The UN observers in Syria are refraining from reporting on the situation in the country as it would entail testifying to the presence of foreign and NATO-backed death squads, an analyst says.
The comment comes as Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011. Many people, including security forces, have been killed in the turmoil.
While the West and the Syrian opposition accuse the government of killing the protesters, Damascus blames ”outlaws, saboteurs and armed terrorist groups” for the unrest, insisting that it is being orchestrated from abroad.
Press TV has conducted an interview with author and historian, Webster Griffin Tarpley, to further discuss the issue.
The video also provides the opinions of two additional guests, author and radio host Stephan Lendman, and political commentator Jihad Mouracadeh.
What follows is a rough transcript of the interview
Press TV: In an interview with a Russian television outlet Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has talked about the country’s recent parliamentary elections and the Syrian opposition stance. He has said that how can you boycott the people of whom you consider yourself the representative? Does he have a point there?
Tarpley: Absolutely, he does but what we see is that the so called Syrian national council, large parts of the local coordinating committees and the totality really of the so called Syrian free army are simply pawns of NATO and the United States, Britain, France, Israel on the one side and they’re also pawns of the reactionary feudal monarchies of the Gulf, the Saudis, the Qatar people and so forth.
The fact that we had 51 percent of the people turn out to vote I think is extraordinary. Any vote in that election is a vote against the rebels. It doesn’t have to be for Assad and as a matter of fact we know that a couple of opposition figures Jameel and Assi have certainly been elected.
This was also the first election where there was no constitutionally prescribed power monopoly of the Ba’ath party but of course the Syrian national council takes orders from NATO and the orders from NATO have been no compromise, no negotiation because NATO doesn’t want a peaceful solution, they want to have an issue that they can use for invasion, for bombing, for terrorism and for regime change.
So I think Assad is absolutely right on that just in terms of these elections 51 percent may not sound like a great turnout but that’s exactly the turnout that we had here in the United States in November 2000 when George W. Bush stole that election so 51 percent is not the reason to bomb anybody I don’t think.
Tarpley: [In response to the other speakers on the show] I would like to observe that anybody who went to vote [in Syria’s recent elections] did so knowing that they were risking their lives. The people voting were risking their lives because the MO of the death squads sent in by NATO, these al-Qaeda and foreign fighters that the Syrian government is now exposing is that these are snipers operating from roof tops, from tops of buildings, they’re cowards, they’re terrorists, and they kill women and children.
You can be sure that if you are going to vote in Syria, your life is in danger. So to find 51 percent of the people who are willing to vote under those circumstances, I think is a very important political fact.
Now let me just add two more things, the political effect of the elections has been to accelerate the breakup of this self-styled national council, right? The news of the last 24 hours is that the leader of it, this guy Khaliun who is a pendant from the Sorbonne, an academic, quackademic we might say, he is quitting as the head of it because these NATO pawns can’t get along.
They were supposed to have a meeting in Cairo, the Syrian national council boycotted the meeting because they didn’t like the way invitations were being sent out. This is absolutely crazy. Nobody in his right mind wants to go from an established government with Assad, whatever you think of him to the total chaos of the Syrian national council.
The other point is here in Washington we’ve just had the Kurds being brought in. The state department invited a Kurdish delegation and the United States is inciting the Kurds to an armed violent rebellion against the Syrian government.
Now this is something that people in Turkey are to take notice of because once that Kurdish operation gets going there is no telling where it will stop. We’ve seen this again and again and again. We’re told that the Turks are considering invoking article 4 of NATO,that they want to be defended against a few thousand refugees.
It’s also absurd but if the Kurds got, if Turks are willing to go down this road, they will find that it leads to the breakup of Turkey even more certainly than it leads to the breakup of Syria. So the Turks really are to pull back.
Press TV: Mr. Tarpley US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Director of the National Intelligence James Clapper both have confirmed that al-Qaeda have infiltrated Syrian opposition groups. Now Clapper has even said that al-Qaeda has probably been behind recent bombings in Damascus.
Earlier if I recall President Obama had confirmed that Washington was providing ‘non-lethal’ assistance to armed groups in Syria, when the US knows that al-Qaeda is operating there why is it assisting opposition groups that might also encompass al-Qaeda as well? Are they talking about some sort of grey area in the differentiation of terrorists being good and bad?
Tarpley: We always have to remember that al-Qaeda is nothing but the Arab legion of the CIA founded to wage war against the Soviets in Afghanistan and since deployed to places like Bosnia or Chechnya or Algeria and many many other countries that the United States has decided to target.
Since the Libyan events of last year we have ended a phase which is really Orwellian, where the alliance, the subordination of al-Qaeda to the strategy of NATO is so blatant and open in the eyes of the world that this entire mythology risks collapsing.
But it’s clear that al-Qaeda fighters have been brought into Syria above all from Libya where they had gathered last year. So now this year the campaign is in Syria and of course, the United States has armed this uprising the entire time and the uprising was violent from the word go as I found on the ground last November in Homs.
And in Baniyas the shooting began, the very first day in the middle of March of 2011. I would like to pose a challenge to [Head of the UN observer mission to Syria] General Robert Mood of the so called United Nations observer force. He’ got a couple of hundred people on the ground now and he’s been there for quite a few weeks.
They are supposed to observe, so world public opinion wants to know what did you observe, let’s hear a report what did you find? What we know for sure is that UN observers were attacked not once but twice that we know of by the death squads and General Mood seems to be incapable of giving a report about this.
He literally doesn’t know what hit him so we want to know from General Mood, General Mood your report was it al-Qaeda that attacked you? Who were they working for? What we’re seeing is the entire United Nations bureaucracy past and present with Ban Ki Moon, Kofi Anan, [United Nations’ human rights chief] Navi Pilay, Baroness Valerie Amos of the human rights department, General Mood.
These are not international civil servants, these are facilitators of imperialism and we’re getting a situation, it’s very much like the League of Nations where the international body is actually a tool of appeasement and aggression.
So we’ve left collective security behind and we’re now in the area of the UN as a facilitator and helper of imperialist aggression and that means the UN is likely to go the way of the League of Nations. But in the meantime let’s hear something from General Mood.
Press TV: I’d like to ask Mr. Tarpley to comment on the discussion, add anything if he has to your comments.
Tarpley: Again the observers are supposed to observe, we need a detailed report what have they found, have they found anything? Are they blind? Are they deaf? If they’re attacked don’t they even know who did it?
The problem of course is as anybody can see that if they gave an empirical report about what they found, they would have to report the presence of foreign fighters organized into death squads directed by NATO and paid for by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the Emirates and the Gulf States.
Mouracadeh: What about the Syrian regime itself?
Tarpley: No state can be an aggressor on its own territory. The question that there is no peace and security is not posed.