“RIC”: BRICS after Bolsonaro

November 08, 2018

by Ghassan Kadi for The Saker Blog

BRICS is the acronym of the “alliance” that includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

In reality, and with all due respect to Brazil and South Africa, BRICS is about RIC.

With Russia, India and China, in any order, there lies the future of Eurasia; the virtually unchartered quarter that houses over one third of the entire world population; a huge chunk of landmass, rich in resources, not only human resources, and just waiting for the right moment to make its mark in history.

The so-called “Silk Road”, or in reality silk roads, was historically the network of caravan paths that ancient traders took on their journeys from east to west, linking worlds largely unknown to each other, long before Vasco da Gama’s highly documented trips.

And whilst the ancient cultures of India and China flourished in their own right, apart from Alexander’s conquest, the Muslim and subsequent Mongol conquests, there was little historic geopolitical interaction between that far Far East and the Middle East; let alone Europe. The long icy and hard terrain made it very difficult, even for the brave at heart, to take the journey from Beijing to Vienna. The temptations to make that trip did not match the hardship of the journey for the averagely motivated traveler.

But this is all about to change. The new “Silk Road”, the network of super highways that the “RIC” nations are intent to build is going to change this status quo and shorten land distances.

The Trans-Siberian railway is a Russian route and constructing it linked Vladivostok with Moscow, but it was not intended to link China with Europe. If anything, it helped bolster the isolation of the USSR. But the new “Silk Road” project will change the transportation map of the world upside down once and for ever.

The determination to build this massive road network does not need either Brazil or South Africa; again with all due respect to both nations.

By taking many considerations into account, we must be realistic and say that the electoral win of Brazilian candidate Bolsonaro will not affect the prospect of the “Silk Road” one way or the other. The repercussions of his election will affect Brazil more than any other country. Purportedly, his policies will affect global climate, but this is another issue. His fiscal and international policy making decisions may put Brazil under the American sphere of influence, and this unfortunately can and will affect Brazil very adversely, but the damage is likely to be restricted to Brazil only.

With or without Brazil, BRICS can survive, but for it to survive and make a difference, it will need to become more serious about conducting its business.

The first step towards becoming more proactive is best done by establishing proper trust and conciliation between the three major players; Russia, China and India.

The love-hate relationship that marred the Soviet-Maoist era took a while to heal. The Russians and the Chinese seem to have gone many steps ahead towards establishing trust and confidence in each other. But China and India continue to have serious problems, and for as long as they have border and sovereignty disputes, this hinders them from becoming effective partners in every way.

Furthermore, BRICS needs a preamble and a Statement of Purpose. At the moment, it doesn’t have one. With all of its hypocrisies, the Western alliance camouflages itself behind the veil of Christian values, democracy and the “free world” slogans. Thus far, the only undeclared statement of purpose for BRICS seems to be that of defiance to the Western alliance.

The BRICS alliance will face a struggle founding an attractive preamble. Orthodox Christian Russia, predominantly Hindu India and Communist/Taoist/Buddhist China have little in common religiously speaking. Perhaps the BRICS leaders should be using common political grounds instead. They certainly cannot use democracy; not only because such an adoption would make them look as copycats, but also because they have different ideas about democracy, and Russia and China definitely do not endorse Western-style democracy.

In reality however, BRICS can use abstract lofty principles as their preamble; principles such as morality, honesty, and if they want to be less “theological” as it were, they could use principles such as “International law”, “International equality” and the like.

Apart from accumulating gold, building bridges and super road networks, planning fiscal measures to cushion the effects of a possible collapse of the Western economy on their own economies, developing state-of-the-art hypersonic weaponry and giving a clear message announcing that the world is no longer unipolar, the BRICS alliance ought to make clear statements about what kind of alternative world it envisions.

This is very important, because a significant percentage of the world population does not know what to expect if the BRICS alliance becomes the new dominant financial and military power. They have special concerns about China because they don’t know much about China, and they worry not only about whether or not China will be a new colonial super power, but they also worry about one day waking up and seeing traffic signals in Mandarin; so to speak.

To many people across the globe, the Chinese culture, language and modus operandi look like something from another planet.

The Cyrillic Russian and the Devanagari Indian scripts are no less daunting than the Mandarin script, but many Indians and Russians speak English and the West has had much more cultural interaction with both Russia and India than it ever did with China.

Furthermore, for the BRICS alliance to become more viable, it will need to develop a military alliance akin to that of NATO. When and if such an alliance is forged, then members will be protected as any attack on one will be considered as an attack on the whole coalition. Such an alliance will not increase the chances of war. Quite the contrary in fact, as it can lead to much needed stability. If for argument sake North Korea were a member, it would not be in a situation where it can claim that it needs nuclear weapons for self-defense, and secondly, the West would not be threatening to attack for fear of a major global escalation. The Cold-War, costly and potentially disastrous as it was, presents a successful model of nuclear deterrence. And in retrospect, had Vietnam been a member of the Warsaw Pact (or a similar one that included the USSR), it is possible that America’s war on Vietnam would have been averted. A more realistically plausible scenario is the case of former Yugoslavia. Had the Warsaw Pact been still standing, NATO would have never attacked Serbia back in 1999.

To be able to afford a more effective military deterrent, be a viable stand-alone economic power and to be attractive to the rest of the world, the BRICS coalition will ultimately need more member nations. Ideally, it would be of huge significance if Japan could be convinced to join it. The inclusion of Japan will not only add a huge financial power to the group, but it will also generate an in-house regional security to the China Sea region. Baby steps have been recently made between China and Japan towards conciliation, and much more needs to be done. It will take a lot of work and good intentions on both sides to undo a long history of hostilities and distrust.

Other nations that can and arguably should enter the coalition are; Venezuela, Mexico, Argentina, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Korea, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, and post Erdogan Turkey. Why post Erdogan? Because Erdogan’s Turkey can turn BRICS into a bag of TRICS.

Resource-rich Australia has much to gain in joining such an alliance as this will not only bolster its own security, but it will also secure economic stability and on-going trade.

Thus far, all the official visits that the RIC leaders have exchanged, all the business deals they made, all the projects they are embarking on, huge as they are, are only baby steps towards turning their alliance into one that can lead the world and establish the necessary moral, financial and security foundations that are capable of underpinning it.

Over and above establishing a new world reserve currency, setting up an alternative to the US-based Internet and WWW, SWIFT, etc, the brave new world will need hope, trust, morality and concrete assurances for a long-awaited change for the better. These are the real challenges facing the BRICS alliance now; not the Bolsonaro win.

Supporters of Apartheid Israel Abuse Sydney Anti-War Student

Jay_Tharappel_b8aa5

Media, parliamentary, academic and other supporters of apartheid Israel have abused University of Sydney doctoral student Jay Tharappel for his outspoken support of Yemen, opposition to Israel and his consistent stance against the long wars on Syria and Korea.

Much of the western media falsely pretend that the massively internationalized war on Syria is a “civil war”. Most also refuse to recognize the simple fact that, over the past 65 years, the USA has never agreed to a peace agreement with North Korea.

The personal attacks on Jay reveal a shallow recognition of free speech in Australia. It is extraordinary that so much abuse has been heaped on one dissident voice. Demands for censorship of his political comments have come from various sources, but many of them supporters of the apartheid state of Israel.

First came the bully and smear media, from Murdoch’s Daily Telegraph, and from Channel Seven. The Murdoch tabloid, in a torrent of personal abuse, attacked Jay for rejecting the false chemical weapons claims against Syria, in April 2017. It then falsely claimed that Jay’s criticism of Murdoch journalist Kylar Loussikian was a racist attack.

In August 2018 Channel Seven manufactured another scandal about Jay, falsely claiming that a Yemeni badge he wore in China was ‘anti-semitic’. One part of that badge, seen on Jay’s shirt in one of my social media posts, said ‘death to Israel’.

The photo was simply one of the friends at lunch. Channel Seven, using the false translation “death to Israeli”, claiming it was a racist incitement. I posted in response that the Channel Seven piece ‘promotes ignorance, apartheid, and war’.

In fact ‘death to Israel’ is a political statement by the Yemeni group Ansarallah, which calls for an end to apartheid Israel, the regime that is reported to have killed a Palestinian child every three days for the past 18 years. The Australian government sells arms to the Saudis to bomb Yemen, as they ignore that terrible war and try to suppress any news about Yemen.

Later, the University of Sydney told the Sydney Morning Herald that I was “under investigation” for refusing to take down that photo of Jay and friends at lunch. After a Sydney Morning Herald against me, I made a social media statement explaining my position.

For Channel Seven’s principal sources journalist, Bryan Seymour used (to represent “many in the Jewish and Muslim community”) two people. First was a well-known supporter of Israel, Vic Alhadeff. Vic was previously a chair of the NSW Community Relations Commission but resigned in 2014 after posting in support of Israel’s bloody reign of terror in Gaza.

The other was Jordanian-Australian Jamal Daoud, who claimed to represent a Palestinian group but is best known for his repeated attacks on those who support Syria. He has abused many supporters of Syria as ‘spies’ and ‘prostitutes’. In 2017 he took an Israeli propagandist to Syria, and since then has been wanted for questioning in Syria. Earlier, in 2015, he began an online petition to challenge a security ban on him entering Lebanon.

The corporate media came back to abuse Jay after he wrote a thoughtful piece on his visit to North Korea (DPRK) in the student newspaper Honi Soit. The article defended independent Korea while it described in some detail what he had seen there. On social media pages, many appreciated the unusual article, while others responded with censorial outrage.

The Daily Telegraph added another abusive piece, which copied much of Jay’s article while adding invective. Even the state-owned ABC wrote in support of the demand that the article be taken down, simply because it was seen as too favorable to North Korea.

Why the hysteria over criticism of Israel? Well, both the Murdoch media and Channel Seven have deep business links with Israel’s occupation forces, including those who regularly demolish Palestinian homes in their ethnic cleansing purges.

Pro-Israel figures and some Jewish media in Australia predictably and falsely tried to conflate Jay’s and my opposition to Israel with anti-Jewish racism. I have made my position on Israel and racism very clear on many occasions, most recently in an article called The Future of Palestine.

A selection of pro-Israel types jumped on the bandwagon. They included federal Labor MP Tim Watts, who attacked Jay’s article and Honi Soit, saying ‘everyone associated with this article ought to be ashamed’.

When he was criticized for picking on a student newspaper he said, by way of justification, that he was trying to get at me (‘the professor’).

In fact, Tim Watts is yet another supporter of apartheid Israel. In late 2015 he went on an Israeli-government paid junket to Israel, in a group led by conservative minister Christopher Pyne. The group seemed to toe the Israeli line because Palestinian minister Dr. Sabri Saidam described them as “rude” and “not well educated” on Palestine.

Subsequently, Tim Watts took his Israel connection seriously. He strongly recommended the book ‘My Promised Land’ by Ari Shavit, which explains how Israel created “something unique and quite endearing” in a tough neighborhood.

This “unique and quite endearing” creation was described by an authoritative 2017 report to the United Nations as an ‘apartheid state’ and therefore ‘a crime against humanity’. US academic lawyers Richard Falk and Virginia Tilley wrote that “the situation in Israel-Palestine constitutes an unmet obligation of the organized international community to resolve a conflict, partially generated by its own actions”.

Professor Ariadne Vromen, a professor in Government at the University of Sydney, and opponent of the BDS campaign against Israel, jumped in, inexplicably, attacking the former Syrian Ambassador to Australia Tammam Sulayman. Ambassador Sulayman is now Syria’s envoy to North Korea, and it was he who invited us to visit that country.

Ariadne claimed that Ambassador Tammam had failed her research design course, 15 years ago. “He didn’t pass first year”, she said. After some criticism, she removed her post.

Of course, it is inappropriate for academics to abuse students or former students, or to humiliate them for their grades or results. In this case, Ariadne’s comments were also false. When I enquired, Ambassador Sulayman spelled out to me the reason why he had left Ariadne’s class and his doctoral studies at the University:

“Of course I didn’t complete at that time with Ariadne because [his supervisor, another academic] started the war on me and I complained against her to the university. So I stopped everything … in my [thesis] preface I stated there is no linkage between the secular Baath party and al Qaeda … but she said ‘that does not exclude links between Saddam and al Qaeda’, and I said but we are talking about the Baath party … Then she started returning every paper I sent her … she is a clear Zionist … It is silly for [Ariadne] to say that I didn’t finish even one year without mentioning the reason.”

Professor Vromen’s abuse of a former student and ambassador is strange. Why would an academic jump into abuse a former student, in the context of an abusive media campaign against another student? What is wrong with honest discussion?

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. The University of Sydney is well known for harboring pro-apartheid-Israel academics. It hosts a research project backed by US Government-funded agencies, called ‘The Electoral Integrity Project’. That project rates the electoral democracyof many countries. As it happens, they rate Israel’s ‘democracy’ very highly (17/127), even though the Jewish state is notorious for its institutionalized racism.

In 2007-08 the University of Sydney accepted a large grant from the American Australian Association, to establish a ‘United States Studies Centre’. This was mostly Australian Government money but came at the suggestion of media mogul Rupert Murdoch. The idea of the Centre came from a desire to repair the damage done to the image of the USA in the wake of its 2003 invasion of Iraq. I wrote an article about this scandal, back in 2010.

Washington remains the major funder and arms provider to apartheid Israel, providing the racist state with more than three billion dollars every year, mostly in military subsidies.

By Tim Anderson
Source

Is the next US aggression on Syria already scheduled?

