Nasser Kandil: On Syrian and Lebano’s Army Day

 

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Interview with Flemish priest in Syria: “Putin and Assad saved my life” ~ The Western media coverage of Syria is [according to Father Daniël Maes] the greatest media lie of our time

Source

The Flemish Father Daniël Maes (78) lives in Syria in the sixth-century-old Mar Yakub monastery in the city of Qara, 90 kilometers north of the capital Damascus. Father Daniel has been a witness to the “civil war” and according to him, Western reports on the conflict in Syria are very misleading. In short: “the Americans and their allies want to completely ruin the country”. 


Interviewer: You are very critical of the media coverage on Syria. What is bothering you?

Father Daniel: “The idea that a popular uprising took place against President Assad is completely false. I’ve been in Qara since 2010 and I have seen with my own eyes how agitators from outside Syria organized protests against the government and recruited young people. That was filmed and aired by Al Jazeera to give the impression that a rebellion was taking place. Murders were committed by foreign terrorists, against the Sunni and Christian communities, in an effort to sow religious and ethnic discord among the Syrian people. While in my experience, the Syrian people were actually very united”.


Comment: Notice that Al Jazeera did the exact same thing in Libya:

Behind the Headlines: NATO Slaughter – James and Joanne Moriarty expose the truth about what happened in Libya

If you were a journalist in Libya during this time you were relatively safe; not because these animals respected journalists as neutral observers, but because the journalists were on their side. The Moriartys have evidence of embedded journalists, not least from Qatar-owned Al Jazeera, whose staff were among the terrorists from day one, personally calling in airstrikes and working side-by-side with the terrorists.


Father Daniel: Before the war, this was a harmonious country: a secular state in which different religious communities lived side by side peacefully. There was hardly any poverty, education was free, and health care was goodIt was only not possible to freely express your political views. But most people did not care about that.”

Interviewer: Sister Agnès-Mariam, the Lebanese-French prioress of your Mar Yakub (“Saint Jacob”) monastery, is accused of siding with the regime. She has friends at the highest level. 

Father Daniel: “Sister Agnès-Mariam helps the population: she has recently opened a soup kitchen in Aleppo, where 25,000 meals are prepared five times a week. Look, it is miraculous that we are still alive. We owe that to the army of Assad’s government and to Vladimir Putin, because he decided to intervene when the rebels threatened to take power.


Comment: See also: John Kerry admits that Russia entered Syrian war to stop ISIS, U.S. used ISIS to pressure Assad


Father Daniel: When thousands of terrorists settled in Qara, we became afraid for our lives. They came from the Gulf States, Saudi Arabia, Europe, Turkey, Libya, there were many Chechens. They formed a foreign occupation force, all allied to al-Qaeda and other terrorists. Armed to the teeth by the West and their allies with the intention to act against us, they literally said: “This country belongs to us now.” Often, they were drugged, they fought each other, in the evening they fired randomly. We had to hide in the crypts of the monastery for a long time. When the Syrian army chased them away, everybody was happy: the Syrian citizens because they hate the foreign rebels, and we because peace had returned.”

Interviewer: You say that the Syrian Army protects civilians, yet there are all sorts of reports about war crimes committed by Assad’s forces, such as the bombardments with barrel bombs.

Father Daniel: “Do you not know that the media coverage on Syria is the biggest media lie of our time? They have sold pure nonsense about Assad: It was actually the rebels who plundered and killedDo you think that the Syrian people are stupid? Do you think those people were forced to cheer for Assad and Putin? It is the Americans who have a hand in all of this, for pipelines and natural resources in this region and to thwart Putin.”

Saudi Arabia and Qatar want to establish a Sunni state in Syria, without religious freedom. Therefore, Assad must go. You know, when the Syrian army was preparing for the battle in Aleppo, Muslim soldiers came to me to be blessed. Between ordinary Muslims and Christians, there is no problem. It is those radical Islamic, Western-backed rebels who want to massacre us. They are all al Qaeda and IS. There are not any moderate fighters anymore.

Interviewer: You once mentioned Hillary Clinton to be a ‘devil in holy water’, because as foreign minister, she deliberately worsened the conflict.

Father Daniel: “I am happy with Trump. He sees what every normal person understands: That the United States should stop undermining countries which possess natural resources. The Americans’ attempt to impose a unipolar world is the biggest problem. Trump understands that radical Islam is a bigger threat than Russia.

What do I care whether he occasionally takes off his pants? If Trump practices geopolitics the way he has promised to do so, then the future looks bright. Then it will become similar to Putin’s approach. And hopefully then, there will be a solution for Syria, and peace will return.

Interviewer: You understand that your analysis is controversial and will encounter much criticism?

Father Daniel: “I speak from personal observation. And no one has to believe me, right? But I know one thing: The media can either contribute to the massacre of the Syrian people or help the Syrian people, with their media coverage. Unfortunately, there are too many followers and cowards among journalists”.


RELATED:

Father Daniël Maes (78):
“Western media spreading lies on Syria and Western governments are in alliance with radical Islamists who completely ruining the country”


http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=35.003003&lon=38.430176&z=7&m=bs

click on map to enlarge ~ here for the original link


SOURCES:
Sott.net for the English translation
Original version here 
Submitted by Flyingcuttlefish and SyrianPatriots
War Press Info Network at:
https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2017/07/24/putin-assad-saved-life/
~
Re-publications are welcome, but we kindly ask you,
to facilitate the correct information's diffusion,
to cite all these original links and sources.

