Washington is weaker than waging a confrontation واشنطن أضعف من خوض مواجهة

Washington is weaker than waging a confrontation

 يونيو 22, 2017

Written by Nasser Kandil,

The dropping of the Syrian plane in Raqqa by the Americans formed an opportunity to show the war of wills between Washington and each of Moscow and Tehran around Syria, and to determine who has the upper hand in it, after Washington has suffered from successive defeats in an attempt to prove is presence as a party that is capable of drawing red lines, imposing rules of equations and balances, and having control over what is called the rules of engagement. The first attempts were with the high ceiling speech of the US President Donald Trump about Syria after the incident of Khan Sheikhoun, which the President Vladimir Putin was sure that it is bad Hollywood direction by Washington to carry out deliberate strike on Shuairat Airport. The hesitation and the confusion have soon accompanied the implementation of the strike, the Russians were notified about it a few hours before it and it passed without any military impact despite the US illusions about a panic that will affect the Syrian army and its morals, and will lead to a change in the balances of its war with the armed groups, leading to the displacement of thousands of the Syrians from their country, but nothing has happened like that, even the minimum level which is supposed by the Americans by choosing Al Shuairat Airport to draw a red line in front the Syrian army and its allies to stop the war and to restore what is seized by the armed groups in the outskirts of Damascus and the countryside of Hama after the invasion of Mohammed Bin Salman after his visit to Washington has not happened, on the contrary the areas have become successively under the control of the Syrian army during two weeks. The US supposed red line to prevent the Syrian army from progress in Badia has been fallen with the dashing of the Syrian army from Palmyra to beyond Palmyra and beyond beyond Palmyra.

In the second time, the Americans started to organize troops trained and armed in Jordan, they coincided their movement with maneuvers entitled “the Eager Lion” to talk about the process of the southern front. The Jordanian King started talking about the preemptive security, suggesting to the participation of his army and his flight inside the Syrian territories and airspaces, and then this coincided with the US raids in Badia to prevent the Syrian army from reaching the Syrian-Iraqi borders. In these two times the position of Russia and Iran was crucial through the announced position and the field steps along with Syria and Hezbollah, after refusing a bribe offered to Moscow by Adel Al-Jubeir through showing the readiness in committing to the call of the Secretary of State Rex Tellierson to accept the stay of the Syrian President in exchange of the exit of Hezbollah from Syria. The Russian response was harsh, that Hezbollah in Syria is legitimate exactly as the Russian air forces. The field witnessed crowds of the Syrian army towards Daraa and Badia along with the elite units of Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. The Russian flight was active in the areas which it did not participate in bombing before, taking into consideration the relations with Jordan and Israel. Everything was put to ensure the victory of the Syrian army and its allies by saying to Washington that the red line in the southern of Syria has been fallen and the red line on the borders with Iraq has been fallen as well. Today the matter is resolved by facts and become above the capacity of the Americans to return back to the previous situations.

This time the Americans pretended to be clever by saying that the war on ISIS in Raqqa is their exclusive responsibility and they behold it in the field to the Kurdish groups, they are ready to apply that on all the possibilities, they have lost an ally as Turkey in order not to lose that principle. The issue as all the issues of America,  the principle depends on the interest, the US interest by staying in Syria is related organically to two conditions; an issue that must not end; as the war on terrorism through a war led by Washington in which ISIS can be moved from one area to another, and a coverage that is granted the legitimacy, and has a formative identity in the Syrian society, here the choice is known, it is the Kurds, but Syria and its allies succeeded in disrupting the US plan, they prevented the rolling war in favor of a war of resizing ISIS, they drew the map to close the secure corridors which were arranged by the Americans to ISIS towards Badia, they tried to attract ISIS making use of the US desire of rolling in order to transfer the battle of termination to Deir Al Zour, they surrounded Deir Al Zour from all directions to make the war arena  under their control. But when the Americans noticed that the matters have become out of their control they raised the tension by dropping the plane to keep the matters under their control and agenda.

The answer came; the Syrian army and the allies will continue their plan to approach Deir Al Zour, to enhance their presence in it, to make a progress in Badia and the borders with Iraq, to coordinate with the Iraqis whether the Iraqi army or the Popular Crowd, and to continue their progress in the countryside of Raqq and at the course of the Euphrates. The Iranians have sent missile message to Deir Al Zour, which its chosen as a goal was not in vain. The Russians announced that they will consider any flying object in the areas of their military operations a goal for their missiles after they canceled the working under the understanding of preventing the collision with the Americans in the Syrian airspaces, so how did Washington behave?

Washington responded by asking Moscow immediately to return to the understanding, and to consider the dropping of a plane an incident resulted from the lack of coordination in a geographic spot in which the forces have become working closely. The Russians responded this can be through one of two conditions; either to be sufficient with an understanding to prevent the collision and in this case not the Russian flight will be involved only but the Syrian flight too, or to coordinate in the war on ISIS by land and air, and in this case there must be a coordination with the Syrian army. Washington is still confused, it tries to adapt to less expensive choices, after Moscow has adjusted the conditions of the return to understanding, so for whom the high hand? And who will be ready to prove the superiority of the will at the end?

Washington is living in a state similar to the state experienced by it when it came with its fleets at the era of the President Barack Obama, and it discovered that due to the Russian and Iranian positions and the readiness of Syria and the resistance that it faced the choice of the full war, so it retreated and accepted the face-saving with the political solution of the Syrian chemical weapons, but with one difference this time, it will not get a compensation for the retreat, it has to accept the new equations which are drawn by sacrifices, and which are fixed by the Russian and Iranian cross-missiles or to go the full war if it is ready, but the time of testing the intentions has ended. The lesson is that the pretension to be clever does not replace the cleverness, the pretension to be strong does not replace the strength, and the psychological war does not replace the actual war, because neither the owner of the land is as the occupier, nor the owner of right is as the trader.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,


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واشنطن أضعف من خوض مواجهة

يونيو 20, 2017

ناصر قنديل

– شكّل إسقاط الأميركيين للطائرة السورية في منطقة الرقة فرصة لتظهير حرب الإرادات بين واشنطن وكل من موسكو وطهران حول سورية، وتحديد صاحب اليد العليا فيها، بعدما مُنيت واشنطن بهزائم متلاحقة في محاولة إثبات حضورها كجهة قادرة على رسم الخطوط الحمراء، وفرض قواعد المعادلات والتوازنات، والتحكم برسم ما يُسمّى بقواعد الاشتباك. وكانت أولى المحاولات مع الكلام العالي السقوف للرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب حول سورية بعد حادثة خان شيخون التي يجزم الرئيس فلاديمير بوتين أنها إخراج هوليودي سيئ قامت به واشنطن لتنفيذ ضربة معدّة مسبقاً لمطار الشعيرات. ولم يلبث أن ظهر التردد والارتباك في تنفيذ الضربة، فأبلغ الروس بها قبل ساعات، ومضت بلا أثر عسكري رغم الأوهام الأميركية عن ذعر سيُصاب به الجيش السوري وانهيار في معنوياته وتغير في توازنات حربه مع الجماعات المسلحة، ودفع لمئات آلاف السوريين للنزوح عن بلدهم. وشيء من كل هذا لم يحدث، بل إن الحد الأدنى الذي افترضه الأميركيون تحصيل حاصل باختيارهم مطار الشعيرات، عبر رسم خط أحمر للجيش السوري وحلفائه لوقف الحرب لاسترداد ما سيطرت عليه الجماعات المسلحة في أطراف دمشق وريف حماة في غزوة محمد بن سلمان بعد زيارته لواشنطن، لم يحدث، فتهاوت هذه المناطق بيد الجيش السوري تباعاً خلال أسبوعين. والخط الأحمر الافتراضي لمنع الجيش السوري من التقدم في البادية لم يبد له أثر مع اندفاع الجيش السوري من تدمر إلى ما بعد تدمر وما بعد ما بعد تدمر.

