We Are All Liars

By Theirry Meyssan
Source

Propaganda is a means of spreading ideas, whether they be true or false. But lying to ourselves is nothing other than refusing to admit our faults, attempting to convince ourselves that we are perfect – running away.

Turkey illustrates the paroxysm of this attitude. It persists in denying that it tried to get rid of the non-Muslim minorities, in several waves, during the space of a generation, from 1894 to 1923. The Israëlis are not too bad at this themselves, pretending that they created their state in order to offer a dignified life to the Jews who survived extermination by the Nazis, when in fact Woodrow Wilson agreed to found the state in 1917, and that today in their home land, more than 50,000 escapees from the death camps live miserably below the poverty line. But the Western powers are the only ones to build consensus on their lies, claiming them to be revealed truths.

The Normandy landings

We are presently celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Normandy landings. According to the almost unanimous Press, it was here that the Allies launched the liberation of Europe from the Nazi occupation.

Yet we know this is untrue.

The landings were not the work of the Allies, but almost exclusively that of the British Empire and the US Expeditionary Force.

It was not aimed at « liberating Europe », but at « marching on Berlin», in order to grab those shreds of the Third Reich which could still be poached from the victorious Soviet armies.

The invasion was not welcomed with joy by the French, but on the contrary, with horror.

Robert Jospin (father of ex-Prime Minister Lionel Jospin) denounced, on the front page of his newspaper, the Anglo-Saxon importation of war into France. The French buried their 20,000 dead, killed by Anglo-Saxon bombings, which were only intended as a diversion. An immense demonstration gathered in Lyon around the « head of state », ex-Maréchal Philippe Petain, to refuse Anglo-Saxon domination. And never, absolutely never, did the head of La France Libre, General Charles De Gaulle, accept to participate in any commemoration of this sinister invasion.

Normandy landing
Normandy landing. Omaha beach

History is more complicated than a Western movie. There are no « good guys » or « bad guys », but men who attempt to save their own with as much humanity as possible. At best, we were able to dodge the drivel of Tony Blair who, during the commemorations of the 60th anniversary, provoked the anger of the British Press by pretending in his speech that the United Kingdom had entered the war to save Jews from the « Shoah » — but not to save the gypsies from the same massacre. The destruction of the European Jews did not begin until after the Wansee Conference in 1942.

The Tiananmen massacre

We celebrate the painful anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre. We read continually that the cruel Chinese Imperial régime massacred thousands of its own citizens who were peaceably gathered in Beijing’s main square, only because they were asking for a little freedom.

Yet we know this is untrue.

The sit-in on Tiananmen Square was not that of the Chinese among themselves, but an attempted coup d’état by partisans of ex-Premier Minister Zhao Ziyang.

Dozens of soldiers were lynched or burned alive on the Square by « peaceful demonstrators », and hundreds of military vehicles were destroyed, before any intervention by Den Xiaoping’s soldiers was implemented against them.

china-tiananmen-photo-gallery
Chinese troops and tanks gather in Beijing, one day after the end of a “pro-democracy” color revolution on Tiananmen Square, June 5, 1989

The US specialists of the « colour revolutions », including Gene Sharp, were present on the Square to organise Zhao Ziyang’s men.

The European Union

We have just voted to nominate our deputies in the European Parliament. For weeks now, we have been bombarded by slogans assuring us that « Europe means peace and prosperity », and that the European Union is the pinnacle of the European dream.

Yet we know this is untrue.

Europe is a continent – reaching « from Brest to Vladivostok », according to Charles De Gaulle’s phrase – and it is a culture of openness and cooperation, unlike the European Union, which is no more than an anti-Russian administration which continues the march on Berlin in the wake of the Normandy landings.

The European Union is not peace in Cyprus, but cowardice in face of the Turkish military occupation. It is not prosperity, but economic stagnation, while the rest of the world develops with increasing rapidity.

The European Union has nothing to do with the European dream that existed between the two world wars. Our ancestors harboured the ambition of uniting the political régimes which served the general interest – the Republics, in the etymological sense of the word, in conformity with the European culture, whether they were situated on the continent or elsewhere. Aristide Briand therefore spoke in favour of Argentina (a country of European culture in Latin America), but not the United Kingdom (a class-based society).

Et cetera, etc…

We stumble on like the blind

We have to distinguish truth from falsehood. We can be pleased that Hitlerism failed, but without necessarily believing that the Anglo-Saxons saved us. We can denounce the brutality of Den Xiaoping without necessarily denying that in this bloody fashion he saved his country from the return of colonialism. We can celebrate the fact that we were not dominated by the Soviet Union without necessarily boasting about being vassals of the Anglo-Saxons.

We continually lie to ourselves in order to mask our cowardice and our crimes. And then we feign surprise that we are unable to solve human problems.

Advertisements

The Bilderbergers in Switzerland — Astute News

The 67th Bilderberg Meeting is taking place in Montreux, Switzerland from 30 May – 2 June 2019, where the about 130 invitees – so far confirmed – from 23 countries, are staying at one of Switzerland’s most luxurious venues, the Montreux Palace hotel. About a quarter of the attendees are women. The Bilderberg meetings started at the […]

via The Bilderbergers in Switzerland — Astute News

The Hospital They Didn’t Bomb

By David McIlwain
Source

Douma_hosp_panoramic_s_ca2db.jpg

When I first set eyes on Douma Hospital a year ago today, it came as something of a surprise. As the scene of the notorious alleged chemical weapons attack only a month earlier, I was already quite familiar with its emergency ward, shown in “activist videos” around the world.

Viewers of Russian and alternative media also got to see more of the same ward when their reporters visited it soon afterward in search of some verification of the claims before they led to the US-led missile strikes on Damascus of April 14th.

The emergency ward looked like so many others that we’ve seen pictured over the last seven years in those videos “that can’t be independently verified” and – for all we would know – mightn’t even be in Syria, and mightn’t even be in hospitals.

Well, maybe Douma hospital is different because you just can’t miss it – as is clear from my photo! Somehow this public hospital, serving the local community with free healthcare for many years, remained in operation throughout the occupation of Douma by the violent extremists of Jaish al Islam – who were described to James Harkin of the Intercept by local residents as “ruling with an iron fist”. More to the point, the hospital building evidently didn’t come under attack from the Syrian air-force, despite its terrorist occupiers.

Harkin visited Douma looking for evidence to support – or counter – the chemical weapons claims some months after the event, and released a comprehensive analysis of his observations with other analysts in February this year.

His report, and the slickly produced video accompanying it, appeared to pre-empt the final release of the OPCW’s report from their Fact Finding Mission to Douma, conducted in late April 2018. Most significantly the authors of the Intercept’s report concluded that the video scenes taken in Douma hospital’s emergency ward were “likely staged”, but they nevertheless echoed the public conclusions of the OPCW that two chlorine cylinders had been dropped on nearby apartments and killed 35 people.

