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August 2012 Reference List

August 4, 2012

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

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

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



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

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


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

A report by Yara before her abduction:

Syrian Army

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

August 1, 2012

Yara is embedded Syrian soldiers:

This video shows the three held captive by Islamist rebels:

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


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

NB: Report of 3 Hungarians kidnapped



Highly Recommended:

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

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

Media coverage of Syrian violence partial and untrue, says nun

13 August 2012

PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent

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

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

In the Flood of Disinformation, the Situation in Syria

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

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

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

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


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

MARY FITZGERALD, Foreign Affairs Correspondent 18 August 2012


Oksana Boyko, Russia Today reporter based in Syria

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




Oksana interviews a member of the internal unarmed opposition.

‘Syria rebels just hostages in hands of allies’

Published on Aug 13, 2012 by ‪RussiaToday

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



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

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


Syrian envoy to UN censures Saudi Arabia, Qatar

31 August 2012


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


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



Qatar builds up anti-Syria Wahhabi army

28 December 2012

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


Russia Today

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

31 August 2012

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

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


 Russian Today

‘Morsi slams Assad at NAM summit at US bidding’

31 August 2012

Interview with UK journalist and blogger, Neil Clark


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

Published on Aug 30, 2012 by ‪RussiaToday

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



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

By  Christof Lehmann  31 August 2012 


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

August 30 2012


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


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

Published on Aug 6, 2012 by ‪TheRealNews

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


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

August 31 2012




The remapping of the Middle East

By Claudio Gallo   31 August 2012

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


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

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

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


Amnesty International has supported the US Administration narrative on Syria since the beginning of the crisis there. Ref:


Amnesty International Web site hacked by supporters of Syrian government

28 August 2012


The Corbett Report

From the Houla Hoax to Chemical Weapons – Deceptions in Syria

30 August 2012


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

RT – M. Klostermayr – German hypocrisy towards Syria



 Tunisian Al Qaeda Jihadists in Syria

25 August 2012



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

Wednesday 29 August 2012

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

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





Press TV

Western media distorts truth in Syria


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

Czech diplomats continue working in Syria despite hostilities

ČTK | 29 AUGUST 2012



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


Press TV

Ban Ki-moon in Iran for NAM summit

28 August 2012


Blog “Wrong Kind of Green”




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

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



Robert Fisk interviews Walid Muallim, the Syrian Foreign Affairs Minister

Tuesday 29 August 2012


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

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


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


Alakhbar English

Syrian archbishop flees to Lebanon

Published Monday, August 27, 2012

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

An interview with the Archbishop on France 24 in January 2012

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

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

However some senior members of the opposition are also Christians.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

The Syrian opposition: who’s doing the talking?

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


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




Darayya Massacre: Innocent people killed by FUKUS backed FSA


Includes report by Addounia TV in Syria

Warning: Graphic images of victims in Darayya


Russia Today report on the Darayya massacre

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


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


Los Angeles Times report of the Darayya Massacre

Dozens more bodies found at Syria massacre site

By Patrick J. McDonnell  27 August,0,3137672.story




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


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


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




Innocent people massacred on a daily basis…

25 August 2012

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






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



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

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

Style of Killings in Houla very unlike Syrian Islam

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


Tunisian Al Qaeda Jihadists in Syria


August 2012

Video from Lebanon’s Al Mayadeen channel.



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

23 August 2012



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

28 August


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

August 23 2012

Video from Syrian TV



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

France 24

‘Copé’s concerns about Syria’  10 August 2012

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


France warns Syria over chemical weapons use

27 August

France Urges Syrian Opposition to Form New Government

By STEVEN ERLANGER     Published: August 27, 2012

World War 2 and Independence

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



Talk of FALSE FLAG operations against Syria

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

Syrian False Flag Planned?

By Stephen Lendman

August 23, 2012 “Information Clearing House

US conservative commentator

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

22 August 2012


The Los Angeles Times

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

22 August,0,6157005.story


The Telegraph

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

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



by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya  26 August 2012


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

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





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

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

24 August 2012


An analysis by a Turkish commentator

The National Interest

Turkey’s Syria Conundrum

Sinan Ulgan, August 24 2012



Syrian media sources include the following:


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

Aug 26, 2012

Syrian satellite TV


Chilling Crimes By Terrorist Jaber Mustapha Shihabi in Aleppo

22 August 2012


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


… misleading sides have created a spoof email address named (….



Concerns About Al Qaeda in Syria Underscore Questions About Rebels

By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK     21 August 2012

What is Al Qaeda doing in Syria?