– في المرة الثانية بدأ الأميركيون بتنظيم قوات درّبوها وسلّحوها في الأردن وزامنوا تحريكها مع مناورات أسموها بالأسد المتأهب للحديث عن عملية الجبهة الجنوبية. وبدأ الملك الأردني يتحدث عن الأمن الوقائي ملمّحاً لمشاركة جيشه وطيرانه داخل الأراضي والأجواء السورية، وتلتها وتزامنت معها المرة الثالثة بالغارات الأميركية في البادية لمنع الجيش السوري من بلوغ الحدود السورية العراقية. وفي هاتين المرّتين كان موقف روسيا وإيران حازماً بالموقف المعلن والخطوات الميدانية إلى جانب سورية وحزب الله، بعد رفض رشوة حاول عادل الجبير تقديمها لموسكو بإبداء الاستعداد للسير بدعوة وزير الخارجية الأميركية ريكس تيلرسون لقبول بقاء الرئيس السوري مقابل خروج حزب الله من سورية، فكان الردّ الروسي قاسياً، بأن حزب الله في سورية شرعي تماماً كالقوات الجوية الروسية. وشهد الميدان حشوداً للجيش السوري نحو درعا والبادية ومعه وحدات النخبة من حزب الله والحرس الثوري الإيراني. وفي السماء نشط الطيران الروسي في مناطق لم يشارك في قصفها من قبل مراعاة لحسابات العلاقات بالأردن و«إسرائيل»، وتم وضع كل شيء جانباً لضمان انتصار الجيش السوري والحلفاء بالقول لواشنطن إن الخط الأحمر في جنوب سورية ساقط والخط الأحمر على الحدود مع العراق ساقط مثله، وقد بات ذلك اليوم محسوماً بالوقائع، وبات فوق قدرة الأميركيين العودة بالأمور إلى الوراء.

– هذه المرة تذاكى الأميركيون بمحاولة القول إن الحرب على داعش في الرقة هي اختصاصهم الحصري، وقد أوكلوه في الميدان للجماعات الكردية، وأنهم مستعدون لفرض ذلك بكل الاحتمالات، وقد خسروا حليفاً كتركيا كي لا يتسامحوا مع هذا المبدأ. والقضية ككل قضايا أميركا المبدأ فيها هو المصلحة. والمصلحة الأميركية في البقاء في سورية ترتبط عضوياً بشرطين، هما قضية يجب ألا تنتهي وهي الحرب على الإرهاب عبر حرب لا تكسر عظام داعش يقودها الأميركيون بدحرجتها من منطقة إلى منطقة، وبغطاء يمنح المشروعية له هوية تكوينية في المجتمع السوري، وهنا الخيار معلوم وهو الأكراد، لكن سورية وحلفاءها نجحوا بتعطيل الخطة الأميركية ومنعوا الحرب المتدحرجة لحساب حرب كسر العظام مع داعش، ورسموا الخارطة لإقفال الممرات الآمنة التي رتبها الأميركيون لداعش نحو البادية، وعملوا لاجتذاب داعش مستفيدين من الرغبة الأميركية بالتدحرج لتكون معركة كسر العظم في دير الزور، وزنّروا دير الزور من الجنوب والغرب والشرق والشمال لتكون ساحة الحرب بين أيدي الجيش السوري والحلفاء. ولما رأى الأميركيون الأمور تفلت من بين أيديهم أرادوا رفع التوتر بإسقاط الطائرة لرد الأمور إلى حضنهم وسيطرتهم وإدارتهم وأجندتهم.

– جاء الجواب المثلّث، فالجيش السوري والحلفاء يواصلون خطتهم نحو التقرّب من دير الزور وتعزيز الوجود فيها والتقدم في البادية والحدود مع العراق والتنسيق مع الجانب العراقي المقابل سواء الجيش العراقي أو الحشد الشعبي، ومواصلة التقدم في ريف الرقة وعلى مجرى نهر الفرات، بينما قام الإيرانيون بتوجيه رسالة صاروخية لم يكن عبثاً اختيار دير الزور هدفاً لها، وقام الروس بإعلان اعتبار كل جسم طائر في مناطق عملياتهم هدفاً لصواريخهم بعدما ألغوا العمل بتفاهم منع التصادم مع الأميركيين في الأجواء السورية، فكيف تصرّفت واشنطن؟

– ردّت واشنطن بالطلب الفوري إلى موسكو العودة للتفاهم واعتبار إسقاط الطائرة حادثاً ناجماً عن ضعف التنسيق في بقعة جغرافية باتت القوى فيها تعمل عن قرب، فردّ الروس بأن لذلك أحد طريقين، إما الاكتفاء بتفاهم لمنع التصادم. وفي هذه الحالة لن يشمل الطيران الروسي وحده بل الطيران السوري معه، أو الذهاب للتنسيق في الحرب على داعش براً وجواً. وفي هذه الحالة يجب أن يشمل التنسيق الجيش السوري أيضاً، ولا تزال واشنطن مرتبكة محاولة التأقلم مع أقل الخيارات كلفة، بعدما عدّلت موسكو شروط العودة للتفاهم، فلمن تكون اليد العليا؟ ومن يكون المستعدّ للذهاب إلى النهاية في إثبات تفوق الإرادة؟

– تعيش واشنطن حالة تشبه تلك التي عاشتها يوم جاءت بأساطيلها في عهد الرئيس باراك أوباما، واكتشفت أنها مع الموقفين الروسي والإيراني وجهوزية سورية والمقاومة، تواجه خيار الحرب الشاملة، فتراجعت وارتضت بحفظ ماء الوجه بالحل السياسي للسلاح السوري الكيميائي، مع فارق أنها هذه المرة لن تحصل على تعويض لتتراجع، فعليها تجرّع المعادلات الجديدة التي ترسمها الدماء، وتثبتها الصواريخ العابرة الروسية والإيرانية، أو الذهاب للحرب الشاملة إن كانت مستعدّة وقد فات أوان اختبار النيات، والعبرة أن التذاكي لا يحلّ مكان الذكاء والاستقواء لا يحلّ مكان القوة، والحرب النفسية لا تحلّ مكان الحرب الفعلية، وليست الثكلى كالمستأجرة، وليس صاحب الأرض كالمحتل، ولا صاحب الحق كالتاجر.

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Still image from a video being filmed in Egypt, purporting to be in Aleppo, Syria.

In December 2016, filmmakers in Egypt were arrested in the process of staging an Aleppo video with two children: the girl was meant to look injured, and the boy was to vilify both Russia and Syria.

Even the corporate media reported on it, including: “The girl’s dress, covered in red paint, was what caught the attention of a police officer driving by, the ministry said.”

The incidences of fakery and hoaxes, however, does not end there.

Also in December, the scene of a ‘Girl running to survive after her family had been killed’ was said to be in Aleppo. In reality, it was a scene from a Lebanese music video, which someone at some point clearly chose to depict as in Aleppo, for the same anti-Russian, anti-Assad vilification purposes.

In November 2014, a clip dubbed ‘Syrian hero boy’ went viral, viewed over 5 million times already by mid-November. The clip showed what appeared to be a little boy saving his sister from sniper gunfire, and was assumed to have been in Syria.

The Telegraph’s Josie Ensor didn’t wait for any sort of verification of the video which she cited as having been uploaded on November 10, the next day writing: “…it is thought the incident took place in Yabroud – a town near the Lebanese border which was the last stronghold of the moderate Free Syrian Army. Experts tell the paper they have no reason to doubt its authenticity. The UN has previously accused the Syrian regime of ‘crimes against humanity’ – including the use of snipers against small children.”

On November 14, the BBC brought on ‘Middle East specialist’ Amira Galal to give her expert opinion on the clip. She asserted: “We can definitely say that it is Syria, and we can definitely say that it’s probably on the regime frontlines. We see in the footage that there is a barrel, it’s painted on it the Syrian army flag.”

Once again, the so-called ‘experts’ got it wrong. The barrel which Galal referred to had a poor imitation of the flag of Syria painted on it, the flag’s color sequence out of order. The clip she was so certain had been filmed in government areas of Syria was actually produced in Malta by Norwegian filmmakers.

From Video to Twitter Hoaxes

In the propaganda war on Syria, there are convincing lies, and then there are the blindingly clear hoaxes. In the latter realm, the Bana al-Abed Twitter persona takes first prize. The child is being abused by her own family who have seemingly forced her to pretend she can speak English (she cannot).

*Twitter link here

We were meant to believe that sophisticated and nuanced tweets, often calling for Western intervention, are coming from an English-illiterate seven-year-old girl or her mother — whose husband was a militant in Aleppo.

In a detailed article, Barbara McKenzie looks at the campaign which uses the brand Bana for war propaganda. An excerpt includes:

“Bana, the little girl supposedly tweeting from Aleppo, but actually the front for an account run from London, was selected to be the empathetic face of the campaign for a no-fly zone in Syria. Her account was tailored to create the impression of perpetual bombing, perpetual war crimes, on the part of Russia and the Syrian government.”

Bana not only tweeted with impossible frequency from eastern Aleppo, defying any internet lapses those of us who have gone to Aleppo have experienced. Whatever the actual explanation for her alleged preciousness and high-tech abilities, the child was clearly exploited, and continues to be.