Both the Intercept’s conclusions and those of the OPCW leadership have now been shown to be not just mistaken but criminal fabrications, following information from the OPCW itself, and analysis from the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media. The details of the engineering assessments of experts from the OPCW who visited the site showed quite unambiguously that it was not just the hospital scenes that were “staged”, but that the Chlorine gas cylinders could not have fallen from the sky, dropped by the Syrian air force. As they described it:

…the dimensions, characteristics and appearance of the cylinders and the surrounding scene of the incidents, were inconsistent with what would have been expected in the case of either cylinder having been delivered from an aircraft. In each case the alternative hypothesis produced the only plausible explanation for observations at the scene.”

The “alternative hypothesis” being that the cylinders were moved into their respective positions manually – “staged” in other words. The Working Group has drawn the many conclusions that follow from this piece of simple scientific analysis, and very serious consequences must follow for those organizations and governments who collaborated on this massive deception and the war crimes that accompanied it.

That is not the immediate focus of my article, however, which remains on the “unmissable” Douma Central Hospital that wasn’t bombed, and the elaborate campaign of disinformation and lies that has surrounded it. As Western governments and their puppet media once again fire up their “juggernaut of lies” about the Syrian and Russian governments moves to clear the remaining areas of Western Syria from Al Qaeda-linked terrorist groups, the talk of “bombing hospitals” is once again to the fore.

This interview by the ABC’s Fran Kelly with a Dr. Samir Al Taqi from the Orient Research Centre in Dubai gives the essence of the new campaign, both in her questions and his answers. It includes the claim that “twelve hospitals have been destroyed in recent days”.

Not coincidentally, a renewed barrage of disinformation alleging ongoing serious human rights abuses by the Syrian government has been launched by Western media, led by the New York Times former Beirut correspondent Anne Barnard.

As key actors in the development of these false narratives about Syria that saturate our media, James Harkin and his associates, Eliot Higgins from Bellingcat and Eyal Weizman from Forensic Architecture now have a lot to answer for, as their seemingly impartial and honest assessment of the Douma incident is shown to be an elaborate deception, contrived both to suit the interests of the Intercept’s sponsors and to maintain the pretence that this is “investigative journalism” of the best and most trustworthy kind.

But like the deception by the OPCW leadership, who simply omitted that most important part of their investigations in Douma, Harkin has left the six-storey hulk of Douma hospital out of his article, replacing it with a “makeshift underground hospital”:

Douma was a blackened shadow of its former self, many of its buildings still listing or reduced to charred metal and concrete, but a whole new city had been quietly carved out beneath it. Our first stop, a few yards from al-Shuhada Square, was at the mouth of a 3-meter-wide underground tunnel, reinforced with corrugated steel and concrete. It had been constructed by the Islamist rebels several years back, according to a soldier who walked us through it. He told us that hostages held by Jaish al-Islam had done the building. In total, it stretched for more than 5 kilometers and was broad enough to drive a truck through.

The tunnel had been set up to access a makeshift hospital emergency ward, whose spartan facilities were arranged over a single floor underground. Five meters below ground and reinforced by 13 meters of sandbagging above that, the hospital was still functioning when I arrived.

Robert Mackey, talking in the Intercept video also gives the impression that Douma had been mostly reduced to rubble, yet rows of apartment blocks over the street from the hospital are still occupied and little damaged. But the photos Harkin uses to illustrate his report show only the tunnel entrance and a view of Shahada square showing neither the hospital building nor the apartment blocks.

All these elements are visible in my photo, with the Shahada sq monument on the left and the hospital entrance on the right. This doubles as one of the main entrances to the extensive tunnel system, machine excavated and reinforced with prefabricated steel sections.

Giving Harkin and his colleagues the benefit of the doubt is now out of the question, so we can only conclude that his failure to describe or illustrate the Douma hospital building was an integral part of the Intercept’s disinformation package. It was even a fundamental part, and to reveal its un-bombed presence would have blown a hole in the whole pretense of “honest journalism in the fog of war” that the Intercept assumes.

Readers of the article might then have asked, not just why the Syrian or Russian air-force didn’t bomb the hospital, controlled by the militants they were fighting, but why they hadn’t bombed it in the previous five years? Those readers have been told repeatedly that “Assad” wants to kill civilians who support the “rebels”, and destroy their hospitals and schools, so why didn’t he do it here in Douma, which has been one of the most troublesome opposition-held areas close to the capital?

Might those readers then start to wonder if they have been spun a tale by their trusted journalists and that they should listen to some contrary viewpoints?

So for anyone of them listening here, this is the story of the hospital they didn’t bomb, and it’s quite simple. Just like the M10 hospital in Aleppo, used as a center of military and surgical operations by Al Qaeda and the White Helmets, its role as a public hospital serving the local community kept it safe from attack by the Syrian Army.

Contrary to everything the victims of Western media lies have been told, the Syrian army and its allies have gone to extreme lengths to avoid civilian casualties in their campaigns to liberate communities from their violent extremist occupiers. You could say it was all about “winning back hearts and minds”, and the evidence of life now restored in Ghouta and Douma shows that.

Countless Syrian soldiers have lost their lives in this fight to protect those communities from the foreign-funded and armed militants and terrorist groups, and each one is no different from our own citizens who have lost their lives in similar terrorist attacks, but for one thing – they are our terrorists.

It is a chilling, and frankly disgusting thought, that the violent psychopaths of Jaish al Islam who secured their release from the siege of Douma the day after they staged the chemical attack, are now being cheered on by Western NGO’s and media to commit more murders of Syrian soldiers and the villagers they are trying to protect in Idlib. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova noted this in last week’s briefing:

Over 30 Syrian service personnel died in Idlib last week following a series of heavy attacks by Al-Nusra militants. The terrorists also fired mortars and missiles at towns and villages near the Idlib de-escalation zone, resulting in civilian deaths. According to incoming reports, the terrorist groups there are planning an offensive on Syrian government forces’ positions in the provinces of Hama and Aleppo.

And the “hospitals” that were bombed? Do we really think that the Syrian or Russian air-forces would waste their bombs on civilians, when there are armies of Al Qaeda terrorists attacking Syrian soldiers and villages on the frontline with missiles and car bombs, and even chemical weapons and cluster bombs?

Can we believe anyone who tells us that – now?

In Countries Destroyed By The West, People Should Stop Admiring The U.S And Europe

By Andre Vltcheck
Source

syria family 58f77

It may sound incredible, but it is true: in countries that have been damaged, even totally robbed and destroyed by the West, many people are still enamored with Europe and North America.

For years, I have been observing this ‘phenomena’, even in the most plundered, devastated war zones and slums. Often I was shocked, other times thoroughly desperate. I did not know how to respond, how to react, how to describe what I have been observing.