The Saker

August 31, 2018

[This article was written for the Unz Review]

The things that please are those that are asked for again and again
Horace

Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran
John McCain

President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price…
Donald Trump

It is difficult to have a dialogue with people who confuse Austria and Australia
Vladimir Putin

Bis repetita

It appears that we are coming back full circle: the AngloZionists are again, apparently, preparing to use the very same White Helmets (aka “good terrorists”) to execute yet another chemical false flag attack in Syria and againblame the government forces for it. The Russians are, againwarning the world in advance and, just as last time, (almost) nobody gives a damn.  And there are even reports that the US is, yet again, considering imposing a (totally illegal) no-fly zone over Syria (I have not heard this once since Hillary’s presidential campaign).  And just like last time, it appears that the goal of the US is  to save the “good terrorists” from a major governmental victory.

It appears that my prediction that each “click” brings us one step closer to the “bang!” is, unfortunately, coming true and while the Empire seems to have given up on the notion of a full-scale reconquest of Syria, the Neocons are clearly pushing for what might turn out to be a major missile strike on Syria.  The fact that firing a large number of missiles near/over/at Russian forces might result in Russian counter-attack which, in turn, could lead to an major, possibly nuclear, war does not seem to factor at all in the calculations of the Neocons.  True, the Neocons are mostly rather stupid (as in “short-term focused”) people, with a strong sense of superiority and a messianic outlook on our world.  However, it baffles me that so few people in the USA and the EU are worried about this.  Somehow, a nuclear war has become so unthinkable that many have concluded that it can never happen.

The other thing which the Neocons seem to be oblivious to is that the situation on the ground in Syria cannot be changed by means of missile strikes or bombs.  For one thing, the last US attack has conclusively shown that US Tomahawks are an easy target for the Syrian (mostly antiquated) air defenses.  Of course, the US could rely on more AGM-158 JASSM which are much harder to intercept, but no matter what missiles are used, they will not effectively degrade the Syrian military capabilities simply because there are so few lucrative targets for cruise missile strikes in Syria to begin with.  Considering that the US knows full well that no chemical attack will take place (or even couldtake place, for that matter, since even the USA have declared Syria chemical weapons free in 2013) the White House might decide to blow up a few empty buildings and declare that “the animal Assad” has been punished I suppose.  But even if completely unopposed a US missile attack will make no military sense whatsoever.  So this begs the question of what would be the point of any attack on Syria?  Sadly, the rather evident answer to that is that the upcoming missile strike has less to do with the war in Syria and much more to do with internal US politics.

Russian and Syrian options

There are a few differences too.  The biggest difference is that this time around the Russian naval task force in the eastern Mediterranean is much bigger than last time: 15 ships including two advanced frigates, the Admiral Grigorovich and the Admiral Essen (see a detailed report here: https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/russia-sends-largest-naval-fleet-ever-to-syrian-waters/) and two 636.3-class advanced diesel-attack submarines.  That is a lot of anti-ship, anti-air and anti-submarine firepower and, even more crucially, a lot of advanced early warning capabilities.  Since the Russian and Syria air defense networks have been integrated by single automated fire system this means that the Syrians will very accurately “see” what is taking place in and around the Syrian airspace (this is especially true with the Russians keeping their A-50U AWACs on 24/7 patrol).

What has me most worried are the various reports (such as this one) which says that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov last week that “Moscow would be held responsible” if any chemical attack occurs.  If by “Moscow will be responsible” the crazies in Washington DC mean “morally responsible”, then this is just the usual nonsense.  But I am afraid that with certified nutcases like Bolton and Pompeo in charge, the US might be considering attacking Russian personnel in Syria (not necessarily at the well defended Khmeimin or Tartus bases).  These guys could easily target various installations or Syrian military units where Russian personnel are known to be deployed and declare that they were not deliberately targeting Russians and that the Russians hit were “clearly involved” with the Syrian chemical weapon forces.  The US has already targeted Russian nationals for kidnapping and detention, they might start killing Russian nationals next and then place the responsibility for these deaths on the Kremlin.  You don’t think so? Just think “Skripal” and you will see that this notion is no so far fetched.

The Russians do have options, by the way.  One thing they could do is place 6 (modernized) MiG-31s on quick alert in southern Russia (or, even better, in Iran) and keep a pair of them on combat air patrol over Syria (or over Iran).  Combined with the “eyes” of the A-50U, these MiG-31s could provide the Russians with a formidable capability, especially against the US B-1B deployed in Qatar or Diego Garcia.  So far, the MiG-31s have not seen action in Syria, but if intercepting a large number of cruise missiles becomes the mission then they would offer a much more flexible and capable force than the very small amount of Su-35 and Su-30 currently based in Khmeimim.

But the key to protecting Syria is to beef-up the Syrian air defenses and early warning capabilities, especially with advanced mobile air defense systems, especially many short-to-medium range systems like the Tor-M2 and the Pantsir-S2.  Until this goal is achieved, the USA and Russia will remain in a most dangerous “Mexican standoff” in which both parties are engaged in what I call a “nuclear game of chicken” with each party threatening the other side while counting on its own nuclear capability to deter a meaningful counter-attack or retaliation.  This is extremely dangerous but there is very little Russia can do to stop the US leaders from coming back to that same strategy over and over again.  So far the Russians have shown a truly remarkable level of restraint, but if pushed too far, they next step for them will be to retaliate against the US in a manner which would provide them with what the CIA calls “plausible deniability” (I discussed this option over a year ago in this article).  If attacked directly and openly the Russians will, of course, have no other option left than to hit back.  And while it is true that the Russian forces in and near Syria are vastly outnumbered by US/NATO/CENTOM forces, the Russians have a massive advantage over the USA in terms of long range cruise missiles (see Andrei Martyanov’s analysis “Russia’s Stand-Off Capability: The 800 Pound Gorilla in Syria” for a detailed discussion of this topic).

None of the above is new, the world has been been stuck in this situation for well over a year now and there still appears to be no end in sight.  Unfortunately, I can only agree with Ruslan Ostashko: only a massive military defeat or a no less massive economic collapse will stop the folks who “who confuse Austria and Australia” to give up their insane quest for world hegemony by violence.

The Saker

Sanctioned Abuse: The Australian Government’s Abhorrent Treatment Of Refugee Children

Sanctioned Abuse: The Australian Government’s Abhorrent Treatment Of Refugee Children

Australia. Where the gritty ambition of vivacious travelers fashioned this nation upon its bewitching red dirt, has delivered dishonor to its deepest roots. When we smother refugees with hate, we smother ourselves and everything that we are with it as well. Australian culture is as broad, varied and enriched with color as its landscape. As this nation of immigrants is nothing without its embedded relentless acceptance, as we sing with hearts in hands “for those who come across the sea, we’ve boundless plains to share.” The current state of Australian immigration should horrify us; we should be emotionally moved and rigorously seek to challenge its ugliness.

Manus and Nauru, are both facilities of offshore detention orchestrated and affiliated with the Australian government, for the purpose of processing asylum seekers attempting seek refuge within the country. Irregular entrants began being transferred to Nauru on 14 September 2012 and to Papua New Guinea (Manus Island) on 21 November 2012.

The contents of these ‘processing’ procedures is extensively questionable.

The Australian Border Force Act 2015 was established by the Australian Border Force (ABF) — the government agency which controls immigration and border protection responsibilities. The ABF Act frames the command structure of the ABF as well as describes restrictions on its workers. The Act entails the prosecution of anyone who gains “protected information” during their employment or service for the Border Force, barring them from revealing any information to the media or the Australian public. The question is, what does the Australian government desperately seek to hide so aggressively that they are willing to implement legislation?

In all Australian states, it is illegal for teachers, doctors, nurses and other social professionals to with-hold information upon learning of suspected physical, mental and sexual abuse of children. However, this act does apply to immigrant children, and it is in fact illegal to approach law enforcement or the media about the recorded abuse of children within Australian detention centers. The penalty for doing so is two years imprisonment. The fact that the Australian government created a law silencing people, directly contradicts their rights of free expression in democracy.

Prior to the implementation of the act, a cache of 2,000 leaked reports revealed the abuse of children in Australian offshore detention. The Nauru files revealed reports of assaults, sexual abuse, self-harm attempts, child abuse and living conditions endured by asylum seekers held by the Australian government, depicting the true nature of Australian detention.

Analysis of the files reveal that children are vastly over-represented in the reports. More than half of the 2,116 reports, 51.3% involve children, despite children making up only about 18% of those in detention on Nauru during the time of the reports. The discoveries came just weeks after the uncovering of the emotionally destroying treatment of young indigenous children, including images of 17-year-old Dylan Voller in a mechanical restrain chair and spit hood, in juvenile detention facilities in the Northern Territory. The reports range from requests of shower time being accepted on condition of sexual favors to children drinking pesticide in attempt of taking their own lives.


Currently, even though the Manus centre has been closed since October 31st 2017, there is still 600 refugee detainees on the island. The center is now without electricity and water supplies as guards destroyed water tanks on a 31 degree day. The detainees fear for their security and safety, and have no trust in the alternatives given to them by Australian officials. These individuals need help, and no one can blame them for losing trust in their abusers.

The insufferable degrees of hatred being thrown at any Australian of non- Anglo-Celtic ancestry that dares attempt to enter Australia is perturbing and seemingly contradictory to the country’s history. Australian history is littered with wave after wave of immigration, and with a population of twenty-three million, over one-quarter were born overseas. How is it, that with such a large immigrant population, a persistently xenophobic rhetoric still continues?

Sources: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/lookup/3412.0Media%20Release12015-16https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/nauru-fileshttp://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22media%2Fpressrel%2F2060960%22http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22media%2Fpressrel%2F1914303%22

The Post that Made Me More Enemies – Steemit Blog

January 13, 2018

[Bombshell] Document Proves – Current President Best Ever

Steemit asked me for ID confirmation

image-steemit.com id confirmation

It’s been four years and four months since we lost Meng (Minnagh – Mingh) Airbase in northern Aleppo countryside to the NATO-sponsored terrorists, and since then the Syrian Arab Army is struggling to clean the massive parts of land taken by the evil empire and its mercenaries in Syria.

We can’t count the repercussions of that loss, in lives of innocent souls slaughtered, in massive areas of land, in direct incursions by the different NATO member states to the holy land of Syria, to the fall of other important cities, towns, and suffering of millions of internally displaced and fled away Syrians. It’s just too enormous.

I tried to outline the importance of that loss in my post ‘Meng Battle a Big Loss for the Axis of Resistance‘, and instead of many of the supposed to be pro-Syrians agreed to this loss and my anger towards all of assumed Syria’s allies, the Western operatives took it as an opportunity and a platform to attack me to the extent of once an Australian Intelligence agent described me as a “Traitor not only to Syria but to the whole world”…! They run a Facebook Group called ‘Syrian Revolution Untold Story’, led by a ‘High Ranking Freemason’ (in his own words), which they stole from its original creator, a Syrian lady activists, who made them admins to the group and they evicted her from her own group!

The reason behind their attacks was very simple. It’s the oldest tactic of divide and conquer. Create a schism among the pro-Syrian camp and then blame it on the members of the camp themselves. Well, have to admit, they did succeed for a while in that but with my insistence and the diligence of the Syrian activists, we managed to expose those planted foreign agents and enemies of Syria.

Last year 2017, we were shocked by a decision taken by YouTube, a subsidiary owned by Alpha (Google’s parent company), to suspend our YouTube channel, effectively deleting hundreds of our very important video reports I personally worked hard to translate to English and add the English subtitles to each one of them, and many of them were more than 40 minutes long.

Since we are a very small group of individual and independent activists, we are already struggling enough to maintain this website itself, we couldn’t maintain our own platform to host our videos, as even the case with many established news outlets who need a powerful platform to host their video libraries. And since Google decided to cut our earnings from ads published on our website, mind you, we barely make few cents a day from these ads, I was searching online for an alternative platform to at least host our videos there.

I did find a video hosting platform called Vidme (http://www.vid.me), which after uploading many of the videos I managed to find from our deleted library still stored in one of my Hard Disks, and updated many of the posts here with the relevant videos, Vidme platform went bust and ceased to exist. Seems they didn’t expect many people to use their service.

Finally, and thanks to James Corbett of The Corbett Report who posted a video promoting some alternative sites I found BitChute and Steemit. Two, so far, seems to be independent alternatives to the masters of censorship in Google, Facebook, Twitter and their subsidiaries and ilk.

I’m on Steemit since September 21, 2017, and managed so far to post 286 posts there including many videos as a backup and main new video clips through their amazing Dtube platform. I urge the readers here to check them out, and they do have an interesting reward scheme there for writers. However, I posted a recent post on Steemit revisiting the Meng Battle post and discussing how the Syrian Arab Army was overwhelmed by tens of thousands of anti-Islamic Wahhabi suicide terrorists, and how just recently I proved that Syrians can differ with their assumed allies openly and publicly and criticize their moves.

To my surprise the latest two posts were hit with a ‘Spam Warning’ and one of them suggested my ID there could be an attempt of an ID theft. I can highly commend them for their efforts to fight ID theft, but it could have been put in a nicer way though. An admin from Steemit asked me to prove my ID by a post here on Syrianews.cc to prove authorship of the content, so why not do both? Prove authorship and at the same time add a few thoughts.

image-Steemit Post for Identification
Steemit asked for ID confirmation of authorship.

