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July 2012 Reference List

July 6, 2012

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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