Then, a few days ago, in Syria, right next to the Idlib battlefield, close to the deadly positions of Al-Nusra Front, in a country where the West and its allies have murdered hundreds of thousands of people, one of my interpreters exclaimed in a ‘patriotic’ outburst: “Look how beautiful this land is! It is almost as beautiful as Europe!”

And at night, another guide of mine began nostalgically recalling his glorious days in Europe, when he could still go there; before the Syrian war began.

An interpreter did not know who Fidel Castro was (I had his portrait, lighting up cigar, as my phone screensaver), but both of them – my local companions at the battle ground – were fluent in Western slang and the worldview. They knew, however, near zero about China.They were patriotic and they fully supported their country, but at the same time they admired the West and Western journalists from the mainstream media – those very same propagandists who helped to bring their beautiful and unique Syria to the state in which it is now.

It all felt schizophrenic, but definitely not new.

I could not take it, anymore. I decided to write this story, despite the fact that it is an intellectual ‘minefield’. I decided to write it, because it is how it is. Because I have to tell it; someone has to. And above all, because it is absolutely essential to combat the crooked selfie image with which the West has been infecting almost all nations of the world, including all those that it has been plundering and raping.

Are we dealing with the so-called “Stockholm Syndrome” here? Most likely, yes. The victim falls in love with her or his tormentor.

For long centuries, the West has been colonizing, usurping, literally terrorizing the entire planet. Hundreds of millions have died as a result of colonialism, neo-colonialism, and imperialism. Wealth, cultural and educational institutions, hospitals, transportation, parks – all that Europe and North America possess to date and boast about, was constructed on mountains of bones, on genocide and unbridled plunder.

That cannot be disputed, can it?

Slavery, mass murder, genocidal expansions; the West robbed the world, and then consolidated its power, promoting its exceptionalism through relentless brainwashing (called ‘education’), propaganda (called ‘information’), and twisted entertainment for the masses that inhabit poor countries (called ‘culture’ and ‘the arts’).

Shockingly and absurdly, Europe and North America are still loved and admired by many, even (or especially) in such places where Western governments and companies plagued everything like locusts, leaving to the locals only burned land, poison and miserable slums.

How is it possible?

For years, I have been working in Africa, a continent which was entirely subjugated by the U.K., France, Germany, Belgium and other European expansionist nations. Africa from where millions of men, women and children were brought in chains to the “New World”, as slaves. Where millions died during the ‘hunt’, where millions died in ‘transit centers’, and then, on the open seas. That’s tens of millions of ruined lives. The complete plunder of the resources, the unimaginable humiliation of the people, broken cultures, genocides and holocaust against local individuals from what is now Namibia, to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Great African heroes like Lumumba assassinated by the Western rulers.

And yet, many Africans see the West as some great ‘example’, as a ‘guiding light’, as a severe but respectable ‘daddy’, who uses the belt when it is necessary, but who also rewards justly those of his ‘children’ who ‘behave properly’.

It is repulsive, but undeniable.

The greatest African writers are now teaching at U.S. and U.K. universities. They have been ‘neutralized’ and ‘pacified’, many of them out rightly bought. In many countries, African judges wear comical white wigs, doing their best to look like their British counterparts. The children of corrupt elites are collecting diplomas from the U.K. and French universities, imitating upper-class European accents.

To behave, to look and sound like the colonizers, is something that brings respect.

The same on the Sub-Continent, of course.

The mannerism among the upper classes in India and Pakistan are those of the U.K. (and lately, of the U.S.). Elites there go out of their way to be more British than the Brits; more Californian than the inhabitants of the U.S. West Coast. Countless private Indian universities call themselves ‘American’ or ‘British’, with ‘Oxford’ or ‘Cambridge’ frequently ‘decorating’ their names.

‘To be accepted’ in Europe or North America is the highest honor, in almost all former colonies, therefore, in almost the entire world.

‘Well groomed’, well-educated and modern Asians, Latin Americans, Africans and the Middle Easterners are expected to ape Westerners; to dress like Westerners, eat (and drink) like the Westerners and to ‘defend the same values’ as them.

In fact, they are expected to be much more Western than the Westerners.

But ‘expected’ by whom? Yes, you guess correctly: very often by their own people!

Ask and many in the ‘South’ will tell you: everything that comes from the West is beautiful, progressive and dandy.

“Every bule is beautiful,” I was informed, recently, by a young indigenous professional lady in the totally environmentally plundered island of Borneo/Kalimantan. Bule is a vulgar, derogatory Indonesian word for the ‘whites’, and literally means ‘albino’. However, the lady was not joking, it was a compliment: she was brought up believing that every bule is actually superior and fine-looking.

In the indigenous Mexican state of Yucatan, right after the elections that brought to power the left-wing President Obrador, I overheard the conversation of a dozen or so upper-class housewives in a Western chain café. Their references were fully European and North American: From vacations in Italy and Spain, to the films they were watching, books they were reading. Europe was their ‘mother-continent’, while Miami, their only true comparison. Before Obrador came to power, indigenous people were increasingly living in misery, their roofs broken, jobs disappearing. But the elites were, as always, in a European state of mind. The real Mexico was not on their radar. It did not matter, or didn’t even exist.

Even some of the poor in the ‘conquered world’ who are actually ‘concerned’ about Western imperialism, see it as an abstract problem.They see it as a strictly political, military or economic issue. The fact that Western imperialism has ‘culturally’ immobilized entire nations and continents is hardly addressed.

Even in those proud countries that are determinedly struggling against Western imperialism – China, Russia, Iran, or Venezuela – the Western narrative of exceptionalism has already managed to cause tremendous damage.

In China, for instance, almost everything ‘Western’ had been, until recently, associated with modernity. Being ‘against the West’ was considered boring, gray and outdated, somehow connected to the ‘Communist propaganda’ of the past (the fact that the ‘Communist propaganda’ was often correct, mattered nothing). This attitude allowed the great infiltration of Chinese universities by Western academia, as well as the injection of Western nihilism into Chinese arts, culture, even way of life. Only recently, has this dangerous trend been reversed, but not after it had already caused great damage.

The admiration of everything Western destroyed the greatest progressive experiment of modern history – The Soviet Union and the so-called “Eastern Bloc”.

The power of negative Western propaganda packaged together with the promotion of extreme individualism, selfishness and consumerism, literally wiped out all internationalist zeal, humanism and higher principles, from the minds of tens of millions of young Czechs, Poles, East Germans, Bulgarians, and even Soviets.

The once proud Communist Eastern Bloc, after liberating dozens of countries from colonialism, after fighting for an egalitarian world, showing solidarity with all oppressed nations, was then gradually defeated by such shallow bullshit as blue jeans labels, the nonsensical lyrics of rock and pop songs (a favorite weapon of the West), greed, religions (another Western weapon), and slogans like ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ (the Western world which has been denying freedom and democracy to almost all countries on our planet, cynically turned the truth upside down, and fooled East Europeans, by skillfully applying centuries long propaganda methods).

