The Saudis and their Gulf allies spearheaded an effort to create a formalized pay structure for the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and privately ruminated on the possibility of setting up official supply conduits to forces fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. This decision went much further than what the West, or even neighboring Turkey, seemed willing to embrace.

Arour Adnan is one extremist cleric broadcasting from Saudi Arabia:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bwz8i3osHww&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nk1-tA2HvM8&feature=related

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Editor’s note: Articles which can further the discussion on Syria are presented on these pages; this does not mean that the arguments of their writers is necessarily accepted by the editor.  For example, this writer is critical of US policy regarding Syria, but, nevertheless, plays safe by sticking to the mainstream media mantra as far as President Assad goes.

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/04/syria-america-steps-onto-the-slippery-slope/255372/

Syria: America Steps onto the Slippery Slope

by Robert Wright, 2 April 2012

Today’s award for the most euphemistic lead paragraph goes to the New York Times. Paraphrasing Hillary Clinton, the Timessays the U.S. has agreed to “send communications equipment to help rebels organize and evade Syria’s military.”

It might be nice if there were communications equipment whose use is inherently confined to evasive maneuvers. But I’m not aware of any. Inevitably, the equipment we’re giving the rebels will help them organize as they attack Syria’s military, not just as they retreat. It may even help them attack Syrian civilians who share the Alawite ethnicity of Syrian president Bashar al Assad. (Rebel attacks on Alawite civilians took place during the siege of Homs.) What’s more, according to the Syrian National Council, this “communications equipment” is going to include night-vision goggles–and I doubt it’s just nighttime evasions that the rebels have in mind.

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A lengthy analysis of the recent “Friends” of Syria meeting. The author has been to Syria very recently, so his article is well worth reading.

http://www.voltairenet.org/The-Syrian-debacle

SECOND “FRIENDS” OF SYRIA CONFERENCE IN ISTANBUL

The Syrian debacle

by Thierry Meyssan  5 April

On 27 March 2012, President Bashar al-Assad traveled to Homs where he visited the district of Baba Amr, the location where Syrian Takfirists [1] and foreign fighters had set up for one month an independent Islamic Emirate. He promised the displaced residents that the State would rebuild their homes “much better than before,” and they could soon return home. Thousands of people, mostly Sunni, had been forced to escape to avoid falling under the Islamists’ dictatorship. In their absence, the houses were pillaged and hundreds of them were blown up by rebels, when not already destroyed during the fighting.

Bashar al-Assad, who continues to be the most popular head of state in the Arab world, met with Homs dwellers, but refrained from the traditional walkabout due to the likely presence of isolated terrorists.

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The Guardian

The Arab spring has shaken Arab TV’s credibility  

, Tuesday 3 April 2012

Their biased coverage is undermining viewers’ faith in the Middle Eastern satellite channels that sprang up in the 1990s and 2000s

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/apr/03/arab-spring-arab-tv-credibility?CMP=twt_gu

Ali Hashem was interviewed by Russia Today in March soon after he resigned from Al-Jazeera. That interview was most revealing about the propaganda war against Syria and Propaganda and War in the 21st Century.

http://rt.com/news/hashem-al-jazeera-resignation-523/

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Editor’s note: It seems the US believes the crude “media and humanitarian” war against Syria has had its desired effect; the US and its allies are now going public with their support to fighters who will spread fear and terror in Syria, and kill. They trust people outside Syria will do nothing more than watch, turn their heads away or simply tutt tutt.  They plan to manufacture a full-blown civil war in Syria hoping the world will not notice their contribution to the violence and terror.  They plan to dismember Syria.

For an analysis of the April 1st ‘Friends of Syria’ meeting in Istanbul, the blog AMERICAN EVERYMAN (see link) is recommended over mainstream media:

Obama Takes a Page from Reagan – Free Syrian Army are Now His Contras

http://willyloman.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/obama-administration-takes-a-page-from-reagan-free-syrian-army-are-now-his-contras/

Posted on April 2, 2012 by willyloman

by Scott Creighton

Out of control warmonger Hillary Clinton is stepping up her efforts to force regime change in yet another country despite the horrific results of her previous “victory” in Libya.  The silence from the antiwar fauxgressives is deafening.

In spite of the fact that Assad has agreed to a new peace plan with the so-called “rebels” in Syria, with a smile on her face reminiscent of the crazed glee she showed after Gadhafi was brutally murdered in Libya, Hillary Clinton answered questions dutifully read by an ABC “reporter” after her Orwellian named “Friends of Syria” conference yesterday.

She made it perfectly clear that the Obama administration’s position was regime change no matter what. Don’t forget, Syria just implemented serious reforms in the country a few months ago and are holding free elections in a couple weeks. None of that matters to the democracy hating Clinton crew. The LAST thing they want to see is the people of Syria vote for keeping Assad after all their propaganda and terrorist mercenary efforts to destabilize the country………..

Regarding the ‘Free Syrian Army’ there is almost no critical analyses of them in the mainstream media. This blog has referred to their crimes before.  Here are two articles not presented which bring attention to them.

Syria: Free Syrian Army accused of displacing Lebanese

http://www.muslimnews.co.uk/news/news.php?article=21759

Ethnic Cleansing of Syrian Christians

http://frontpagemag.com/2012/03/29/ethnic-cleansing-of-syrian-christians/

And there need to be reminders of the ‘media war’ against Syria. This is one analysis not presented on this blog previously:

Mainstream media self-censorship

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmlu_4ptswQ

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US Moves Towards Intervention in Syria,  60 nations pledge to pay, support Syrian rebels

-Published on Sunday, April 1, 2012 by Common Dreams

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/04/01

The United States has pledged to provide money and communications assistance to rebels in Syria, who have been clashing with the Syrian government.