I hope this will prove the authorship and I ask once again our dearest readers to share more of our posts, visit the ads placed by Google on our site here, you know every 100 cents make a dollar, and we highly appreciate any donation whether through PayPal you can use the button on the right side and top and bottom of any post, we even accept donations in any cryptocurrency, our Wallet ID is also placed on the side (1MPkajkNGbBU13XxwbTKcTpBKGJFiZjPZR).

Australian Special Forces Killed Afghan Children, Tried to Cover It Up

Aussie Forces Killed Afghan Children, Tried to Cover It Up

Australian Special Forces Killed Afghan Children, Tried to Cover It Up

Killings Reflected Shifting Priorities, Tactics in Afghan War

Adding to evidence of the humanitarian nightmare the Afghan War has become, Australia is now investigating soldiers from their special forces related to evidence that at least twice in raids in Kandahar Province, those troops killed children in rural areas, then tried to cover up their deaths.

“Cover it up” might be overstating it, really. Indeed, the evidence suggests that the Australian forces who were present at the killings just plain never reported them up the chain of command, and it was only because local villagers found the bodies that those deaths became public knowledge.

This comes as Australia’s Inspector General is already investigating the special forces over other unlawful killings, and that those special forces were killing so many civilians they routinely carried spare “drop weapons” with them just to plant on the corpses to make it look like they were combatants.

The investigations serve as just another embarrassment from the perspective of Australia’s military, but also appears to be the result of broad changes in the priorities and tactics of the US and its coalition allies in fighting in Afghanistan, as they moved away from the “clear and hold” tactics of the war’s first decade.

Those familiar with the situation say that once “clear and hold” was abandoned, the collateral damage of raids stopped being a major concern for the troops, since they weren’t going to be there after the operation anyhow, and that often helicopter-based raids became “land, kill, and leave.”

This attitude was plainly in evidence when the Australian forces engaged in the raids in question, heading into rural Kandahar in the middle of the night and shooting anything that moved, even if they weren’t in a combat situation yet. If the slain turned out to be children, the expectation was that this could simply be swept under the rug.

It is this same attitude that has other nations involved in the operations facing similar question, from New Zealand’s probes into “revenge raids” to US special forces desecrating the bodies of slain enemies. It’s also the latest in a long list of reasons why they aren’t “welcomed as liberators” and aren’t anywhere near winning the war.

Washington is Leading the U.S. and its Vassal States to Total Destruction

By Paul Craig Roberts

“The problem is that the world has listened to Americans for far too bloody long.”  — Dr. Julian Osborne, from the 2000 film version of Nevil Shute’s 1957 book, On the Beach

May 06, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – A reader asked why neoconservatives push toward nuclear war when there can be no winners. If all die, what is the point?

The answer is that the neoconservatives believe that the US can win at minimum and perhaps zero damage.

Their insane plan is as follows: Washington will ring Russia and China with anti-ballistic missile bases in order to provide a shield against a retaliatory strike from Russia and China. Moreover, these US anti-ABM bases also can deploy nuclear attack missiles unknown to Russia and China, thus reducing the warning time to five minutes, leaving Washington’s victims little or no time in which to make a decision.

The neoconservatives think that Washington’s first strike will so badly damage the Russian and Chinese retaliatory capabilities that both governments will surrender rather than launch a response. The Russian and Chinese leaderships would conclude that their diminished forces leave little chance that many of their ICBMs will be able to get past Washington’s ABM shield, leaving the US largely intact. A feeble retaliation by Russia and China would simply invite a second wave US nuclear attack that would obliterate Russian and Chinese cities, killing millions and leaving both countries in ruins.

In short, the American warmongers are betting that the Russian and Chinese leaderships would submit rather than risk total destruction.

There is no question that neoconservatives are sufficiently evil to launch a preemptive nuclear attack, but possibly the plan aims to put Russia and China into a situation in which their leaders conclude that the deck is stacked against them and, therefore, they must accept Washington’s hegemony.

To feel secure in its hegemony, Washington would have to order Russia and China to disarm.

This plan is full of risks. Miscalculations are a feature of war. It is reckless and irresponsible to risk the life of the planet for nothing more than Washington’s hegemony.

The neoconservative plan puts Europe, the UK, Japan, S. Korea, and Australia at high risk were Russia and China to retaliate. Washington’s ABM shield cannot protect Europe from Russia’s nuclear cruise missiles or from the Russian Air Force, so Europe would cease to exist. China’s response would hit Japan, S. Korea, and Australia.

The Russian hope and that of all sane people is that Washington’s vassals will understand that it is they that are at risk, a risk from which they have nothing to gain and everything to lose, repudiate their vassalage to Washington and remove the US bases. It must be clear to European politicians that they are being dragged into conflict with Russia. This week the NATO commander told the US Congress that he needed funding for a larger military presence in Europe in order to counter “a resurgent Russia.” https://www.rt.com/news/387063-nato-counter-resurgent-russia/

Let us examine what is meant by “a resurgent Russia.” It means a Russia that is strong and confident enough to defend its interests and those of its allies. In other words, Russia was able to block Obama’s planned invasion of Syria and bombing of Iran and to enable the Syrian armed forces to defeat the ISIS force sent by Obama and Hillary to overthrow Assad.

Russia is “resurgent” because Russia is able to block US unilateral actions against some other countries.

This capability flies in the face of the neoconservative Wolfowitz doctrine, which says that the principal goal of US foreign policy is to prevent the rise of any country that can serve as a check on Washington’s unilateral action.

While the neocons were absorbed in their “cakewalk” wars that have now lasted 16 years, Russia and China emerged as checks on the unilateralism that Washington had enjoyed since the collapse of the Soviet Union. What Washington is trying to do is to recapture its ability to act worldwide without any constraint from any other country. This requires Russia and China to stand down.

Are Russia and China going to stand down? It is possible, but I would not bet the life of the planet on it. Both governments have a moral conscience that is totally missing in Washington. Neither government is intimidated by the Western propaganda. Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said yesterday that we hear endless hysterical charges against Russia, but the charges are always vacant of any evidence.https://sputniknews.com/politics/201705041053274379-lavrov-russia-us-relations/

Conceivably, Russia and China could sacrifice their sovereignty for the sake of life on earth. But this same moral conscience will propel them to oppose the evil that is Washington in order not to succumb to evil themselves. Therefore, I think that the evil that rules in Washington is leading the United States and its vassal states to total destruction.

Having convinced the Russian and Chinese leaderships that Washington intends to nuke their countries in a surprise attack (see, for example, http://www.fort-russ.com/2017/04/us-forces-preparing-sudden-nuclear.html ), the question is how do Russia and China respond? Do they sit there and await an attack, or do they preempt Washington’s attack with an attack of their own?

What would you do? Would you preserve your life by submitting to evil, or would you destroy the evil?

Writing truthfully results in my name being put on lists (financed by who?) as a “Russian dupe/agent.” Actually, I am an agent of all people who disapprove of Washington’s willingness to use nuclear war in order to establish Washington’s hegemony over the world, but let us understand what it means to be a “Russian agent.”

It means to respect international law, which Washington does not. It means to respect life, which Washington does not. It means to respect the national interests of other countries, which Washington does not. It means to respond to provocations with diplomacy and requests for cooperation, which Washington does not. But Russia does. Clearly, a “Russian agent” is a moral person who wants to preserve life and the national identity and dignity of other peoples.

It is Washington that wants to snuff out human morality and become the master of the planet. As I have previously written, Washington without any question is Sauron. The only important question is whether there is sufficient good left in the world to resist and overcome Washington’s evil.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts’ latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West, How America Was Lost, and The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.

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

See also

500K People Sign Petition Barring Trump’s Nuclear Weapons Use: According to the bill, the President will be prohibited from using the Armed Forces to conduct a “first-use nuclear strike” until a congressional declaration of war expressly authorized such a strike.

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Does The US Love Freedom of Information?

ٍST

Created on Wednesday, 19 April 2017 09:27

My dear friend, Kris Janssen, was part of the visiting delegation to Syria. The delegations  comprises journalists from the United States, Australia and eight European countries.

According to statements by  Dr. Jamal Daoud, head of the delegation, the aim of the visit is to have future media cooperation as to convey the reality of events in Syria, and as voice solidarity with and support for the steadfastness of the Syrian People, Army and Leadership in their fight against terrorism.

I was so honored yesterday with the private visit of my friend Kris to the Syria Times headquarters. Mr. Kris, voiced his pleasure over the delegation meeting with Minister of Information, Mr. Mohammad Ramez Turjman.

Kris said that Minister  Turjman “gives good explanation,” and was ” open, honest talking in an open way.” Minister  Turjman spoke ” frankly and answered even critical questions”, added Kris.

Kris, however, added that “Unfortunately, the Western media reverse the truth and the reality. ” I said, your frequent visits are welcome as to clarify and depict the ongoing on the ground.

With this in mind, came the said and written by my facebook friend, Miguel Valenzuela , who wrote his own observations and impressions following the meeting with Minister Turjman:

I met the Syrian Minister of Information today in Damascus. He described the war as a culture of life vs a culture of death. He said that despite the war, we still have festivals and activities, and protect all faiths, as I’ve witnessed, while the “opposition” tries to destroy all of this and impose their way, as I’ve also witnessed.

He said that the Syrian government maintains two things: That there is no place in Syria for terrorism, and that the leader of Syria must be chosen by way of the ballot box; while the “opposition” only repeat two sentences: “Assad must go” and “Give us the keys to power in Syria.” But there are more than 1,200 armed groups in the “opposition”, so who exactly will get the power?

He said that when he became the Minister 6 months ago, he met with one of the strongest armed groups called Jayish al Islam. The group started to have trouble with the other groups nearby and within two weeks there were more than 700 killed between these groups. He asked them what can we expect if they’re leading this nation when they’re already killing each other? He asked them why are they dismantling factories and medicine manufacturers and selling them to Turkey? He said that real revolutions protect these vital infrastructure, but this is not a real revolution.

He said the plot against Syria was discussed openly long ago during the Condoleezza Rice talks. Essentially, they want to dismantle our nations and establish a “New Middle East”. He said this is the plan of the United States but it won’t work. They have tried to spread sectarian hate to divide us but it didn’t work. Syria is united.

“Regarding the ‘chemical attacks’ that we are being accused of by the United States, which supposedly was the reason for launching a missile attack on our airbase, there are many important questions to ask. Why were there so many civilians present in the uninhabitable area where the ‘chemical attack’ allegedly took place? Why were the so called ‘White Helmets’, who were first on the scene wearing masks and some were not? Why did they not wear gloves when touching the bodies, if it was indeed a ‘chemical attack’? Why would the Syrian government attack these people? What’s the point? What do we have to gain from this?

There needs to be an independent analysis to find out what is true and what is false before responding, but the US did not wait for one, they generally don’t, even though in the media they always say that they’re defending ‘truth and freedom’

I’ll give you an example as well of how much the US “loves freedom of information”…the first thing they did when the crisis started was ban satellite TV from broadcasting Syrian channels and they pulled their ambassadors out of Syria. Syrian broadcasting headquarters, Alakhbaria, Syria TV was attacked many times by mortars and suicide bombings. Syria TV headquarters was completely destroyed. Many journalists were killed in these attacks, but in spite of this, journalists are still going to work because they believe that they are on the right side of history.”

“We depend on good people like you from around the world. We want you to take all that you have witnessed here back to your country. We understand that most people are scared of coming to Syria especially now with the US attacks and all the hysteria in the media, but you are here. We welcome you to Syria and we thank you for your courage.”

 

Dr. Mohammad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

alibrahim56@hotmail.com

The Syrian Chemical Weapons Nexus: Verdict First, Evidence Later

Syria chemical weapons

Verdict First, Evidence Later: How the Australian Media Misrepresent Geopolitical Events

James ONeill

April 12, 2017

“Let the jury consider their verdict”, the King said, for about the twentieth time that day. “No, no,” said the Queen. Sentence first – verdict afterward.” – Charles Dodgson ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.’

The pictures of dead and dying civilians, including children, their suffering allegedly caused by a Syrian/Russian chemical warfare attack, has once again caused the western media to renew their demands for the removal of Syrian President Bashar al Assad.

In the Sydney Morning Herald of 6 April 2017 the SMH’s chief Washington correspondent Paul McGeogh, refers to Trump meeting with Egyptian President el-Sisi and a parallel declaration by the US UN Ambassador Nikki Haley that the removal of Assad was no longer a US priority. These two incidents, he argues, sent a signal to Damascus that the Syrian government had a licence to do as it pleased.

Although McGeogh did not acknowledge it, that thesis was exactly the same as that being argued by arch neocons Senators Lindsay Graham and John McCain. The latter was recently described in a SMH editorial as ‘widely respected.’ Which is one measure of the parallel universe the SMH occupies these days.

McGeogh goes on to say, “we’ve been here before,” referring to the 2013 poison gas attack in Ghouta, Syria. That was blamed on the Assad government by the western media at the time. The fact that the allegations were later discredited.

The rush to judgment by McGeogh and his counterparts elsewhere in the mainstream media overlooks a number of alternative explanations that are at least worth considering, especially when actual hard evidence is in such short supply.

One such scenario is that the Syrian air force bombed a factory that was storing chemical weapons for use by one or more of the multiple terrorist groups operating in the area.

The fact that the terrorist groups have used such weapons in the past and had strong motives to use them again is entirely missing from the western media narrative. The stockpile of chemical weapons at Khan Sheikhoun had previously been shipped to fellow terrorists operating in Iraq, as confirmed by the Iraqi government.