Her twitter account continues its advocacy for Western intervention in Syria. Not at all suspicious.

Real Poster Children Brutally Beheaded, Sniped, Starved, Maimed

Effective war propaganda tugs at the heart strings, using many tactics, including adorable children in threatening situations, or dead, and comes hand in hand with condemnations for crimes committed, allegedly, by the villain(s) being caricatured. In the following instances, children being injured or murdered did occur, but the condemnations were muted or not at all.

A few weeks prior to the photo of Omran Daqneesh going viral as the poster child for suffering in Syria, terrorists of the Nour al-Din al-Zenki faction beheaded a boy said to be around 12 years old.

Although the decapitators filmed the entire savage act, posing for gleeful selfies as they tortured the boy prior to murdering him, leaders and media in the US took little notice of the horrific slaughter. Ten days after the questionable events which led to the light injury of Omran, two young boys in the Idlib villages of Foua and Kafraya were shot in their head and neck respectively by a sniper from Jaysh al-Fateh terrorists in the village of Binnish close by. The injuries were serious. They were rendered even more serious given that the villages had been completely surrounded and fully under siege by terrorists since March 2015.

In April 2017, a convoy of children, women, elderly and ill being evacuated from Foua were attacked by a terrorist explosion, with reports over 200 murdered, including 116 children. The attack included luring with potato chips and filming children in the convoy before later blowing them up and claiming to be rescuing them. Not only did these terrorists murder civilians and children, but they staged the scene to then look like heroes.

Indeed, in the West this massacre was called a “hiccup” and little denunciation was made about the vast numbers of dead, let alone the injured.

In October, 2016, Press TV was one of the few outlets to report on another adorable Aleppo boy, Mahmoud, “a six-year-old Syrian boy who was born without arms, and recently lost both of his legs after stepping on a mine planted by militants in Syria’s Aleppo.” The report includes scenes of Mahmoud showing his resilience, adjusting to life without any limbs. But for corporate media, Mahmoud’s were the wrong villains.

Terrorist bombings and snipings have killed children in schools and homes throughout Syria over the years, including the October 2014 terrorist car and suicide bombing of the Akrama Al-Makhzoumi School in Homs, killing at least 41 children by conservative estimates, or up to 48 children by other reports, along with women and other civilians, as well as attacks on Aleppo schools, as I detailed earlier.

In Aleppo and in Damascus, I have visited numerous hospitals and seen endless poster children of suffering in Syria. The differences between these children and those which Western and Gulf media present us, is that these children were murdered, rendered critically-injured, or maimed by the bombs, mortars and snipings of terrorists which the West presents as “moderate rebels”, so their stories will never be front page, much less heard.

The Bitter Truth

The Western and Gulf media work in lockstep with the narratives emanating from Washington on Syria. It is not coincidental that certain photos and stories of Syrian children go viral, while other more damning photos and sordid realities get no notice period.

*Twitter link here

Regarding the Omran case, we now know that he was not gravely hurt as media tried to imply, that his family have gone back to their lives in Aleppo, and the exploitation and lies around Omran cannot continue.

When I met them on June 6th, they showed no signs of the duress which terrorists and their backers—which include Western corporate media—claim. Instead, some neighbors were over, discussing media fabrications around Omran.

However, the children who are believed to have been exploited and used in the 2013 Ghouta chemical weapons fabrications remain missing and have not gone back to their lives, nor have their families in the Latakia countryside.

In March 2017, physicians with Swedish Doctors for Human Rights, after examining a White Helmet’s video, wrote:

“…Swedish medical doctors, specialists in various fields, including pediatrics, have revealed that the life-saving procedures seen in the film are incorrect – in fact life-threatening – or seemingly fake, including simulated resuscitation techniques being used on already lifeless children.”

The article noted that Dr Lena Oske, a Swedish medical doctor and general practitioner, said of an adrenaline injection shown in the video, “If not already dead, this injection would have killed the child!”

While in al-Waer, Homs, on June 9, 2017, speaking with a woman who had returned not long after the last terrorist had been bused out in the government’s reconciliation agreement, she told me a story of her friend from the area. Bearing in mind that this is second hand information (and that I didn’t have time to stay another day to meet the friend in question), I’ll leave her words and this 2012 link as food for thought regarding the use of children, alive or day, for war propaganda against Syria:

“In 2014, my friend’s son, Louay was leaving his school. A mortar fell on the street nearby and he was hit with shrapnel. The Red Crescent took him in an ambulance to al-Bour, a nearby aid association, which couldn’t treat him, so he was taken to a government hospital in al-Zahra’a. They tried to save him, but he died.

They took him back to al-Bour where they cleaned him for burial. While my friend was waiting, people from al-Bour carried him onto the street yelling the regime killed him, look what the regime does to children.’”

Later, she saw on both al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya footage of her son, with men blaming the “regime” for killing children in Syria.

But she didn’t agree. The government helped her son and tried to save his life. He was 7 years old.


Meet Aylan & Omran: Child victims used for Syrian war propaganda, Jun 12, 2017, RT Op-Edge

MintPress Meets The Father Of Iconic Aleppo Boy, Who Says Media Lied About His Son, Jun 9, 2017, MintPress News

CNN #FakeNews Amanpour Challenged to Interview Aleppo Boy’s Father – #NewWorldNextWeek, Jun 15, 2017, The Corbett Report

United States Signals Intent to Occupy and Divide Syria

By Alex Christoforou

June 20, 2017 “Information Clearing House” –  Tensions in Syria hit an all time high when the US military shot down a Syrian SU-22 that was attacking Al Qaeda jihadist forces on the ground.

The US version of the incident goes like this (courtesy of The Hill)…

A statement from the U.S. military said it shot down the Syrian SU-22 in self-defense and after contacting Russian counterparts through the established deconfliction zone. The Syrian aircraft was bombing U.S.-backed forces fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) south of Tabqa. It was the first time the United States has shot down a Syrian plane, and the first time a U.S. military jet has shot down any manned aircraft since 1999.

The reality is much more complex, yet simpler. Syria was flying its jets over Syrian sovereign territory, moving to attack Al Qaeda jihadists (aka “moderate rebels”) operating illegally in Syrian territory, and backed up by US forces, which have set up operations illegally within Syrian sovereign territory.

The US has not been invited by the internationally recognized government of Syria to fight ISIS on Syrian land, and as such the United States has de-facto invaded and occupied Eastern Syria.

To make matters worse, the US is supporting Al Qaeda terrorists as a foot soldier proxy army, in order to secure as much of Eastern Syria as possible, and create a rump state Syria, effectively dividing the once united country.

Russia responded to the US aggression by saying its surface-to-air missile systems in Syria would begin to track manned and unmanned aircraft from the US coalition if they move west of the Euphrates River.

Once again we see American regime change policy gone horribly wrong (as expected) with consequences now pushing the US military into full confrontation with Russia and Iran…two countries which have been invited by the Syrian government to operate on Syrian sovereign territory to fight ISIS and Al Qaeda.

The Hill reports that American forces may be digging in, ready to protect the Al Qaeda army at all costs so as to ensure an East-West division in Syria…

Robert Ford, a former U.S. ambassador to Syria, said there is real danger to the U.S. as tensions flare.

Syrian President Bashar Assad has vowed to recapture all Syrian territory lost during the nation’s civil war, Ford noted in an email.

“There is, therefore, a real risk of escalation, especially if, unlike in western Syria, the Americans insist on backing up their Syrian allies on the ground and there is no deal with Assad,” he said.

U.S. and Syrian forces largely had stayed out of each other’s way before, because the United States operated mostly in eastern Syria and the government forces mostly in western Syria.

But since the fall of Aleppo, pro-Assad forces have been moving further east, bringing them into closer proximity with the U.S. forces and upping the potential for confrontation, said Ford, a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute and professor at Yale.

Assad can’t match U.S. airpower, Ford said, but could hit U.S. forces in other ways.

“The escalation may be asymmetrical,” he said. “Assad’s air force can’t challenge ours. Look instead for car bombs, ground ambushes and small-scale, regular attacks against our forces and those we back in eastern Syria. The Syrian government is very experienced at testing the edges of any envelope or red line.”

War hawks in neocon think tanks are salivating at an all out confrontation breaking out between all the players involved…

Nile Gardiner, director of the Heritage Foundation’s Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, doubted Moscow would follow through on its threat. Russia, for instance, did not retaliate militarily after Turkey shot down its jet in 2015, he noted.

He called the U.S. military’s decision to shoot down a Syrian jet a “welcome development.”

“Washington has sent a clear message to Moscow that it’s no longer business as usual,” he said. “For too long, the Russians have treated Syria as their own backyard.”

