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Posts tagged "Syria"


by Syrian artist Aeich Thimer  



Women’s rights are increasingly heralded as a useful propaganda device to further imperial designs.

Western heads of state, UN officials and military spokespersons will invariably praise the humanitarian dimension of the October 2001 US-NATO led invasion of Afghanistan, which allegedly was to…

(via propagandawar)


When Noura al-Ameer exchanged looks with the Syrian government representatives in Switzerland, she felt as though she was looking into the eyes of her interrogators in prison.

The 26-year-old anti-government activist was detained for six months in some of Syria’s most notorious prisons in Damascus and Homs before her release in late 2012.

She is now the vice-president of the opposition delegation trying to negotiate a peace deal with representatives of President Bashar al-Assad’s government, whose forces arrested her at a bus station in the Syrian capital.

Read more:

Do you think there should be more women in the Geneva II peace talks?



By Barack Obama

Imagine my surprise when I opened the New York Times and read Vladimir Putin’s Op-ed. I didn’t know what I was reading for a few minutes. Sometimes my Chief of Staff will put The Onion in front of me just to shake things up so it took me a moment to realize this was not a joke.

First off, let me say I had a very nice time at the G20. The food was good, although a bit heavy for my taste, and the weather was pleasant. Certainly you can see the sky sometimes, which you can never do in China.

As I continued to read the Op-ed, I really couldn’t understand whether we were being insulted or praised. Mr. Putin seemed to respect the United States for one paragraph, and then blast us in another. Now understand, I admire Mr. Putin. For his age he seems to be in great physical shape and even though I could kick his ass in basketball I do believe that if a bear were to attack the both of us, he would be the one to shoo it away.

But let’s make one thing perfectly clear: this is written by a man who is the head of Russia. Russia, where the air conditioning in the room conked out even though I was in the Presidential Suite. Russia, where no one smiles and where people actually look disappointed that they are white.

Mr. Putin, we put a man on the moon and you barely got a monkey home safely. We invented the computer and you invented the way to steal it. Your country is filled with our fast food businesses and yet there is not one Russian take out place in the whole United States.

You are known for Siberia, we are known for Big Sur. We make Cadillacs and Lincolns and God knows what you call those little square deathtraps. It’s one thing to put down exceptionalism, but before you do that, you at least have to produce one Broadway show, or make one commercial airliner, or invent one type of salad.

Having said that, your people are wonderful and I know that you care about them deeply, except, of course, for the gay ones. As a matter of fact, you care about them so much that you hate to see them argue, especially with you, so you graciously offer them the solace of prison.

In any case, I enjoyed your editorial and I am very impressed that it was printed in The New York Times. If only there was a newspaper in your country that would print this.

My very best wishes,

Barack Obama.


What About Justice for Syria’s Victims?

There’s now a slight chance that the United Nations Security Council will respond to the slaughter in Syria by imposing international monitoring of Syria’s chemical weapons, as suggested by Russia. This step ought to prevent future use of such heinous weapons, but what it won’t do is bring justice to the war’s many victims (including the hundreds of civilians killed on August 21, likely by government forces using Sarin). Nor will it deter the deliberate or indiscriminate killing of civilians with conventional weapons, which accounts for the overwhelming majority of the death toll so far.

But council members could help provide justice to civilians on all sides by insisting on an immediate referral to the International Criminal Court (ICC), which would investigate war crimes and other atrocities committed by both government and rebel forces. Nobody claims that the court can stop the killing overnight, but giving the ICC a mandate to investigate serious crimes in Syria should focus the minds of commanders and others who might someday find themselves in the dock.

Russia (abetted by China) complains of rebel abuses but has so far blocked any action at the Security Council to provide accountability. And while US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry talk about “accountability,” “impunity,” and “punishment” – the US has not yet been willing to support referral of the Syria situation to the ICC.  Some 64 countries, including six current Security Council members – France, the United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Argentina, Australia, and South Korea – have publicly supported the court’s involvement. It’s high time that China, Russia and the US follow their lead.