In the end, confused and increasingly cynical, what many East Europeans demanded was not ‘freedom’, but more money, more labels, and the ability to join the bloc of the countries that have been plundering the world.

So, what makes the West so successful, when it comes to brainwashing people all around the world? How is it possible after all that banditry, terror and ruthlessness, that most of the oppressed and conquered countries are still showing plenty of respect to the masters that reside in New York, London or Paris?

I believe that if we find the answers to this question, we will be able to save the world, and reverse this deadly trend.

First of all, after interacting with thousands of people in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Oceania and Latin America, I am coming to the conclusion that the West (and Japan) is often admired for the ‘high standards of living’.

In such miserable and collapsed countries like Indonesia, I often hear nonsense like: “European countries are more ‘Muslim’ than we are. They treat people much better than we do.”

Middle and upper class Southeast Asian families are travelling to Netherlands or Germany, and then exclaim after returning home: “Look at their parks, hospitals, bicycle lanes, trams, museums… We have to learn from them! They do so much for improving our world.”

That’s precisely what Africans admire about Europe. That’s how many ‘educated’ Indians or Southeast Asians feel. That’s what Peruvians, Hondurans or Paraguayans love about their Miami.

Are they wrong? Isn’t there, after all, plenty that poor countries could learn from the West?

Yes; definitely they are wrong. Totally wrong!

Let’s see ‘why’?

The West ‘arranged’ the entire world in accordance with its own feudal system of the past centuries. It brought the system of shameless oppressive regime to the global level.

To admire this monstrous and regressive global system would be like admiring the arrangement of European societies some three hundred years ago. It would be essentially like saying: “Look, the aristocracy of France or England was actually quite fine, egalitarian, educated and healthy, and we should learn from how they lived, and copy their examples!”

Of course, the aristocracy, the royalty and the church of Europe has always lived well, even 300 years ago. They had good schools for their children, they had decent medical care, palaces, summer villas, sanatoriums with mineral waters, theatres, lavish parks, and tons of servants.

The only ‘tiny’ problem was that some 95% of the population had to work for the luxury they enjoyed, subsisting in total misery. Plus, of course, those tens of millions of un-people in the colonies were being exterminated like animals.

The same is happening now. The entire Europe (with the exception of the poor people there) has moved to the bracket of new aristocracy, at least comparatively. And the rest of the world is laboring, dying, being raped and plundered, in order to maintain this ‘wonderful-looking’ social-state project of the West. Even the U.S. and its relatively brutal turbo-capitalist model is still ‘socialist’ (for the U.S. citizens), compared to such countries as Indonesia, India, Peru or Nigeria.

Western standards of living cannot be replicated elsewhere. To believe that the West would allow Africans or Southeast Asians to build a social state is naïve, almost intellectually insulting. Singapore, South Korea and Japan are rare exceptions, where the West closed both eyes, for strictly strategic reasons.

In order for the West to prosper, maintaining a super high standard of living, with all the benefits for its citizens, billions of the ‘serfs’ all over the world have to suffer, sacrifice themselves, and work for close to nothing; the more of them that live in hell, the better.

Nature has to be plundered in places like Borneo and Papua, DR Congo and soon in Brazil.

People have to be ruled by pro-Western corrupt oligarchs, and by the military and religious leaders. Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and now Brazil, are perfect countries for the West: they happily and willingly sacrifice their own people, guaranteeing Western prosperity.

You did not know? Nonsense! You did not want to know. All those people who matter are very happy with this arrangement: The Western rulers, citizens of Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand and Japan, as well as the rulers/elites in the poor countries. The only ones who are truly suffering are those billions of the poor, worldwide, but they matter nothing, and they are not told anything anyway, because the media is in the hands of the West and their lackeys, and so is ‘education’.

And as they are not told anything, they – the wretched of the Earth – are admiring the West, too. They eat Western junk food if they can save few dollars a month, they drink Nescafe instead of their traditional coffee, listen to the shittiest music, watch pirated Hollywood blockbuster movies, wear fake sneakers and jeans, and masturbate to Western porn (if they have internet). They also dutifully follow religions, which were injected and upheld by the West, into their countries.

The poorer the country, the greater appear to be the green hills and pastures of the Western paradise.

And so, it goes on and on.

In India, Indonesia, Uganda, Jordan, Fiji, Honduras, I hear the same crap, from semi-educated, or West-educated local citizens: “People in the West are actually very good people, but their governments are bad.” Are they sure about that? I wonder.

Frankly and honestly, I am tired of this status quo. And I don’t find this amusing at all: hearing admiring statements about European and other Western countries in the middle of the monstrous war zones, famine-stricken areas, brutal mines, on the banks of poisoned rivers and inside the slums.

I am an ‘old-fashioned’ revolutionary. Slaves have to rise and fight, if necessary die for freedom; not to admire their masters and tormentors.

The crimes of the colonialists have to be exposed. The insane arrangement of the world has to be defined and then smashed into pieces.

The cute trams, bicycle lanes, parks, museums, operas, cafes, universities and hospitals in Europe are built on rivers of blood and the bones of ‘The Others’. I said it three years ago on the floor of the Italian Parliament, and I will repeat it again and again, wherever I go.

There is no other topic that matters, right now, on our planet.

Everything is connected to this, including the fear and hate that the West feels and spreads about countries like Venezuela, Russia, China, Iran, South Africa, Syria or Cuba.

They hate us; they hate those who resist, who are standing tall. And they should and will get back the same in return, hopefully, if the truth is pronounced often enough!

Manufacturing Nonexistent US National Security Threats

By Stephen Lendman
Source

The US needs enemies and threats to unjustifiably justify its belligerent national security state agenda. None exist so they’re invented. 

The Global War on Terror is the greatest hoax in modern times – along with the no-peace/Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Washington’s imperial agenda for unchallenged global dominance is humanity’s greatest threat. 

Countless trillions of dollars are poured down a black hole of waste, fraud and abuse to enrich the nation’s military, industrial, security complex at a time real enemies of the state and foreign threats don’t exist.

Anyone challenging what’s going on risks being treated like a national security threat, including investigative journalists like Julian Assange and whistleblowers like Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden for exposing US wrongdoing.

Along with justifiable dissent, their actions are the highest form of patriotism, violating no international, constitutional, or US statute laws.

Am I a threat to national security because of my writing and public remarks? Challenging speech, media, and academic freedoms is what totalitarian rule is all about – backed by police state harshness, defying First Amendment freedoms in America, the most important ones without which all others are threatened.

Because of my passion for truth-telling on vital domestic and geopolitical issues, US intelligence community officials are my most dedicated readers, focusing on everything I write, taking notes, keeping them, sharing them amongst themselves.

Big Brother watches everyone. The DNI, FBI, CIA, NSA, and other US intelligence community members maintain detailed dossiers on virtually everyone involved in what I do, myself included.

Do I threaten US national security? Can the power of the pen match its political, economic, financial, propaganda, and military might?