But even if neither Russia nor the United States wants to get dragged further into war, they could be “chain ganged” to their allies who are jockeying to control land taken from ISIS, said Stephen Biddle, adjunct senior fellow for defense policy at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Other experts worry about the U.S. military attacking pro-Assad forces without a larger Syria strategy from President Trump.

Danielle Pletka, senior vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, has advocated for more U.S. involvement in the civil war. But she expressed alarm at the United States shooting down the Syrian jet and attacking militias at Al Tanf without a larger strategy.

“My biggest concern is not escalation, although I agree that there’s a real risk,” she said. “Escalation toward a particular end is a good thing. Escalation for no reason with no particular goal is not.”

We remind our readers, the sovereign nation of Syria, whose government is internationally recognized by the United Nations, has invited Russia and Iran to fight ISIS and Al Qaeda.

The United States has not been invited into Syria.

This the irony of neocon war hawks making comments such as, “for too long, the Russians have treated Syria as their own backyard”, which exposes the perversion of US propaganda and the despicable nature of American military empire.

Syria is neither Russia’s or America’s backyard, but only one country was invited to enter the backyard, and it was not the United States.

This article was first published by Duran

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

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How and Why U.S. Honors and Aids Al Qaeda

June 20, 2017

by Eric Zuesse

How and Why U.S. Honors and Aids Al Qaeda

This will present a typical example in which the U.S. promotes Al Qaeda and other jihadists, and then honors that promotion by calling this PR not “propaganda” as it really is, but instead outstanding “news reporting,” and then honors that “news reporting,” with prestigious ‘journalism’ awards from the Overseas Press Club, and The Peabody. Throughout, the jihadists in Syria are being referred to in these ‘news’-reports as ‘the rebels’ and they are backed by the U.S. government, and (obviously) also by the aristocracy that own (and advertise in) the ‘news’ media, and whose lobbies also apparently control the President, and the Congress. Deception of the American public, by the American press, is that blatant and that egregious, as will here be documented (but will continue to be suppressed by the ‘free press’ in this ‘democracy’ where the press never exposes its own systematic lying — as will here be shown).

Documentation for everything here will consist of excerpts from the relevant news-reports themselves (so the story will be told by the evidence itself), and will close with excerpts from an AlterNet news report by Ben Norton, which was vastly more worthy of winning journalism awards than anything from CNN (or any of the others) has been, but is suppressed instead of pumped, by the U.S. press. I have added boldface in some places, in order to make easier a reader’s quickly noticing things which will become more important subsequently, in this presentation of excerpts. The excerpts are arranged so as to tell a narrative that makes sense and has continuity.

Excerpts are used here instead of paraphrases, because otherwise an intelligent reader might think that the paraphrases are overstating how appalling the U.S. ‘news’ media are. It’s better for the perpetrators to display their wares, than for someone else to do it for them. So, I let them do it.

Here are those excerpts; here is their story, told by the participants themselves:



The truth about Syria

Undercover behind rebel lines

By Clarissa Ward with Salma Abdelaziz, CNN

[Salma Abdelaziz covers the Middle East for CNN, based in London.]

Updated 1:40 PM ET, Fri March 18, 2016

Rebel-held Syria (CNN) There’s a sickening moment between hearing the planes and waiting for them to drop their payload. A pit forms in your stomach. You know you could die, but you also know there’s no way to divine where the strike will hit.

On a hill overlooking Ariha, our guard Abu Youssef seems to have located the jet in the sky and is following it with his eyes. “Russian planes,” he says. …

Monitoring groups say nearly 2,000 civilians have been killed since the Russian intervention began. …

Syria is hell. But standing in the warm sun, watching the silver green olive leaves shiver in the breeze, it is also paradise. A ceasefire has been in place for a couple of days, though based on what we saw and heard, it’s difficult to have much faith that it will hold.

We are preparing to leave, saying our goodbyes. We hand over a bag full of British chocolates to our security guards. Abu Youssef thanks us and quietly hands each of us a folded piece of white paper with our initials on it.

“Promise me you won’t read these until you get back home to London,” he says.

Two flights and 72 hours later, we open the letters.

“I hope you have a good idea of us,” they read. “Please tell the world the truth about Syria.”





18 Years old Freedom Activist from Germany. Visited the YPG in Syria. MENA Analyst, Focusing on Terrorism and Jihadist Groups in Middle east and E Asia





#ISIS Fighter from #Gaza, Abu Youssef Al-Ghazawhi killed recently in #Aleppo while fighting the Syrian army near #DeirHafer in #Aleppo Prov.

11:58 PM – 22 Mar 2017


[NOTE: It’s bad enough that the reporter, Ward, in Aleppo, was emotionally close to and was being protected by someone, “Abu Youssef,” who was clearly partisan — in his case, against Syria’s government and also against Russia, which means on the ‘rebel’ side, which in Aleppo meant being on Al Qaeda’s side there. Wikipedia’s article Battle of Aleppo (2012–2016)” says: “Rebel groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra, the al-Shamia Front and the Ahrar al-Sham established Sharia system in areas they control, imposing torture or other ill-treatment as punishment. Human rights activists, lawyers and journalists have been subjected to kidnappings.” These ‘rebels’ were religious fanatics. But if that person was also the “#ISIS Fighter from #Gaza, Abu Youssef Al-Ghazawhi killed recently in #Aleppo while fighting the Syrian army near #DeirHafer in #Aleppo Prov,” then this places the reporter as being under the protection of an “ISIS fighter,” and ISIS is supposed to be so fanatical that even the U.S. government condemn them — but maybe not CNN, nor the Overseas Press Club, nor The Peabody.]



Aleppo ‘hell’ prevents Syria peace talks, say diplomats

With 2 million terrified citizens trapped and brutal fighting continuing, UN-backed talks in August seem impossible

Patrick Wintour, diplomatic editor Tuesday 9 August 2016 16.53 EDT

… In a bid to restart the talks US secretary of state John Kerry met Vladimir Putin in mid-July to propose a deal whereby the Syrian air force ended its lethal bombing campaign in return for American agreement that one of the leading rebel forces – the al-Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front – be designated a terrorist group, and so no longer party to a new ceasefire [Wintour is using code here, for: allowed to be bombed during the ceasefire — Obama refused to accept that condition, and he insisted that Russia discontinue bombing them but bomb only ISIS during a ceasefire, and he stuck with that stance until the very end, when he sabotaged Kerry’s deal with Lavrov]. American sponsored rebel forces have long been entangled with al-Nusra, and many Washington-backed forces would regard an attack on al-Nusra as an attack on the Syrian revolution itself.

The US proposal has been made more complex by the announcement last week that al-Nusra had “broken” with al-Qaida, and was now forming a new group, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham. Western diplomats doubt the sincerity of this change in ideology [he’s using code for: change in name].

But Washington seems reluctant to denounce this new group as a bogus rebranding, partly because it knows so many of the already weak rebel groups it does support are willing, or even eager, to work with the effective and disciplined al-Nusra forces. Many of these moderate forces [as if there were ‘moderates’ when jihadists were waging war to replace a secular government] feel abandoned by the west.

At the UN session on Monday, Clarissa Ward, a celebrated CNN war correspondent, also warned Russia was playing into the hands of jihadists. She told the Russian envoy: “From my experience on the ground – which is considerable – bombing hospitals, court houses, bakeries and fruit markets does not eliminate terrorism. If anything it is the oxygen which terrorists breathe and it spreads like wildfire.”


[NOTE: For a “celebrated CNN war correspondent” to be so partisan against Russia, as to have charged that “Russia was playing into the hands of jihadists,” when she herself was blatantly and actually in the hands of jihadists — and being protected by them, while those jihadists were trying to kill and were being bombed by Russia — is stupid. Was this person that stupid? Or, perhaps, was she instead so closed-minded to the fact that in order to slaughter the jihadists, it was necessary that some of the people whom the jihadists were using as human shields would also die? Does Clarissa Ward possess even a modicum of the objectivity that’s required of any authentic journalist — especially when covering a war — or is she receiving ‘journalism’ awards because in the United States, ‘journalism’ has sunk to the level of sheer propaganda? But the British Guardian’s reporter is no better, referring to jihadists as ‘rebels’, and referring to the Syrian government’s war against them as a ‘lethal bombing campaign’ as if there were any other type than ‘lethal’. And he referred to the jihadists’ war against the Syrian government as ‘the Syrian revolution’ even though most of those jihadists were foreigners recruited into Syria from around the world and financed by the royal Sauds and armed and trained by the U.S. government.]