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

Audio Interview:

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

GUESTS: Sultan Al-Qassemi

HOSTED BY: Bob Garfield


Matt Carr is a British blogger and writer to follow:



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

RT interview: Rebel atrocities turn Syrians away from the opposition


SKY NEWS reporter Tim Marshall is currently based in Damascus

On twitter:

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

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



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


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


21 Century Imperialism:


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

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


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

Patriarch Laham Exposes Terrorists Tactics


The UN and Syria


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


UN report on Houla 


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


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

15 August 2012




Press TV in NY

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


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

Yvonne Haddad  29 July 2012


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


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

By JOHN PONTIFEX on Monday, 26 March 2012



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



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


The New York Times

Life With Syria’s Rebels – The Lions of Tawhid


August 22 2012


NYT’s Article

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


American journalist missing in Syria



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

Robert Fisk:

‘No power can bring down the Syrian regime’

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

The bloody truth about Syria’s uncivil war

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



Chechen Fighters Join Syrian Extremist Rebels

22 August 2012



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

Critics of Islam & Islamic Extremism Must Understand Wahhabi Extremist Beliefs

By Austin Clin


The Telegraph

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

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

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


Preparing The Public For The Attack On Hezbollah

By Dan Lieberman

 August 23, 2012 “Information Clearing House



Sydney sheik killed in Syria rocket attack

Updated Wed Aug 22,

Meeting in a Sydney bookshop of supporters of Sheik Majzoud

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




Amnesty International is US State Department Propaganda

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

by Tony Cartalucci


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

What if the Empire Project Fails in Syria?

By Michael Collins



Syria is Only a Pretext 

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


Paul Craig-Roberts

Is Washington Deaf As Well as Criminal?

16 December 2012


World Socialist Web Site

US proxy war in Syria spreads to Lebanon and Iraq

By Eric London 
18 August 2012



Regime Change is About Establishing Sunni Dominance Not Democratic Freedoms

Syrian Australians Demand an End to Foreign Intervention





Libya Fighters Head to Syria’s Front-Line

Fighters Hope to ‘Export the Revolution’ to Damascus

by Jason Ditz, August 14, 2012



Syrian minister hints that Bashar al-Assad could step down

22 August 2012

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

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




by Boris Volkhonsky  21 AUGUST 2012




US Desperation Surfaces in Syria

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

by Tony Cartalucci


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

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

Opinion Phillip

Does It Matter Whether Catherine Is Protestant?



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

13 August 2012


Interview on RT with British ME analyst

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


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

Published on Aug 13, 2012 by ‪RussiaToday

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

by Jiwan Kshetry

August 15, 2012

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


SYRIA/ “Blessed are the peacemakers”



August Sun 12, 2012

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

Damascus, 3 August, 2012



Massacres in Aleppo, Syria

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

by Tony Cartalucci 

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


After Aleppo: A Return to the Status Quo

By: Nicolas Nassif

Published Monday, August 13, 2012

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

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




Obama’s Regime-Change Policy in Syria

Robert Dreyfuss  13 August

Regime Change in Syria: Part II

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


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


Asia Times online

Covering Syria: The information war

By Aisling Byrne  July 12 2012


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

The Guardian

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

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

            Julian Borger, diplomatic editor

The Guardian, Tuesday 14 August 2012

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

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

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



Foreign Policy Journal

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

And other tales of an empire gone mad

by William Blum

11 August 2012

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


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

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


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


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


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

By Prof. Michel Chossudovsky

August 13, 2012 “Information Clearing House” –


Macmillan backed Syria assassination plot

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



Israeli-US script: Divide Syria, divide the rest

By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

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


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

By Deepak Tripathi 

August 13, 2012 “Information Clearing House” —

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



US and Turkey to consider no-fly zones for Syria

11 August 2012

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

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




Foreign-backed armed groups targeting Syrian history

Published on Aug 11, 2012 by ‪PressTVGlobalNews

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



Qatar offered Syrian ambassador $5.8mn for defection – report

11 August 2012

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


Secret Protocols of Putin’s Talks in Israel

Israel’s Plan for Syria: Somalisation

By Israel Shamir

Israel supports regime change in Syria: Israeli spy chief

8 August 2012




By Felicity Arbuthnot

11 August 2012

Veteran Russian politician Yevgeny Primakov …

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

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

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

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


Press TV

‘West plan to destroy Syria, decades-old

11 August 2012

Interview with Dr Randy Short  ( )


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

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

Very disturbing video: FSA kills Syrian citizen




Iranian pilgrims are abducted soon after they arrive in Damascus


UNSC met on Syria kidnapping     9 August 2012

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


Los Angles Times

Professed Syrian rebel says Iranian hostages are militiamen

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

By Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times

August 6, 2012,0,1990364.story


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

Syria: Some in opposition fear rebels miscalculated in Aleppo

13 August 2012

The Syria activists fear that the Aleppo offensive may lead to a humanitarian crisis and undermine the revolution by turning the city against them.,0,4861280.story



Ron Paul: Interventionist Policies Make Us Less Secure

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

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

War, Foreign Policy, and the Church

by Laurence M. Vance

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



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


Press TV

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

8 August 2012

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


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

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

By Thierry Meyssan  7 August 2012


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


Jandar Resort Massacre in Homs

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

7 August 2012



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

Dismembering the Arab World

3 AUGUST 2012

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

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

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

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


Al-Qaeda’s  Specter  in  Syria

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

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

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


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

Sunnis are oppressed in Saudi Arabia, not in Syria

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

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

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


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


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


Sanctions Will Kill Tens of Thousands of Iranians

by Muhammad Sahimi, August 09, 2012


Monday, 13 August 2012

How defence spending ‘contributes to American 

by Bernard Keane


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


Talks with Tony Blair on Middle East peace

AUGUST 8, 2012


Terror in Syria: family killed, child hanged.