It is also known that three days before the tragedy at Khan Sheikhoun a convoy of TOW missiles, gas masks for up to 2000 persons and chemical warfare suits from Saudi Arabian stockpiles left Hatay, Turkey for Hama, Syria where al Nusra are waging a major battle for control. This raises obvious questions about the intended use of the gas masks and chemical warfare suits by the terrorist groups. This information, released by the Russians before the Khan Sheikhoun tragedy, was ignored by the western media at the time and certainly does not appear now.

To disclose that information would raise wider questions, such as the role of Saudi Arabia and others in the Gulf region in supplying and financing the terrorist activity in Syria and Iraq. Certainly no hint of criticism of Saudi Arabia escapes the lips of Australian government spokespersons from PM Malcolm Turnbull down. This is also the case with the illegal war being waged on Yemen by the US and Saudi Arabia.

In all the fury mounted against the Assad government for their alleged conduct, no one has raised a single plausible reason why the Syrian government would risk such international condemnation for so little military benefit.

Assad is not a fool and he would know that such an attack would provide ammunition for the very powerful neocon element in the US for who massive civilian casualties are a matter of indifference when committed by their side, as they repeatedly demonstrate, but are ever willing to use tragedy whether at their own hand or by others, in pursuit of their geopolitical goals.

The very astute analyst who writes under the nom de plume ‘The Saker’ expresses it this way:

“The Neocons, apparently backed by the CIA and the Pentagon, want to go at it solo: just shoot up all of Syria OK Corral style and they seem to be convinced that they can somehow scare the Russians, the Iranians and the Syrians into submission. If so, then they are both stupid and ignorant.”

Syria does not exist in geopolitical isolation despite the best attempts of McGeogh et al to make it appear so. In 2007 General Wesley Clark revealed previously secret US plans to topple seven Middle East and North African countries in a five year period.

Those seven countries make revealing reading in the light of recent events: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Iran.

Five of the seven have been or are currently being attacked, occupied, and/or destroyed by the US and its allies, including Australia. During the recent US Presidential campaign both Trump and Clinton made no secret of their intense dislike of Iran. For a number of reasons outside the scope of this article Iran is unlikely to be attacked directly. It is however, the victim of asymmetrical warfare through sanctions, assassinations and support for the terrorist organization MEK.

Lebanon will probably be left to the Israelis who have attacked it on multiple occasions and occupied the southern portion for a nearly two-decade period.

Israel also plays an important role in the attack on Syria both directly through the bombing of Syrian Army positions, and also by providing medical aid to wounded ISIS fighters in military hospitals in the Golan Heights.

The Syrian Golan Heights themselves have been occupied by Israel since the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. They remain, in defiance of UN resolutions and international law, with the support of the US and Australia. Their reasons for the continued occupation of Golan are multiple, including the fulfillment of part of the Yinon Plan (O. Yinon Directions Kivunim Magazine February 1982). That plan called for the breakup into ‘statelets’ of Syria, Iraq, Egypt and Lebanon and the dissolution of Jordan.

Recent discoveries of huge reserves of oil and gas in the Golan Heights are another reason for staying. Genie Energy, a company based in Newark New Jersey, is carrying out the exploitation of those resources. Its strategic advisory board includes such luminaries as Dick Cheney (former US vice-president), James Woolsey (former director of the CIA), Larry Summers (former US treasury Secretary), Bill Richardson (former US energy Secretary) and Rupert Murdoch (media baron).

The latter’s role in Genie Energy is probably one of the reasons that criticism of Israeli policies rarely blemishes the pages of News Corp publications.

The other driving force of US policy in Syria dates from the latter’s refusal to allow transit of a pipeline for Qatari gas to Europe. The US plan behind the pipeline was to use Qatari gas to wean Europeans off their reliance on Russian gas, thereby undermining the Russian economy.

None of this geopolitical context is given to readers of the mainstream media. Their reporters, editors and our politicians find it much easier to regurgitate the clichéd and self-serving memes that flow from Washington and London.

The reporting of the tragedy from Syria is but the latest illustration of an all too common phenomenon: a pre-determined verdict on little or no evidence.

Al-Manar.com.lb is not responsible for the content of this article. All opinions expressed are solely those of the author

Source: New Eastern Outlook

Australian lawmakers urge end to israel’s abuse of Palestinian children

Australian lawmakers urge end to Israeli abuses of Palestinian children

 

Some of the 49 members of Australia’s parliament who signed a letter urging Israel to end its military detention of Palestinian children participate in a press conference organized by the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network in Canberra, 28 November. (via Facebook)

One in five members of Australia’s parliament is calling on Israel to end its systematic abuses of Palestinian children.

“Israel is the only country in the world that automatically prosecutes children in military courts. And only Palestinian children,” dozens of members of the Australian house of representatives and senate say in a letter released by the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network on Monday.

“Up to 700 Palestinian children are arrested each year by the Israeli military, and this number is increasing,” the 49 lawmakers add, citing United Nations reports that ill-treatment of Palestinian children is “widespread, systematic and institutionalized.”

The lawmakers call on Israel to comply with its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and “to not arrest or detain Palestinian children unless this is a last resort, and if they are detained, to immediately institute protections for those children including that their safety and best interests are prioritized, and that they are permitted a fair trial.”

Growing debate

The letter is part of a growing debate on Israel’s human rights abuses. Earlier this month, Maria Vamvakinou, a member of the main opposition Australian Labor Party, introduced a motion calling on Australia “to raise concerns with the Israeli government about the treatment of Palestinian children.”

Though parliament has yet to vote on the measure, a number of lawmakers have given speeches calling on Israel to end its abuses of Palestinian children:

“We are very encouraged to see this issue resonating with members of parliament in Australia,” Beth Miller from the human rights group Defense for Children International-Palestine told The Electronic Intifada. “The situation on the ground for Palestinian children is increasingly dire. This is a welcome sign that more leaders are ready to take bold action to ensure justice and accountability.”

International success

The initiative in Australia was the result of international cooperation among advocates for Palestinian rights.

Over the summer, members of APAN – the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network – contacted the No Way to Treat a Child campaign about its successes in winning US congressional support for Palestinian children’s rights.

Led by the American Friends Service Committee and Defense for Children International-Palestine, the No Way to Treat a Child campaign has gained traction in notoriously difficult political territory for those working to hold Israel accountable for its abuses.

“We were thrilled that organizers in Australia heard of our advocacy with members of the US Congress about Palestinian children in Israeli military detention,” Jennifer Bing of the American Friends Service Committee told The Electronic Intifada. “We had several email and Skype exchanges to share strategies and effective messaging with those often silent about Palestinian human rights.”

In June, 20 US lawmakers urged President Barack Obama to send a “clear signal” to Palestinian children that their lives are valued.

In a letter initiated by Minnesota congresswoman Betty McCollum, the lawmakers urged the president to appoint a special envoy to protect the rights of Palestinian children under Israeli occupation.

A year earlier, 19 US lawmakers called on Secretary of State John Kerry to “prioritize the human rights of Palestinian children” in relations with Israel.

While Obama did not act on the lawmakers’ request, and unconditionally awarded Israel the biggest US military aid package in history earlier this year, the lawmakers’ willingness to speak out is a sign of the greater openness and contestation over Palestinian rights within the Democratic Party.

One of the signers of the letter to Obama was Minnesota congressman Keith Ellison, a leading contender to be chair of the party’s top governing body, the Democratic National Committee.

 

Australia, Tagging Along into Other Nations’ Wars

Australia, Tagging Along into Other Nations’ Wars

Since World War II, the U.S. has been the big boss leading a band of lackey nations, mostly in Europe but reaching distant Australia which tags along for the periodic pummeling of some hapless country, as James O’Neill explains.

By James O’Neill

For a country relatively remote from the world’s trouble spots, Australia throughout its short history since European settlement in the late Eighteenth Century has shown a remarkable capacity to involve itself in other people’s wars. With the possible exception of Japan in World War II none of these wars have posed a threat to Australia’s national security.

In the 1850s, Australia provided troops on behalf of the British in the Crimean War at a time when few Australians would have been able to locate Crimea on a map.  Ironically, Tony Abbott as Prime Minister this decade was willing to commit troops to Ukraine, again over Crimea.

australia_71

But Australian knowledge of historical and geopolitical realities in Crimea appeared no greater in 2014 than in the 1850s. The major difference was the infinitely greater threat to Australia’s national security if such a foolhardy plan had occurred in 2014 and Australian troops had found themselves confronting Russian forces.

Australian troops were also committed to the Boer War in South Africa, World Wars I and II, Korea, Malaya, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, to name just the major conflicts. All of these involvements had two major characteristics in common: at no point (with the possible exception of Japan 1942-45) were Australia’s borders or national security threatened; and each involvement was at the behest of a foreign imperial power, often on entirely spurious grounds. The last four named conflicts above – Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria – had the added dimension of being contrary to international law.

A common justification advanced in support of these foreign adventures is that they constitute a form of insurance policy, with the deaths of tens of thousands of Australian servicemen and women being the premium that has to be paid. If we do not pay these premiums, the argument runs, the “policy” expires and our “great and powerful friends” – the United Kingdom and more recently the United States – will not come to our aid if and when we are, in turn, attacked.

It has never been clear just who these aggressors might be, despite endless manufactured potential foes, nor why Australia feels the need to base its foreign policy thus when scores of countries do not feel similarly threatened nor feel the need to pay such a price for their “security.”

The capacity to have an intelligent debate about whether or not there are other, and better, options, is severely hampered by a number of factors. One of the major factors is the concentration of ownership of the mainstream print media. The Murdoch empire controls 70 percent of the nation’s newspapers and is run by someone who is now an American citizen and no longer resides in Australia. The bulk of the balance is controlled by the Fairfax family who at least reside in Australia.

This concentration of ownership results in a degree of uniformity of opinion that Stalin would have recognized and appreciated.  There is a greater diversity of media ownership and opinion in modern Russia than there is in Australia, yet the relentless message in the Australian media is that Russia is an authoritarian state where dissent from an all powerful Vladimir Putin is discouraged or worse. Such a view would be laughable if it were not so dangerous.

The Pervasive ‘Group Think’

Academia is little better. The universities and the so-called “think tanks” rely heavily on subsidies from their American equivalents, or from Australian government departments committed to the government’s policies. There is an obvious reluctance to criticize, for example, American foreign policy when such criticism endangers funding sources, promotions, and comfortable sabbaticals in the U.S.

Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

A recent example of the intellectual drivel that this can lead to was found in the recent publication of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute entitled “Why Russia is a Threat to the International Order,” authored by Paul Dibb, a former spymaster. It was an ill-informed discussion all too typical of what passes for foreign policy analysis. Not only did it demonstrate a complete misunderstanding of Russian strategic policy, it wholly accepted and American-centered view of the world.

In Dibb’s world, the Americans only act from the best of intentions and for the benefit of the people unfortunate enough to to be the object of their attentions. Any analysis of the way U.S. foreign policy is actually practiced is air brushed from the reader’s attention. The treatment of Ukraine is instructive in this regard.

Dibb completely ignores the February 2014 American-organized and financed coup that removed the legitimate Yanukovich government from power. Dibb ignores the military agreement that provided for the stationing of Russian troops in Crimea; that Crimea had for centuries been part of Russia until Khrushchev “gifted” Crimea to Ukraine in 1954 (without consulting the Crimeans); the overwhelming support in two referenda to secede from Ukraine and apply to rejoin the Russian Federation; the discriminatory treatment of the largely Russian-speaking population of the Donbass region in Eastern Ukraine; and the Kiev regime’s systematic violation of the Minsk Accords designed to find a peaceable solution to the Ukrainian conflict.

Instead, he writes that Russia’s “invasion” and “annexation” of Crimea and its attempt through military means to detach the Donbass region in the eastern part of Ukraine have to be seen as a fundamental challenge to the post-war sanctity of Europe’s borders. Such historical revisionism and detachment from reality is unfortunately not confined to Dibb. It is all too common in the Australian media in all its forms.

A selective view of the world, of which Dibb is but one example, extends to a sanitizing of the U.S.’s role in post-war history. The U.S. has bombed, invaded, undermined, overthrown the governments of, and destroyed more countries and killed more people in the process over the past 70 years than all other countries in the world combined. Its disregard for international law, all the while proclaiming the importance of a “rules based system,” is well documented.

A particularly egregious but far from unique example is the war in Syria in which Australia is also involved, even to the comical extent of admitting culpability in the “mistaken” bombing of Syrian government troops at Door Ez Zair.

That the bombing was not a mistake but rather, as several commentators have pointed out (although never in the Australian media), was much more likely to have been a deliberate sabotaging by Defense Secretary Ashton Carter’s Pentagon element of the American war machine of the Kerry-Lavrov negotiated partial ceasefire.

Syrian intelligence has reported intercepts of communications between the U.S. military and the jihadist terrorists immediately before the bombing in which their respective actions were coordinated. The bombing was followed by immediate terrorist attacks on Syrian army positions in the area and is highly unlikely to have been a coincidence.

Cozy with Terrorists

This is, of course, consistent with American policy in Syria from the outset. The U.S. government has sought to maintain a ludicrous distinction between “moderate” terrorists and the rest.

Journalist James Foley shortly before he was executed by an Islamic State operative.

Journalist James Foley shortly before he was executed by an Islamic State operative.

Before the Russian intervention at the end of September 2015, the U.S. managed to avoid actually stopping the Islamic State advance through large swathes of Syrian territory, and together with Washington’s Saudi and Qatari allies have trained, financed and armed the terrorists from the outset. All of which is part of a pattern of U.S. support for terrorists, as long as they support U.S. strategic goals.