CNN Journalist Clarissa Ward Snuck Behind the Front Lines in Syria then Briefed the Security Council About What She Saw

Mark Leon Goldberg  August 29, 2016

Clarissa Ward is an award winning journalist who has covered conflict for over a decade, mostly in the Middle East. She is now with CNN and earlier this year she and a small crew snuck into rebel held territory in Syria, including the city of Aleppo from where she filed several intense and harrowing stories.

In August, Clarissa was invited to a special meeting of the [U.N.] Security Council about the humanitarian crisis in Aleppo. We kick off discussing her Security Council briefing and latest reporting trip to Syria. …



‘There are no winners in Aleppo’

Updated 0906 GMT (1706 HKT) August 15, 2016

Source: CNN

‘This is Hell’: Clarissa Ward addresses U.N. on Syria 09:11

Editor’s note: On August 8, 2016 CNN’s Senior International Correspondent Clarissa Ward spoke at a UN Security Council meeting on the situation in the embattled Syrian city of Aleppo. The following are her full remarks. …

The thing that has been killed in Syria that is much more difficult to rebuild than a bombed out building, is trust.

There is no trust.

No trust in the Assad regime.

No trust in ceasefires or the cessation of hostilities or humanitarian corridors.

No trust in the Russians, and no trust in you by the way, in us in the international community, who have been wringing their hands on the side lines while hospitals and bakeries and schools have been bombed, while phosphorus and cluster bombs have killed countless civilians.

The only ones who have emerged as heroes on the ground — alongside brave doctors like Dr Attar and Dr Sahloul, alongside the White Helmets [link there added by E.Z., not by Ward]are the Islamist factions, even to those who hate fundamentalism.

Even to those who see that the rebels themselves are carrying out atrocities.

And not because the people there are all terrorists but because the Islamists are the ones who have stepped in to fill the void.


[NOTE: Ward has “No trust in the Assad regime” but has loads of trust in the jihadists, the ‘heroes’, “because the Islamists are the ones who have stepped in to fill the void” that they’ve created by trying to turn Syria’s multi-ethnic, multi-religious, secular, non-sectarian government — the only secular government in the Middle East — over to the head-choppers, who will serve the aristocracies of the U.S. and of Saudi Arabia.] 



21 March 2017, 10:33 AM ET

Overseas Press Club Honors CNN for ‘Undercover in Syria’ Series

The Overseas Press Club of America has honored CNN’s ‘Undercover in Syria’ series with the David Kaplan Award for Best TV or video spot news reporting from abroad. They will present the award, which honors the finest international reporting, at its annual ceremony on Thursday, April 27 in New York. CNN President Jeff Zucker will be on hand to deliver the keynote address.

Reported by senior international correspondent Clarissa Ward and produced by Salma Abdelaziz, ‘Undercover in Syria’ took viewers inside rebel-held territory for an exclusive series of reports on what life was like under the bombs. CNN was the only Western media to witness the effects of Russian bombardment first hand and go inside the devastation of rebel-held Aleppo. …




CNN: ISIS in Iraq and Syria, Undercover in Syria, Battle for Mosul (CNN)

Winner 2016 | CNN

… Clarissa Ward went undercover into northern Syria to document Russian influence on the fighting and to navigate the ongoing devastation. Graphic images of the wounded and the bloodied brings the senselessness of the fighting to the foreground, as do haunting images of young children who’ve only seen and experienced a world of airstrikes, fear, pain, and loss. … For its steadfast commitment to intrepid reporting from the battlefield and for detailing the costs and damages of a war that continues to pose a moral challenge to the rest of the world, a Peabody Award goes to CNN.



Even as Election Dominates Cable, Bravo CNN for Critical Reporting From Syria

by J.D. Durkin | 1:38 pm, March 18th, 2016

… Major kudos are due to CNN for its recent coverage of the harrowing Syrian Civil War and the work of Clarissa Ward, the network’s Senior International Correspondent. CNN has given significant airtime and clearly devoted resources to Ward’s most recent trip to, quite literally, the frontlines of terror.  … Ward believes that this most recent trip along with her producer Salma Abdelaziz marked the first time in a year-and-a-half that any Western journalist had covered the calamitous developments on the ground. … All elements of the CNN enterprise have championed Ward’s work with prime placement, including digital and social media platforms. Ward’s Facebook Live discussion this week reached 1.7 million viewers alone.

It’s a bold and admirable programming move. … As Ward told me, the devastation for the Syrian people is far from over, and her role covering the crisis will likely continue until a specific, clear objective is reached:

“Really it comes down to one key demand,” Ward told me. “President Bashar al-Assad must step down. For the people on the ground, it’s a dealbreaker.” [My note: repeated polling throughout Syria by U.S.-and-allied polling organizations shows that over 50% of Syrians want Bashar al-Assad to remain as the President and that 82% of Syrians blame the U.S. for the tens of thousands of foreign jihadists who have invaded Syria to oust and replace him. However, those same polls also show that some areas in Syria support the jihadists and want Assad ousted. But, in any case, Ward’s assertion is rabidly false, that: “President Bashar al-Assad must step down. For the people on the ground, it’s a dealbreaker.” Furthermore, twice in one day, the Secretary General of the U.N., Ban ki-Moon, rebuked this U.S. position and he said The future of Assad must be determined by the Syrian people” and not by the U.S. or any other foreign government dictating Assad be removed from power.]



Why CNN’s Clarissa Ward May Be the Biggest Badass in Cable News

“Your body responds with this surge of adrenaline, shock and fear,” the war correspondent says of getting caught in an airstrike

Brian Flood | April 10, 2016 @ 1:43 PM

CNN’s Clarissa Ward recently traveled undercover to a rebel-held area of Syria, where she witnessed 11 people die in an airstrike, but she didn’t miss a beat and reported on the chaos as it unfolded. …

Ward, filmmaker Bilal Abdul Kareem and producer Salma Abdelaziz were filming at the top of a hill when the airstrikes hit and the plume of smoke was visible in the background of her video. Instead of taking shelter, they immediately jumped in a car and headed toward the devastation. …

“It’s so shocking on a physical level. Your body responds with this surge of adrenaline, shock and fear. It all kind of collides in one,” Ward said.

For that kind of reporting, the 36-year-old Yale graduate has already won just about every journalism award out there — Peabody, Emmy, DuPont, Murrow and a Royal Television Society award with CNN’s coverage of the Paris attacks last November. In November, she will be honored with the International Center for Journalists’ Excellence in International Reporting Award. …

As Maddox said, “One of the reasons CNN hired Clarissa is because she’s an incredibly talented journalist who is committed to telling stories the world needs to know.”



Bilal Abdul Kareem

June 16 [2017] at 12:33pm ·

Piece I filmed w/CNN (Undercover in Syria) won the prestigious Overseas Press Club & Peabody awards but CNN “forgot” to mention me. High respects to CNN correspondent Clarissa Ward for mentioning me even if CNN didn’t! Alhamdo lilaah I got another award from some good hearted Syrians that’s worth more than those put together. Check it out!



“You know, there was a piece that I did, along with other members of OG and staff, called Undercover in Syria. This was with CNN, and their correspondent Clarissa Ward, which I have big-time respect for, big-time respect, as a journalist, and as a person. Now, this Undercover in Syria — you can google it — won the prestigious Peabody Award, and it won the prestigious Overseas Press Club award, which are basically the highest awards in journalism!”


[NOTE: The following excerpts, from AlterNet, cut down a 4,366-word news-report about Bilal Abdul Kareem, to a still lengthy 1,669 words. Though that’s long, this is a sensationally good news-report; and, even including here these 1,669 words from it, all of the 3,847 words of excerpts taken together are still significantly shorter than the entirety of that single AlterNet news-report, which is far the best and most truthful of the articles that are excerpted here:]



Bilal Abdul Kareem, Prominent U.S. ‘Journalist’ in Syria, Serves as Mouthpiece for Violent Extremists

A closer look at Bilal Abdul Kareem’s body of work reveals an established record of creating sectarian propaganda for extremist Syrian rebels.

By Ben Norton / AlterNet December 29, 2016, 4:54 PM GMT

During the final days of rebel control over the eastern areas of Aleppo, the Western media depended almost entirely on a handful of English-speaking, self-described activists to relay news of the situation to a captivated public. These figures served a dual purpose, acting as spokespeople for the beleaguered Syrian opposition while deflecting attention from armed insurgents dominated by extreme Islamists. Nestled among them was an American, Bilal Abdul Kareem, who may be one of the most remarkable characters of the Syrian civil war. The uncritical promotion and reflexive praise this character has received from a variety of U.S. media outlets raises serious questions about the coverage of a conflict that is often presented as a one-sided slaughter at the hands of the Syrian Arab Army and its allies. …

Abdul Kareem has helped produce a series for CNN, and has also produced reports with the U.K.’s Channel 4, the BBC and Skynews. He has written for Al Jazeera and has been featured in segments on an array of major media outlets. He even participated in a panel discussion at the [neoconservative, pro-invade-anywhere] Brookings Doha Center alongside the extremely hawkishSyria analyst Charles Lister, titled “Syria and Iraq: The Future Prospects of Jihadism.”