Photo: A mother and father weep over the body of their child, who was killed in an alleged chemical weapons attack on Ghouta, Syria, on August 21, 2013. © 2013 Associated Press

(via mariahoenenevigglad)


oh shit….

(via feminist77)

With approval for entering another war at nine percent, the NY Times publishes an op-ed titled “Bomb Syria, Even if It Is Illegal” featuring a jaw-dropping call for Obama to literally dictate law as it suits him.

‘Obama and allied leaders should declare that international law has evolved and that they don’t need Security Council approval to intervene in Syria. This would be popular in many quarters, and I believe it’s the right thing to do.’

You certainly won’t find these same people making a moral case for lawbreaking when it comes to Snowden and Manning alerting us to government abuse, only in justifying it. These were the same arguments we heard for torture and indefinite detention, for drone strikes on U.S. citizens.

What’s happening in Syria is truly horrible. But there’s no reason to believe our involvement will mean less people will die. This isn’t a movie and we aren’t the saviors.

Political cartoonist Matt Bors, commenting on The New York Times' editorial, “Bomb Syria, Even if It Is Illegal”. For peace’s sake, let’s unleash bombs. It’s only moral.

"This isn’t a movie and we aren’t the saviors."

This is echoing the pre-war drumbeats of military interventions both past and present. If that doesn’t scare the hell out of you, this should.

(via cognitivedissonance)

(via ciscritical-not-cisphobic)


WAR ALERT: Syria in danger of U.S. bombing

John Kerry has just made an ominous announcement that the U.S. intends to take “action” against Syria, and that Syria will be “held accountable.” Talk of a chemical weapons attack in Syria is filling the airwaves. The U.S. is blaming the Assad government for it and openly talking of direct military intervention.

We, as the antiwar movement, have a duty to denounce any military action against Syria by the United States. If U.S. war begins against Syria, be in the streets. Make plans.

Emergency protest in New York City at Times Square, 5:00pm

Actions across the U.S. will take place at Federal Buildings, the offices of military contractors and other symbols of U.S. militarism.

Send us word of your local action:

We must make clear that we will not be tricked into another war designed to make profits for the Wall Street military contractors and oil profiteers. Such a war will take thousands of innocent lives. There is no justification for such a criminal act.

The billions of dollars that such a war would cost should be spent on education, schools, healthcare, and other basic societal needs. The fact that another foreign war is being considered, at a time that food stamps are being cut, record numbers of homes are being foreclosed, and schools are being shut down and privatized in the name of a “budget crisis”, is outrageous. Austerity is continuing in the U.S. and public sector workers’ jobs are being eliminated. Basic infrastructure within the U.S. is crumbling. Bridges are insecure. Water is not being properly purified.

A new war will be disastrous for people of the Middle East, the U.S., and the entire world. According to a Reuters poll, 89% of the population is opposed to U.S. support for Syrian opposition.


The bodies of dead children, reported by opposition leaders to be victims of a chemical attack by Syrian government forces in a suburb of Damascus, lie in a makeshift morgue on Tuesday.  As many as 1,300 civilians may have died; a UN inspection team already in Damascus will investigate.  (Photo: Shaam News Network / AFP-Getty via the New York Times)


The bodies of dead children, reported by opposition leaders to be victims of a chemical attack by Syrian government forces in a suburb of Damascus, lie in a makeshift morgue on Tuesday.  As many as 1,300 civilians may have died; a UN inspection team already in Damascus will investigate.  (Photo: Shaam News Network / AFP-Getty via the New York Times)


Be optimistic about the free people, & they won’t let you down.


You fuckin go girl


By Tony Cartalucci

US, UK, NATO, Saudi, and Israeli backed terrorists carrying out a campaign of systematic atrocities in Syria have finally been acknowledged and reported on by Human Rights Watch, who has for nearly 2 years intentionally portrayed the conflict as one-sided violence carried out by the Syrian government alone.