PeakProsperity interviews The Saker (podcast)

July 11, 2017

The Real Reasons the West Cannot Topple Bashar Assad

The Real Reasons the West Cannot Topple Bashar Assad

Posted on June 13, 2017

Sarah Abed has posted a fascinating article at her blog, The Rabbit Hole, providing an analysis of how, and why, Syrian President Bashar Assad–despite nearly eight years of sweat poured by scheming Western regime changers into the goal of toppling his government–has managed to hang on.

What the heck is it about this guy? How has he piloted his way through every single Zionist effort to rip his country apart and install a puppet government favorable to the West? What’s his secret? For after all, hordes of Western-trained terrorist head-choppers have been poured into Syria equipped with shiny fleets of Toyotas and advanced-grade military weaponry, yet Assad, almost miraculously, has remained at the head of the government, and for the most part has kept the country together. How has he been able to do this? Abed supplies four main reasons.

Reason # 1 she gives is the president’s strong spiritual faith, and in discussing that faith she furnishes some interesting information about the Alawite religion. Here is an excerpt from her article:

First and foremost there is Bashar al-Assad’s unwavering dedication to his family’s spiritual traditions and religious faith.  Being an ardent practitioner of the Alawite religion like his father and forefathers before him, Assad has drawn great strength from this mystical and tolerant branch of Shia Islam. He went into the medical profession and trained as an ophthalmologist because of his desire to serve the Syrian people.

Also known as Alawis, Alawites “are a prominent religious group, centered in Syria, who follow a branch of the Twelver school of Shia Islam but with syncretistic elements.“[1]  Because his religious community had suffered religious persecution and many other indignities over generations prior to his father’s presidency, he is quite sensitive to the need for religious tolerance.  Particularly within the context of Syria’s historical religious diversity, did the Alawites rise to provide the cohesive leadership necessary to maintain the peace and mutual acceptance?  This remarkable achievement occurred over decades when many neighboring nations suffered the fate of one failed government after another.

For those who are cognizant of the well-known Hindu religious tolerance in India, Alawites are quite similar.  They not only believe in reincarnation as in the East, they have also absorbed many other aspects of the predominant religions in Syria especially those found in Islam and Christianity.  Because of their syncretic approach in both philosophy and practice, Alawis have evolved into a genuinely tolerant spiritual community who actively cultivate a climate of mutual respect.  However, it is the mystical aspects of their spiritual practice which has earned them the respect of the Syrian people.  Because they are known to walk their talk, they have been trusted to lead as they have done for almost 5 decades.

Alawites consider themselves to be Muslims, although some Sunnis dispute that they are. Alawite doctrine incorporates Gnostic, neo-Platonic, Islamic, Christian and other elements and has, therefore, been described as syncretistic.

Alawite beliefs have never been confirmed by their modern religious authorities. Alawites tend to conceal their beliefs (taqiyya) due to historical persecution. Some tenets of the faith are secret, known only to a select few; therefore, they have been described as a mystical sect.

All religions, of course, are syncretic to one degree or another, so perhaps the Alawites are not unique in that regard. But they certainly are a religious minority in Syria, representing just 11 percent of the population. For the Syrian people to support Assad to the extent that they do (he won the 2014 election with 88.7 percent of the vote) would suggest not only a remarkable degree of trust in the man, but also respect for his religious faith.

As I said, Abed gives a total of four reasons, in the main, why Assad remains standing despite everything the West has thrown at him. Reason # 2?  The strength of his wife, Asma. As Abed puts it, “the Assad marriage reveals how a strong woman often exists behind every great leader.” Reason # 3–the guidance and training he received from his father, Hafez Assad. Reason #4 — no surprise — the alliance with Russia.

All in all, as I say, it’s a fascinating article. Click here to access it in full.

Syria of Assad سورية الأسد Updated

 

“Syria of Al-Assad”

يونيو 14, 2017

Written by Nasser Kandil,

Maybe the linkage between the name of Syria and the name of the President Hafez Al-Assad and then the President Bashar Al-Assad can grant the right to some people to say that it is a diminution of homeland as Syria by linking it with the name of a person whatever his name is great and his status is high. It seemed before as a kind of sanctification of a symbol that gave his country a privacy that is related to his name, and a status that is difficult to obtain by any other person. The opponents would have also the right to link the dispute with the linkage between Syria and Al-Assad in order to show their Syria which can liberate from this linking to be more beautiful, greater, and bigger.

After the war on Syria, the matter is no longer how to conduct those who were recording their protest on this linking, since we saw their Syria which they foreshadowed that this linkage diminishes and devitalizes it, the reality has summarized their actual project of Syria through what the seculars, the clerks, and those who calls for Arabism offered, what is intended here are examples that have symbols in the formations, and figures that were at the top of the Syrian oppositions that were gathered under what they called the Syrian revolution and which led to the formation of emirates of killing and slaughter over the Syrian land, threatening its unity, selling its national independence, the abandonment of its Golan, turning it into a free land for the invaders and the ambushers, appointing the oil sheikhs through their ignorance and their remoteness from every freedom, democracy, and estimation of the rights of people as references in the jurisprudence of the revolutions in Syria  and the Syrians, and improving the image of Janissaries with a new Ottoman dress and the nostalgia of the French colonialism  with a democratic desire, so the example of “Syria of Al-Assad” has surpassed in the eyes of the simple people of Syria especially those who were believed in the lie of the revolution and now they mourn over  those days.

“Syria of Al-Assad” which we mean was built by the President Hafez Al-Assad and was under the auspices of the President Bashar Al-Assad, it is Syria which gave the priority for the building of the strong country supported with freedom and democracy, it expanded the contribution of the country in bearing the burdens of the livelihood of its poor, it built their villages, took care of their agriculture, helped in strengthen their health and in the way of getting their sciences, and supplied every village in the Syrian geography with all the services, this has not been a subject of controversy in the life of the President Hafez Al-Assad and what preceded the war on Syria through the responsibilities of the President Bashar Al-Assad, because Syria can be described as the abbreviation of “Syria of Al-Assad” as an indication to this special mixture of the social aspect of the country, freedom and democracy, the secularism of the country and its modernism. Its constitution based so much on the Islamic law as a main source for legislation, but it is a country that prevents the clerks from dealing with politics,  it restricts the limits of religion between the places of worship and homes, it chases the extremists and prevents any sense of sectarianism, in return, it opens up to a common livelihood lived by the Syrians through sharing the joy of living, they made what was described by the Pope John II as a dialogue of life that is rare, although it is an example that did not satisfy many seculars and clerks, as the equation between the belonging to Syria and the Arabism for an identity that it difficult to imagine a substitute of it, but through dividing between the religious and the tribal fanaticism.

The concept of the national security of “Syria of Al-Assad” based on the equation of the hostility to Israel as a compass, so according to this compass, it supported the Iranian revolution, it  opposed the Iraqi war on Iran,  it made the widest possible range of the Arab solidarity to secure it, so every resistance based on it wins, it grants the country a diplomatic concept that links it with the widest alliances on the basis of applying the international law and the UN resolutions, it is certain that Israel is incapable country to go on in peace in way that concords in form and essence with the texts of the international law and its essence, furthermore, it formed its strategy on the basis of the bilateral of the openness to all the international initiatives for a political solution according to the international law and forming the force under the slogan of the strategic balance which paralyzes the aggression and creates the ability to liberate. All of that is a special diligence in respect of “Syria of Al-Assad”, but this neither satisfies the advocates of peace nor those who suggested that the announced war is the solution.

In the experience witnessed by Syria during the years of war on it, there was a golden opportunity for judging scientifically on this example in building a state in the third world under the open US hegemony on the oil stored in our lands and the defense of Israel’s. Although it is early to have a final judgement on the equations which were embodied in the example of the state of “Syria of Al-Assad”, but the indicators show that the freedom and the democracy as well as the complicated relation with religion and the interrelated relation with the concept of the national security between sticking to the international law and the resistance and reluctance are the genius mixture which made the status of Syria, its strength and its stability and which it is difficult to imagine its formation on other one , so tampering in it in order to have more of its features will be a source of dangerous imbalance.

In the remembrance of his departure, God’s mercy be upon the soul of the President Hafez Al-Assad and protect the President Bashar Al-Assad the national, the loyal, and the well born man. God bless “Syria of Al-Assad” and make it more beautiful, powerful, securer, and more sublime

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

 

سورية الأسد

ناصر قنديل

– ربما كان في ربط اسم سورية باسم الرئيس حافظ الأسد، ومن بعده الرئيس بشار الأسد، ما يمنح الحق للبعض بقولهم إنه تحجيم لوطن بحجم سورية بربطه باسم شخص، مهما عظم اسمه وعلت مكانته، إذ كان الأمر يبدو من قبل كمجرد نوع من التقديس لرمز منح بلده خصوصية ارتبطت باسمه، ومكانة صعب أن تنالها مع سواه، وكان يحق للمناوئين أن يربطوا النزاع على الصلة بين سورية والأسد، حتى يظهروا سورياهم التي تستطيع أن تتحرّر من هذا الالتصاق، لتشرق أجمل وأعظم وأكبر.

– بعد الحرب على سورية لم تعُد المسألة كيف نجري كشف حساب مع الذين كانوا يسجلون اعتراضهم على هذا الربط. وقد رأينا سورياهم التي بشروا بأن الربط يقزّمها ويختزلها، وقد اختصر الواقع مشروعهم الفعلي لسورية بما قدّموه في الواقع علمانيين ودينيين وعروبيين. والقصد هنا نماذج لها رموزها في تشكيلات وشخصيات تصدّرت واجهة المعارضات السورية، اجتمعت تحت ما أسمته بالثورة السورية والذي أفضى إلى إقامة إمارات قتل وذبح فوق الأرض السورية وتهديد وحدتها واستجلاب كل أفاعي الأرض إليها، وبيع استقلالها الوطني والتنازل عن جولانها، وتحويلها مشاعاً أمام الغزاة والمتربّصين وتسييد شيوخ النفط بجهلهم وبعدهم عن كل حرية وديمقراطية وتقدير لحقوق الإنسان كمراجع في فقه الثورات على سورية والسوريين، وتلميع الإنكشارية بثوب عثمانية جديدة والحنين الاستعماري الفرنسي بثوب ديمقراطية حنونة، فتفوق نموذج سورية الأسد بعيون بسطاء السوريين، خصوصاً من أخذ منهم على حين غرة بأكذوبة الثورة، يترحمون على تلك الأيام.

