Syria Imposes New Rules of Engagement on Israel

by Sayed Hasan translated for the Saker Blog

May 12, 2018

Source : http://sayed7asan.blogspot.fr/2018/05/la-syrie-impose-de-nouvelles-regles-de.html

On Thursday 10th May 2018, an unprecedented exchange of strikes happened between Israel and Syria. The mainstream media, as well as some “alternative” media like Russia Today, were quick to relay the Israeli army version, according to which the Zionist entity “retaliated” to an “Iranian attack by Revolutionary Guards’ Al-Quds Force” consisting of “twenty rockets” fired at Israeli positions in the occupied Golan, four of which were “intercepted by the Iron Dome” and the others “crashed into Syrian territory”, no damage being recorded in Israel. Israel has reportedly responded to this unprecedented “act of aggression” by a “large-scale operation” that would have destroyed “the entire Iranian infrastructure in Syria”, in order to deter the Islamic Republic from any stray impulse of future strikes.

This narrative takes for granted the postulates, data and myths of the Zionist entity’s propaganda – which imposes permanent military censorship on the Israeli media, exposing any offender to a prison sentence; and reading the international media, one might get the idea that, like American economic sanctions, this censorship is extraterritorial – but none of them can withstand scrutiny.

The aggressor is undoubtedly Israel, who carried out more than a hundred strikes against Syria since the beginning of the conflict. After Duma’s chemical stage attacks, this aggresion intensified with attacks on the Syrian T-4 base on April 9, which killed 7 Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Following the US announcement of withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, new Israeli strikes targeted Syrian positions on Tuesday (May 8th) in the southern suburbs of Damascus, and Wednesday (May 9th) in Quneitra, in the south of the country. Undeniably, Syria has only responded to yet another aggression, with a firmness that has shaken Israel and forced it out of the muteness to which it usually confines itself.

The Syrian – and not Iranian – response consisted of more than fifty – and not twenty – rockets against four sensitive Israeli military bases in the occupied Golan, which caused material damage and even casualties according to Al-Manar, Hezbollah’s media. These were not reported by the Israeli press because of the draconian military censorship forbidding mentioning Israel’s initial aggression, more than twenty rockets fired on Israel, the identification of their targets and any hint to the damage inflicted, in order to reassure the population inside and allow the vassal Western capitals to shout their sickening refrain of the sacrosanct-right-of-Israel-to-defend-itself. The Lebanese channel Al-Mayadeen specifically identified the military posts struck: 1/ a military technical and electronic reconnaissance center; 2/ border security and intelligence station 9900; 3/ a military center for electronic jamming; 3/ a military spy center for wireless and wired networks; 4/ a transmission station; 5/ an observatory of precision weapons unit ; 6/ a combat heliport; 7/ the headquarters of the Regional Military Command of Brigade 810; 8/ the command center of the military battalion at Hermon; 9/ winter headquarters of a special alpine unit. And as this channel has reported, even Israeli journalists and analysts have expressed doubts about this unconvincing version according to which these massive strikes, unprecedented since 1974 and therefore unexpected, would have proved harmless. Moreover, as Norman Finkelstein pointed out, nothing has changed for Israel’s wars in Gaza from 2008 to 2014 despite the deployment of the “Iron Dome”, only 5% of the – largely primitive – Hamas rockets being intercepted during “Protective Edge”; and one of the best missile defense specialists, Theodore Postol of MIT, has already revealed the chronic deficiencies of this system. It is unlikely that it was able to cope better with the much more sophisticated Russian, Chinese and Iranian rocket launchers that Syria has.

The success of the Israeli strikes, which, according to Israeli War Minister Avigdor Lieberman, almost destroyed “all of Iran’s infrastructure in Syria”, is largely exaggerated: Russian military officials, whose radars have followed this fight in real time, announced that more than half of the 60 missiles fired by 28 Israeli F-15s and F-16s – as well as 10 ground-to-ground missiles – were intercepted. The Syrian army records 3 dead and 2 wounded, a radar station and ammunition depot destroyed and material damage to Syrian anti-aircraft defense units. The latter have already demonstrated their effectiveness against strikes from Tel Aviv, Washington, London and Paris, unlike the mythical “Iron Dome” whose main role is to reassure the Israeli population.