No such analysis appears in the Australian mainstream media which maintains an unswerving allegiance to only one form of analysis. This dangerous group think and intolerance of dissent is exemplified in a recent article by Peter Hartcher, the senior political correspondent of the Fairfax media.

Hartcher described what he called “rats, flies, mosquitoes and sparrows” by which he meant opponents in Australia of a war with China. The “rats” were politicians “compromised by China’s embrace”; the “flies” are the “unwitting mouthpieces for the interests of the Chinese regime”; the mosquitoes were Australian business people “so captivated by their financial interests that they demand Australia assume a kowtow position”; the “sparrows” were Chinese students and Australia-Chinese associations that exist “specifically to spread China’s influence.”

In Hartcher’s view all four groups were “pests” that needed to be eradicated. To call this reversion to the worst elements of 1950s McCarthyism is probably to do the late junior Senator from Wisconsin a disservice.

Were it simply a case of ignorance it might be simply consigned to the scrap heap where it richly belongs. But it is representative of the same mindset that has led Australia into so many disastrous foreign policy misadventures that it cannot be ignored. Another reason it cannot be ignored is that it represents and affects a widely held view among Australian politicians.

The demonization of Russia in general and Vladimir Putin in particular is clearly evident in the reporting of the situation in Ukraine and Syria. The ignoring of history and the inversion of reality is the default position. Everything that Russia does is a manifestation of its “aggression.” Putin is commonly described as a “dictator” and the appalling Hillary Clinton even compared him with Hitler.

That there is not a shred of evidence to support the many wild allegations against President Putin does not prevent their regular repetition in the Western media.

Ignoring International Law

Similar blindness is evident with regard to the reporting on Syria. Australia is manifestly in breach of the United Nations Charter in its participation in the attacks upon the Syrian government and its forces. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s laughable defense of the presence of the Australian military in Syria, the central plank of which was specifically denied by the Iraqi government, was nonetheless accepted without question by the Australian mainstream media.

The neo-Nazi Wolfsangel symbol on a banner in Ukraine.

The neo-Nazi Wolfsangel symbol on a banner in Ukraine.

There is more preposterous posturing over the South China Sea. The much vaunted “freedom of navigation” demanded for shipping in the South China Sea (although no one can point to a single instance of civilian maritime traffic being hindered in any way) is a concept selectively applied. Just ask a Cuban, Palestinian or Yemeni if freedom of navigation is their recent or current experience of American policy.

Australia partakes annually in a U.S.-led naval exercise, Operation Talisman Sabre that rehearses the blockading of the Malacca Straits, a vital seaway for China that along with dozens of military bases (including in Australia), missile systems surrounding China, free trade agreements that pointedly exclude the world’s largest trading nation, and many other aspects designed to “contain” China, are not the activities of a peacefully oriented nation.

Australia not only participates in clearly provocative actions, but the 2015 Defense White Paper is clearly predicated on planning a war with China. Public statements by senior defense personnel, both civilian and military, reflect a militaristic mindset vis-a-vis China that can only be described as magical thinking given the military capacity of the Peoples Republic of China to obliterate Australia within 30 minutes of hostilities actually breaking out is only part of the problem.

That such thinking takes place in a context where China, the perceived enemy, is also the country’s largest trading partner by a significant margin and the source of much of Australia’s prosperity over the past 40 years reveals a strategic conundrum that the politicians have singularly failed to come to grips with. Worse, it is not even considered a matter worthy of sustained serious discussion.

By its conduct both in Syria and the South China Sea, Australia runs the risk of becoming involved in a full-scale shooting war with both Russia and China. Viewed objectively, there is little doubt that in any such conflagration Russia and China enjoy significant military advantages.  Even that superiority is not to be entertained.  Instead, Australia pursues the purchase of hugely expensive submarines and F-35 fighter planes the strategic and military value of which is at best dubious and more probably, useless.

What then is the benefit to Australia of constantly putting itself in a position where the best it could hope for would be collateral damage? No rational human being would advance on a course of action where the detriments so significantly outweigh the benefits, so why should a nation be any different?

With its crumbling infrastructure, endless wars that it regularly loses, a corrupt money-dominated political culture, technologically inferior weaponry and enormous burgeoning debt, the U.S. is hardly a model protector. To believe otherwise is simply delusional.

As the U.S.-based Russian blogger Dimitry Orlov  has recently pointed out, Russia’s international conduct is governed by three basic principles: using military force as a reactive security measure; scrupulous adherence  to international law; and seeing military action as being in the service of diplomacy. That clearly does not accord with the relentless misinformation Australians are constantly fed but to confuse propaganda with reality is a dangerous basis upon which to formulate foreign policy.

China is also choosing a radically different path in its international relations. The One Belt, One Road, or New Silk Road initiatives, associated as they are with a range of other developments, the significance of which most Australians barely grasp, has the capacity to transform the world’s financial, economic and geopolitical structures in a remarkably short time.

The choice for Australia is stark.  Does it persist in aligning itself with what the late Malcolm Fraser accurately called a “dangerous ally”?  Or does it recognize that the world upon which its comfortable and dangerous illusions are based is rapidly changing and adjust its alliances accordingly.

At the moment Australia has the luxury of choice, but it is an opportunity that will vanish very quickly. Unfortunately, the lesson of history is that Australia will again make the wrong choice.

James O’Neill is a former academic and has practiced as a barrister since 1984

SYRIA FIGHTS COLONIALISM: AUSTRALIA, UK, DEMARK CONFIRM ROLES IN BRUTAL DEIR EZZOR MASSACRE

Syria In The Sun

by Jonathan Azaziah

Weekend massacre executed against Syrian troops atop Deir Ezzor’s Thardeh Mountain now looks like some kind of a murderous colonialist get-together as Australia, the UK and Denmark have all admitted their role in the unspeakable atrocity. Their statements on the crime read just about identically, with each respective Imperialist stain on humanity claiming that they, like the American regime, didn’t “intend” to hit the SAA, that they “regret” what took place and that they offer their “sincere condolences” to the families of the innocent souls whom they had butchered. The reason why this, also like Washington’s bullshit, does not hold even the weight of a termite, is because these are some of the bloodiest regimes to ever grace the stage of geopolitics.

The Australian settler regime wiped out hundreds of thousands of Aboriginal people and played a key role in the overthrow of Indonesian revolutionary Sukarno as well as the Suharto coup regime’s aggression against Eastern Timor. Canberra is also in thick with theusurping Zionist entity and its intelligence services and foreign affairs institutions have literally been outsourced to the Mossad, making it complicit in every criminal act ‘Israel’ carries out. Not to mention, Australia has allowed large numbers of Takfiris to flock to Syria in service of the Oded Yinon balaknization agenda. Denmark, for its part, once ran a hideous colonialist empire, with colonies of theft and mass murder in Africa, India and notably, the Caribbean, where the Jewish-dominated Danish West India Trading Company ran cruel schemes of slave-trading and sugar-thieving. And Britain? Does one really need to enumerate how many countries that the London ZOG colonized, raped and ruined at the height of its colonialist dominance? How much suffering that the London ZOG has inflicted–and continues to inflict–on the entire Global South? As Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei once remarked, the British regime is the “most evil” of all the Western powers. Thus, such regimes cannot feel “regrets”. Such regimes cannot offer “condolences”. Because such regimes are inhuman.

Mark it down and adjust the narrative ladies and gentlemen: Syria and its Hizbullahi, Iranian, Iraqi, Palestinian and Russian allies are not just fighting a foreign mercenary invasion, with terrorists descending upon Bilad al-Sham from 100 different countries. They aren’t merely battling the Najdi-Dönmeh-originated, Khaleeji-financed backwardness of Wahhabi-Takfirism. They are in fact standing their ground and defending the Syrian Arab Republic against a unified colonialist alliance, the likes of which has never been seen before at any other point in history, as this Old Joint Colonialist Conglomerate is attempting to manifest its supremacist bloodlust into a New Zio-Imperialist World Order spearheaded by ‘Israel’ and its main ZOG, i.e. Washington.

Makes the sacrifices of the Syrian Arab Army soldiers on Thardeh Mountain that much more heroic; that much more significant; and that much more inspiring, doesn’t it? These men didn’t die to “prop up a regime”. They didn’t give their lives to simply fight “Islamists”. They didn’t depart this world to “serve a dictator”. And they sure as hell didn’t fall whilst “repressing a revolution”. They were martyred, the highest, most dignified honor any individual can attain, struggling on behalf of every decolonized people on Earth, against the filthiest, most all-encompassing hegemony that has ever come into being, and in the name of what none of these genocidal Zionist puppet states will ever be able to understand: Justice, love of country and liberation from oppression. The choicest blessings of ALLAH (SWT) and the most blissful peace be upon the martyrs of the SAA. And death to the Australian, Danish and British regimes who murdered them in cold blood. Death to all these poisonous colonialist constructs and their Takfiri zombie proxies too.

Besides USA, UK ,Denmark & Australia involved in the illegal airstrike which killed 60+ Syrian soldiers

US-Led Strike on Syrian Army Included British, Danish, Australian Jets

British, Danish and Australian warplanes took part in the U.S.-led coalition’s airstrike Saturday that reportedly killed more than 60 Syrian government troops and threatened to unravel the “cessation of hostilities,” military officials said Monday

What International Law permits the American & Australian airforce to fly over Syria? @TurnbullMalcolm

Churkin: US airstrikes on Syrian army positions in Deir Ezzor violate international law

Churkin added, in a press conference held on Sunday morning at the New York-based UN headquarters, that the US carried out a reckless airstrike, wondering why it did it at that time.

He affirmed that the US attack is dangerous and that there are consultations and negotiations among the Security Council’s member states to hold and emergency session.

Churkin said that the US attack violates the international law and it is difficult to believe that this was a mistake, adding that the speech of the US Representative to the UN Samantha Power doesn’t reflect goodwill and doesn’t reflect the reality of things.

He wondered why the US suddenly and without any warnings launched an attack on Deir Ezzor, and why it hasn’t launched such an attack before, indicating that the attack comes in the framework of supporting the armed groups.

Churkin called upon the US to coordinate with Russia if it is really willing to carry out strikes against the terrorist organizations in Deir Ezzor or at any other place, stressing that the US attack against positions of the Syrian army doesn’t have any sense of responsibility.

Answering a question on the US direct collusion with the ISIS terrorist organization, Churkin said that the US should attack Jabhat al-Nusra and the ISIS on the ground, particularly that the attack which it launched on the surroundings of Deir Ezzor Airport was strong and claimed the lives of scores of the Syrian army personnel.

R.J/Ghossoun

Australia also involved in murdering Syrian soldiers & illegally flying over Syria

Australian jets involved in US-led air strike which killed dozens of Syrian soldiers, Defence confirms

Australian aircraft were involved in a US-led coalition operation which killed dozens of Syrian soldiers who were apparently mistaken for Islamic State fighters, the Defence Department has confirmed.

Between 62 and 83 Syrian soldiers who had been fighting IS militants were reportedly killed in the air strikes around the Deir al-Zor military airport in Syria’s east.

“Australian aircraft were among a number of international aircraft taking part in this Coalition operation,” the Defence Department said in a statement.

“Australia would never intentionally target a known Syrian military unit or actively support Daesh (IS). Defence offers its condolences to the families of any Syrian personnel killed or wounded in this incident.”

The Russian military earlier said two F-16s and two A-10 jets that flew into Syrian airspace from neighbouring Iraq carried out the actual attack. Neither type is listed as being in operation with the RAAF.

The strikes came less than a week into a fragile ceasefire aimed at stopping the bloodshed in Syria’s five-year civil war, as Russia accused what it termed “moderate rebels” of causing the truce to fail.

Source

Simple choice for Australia, if you like war choose the USA, if you like peace & trade choose China

Australia Must Choose Between America, China: US Army Official

A senior American military official has called on Australia to confront China’s growing influence if it wants stronger ties with the US.

US Army Assistant Chief of Staff Colonel Tom Hanson told Australian radio on Thursday that Canberra should make a choice between Beijing and Washington, the Reuters reported.

“I think the Australians need to make a choice … it’s very difficult to walk this fine line between balancing the alliance with the United States and the economic engagement with China,” Hanson told  Australian Broadcasting Corp. Radio.

“There’s going to have to be a decision as to which one is more of a vital national interest for Australia,” he added.

Hanson specifically urged Canberra to take a tougher stance against Beijing’s claims in the South China Sea, which channels more than $5 trillion in global trade each year and is believed to be rich in oil and gas.

China has long claimed sovereignty over the sea but those claims are disputed by the US and a number of countries that border the contested waters such as Taiwan, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines.

The US accuses China of undertaking land reclamation program in the disputed waters and has sent several of its warships to the region to protect what it calls “freedom of navigation.”

Australia, a staunch ally of the US, has drawn fire from China for conducting surveillance flights over a series of Chinese artificial islands in the sea.

To add insult to the wound, Australia has also blocked Chinese investment bids, seemingly on national security grounds.

In late July, China lashed out at the United States, Japan and Australia for issuing a joint statement on the South China Sea, saying it was only “fanning the flames” of regional tensions.

The foreign ministers of the three countries expressed “strong support” for Southeast Asian nations in territorial disputes with China.

“Clearly China believes that they have an opportunity and they feel empowered to flout that, and a demonstration by Australia would be welcome,” Hanson said.

This is while China is Australia’s biggest trading partner and acts as a large source of foreign investment, spending $11.1 billion on Australian assets

 

Austria threatens to veto Turkey’s EU membership

Source

at[1]As a blowback of the recentfailed CIA-Mossad regime change in Ankara Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern has threatened that if European Union members agreed over Turkey’s accession to EU, he would veto it.