World leaders gather to discuss the clashes in Syria (Photo: Associated Press) At least 60 nations, including the US, have pledged $100 million to pay opposition fighters in Syria, according to the New York Times. The Obama administration has also agreed “to send communications equipment to help rebels organize and evade Syria’s military.”

This would mark the second time since Arab nations began uprisings against their governments in early 2011 that the US has taken such a direct role in an Arab conflict. The United States took an interventionist role in Libya last year — who like Syria had a testy diplomatic relationship with the US.

The United States has not intervened on behalf of pro-democracy activists in countries where they have strong geopolitical relationships with the government, such as Yemen and Saudi Arabia. This has led critics to allege that the United States intervenes in the name of geopolitical self-interest, and not a commitment to democracy or human rights in the region. Many have expressed opposition to US intervention in Syria.

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Friends of Syria call for timetable on change

In this report from the ABC’s THE WORLD TODAY, there is no reference to the armed ‘ opposition’ needing to put down their arms and sit at the peace table.

http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2012/s3468715.htm

RACHAEL BROWN: Addressing the summit of more than 80 nations Mrs Clinton said it’s unlikely president Assad will ever implement the peace plan he agreed on with the UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan.

HILLARY CLINTON: Bashar al-Assad has so far refused to honour his pledge. There is no more time for excuses or delays, this is a moment of truth.

WILLIAM HAGUE: Everything the Assad regime has done looks like stalling for time.

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Editor: Is the country which produced Tolstoy and Solzhenitsyn producing more balanced journalism now than the West?

Friends of Syria recognize SNC as ‘legitimate representative’

http://rt.com/news/friends-syria-istanbul-meeting-966/

………. Moscow, which opted not to attend the conference, views the gathering as one-sided and questions its ability to push for dialogue.

There have also been charges that talks of arming the Syrian opposition discourage the peace process.

Moscow has pointed out that whatever the conference decides, it cannot speak on behalf of the international community or judge the implementation of Annan’s plan. Nor, the Kremlin says, can it be a replacement for the UN Security Council.

This means that without the support of the UN Security Council, any substantial decisions on Syria are highly unlikely.

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What should receive prominence in this discussion is Iraq’s stand. Iraqis know better than most what war brings to a country and the deceit of the US and its allies. It also knows that a war in Syria will impact on the whole region.

Maliki uses Syria to slam Qatar, Saudi Arabia

http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=51523

Iraq’s prime minister on Sunday slammed Sunni-ruled Qatar and Saudi Arabia’s stance on arming Syrian rebels, as Doha hosted Baghdad’s fugitive vice president who is accused of running a death squad.

Nuri al-Maliki’s remarks were the latest in a dramatic cooling of ties between Qatar and Iraq, which have sharply disagreed on how to respond to President Bashar al-Assad’s year-long deadly crackdown on dissent in Syria.

The United Nations says that more than 9,000 people have been killed since the crackdown began in mid-March last year.

The Syria issue has split the Arab world, with hardline states including Qatar and Saudi Arabia advocating arming Syrian rebels and calling for Assad’s departure, while others including Iraq want to see a political solution.

“We reject any arming (of Syrian rebels) and the process to overthrow the (Assad) regime, because this will leave a greater crisis in the region,” Maliki said at a news conference.

“The stance of these two states is very strange,” he said in apparent reference to Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

“They are calling for sending arms instead of working on putting out the fire, and they will hear our voice, that we are against arming and against foreign interference.”

“We are against the interference of some countries in Syria’s internal affairs, and those countries that are interfering in Syria’s internal affairs will interfere in the internal affairs of any country,” the Iraqi leader added.

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For an analysis of the complex reality of Syria, go to this most recent article by Dr Fiona Hill. It is on an ABC site, so hopefully ABC journalists will have access to it and it may lead to some balance in reporting and commentary on Syria.

THE DRUM OPINION, 2 April 2012

Whose revolution is this, anyway?

by Dr Fiona Hill

http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3926840.html

Just as the villages of Damascus countryside and suburbs of Homs and Idlib were commandeered for the past several months by armed opposition, with appalling consequences, now Damascus suburbs have roadblocks by armed militia. Fear casts a long shadow across Syria now that not even the capital is safe from such dangerous scenarios.

There have been many acts of terror in Syria this past 12 months by revolutionaries who identify themselves variously as the ‘Free Army’, Salafists, Takfiris, or Al Qaeda. They are joined in their abductions, extortions, destruction of infrastructure and killing of soldiers, police, and civilians who defy them – as reported to me by trusted sources and as confirmed by the Arab League Observer Mission by smuggling rings ruthlessly defending their territory and by a rag-tag of common criminals and mercenaries.

Members of the international alliance called ‘Friends of Syria’ refuse to acknowledge this element in Syria’s crisis and, more disturbingly, continue to provide arms and guerrilla trainers on the ground.

Instead they remain wedded to the evil dictator – good democracy protester motif, conflating the armed opposition with the many and varied active political opponents of the Syrian government who do not carry arms. Indeed to mention atrocities committed by the ‘Free Army’ is to attract accusations of being slavishly pro-Assad or a government lackey.

This outdated motif, and simple-minded attitude, is an insult to the Syrian people in all their political orientations.

IMAGES OF SYRIANS (nearly all the images have been taken from Syrian TV, April 2012 )

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Faces and Voices of Syria

All images taken from Syrian TV.  Syrians comment on the March bomb attacks in Damascus and Aleppo.  For a view of the rallies across Syria on 15 March to support peaceful reform in Syria, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3IXzg7r62M&feature=related

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