With evidence and admissions emerging that the so-called “Syrian rebels” are in fact Libyan terrorists, armed, funded, and flown in by NATO to cross into Syria and attack government troops, organizations like Human Rights Watch have faced deteriorating legitimacy, even with watered-down admissions like their most recent report titled, “Syria: End Opposition Use of Torture, Executions.” In the report, Human Rights Watch admits that “armed opposition groups have subjected detainees to ill-treatment and torture and committed extrajudicial or summary executions in Aleppo, Latakia, and Idlib.”

Much of the torture described by Human Rights Watch involves obtaining false confessions by victims, admitting tat they are “shabeeha” militia men. The Western media has long excused terrorists operating in Syria for their atrocities, claiming that the victims were “suspected” shabeeha. It now appears, as was suspected all along, these victims were innocent, and the Western press, the BBC and CNN in particular, were complicit in covering up egregious crimes against humanity.

Human Rights Watch also acknowledged that those carrying out the atrocities are indeed the same groups being financed and armed by Western nations, and “urged countries assisting opposition groups to condemn publicly the human rights and humanitarian law abuses by those groups.”

Of course, despite the West using reports produced by Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International – and other faux-NGOs funded and directed by the very interests arming terrorists in Syria – to justify the violent subversion of the Syrian government, it is already evident that reports illustrating that human rights abuses are being carried out by Western-backed terrorists will incur no condemnation, nor affect in any way the continued supplying of arms, cash, and covert military support.


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.


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The Lebanese army has seized a consignment of weapons and explosives near the Syrian border, apparently destined for armed gangs fighting against the Damascus government.

According to Lebanese sources, the weapons were seized after the army intercepted a pickup truck in the village of Joura in the border region of Masharih al-Qaa late on Thursday.

One gunman was killed and a Lebanese soldier was injured in the exchange of fire between the two sides.

Lebanese troops also discovered a car laden with explosives in the southern city of Sidon.

Several people have been arrested in connection with the incidents.

Syria, which has been experiencing unrest since last year, has repeatedly said that weapons used by armed groups fighting against the government of President Bashar al-Assad are being smuggled into the country from Turkey and Lebanon.

Syria has also accused Saudi Arabia and Qatar, of fueling unrest in the country by funding and arming the anti-Syria gunmen.

Last month, the Lebanese navy intercepted a Sierra Leone-registered ship, Lutfullah II, and confiscated a large consignment of arms and ammunition it was carrying. It is believed that the weapons were bound for armed groups in Syria.

The ship’s owner said it was due to unload in Tripoli in northern Lebanon.


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Bill Van Auken

While publicly insisting that it is only providing “non-lethal” aid to elements seeking the overthrow of the Assad regime in Syria, Washington is coordinating the shipment of arms into the country and working to expand the deadly conflict.

This was the thrust of a lead article in the Washington Post Tuesday. The Syrian “rebels,” the Post reported, “have begun receiving significantly more and better weapons in recent weeks, an effort paid for by Persian Gulf nations and coordinated in part by the United States according to opposition activists and US and foreign officials.”

The growing role played by Washington in organizing the arming of elements attacking Syrian government forces is linked to a perspective that “an expanding military confrontation is inevitable,” according to the newspaper. While formally supporting the cease-fire and political transition plan brokered by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, the administration is stoking a violent confrontation with the obvious aim of scuttling this plan and opening the way to more direct military intervention.

Saudi Arabia and Qatar, both among Washington’s closest allies in the region, openly called for arming the anti-Assad forces and have poured millions of dollars into this effort. The Post article indicates that the decisions as to who receives these weapons are being made in Washington, which “has expanded contacts with opposition forces to provide the gulf nations with assessments of rebel credibility and command-and-control infrastructure.”