Yet what these media outlets and institutions have not disclosed about Abdul Kareem is that he has a long and established record of creating what is essentially propaganda for extremist groups in Syria. Abdul Kareem has conducted dozens of glowing interviews with militants from extremist groups, including Syria’s al-Qaeda affiliate and its hardline allies. Worse, he appears to have expressed support for Anwar Al-Awlaki, the extremist preacher credited with inspiring multiple attacks, including the mass shooting at the Fort Hood military base. (Abdul Kareem did not respond to multiple requests for comment from AlterNet for this article.)

AlterNet reviewed scores of Abdul Kareem’s videos, and in not one did he address the atrocities any of the ultra-sectarian Islamist groups have carried out against civilians, minorities in particular. …

Not only has Abdul Kareem consistently facilitated the dissemination of his guests’ extreme views, he even gives them opportunities to call on viewers around the world to join them in their fight in Syria. …

Abdul Kareem makes it clear that he opposes democracy in Syria, claiming such a system is “alien” to the Syrian people whereas “a governing style of Islam is something that is familiar to them.” …

Abdul Kareem defends the extremist rebel group Ahrar al-Sham. … On his website, Abdul Kareem laments that the hard-line Islamist group “has been getting a bit of a bad reputation as of late for some of their political stances,” and stresses, “this Islamic revolution would not be where it is today without Ahrar Asham.”

Ahrar al-Sham has collaborated with and fought alongside Syrian al-Qaeda. It has engaged in sectarian attacks on civilians, such as the killing and kidnapping of Alawite [Shia] women and children in the village of Zara. Amnesty International also documented how Ahrar al-Sham and the Syrian franchise of al-Qaeda have destroyed churches and confiscated the homes and stolen the belongings of Christian Syrians. Christians in the major rebel-held city of Idlib reported being told they must convert or leave. …

One of the first videos Abdul Kareem released on his Facebook page is an interview with a fighter from Jabhat al-Nusra, Syria’s arm of al-Qaeda. It was filmed in early August 2015 at the frontline of fighting between the extremist group and secular, leftist Kurdish fighters. …

The first long-form interview Abdul Kareem published to his Facebook page is an August 2015 discussion with Abu Firas al-Suri, a leader of Jabhat al-Nusra. …

“Our mission is guiding the people, taking them by the hand and helping them so we all are able to achieve the supremacy of the sharia of Allah on Earth. And our mission in Syria is a part of that mission,” Abu Firas proclaimed. He added, “Our goals are not limited only to Syria, however our current battle is in Syria.”

The only criticisms Abdul Kareem levied at the al-Qaeda leader in his interview were from the perspective of those who were even more radical. “Your group now controls large territories,” Abdul Kareem noted, “but some criticize you saying that you don’t apply the Islamic Sharia.” …

Abdul Kareem also invited Abu Firas to talk about the social services al-Nusra provides to people in Syria. Abu Firas, who associated himself with al-Qaeda in the interview, said they offer medical services, education, road repair, water delivery, houses and electricity.

Although Jabhat al-Nusra is an enemy of ISIS, Abu Firas stressed on Abdul Kareem’s video program, “We didn’t initiate fighting or criticising ISIS.” He continued, “As for fighting them, we’re not keen to fight them; we’re not keen to fight anyone who’s not an obstacle facing Islam.”

“We didn’t choose to oppose ISIS militarily or even politically,” Abu Firas explained. …

Demonizing Shia Muslims

On June 17, Bilal Abdul Kareem published a high-quality animated trailer for an upcoming episode of “Face the Truth” that promised to reveal who Shia Muslims truly are. “The Syrian crisis has quickly become a sectarian war between Sunnis-Shiite-Alawites,” he claimed in his Facebook post. Abdul Kareem implied that Shia might not actually be Muslims, writing, “Are they all just Muslims fighting one another? Or do their beliefs say otherwise?”

Three days later, Abdul Kareem published a lengthy interview with the ultra-sectarian Sunni preacher Abdur Razaaq Mahdi, in a video combatively titled “Sunnis vs Shia’.” …

Mahdi deplores Alawites as “Nusayri” unbelievers. “Oh Allah, destroy the Alawites and those who ally with them from the thugs, the Shia, the Russians, the Iranians!” he proclaims in the video. “Kill them all! …

Recruiting foreign fighters

Abdul Kareem’s interview with the Syria-based Saudi warlord Abdallah al-Muhaysini might be the most disturbing instance of promoting violent extremism. …

Al-Muhaysini continued claiming, “The war in Syria or jihad in Syria, today we’re in jihad against Shia, Alawites and Khawarij.” …

“Does that mean I should leave my family and everything I studied at university?” Naturally, al-Muhaysini replied in the affirmative, insisting it is a true believer’s duty, and they will be rewarded for it.

“Read the six rewards Allah gives to the martyr and you will forget everything,” al-Muhaysini countered. …

Opposing democracy

… In an interview posted in May, Abdul Kareem gave an Islamist rebel a platform to condemn democracy and instead argue for the importance of creating a theocratic society in Syria.

“Jihad is our way and pride,” Abu Osama al-Shawkani insisted in the video. “Democracy is ungratefulness.” He added, “Secularism is not our way.”

Abdul Kareem’s guest argued that experiments at implementing democracy in Algeria and Egypt “just failed.” He even went out of his way to pit Islam, the religion of 1.7 billion people, against such a form of governance.

They “will never accept applying Islam through democracy, and the one who says that he wants democracy doesn’t understand,” al-Shawkani insisted. Democracy “is a method against Allah’s method.” Abdul Kareem concluded the interview telling al-Shawkani, “May Allah reward you, brother.”

Abdul Kareem does not hide this extreme sectarianism and opposition to democracy; these views pervade his videos and are visible on his Facebook page. But in their apparent zeal to cultivate a pro-rebel narrative, major media outlets have consistently failed to acknowledge this fact.

Media coverage

Despite his ties to extremist groups, a vast array of influential media outlets have relied on Bilal Abdul Kareem’s reporting from Aleppo, and have treated it as reputable.

CNN, for which Abdul Kareem helped produce a series of reports alongside the international correspondent Clarissa Ward, interviewed Abdul Kareem on Dec. 13 for a segment on the Syrian government’s recapture of rebel-held eastern Aleppo. CNN’s Hala Gorani described him simply as an “independent journalist,” without any other background information or context.

Abdul Kareem told Gorani, “I don’t think that anybody here is happy with the way things have turned out.” He also claimed civilians do not want to go to government-held western Aleppo. In reality, manyinterviews with former residents of eastern Aleppo who escaped to the government-controlled western side revealed that rebels shot at them. The U.N. has also said rebels obstructed civilians from leaving. …

Even left-leaning websites that traditionally criticize corporate media outlets for toeing the party line have been derelict. Truthout ran an article that cited Abdul Kareem’s castigation of Turkey and Gulf regimes, simply identifying him as a “journalist.”

The Intercept’s Murtaza Hussain likewise gave a substantial platform to Abdul Kareem back in June, applauding him for providing “a unique perspective on the conflict in Syria.” …

On the Ground News and helpers

In 2015, Abdul Kareem supplemented his interview program “Face the Truth” by launching On the Ground News, an outlet that features more traditional journalistic reports from inside rebel-held areas in Syria.