Persecution Complex

Syria’s “Liberated” Future


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

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



Writer Defends His Handling of Interview With Assad


Published: August 5, 2012

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

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





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


SYDNEY RALLY – 5 August 6, 2012


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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SYRIA  360


Posted on August 5, 2012 by Alexandra Valiente


Grandfather Attacked by Terrorist Supporters in Sydney

Posted on August 5, 2012



West attempts to destabilize the Syrian government: Analyst

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Information Minister: All Workers Are Safe

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


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


The Telegraph

Muslim Brotherhood establishes militia inside Syria

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

By Ruth Sherlock, Richard Spencer in Beirut

6:48PM BST 03 Aug 2012



Syria Rebels Face Growing List of Crimes

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


by John Glaser, August 04, 2012

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


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

Increasing Evidence of Jihadists in Syria

By Patrick Brennan


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

Iranian pilgrims kidnapped on trip to Syria

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

By Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times

August 5, 2012,0,7290703.story

Professed Syrian rebel says Iranian hostages are militiamen

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

By Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times

August 6, 2012

BEIRUTIran said Sunday that it was seeking the aid of Turkey and Qatar, nations with close ties to the Syrian opposition, in securing the release of dozens of Iranian citizens kidnapped the day before in Syria.,0,1990364.story


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

ABC Radio:The World Today


Regime intensifies bombardment of Aleppo

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



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


Syrian rebels accused of public executions

By Norman Hermant and Matt Brown

Updated August 02, 2012 09:19:59




Imperial Chaos: the Road to Domination

August 5, 2012

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

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


‘Russia sends military warning to US on Syria’

Published on Aug 4, 2012 by ‪PressTVGlobalNews

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

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




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

—   Vlad Taltos, Iorich

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

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

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

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


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


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

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


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


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




Oksana Boyko

Oksana Boyko @OksanaBoyko_RT

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

Oksana Boyko ‏‪@OksanaBoyko_RT

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

Oksana Boyko ‏‪@OksanaBoyko_RT

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



Kidnapped Syrian TV host executed

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

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


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

Islamist rebels execute Syrian journalist

Published Saturday, August 4, 2012



Obama authorizes secret support for Syrian rebels

By Mark Hosenball

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

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

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

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

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



Obama Admits Funding Fake Revolutionaries to Attack Assad

By Susanne Posel

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


Obama Does Syriana

By Pepe Escobar

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



The West Should Not Support Syrian Rebels

Posted: 31/07/2012 12:12

By Charles Shoebridge

Security analyst, and former army and intelligence officer


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

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

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

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

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



UN adopts tough resolution on Syria

Published: 03 August, 2012, 21:01

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

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

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

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

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


CHAM PRESS 4 August 2012

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

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

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

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



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

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

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



Syria: Shameful Performance of Western Media

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Reuters removed two or three stories from its pages.


Screen shots of the chemical weapons story that reuters took down.‪#Syria ‪

4 August 2012

Western Media Jump To Rescue Reuters Credibility

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

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

The link to one missing page:



Breaking the Arab News

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


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



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

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

By Saman Mohammadi 

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

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

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


Syria Picture Faked, Say Bloggers 

By Austrian Times

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


Letters to the Guardian on Syria


Time to end sabre-rattling and covert support in the Middle East, Thursday 2 August 2012 20.59 BST

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

Peter GodfreyIsle of Harris, Western Isles




Syria’s Crumbling Pluralism

Civil Disintegration and Ethnic Cleansing.


   August 03, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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

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

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






‘Assad better get the hell out’ – Panetta

Published: 31 July, 2012, 12:29

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

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

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




Christian Syrian famlies seek asylum in Lebanon

Friday, 03 August 2012

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

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

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

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



The West and the Glorification of Terrorism

By Thierry Meyssan

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

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

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



Inside Syria: Aleppo’s Christians Arm Against Islamists

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

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

By Hugh Macleod, Annasofie Flamand and a reporter inside Syria

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




Only a Ceasefire will End the Nightmare in Syria

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

By Patrick Seale

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


The Role of CIA-pampered Saudi Spymaster in Syria

By Ismail Salami 

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


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

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

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

By Al Jazeera, New York Times

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



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