The Post also revealed that Obama administration officials hosted talks this week with representatives of the Kurdish opposition centered in eastern Syria, who have so far refrained from joining the armed revolt against Assad. This is in large part due to their distrust of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Sunni sectarian elements which dominate the leadership of the opposition, and who are hostile to Kurdish demands.

The aim of the talks, according to the report, was to discuss “opening a second front against Assad’s forces that would compel him to move resources from the west.”

Nothing could more graphically underscore the cynicism of the warriors for “human rights” and “democracy” in the Obama administration. While seeking to foment an armed revolt by Kurds in Syria, Washington is simultaneously aiding the Turkish military in the crushing of such a revolt just across the border in Turkey. As the Wall Street Journal revealed on Wednesday, a US drone being used to spot Kurdish targets for Turkish warplanes passed on intelligence that led to an air strike in which 35 civilians were slaughtered last December.

The State Department took issue with the Post story on Wednesday, with spokesperson Victoria Nuland charging that the article contained “assertions that were unsubstantiated,” while refusing to refute its substance. She spouted platitudes about Washington choosing to back “the civilian opposition in nonlethal ways,” while respecting the “sovereign decision” of the monarchical dictatorships of the Arab peninsula to ship tons of arms and ammunition into Syria.

Pressed by a reporter to explain why, if Washington ostensibly opposes “adding fuel to the fire” in Syria with arms shipments, it is coordinating the delivery of weapons with the Saudi and Qatari regimes, Nuland responded, “That’s what the Friends of the Syrian people is about. It’s about coordinating.”

While fomenting civil war and terrorist attacks within Syria—such as last week’s Damascus bombings that killed 55 people and wounded nearly 400 more—Washington and its allies are also ratcheting up the threats of direct military intervention.

This week, just miles from Syria’s southern border in Jordan, some 11,000 soldiers, led by American special operations troops, are staging war games dubbed “Eager Lion 2012.” Among the participants are the armed forces of the Gulf powers openly backing Assad’s armed overthrow, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

US imperialism is waging a not-so-secret war for regime change in Syria. For all of its rhetorical expressions about supposed concern in the White House for the violence in Syria and the democratic rights of the Syrian people, the Obama administration is prepared to sacrifice as many Syrian lives as necessary to advance its strategic aims.

The Syrian intervention is part of an increasingly militaristic and reckless policy being pursued in the region under the Democratic president. It is simultaneously orchestrating a war in Yemen to prop up a US-backed regime, using dozens of drone missile attacks and military assaults directed by American special forces troops deployed inside the country.

At the same time, the Obama White House has ordered the resumption of US military aid to Bahrain and last week hosted the Gulf oil emirate’s crown prince at the White House, even as reports of torture and ruthless repression of the country’s Shia majority population by the US-backed Sunni monarchy continue to pour out of the country.

What links these superficially discordant American interventions—one being carried out in Syria under the banners of “democracy”, “human rights” and “regime change” and the others in Yemen and Bahrain under less stirring slogans of “stability” and “security”—is a broader US policy of militarily encircling and preparing for war against the country seen as US imperialism’s principal rival for hegemony over the oil-rich Persian Gulf: Iran.

In Syria, it seeks to topple Iran’s closest ally in the Arab world and install a US client regime. In Yemen it is backing a regime that is seeking to quell multiple rebellions that are viewed as threatening to expand Iranian influence. And in Bahrain, it is supporting the apartheid-style repression of 70 percent of the population because it is Shi’ite, co-religionists of the Iranians, and their achieving democratic rights is seen as a threat to the US-backed despots of the Gulf.

In remarks delivered on the eve of his trip to the US for the G-8 summit, Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev warned Washington against “hasty military operations in foreign states”, adding that these actions “could result in a fully fledged regional war. And even—although I do not want to scare anyone—the use of a nuclear weapon.”

This is the grim reality behind all of the talk of the Obama administration about a “receding tide of war.” The continuing and deepening attempt by US imperialism to offset its historic crisis and decline by military means is bringing mankind face to face with the threat of a new world conflagration.

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