Christian Kern’s second wife Eveline Steinberg is Jewish. He is considered very pro-Israel.

Anti-Islam Kemalist (Donmeh) leaders began the process of joining the EU against the wishes of Turkey’s Muslim majority (99%) in the 1960s.

On March 30, 2010, British journalist Baroness Patience Jane Wheatcroft, editor-in-chief of the Wall Street Journal explained why EU members are afraid to let Turkey in.

“Although the government of the country is secular, estimates put the proportion of the population which is Muslim at around 99%. Although religion is not the driving force it once was in large parts of Europe, there is a widespread belief that including an overwhelmingly Muslim country in the club would drastically change its character,” Wheatcroft said.

On June 22, 2016, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan bluntly said Europe doesn’t want his country to join the EU because the majority of the nation’s population is Muslim. He said his government will ask the public whether negotiations with Brussels should continue.

Europe, you don’t want us because the majority of our population are Muslim. We knew it but we tried to show our sincerity,”Erdogan said at a graduation ceremony in Istanbul.

In December 2010, UK’s newspaper Guardian reported that previously secret cables sent from the US embassy to the Vatican indicated that Pope Benedict XVI, a Zionist shill, was responsible for the Vatican’s growing hostility towards Turkey joining the EU.

According to YouGov’s latest Eurotrack survey, there is immense hostility to Turkey joining the European Union. Britain is the least hostile of all the EU countries with 67% against the Turkish entry into the EU. In other countries the opposition is: Denmark 82%, Finland 83%, France 74%, Germany 86% and Sweden 73%.

Austria’s all major political parties are pro-Israel and anti-Muslim (here, here).

Australian Abu Ghraib, for Indigenous Children

Australian Abu Ghraib, for Indigenous Children

Investigative report uncovers widespread abuse of mostly Indigenous youths detained in Australian detention center.
A teen prisoner is shackled into chair at an Australian youth detention center.

A teen prisoner is shackled into chair at an Australian youth detention center. | Photo: Youtube

A television news broadcast Monday aired disturbing footage of prison guards physically abusing indigenous boys at Australia’s main juvenile facility and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he will launch a public inquiry.

The ABC Investigative News program, Four Corners, obtained surveillance tapes of Indigenous teenage boys being stripped naked, kicked, punched, tear-gassed, and chained to a chair while wearing a hood – reminiscent of the kind of torture associated with the US treatment of Iraqi prisoners at the notorious Abu Ghraib detention center.

The abuses occurred between 2010 and 2012 at the Alice Springs and Don Dale Youth Detention Centres, within the country’s Northern Territory.

By Tuesday morning in Australia, more than five million viewers had watched the videos on Facebook and Turnbull has called the images “appalling.”

According to ABC News, the full investigation conducted by the Australia-based Four Corners staff, was presented to the government in 2012, but it was never publicly released.

The executive producer of Four Corners, Sally Neighbour, told Guardian Australia the story of Indigenous incarceration was well under way before the team got its hands on the extraordinary pictures.

“We wanted to do a story on Indigenous incarceration but it doesn’t automatically have pictures. It’s happening in remote places that are difficult and expensive to get to and getting people to talk about this subject is difficult,” Neighbour said.

The allegations mirror those in US junvenile detention centers where prison guards in Chicago, New York, California and elsewhere have been accused of similar mistreatment of black and Latino youths.

One of the children shown in the footage was identified as Dylan Voller, who is shown hooded and tied in a chair. He was 13-year-old when the torture methods began.

Voller is a recidivist prisoner who has been in detention centers since he was 11 years old. His offences include car theft, robberies and assault. His lawyer Peter O’Brien said on Monday that he is currently in an adult prison and called for his immediate release since he claims that he is now in the custody of the same prison officers who previously victimized him.

A total of three incidents are shown in the documentary and according to filmmakers and researchers charges have been brought against the staff involved, however they’ve gone unpunished.

 

President Assad: Real Solution in Syria Requires Fighting Terrorism

Local Editor

InterviewSyrian President Bashar al-Assad conducted an interview to the Australian SBS TV channel in which he criticized the double standards of the West- openly attacking the Syrian government politically, but continuing to deal with it through back channels-calling for a more humanitarian and less costly solution to refugee crisis through stopping support to the terrorists, SANA reported.

The following is the full text of the interview:

Journalist: Mr. President, thank you for speaking with SBS Australia.

President Assad: You’re most welcome in Syria.

Question 1: It’s now more than five years since the Syrian crisis began. It’s estimated somewhere around a quarter of a million people have been killed, many of them civilians. There’s an undeniable humanitarian disaster. How far into the crisis do you think you are, and is there an end in sight?

President Assad: Of course, there is an end in sight, and the solution is very clear. It’s simple yet impossible. It’s simple because the solution is very clear, how to make dialogue between the Syrians about the political process, but at the same time fighting the terrorism and the terrorists in Syria. Without fighting terrorists, you cannot have any real solution. It’s impossible because the countries that supported those terrorists, whether Western or regional like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, don’t want to stop sending all kinds of support to those terrorists. So, if we start with stopping this logistical support, and as Syrians go to dialogue, talk about the constitution, about the future of Syria, about the future of the political system, the solution is very near, not far from reach.

Question 2: Much of the reporting in the West at the moment suggests that the demise of the Islamic State is imminent. Do you believe that’s true, and how far away from seizing Raqqa, this very important city of Raqqa, do you believe you are?

President Assad: It’s not a race. Raqqa is as important as Aleppo, as Damascus, as any other city. The danger of those terrorist groups is not about what land do they occupy, because it’s not a traditional war. It’s about how much of their ideology can they instill in the mind of the people in the area that they sit or live in. Indoctrination, this is the most dangerous thing. So, reaching Raqqa is not that difficult militarily, let’s say. It’s a matter of time. We are going in that direction. But the question when you talk about war is about what the other side, let’s say the enemy, could do, and that’s directly related to the effort of Turkey, especially Erdogan, in supporting those groups, because that’s what’s happening since the beginning. If you talk about Syria as an isolated military field, you can reach that area within a few months or a few weeks, let’s say, but without taking into consideration the Turkish effort in supporting the terrorists, any answer would be a far cry from the reality, an un-factual answer.

Question 3: Mr. President, how concerned are you about recent fatal clashes which have been reported between your longtime ally Hezbollah and your own forces?

There is good Syrian-Russian-Iranian coordination on fighting terrorism

President Assad: Fighting between us and Hezbollah? They are not fighting. They support the Syrian Army. They don’t fight against the Syrian Army, they fight with the Syrian Army. The Syrian Army and Hezbollah, with the support of the Russian Air Forces, we are fighting all kinds of terrorist groups, whether ISIS or al-Nusra or other affiliated groups with Al Qaeda that’s affiliated automatically to al-Nusra and ISIS.

Question 4: So, there have been some recent reports of clashes between… are those reports incorrect.

President Assad: No, they are talking not about clashes; about, let’s say, differences and different opinions. That’s not true, and if you look at the meeting that happened recently between the Ministers of Defense in Iran, in Tehran; Syrian, Russian, and Iranian, this means there’s good coordination regarding fighting terrorism.

Question 5: To be clear, do you categorize all opposition groups as terrorists?

President Assad: Definitely not, no. When you talk about an opposition group that adopts the political means, they’re not terrorists. Whenever you hold machineguns or any other armaments and you terrorize people and you attack civilians and you attack public and private properties, you are a terrorist. But if you talk about opposition, when you talk about opposition it must be Syrian opposition. It cannot be a surrogate opposition that works as a proxy to other countries like Saudi Arabia or any other country. It must be a Syrian opposition that’s related to its Syrian grassroots, like in your country. It’s the same, I think.

Question 6: You said recently that the ceasefire offered Syrian people at least a glimmer of hope. How, five months on, do you think that hope is going?

President Assad: Yeah, it is. It’s still working, the ceasefire, but we don’t have to forget that terrorist groups violate this agreement, on a daily basis. But at the same time, we have the right, according to that agreement, to retaliate whenever the terrorists attack our government forces. So, actually you can say it’s still working in most of the areas, but in some areas it’s not.

Question 7: There are various accounts of how the Syrian crisis began. Some say it was children graffiting anti-government slogans and they were dealt with brutally by the government. I understand you don’t accept that narrative. How, in your view, did the crisis begin?

President Assad: It’s a mixture of many things. Some people demonstrated because they needed reform. We cannot deny this, we cannot say “no everybody was a terrorist” or “everyone was a mercenary.” But the majority of those demonstrators – I’m not talking about the genuine demonstrators – were paid by Qatar in order to demonstrate, then later they were paid by Qatar in order to revolt with armaments, and that’s how it started, actually. The story of children being attacked, this is an illusive story. It didn’t happen. Of course, you always have, let’s say, mistakes happening in the practice on the ground, like what happened in the United States recently, during the last year, but this is not a reason for people to hold machineguns and kill policemen and soldiers and so on.

Question 8: You do say that some of these people legitimately needed reform. Was that as a result of any heavy-handedness from your government at all?

President Assad: No, we had reform in Syria. It started mainly after 2000, in the year 2000. Some people think it was slow, some people think it was too fast, this is subjective, not objective, but we were moving in that regard. But the proof that it wasn’t about the reform, because we made all the requested reforms after the crisis started five years ago, and nothing has changed. So, it wasn’t about reform. We changed the constitution, we changed the laws that the opposition asked for, we changed many things, but nothing happened. So, it wasn’t about the reform; it was about money coming from Qatar, and most of the people that genuinely asked for reform at the beginning of the crisis, they don’t demonstrate now, they don’t go against the government, they cooperate with the government. They don’t believe, let’s say, in the political line of this government, and this is their right and that’s natural, but they don’t work against the government or against the state institutions. So, they distinguish themselves from the people who supported the terrorists.

Question 9: How do you respond to the fact that some of your ministers defected and cited brutality as reason?

President Assad: Actually, they defected because they’ve been asked to do so by, some of them, Saudi Arabia, some of them by France, it depends on the country they belong to. And now, they are belonging to that so-called opposition that belongs to those countries, not to the Syrians. They have no values in Syria, so we wouldn’t worry about that. It didn’t change anything. I mean it didn’t affect the fact or the reality in Syria.

Question 10: One of your main backers, Russia, has called for a return to the peace talks. Do you think that’s a good idea?

President Assad: You mean in Geneva?

Journalist: Yes.

Geneva negotiations need to have the basic principles in order to be fruitful

President Assad: Yeah, of course, we support every talk with every Syrian party, but in reality those talks haven’t been started yet, and there’s no Syrian-Syrian talks till this moment, because we only made negotiations with the facilitator, which is Mr. de Mistura. Actually, it hasn’t started. So, we support the principle, but in practice you need to have a certain methodology that didn’t exist so far. So, we need to start, but we need to have the basic principles for those negotiations to be fruitful.

Question 11: One thing that intrigues a lot of people about the Syrian crisis is why your close allies Iran and Russia stay so loyal?

By defending Syria, allies are defending their stability and interests

President Assad: Because it wasn’t about the President, it’s not about the person. This is the misinterpretation, or let’s say the misconception in the West, and maybe part of the propaganda, that Russia and Iran supported Assad, or supported the President. It’s not like this. It’s about the whole situation. The chaos in Syria is going to provoke a domino effect in our region, that’s going to affect the neighboring countries, it’s going to affect Iran, it’s going to affect Russia, it’s going to affect Europe, actually. So, when they defend Syria, they defend the stability and they defend their stability, they defend their interest. And at the same time, it’s about the principle. They defend the Syrian people and their right to protect themselves. Because if they defend the President and the Syrian people are not with him and don’t support him, I cannot withstand five years just because Russia and Iran support me. So, it’s not about the President, it’s about the whole situation, the bigger picture, let’s say.

Question 12: Do you have any dialogue either direct or indirectly with the United States?

Western countries are dealing with Syria through back channels

President Assad: At all, nothing at all. Indirect, yes, indirect, through different channels. But if you ask them they will deny it, and we’re going to deny it. But in reality, it exists; the back channels.

Question 13: What are some of those channels?

President Assad: I mean, let’s say, businessmen going and traveling around the world and meeting with the officials in the United States and in Europe, they meet in Europe, and they try to convey certain messages, but there’s nothing serious, because we don’t think the administration, the American administration, is serious about solving the problem in Syria.

Question 14: Well, quite recently, there were reports more than 50 diplomats have called for what they described as “real and effective military strikes” against you, against Syria. Does this in any way concern you, and do you think it signals a more aggressive policy from the United States towards Syria moving forward?

American administrations are famous of creating problems, but they never solve any

President Assad: No, warmongers in every American administration always exist. It’s not something new. But we wouldn’t give a fig, let’s say, about this communique, but it’s not about this communique; it’s about the policy, it’s about the actions. The difference between this administration and the previous one, Bush’s one, is that Bush sent his troops. This one is sending mercenaries, and turned a blind eye to what Saudi Arabia and Turkey and Qatar did, since the beginning of the crisis. So, it’s the same policy. It’s a militaristic policy, but in different ways. So, this communique is not different from the reality on the ground. This is asking for war, and the reality is a war.

Question 15: You referred to the previous government, the Bush government. There are some who say one of the reasons you’ve survived as long as a government has been America’s reluctance to get on the ground in another war in the Middle East. Do you not accept that, based on what you’re saying?