How? I have no weapons, never owned any, don’t want any, abhor them. I haven’t held or fired a small arm since mandatory military service in the 1950s. 

I get along fine with neighbors and everyone I have contact with. The notion that I might threaten anyone, let alone US might, attributes power to me I don’t have – other than the power of truth-telling, a force to be reckoned with if able to reach millions and arouse them enough to become activists for responsible change. 

Violence is abhorrent in all forms, state-sponsored most of all, the way Washington and its imperial partners operate worldwide. I’m passionately opposed to harm committed by anyone against anyone else, what everyone should oppose.

Armed only with my desktop and commitment to truth-telling, writing daily pro bono, influenced by and connected to no one other than supportive web editors, colleagues, friends, and readers worldwide, I press ahead to inform readers of what I learn and know about the horrors committed by my government, its imperial allies, and corporate crooks, along with major media support for what demands denunciation.

I’m proudly anti-war, pro-peace, equity and justice, supporting democratic values the way they’re supposed to be, along with strict adherence to and enforcement of rule of law principles.

I’m appalled and outraged that the nation I grew up in no longer exists. It’s gone, replace by one-party rule with two money-controlled extremist right wings, waging war on humanity at home and abroad, responsible for raping and destroying one country after another, immune from accountability.

As a boy, adolescent, youth and young man, I felt safe and secure unlike today – never fearing nuclear war and mass destruction the way I do now.

Bipartisan extremists running things in Washington threaten everyone everywhere – an indisputable fact. Their diabolical agenda opposes fundamental freedoms, world peace, equity and justice for everyone.

During the Cold War years, Washington got along with Soviet Russia, even if uneasily at times. Nixon went to China.

Today relations with both countries are more dismal and dangerous than any previous time in memory. Nuclear war is ominously possible by accident or design.

In my 9th decade, I may never live long enough to know how things turn out. Will America be consumed by its arrogance and hubris? Will it destroy planet earth and its life forms?

In the aftermath of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, Jack Kennedy said he “never had the slightest intention of” attacking or invading Cuba.

In office, he transformed himself from a warrior to peacemaker, wanting all US forces out of Vietnam, opposing war instead of wanting it waged, paying with his life for being on the right side of the most vital of all issues – his geopolitical agenda imperfect but world’s apart from the way things are now.

Obama was no Jack Kennedy. Nor is Trump, his regime and Congress infested with neocons,  Dems as ruthlessly dangerous as Republicans.

There’s not a dime’s worth of difference between them on endless wars of aggression, corporate rapaciousness, eliminating social justice, along with destroying fundamental freedoms US power brokers want eliminated – on the phony pretext of protecting national security at a time America’s only enemies are invented ones. Real ones don’t exist.

Bipartisan hardline rule is heading things for full-blown tyranny, along with wanting the message controlled, digital democracy threatened, what totalitarianism is all about, enforced with police state harshness.

Most Americans are none the wiser about the clear and present threats they face. Is catastrophic nuclear war inevitable? Will humanity survive or perish?

Are we doomed because of bipartisan US rage for global dominance. Republicans and Dems want all sovereign independent governments co-opted or eliminated, wars of aggression their favored strategy.

Today is the most perilous time in world history. Daily events should scare everyone. Fantasy democracies in the West masquerade as real ones.

Popular needs increasingly go begging. Poverty is America’s leading growth industry, endless wars the national pastime, waging them for alleged peace GOP and Dem policymakers abhor.

Conquest, occupation, colonization, along with carving up whole continents for profit and control are prioritized. Ordinary people are exploited and abused, not served.

Governance is exclusively of, by, and for the privileged few alone, the rights and welfare of most others long ago abandoned.

Criminality in high places is rewarded, not punished. Protracted main street Depression continues with no end of it in prospect, things worsening for ordinary people, not improving. The wealth divide between high-net-worth households and ordinary Americans is unprecedented and growing.

America is a plutocracy, not a democracy. Policies adopted in Washington and other Western capitals make things worse, not better.

Officials running things are hostile to what all just societies hold dear. Peace advocates and human rights champions are shunned, social democrats like Hugo Chavez vilified and eliminated.

Warmakers win peace prizes. Why not when war is considered peace by US and other Western policymakers.

We the people are them, their cronies, and interests they support, not us. Today’s insanely destructive weapons can and may end life on earth.

Global war can doom us all if waged. Bipartisan enthusiasm for endless wars is why they’re waged, along with hugely benefitting war-profiteers.

Politicians in bed with corporate crooks don’t give a hoot about life, liberty, equity, justice, human welfare, peace and stability. Survival may depend on revolutionary change nowhere in sight. 

US-led Western policymakers turned planet earth into a ticking time bomb set to explode if things continue on their hugely destructive course.

America was never beautiful when I was young. Its agenda today may kill us all.

Peace in our time no longer exists. Bipartisan leadership running the country is its greatest threat.

Upside down reality endangers everyone everywhere. Elections when held are farcical, voting a waste of time when dirty business as usual always wins. 

The only solution is nonviolent revolution. People power alone can save us  – what I strongly support because there’s no alternative to nations free and safe to live in.

If that makes me a threat to national security, bring it on.

China Warns of Escalation Over Huawei Incident

By Stephen Lendman
Source

EU countries, Japan, South Korea, Canada, and most other nations are virtual US colonies, co-opted to do Washington’s bidding – even when harming their own interests.

Canada’s unacceptable arrest and detention of Huawei Technologies’ chief financial officer Sabrina Meng Wanzhou was all about Ottawa acting as a US proxy, serving its aim to aid corporate America against foreign competition – by whatever it takes to give US enterprises an  international advantage by fair or foul means.

China warned of “grave consequences” if Meng isn’t unconditionally released. If extradited to America as the Trump regime demands, she faces potential longterm imprisonment over Huawei allegedly circumventing illegal US sanctions on Iran.

No nations or enterprises anywhere should observe them. Going along with illegal US actions amounts to complicity with its imperial agenda, its hot and cold war on one country after another.

According to international law, sanctions on nations may only be imposed by Security Council members. When individual nations impose them on others unilaterally or together with other states, it’s flagrantly illegal.

Republicans and undemocratic Dems weaponized sanctions, one of the ways they wage war by other means. The Vienna-based International Progress Organization calls their use “an illegitimate form of collective punishment of the weakest and poorest members of society, the infants, the children, the chronically ill, and the elderly.”

Washington uses them to target sovereign independent nations politically, economically and financially – a bipartisan conspiracy against rule of law principles and responsible governance, a US specialty against virtually all nations it aims to transform into subservient vassal states.

Along with endless wars of aggression, other hostile actions, and supportive major media propaganda, that’s what imperialism is all about – Washington’s aim to rule the world unchallenged, humanity’s greatest threat.

The longstanding US aim for global dominance risks unthinkable nuclear war, things heading ominously in this direction. If waged, armageddon could follow. More on this below.