– سورية الأسد التي نقصدها هي سورية التي بناها الرئيس حافظ الأسد ورعاها الرئيس بشار الأسد. وهي سورية التي منحت الأولوية لبناء الدولة القوية على مساحات الحرية والديمقراطية، ووسعت مساحات مساهمة الدولة في حمل أعباء حياة فقرائها، وعمّرت قراهم ورعت زراعتهم وساعدت في تحصين صحتهم وتحصيل علومهم، وأوصلت كل الخدمات إلى آخر قرية في أقاصي الجغرافيا السورية. وهذا ما كان موضع جدل في حياة الرئيس حافظ الأسد وما سبق الحرب على سورية من مسؤوليات الرئيس بشار الأسد، لأن سورية هذه يمكن وصفها اختصاراً بسورية الأسد كتدليل على هذه الخلطة الخاصة من عيارات الطابع الاجتماعي للدولة ومقادير الحرية والديمقراطية فيها، ومثلها عيارات علمانية الدولة ومدنيتها، فهي دولة تستقي كما يقول دستورها كثيراً من الشريعة الإسلامية كمصدر أساسي للتشريع، لكنها دولة تمنع رجال الدين من التعاطي في السياسة وتحصر حدود الدين بين أماكن العبادة والبيوت، وتلاحق المتطرفين وتكتم كل حسّ طائفي حتى لا يجرؤ أحد في سرّه أن يفكّر في طائفته وطائفة سواه، وتنفتح بالمقابل على عيش مشترك يعيشه السوريون بتنوّعهم بفرح التشارك في العيش ويقيمون ما وصفه البابا يوحنا الثاني بحوار حياة قلّ نظيره. وهو نموذج لم يرضِ العلمانيين ولا الدينيين، وكذلك كانت المعادلة بين السورية والعروبة لهوية يصعب اليوم تخيّل بديل منها إلا بالتشظي بين العصبيات الدينية والقبلية.

– سورية الأسد هي التي قام مفهومها للأمن القومي على معادلة العداء لـ«إسرائيل» كبوصلة لا تحيد عنها، فتنتصر للثورة الإيرانية وفقها، وتخالف الحرب العراقية على إيران بسببها، وتقيم أوسع مدى ممكن من التضامن العربي منعاً للتفريط بها، وتنصر كل مقاومة على أساسها، وتقدّم للدولة مفهوماً دبلوماسياً يربطها بأوسع تحالفات على أساس تطبيق القانون الدولي والقرارات الأممية، ولا يزعجها وجود مفردة السلام هنا ويقينها أن إسرائيل دولة عاجزة عن السير بسلام ينسجم بالشكل والجوهر مع نصوص القانون الدولي وروحه، فتنشئ استراتجيتها على ثنائية الانفتاح على كل مبادرات دولية لحلّ سياسي وفق القانون الدولي، وبناء القوة والقدرة تحت شعار التوازن الاستراتيجي الذي يشلّ يد العدوان ويهيئ القدرة للتحرير. وهذا كله اجتهاد خاص يختص بسورية الأسد ولم يكن يرضي دعاة السلام ولا الذي يقولون بأن إشهار سيف الحرب المعلن هو الحل.

– في الاختبار الذي عاشته سورية خلال سنوات الحرب عليها، كانت فرصة ذهبية بالمعنى العلمي للحكم على هذا النموذج في بناء دولة في العالم الثالث وسط بحيرات الهيمنة الأميركية المفتوحة على شهية النفط المخزون تحت ترابنا، والدفاع عن وجود «إسرائيل» المتشبث بما فوق التراب وتحته، ليسهل الحكم لهذا النموذج بما له وما عليه، وإذا كان مبكراً الحديث بحكم نهائي للمعادلات التي تجسّدت في نموذج دولة سورية الأسد، فإن كل المؤشرات تقول إن مقدار الحرية والديمقراطية ومثلهما مقادير العلاقة المركبة بالدين، وكذلك العلاقة المتشابكة في مفهوم الأمن القومي بين التمسك بالقانون الدولي والمقاومة والممانعة، كان المقدار العبقري الذي صنع مكانة سورية وقوتها وثباتها والذي يصعب تخيّل قيامتها مجدداً على سواه، والذي يشكّل العبث به بداعي طلب المزيد من أي شيء من ميزاتها مصدراً لاختلال خطير لميزانها.

– رحم الله الرئيس حافظ الأسد في ذكرى الرحيل، وحمى الرئيس بشار الأسد الوفي القومي الأبي الأصيل، ونصر الله سورية الأسد وأعادها أجمل وأقوى وأشدّ منعة وأرفع مكانة.

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The Dirty War on Syria: Professor Anderson Reveals the “Unspoken Truth”

Global Research, June 13, 2017

The following texts are excerpts from the Preface of  Professor Tim Anderson’s timely and important book entitled The Dirty War on Syria. The book is available for order from Global Research, place your order here now!

Although every war makes ample use of lies and deception, the dirty war on Syria has relied on a level of mass disinformation not seen in living memory. The British-Australian journalist Philip Knightley pointed out that war propaganda typically involves ‘a depressingly predictable pattern’ of demonising the enemy leader, then demonising the enemy people through atrocity stories, real or imagined (Knightley 2001). Accordingly, a mild-mannered eye doctor called Bashar al Assad became the new evil in the world and, according to consistent western media reports, the Syrian Army did nothing but kill civilians for more than four years. To this day, many imagine the Syrian conflict is a ‘civil war’, a ‘popular revolt’ or some sort of internal sectarian conflict. These myths are, in many respects, a substantial achievement for the big powers which have driven a series of ‘regime change’ operations in the Middle East region, all on false pretexts, over the past 15 years.

Dr. Tim Anderson

This book is a careful academic work, but also a strong defence of the right of the Syrian people to determine their own society and political system. That position is consistent with international law and human rights principles, but may irritate western sensibilities, accustomed as we are to an assumed prerogative to intervene. At times I have to be blunt, to cut through the double-speak. In Syria the big powers have sought to hide their hand, using proxy armies while demonising the Syrian Government and Army, accusing them of constant atrocities; then pretending to rescue the Syrian people from their own government. Far fewer western people opposed the war on Syria than opposed the invasion of Iraq, because they were deceived about its true nature.

Dirty wars are not new. Cuban national hero Jose Martí predicted to a friend that Washington would try to intervene in Cuba’s independence struggle against the Spanish. ‘They want to provoke a war’, he wrote in 1889 ‘to have a pretext to intervene and, with the authority of being mediator and guarantor, to seize the country … There is no more cowardly thing in the annals of free people; nor such cold blooded evil’ (Martí 1975: 53). Nine years later, during the third independence war, an explosion in Havana Harbour destroyed the USS Maine, killing 258 US sailors and serving as a pretext for a US invasion.

The US launched dozens of interventions in Latin America over the subsequent century. A notable dirty war was led by CIA-backed, ‘freedom fighter’ mercenaries based in Honduras, who attacked the Sandinista Government and the people of Nicaragua in the 1980s. That conflict, in its modus operandi, was not so different to the war on Syria. In Nicaragua more than 30,000 people were killed. The International Court of Justice found the US guilty of a range of terrorist-style attacks on the little Central American country, and found that the US owed Nicaragua compensation (ICJ 1986). Washington ignored these rulings.

With the ‘Arab Spring’ of 2011 the big powers took advantage of a political foment by seizing the initiative to impose an ‘Islamist winter’, attacking the few remaining independent states of the region. Very quickly we saw the destruction of Libya, a small country with the highest standard of living in Africa. NATO bombing and a Special Forces campaign helped the al Qaeda groups on the ground. The basis for NATO’s intervention was lies told about actual and impending massacres, supposedly carried out or planned by the government of President Muammar Gaddafi. These claims led rapidly to a UN Security Council resolution said to protect civilians through a ‘no fly zone’. We know now that trust was betrayed, and that the NATO powers abused the limited UN authorisation to overthrow the Libyan Government (McKinney 2012).

Subsequently, no evidence emerged to prove that Gaddafi intended, carried out or threatened wholesale massacres, as was widely suggested (Forte 2012). Genevieve Garrigos of Amnesty International (France) admitted there was ‘no evidence’ to back her group’s earlier claims that Gaddafi had used ‘black mercenaries’ to commit massacres (Forte 2012; Edwards 2013).

… Two days before NATO bombed Libya another armed Islamist insurrection broke out in Daraa, Syria’s southernmost city. Yet because this insurrection was linked to the demonstrations of a political reform movement, its nature was disguised. Many did not see that those who were providing the guns – Qatar and Saudi Arabia – were also running fake news stories in their respective media channels, Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya. There were other reasons for the durable myths of this war. Many western audiences, liberals and leftists as well as the more conservative, seemed to like the idea of their own role as the saviours of a foreign people, speaking out strongly about a country of which they knew little, but joining what seemed to be a ‘good fight’ against this new ‘dictator’. With a mission and their proud self-image western audiences apparently forgot the lies of previous wars, and of their own colonial legacies.

I would go so far as to say that, in the Dirty War on Syria, western culture in general abandoned its better traditions: of reason, the maintenance of ethical principle and the search for independent evidence at times of conflict; in favour of its worst traditions: the ‘imperial prerogative’ for intervention, backed by deep racial prejudice and poor reflection on the histories of their own cultures. That weakness was reinforced by a ferocious campaign of war propaganda. After the demonisation of Syrian leader Bashar al Assad began, a virtual information blockade was constructed against anything which might undermine the wartime storyline. Very few sensible western perspectives on Syria emerged after 2011, as critical voices were effectively blacklisted.

The Dirty War on Syria

by Professor Tim Anderson

click to purchase, directly from Global Research Publishers

In that context I came to write this book. It is a defence of Syria, not primarily addressed to those who are immersed the western myths but to others who engage with them. This is therefore a resource book and a contribution to the history of the Syrian conflict. The western stories have become self-indulgent and I believe it is wasteful to indulge them too much. Best, I think, to speak of current events as they are, then address the smokescreens later. I do not ignore the western myths, in fact this book documents many of them. But I lead with the reality of the war.

Western mythology relies on the idea of imperial prerogatives, asking what must ‘we’ do about the problems of another people; an approach which has no basis in international law or human rights. The next steps involve a series of fabrications about the pretexts, character and events of the war. The first pretext over Syria was that the NATO states and the Gulf monarchies were supporting a secular and democratic revolution. When that seemed implausible the second story was that they were saving the oppressed majority ‘Sunni Muslim’ population from a sectarian ‘Alawite regime’. Then, when sectarian atrocities by anti-government forces attracted greater public attention, the pretext became a claim that there was a shadow war: ‘moderate rebels’ were said to be actually fighting the extremist groups. Western intervention was therefore needed to bolster these ‘moderate rebels’ against the ‘new’ extremist group that had mysteriously arisen and posed a threat to the world.

That was the ‘B’ story. No doubt Hollywood will make movies based on this meta-script, for years to come. However this book leads with the ‘A’ story. Proxy armies of Islamists, armed by US regional allies (mainly Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey), infiltrate a political reform movement and snipe at police and civilians. They blame this on the government and spark an insurrection, seeking the overthrow of the Syrian government and its secular-pluralist state. This follows the openly declared ambition of the US to create a ‘New Middle East’, subordinating every country of the region, by reform, unilateral disarmament or direct overthrow. Syria was next in line, after Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. In Syria, the proxy armies would come from the combined forces of the Muslim Brotherhood and Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi fanatics. Despite occasional power struggles between these groups and their sponsors, they share much the same Salafist ideology, opposing secular or nationalist regimes and seeking the establishment of a religious state.

However in Syria Washington’s Islamists confronted a disciplined national army which did not disintegrate along religious lines, despite many provocations. The Syrian state also had strong allies in Russia and Iran. Syria was not to be Libya Take Two. In this prolonged war the violence, from the western side, was said to consist of the Syrian Army targeting and killing civilians. From the Syrian side people saw daily terrorist attacks on towns and cities, schools and hospitals and massacres of ordinary people by NATO’s ‘freedom fighters’, then the counter attacks by the Army. Foreign terrorists were recruited in dozens of countries by the Saudis and Qatar, bolstering the local mercenaries.

Though the terrorist groups were often called ‘opposition, ‘militants’ and ‘Sunni groups’ outside Syria, inside the country the actual political opposition abandoned the Islamists back in early 2011. Protest was driven off the streets by the violence, and most of the opposition (minus the Muslim Brotherhood and some exiles) sided with the state and the Army, if not with the ruling Ba’ath Party. The Syrian Army has been brutal with terrorists but, contrary to western propaganda, protective of civilians. The Islamists have been brutal with all, and openly so. Millions of internally displaced people have sought refuge with the Government and Army, while others fled the country.

In a hoped-for ‘end game’ the big powers sought overthrow of the Syrian state or, failing that, the creation of a dysfunctional state or dismembering into sectarian statelets, thus breaking the axis of independent regional states. That axis comprises Hezbollah in south Lebanon and the Palestinian resistance, alongside Syria and Iran, the only states in the region without US military bases. More recently Iraq – still traumatised from western invasion, massacres and occupation – has begun to align itself with this axis. Russia too has begun to play an important counter-weight role. Recent history and conduct demonstrate that neither Russia nor Iran harbour any imperial ambitions remotely approaching those of Washington and its allies, several of which (Britain, France and Turkey) were former colonial warlords in the region. From the point of view of the ‘Axis of Resistance’, defeat of the dirty war on Syria means that the region can begin closing ranks against the big powers. Syria’s successful resistance would mean the beginning of the end for Washington’s ‘New Middle East’.

That is basically the big picture. This book sets out to document the A story and expose the B story. It does so by rescuing some of the better western traditions: the use of reason, the maintenance of ethical principle and the search for independent evidence in case of conflict. I hope it might prove a useful resource. Here is a brief overview of the chapters.

ISBN Number: 978-0-9737147-8-4

Year: 2016

Pages: 240

Author: Tim Anderson

List Price: $23.95

Special Price: $15.00

The Dirty War on Syria 

by Professor Tim Anderson

click to purchase, directly from Global Research Publishers

Chapter Overview:

Chapter 1, ‘Syria and Washington’s ‘New Middle East’’ puts Syria in context of the US plans for a ‘New Middle East’, the latest chapter in a longer history of US attempts to dominate the region.

Chapter 2, ‘Barrel Bombs, Partisan Sources and War Propaganda’ addresses the problem of reporting and reading the Syrian crisis. Media channels have shown a hyper-reliance on partisan sources, committed to the war and denigrating the Syrian Army. This is the key barrier to understanding the controversies around chemical weapons, civilian massacres and the levels of support for or opposition to President Assad.

Chapter 3, ‘Daraa 2011: Another Islamist Insurrection’ reconstructs, from a range of sources, the Saudi-backed Islamist insurrection in Daraa in March 2011. Those armed attacks were quite distinct from the political reform rallies, which the Islamists soon drove off the streets.

Chapter 4, ‘Bashar al Assad and Political Reform’ explains the political reform movement from the time Bashar assumed the presidency in the year 2000 to the beginning of the crisis in 2011. From this we can see that most opposition groups were committed to reform within a Syrian context, with virtually all opposing attacks on the Syrian state. The chapter then reviews the role of Bashar as a reformer, and the evidence on his popularity.

Chapter 5, ‘The Empire’s Jihadis’ looks at the collaboration between Salafist political Islam and the imperial powers in the Middle East. Distinct from the anti-imperial Islamic currents in Iran and south Lebanon, Salafist political Islam has become a sectarian force competing with Arab nationalism across Egypt, Palestine and Syria, and drawing on long standing collaborative relations with the big powers. This history provides important background to the character of Syria’s Islamist ‘revolution’, and its various slogans.

Chapter 6, ‘Embedded Media, Embedded Watchdogs’ identifies the propaganda techniques of media channels and the network of ‘human rights’ bodies (Human Rights Watch, Avaaz, etc) which function as megaphones and ‘moderators’ for the Washington agenda. Many have become fierce advocates for ‘humanitarian war’. A number of newer western NGOs (e.g. The Syria Campaign, The White Helmets) have been created by Wall Street agencies specifically for the dirty war on Syria. A number of their fabrications are documented here.

Chapter 7, ‘The Houla Massacre Revisited’ considers in detail the evidence from the first major massacre designed (following success of the technique over Libya) to influence UN Security Council consideration of military intervention. While the first UN inquiry group, actually in Syria, found contradictory evidence on this massacre, a second UN group outside Syria and co-chaired by a US diplomat, tried to blame the Syrian Government. Yet more than a dozen witnesses blamed Farouq FSA Islamists, who killed pro-government villagers and took over the area, holding it for some months. Several other ‘false flag’ massacres are noted.

Chapter 8, ‘Chemical Fabrications: the East Ghouta Incident’ details the second major ‘false flag’ incident of international significance. This incident in August 2013, which nearly sparked a major escalation involving US missile attacks on Syria, was used to accuse the Syrian Government of killing hundreds of civilians, including children, with chemical weapons. Within a fairly short time multiple sources of independent evidence (including North American evidence) disproved these accusations. Nevertheless, Syria’s opponents have repeated the false accusations, to this day, as though they were fact.

Chapter 9, ‘The Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and the Double Game’ addresses a recent political doctrine, a subset of ‘humanitarian intervention’ popularised to add to the imperial toolkit. The application of this doctrine in Libya was disastrous for that little country. Fortunately the attempts to use it in Syria failed.

Chapter 10, ‘Health and Sanctions’ documents the NATO-backed Islamist attacks on Syria’s health system, linked to the impact of western economic sanctions. These twin currents have caused great damage to Syrian public health. Such attacks carry no plausible motive of seeking local popular support, so we must interpret them as part of an overall strategy to degrade the Syrian state, rendering it more vulnerable to outside intervention.

Chapter 11 ‘Washington, Terrorism and the Islamic State (ISIS)’, documents the links between the big powers and the latest peak terrorist group they claim to be fighting. Only evidence can help develop informed opinion on this contentious matter, but the evidence is overwhelming. There is little ideological difference between the various Salafi-Islamist groups, and Washington and its allies have financed and armed every one of them.

Chapter 12, ‘Western Intervention and the Colonial Mind’ discusses the western cultural mindset that underlies persistent violations of the rights of other peoples.

Chapter 13 ‘Towards an Independent Middle East’, considers the end-game in the Syrian crisis, and its implications for the Middle East region. At tremendous cost the Syrian Arab Republic, its army and its people, have successfully resisted aggression from a variety of powerful enemies. Syria’s survival is due to its resilience and internal unity, bolstered by support from some strong allies. The introduction of Russian air power in late September 2015 was important. So too were the coordinated ground forces from Iran, Iraq and Lebanon, in support of an independent Syria.

When the attacks on Syria abate the Middle East seems set to be transformed, with greater political will and military preparedness on the part of an expanded Axis of Resistance. That will signal the beginning of the end for Washington’s 15 year spree of bloodshed and ‘regime change’ across the entire region.

Also available in PDF version, click here to purchase

Reviews:

Tim Anderson  has written the best systematic critique of western fabrications justifying the war against the Assad government. 

No other text brings together all the major accusations and their effective refutation.

This text is essential reading for all peace and justice activists.  -James Petras, Author and Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York, Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

Tim Anderson’s important new book, titled “The Dirty War on Syria” discusses US naked aggression – “rely(ing) on a level of mass disinformation not seen in living memory,” he explains.

ISIS is the pretext for endless war without mercy, Assad the target, regime change the objective, wanting pro-Western puppet governance replacing Syrian sovereign independence.

There’s nothing civil about war in Syria, raped by US imperialism, partnered with rogue allies. Anderson’s book is essential reading to understand what’s going on. Stephen Lendman, Distinguished Author and Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Host of the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Professor Anderson demonstrates unequivocally through carefully documented research that America’s “Moderate Opposition” are bona fide Al Qaeda affiliated terrorists created and protected by the US and its allies, recruited  and trained by Saudi Arabia, Turkey, in liaison with Washington and Brussels.

Through careful analysis, professor Anderson reveals the “unspoken truth”: the “war on terrorism” is fake, the United States is a “State sponsor of terrorism” involved in a criminal undertaking. Michel Chossudovsky, Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization, Professor of Economics (Emeritus), University of Ottawa.

Click here to order Tim Anderson’s Book

Dr Tim Anderson is a Senior Lecturer in Political Economy at the University of Sydney. He researches and writes on development, rights and self-determination in Latin America, the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. He has published many dozens of chapters and articles in a range of academic books and journals. His last book was Land and Livelihoods in Papua New Guinea (Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne, 2015).


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Notes:

Edwards, Dave (2013) ‘Limited But Persuasive’ Evidence – Syria, Sarin, Libya, Lies’, Media Lens, 13 June, online: http://www.medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/alerts-2013/735-limited-but-persuasive-evidence-syria-sarin-libya-lies.html

Forte, Maximilian (2012) Slouching Towards Sirte: NATO’s War on Libya and Africa, Baraka Books, Quebec

ICJ (1986) Case concerning the military and paramilitary activities in and against Nicaragua (Nicaragua v. United States of America) Merits’, International Court of Justice, Judgement of 27 June 1986, online: http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/?sum=367&p1=3&p2=3&case=70&p3=5

Knightley, Phillip (2001) ‘The disinformation campaign’, The Guardian, 4 October, online: http://www.theguardian.com/education/2001/oct/04/socialsciences.highereducation

Kuperman, Alan J. (2015) Obama’s Libya Debacle’, Foreign Affairs, 16 April, online: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/libya/2015-02-16/obamas-libya-debacle

Martí, Jose (1975) Obras Completas, Vol. 6, Editorial de Ciencias Sociales, La Habana

McKinney, Cynthia (Ed) (2012) The Illegal War on Libya, Clarity Press, Atlanta

Putin, Vladimir (2015) ‘Violence instead of democracy: Putin slams ‘policies of exceptionalism and impunity’ in UN speech’, RT, 28 September, online: https://www.rt.com/news/316804-putin-russia-unga-speech/

Richter, Larry (1998) ‘Havana Journal; Remember the Maine? Cubans See an American Plot Continuing to This Day’, New York Times, 14 February, online: http://www.nytimes.com/1998/02/14/world/havana-journal-remember-maine-cubans-see-american-plot-continuing-this-day.html

Trump Meets the New Leader of the Secular World, Pope Francis

Photo by thierry ehrmann | CC BY 2.0

After two days lecturing a collection of head-choppers, dictators, torturers and land thieves, Donald Trump at last met a good guy on Wednesday. Pope Francis didn’t ask for a $100bn (£77.2bn) arms deal for the Vatican. He wouldn’t go to war with Iran. He didn’t take the Sunni Muslim side against the Shia Muslim side in the next Middle East conflict. He didn’t talk about Palestinian “terror”. And he looked, most of the time, grim, unsmiling, even suspicious.

So he should have been. Trump’s broad, inane smile on confronting the Holy Father might have been more appropriate for the first of the Borgias, Alexander VI, whose 15th century womanising, corruption and enthusiasm for war would match Trump’s curriculum vitae rather well. But the poor man’s pope, who last year suggested that Trump wasn’t much of a Christian because he wanted to build walls, didn’t seem to be very happy to see the man who called him “disgraceful” for questioning his faith. “One offers peace through dialogue, the other security of arms,” one of Francis’ advisers said of the visit. Which pretty much sums it up.

It was indeed an odd sight to see the head of the Catholic church – whose anti-war, anti-corruption, anti-violence and pro-environment beliefs must surely now represent the secular world – greeting the present if very temporary leader of the secular world, whose policies are most surely not those of the Western people he would claim to represent. For more and more, the Good Old Pope is coming to represent what the Trumps and Mays will not say: that the West has a moral duty to end its wars in the Middle East, to stop selling weapons to the killers of the Middle East and to treat the people of the Middle East with justice and dignity.

No wonder the 29 minutes which the insane president and the sane pope spent together – Francis himself suggesting that they both keep away from the microphones – remain secret. Until, I suppose, Trump starts twittering again. They supposedly chatted about climate change, immigration, even arms sales. O fly upon the wall, speak up. And they talked, we are told, about “interreligious dialogue” and the need to protect Christians in the Middle East. They shared, we were finally informed, “a commitment to life, and freedom of speech and conscience” – which is more than most of Trump’s other hosts would have approved of these past two days.

Trump duly handed over a bunch of books by Martin Luther King which he hoped Pope Francis would enjoy – whether he had read them himself remains a mystery – and the Pope gave Trump some of his own writings on the environment. “Well, I’ll be reading them,” said the US President. A likely story.

When the Pope emerged from his private meeting with Trump, he was smiling in a relieved, almost charming way – like a man who had just left the dentist’s chair – and his joke with the veiled Melania about Croatian cookies, if not quite understood, showed that even a distressed pontiff can retain a sense of humor amid spiritual darkness. Trump thought it all “a great honor”. Not for the Pope, one imagines.

And there was the inevitable send-off from Trump, the kind he probably gave to all the greedy kings and criminals of the Middle East. “I won’t forget what you said,” he told Pope Francis as he left. O but he will, reader, he will.

Robert Fisk writes for the Independent, where this column originally appeared. 

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