President Assad: Yeah, the American administrations since the 50s are very famous of creating problems but they never solve any problems, and that’s what happened in Iraq. Bush invaded Iraq, in a few weeks he could occupy Iraq, but then what’s next? It’s not about occupying. This is a great power. We’re not a great power. So, it’s not about America occupying Syria. What’s next? What do they want to achieve? They haven’t achieved anything. They failed in Libya, in Iraq, in Yemen, in Syria, everywhere. They only created chaos. So, if the United States wants to create more chaos it can, it can create chaos, but can they solve the problem? No.

Question 16: Do you have a preference who wins the upcoming US election?

President Assad: Actually no, we never bet on any American president, because usually what they say in the campaign is different from their practice after they become president, and Obama is an example, so we don’t have to wait. We have to wait and see what policy they’re going to adopt, whoever wins the elections.

Question 17: So, you can see a circumstance where Syria would work collaboratively with the United States and the West?

We are not against cooperation with the US based on mutual interest

President Assad: We don’t have a problem with the United States, they’re not our enemy, they don’t occupy our land. We have differences, and those differences go back to the 70s and maybe before that, but in many different times, let’s say, and events and circumstances, we had cooperation with the United States. So, we’re not against this cooperation. But, this cooperation means talking about and discussing and working for the mutual interest, not for their interest at the expense of our interest. So, we don’t have a problem.

Question 18: Mr. President, you’ve spent a lot of time yourself, as you’ve just said, in the United Kingdom. Can you see there being any repercussions for Britain’s decision to exit the European Union for Syria and for the Syrian crisis?

British people are revolting against their “second-tier” and “disconnected” politicians

President Assad: I don’t think I can elaborate about that, as it’s a British issue, and I’m not British neither European. But at the same time I can say that this surprising result, maybe, has many different components, whether internal as economic and external as the worry from the terrorism, security issues, refugees, and so on. But this is an indication for us, as those officials who used to give me the advice about how to deal with the crisis in Syria, and say “Assad must go” and “he’s disconnected” proven to be disconnected from reality, otherwise they wouldn’t have asked for this referendum, but I think this is a revolt of the people there against, I would call them sometimes second-tier politicians. They needed special, let’s say, statecraft officials, to deal their country. If another administration came and understands that the issue of refugees and security is related to the problem in our region, this is where you’re going to have a different policy that will affect us positively. But I don’t have now a lot of hope about this. Let’s say we have a slim hope, because we don’t know who’s going to come after Cameron in the UK.

Question 19: Can I ask; Australia is part of the international coalition to defeat the Islamic State. Obviously, that’s one of your goals, so in that instance there’s a shared goal. Do you welcome international intervention when there’s a shared goal like that.

President Assad: Actually, we welcome any effort to fight terrorism in Syria, any effort, but this effort first of all should be genuine, not window-dressing like what’s happening now in northern Syria where 60 countries couldn’t prevent ISIS from expanding. Actually, when the Russian air support started, only at that time when ISIS stopped expanding. So, it needs to be genuine. Second, it needs to be through the Syrian legitimate government, not just because they want to fight terrorism and they can go anywhere in the world. We are a legitimate government and we are a sovereign country. So, only on these two circumstances we welcome any foreign support to fight terrorism.

Question 20: A number of Australians have died fighting for either the Kurdish militia or the Islamic State. Do you have a message for these young people who feel so enraged by what’s taking place in Syria that they travel over here to fight?

President Assad: Again, the same, let’s say, answer. If there are foreigners coming without the permission of the government, they are illegal, whether they want to fight terrorists or want to fight any other one. It is the same. It’s illegal, we can call it.

Question 21: Mr. President, Australian politicians have used very strong language about your role in the crisis, as have other leaders, internationally. Australia’s Prime Minister has referred to you as a “murderous tyrant,” saying that you’re responsible for killing thousands of innocent civilians. Australia’s opposition leader has called you a “butcher.” Yet Australia’s official position is still to work with you toward a peace agreement. How do you reconcile those two very different positions?

Western nations attack Syrian government and yet deal with it under the table

President Assad: Actually, this is the double standard of the West in general. They attack us politically and they send us their officials to deal with us under the table, especially the security, including your government. They all do the same. They don’t want to upset the United States. Actually, most of the Western officials only repeat what the United States wants them to say. This is the reality. So, I think these statements, I just can say they are disconnected from our reality, because I’m fighting terrorists, our army is fighting terrorists, our government is against terrorists, the whole institutions are against terrorists. If you call fighting terrorism butchery, that’s another issue.

Question 22: Australia has agreed to take an additional twelve thousand Syrian refugees; some have already arrived. Do you have a message for these Syrians, many of whom still say they love Syria and they want to return. Do you have a message for those people, as I said, who are in Australia, and other countries around the world?

A more humanitarian and less costly European solution to refugee crisis is stopping support to terrorists

President Assad: Actually, you mentioned a very important point. Most of the refugees that left Syria, they want to come back to Syria. So, any country that helped them enter their new country, let’s say, their new homeland, is welcome as a humanitarian action, but again there is something more humanitarian and less costly: is to help them staying in their country, help them going back by helping the stability in Syria, not to give any umbrella or support to the terrorists. That’s what they want. They want the Western governments to take decisive decisions against what Saudi Arabia and other Western countries, like France and UK, are doing in order to support the terrorists in Syria just to topple the government. Otherwise, those Syrians wouldn’t have left Syria. Most of them, they didn’t leave because they are against the government or with the government; they left because it’s very difficult to live in Syria these days.

Question 23: Do you hope that these people will return and would you facilitate for them to return?
President Assad: Definitely, I mean losing people as refugees is like losing human resources. How can you build a country without human resources? Most of those people are educated, well trained, they have their own businesses in Syria in different domains. You lose all this, of course, we need.

Question 24: The Commission for International Justice and Accountability says there are thousands of government documents which say has proved your government sanctioned mass torture and killings. In the face of that evidence, how do you say that no crimes have taken place, and I point also to other independent organizations, which are critical of deliberate targeting hospitals. Do you concede that some mistakes have been made as you’ve targeted some rebel-held areas?

President Assad: You are talking about two different things. One of them, the first one is the reports. The most important report that’s been financed by Qatar, just to defame the Syrian government, and they have no proof, who took the pictures, who are the victims in those pictures, and so on. Like you can forge anything if you want now on the computer. So, it is not credible at all. Second, talking about attacking hospitals or attacking civilians, the question, the very simple question is: why do we attack hospitals and civilians? I mean the whole issue, the whole problem in Syria started when those terrorists wanted to win the hearts of the Syrians. So, attacking hospitals or attacking civilians is playing into the hands of the terrorists. So, if we put the values aside now for a while, let’s talk about the interests. No government in this situation has any interest in killing civilians or attacking hospitals. Anyway, if you attack hospitals, you can use any building to be a hospital. No, these are an anecdotal claims, mendacious statements I can say; they are not credible at all. We’re still sending vaccines to those areas under the control of the terrorists. So, how can I send vaccines and attack the hospitals? This is a contradiction.

Question 25: Mr. President, as a father and as a man, has there been one anecdote, one story, one image from the crisis, which has affected you personally more than others?

President Assad: Definitely, we are humans, and I am Syrian like the other Syrians. I will be more sympathetic with any Syrian tragedy affecting any person or family, and in this region, we are very emotional people, generally. But as an official, I am not only a person, I am an official. As an official, the first question you ask when you have that feeling is what are you going to do, what are you going to do to protect other Syrians from the same suffering? That’s the most important thing. So, I mean, this feeling, this sad feeling, this painful feeling, is an incentive for me to do more. It’s not only a feeling.

Question 26: What’s your vision for Syria? How do you see things in two to three years?

President Assad: After the crisis or…? Because, the first thing we would like to see is to have Syria stable as it used to be before, because it was one of the most stable countries and secure countries around the world, not only in our region. So, this the first thing. If you have this, you can have other ambitions. Without it you cannot. I mean, if you have this, the other question: how to deal with the new generation that lived the life of killing, that saw the extremism or learned the extremism or indoctrinated by Al Qaeda-affiliated groups, and so on. This is another challenge. The third one is bringing back those human resources that left as refugees in order to rebuild Syria. Rebuilding the country as buildings or infrastructure is very easy; we are capable of doing this as Syrians. The challenge is about the new generation.

Question 27: How do you think history will reflect on your presidency?

President Assad: What I wish is to say that this is the one who saved his country from the terrorists and from the external intervention. That is what I wish about it. Anything else would be left to the judgment of the Syrian people, but this is my only wish.

Journalist: Mr. President, Thank you very much for speaking with SBS Australia.

President Assad: Thank you very much.

Source: Agencies

01-07-2016 – 15:16 Last updated 01-07-2016 – 15:16

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President al-Assad: “Western nations attack Syrian government openly and deal with it secretly” ~ [Full Text, Video ~ Interview to Australian SBS TV]

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Syrian Free Press

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Damascus, 1 July 2016 ~ President Bashar al-Assad gave an interview to the Australian SBS TV channel in which he criticized the double standards of the West- openly attacking the Syrian government politically, but continuing to deal with it through back channels-calling for a more humanitarian and less costly solution to refugee crisis through stopping support to the terrorists.

The following is the full video and text of the interview:


FULL INTERVIEW IN ENGLISH


FULL INTERVIEW IN ARABIC


Journalist: Mr. President, thank you for speaking with SBS Australia.

President Assad: You’re most welcome in Syria.


Question 1: It’s now more than five years since the Syrian crisis began. It’s estimated somewhere around a quarter of a million people have been killed, many of them civilians. There’s an undeniable humanitarian disaster. How far into the crisis do you think you are, and is there an end in sight?

President Assad: Of course, there is an end in sight, and the solution is very clear. It’s simple yet impossible. It’s simple because the solution is very clear, how to make dialogue between the Syrians about the political process, but at the same time fighting the terrorism and the terrorists in Syria. Without fighting terrorists, you cannot have any real solution. It’s impossible because the countries that supported those terrorists, whether Western or regional like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, don’t want to stop sending all kinds of support to those terrorists. So, if we start with stopping this logistical support, and as Syrians go to dialogue, talk about the constitution, about the future of Syria, about the future of the political system, the solution is very near, not far from reach.

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Question 2: Much of the reporting in the West at the moment suggests that the demise of the Islamic State is imminent. Do you believe that’s true, and how far away from seizing Raqqa, this very important city of Raqqa, do you believe you are?

President Assad: It’s not a race. Raqqa is as important as Aleppo, as Damascus, as any other city. The danger of those terrorist groups is not about what land do they occupy, because it’s not a traditional war. It’s about how much of their ideology can they instill in the mind of the people in the area that they sit or live in. Indoctrination, this is the most dangerous thing. So, reaching Raqqa is not that difficult militarily, let’s say. It’s a matter of time. We are going in that direction. But the question when you talk about war is about what the other side, let’s say the enemy, could do, and that’s directly related to the effort of Turkey, especially Erdogan, in supporting those groups, because that’s what’s happening since the beginning. If you talk about Syria as an isolated military field, you can reach that area within a few months or a few weeks, let’s say, but without taking into consideration the Turkish effort in supporting the terrorists, any answer would be a far cry from the reality, an un-factual answer.


Question 3: Mr. President, how concerned are you about recent fatal clashes which have been reported between your longtime ally Hezbollah and your own forces?

There is good Syrian-Russian-Iranian coordination on fighting terrorism

President Assad: Fighting between us and Hezbollah? They are not fighting. They support the Syrian Army. They don’t fight against the Syrian Army, they fight with the Syrian Army. The Syrian Army and Hezbollah, with the support of the Russian Air Forces, we are fighting all kinds of terrorist groups, whether ISIS or al-Nusra or other affiliated groups with Al Qaeda that’s affiliated automatically to al-Nusra and ISIS.


Question 4: So, there have been some recent reports of clashes between… are those reports incorrect.

President Assad: No, they are talking not about clashes; about, let’s say, differences and different opinions. That’s not true, and if you look at the meeting that happened recently between the Ministers of Defense in Iran, in Tehran; Syrian, Russian, and Iranian, this means there’s good coordination regarding fighting terrorism.


Question 5: To be clear, do you categorize all opposition groups as terrorists?

President Assad: Definitely not, no. When you talk about an opposition group that adopts the political means, they’re not terrorists. Whenever you hold machineguns or any other armaments and you terrorize people and you attack civilians and you attack public and private properties, you are a terrorist. But if you talk about opposition, when you talk about opposition it must be Syrian opposition. It cannot be a surrogate opposition that works as a proxy to other countries like Saudi Arabia or any other country. It must be a Syrian opposition that’s related to its Syrian grassroots, like in your country. It’s the same, I think.


Question 6: You said recently that the ceasefire offered Syrian people at least a glimmer of hope. How, five months on, do you think that hope is going?

President Assad: Yeah, it is. It’s still working, the ceasefire, but we don’t have to forget that terrorist groups violate this agreement, on a daily basis. But at the same time, we have the right, according to that agreement, to retaliate whenever the terrorists attack our government forces. So, actually you can say it’s still working in most of the areas, but in some areas it’s not.

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Question 7: There are various accounts of how the Syrian crisis began. Some say it was children graffiting anti-government slogans and they were dealt with brutally by the government. I understand you don’t accept that narrative. How, in your view, did the crisis begin?

President Assad: It’s a mixture of many things. Some people demonstrated because they needed reform. We cannot deny this, we cannot say “no everybody was a terrorist” or “everyone was a mercenary.” But the majority of those demonstrators – I’m not talking about the genuine demonstrators – were paid by Qatar in order to demonstrate, then later they were paid by Qatar in order to revolt with armaments, and that’s how it started, actually. The story of children being attacked, this is an illusive story. It didn’t happen. Of course, you always have, let’s say, mistakes happening in the practice on the ground, like what happened in the United States recently, during the last year, but this is not a reason for people to hold machineguns and kill policemen and soldiers and so on.


Question 8: You do say that some of these people legitimately needed reform. Was that as a result of any heavy-handedness from your government at all?

President Assad: No, we had reform in Syria. It started mainly after 2000, in the year 2000. Some people think it was slow, some people think it was too fast, this is subjective, not objective, but we were moving in that regard. But the proof that it wasn’t about the reform, because we made all the requested reforms after the crisis started five years ago, and nothing has changed. So, it wasn’t about reform. We changed the constitution, we changed the laws that the opposition asked for, we changed many things, but nothing happened. So, it wasn’t about the reform; it was about money coming from Qatar, and most of the people that genuinely asked for reform at the beginning of the crisis, they don’t demonstrate now, they don’t go against the government, they cooperate with the government. They don’t believe, let’s say, in the political line of this government, and this is their right and that’s natural, but they don’t work against the government or against the state institutions. So, they distinguish themselves from the people who supported the terrorists.

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Question 9: How do you respond to the fact that some of your ministers defected and cited brutality as reason?

President Assad: Actually, they defected because they’ve been asked to do so by, some of them, Saudi Arabia, some of them by France, it depends on the country they belong to. And now, they are belonging to that so-called opposition that belongs to those countries, not to the Syrians. They have no values in Syria, so we wouldn’t worry about that. It didn’t change anything. I mean it didn’t affect the fact or the reality in Syria.


Question 10: One of your main backers, Russia, has called for a return to the peace talks. Do you think that’s a good idea?

President Assad: You mean in Geneva?

Journalist: Yes.

Geneva negotiations need to have the basic principles in order to be fruitful

President Assad: Yeah, of course, we support every talk with every Syrian party, but in reality those talks haven’t been started yet, and there’s no Syrian-Syrian talks till this moment, because we only made negotiations with the facilitator, which is Mr. de Mistura. Actually, it hasn’t started. So, we support the principle, but in practice you need to have a certain methodology that didn’t exist so far. So, we need to start, but we need to have the basic principles for those negotiations to be fruitful.


Question 11: One thing that intrigues a lot of people about the Syrian crisis is why your close allies Iran and Russia stay so loyal?

By defending Syria, allies are defending their stability and interests

President Assad: Because it wasn’t about the President, it’s not about the person. This is the misinterpretation, or let’s say the misconception in the West, and maybe part of the propaganda, that Russia and Iran supported Assad, or supported the President. It’s not like this. It’s about the whole situation. The chaos in Syria is going to provoke a domino effect in our region, that’s going to affect the neighboring countries, it’s going to affect Iran, it’s going to affect Russia, it’s going to affect Europe, actually. So, when they defend Syria, they defend the stability and they defend their stability, they defend their interest. And at the same time, it’s about the principle. They defend the Syrian people and their right to protect themselves. Because if they defend the President and the Syrian people are not with him and don’t support him, I cannot withstand five years just because Russia and Iran support me. So, it’s not about the President, it’s about the whole situation, the bigger picture, let’s say.


Question 12: Do you have any dialogue either direct or indirectly with the United States?

Western countries are dealing with Syria through back channels

President Assad: At all, nothing at all. Indirect, yes, indirect, through different channels. But if you ask them they will deny it, and we’re going to deny it. But in reality, it exists; the back channels.


Question 13: What are some of those channels?

President Assad: I mean, let’s say, businessmen going and traveling around the world and meeting with the officials in the United States and in Europe, they meet in Europe, and they try to convey certain messages, but there’s nothing serious, because we don’t think the administration, the American administration, is serious about solving the problem in Syria.

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Question 14: Well, quite recently, there were reports more than 50 diplomats have called for what they described as “real and effective military strikes” against you, against Syria. Does this in any way concern you, and do you think it signals a more aggressive policy from the United States towards Syria moving forward?

American administrations are famous of creating problems, but they never solve any

President Assad: No, warmongers in every American administration always exist. It’s not something new. But we wouldn’t give a fig, let’s say, about this communique, but it’s not about this communique; it’s about the policy, it’s about the actions. The difference between this administration and the previous one, Bush’s one, is that Bush sent his troops. This one is sending mercenaries, and turned a blind eye to what Saudi Arabia and Turkey and Qatar did, since the beginning of the crisis. So, it’s the same policy. It’s a militaristic policy, but in different ways. So, this communique is not different from the reality on the ground. This is asking for war, and the reality is a war.


Question 15: You referred to the previous government, the Bush government. There are some who say one of the reasons you’ve survived as long as a government has been America’s reluctance to get on the ground in another war in the Middle East. Do you not accept that, based on what you’re saying?

President Assad: Yeah, the American administrations since the 50s are very famous of creating problems but they never solve any problems, and that’s what happened in Iraq. Bush invaded Iraq, in a few weeks he could occupy Iraq, but then what’s next? It’s not about occupying. This is a great power. We’re not a great power. So, it’s not about America occupying Syria. What’s next? What do they want to achieve? They haven’t achieved anything. They failed in Libya, in Iraq, in Yemen, in Syria, everywhere. They only created chaos. So, if the United States wants to create more chaos it can, it can create chaos, but can they solve the problem? No.


Question 16: Do you have a preference who wins the upcoming US election?

President Assad: Actually no, we never bet on any American president, because usually what they say in the campaign is different from their practice after they become president, and Obama is an example, so we don’t have to wait. We have to wait and see what policy they’re going to adopt, whoever wins the elections.


Question 17: So, you can see a circumstance where Syria would work collaboratively with the United States and the West?

We are not against cooperation with the US based on mutual interest

President Assad: We don’t have a problem with the United States, they’re not our enemy, they don’t occupy our land. We have differences, and those differences go back to the 70s and maybe before that, but in many different times, let’s say, and events and circumstances, we had cooperation with the United States. So, we’re not against this cooperation. But, this cooperation means talking about and discussing and working for the mutual interest, not for their interest at the expense of our interest. So, we don’t have a problem.

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Question 18: Mr. President, you’ve spent a lot of time yourself, as you’ve just said, in the United Kingdom. Can you see there being any repercussions for Britain’s decision to exit the European Union for Syria and for the Syrian crisis?

British people are revolting against their “second-tier” and “disconnected” politicians

President Assad: I don’t think I can elaborate about that, as it’s a British issue, and I’m not British neither European. But at the same time I can say that this surprising result, maybe, has many different components, whether internal as economic and external as the worry from the terrorism, security issues, refugees, and so on. But this is an indication for us, as those officials who used to give me the advice about how to deal with the crisis in Syria, and say “Assad must go” and “he’s disconnected” proven to be disconnected from reality, otherwise they wouldn’t have asked for this referendum, but I think this is a revolt of the people there against, I would call them sometimes second-tier politicians. They needed special, let’s say, statecraft officials, to deal their country. If another administration came and understands that the issue of refugees and security is related to the problem in our region, this is where you’re going to have a different policy that will affect us positively. But I don’t have now a lot of hope about this. Let’s say we have a slim hope, because we don’t know who’s going to come after Cameron in the UK.


Question 19: Can I ask; Australia is part of the international coalition to defeat the Islamic State. Obviously, that’s one of your goals, so in that instance there’s a shared goal. Do you welcome international intervention when there’s a shared goal like that.

President Assad: Actually, we welcome any effort to fight terrorism in Syria, any effort, but this effort first of all should be genuine, not window-dressing like what’s happening now in northern Syria where 60 countries couldn’t prevent ISIS from expanding. Actually, when the Russian air support started, only at that time when ISIS stopped expanding. So, it needs to be genuine. Second, it needs to be through the Syrian legitimate government, not just because they want to fight terrorism and they can go anywhere in the world. We are a legitimate government and we are a sovereign country. So, only on these two circumstances we welcome any foreign support to fight terrorism.


Question 20: A number of Australians have died fighting for either the Kurdish militia or the Islamic State. Do you have a message for these young people who feel so enraged by what’s taking place in Syria that they travel over here to fight?

President Assad: Again, the same, let’s say, answer. If there are foreigners coming without the permission of the government, they are illegal, whether they want to fight terrorists or want to fight any other one. It is the same. It’s illegal, we can call it.


Question 21: Mr. President, Australian politicians have used very strong language about your role in the crisis, as have other leaders, internationally. Australia’s Prime Minister has referred to you as a “murderous tyrant,” saying that you’re responsible for killing thousands of innocent civilians. Australia’s opposition leader has called you a “butcher.” Yet Australia’s official position is still to work with you toward a peace agreement. How do you reconcile those two very different positions?

Western nations attack Syrian government and yet deal with it under the table

President Assad: Actually, this is the double standard of the West in general. They attack us politically and they send us their officials to deal with us under the table, especially the security, including your government. They all do the same. They don’t want to upset the United States. Actually, most of the Western officials only repeat what the United States wants them to say. This is the reality. So, I think these statements, I just can say they are disconnected from our reality, because I’m fighting terrorists, our army is fighting terrorists, our government is against terrorists, the whole institutions are against terrorists. If you call fighting terrorism butchery, that’s another issue.


Question 22: Australia has agreed to take an additional twelve thousand Syrian refugees; some have already arrived. Do you have a message for these Syrians, many of whom still say they love Syria and they want to return. Do you have a message for those people, as I said, who are in Australia, and other countries around the world?

A more humanitarian and less costly European solution to refugee crisis is stopping support to terrorists

President Assad: Actually, you mentioned a very important point. Most of the refugees that left Syria, they want to come back to Syria. So, any country that helped them enter their new country, let’s say, their new homeland, is welcome as a humanitarian action, but again there is something more humanitarian and less costly: is to help them staying in their country, help them going back by helping the stability in Syria, not to give any umbrella or support to the terrorists. That’s what they want. They want the Western governments to take decisive decisions against what Saudi Arabia and other Western countries, like France and UK, are doing in order to support the terrorists in Syria just to topple the government. Otherwise, those Syrians wouldn’t have left Syria. Most of them, they didn’t leave because they are against the government or with the government; they left because it’s very difficult to live in Syria these days.

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Question 23: Do you hope that these people will return and would you facilitate for them to return?

President Assad: Definitely, I mean losing people as refugees is like losing human resources. How can you build a country without human resources? Most of those people are educated, well trained, they have their own businesses in Syria in different domains. You lose all this, of course, we need.


Question 24: The Commission for International Justice and Accountability says there are thousands of government documents which say has proved your government sanctioned mass torture and killings. In the face of that evidence, how do you say that no crimes have taken place, and I point also to other independent organizations, which are critical of deliberate targeting hospitals. Do you concede that some mistakes have been made as you’ve targeted some rebel-held areas?

President Assad: You are talking about two different things. One of them, the first one is the reports. The most important report that’s been financed by Qatar, just to defame the Syrian government, and they have no proof, who took the pictures, who are the victims in those pictures, and so on. Like you can forge anything if you want now on the computer. So, it is not credible at all. Second, talking about attacking hospitals or attacking civilians, the question, the very simple question is: why do we attack hospitals and civilians? I mean the whole issue, the whole problem in Syria started when those terrorists wanted to win the hearts of the Syrians. So, attacking hospitals or attacking civilians is playing into the hands of the terrorists. So, if we put the values aside now for a while, let’s talk about the interests. No government in this situation has any interest in killing civilians or attacking hospitals. Anyway, if you attack hospitals, you can use any building to be a hospital. No, these are an anecdotal claims, mendacious statements I can say; they are not credible at all. We’re still sending vaccines to those areas under the control of the terrorists. So, how can I send vaccines and attack the hospitals? This is a contradiction.


Question 25: Mr. President, as a father and as a man, has there been one anecdote, one story, one image from the crisis, which has affected you personally more than others?

President Assad: Definitely, we are humans, and I am Syrian like the other Syrians. I will be more sympathetic with any Syrian tragedy affecting any person or family, and in this region, we are very emotional people, generally. But as an official, I am not only a person, I am an official. As an official, the first question you ask when you have that feeling is what are you going to do, what are you going to do to protect other Syrians from the same suffering? That’s the most important thing. So, I mean, this feeling, this sad feeling, this painful feeling, is an incentive for me to do more. It’s not only a feeling.


Question 26: What’s your vision for Syria? How do you see things in two to three years?

President Assad: After the crisis or…? Because, the first thing we would like to see is to have Syria stable as it used to be before, because it was one of the most stable countries and secure countries around the world, not only in our region. So, this the first thing. If you have this, you can have other ambitions. Without it you cannot. I mean, if you have this, the other question: how to deal with the new generation that lived the life of killing, that saw the extremism or learned the extremism or indoctrinated by Al Qaeda-affiliated groups, and so on. This is another challenge. The third one is bringing back those human resources that left as refugees in order to rebuild Syria. Rebuilding the country as buildings or infrastructure is very easy; we are capable of doing this as Syrians. The challenge is about the new generation.


Question 27: How do you think history will reflect on your presidency?

President Assad: What I wish is to say that this is the one who saved his country from the terrorists and from the external intervention. That is what I wish about it. Anything else would be left to the judgment of the Syrian people, but this is my only wish.


Journalist: Mr. President, Thank you very much for speaking with SBS Australia.

President Assad: Thank you very much.

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SOURCES:
Syrian Arab News Agency
Submitted by SyrianPatriots 
War Press Info Network at:
https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2016/07/01/al-assad-to-sbstv/
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