On Sunday, China’s Global Times (GT) warned Canada and the US of an escalating row over the Huawei incident, saying:

“By calling on its allies, the US has gradually formed a collective encirclement and suppression of Chinese high-tech enterprise Huawei. It is a wicked precedent,” adding:

“For those countries that seek to ingratiate themselves to the US without regard to China’s interests, China should firmly fight back, causing a heaving price for them.”

“Canada crossed the line by helping the US detain an executive of Huawei…” Currently under house arrest in Vancouver after release on bail, the cost of extraditing her to America will be severe, China warned.

Beijing “needs to prepare for the possibility of conflict escalation,” said GT. It’ll defend its interests against hostile US/Canadian actions.

In retaliation against Meng’s unacceptable treatment by Ottawa, Chinese authorities detained former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and Canadian entrepreneur Michael Spavor – perhaps to be held until Meng is unconditionally released, free from extradition to America, able to resume her normal activities unobstructed.

Responding to unacceptable made-in-the-USA toughness with similar actions is the only effective way to counter it, a previous article explained.

The message would be delivered more clearly to the Trump regime if Beijing arrests and detains US nationals in China, holding them until Meng is freed, her safety secured, the issue over her unacceptable arrest and detention resolved.

Beijing needs to show that hostile actions against its enterprises and officials won’t be tolerated – delivering the message to Washington and its proxies clearly.

A previous article discussed longstanding US plans for nuclear war on Russia. Likely similar plans target China and Iran – madness risking destruction of planet earth and all its life forms if any of this is implemented.

Extremist US military planners and politicians want NATO used as a dagger against all sovereign independent nations, wanting them conquered and controlled – why unthinkable nuclear war is possible, maybe likely, what ordinary people in America and elsewhere don’t understand, what major media never explain.

Washington’s prime targets are Russia, China and Iran. If war is waged against them, notably Moscow and Beijing, it’s highly likely that nuclear weapons will be used for the first time in earnest, leaving major US cities vulnerable to retaliation.

An earlier article described the horror of nuclear immolation. If a thermo-nuke is detonated over midtown New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, or any other major US city, they’d be incinerated with unimaginable force.

Nothing can withstand the destructive power and widespread firestorm of a thermo-nuke detonation, incinerating everything in its path, vaporizing structures and people over a wide area – miles from ground zero, leaving nothing but irradiated smoldering rubble.

It’s not a pretty picture. Virtually one in affected areas could escape. Superheated hurricane-force winds would incinerate them.

Nuclear weapons are unforgiving. Armageddon by these WMDs is real, why eliminating them entirely may be the only way for humanity to survive.

Life on earth hangs in the balance as long as these weapons exist – notably in the hands of warrior state America hellbent on global conquest and dominance.

In Syria the Entire Nation Mobilized, and Won

By Andra Vltcheck
Source

celebrating_birthday_of_Prophet_Mohammed_in_Holms_00db6.jpgYes, there is rubble, in fact total destruction, in some of the neighborhoods of Homs, Aleppo, in the outskirts of Damascus, and elsewhere.

Yes, there are terrorists and ‘foreign forces’ in Idlib and in several smaller pockets in some parts of the country.

Yes, hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives and millions are either in exile, or internally displaced.

But the country of Syria is standing tall. It did not crumble like Libya or Iraq did. It never surrendered. It never even considered surrender as an option. It went through total agony, through fire and unimaginable pain, but in the end, it won. It almost won. And the victory will, most likely, be final in 2019.

Despite its relatively small size, it did not win like a ‘small nation’, fighting guerilla warfare. It is winning like a big, strong state: it fought proudly, frontally, openly, against all odds. It confronted the invaders with tremendous courage and strength, in the name of justice and freedom.

Syria is winning, because the only alternative would be slavery and subservience, and that is not in the lexicon of the people here. The Syrian people won because they had to win, or face the inevitable demise of their country and collapse of their dream of a Pan-Arab homeland.

Syria is winning, and hopefully, nothing here, in the Middle East, will be the same again. The long decades of humiliation of the Arabs are over. Now everyone ‘in the neighborhood’ is watching. Now everybody knows: The West and its allies can be fought and stopped; they are not invincible. Tremendously brutal and ruthless they are, yes, but not invincible. The most vicious, fundamentalist religious implants can be smashed, too. I said it before, and I repeat it here again: Aleppo has been the Stalingrad of the Middle East. Aleppo and Homs, and other great courageous Syrian cities. Here, fascism was confronted, fought with all might and with great sacrifice, and finally deterred.

I sit in the office of a Syrian General, Akhtan Ahmad. We speak Russian. I ask him about the security situation in Damascus, although I already know. For several evenings and nights, I have been walking through the narrow winding roads of the old city; one of the cradles of human race. Women, even young girls, were walking as well. The city is safe.

“It is safe,” smiles General Akhtan Ahmad, proudly. “You know it is safe, don’t you?”

I nod. He is a top Syrian intelligence commander. I should have asked more, much more. Details, details. But I don’t want to know details; not right now. I want to hear again and again that Damascus is safe, from him, from my friends, from the passers-by.

“Situation is now very good. Go out at night…”

I tell him that I have. That I have been doing it since I arrived.

“No one is afraid, anymore”, he continues. “Even in the places where terrorist groups used to operate, life is returning to normal… The Syrian government is now providing water, electricity. People are returning to the liberated areas. East Ghouta was liberated only 5 months ago, and now you can see shops opening there, one after another.”

I get several permits signed. I take the General’s photo. I get photographed with him. He has nothing to hide. He is not afraid.

Syrian_General_Akhtan_Ahmad_4ad19.jpg

I tell him that at the end of January of 2019, or in February at the latest, I want to travel to Idlib, or at least to the suburbs of that city. That’s fine; I just have to let them know a few days in advance. Palmyra, fine. Aleppo, no problem.

We shake hands. They trust me. I trust them. That’s the only way forward – this is still a war. A terrible, brutal war. Despite the fact that Damascus is now free and safe.

After I leave General’s office, we drive to Jobar, on the outskirts of Damascus. Then to Ein-Tarma.

There, it is total madness.

Jobar used to be a predominantly industrial area, Ein-Tarma a residential neighborhood. Both places had been reduced almost entirely to rubble. In Jobar I am allowed to film inside the tunnels, which used to be used by the terrorists; by the Rahman Brigades and by the other groups with direct connection to Al-Nusrah Front.

The scene is eerie. Formerly these factories offered tens of thousands of jobs to the people of the capital city. Now, nothing moves here. Dead silence, just dust and wreckage.

Lieutenant Ali accompanies me, as I climb over debris. I asked him what took place here. He replies, through my interpreter:

“This place was only liberated in April 2018. It was one of the last places that was taken from the terrorists. For 6 years, one part was controlled by the ‘rebels’, while another by the army. The enemies dug tunnels, and it was very difficult to defeat them. They used every structure they could get their hands on, including schools. From here, most of the civilians managed to escape.”