On the Ground News saw a marked increase in production quality, with videos accompanied by slick animations and graphic design. In some, Abdul Kareem could be seen seated in front of a green screen, declaring that he was broadcasting from “our studios.” Where On the Ground News gets its funding from is not clear and, as mentioned, Abdul Kareem did not respond to AlterNet’s requests. …

Applauding the Fort Hood shooter

In 2009, two years before the Syrian civil war erupted, Abdul Kareem composed a post in a Google group for expats in Dubai that endorsed an article by an extremist preacher who heroized the gunman who had just carried out a mass shooting at the Fort Hood military base in Texas. …


In closing:

A series of three articles that I did for the Strategic Culture Foundation, and which was subsequently published together in one article at the Signs of Our Times website, describes the U.S. government’s support for Al Nusra (Al Qaeda in Syria) ever since at least 2012, America’s assisting Al Qaeda, and working with Al Qaeda’s royal Saudi, Qatari and UAE funders, to overthrow Syria’s government — using U.S.-Saudi-backed jihadists to topple and replace yet another Russia-allied head-of-state. The U.S. government is pro-jihadist because those jihadists are ‘our’ boots-on-the-ground, waging war, as ‘our’ proxies, against Russia. And, America’s ‘news’ media cheer this rampant butchery on, and even award ‘journalism’ prizes to its slickest propagandists, who pour forth on TV and at ‘journalism’ awards ceremonies, jerking tears from the gulls. This also explains how it can be that, as Gallup headlined on 19 June 2017, “George W. Bush and Barack Obama Both Popular in Retirement”. Democracy is impossible in such a country, just as it was in the novel 1984.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

Former US Envoy to Syria: Game Over! Assad Won

June 20, 2017

Former American ambassador to Syria Robert Ford

A former American ambassador to Syria says the Syrian government and its allies, including Iran, will ultimately frustrate attempts by the United States to influence Syrian matters and will drive the US out of the Arab country.

Robert Ford, who served as the US’s envoy to Syria under former US president Barack Obama, made the remarks in an interview with the London-based Arabic-language newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat on Monday.

He said the US was, first of all, mistaken in giving support to the opposition in Syria back in 2011 and demanding Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s ouster. Ford said he knew that that expression of support would encourage certain elements of the opposition to take up arms and expect a US invasion against Damascus, which he said would not be forthcoming.

Ford also said that the US would not defend the Kurdish forces it has been supporting so far in case the Kurds engaged in clashes with the Syrian forces.

“[The US] will not defend the Kurds against Assad’s forces,” the former US envoy said. “What we’re doing with the Kurds is not only politically stupid, but immoral.”

“Syrian Kurds are making their biggest mistake in trusting the Americans,” he added.

The US has been backing a mainly Kurdish alliance known as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Ford also said that, given the strong support being offered by Iran and Russia to the Syrian government, the “game was finished” for US plans to overthrow Assad or compete with what he said would be Iran’s success in the country.

“The Iranian position will advance,” Ford said.

“Assad won, I mean he’s the victor, or he thinks so,” he added. “Maybe in 10 years, he will retake the entire country.”

Source: Websites

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نارام سرجون

وكالة أوقات الشام الإخبارية

 تكاد أميريكا تثير الشفقة هذه الأيام .. فهي تبدو مثل الأشخاص الذين كانوا أعزة أقوياء وهم سادة البوكر والقمار ولكنهم تحولوا مع الخسارات المتتالية وانكسار الأحلام الى أشقياء لايقدرون على شيء الا مهنة قطاع الطرق ..

أميريكا هذه التي جاءت كالوحش الجريح عام 2003 وافترست الثور العراقي المجنح في ثلاثة اسابيع .. وهي التي خبطت على طاولة الأمم المتحدة بقبضتيها ورمت كل الأوراق والمواثيق المطبوع بأناقة على الأرض واشاعت الهلع والرعب وقررت أن تسير وحدها في درب الانتقام هاهي صارت تخشى على نفسها أن تسير وحدها في طرقات الشرق الأوسط المخيفة المليئة بالرعب والذكريات القاسية ..

أميريكا التي كانت تملك نادي القمار وكانت أثرى اللاعبين وأمهر اللاعبين وصل بها الأمر أنها تخشى الدخول الى ناديها الذي كانت تسرح وتمرح فيه لتقامر وتربح بالشعوذة والبلطجة والتهديد بالمسدس .. تجد نفسها اليوم تخسر كل رهاناتها ووعودها وأوراقها وتجد أن من يكسب الحرب هم خصومها الذين هزمتهم منذ عقدين .. صار الروسي اللاعب الأكبر في منطقة نفوذها ومعه اللاعب الصيني والايراني   وتغير الكازينو الدولي وروليت القمار الى مسرح للجودو والكونغ فو .. ولذلك خرجت أميريكا من النادي في الظلام وقررت أن تكون كما كانت منذ قديم عهدها وميلادها عصابة تلعب لعبة قطاع الطرق .. اللعبة التي تجيدها جدا وتلجا اليها كثيرا والتي لايتقنها لاعبو الجودو والكونغ فو ..

هذه الأميريكا المفتولة العضلات اليوم توحي أنها تحمي الأكراد وتحمي قسد وتتحدى الجيش السوري وترفع اصبعها في وجهه .. ولكن الحقيقة التي لايريد الأميريكيون لأحد ادراكها كيلا تذهب هيبة أميريكا هي أن أميريكا تحتمي بالأكراد وبقسد وليست هي من تحميهم .. وتخشى أن تنزل الى الميدان بنفسها لأنها تعلم أن طعم الموت في الشرق لابد منه ولامنجاة منه .. ففي الشمال تسير القوافل العسكرية وهي ترفع العلم الأميريكي ولكنها محاطة بسوار كردي .. وعلى الحدود السورية العراقية تسير أميريكا وهي ترسل قسد الى المقدمة وتبقى هي على جانب الطريق مثل قاطع الطريق الذي اذا شاهد الشرطة قادمة لتعقب لصوص في مكان آخر قطع الطريق واطلق النار من مكمنه .. وهذا ماحصل .. فالقوات الاميريكية لاتريد لداعش أن يهزم هزيمة منكرة وقد صار التنظيم قاب قوسين أو أدنى منها .. لأن نهاية التنظيم ستعني نهاية التحالف الدولي الذي يبرر وجوده في المنطقة بوجود داعش ويجب أن يرحل بنهاية داعش .. كما أن نهاية داعش تعني نهاية مشروع مايسمى الثورة السورية التي ستنهار أوتوماتيكيا بانهيار داعش ظهرها العسكري الذي يشاغل الجيش السوري عن تحرير ادلب والجنوب السوري في درعا ..

يقف قاطع الطريق مختبئا خلق ساتر كردي أو ساتر من (قسد) ويطلق النار فيصيب أحيانا بعضا من الشرطة المارين على الطريق في مسيرتهم نحو داعش  ولكن مهمة الشرطة ورجال القانون مستمرة وقاطع الطريق يعلم أنه لايقدر على لعب دور أكثر شجاعة من دور قاطع الطريق الشقي .. خاصة أن السوريين والروس صارت لديهم معرفة بنقاط ضعف قاطع الطريق ..

مشكلة قطاع الطرق اليوم أنهم يخوضون حربا ضروسا مع قطاع طرق آخرين .. فالأميريكيون في القيادات العسكرية والبنتاغون والاستخبارات فيما بينهم مختلفون وهم في حالة شك متبادل مع الجيل الجديد من رجال المال والأعمال الذين يريدون أميريكا جديدة تكسب دون خسائر .. وكل فريق يقوم بقطع الطريق على الآخر .. ولذلك فان فريق ترامب خائف من الفريق العسكري الذي يكمن له ويتصيد أخطاءه ويتهمه بالاتصال مع الروس والخيانة العظمى .. ولكن الفريق العسكري والاستخباري المناوئ يخشى ايضا أن يدفع الى قرار متهور على الساحة الدولية يلام فيه من قبل خصومه (الاميريكون الجدد) .. ولذلك فان الرهان بينهم اليوم قائم على أن يخاف الروس أو الايرانيون أو يخاف الأسد من طلقات النار على الحدود ومن سلوك قطاع الطرق .. ولكن الحقيقة هي ان الأسد وحلفاءه يدركون معضلة قاطع الطريق .. وانه ليس في مقدوره أن ينزل الى وسط الطريق .. فقاطع الطريق قد يواجه معركة قد تعيده الى مرحلة جورج بوش وورطة العراق .. ولكن الأخطر هو مايعتقده فريق من العسكريين الاميريكيين المحافظين الذين طرحوا معضلة عسكرية حقيقية وهي احتمال سقوط أول طائرة عسكرية اميريكية في مواجهة مع مقاتلة غير اميريكية وتحديدا الروسية .. فالأميريكيون يهابون جدا سقوط هيبتهم العسكرية تكنولوجيا وهم حريصون على ألا يخوضوا اية مواجهة تكنولوجية مالم تكن محسوبة 100% ..