The very presence of Iranian military bases and / or large Iranian contingents in Syria is a fable: Iran has only a modest presence (essentially composed of military advisers, indeed from the body of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards), unlike Hezbollah or Russia. Robert Fisk points out that “an Israeli statement that the Iranians had missiles in Syria was surely made in concert with the Trump administration”, that the Iranian forces in Syria are “far fewer than the West imagines” and that all Israeli statements should be reported with the utmost circumspection. Any objective reporting on these events should resemble that of Robert Fisk: “The latest overnight Israeli air strikes, supposedly at Iranian forces in Syria after a supposed Iranian rocket attack on Israeli forces in Golan – and it’s important to use the “supposed” and not take all this at face value – must have been known to the Americans in advance.” Indeed, these so-called unexpected attacks had been announced for days by the Israeli army, which had already conducted a so-called “preemptive strike” – rather a provocation – on May 8.

The “red line” that this alleged Iranian presence would pose to Israel is belied by the fact that Tel Aviv has, since the beginning of the conflict, been steadily slowing the progress of the Syrian Arab Army and, using various pretexts (delivery of arms to Hezbollah, response to actual or suspected gunfire from the Golan Heights, etc.), assisting armed terrorist groups in any way possible: weapons, intelligence, airstrikes coordinated with ground offensives, medical care, etc. Israel, the only country in the world that officially does not fear anything (and indeed has nothing to fear) from ISIS, Al-Qaeda and the like, has seen the situation in Syria turn from a dream – see a myriad of terrorist groups tear down the only anti-Israeli Arab regime, back of the Resistance Axis, and bleed Hezbollah – into a nightmare – to face Hezbollah, Syrian and Iran forces more battle-hardened and powerful than ever, and allied with the Palestinian Resistance, Iraq and Yemen, as well as Russia –, is only continuing its destabilizing work under new pretexts, and more directly: Hassan Nasrallah, the Secretary General of Hezbollah, had announced that after the defeat of proxies in Syria, their sponsors could either give up or intervene more and more openly.

Iran, whose opposition to the racist and colonialist project of Israel has been a principle and even a dogma since the triumph of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, is not easily provoked into an ill-thought reaction, and has always preferred to act with patience for long-term objectives – let us remember its restraint after the massacre of Iranian diplomats in Afghanistan in 1998. The goal of Iran is not to carry out a simple reprisal operation to avenge his officers and soldiers deliberately (or accidentally, as was the case in Quneitra in January 2015) killed by Israel, but to work for the complete liberation of Palestine by putting an end to the illegitimate “Zionist regime”, just like the Apartheid regime in South Africa, which, by the way, collapsed after its military defeat in Angola and Namibia against Cuban mulattoes, then viewed with as much racism as Israeli Jewish supremacism considers ArabushimAs Hassan Nasrallah pointed out, Israel’s direct aggression against Iranian forces in Syria is a major turning point in the history of the Israeli-Arab – or rather, Israeli-Arab-Persian – conflict, and Israel must now get ready to confront the Iranian forces directly – whether in Syria, occupied Palestine or even elsewhere. Moreover, when the Iranian missiles enter the scene, they are launched from the territory of the Islamic Republic and with undeniable success, as shown by the strikes against ISIS at Deir-Ez-Zor on June 18, 2017, in retaliation for terrorist attacks in Tehran.

As we can see, the reality cannot be more different from the fable that has been propagated by the majority of the media. “Journalists” who tamely take over Israel’s talking points turn into IDF propaganda outlets and mere agents of Netanyahu’s “diplomacy of lies”. Israel is indeed constantly lying to the world – and, increasingly, to its own people. And when its reckless actions have disastrous repercussions, it publishes hasty and contradictory communiqués in which it presents itself both as a victim and as a hawkish punisher, while also claiming, through Lieberman and via Russia, to have no intention of stepping into an escalation and hoping things will stop there – proclaiming the success of its retaliatory strikes is also a way to say it does not want/need to go any further. The international media contented itself with repeating these statements immediately after the first attacks, without any critical distance. Rational actors like Iran, Syria and Hezbollah – or Russia – are not in such a hurry to speak out and confirm or deny other’s claims, leaving their opponents getting entangled in their lies, and trusting in the primacy of the battlefield that becomes more favorable to them day by day. Moreover, the fact that a bitter setback for Israel, which literally reverses the strategic situation, is transformed into a military success by Zionist and Atlantist propaganda, and combined with Israeli protests of non-belligerency, can only confirm the Resistance Axis in its choices.

Yoav Kish, a member of the Knesset quoted by Al-Manar, stressed that regardless of the author of the strikes and their results – that censorship forbade from mentioning –, it was a major shift in the history of the wars of Israel, which is being attacked from Syria. Indeed, the Golan military installations are now directly targeted as a result of Israeli aggressions, and not just the Israeli air force, which has already seen its finest – the F-16 – be shot down on February 10, 2018. The journalists and Israeli analysts also pointed out the psychological and economic repercussions of this incident, with more than 20,000 Golan settlers having had to hastily find their way back to the shelters in the middle of the night (how much will they be at the next escalation?), and the beginning of the summer period having been ushered in by a wave of hotel reservation deletions due to fears of a war between Israel and Iran. The Zionist entity, which unabashedly inflicts the greatest loss and damage to the Palestinians and its neighbors, is severely shaken by the slightest losses, unbearable for Israeli society.

The accusation against Iran is explained by essential factors (the inherent racism of Israeli society and its Prime Minister, who more willingly believe in a dangerousness of Persian Iran than in that of Arab Syria) and circumstantial – a refusal to assume the consequences of the suicidal policy of the Netanyahu government, which led him to a direct confrontation with the entire Resistance Axis, not to say with Russia. And most importantly, Israel wants to capitalize on Trump’s withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal to advance its main obsession, much older than the Syrian crisis, namely Tehran’s ballistic program, which it wants the West to end with, exploiting the perennial nuclear pretext – let us remind that the manufacture, possession and use of nuclear weapons are unlawful in Islamaccording to Imam Khomeini and Ali Khamenei, supreme authorities in Iran. Netanyahu has made it clear that a war with Iran is inevitable, and that it would be better to happen now than later. Since 2005, he vainly strives for the United States to launch it for him, but no negotiation, sanction or aggression will ever deter Iran from its course. And just as the Israeli strikes on April 9, which were supposed to encourage Washington, London and Paris to conduct severe strikes on Syria, ended in a bitter failure, Israel only worsened its own situation yet again and finds itself alone in the face of the disastrous consequences of its actions, to the extent of the blind arrogance that triggered them.

What about Russia? Netanyahu’s presence in Moscow for the commemoration of the 73rd anniversary of the USSR’s victory against Nazism, and reports that Russia would not deliver the S-300s to Syria, must not mislead us. Russia has invested far too much in Syria to allow anyone – be it Washington, Tel Aviv, Riyadh or Ankara – to reduce its efforts to nothing. Moscow said it would no longer tolerate Western strikes against Syria in case of a new chemical weapons masquerade, and that it is ready to provide Damascus not necessarily with the S-300 anti-aircraft system, but, according to Sergei Lavrov, with “whatever is required to help the Syrian army to deter aggression.” The current Syrian defense systems have already proven their worth – Including the Pantsir, which is much more suited to the needs of the Syrian army –, and allow to envision the day when Israel loses its only advantage, namely the air supremacy – that already was to no avail in 2006 against Hezbollah or 2014 against Gaza –, without which its supposedly “invincible” ragtag army would literally crumble. Israel’s use of ground-to-ground missiles for the first time, and the concentration of attacks on Syrian anti-aircraft defenses – IDF released the video of the destruction of a Pantsir S-1 system, probably inactive – proves that it is well aware of its limitations.

It is obvious that Israeli aggressions against Syria will be increasingly costly, both for the Israeli air force and for its internal military bases and population, because of the determination of Syria and its allies (Hezbollah and Iran) to respond to any aggression, of their experience and new capabilities, and of their successes on the ground. The Resistance Axis – of which Russia is not a part – is now able to face Israel directly on its own, with a united front and without fear of escalation. As for Israel, already overwhelmed by the peaceful demonstrations in Gaza that must culminate on May 15, it is not ready for war against a single member of the Resistance Axis, let alone against several of them simultaneously. The new equation imposed by the Syrian army on May 10 is more fearsome for Israel than the prospect of the loss of another F-16, as Damascus has shown its determination to wage war on enemy territory, and to strike the Zionist entity in its depth.

The Resistance Axis will soon have its eyes fixed on the occupied Golan, that Syria has never given up liberating by armed struggle – a right conferred by international law itself, this territory being recognized as Syrian by all the international community: any Syrian operation there is a legal and legitimate act of resistance against Israel’s 1967 aggression in and subsequent occupation, even without further provocation. As early as May 2013, Hassan Nasrallah announced Hezbollah’s participation in the opening of a new frontline in Golan. In March 2017, the Golan Liberation Brigade was formed by Iraqi Hezbollah, Harakat al-Nujaba, a movement backed by Iran and involved in the liberation of Iraq and Syria from ISIS. Today, Syrian strikes in the occupied Golan unquestionably open up a new chapter in the history of the Israeli-Arab wars, in which Israel will increasingly be forced into a defensive position. Are we going to see the IDF building a wall on the border of the occupied Golan to hinder any future invasion, as is already the case on the Lebanese-Israeli border to prevent Hezbollah’s promised incursion into the Galilee? Anyway, the next war against Israel will drastically change the map of the Middle East.

 

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The Syrian Crisis is NOT a Civil War

Western Media Frames and Filters: The Worthy and the Unworthy Victims

Nour Rida 

30-04-2018 | 07:50

Killing huge numbers of innocent civilians is called “mass murder”, but only when mainstream media chose to call it so. Four years of war in Yemen show no sign of yielding – especially as Saudi-led coalition air attacks continue on a daily basis. In the past week, these attacks have killed at least 45 people including wedding party guests, women and children.
 
Yemen

The war in Yemen has created devastation unseen before in the country’s long history of turmoil. Thousands have been killed and millions displaced, starved, and disappeared in what the UN has described as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis since World War II. It’s not just bombs, bullets and arms that threaten Yemen’s children, women and men. The Saudi-led war also kills by stealth and as the West’s mainstream media turns a blind eye to the facts, or plays a “make them look impartial” game through displaying a certain discourse. Economic strangulation is being used by the Saudi-led coalition as a weapon of war, targeting jobs, infrastructure, food markets and the provision of basic services. Almost two-thirds of the population needs emergency support. The food system is collapsing, pushing the country to the brink of famine. Over 400,000 children are at imminent risk of starvation. This is one scenario that is worth a lot of attention on the international arena but is kept away from the limelight. 

Another deadly scenario takes place also in West Asia, or the so-called Middle East; that is the war on Syria. The same game of creating a “chosen narrative” or “setting a blind eye” is played by Western politicians and the media machine alike. 

On 7 April 2018, reports emerged from the opposition-held city of Douma east of the Syrian capital Damascus that scores of civilians had been killed and hundreds injured in a chemical attack. Soon Trump accused the Assad government of carrying out the attack, and threatening that soon, or maybe not so soon he will teach the “monster” a lesson. 

Since the first time the West accused the Syrian government of conducting a chemical attack in 2013, several reports have been issued by American historian and investigative journalist Gareth Porter, United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq Scott Ritter, Veteran prosecutor Carla Del Ponte, American investigative journalist and political writer Seymour Hersh, and MIT’s Theodore Postol based upon field research and providing facts that prove it could not have been the Syrian government behind the attack. However, these reports were not among the “chosen” information that is circulated across western media outlets. 

On April 7, the US, France and the UK were quick to respond to the alleged attack and as former Middle East correspondent for ABC News Charles Glass described it, “it was a case of execution before trial”.

Glass said there has been great inconsistency in Western policies on Syria, pointing out that the US favored the use of chemical weapons by Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war, causing the deaths of thousands of Iranian soldiers. 

“The British, the French and the Americans have all been involved by pro
xy; they’ve all been involved in supplying weapons to the opposition groups in Syria. They’ve been involved in training them in southeast Turkey and Jordan and in facilitating their passage in and out of Syria. This is indisputable.” He noted.
In 2016, Saudi Arabia admitted that it used UK-manufactured cluster bombs in its war on Yemen. Prior to the revelation, Britain denied their cluster munitions were being used by the Saudi-led coalition.

In this context, Professor of American Studies at Tehran University, Dr. Zeinab Qassemi Tari told al-Ahed news that the matter reminds her of Hermana and Chomsky’s notion of worthy and unworthy victims:
“the media frames and filters one victim as worthy and the other as unworthy and this becomes the basis of sustained propaganda campaigns.” 

To overtly explain the notion a bit more; Worthy victims are the ones who merit lavish attention and concern, are those whose fate can be attributed to someone else, preferably an official enemy. Unworthy victims, whose fate is ignored or denied, are those for whose suffering or slaughter we are responsible. The criterion holds remarkably closely, past and present.

Dr. Qassemi Tari pointed out that “the atrocity committed against the Yemeni civilian population on a large scale which has created a catastrophic situation does not get a comparable attention to that of Syria.” 

“To give but one example, based on a UNICEF report every 10 minutes at least one child out of five dies out of deprivation and nearly half of all children are chronically malnourished. Not to mention the siege and the mass starvation of the majority of the Yemeni population.”

She notes that when the war in Yemen is covered, the media blames the Houthis (often unjustly referred to as Shia Iran proxy); because such a narrative reduces the complex political situation in Yemen, which began with the reinstating of Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi to an alleged Shia/Sunni strife. 

According to the university professor and political analyst, “the media overlooks the other side of the story which is the Saudi’s closure of land, air and sea to cut desperately needed food, and medicine and the backing of the United States and its Arab dictatorships.” 

She underscores that interestingly, the power of the “western media” (often associated with “objectivity”) as opposed to state-run media of the so-called “third world countries” is so strong that, Noam Chomsky, also calls for a US military Intervention in Syria.

There is just a series of double standards in the Western media in particular over Yemen and Syria during our time. The Syria attack reveals the hypocrisy of the West. This West relies on unverified claims to punish Syria while it fuels the Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen despite documented abuses. 

Several activists and journalists among which is Neil Clark state that Western media refuses to reflect the real situation in the war-stricken country. Yemen is not being mentioned by Sky News or BBC very much and there is a terrible lack of objectivity in reporting by BBC and Sky News, when it comes to the Saudi crimes against the Yemeni people. 

Theresa May and Donald Trump are supporters of Saudi Arabia, assisting its genocide of the people of Yemen. The US and Britain equip the Saudis with arms to continue its war against Yemen, and fund and arm terrorist Wahhabi groups in Syria to continue their violence across the country. However, they remain silent on the Israeli daily perpetrations in Occupied Palestine, its siege on the Gaza Strip, the killing of children and women almost on daily basis. They remained silent while Israel launched its war against Lebanon in 2006 when it haphazardly bombed civilians and deployed cluster bombs and white phosphorus. Today also, it is not surprising to see that these Western governments along with mainstream media remain silent over the tragedy in Yemen and Syria, and bring their own version to the spotlight. 

Western intervention in the region has only served in destabilizing it, just like Western media has created a mainstream narrative that “victimizes” some and “evilizes” others by selection. 
Source: Al-Ahed 

Cutting Through the War Propaganda. Listen to What Syrians are Saying

Global Research, April 29, 2018

The chemical weapon attack in Douma, Syria, did not happen. Period.[1] Syria does not and never did use gas on its own people.[2] If Western audiences weren’t so ridiculously indoctrinated, it would be obvious. A child could figure it out. But Westerners have been infantilized by the totalitarian blanket of mind-numbing propaganda. The propagandists are monsters, just like the terrorists that they support.

The fake chemical weapon false flag and the military assault which followed it serve as yet another example (in an encyclopedia of examples), of how the West including Canada supports all of the terrorists in Syria.

Instead of talking about a chemical attack that did not occur, we should be talking about the Supreme International War Crimes that did occur on April 13, 2018 when France, the UK, and the US bombed Syria.

Instead of defending the terrorists who have been terrorizing and slaughtering civilians in Damascus for the last seven years,[3] we should be listening to Syrians whom the terrorists have been victimizing throughout this criminal Regime Change war.

Independent investigative journalist Eva Bartlett has been interviewing Syrian citizens for a number of days now.  Canadians need to listen to what Syrians are saying:

We should be listening to the voices of civilization, the voices of International Law, the voices of those who are combating international terrorism for the benefit of all of us.

We should not be listening to mainstream media which has proven itself to be an agency of criminal war propaganda, nor should we be listening to our own governments which have been perpetrating Supreme International war crimes against a sovereign state, one of the founding members of the United Nations — Syria.

*

Mark Taliano is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) and the author of Voices from Syria, Global Research Publishers, 2017.

Notes

[1] Pearson Sharp and Mark Taliano, “BREAKING: The Chemical Weapons Attack in Syria Did Not Occur. It was a Hoax, a False Flag To Justify the US-led Air Strikes, Staged by The Rebels.” Global Research. 16 April, 2018. (https://www.globalresearch.ca/breaking-the-chemical-weapons-attack-in-syria-did-not-occur-it-was-a-hoax-a-false-flag-to-justify-the-us-led-air-strikes-staged-by-the-rebels/5636423) Accessed 29 April, 2018.

[2] Mark Taliano, “Syria Chemical Weapons: Red Flags and False Flags.” Global Research.  24 April, 2018.  (https://www.globalresearch.ca/syria-chemical-weapons-red-flags-and-false-flags/5583616) Accessed 29 April, 2018.

[3] Mark Taliano, “Syria’s Children: ‘Condemned to Live’, Shackled by the Scars of US-NATO Terrorism.” Global Research, 22 April, 2018. (https://www.globalresearch.ca/syrias-children-condemned-to-live-shackled-by-the-scars-of-us-nato-terrorism/5637242) Accessed 29 April, 2018.


Order Mark Taliano’s Book “Voices from Syria directly from Global Research.

Mark Taliano combines years of research with on-the-ground observations to present an informed and well-documented analysis that refutes  the mainstream media narratives on Syria. 

Voices from Syria 

ISBN: 978-0-9879389-1-6

Author: Mark Taliano

Year: 2017

Pages: 128 (Expanded edition: 1 new chapter)

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Cuban sonic attacks: Likely winner of ‘US Lie of the Decade’

April 26, 2018

by Ramin Mazaheri for the Saker BlogCuban sonic attacks: Likely winner of ‘US Lie of the Decade’

I can’t think of another story I’ve reported on which was so completely, 100% devoid of facts….

The allegations of Cuban “sonic attacks” are a complete and total joke. If you believe one iota of this scandalous insult to human honesty and decency – you are dangerously gullible.

Why are only White workers in the US and Canadian embassies reporting health problems, when Cubans act as embassy guards, janitors, etc.? Are injurious sound waves racist?

I talked to Cubans guarding the abandoned Canadian embassy: they said their health is totally fine. The US embassy is in a densely-populated area – hundreds of locals should have been impacted, but nobody has reported any problems.

Scientists of all nationalities have declared: the idea that imperceptible sonic waves can cause brain damage is against the laws of acoustic physics. Scientists are entirely too charitable when they attribute as “mass hysteria” the self-reported and unproven “physical affects”.

Therefore: All you US and Canadian “diplomats”, and your damned families, and anybody else making these claims, are all just damned liars!

The US embassy in Tehran – which was occupied by protesters in 1979, shut down, and converted into a museum – was called the “den of spies” only because Iranians are sticklers for honesty.

Why anybody would believe the claims of these obviously paid-to-lie intelligence operatives working in Havana is beyond me. I don’t even know why Havana let them reopen an embassy here!

I’m sure the reason is tourism – Cuba needs the money, and the visa paperwork has to be completed. Sadly & infuriatingly, it was just announced that Cuban tourism from the US has dropped 40% since the “sonic attacks” began being reported as the gospel truth just one month after Trump took office.

The “sonic attacks” are a weapon against the Cuban people, not by the Cuban people – this is diplomatic and economic warfare.

Here is the real truth behind the “sonic attacks”: They never happened, and are scientifically impossible. This is a massive lie to the American public in order to:

1) Roll back the modest diplomatic steps forward taken under Obama,

2) Shutter US & Canadian embassies, thus reducing visas and also the already-limited business ties permitted under the ongoing international blockade,

3) Justify a further hardening the genocidal blockade,

4) Give cover to provide official “travel advisories” in order to scare US tourists and thus sabotage the tourism sector of the Cuban economy. Of course, the overall goal is to create enough pain, death & instability to spark a civil war in order to reverse Cuba’s democratic choice of a socialist-based system and to restore US control of Cuba (currently limited to only a naval base in Guantanamo).

The incredible thing is that Americans believe the lie. It seems that – no matter how big or lacking in proof – they are culturally incapable of even considering the possibility that their own government could ever issue something called “propaganda”; they also honestly believe that American mainstream journalism is “objective”, and even about longtime enemies like Cuba.

Indeed, how many times have US news anchors reported on the “sonic attacks” with the utmost gravity…despite there never being any actual evidence? It is appalling that – after all these months without proof – the US media is not howling for blood from the Trump administration, in order to salvage their own reputations and consciences. They apparently don’t have the latter.

They instead continue to report the assurances of totally biased sources such as Marco Rubio, who recently said that the FBI has “made a lot of progress” in finding proof for the attacks…and they do it without providing a counter-view limited to a 1-sentence denial by Havana. Just terrible journalism…when did “journalism” become just parroting the government line to the total exclusion of fact-checking?

What is not galling is journalism which is mediocre, but the self-sanctified hypocrisy that American media is somehow “freer” than in other nations.

You can even read of how the longstanding Iranian-Cuban ties may have allowed Iran to mastermind these “attacks”. LOL, the best thing about that absurdity is that it reminds people of the longstanding ties between Cuba and Iran, two socialist countries.

Cuba was one of the first countries to recognise the Iranian Revolution, in obvious appreciation of the Iranian Islamic Socialist model. Iran has invested more than $1 billion in more than 60 (mutually beneficial) projects in Cuba since 2005. Cuba would only have only “allowed” us to “mastermind” these attacks against North American imperialists because of the exceptionally-close ideological ties with our Cuban (mostly non-Islamic) Socialist brothers and sisters…if only the rules of science (and morality) did not totally prevent the possibility of super-quiet “sonic attacks”.

I feel bad for the genuinely-concerned Cuban authorities who were forced to take this seriously for so many months:

Has anyone heard of such a weapon existing? How many of our people are hurt? Is somebody using a new weapon on our territory? Is there some rogue force within our own government trying to undermine our own policy of détente? Who? Should we let American investigators in for the first time in 50 years? We will? Is that a safe idea for us? What on earth is going on?!?!?!

Those were undoubtedly genuine conversations; genuine follow-up work was undoubtedly undertaken, uselessly.

But this has been a waste of my time, too! Why should I be reporting about some group of lies told by liars with no concern for other people’s time? It’s not fun to do a report of: “Look at how stupid this all is”. Some journalists get their jollies by being smug, but I don’t. It is depressing – I mean…how dumb can Americans be?!

Sadly, if we look at history we see the answer: Incredibly dumb…and dishonest, insensitive, uncaring, immoral and – above all – manipulated to the detriment of their own interests.

But that is not fair: This is just one story among many in the world; a majority of Americans do not support the blockade against Cuba anymore; the number of people benefiting or supporting the blockade and the falsely named “sonic attacks” is a tiny coterie of reactionaries in Miami and not the average American.

The “sonic attacks” appear to be a certain winner for “US Lie of the Decade”: for more than 1 year they have been in the news despite a total lack of evidence, and – as the drop in tourism shows – they have negatively impacted the lives of the average person in a non-US country. The false allegations of a chemical attack by the Syrian government on Syrians never did not lead to a massive change in policy, although that was the West’s hope.

I have come up with previous winners in previous decades below. However, let’s keep in mind that these lies are all examples of class warfare, and not really of “American stupidity”: Americans opposed every policy which produced this list, which is truly just an homage to Western capitalism-imperialism.

‘US Lies of the Decade’ – Is your country a winner?

“US Lie of the Decade – 2000s”: Iraq’s alleged Weapons of Mass Destruction

To me, and to many Iranians, the irony was: Hussein had already violated the single-most important rule of international politics – thou shalt not invade – not once (Iran), but twice (Kuwait). That should have provided all the justification needed to invade and capture Hussein, in order to try him according to international law (but never to permit American occupation, nor all the subsequent crimes). Hussein also used mass chemical weapons against Iran – another possible justification for an internationally-approved invasion.

But because nobody in America cares about Iranians, Kuwaitis or defending international law – despite claiming to be “the leader of the free world” at every opportunity – the WMDs were invented, and then promoted by intelligence tools like the New York Times’ Judith Miller, and then defended at the United Nations by the most reputable American they could find (Colin Powell).

If the Americans had invaded, captured Hussein and left, the lack of WMDs could have been fairly regarded as an honest mistake…but Iraq is still under occupation.

“US Lie of the Decade – 1990s”: Claims of goodwill towards the ex-USSR

When the USSR imploded Gorbachev did what nobody in their right mind would do – rush right into the arms of their longtime enemy.

But, even before dissolution, Gorbachev spent the 1980s negotiating away Soviet advantages despite getting nothing in return. When he finally achieved his goal, Gorbachev appeared to actually believe that the US was actually going to help improve the standard of living of the average person in the USSR. The 1990s proved him wrong, and in an extremely painful manner.

Instead of reacting with horror to the drastic drop in living conditions in the former USSR, the US government and media couldn’t have cared less…because the new oligarch class they took under their wing was to blame, of course. The idea that the US was “promoting democracy” in the former USSR will forever be easily disproven by the Time magazine cover which proudly boasted of how the US undemocratically rigged Russia’s election in favor of Yeltsin.

All in all, the biggest lie of the 1990s truly is: “Socialism has failed”. It hasn’t, but it was sabotaged / undermined / attacked / abandoned in some regions. Fortunately it remains strong in others – China, Iran, Cuba, Eritrea, etc.

Honorary second-runner up: That the creation of the modern European Union (1992 Maastricht Treaty) and the introduction of the euro currency (1999) would increase democracy and equality. LOL, that was a good one, too!

“US Lie of the Decade – 1980s”: The cold-blooded mass murder of Iran Air Flight 655

I will be accused of bias, but this is my list. The constant lie that this was a “mistake” is completely disproven by the fact that no one on the ship was ever disciplined, that the crew all got medals (which is what soldiers get for successful combat attacks), and that the US Navy ship fired from inside Iranian waters.

No Iranian will ever forget this, and it was obviously sent as a message to Iran (just 1 month from concluding 8 years of Western-foisted war with Iraq): the US is ready to wipe you all out, even if our attack dog Iraq failed.

“US Lie of the Decade – 1970s”: The US is not involved militarily in Laos or Cambodia

Laos became the “most bombed country ever“ while Cambodia was attacked despite being a neutral country. This ties into the next entry on this list.

“US Lie of the Decade – 1960s”: The Gulf of Tonkin Incidents

These never happened, but permitted the escalation of the US & French Wars Against Vietnamese Independence.

“US Lie of the Decade – 1950s”: The Korean “Conflict”

It was not a “conflict” nor a “police action” but a “war”, and not a war between Koreas but the “US War Against Korean Democratic Socialism”.

You can say that North Korea is not democratic in 2018 all you want, but in 1950 the Korean peninsula would have democratically gone over to socialism, just like Vietnam would, if they had not been targeted by a horrific US invasion and bombing campaign which was the world’s worst until Laos. Korea remains divided and occupied today.

“US Lie of the Decade – 1940s”: The US could never possibly work alongside the same fascists in Germany and Japan whom US soldiers had just died fighting

Or in Italy and Greece. Or with Vichy France supporters, both those in Europe and across their colonial empire in the Muslim world. But the US did, of course.

Indeed, Germany and Japan somehow “lost” World War II, and yet are today’s dominant economies in Europe and East Asia (until the rise of China). Their penance appeared to have lasted all of 15 minutes?

The truth and the reason for this simply must be: Japan and Germany did not “lose” World War II – they only allied with Washington after some extremely difficult negotiating sessions.

“US Lie of the Decade – 1930s”: Poor state planning and revolutionary changes in agriculture led to millions of peasant deaths in the Ukraine and the USSR…but not even one of all those dispossessed US Dust Bowl farmers ever died of hunger

Or perhaps, as in the end of The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, US women donated enough breast milk to keep millions of homeless farmers from starvation? That’s about as likely an idea as the idea that poverty, homelessness, debt and forced migration did not increase mortality rates during this era.

If Russians are to accept the estimates of US researchers, which not vice versa? They found 7 million US peasant deaths in this decade.

This is getting rather long (but has been rather easy to think up) so I’m going to stay Cuba-focused here, as they make a 2nd entrance on this list:

“US Lie of the Decade – 1890s”: The sinking of the USS Maine in Cuba

Even US schoolchildren are taught that the sinking of the USS Maine in Havana’s harbor was the apex manipulationof the “yellow press” of New York City – notably William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer – which inflamed war hysteria in order to provoke the Spanish-American War. Perhaps in 120 years US textbooks will tell the truth of the “Cuban sonic non-attacks”?

The USS Maine was sunk under mysterious conditions (certainly, it would have been as insane for Cubans to have done it as it would have been for the Syrian government to use chemical weapons against Syrians in this decade), and it allowed the US to enter into the Cuban War for Independence (against Spain) in order to occupy Cuba. Guantanamo Bay remains occupied today as a result of this lie.

There is a huge monument in Havana reminding people of the incident…but it’s one built by the occupying Americans. I’m glad to report that Cubans have just begun on a 2nd, prominent, seemingly quite large monument right across from the US monument which is dedicated to the true story of the Maine. One day, American tourists will see it and remark, “Oh yeah, ‘Remember the Maine…now where’s the bar?’” Cubans will remark, “Oh yeah, we can’t put up with the US any longer, no matter how bad their lies and blockades”.

In 2018 the US is thus repeating their independence-hating history in Latin America, with everyday Cubans victimised yet again – so say so the next time you hear someone talking about it.

And, if can afford it, ignore the fearmongering and visit Cuba (and not with a US cruise ship).

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for PressTV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television. He can be reached on Facebook.

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How ironic that the only anti-war voice in the mainstream media can now be found on Fox News. A strange world we’re living in indeed. By the way, you’ll notice that Sen. Roger Wicker never gets around to answering the question on why it’s in the US national security interest to overthrow the Syrian government.

His chief concern seems to be Israel. “Well, uh, if-if you care about Israel, you-you’re-ah-you have to be interested at least in what’s going on in Syria,” he says. All in all I’d say a rather crystalline confession of where the senator’s priorities lie.

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