I asked him about the destruction, although I knew the answer, as my Syrian friends used to live in this area, and told me their detailed stories. Lieutenant Ali confirmed:

“The West was feeding the world with propaganda, saying that this was destruction caused by the army. In fact, the Syrian army was engaging the rebels only when they were attacking Damascus. Eventually, the rebels retreated from here, after the Russian-sponsored talks with the government.”

Families_visiting_their_destroyed_streets_in_Homs_9d79a.jpg

A Few kilometers further east, in Ein-Tarma, things are very different. Before the war, this used to be a residential neighborhood. People used to live here, mostly in the multi-story buildings. Here, the terrorists hit hard at the civilians. For months or even years, families had to live in terrible fear and deprivation.

We stopped at the humble shop selling vegetables. Here, I approached an elderly lady, and after she agreed to it, I began filming.

She spoke, and then she shouted, straight into the camera, waving her hands:

“We lived here like cattle. The terrorists treated us like animals. We were scared, hungry, humiliated. Women: terrorists would take 4-5 wives, forcing young girls and mature women into so-called marriages. We had nothing; nothing left!”

“And now?” I asked.

“Now? Look! We live again. We have a future. Thank you; thank you, Bashir!”

She calls her president by his first name. She points palms at her heart, and after kissing them, she waves her hands again.

There is nothing to ask, really. I just film. She says it all, in two minutes.

As we are leaving, I realize that she is most likely not old; not old at all. But what has happened here broke her in half. Now she is living; she is living and hoping again.

I ask my driver to move slowly, and I begin filming the road, broken and dusty, but full of traffic: people walking, bicycles and cars passing by, negotiating potholes. In the side streets, people are hard at work, rebuilding, cleaning rubble, cutting fallen beams. Electricity is getting restored. Glass panels fitted into the scratched wooden frames. Life. Victory; all this is bittersweet, because so many people died; because so much has been destroyed. But life it is, despite everything; life again. And hope; so much hope.

I sit with my friends, Yamen and Fida, in a classic, old Damascus café, called Havana. It is a real institution; a place where Ba’ath Party members used to meet, during the old and turbulent days. Photographs of President Bashir al-Assad are displayed, prominently.

Yamen, an educator, recalls how he had to move from one apartment to another, on several occasions during the recent years:

“My family used to live right next to Jobar. Everything around there was getting destroyed. We had to move. Then, at a new location, I was walking with my little son, and a mortar had landed near us. Once I saw building in flames. My son was crying in horror. A woman next to us was howling, trying to throw herself into flames: ‘My son is inside, I need my son, give me my son!’ In the past, we couldn’t predict from where the danger would arrive, and when. I lost several relatives; family members. We all did.”

Fida, Yamen’s colleague, is taking care of her ageing mother, every day, when she gets back from work. Life is still tough, but my friends are true patriots, and this helps them to cope with the daily challenges.

Over a cup of strong Arabic coffee, Fida explains:

“You see us laughing and joking, but deep inside, almost all of us are suffering from deep psychological trauma. What took place here was tough; we all saw terrible things, and we lost our loved ones. All this will stay with us, for many years to come. Syria does not have enough professional psychologists and psychiatrists to cope with the situation. So many lives have been damaged. I am still scared. Every day. Many people have been terribly shaken.”

“I feel sorry for my brother’s children. They were born into this crisis. My tiny nephew… Once we were under a mortar attack. He was so scared. Children are really badly affected! Personally, I am not afraid of getting killed. I am frightened of losing my arm, or leg, or not being able to take my mom to the hospital, if she was to be feeling sick. At least my ancestral city, Safita, has always been safe, even during the worst days of the conflict.”

“Not my Salamiyah,” laments Yamen:

“Salamiyah used to be just terrible. Many villages had to be evacuated… Many people died there. To the East of the city were the positions of Al-Nusrah, while the west was held by the ISIS”.

Yes, hundreds of thousands of the Syrian people were killed. Millions forced to leave the country, escaping both the terrorists and the conflict as well as poverty that rode on the tail of the fighting. Millions have been internally displaced; the entire nation in motion.

The previous day, after leaving Ein-Tarma, we drove near Zamalka and Harasta. Entire huge neighborhoods were either flattened, or at least terribly damaged.

When you see the Eastern suburbs of Damascus, when you see the ghost buildings without walls and windows, with bullet holes dotting the pillars, you think that you have seen it all. The destruction is so huge; it looks like an entire big city was just blown up to pieces. They say this eerie landscape doesn’t change for at least 15 kilometers. The nightmare goes on and on, without any interruption.

So yes, you tend to think that you have seen it all, but actually you haven’t. It is because you have not visited Aleppo, nor visited Homs, yet.

For several years, I have been fighting for Syria. I was doing it from the peripheries.

I managed to enter the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and to file reports about the brutality and cynicism of the occupation.

For years, I covered life in the refugee camps, and ‘around them’. Some camps were real, but others were actually used as training fortresses for the terrorist, who were later injected into Syrian territory, by NATO. Once I almost disappeared while filming Apayadin, one of such ‘institutions’, erected not far from the Turkish city of Hattay (Atakya).

I ‘almost’ disappeared, but others actually did die. Covering what the West and its allies have been doing to Syria is as dangerous as covering the war inside Syria itself.

I worked in Jordan, writing about the refugees, but also about the cynicism of the Jordanian collaboration with the West. I worked in Iraq where, in a camp near Erbil, the Syrian people were forced by both the NGO and the UN staff, to denounce President Assad, if they wanted to receive at least some basic services. And of course, I worked in Lebanon, where more than one million Syrian people have been staying; often facing unimaginably terrible conditions as well as discrimination (many are now going back).

And now that I was finally inside, it all felt somehow surreal, but it felt right.

Syria appeared to be as I expected it to be: heroic, brave, determined, and unmistakably socialist.

Homs_-_total_destruction_99aa1.jpg

Homs. Before I went there, I thought that nothing could surprise me, anymore. I have worked all over Afghanistan, in Iraq, Sri Lanka, East Timor. But soon I realized that I had seen nothing, before I visited Homs.

The destruction of several parts of the city is so severe that it resembles the surface of another planet, or a fragment from some apocalyptic horror film.

People climbing through the ruins, an elderly couple visiting what once used to be their apartment, a girl’s shoe that I find in the middle of the road, covered by dust. A chair standing in the middle of an intersection, from which all four roads lead towards the horrid ruins.

Homs is where the conflict began.

My friend Yamen explained to me, as we were driving towards the center:

“Here, the media ignited hatred; mostly the Western mass media. But also, there were the channels from the Gulf: Al-Jazeera, as well as television and radio stations from Saudi Arabia. Sheik Adnan Mohammed al-Aroor was appearing, twice a week, on a television program which was telling people to hit the streets, banging on pots and pans; to fight against the government.”