وحسب الخبراء العسكريين فان سقوط أول طائرة اميركية بسلاح روسي سيكون الأول من نوعه منذ عام 1998 عندما تمكن الصرب (الميالون للروس والذين يتسلحون من روسيا) من اسقاط أول مقاتلة ستيلث في الحرب .. ومن يومها والشغل الشاغل للعسكريين الاميريكيين اذا ماكان الروس قد تطوروا جدا وسبقوهم أميالا في تكنولجيا الحرب .. لأنه منذ لك الحادثة في سقوط ستيلث فان العقبة التي واجهت التكنولوجية الاميريكيية هي أنهم حاولوا تطوير رادارات لطائراتهم تحدد الهدف في الجو ثم تجري مايسمى الاقفال على الهدف وهي عملية معقدة جدا .. أي ان الصاروخ الذي تطلقه الطائرة يتم تحديد هدفه والاقفال على الهدف راداريا اي أن يكون الهدف مؤمنا لرادارات الصاروخ كأن الهدف في قفص ثابت لايتحرك الصاروخ الا باتجاهه مهما غير من مكانه أو شيفراته .. ولكن هذا الأمر فشل في طائرات ف 35 على حين أظهر الروس أنهم وفق مصادر استخبارية غربية أنهم أنفقوا وقتا ومالا كبيرين لانجاح تلك البحوث الصاروخية وتمكنوا من تقنية اقفال الهدف في رادارات طائراتهم بدليل اسقاط طائرة ستيلث في صربيا عام 1998 وهي الهدف العصي غير المرئي الذي لايمكن اسقاطه الا بالاقفال الراداري وهذا يعني أنه بعد كل هذه السنوات فان تقنية الاقفال الراداري الروسية صارت فوق كل التوقعات مما يجعل المواجهة حتما لصالح الطائرات الروسية الحديثة ..

ومما يعزز الخشية الاميريكية هي احجامهم عن اقتناص الفرصة التي منحتهم اياها تركيا عندما أسقطت طائرة السوخوي الروسية (القديمة) وكانت تركيا تتلفت حولها تبحث عن الاميريكيين وهي تقول لهم .. تفضلوا ال فرصتكم لمواجهة الطيران الروسي الحديث .. ولكن الاتراك وجدوا أن الاميريكيين المفتولي العضلات ابتعدوا بشكل مريب ومخز وفضلوا تجنب المواجهة مما أكد للاتراك ولغيرهم أنهم مع حليف غير مجهز تكنولوجيا أو أنه تأخر تكنولوجيا ويحتاج زمنا طويلا لردم الهوة التقنية والا لما تردد في التورط لكسر هيبة السلاح الروسي .. ولذلك وبسبب هذه النتيجة اختار الأتراك سياسة الخروج .. وكانت طائرة السوخوي الروسية هي التي فتحت ديبلوماسية الخروج التركي وليس الانقلاب العسكري لأن الطيران التركي التزم الصمت المطبق حيال القرار الروسي بنشر بطاريات اي 400 ونسر طائرات أكثر تقدما .. وكان الجيش السوري يقتحم حلب ليحررها فيما الطائرات التركية تتنزه بعيدا ولاترى الطائرات الروسية التي منعت قوة في الناتو من التدخل لصالح الارهابيين .. ومن يومها بدأت مفاوضات استسلام تركيا لقرار روسيا في سورية .. والذي سيظهر كليا في معركة ادلب القادمة ..

مالفت النظر في حادثة الطائرة السورية التي أسقطها الأمريكيون أن البعض من الخبراء الغربيين ينظرون اليها على أنها ديبلوماسية الخروج بدلا من ديبلوماسية المواجهة .. لأن اسقاط الطائرة السورية استدعي انفعالا روسيا وتهديدا صريحا وهذا ماسيساعد فريق ترامب الآن والفريق المحافظ في الجيش الأميريكي في أنه وضع الكرة أمام العسكريين الاميريكيين لاتخاذ الخطوة التي تناسبهم حتى وان كانت المواجهة مع روسيا .. وهو يدرك أنهم متوجسون جدا من مواجهة مع السلاح الروسي الذي قدم استعراضا للتفوق في سورية وكانت الأقمار الصناعية وكل قدرات التجسس الأميريكة تتابعه مبهورة بأدائه .. ولن يجرؤوا على اتخاذ قرار التصعيد .. وكما كانت الطائرة الروسية التي أسقطتها تركيا مخرجا لتركيا فان الطائرة السورية قد تكون افتتحت ديبلوماسية الخروج لأميريكا أيضا .. لأن سقوط هيبة أميريكا سيكون في سقوط أول طائرة لهم منذ عقود بسلاح روسي .. منذ عام 1973 اذا استثنينا سقوط مقاتلات امركية في البقاع في الثمانينات والتي أسقطت بأسلحة تقليدية شبه بدائية بالقياس الى تقنيات اليوم .. وهذا التوجس ماسيعطي ترامب العذر في انتهاج ديبلوماسية الخروج أو التفاوض للخروج مقابل صفقات بعد أن صار واضحا أن الجيشين السوري والعراقي قد أحكما الاتصال والاطباق على الحدود ومنع التمدد الأميريكي .. وان الشرق السوري بدأ يخرج من الحسابات الامريكية .. ولايمكن الرهان على الأكراد لفترة طويلة خاصة أن هناك مرحلة قادمة سينتقل فيها السوريون وحلفاؤهم على الأرض لعمليات نوعية برية وينشرون فرق العمليات الخاصة السرية التي ستتخصص باصطياد الجنود الأميركييين تحديدا .. وربما تتورط الاستخبارات التركية في ذلك لأن التحالف الاميركي مع الأكراد لايروق لتركيا وهي تريد للأكراد أن يفقدوا الظهير الاميريكي ..

دعونا نمر نحو أهدافنا رغما عن قطاع الطرق دون أن نكترث برصاصاتهم على الطرقات .. فربما كان قطاع الطرق أحوج الناس هذه الأيام لمن يمد لهم يد المساعدة ويدلهم على طريق الخروج بعد ان ضلوا الطريق .. سندلهم على الطريق ولكن ان لم يستغلوا الفرصة .. فان عليهم أن يتوقعوا ديبلوماسية تعقب قطاع الطرق .. ونصيحتنا لهم ألا يدخلوا أنفسهم في عصر ديبلوماسية اسقاط الطائرات الامريكية .. لأنها لن تكون في صالح أي فريق من قطاع الطرق حتما ..

US Setting Up Military Base In Syria

By South Front

June 20, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – According to local sources, US-led coalition forces have begun setting up a new military base in Tabqah town in the province of Raqqah.

The new base will be located in the military housing area, the Mohammed Fares school as well as the military and security buildings in the third district of the town. US forces reportedly intend to build a command center and residential buildings for its troops. According to opposition sources, USA wants to adopt the new base in Tabqah town as a long-term base in Syria.

Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports from Kurdish sources appeared arguing that a new agreement between the USA and YPG was made. The agreement will allegedly allow the US military to stay in the YPG-held areas for 10 years. In turn, the US will continue providing military aid to YPG. However, no official sources have reported about this.

The Turkish News Agency Anadolu announced that Washington has supplied YPG and YPJ Kurdish forces in Syria with modern weapons within the last ten days. On June 16 , 50 trucks loaded with weapons arrived through Kurdistan Region border crossings. On June 5, 60 trucks loaded with arms arrived to the SDF-held areas. 20 more trucks arrived on June 12, according to the agency.

According to the Anadolu report, the Kurds received: 12,000 rifles, 6,000 machine guns, 3,500 machine guns, 3,000 RPG-7 bombers and 1,000 grenade launchers of the AT-4 type produced by the United States and LNG grenades, besides near 235 mortar rounds, 100 sniper rifles and 450 7PV night vision sights.

This article was first published by South Front

State Senator Calls US Base in Syria a Violation of International Law

By Sputnik

June 20, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US base in Syria’s At Tanf area is a clear violation of international law, State Senator from Virginia Richard Black told Sputnik.

“We’ve even set up a base at Al Tanf in the southern part, it’s an American base within the country of Syria,” Black said. “You can’t get a more obvious violation of international law than to actually move in and set up a military base in a sovereign country that has never taken any offensive action towards our country.”

The United States last week transferred two high mobility multiple-launch rocket systems from Jordan to the US special operations forces base at At Tanf.

US President Donald Trump, Black added, has unfortunately given authority to people “who are not well-intentioned and they are using that military authority in Syria.”

The senator also noted that Russia, Syria, and its allies are “definitely on the move. ”

“There’s no doubt that the terrorists are being thrown back on every front and I think that’s very encouraging,” he stated.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Friday that the Russian military is analyzing the US deployment of artillery where terrorist formations are said to be virtually absent.

The US-led coalition against Daesh terror group (outlawed in Russia) has twice struck Syrian-government aligned forces in the At Tanf area, and Trump launched a missile strike against a Syrian air base in April.

This article was first published by Sputnik

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

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