Homs is where the anti-government rebellion began, in 2011. The anti-Assad propaganda from abroad soon reached a crescendo. The opposition was ideologically supported by the West and by its allies. Rapidly, the support became tangible, and included weapons, ammunition, as well as thousands of jihadi fighters.

A once tolerant and modern city (in a secular country), Homs began changing, getting divided between the religious groups. Division was followed by radicalization.

My good friend, a Syrian who now lives in both Syria and Lebanon, told me his story:

“I was very young when the uprising began. Some of us had certain legitimate grievances, and we began protesting, hoping that things could change for better. But many of us soon realized that our protests were literally kidnapped from abroad. We wanted a set of positive changes, while some leaders outside Syria wanted to overthrow our government. Consequently, I left the movement.”

He then shared with me his most painful secret:

“In the past, Homs was an extremely tolerant city. I am a moderate Muslim, and my fiancé was a moderate Christian. We were very close. But the situation in the city was changing rapidly, after 2011. Radicalism was on the raise. I repeatedly asked her to cover her hair when she was passing through the Muslim neighborhoods. It was out of concern, because I was beginning to clearly see what was happening around us. She refused. One day, she was shot, in the middle of the street. They killed her. Life was never the same again.”

In the West, they often say that the Syrian government was at least partially responsible for destruction of the city. But the logic of such accusations is absolutely perverse. Imagine Stalingrad. Imagine foreign invasion; an invasion supported by several hostile fascist powers. The city fights back, the government tries to stop the advancement of the troops of the enemy. The fight, terrible, an epic fight for the survival of the nation goes on. Who is to blame? The invaders or the government forces who are defending their own fatherland? Can anyone accuse the Soviet troops for fighting in the streets of their own cities that were attacked by the German Nazis?

Perhaps the Western propaganda is capable of such ‘analyses’, but definitely no rational human being.

The same logic as to Stalingrad, should also apply to Homs, to Aleppo, and to several other Syrian cities. Covering literally dozens of conflicts ignited by the West all over the world (and described in detail in my 840-page long book “Exposing Lies Of The Empire”), I have no doubts: the full responsibility for the destruction lies on the shoulders of the invaders.

I face Mrs. Hayat Awad in an ancient restaurant called Julia Palace. This used to be the stronghold of the terrorists. They occupied this beautiful place, located in the heart of the old city of Homs. Now, things are slowly coming back to life here, at least in several areas of the city. The old market is functioning, the university is open, and so are several government buildings and hotels. But Mrs. Hayat lives in both past and the future.

Mrs. Hayat lost her son, Mahmood, during the war. His portrait is always with her, engraved into a pentel she is wearing on her chest.

“He was only 21 years old, still a student, when he decided to join the Syrian army. He told me that Syria is like his mother. He loves her, as he loves me. He was fighting against the Al-Nusrah Front, and the battle was very tough. At the end of the day he called me, just to say that the situation was not good. In his last call he just asked me to forgive him. He said: ‘Maybe I am not going to come back. Please forgive me. I love you!’”

Are there many mothers like her, here in Homs, those who lost their sons?

“Yes, I know many women who lost their sons; and not just one, sometimes two or three. I know a lady who lost her two only sons. This war took everything from us. Not only our children. I blame the countries which supported the extreme ideologies injected into Syria; countries like the United States and those in Europe.”

After I am done filming, she thanks Russia for their support. She thanks all the countries that have stood by Syria, during those difficult years.

Not far from Julia Palace, reconstruction work is in full swing. And just a few steps away, a renovated mosque is re-opening. People are dancing, celebrating. It is Prophet Mohammed’s birthday. The Governor of Homs marches towards the festivities, with the members of his government. There is almost no security around them.

If the West does not unleash yet another wave of terror against its people, Homs should be just fine. Not right away, perhaps not soon, but it will be, with the resolute help of the Russians, Chinese, Iranian and other comrades. Syria itself is strong and determined. Its allies are mighty.

I want to believe that the most terrible years are over. I want to believe that Syria has already won.

But I know that there is still Idlib, there are also pockets occupied by Turkish and Western forces. It is not over, yet. The terrorists have not been fully defeated. The West will be shooting its missiles. Israel will be sending its air force to brutalize the country. And the mass media outlets from the West and the Gulf, will continue fighting the media war, agitating and confusing certain segments of the Syrian people.

Still, as I leave Homs, I see shops and even boutiques opening in the midst of the rubble. Some people are dressing up, elegantly again, in order to show their strength; their determination to put the past behind them and to live, once again, their normal lives.

Returning to Damascus, the motorway is in perfect condition and the industrial area in Hassia is getting rebuilt and amplified, too. There is a huge power plant, supported by the Iranians, I am told. Despite the war, Syria is still supplying neighboring Lebanon with electricity.

Yamen drives at 120 km/h and we joke that once we get scared of possible speed traps, instead of snipers, we know that the situation in the country is dramatically improving.

A Russian military convoy is parked at a rest area. Soldiers are drinking coffee. There is no fear. Syrians treat them as if they were their own people.

I see the most spectacular sunset, over the desert.

Then, once again, we pass through Harasta. This time at night.

I want to curse. I don’t; cursing is too easy. I need to get to my computer, soon. I have to write; to work. A lot, the best I can.

It is easy to feel at home in Syria. Maybe because Russian is my mother-tongue or perhaps because people here know that I have always stood by their country.

Some bureaucratic hindrances got resolved, quickly.

working_with_Syrian_Minister_of_Education_4a245.JPG

I met the outgoing Minister of Education, Dr. Hazwan Al-Waz, who is a fellow novelist. We spoke about his writing, about his latest book “Love and War.” He confirmed what I always knew, as a revolutionary novelist:

“During the war, everything is political, even love.”

And then something that I will never forget:

“My Ministry of Education has been, in fact, the Ministry of Defense”.

Last night in Damascus I walked all over the old city, till early morning. At one point, I arrived near the spectacular Umayyad Mosque, finding, right behind it, the mausoleum of Sultan Saladin.

I could not enter. At this late-night hour it was locked. But I could easily see it through the metal bars of the gate.

This brave commander and leader fought against the huge armies of the Western invaders – the Crusaders – winning almost every single battle, finding his peace and final resting place here, in Damascus.

I paid tribute to this ancient fellow internationalist, and I wondered, over a strong coffee in a nearby stall, in the middle of the night: “Did Saladin participate in this latest epic battle fought by the Syrian nation against the hordes of the foreign barbarians?”

Perhaps his spirit did. Or, more likely, some battles were fought and won with his name on lips.

‘I will be back,’ I uttered, walking back towards my hotel, few minutes after midnight. Two massive furry cats accompanide me, following my steps until the first corner. ‘I will be back very soon’.

Syria is standing. That’s what really matters. It never fell on its knees. And it never will. We will not allow it to fall.

And damned be imperialism!

%d bloggers like this: