American Media Distortion vs. Facts

American Media Distortion vs. Facts
TEHRAN (FNA)– The privately-owned media is still dominated by the interests of the US political and corporate elites, and used as a tool by the government to manufacture public consent.

In any circumstance, they use the media to publish fabricated news, lies and biased information to get the public in line with their political motives, aiming at achieving their agendas. In many cases, the US has used the media to distort facts in regard to its foreign policy action in the Middle East.

Not so long ago, US corporate media played an integral role in fueling the Iraq War in 2003. It had no doubts that the Bush administration went to war because they wanted to strengthen the credibility and influence of America in the Middle East to reassert its position as an un-challengeable hegemon after the 9/11 attack.

But they distorted the facts surrounding Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and terrorist harboring as invasion rationale. It was published by many Western media coverage outlets, particularly the US media, to disseminate to the public. In the weeks leading up to the illegal invasion, nearly three-quarters of the American public believed the lie promoted in that moment. Then, the US-led military coalition, which included their allies, invaded Iraq. After the invasion was done, the truth was revealed that there were no such WMDs.

Another prime example comes from the war against Qaddafi of Libya. Media distortion and manipulation were used to start the war against Libya. To gain support for the invasion and aggression, which is part of the traditional tactics the US and NATO have followed, perception management was overtly employed through well-known US media agencies and other Western mainstream news.

After The Financial Times, for instance, reported that Libyan military jets attacked civilian protesters, US and EU officials hardly condemned Qaddafi’s regime and took military action. Truly, there was no piece of video evidence proving the attack, and the report turned out to be false. Libyan military planes only got involved later on during the conflict when they missioned to bomb ammunition depots to prevent the rebels from getting arms, after the media claims were made about jets firing on protesters.

There was no doubt that reports were distorted. To some critics of the US military actions in foreign countries, it is undoubtedly conclusive that there have been lies and distortions involved in wars the US has fought in. The most recent example could be Syria and its imaginary chemical attacks on its own people.

It is even more interesting that the US uses media not only to manufacture the public consent of its domestic citizens in association with wars in foreign countries, as mentioned above, but also employs it as fact distortion in international affairs outside of America.

As the world order is moving to multi-polarity, and the Islamic Asian civilization is being realized, particularly by Iran’s growing economic and political development, the competition between the status quo dominant US and Iran has continuously been obvious in recent years.

The current confrontation amid the unresolved economic terrorism has certainly demonstrated this fact. Concerning this, the US has used as many tactics as possible to contain challenger Iran in international issues, regionally and globally.

As a superpower with dominant power in global media, the US will inevitably continue to use the media to manufacture public consent regarding domestic and international affairs. There is no doubt that the US corporate media, to an extent, will play a complimentary role in its foreign policy approach in publishing false ideas and news, creating concepts and framing theories that favor its own interests, and not the ones that serve regional peace and global stability.

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Conversations with Fidel Castro: The Dangers of a Nuclear War

Global Research, August 09, 2019

First published by Global Research on November 13, 2010. Today is August 9, 2019. A second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945

Introductory Note

From October 12 to 15, 2010, I had extensive and detailed discussions with Fidel Castro in Havana, pertaining to the dangers of nuclear war, the global economic crisis and the nature of the New World Order. These meetings resulted in a wide-ranging and fruitful interview.

The first part of this interview published by Global Research and Cuba Debate focuses on the dangers of nuclear war.

The World is at a dangerous crossroads. We have reached a critical turning point in our history.

This interview with Fidel Castro provides an understanding of the nature of modern warfare: Were a military operation to be launched against the Islamic Republic of Iran, the US and its allies would be unable to win a conventional war, with the possibility that this war could evolve towards a nuclear war.

The details of ongoing war preparations in relation to Iran have been withheld from the public eye.

How to confront the diabolical and absurd proposition put forth by the US administration that using tactical nuclear weapons against Iran will  “make the World a safer place”? 

A central concept put forth by Fidel Castro in the interview is the ‘Battle of Ideas”. The leader of the Cuban Revolution believes that only a far-reaching “Battle of Ideas” could  change the course of World history. The  objective is to prevent the unthinkable, a nuclear war which threatens to destroy life on earth.

The corporate media is involved in acts of camouflage. The devastating impacts of a nuclear war are either trivialized or not mentioned. Against this backdrop, Fidel’s message to the World must be heard;  people across the land, nationally and internationally, should understand the gravity of the present situation and act forcefully at all levels of society to reverse the tide of war.

The “Battle of Ideas” is part of a revolutionary process. Against a barrage of media disinformation, Fidel Castro’s resolve is to spread the word far and wide, to inform world public opinion, to “make the impossible possible”, to thwart a military adventure which in the real sense of the word threatens the future of humanity.  

When a US sponsored nuclear war becomes an “instrument of peace”, condoned and accepted by the World’s institutions and the highest authority including the United Nations, there is no turning back: human society has indelibly been precipitated headlong onto the path of self-destruction.

Fidel’s “Battle of Ideas” must be translated into a worldwide movement. People must mobilize against this diabolical military agenda.

This war can be prevented if people pressure their governments and elected representatives, organize at the local level in towns, villages and municipalities, spread the word, inform their fellow citizens regarding the implications of a thermonuclear war, initiate debate and discussion within the armed forces.

What is required is a mass movement of people which forcefully challenges the legitimacy of war, a global people’s movement which criminalizes war. 

In his October 15 speech, Fidel Castro warned the World on the dangers of nuclear war:

There would be “collateral damage”, as the American political and military leaders always affirm, to justify the deaths of innocent people. In a nuclear war the “collateral damage” would be the life of all humanity. Let us have the courage to proclaim that all nuclear or conventional weapons, everything that is used to make war, must disappear!”

The “Battle of Ideas” consists in confronting the war criminals in high office, in breaking the US-led consensus in favor of a global war, in changing the mindset of hundreds of millions of people, in abolishing nuclear weapons.  In essence, the “Battle of Ideas” consists in restoring the truth and establishing the foundations of World peace.

 

Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG),

Montreal, Remembrance Day, November 11, 2010.


“The conventional war would be lost by the US and the nuclear war is no alternative for anyone.  On the other hand, nuclear war would inevitably become global”

“I think nobody on Earth wishes the human species to disappear.  And that is the reason why I am of the opinion that what should disappear are not just nuclear weapons, but also conventional weapons.  We must provide a guarantee for peace to all peoples without distinction

“In a nuclear war the collateral damage would be the life of humankind.  Let us have the courage to proclaim that all nuclear or conventional weapons, everything that is used to make war, must disappear!”

“It is about demanding that the world is not led into a nuclear catastrophe, it is to preserve life.”

Fidel Castro Ruz, Havana, October 2010.

CONVERSATIONS

Professor Michel Chossudovsky: I am very honored to have this opportunity to exchange views concerning several fundamental issues affecting human society as a whole. I think that the notion that you have raised in your recent texts regarding the threat against Homo sapiens is fundamental.

What is that threat, the risk of a nuclear war and the threat to human beings, to Homo sapiens?

Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz: Since quite a long time –years I would say- but especially for some months now, I began to worry about the imminence of a dangerous and probable war that could very rapidly evolve towards a nuclear war.

Before that I had concentrated all my efforts on the analysis of the capitalist system in general and the methods that the imperial tyranny has imposed on humanity.  The United States applies to the world the violation of the most fundamental rights.

During the Cold War, no one spoke about war or nuclear weapons; people talked about an apparent peace, that is, between the USSR and the United States, the famous MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction) was guaranteed.  It seemed that the world was going to enjoy the delights of a peace that would last for an unlimited time.

 Michel Chossudovsky: … This notion of “mutual assured destruction” ended with the Cold War and after that the nuclear doctrine was redefined, because we never really thought about a nuclear war during the Cold War.  Well, obviously, there was a danger –as even Robert McNamara said at some point in time.

But, after the Cold War, particularly after September 11 [2001],  America’s nuclear doctrine started to be redefined.

Fidel Castro Ruz: You asked me when was it that we became aware of the imminent risk of a nuclear war, and that dates back to the period I talked to you about previously, barely six months ago.  One of the things that called our attention the most regarding such a war danger was the sinking of the Cheonan during a military maneuver. That was the flagship of the South Korean Navy; an extremely sophisticated vessel.  It was at the time when we found on GlobalReasearch the journalist’s report that offered a clear and truly coherent information about the sinking of the Cheonan, which could not have been the work of a submarine that had been manufactured by the USSR more than sixty years ago, using an outdated technology which did not require the sophisticated equipment that could be detected by the Cheonan, during a joint maneuver with the most modern US vessels.

The provocation against the Democratic Republic of Korea added up to our own earlier concerns about an aggression against Iran.  We had been closely following the political process in that country. We knew perfectly well what happened there during the 1950s, when Iran nationalized the assets of the British Petroleum in that country- which at the time was called the Anglo Persian Oil Company.

In my opinion, the threats against Iran became imminent in June [2010], after the adoption of Resolution 1929 on the 9th of June, 2010, when the United Nations Security Council condemned Iran for the research it is carrying out and the production of small amounts of 20 per cent enriched uranium, and accused it of being a threat to the world.  The position adopted by each and every member of the Security Council is known: 12 member States voted in favor –five of them had the right to veto; one of them abstained and 2 –Brazil and Turkey- voted against. Shortly after the Resolution was adopted –the most aggressive resolution of of them all– one US aircraft carrier, embedded in a combat unit, plus a nuclear submarine, went through the Suez Canal with the help of the Egyptian government.  Naval units from Israel joined, heading for the Persian Gulf and the seas nearby Iran.

The sanctions imposed by the United States and its NATO allies against Iran was absolutely abusive and unjust.  I cannot understand the reason why Russia and China did not veto the dangerous Resolution 1929 of the United Nations Security Council.  In my opinion this has complicated the political situation terribly and has placed the world on the brink of war.

I remember previous  Israeli attacks against the Arab nuclear research centers.  They first attacked and destroyed the one in Iraq in June 1981.  They did not ask for anyone’s permission, they did not talk to anybody; they just attacked them and the Iraqis had to endure the strikes.

In 2007 they repeated that same operation against a research center that was being built by Syria.  There is something in that episode that I really don’t quite understand:  what was not clear to me were the underlying tactics, or the reasons why Syria did not denounce the Israeli attack against that research center where, undoubtedly, they were doing something, they were working on something for which, as it is known, they were receiving some cooperation from North Korea.  That was something legal; they did not commit any violation.

I am saying this here and I am being very honest: I don’t understand why this was not denounced, because, in my opinion, that would have been important. Those are two very important antecedents.

I believe there are many reasons to think that they will try to do the same against Iran:  destroy its research centers or the power generation centers of that country.  As is known, the power generation uranium residues are the raw material to produce plutonium.

Michel Chossudovsky:  It is true that that Security Council Resolution has to some extent contributed to cancelling the program of military cooperation that Russia and China have with Iran, especially Russia cooperates with Iran in the context of the Air Defence System by supplying its S-300 System.I remember that just after the Security Council’s decision, with the endorsement of China and Russia, the Russian minister of  Foreign Affairs said: “Well, we have approved the Resolution but that is not going to invalidate our military cooperation with Iran”. That was in June.  But a few months later, Moscow confirmed that military cooperation [with Iran] was going to be frozen, so now Iran is facing a very serious situation, because it needs Russian technology to maintain its security, namely its [S-300] air defence system.

But I think that all the threats against Russia and China are intent upon preventing the two countries from getting involved in the Iran issue. In other words, if there is a war with Iran  the other powers, which are China and Russia, aren’t going to intervene in any way; they will be freezing their military cooperation with Iran and therefore this is a way [for the US and NATO] of extending their war in the Middle East without there being a confrontation with China and Russia  and I think that this more or less is the scenario right now.

There are many types of threats directed against Russia and China. The fact that China’s borders are militarized –China’s South Sea, the Yellow Sea, the border with Afghanistan, and also the Straits of Taiwan- it is in some way a threat to dissuade China and Russia from playing the role of powers in world geopolitics, thus paving the way and even creating consensus in favour of a war with Iran which is happening under conditions where Iran’s  air defence system is being weakened.   [With the freeze of its military cooperation agreement with Russia] Iran is a “sitting duck” from the point of view of its ability to defend itself using its air defence system.

Fidel Castro Ruz:  In my modest and serene opinion  that resolution should have been vetoed.  Because, in my opinion, everything has become more complicated in several ways.

Militarily, because of what you are explaining regarding, for example, the commitment that existed and the contract that had been signed to supply Iran the S-300, which are very efficient anti-aircraft weapons in the first place.

There are other things regarding fuel supplies, which are very important for China, because China is the country with the highest economic growth.  Its growing economy generates greater demand for oil and gas.  Even though there are agreements with Russia for oil and gas supplies, they are also developing wind energy and other forms of renewable energy. They have enormous coal reserves;  nuclear energy will not increase much, only 5% for many years. In other words, the need for gas and oil in the Chinese economy is huge, and I cannot imagine, really, how they will be able to get all that energy, and at what price, if the country where they have important investments is destroyed by the US.  But the worst risk is the very nature of that war in Iran.  Iran is a Muslim country that has millions of trained combatants who are strongly motivated.

There are tens of millions of people who are under [military] orders,  they are being politically educated and trained, men and women alike.  There are millions of combatants trained and determined to die.  These are people who will not be intimidated and who cannot be forced to changing [their behavior]. On the other hand, there are the Afghans –they are being murdered by US drones –there are the Pakistanis, the Iraqis, who have seen one to two million compatriots die as a result of the antiterrorist war invented by Bush.  You cannot win a war against the Muslim world; that is sheer madness.

Michel Chossudovsky:  But it’s true, their conventional forces are very large,  Iran can mobilize in a single day several million troops and they are on the border with Afghanistan and Iraq, and even if there is a blitzkrieg war, the US cannot avoid a conventional war that is waged very close to its military bases in that region.

Fidel Castro Ruz: But the fact is that the US would lose that conventional war. The problem is that nobody can win a conventional war against millions of people; they would not concentrate their forces in large numbers in a single location for the Americans to kill them.

Well, I was a guerrilla fighter and I recall that I had to think seriously about how to use the forces we had and I would never have made the mistake of concentrating those forces in a single location, because the more concentrated the forces, the greater the casualties caused by weapons of mass destruction….

Michel Chossudovsky: As you mentioned previously, a matter of utmost importance: China and Russia’s decision in the Security Council, their support of Resolution 1929, is in fact harmful to them because, first, Russia cannot export weapons, thus its main source of income is now frozen.  Iran was one of the main customers or buyers of Russian weapons, and that was an important source of hard currency earnings which supported Russia`s consumer goods economy thereby covering the needs of the population.

And, on the other hand China requires access to sources of energy as you mentioned. The fact that China and Russia have accepted the consensus in the UN Security Council, is tantamount to saying: “We accept that you kill our economy and, in some ways, our commercial agreements with a third country”.  That’s very serious because it [the UNSC Resolution] not only does harm to Iran; is also harms those two countries, and I suppose –even though I am not a politician –that there must be tremendous divisions within the leadership, both in Russia and in China, for that to happen, for Russia to accept not to use its veto power in the Security Council.

I spoke with Russian journalists, who told me that there wasn’t exactly a consensus within the government per se; it was a guideline.  But there are people in the government with a different point of view regarding the interests of Russia and its stance in the UN Security Council.  How do you see this?

Fidel Castro Ruz: How do I see the general situation? The alternative in Iran –let me put it this way –the conventional war would be lost by the US and the nuclear war is not an alternative for anyone.

On the other hand, nuclear war would inevitably become global.  Thus the danger in my opinion exists with the current situation in Iran, bearing in mind the reasons you are presenting and many other facts; which brings me to the conclusion that the war would end up being a nuclear war.


Filming of Fidel’s message on October 15. 2010 From left to right: Fidel Castro, TV crew, Michel Chossudovsky, Randy Alonso FalconMichel Chossudovsky: In other words, since the US and its allies are unable to win the conventional war, they are going to use nuclear weapons, but that too would be a war they couldn’t win, because we are going to lose everything.Fidel Castro Ruz: Everyone would be losing that war; that would be a war that everyone would lose. What would Russia gain if a nuclear war were unleashed over there? What would China gain?  What kind of war would that be? How would the world react? What effect would it have on the world economy? You explained it at the university when you spoke about the centralized defence system designed by the Pentagon.  It sounds like science fiction; it doesn’t even remotely resemble the last world war.  The other thing which is also very important is the attempt [by the Pentagon] to transform nuclear weapons into conventional tactical weapons.

Today, October 13th, I was reading about the same thing in a news dispatch stating that the citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were drawing up strong protests about the fact that the US had just carried out subcritical nuclear tests.  They’re called subcritical, which means the use of the nuclear weapon without deploying all the energy that might be achieved with the critical mass.

It reads:  “Indignation in Hiroshima and Nagasaki because of a United States nuclear test.”…

 “The Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that suffered a nuclear attack at the end of WW II, deplored today the nuclear test carried out by the US on September last, called sub critical because it does not unleash chain nuclear reactions.

“The test, the first of this kind in that country since 2006, took place on September 15th somewhere in Nevada, United States.  It was officially confirmed by the Department of Energy of that country, the Japan Times informed.”

What did that newspaper say?

“I deeply deplore it because I was hoping that President Barack Obama would take on the leadership in eliminating nuclear weapons”, the governor of Nagasaki, Hodo Nakamura, stated today at a press conference.

A series of news items related to that follows.

“The test has also caused several protests among the citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, including several survivors of the atomic bombs attacks that devastated both cities in August of 1945.

“We cannot tolerate any action of the United States that betrays President Barack Obama’s promise of moving forward to a world without nuclear arms, said Yukio Yoshioka, the deputy director of the Council for the Victims of the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb.

“The government stated that it has no intention of protesting.”  It relegates the protest to a social level and then said: “With this, the number of subcritical nuclear tests made by the United States reaches the figure of 26, since July 1997 when the first of them took place.”

Now it says:

“Washington considers that these tests do not violate the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) since they do not unleash any chain reactions, and therefore do not release any nuclear energy, and so they can be considered to be laboratory tests.”

The US says that it has to make these tests because they are necessary to maintain the “security of its nuclear arsenal”, which is the same as saying: since we have these great nuclear arsenals, we are doing this in order to ensure our security.

Michel Chossudovsky:  Let us return to the issue of the threat against Iran, because you said that the US and its allies could not win a conventional war.  That is true; but nuclear weapons could be used as an alternative to conventional warfare, and this evidently is a threat against humanity, as you have emphasized in your writings.

The reason for my concern is that after the Cold War the idea of nuclear weapons with a “humanitarian face” was developed, saying that those weapons were not really dangerous, that they do not harm civilians, and in some way the nuclear weapons label was changed.  Therefore, according to their criteria, [tactical] nuclear weapons are no different from conventional weapons, and now in the military manuals they say that tactical nuclear weapons are weapons that pose no harm to civilians.

Therefore, we might have a situation in which those who decide to attack Iran with a nuclear weapon would not be aware of the consequences that this might have for the Middle East, central Asia, but also for humanity as a whole, because they are going to say: “Well, according to our criteria, these [tactical] nuclear weapons [safe for civilians] are different from those deployed during the Cold War and so, we can use them against Iran as a weapon which does not [affect civilians and] does not threaten global security.”

How do you view that?  It’s extremely dangerous, because they themselves believe their own propaganda.  It is internal propaganda within the armed forces, within the political apparatus.

When tactical nuclear weapons were recategorized in 2002-2003, Senator Edward Kennedy said at that time that it was a way of blurring the boundary between conventional and nuclear weapons.

But that’s where we are today; we are in an era where nuclear weapons are considered to be no different from the Kalashnikov. I’m exaggerating, but somehow nuclear weapons are now part of the tool box –that’s the word they use, “tool box” –and from there you choose the type of weapon you are going to use, so the nuclear weapon could be used in the conventional war theatre, leading us to the unthinkable, a nuclear war scenario on a regional level, but also with repercussions at the global level.

Fidel Castro Ruz: I heard what you said on the Round Table [Cuban TV] program about such weapons, presumably harmless to people living in the vicinity of the areas where they are to be targeted,  the power [explosive yield] could range from one-third of the one that was used in Hiroshima up to six times the power [explosive yield] of that weapon, and today we know perfectly well the terrible damage it causes.  One single bomb instantly killed 100,000 people.  Just imagine a bomb having six times the power of that one [Hiroshima bomb], or two times that power, or an equivalent power, or 30 per cent that power.  It is absurd.

There is also what you explained at the university about the attempt to present it as a humanitarian weapon that could also be available to the troops in the theatre of operations.  So at any given moment any commander in the theatre of operations could be authorized to use that weapon as one that was more efficient than other weapons, something that would be considered his duty according to military doctrine and the training he/she received at the military academies.

Michel Chossudovsky:  In that sense, I don’t think that this nuclear weapon would be used without the approval, let’s say, of the Pentagon, namely  its centralised command structures [e.g. Strategic Command]; but I do think that it could be used without the approval of the President of the United States and Commander in Chief.  In other words, it isn’t quite the same logic as that which prevailed during the Cold War where there was the Red Telephone and…

Fidel Castro Ruz: I understand, Professor, what you are saying regarding the use of that weapon as authorized by the senior levels of the Pentagon, and it seems right to me that you should make that clarification so that you won’t be blamed for exaggerating the dangers of that weapon.

But look, after one has learned about the antagonisms and arguments between the Pentagon and the President of the United States, there are really not too many doubts about what the Pentagon decision would be if the chief of the theatre of operations  requests to use that weapon because he feels it is necessary or indispensable.

Michel Chossudovsky: There is also another element.  The deployment of tactical nuclear weapons now, as far as I know, is being undertaken by several European countries which belong to NATO.  This is the case of Belgium, Holland, Turkey, Italy and Germany.  Thus, there are plenty of these “little nuclear bombs” very close to the theatre of war, and on the other hand we also have Israel.

Now then, I don’t think that Israel is going to start a war on its own; that would be impossible in terms of strategy and decision-making.  In modern warfare, with the centralization of communications, logistics and everything else, starting a major war would be a centralized decision.  However, Israel might act if the US gives Israel the green light to launch the first attack.  That’s within the realm of possibilities, even though there are some analysts who now say that the war on Iran will start in Lebanon and Syria with a conventional border war, and then that would provide the pretext for an escalation in military operations.

Fidel Castro Ruz: Yesterday, October 13th, a crowd of people welcomed Ahmadinejad in Lebanon like a national hero of that country.  I was reading a cable about that this morning.

Besides, we also know about Israel’s concerns regarding that, given the fact that the Lebanese are people with a great fighting spirit who have three times the number of reactive missiles they had in the former conflict with Israel and Lebanon, which was a great concern for Israel because they need –as the Israeli technicians have asserted – the air force to confront that weapon.  And so, they state, they could only be attacking Iran for a number of hours, not three days, because they should be paying attention to such a danger.  That’s the reason why, from these viewpoints, every day that goes by they are more concerned, because those weapons are part of the Iranian arsenal of conventional weapons. For example, among their conventional weapons, they have hundreds of rocket launchers to fight surface warships in that area of the Caspian Sea.  We know that, from the time of the Falklands war, a surface warship can dodge one, two or three rockets.  But imagine how a large warship can protect itself against a shower of weapons of that kind.  Those are rapid vessels operated by well-trained people, because the Iranians have been training people for 30 years now and they have developed efficient conventional weapons.

You yourself know that, and you know what happened during the last World War, before the emergence of nuclear weapons.  Fifty million people died as a result of the destructive power of conventional weaponry.

A war today is not like the war that was waged in the nineteenth century, before the appearance of nuclear weapons.  And wars were already highly destructive.  Nuclear arms appeared at the very last minute, because Truman wanted to use them.  He wanted to test the Hiroshima bomb, creating the critical mass from uranium, and the other one in Nagasaki, which created a critical mass from plutonium.  The two bombs killed around 100,000 persons immediately.  We don’t know how many were wounded and affected by radiation, who died later on or suffered for long years from these effects. Besides, a nuclear war would create a nuclear winter.

I am talking to you about the dangers of a war, considering  the immediate damage it might cause.  It would be enough if we only had a limited number of them, the amount of weapons owned by one of the least mighty [nuclear] powers, India or Pakistan.  Their explosion would be sufficient to create a nuclear winter from which no human being would survive.  That would be impossible, since it would last for 8 to 10 years.  In a matter of weeks the sunlight would no longer be visible.

Mankind is less than 200,000 years old.  So far everything was normalcy.  The laws of nature were being fulfilled; the laws of life developed on planet Earth for more than 3 billion years.  Men, the Homo sapiens, the intelligent beings did not exist after 8 tenths of a million years had elapsed, according to all studies.  Two hundred years ago, everything was virtually unknown.  Today we know the laws governing the evolution of the species.  Scientists, theologians, even the most devout religious people who initially echoed the campaign launched by the great ecclesiastical institutions against the Darwinian Theory, today accept the laws of evolution as real, without it preventing their sincere practice of their religious beliefs where, quite often, people find comfort for their most heartfelt hardships.

I think nobody on Earth wishes the human species to disappear.  And that is the reason why I am of the opinion that what should disappear are not just nuclear weapons, but also conventional weapons.  We must provide a guarantee for peace to all peoples without distinction, to the Iranians as well as the Israelis.  Natural resources should be distributed.  They should!  I don’t mean they will, or that it would be easy to do it.  But there would be no other alternative for humanity, in a world of limited dimensions and resources, even if all the scientific potential to create renewable sources of energy is developed. We are almost 7 billion inhabitants, and so we need to implement a demographic policy.  We need many things, and when you put them all together and you ask yourself the following question:  will human beings be capable of understanding that and overcome all those difficulties? You realize that only enthusiasm can truly lead a person to say that he or she will confront and easily resolve a problem of such proportions.

Michel Chossudovsky:  What you have just said is extremely important, when you spoke of Truman.  Truman said that Hiroshima was a military base and that there would be no harm to civilians.

This notion of collateral damage; reflects continuity in [America’s] nuclear doctrine ever since the year 1945 up until today.  That is, not at the level of reality but at the level of [military] doctrine and propaganda.  I mean, in 1945 it was said: Let’s save humanity by killing 100,000 people and deny the fact that Hiroshima was a populated city, namely that it was a military base.  But nowadays the falsehoods have become much more sophisticated, more widespread, and nuclear weapons are more advanced.  So, we are dealing with the future of humanity and the threat of a nuclear war at a global level. The lies and fiction underlying [US] political and military discourse would lead us to a Worldwide catastrophe in which politicians would be unable to make head or tails of their own lies.

Then, you said that intelligent human beings have existed for 200,000 years, but that same intelligence, which has now been incorporated in various institutions, namely the media, the intelligence services, the United Nations, happens to be what is now going to destroy us.  Because we believe our own lies, which leads us towards nuclear war, without realizing that this would be the last war, as Einstein clearly stated. A nuclear war cannot ensure the continuation of humanity; it is a threat against the world.

Fidel Castro Ruz: Those are very good words, Professor.  The collateral damage, in this case, could be humanity.

War is a crime and there is no need for any new law to describe it as such, because since Nuremberg, war has already been considered a crime, the biggest crime against humanity and peace, and the most horrible of all crimes.

Michel Chossudovsky.-  The Nuremberg texts clearly state: “War is a criminal act, it is the ultimate act of war against peace.” This part of the Nuremberg texts is often quoted. After the Second World War, the Allies wanted to use it against the conquered, and I am not saying that this is not valid, but the crimes that they committed, including the crimes committed against Germany and Japan, are never mentioned.  With a nuclear weapon, in the case of Japan.

Michel Chossudovsky.-  It is an extremely important issue for me and if we are talking about a “counter-alliance for peace”, the criminalization of war seems to me to be a fundamental aspect. I’m talking about the abolition of war; it is a criminal act that must be eliminated.

Fidel Castro Ruz –  Well, who would judge the main criminals?

Michel Chossudovsky.- The problem is that they also control the judicial system and the courts, so the judges are criminals as well. What can we do?

Fidel Castro Ruz   I say that this is part of the Battle of Ideas.

It is about demanding that the world not be spearheaded into a nuclear catastrophe, it is to preserve life.

We do not know, but we presume that if man becomes aware of his own existence, that of his people, that of his loved ones, even the U.S. military leaders would be aware of the outcome; although they are taught in life to follow orders, not infrequently genocide, as in the use of tactical or strategic nuclear weapons, because that is what they were taught in the [military] academies.

As all of this is sheer madness, no politician is exempt from the duty of conveying these truths to the people. One must believe in them, otherwise there would be nothing to fight for.        

Michel Chossudovsky .- I think what you are saying is that at the present time, the great debate in human history should focus on the danger of nuclear war that threatens the future of humanity, and that any discussion we have about basic needs or economics requires that we prevent the occurrence of war and instate global peace so that we can then plan living standards worldwide based on basic needs;  but if we do not solve the problem of war, capitalism will not survive, right?          

Fidel Castro Ruz.– No, it cannot survive, in terms of all the analysis we’ve undertaken, it cannot survive. The capitalist system and the market economy that suffocate human life, are not going to disappear overnight, but imperialism based on force, nuclear weapons and conventional weapons with modern technology, has to disappear if we want humanity to survive.

Now, there something occurring at this very moment which characterizes the Worldwide process of disinformation, and it is the following: In Chile 33 miners were trapped 700 meters underground, and the world is rejoicing at the news that 33 miners have been saved. Well, simply, what will the world do if it becomes aware that 6,877,596,300 people need to be saved, if 33 have created universal joy and all the mass media speak only of that these days, why not save the nearly 7 billion people trapped by the terrible danger of perishing in a horrible death like those of Hiroshima or Nagasaki?

Michel Chossudovsky. -This is also, clearly, the issue of media coverage that is given to different events and the propaganda emanating from the media.

I think it was an incredible humanitarian operation that the Chileans undertook, but it is true that if there is a threat to humanity,  as you mentioned, it  should be on the front page of every newspaper in the world because human society in its totality could be the victim of a decision that has been made, even by a three-star general who is unaware of the consequences [of nuclear weapons].

But here we are talking about how the media, particularly in the West, are hiding the most serious issue that potentially affects the world today, which is the danger of nuclear war and we must take it seriously, because both Hillary Clinton and Obama have said that they have contemplated using nuclear weapon in a so-called preventive war against Iran.

Well, how do we answer? What do you say to Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama regarding their statements pertaining to the unilateral use of nuclear weapons against Iran, a country that poses no danger to anyone?      

Fidel Castro Ruz.- Yes, I know two things: What was discussed. This has been revealed recently, namely far-reaching arguments within the Security Council of the United States.  That is the value of the book written by Bob Woodward, because it revealed how all these discussions occurred. We know the positions of Biden, Hillary, Obama, and indeed in those discussions, who was firmer against the extension of the war, who was able to argue with the military, it was Obama, that is a fact.

I am writing the latest reflection, actually, about that. The only one who got there, and gave him advice, who had been an opponent because of his Republican Party membership, was Colin Powell. He reminded him that he was the President of the United States, encouraging advice.

I think we should ensure that this message reaches everybody; what we have discussed. I think many read the articles you have published in Global Research.  I think we need to disclose, and to the extent that we have these discussions and harbor the idea of disclosure. I am delighted every time you argue, reasonably, and put forth these issues, simply, in my opinion, there is a real deficit of information for the reasons you explained.

Now, we must invent. What are the ways to make all this known? At the time of the Twelve Apostles, there were 12 and no more, and they were given the task of disseminating the teachings a preacher transmitted to them. Sure, they had hundreds of years ahead of them. We, however, we do not have that. But I was looking at the list of personalities, and there are more than 20 prominent people who have been working with Global Research, prestigious people, asking the same questions, but they do not have hundreds of years, but, well, very little time.

Michel Chossudovsky. –  The antiwar movement in the United States, Canada and Europe is divided. Some people think the threat comes from Iran, others say they [the Iranians] are terrorists, and there is a lot of disinformation in the movement itself.

Besides, at the World Social Forum the issue of nuclear war is not part of the debate between people of the Left or progressives. During the Cold War there was talk of the danger of nuclear conflict, and people had this awareness.

At the last meeting held in New York on non-proliferation, under the United Nations, the emphasis was on the nuclear threat from non-state entities, from terrorists.

President Obama said that the threat comes from Al Qaeda, which has nuclear weapons.  Also, if someone reads Obama’s speeches he is suggesting that the terrorists have the ability of producing small nuclear bombs, what they call “dirty bombs”. Well, it’s a way of [distorting the issues] and shifting the emphasis.

Fidel Castro Ruz. – That is what they tell him [Obama], that is what his own people tell him and have him believe.

Look, what do I do with the reflections? They are distributed in the United Nations, they are sent to all governments, the reflections, of course, are short, to send them to all the governments, and I know there are many people who read them. The problem is whether you are telling the truth or not. Of course, when one collects all this information in relation to a particular problem because the reflections are also diluted on many issues, but I think you have to concentrate on our part, the disclosure of essentials, I cannot cover everything.

Michel Chossudovsky. – I have a question, because there is an important aspect related to the Cuban Revolution. In my opinion, the debate on the future of humanity is also part of a revolutionary discourse.  If society as a whole were to be threatened by nuclear war, it is necessary in some form, to have a revolution at the levels of ideas as well as actions against this event, [namely nuclear war].

Fidel Castro Ruz .- We have to say, I repeat,  that humanity is trapped 800 meters underground and that we must get it out, we need to do a rescue operation. That is the message we must convey to a large number of people. If  people in large numbers believe in that message, they will do what you are doing and they will support what you are supporting. It will no longer depend on who are those who say it, but on the fact that somebody [and eventually everybody] says it.

You have to figure out how you can reach the informed masses. The solution is not the newspapers. There is the Internet, Internet is cheaper, Internet is more accessible. I approached you through the Internet looking for news, not through news agencies, not through the press, not from CNN, but news through a newsletter I receive daily articles on the Internet . Over 100 pages each day.

Yesterday you were arguing that in the United States some time ago two thirds of public opinion was against the war on Iran, and today, fifty-some percent favored military action against Iran.

Michel Chossudovsky .- What happened, even in recent months, it was said: “Yes, nuclear war is very dangerous, it is a threat, but the threat comes from Iran,” and there were signs in New York City  saying: ” Say no to nuclear Iran, “and the message of these posters was to present Iran as a threat to global security, even if the threat did not exist because they do not have nuclear weapons.

Anyway, that’s the situation, and The New York Times earlier this week published a text that says, yes, political assassinations are legal.

Then, when we have a press that gives us things like that, with the distribution that they have, it is a lot of work [on our part]. We have limited capabilities to reverse this process [of media disinformation] within the limited distribution outlets of the alternative media. In addition to that, now many of these alternative media are financed by the economic establishment.            

Fidel Castro Ruz.- And yet we have to fight.

Michel Chossudovsky .- Yes, we keep struggling, but the message was what you said yesterday. That in the case of a nuclear war, the collateral damage would be humanity as a whole.

Fidel Castro Ruz.- It would be humanity, the life of humanity.

Michel Chossudovsky.-   It is true that the Internet should continue to function as an outreach tool to avoid the war. 

Fidel Castro Ruz.- Well, it’s the only way we can prevent it. If we were to create world opinion, it’s like the example I mentioned: there are nearly 7 billion people trapped 800 meters underground, we use the phenomenon of Chile to disclose these things.

Michel Chossudovsky .- The comparison you make with the rescue of 33 miners, saying that there are 33 miners below ground there to be rescued, which received extensive media coverage, and you say that we have almost 7 billion people that are  800 meters underground and do not understand what is happening, but we have to rescue them, because humanity as a whole is threatened by the nuclear weapons of the United States and its allies, because they are the ones who say they intend to use them.        

Fidel Castro Ruz.- And will use them [the nuclear weapons] if there is no opposition, if there is no resistance. They are deceived; they are drugged with military superiority and modern technology and do not know what they are doing.

They do not understand the consequences; they believe that the prevailed situation can be maintained. It is impossible.

Michel Chossudovsky. – Or they believe that this is simply some sort of conventional weapon.           

Fidel Castro Ruz. – Yes, they are deluded and believe that you can still use that weapon. They believe they are in another era, they do not remember what Einstein said when he stated he did not know with what weapons World War III would be fought with, but the World War IV would be fought with sticks and stones. I added there: “… there wouldn’t be anyone to handle the sticks and stones.” That is the reality; I have it written there in the short speech you suggested I develop.

Michel Chossudovsky .- The problem I see is that the use of nuclear weapons will not necessarily lead to the end of humankind from one day to the next, because the radioactive impact is cumulative.

Fidel Castro Ruz. – Repeat that, please.

Michel Chossudovsky. – The nuclear weapon has several different consequences: one is the explosion and destruction in the theater of war, which is the phenomenon of Hiroshima, and the other are the impacts of radiation which increases over time.           

Fidel Castro Ruz.- Yes, nuclear winter, as we call it. The prestigious American researcher, University of Rutgers (New Jersey) Professor Emeritus Alan Robock irrefutably showed that the outbreak of a war between two of the eight nuclear powers who possess the least amount of weapons of this kind would result in “nuclear winter”.

He disclosed that at the fore of a group of researchers who used ultra-scientific computer models.

It would be enough to have 100 strategic nuclear weapons of the 25,000 possessed by the eight powers mentioned exploding in order to create temperatures below freezing all over the planet and a long night that would last approximately eight years.  Professor Robock exclaims that it is so terrible that people are falling into a “state of denial”, not wanting to think about it; it is easier to pretend that it doesn’t exist”.  He told me that personally, at an international conference he was giving, where I had the honor of conversing with him.

Well, but I start from an assumption: If a war breaks out in Iran, it will inevitably become nuclear war and a global war. So that’s why yesterday we were saying it was not right to allow such an agreement in the Security Council, because it makes everything easier, do you see?

Such a war in Iran today would not remain confined to the local level, because the Iranians would not give in to use of force. If it remained conventional, it would be a war the United States and Europe could not win, and I argue that it would rapidly turn into a nuclear war. If the United States were to make the mistake of using tactical nuclear weapons, there would be consternation throughout the world and the US would eventually lose control of the situation.

Obama has had a heated discussion with the Pentagon about what to do in Afghanistan; imagine Obama’s situation with American and Israeli soldiers fighting against millions of Iranians. The Saudis are not going to fight in Iran, nor are the Pakistanis or any other Arab or Muslim soldiers. What could happen is that the Yanks have serious conflicts with the Pakistani tribes which they are attacking and killing with their drones,  and they know that. When you strike a blow against those tribes, first attacking and then warning the government, not saying anything beforehand;  that is one of the things that irritates the Pakistanis. There is a strong anti-American feeling there.

It’s a mistake to think that the Iranians would give up if they used tactical nuclear weapons against them, and the world really would be shocked, but then it may be too late.

Michel Chossudovsky .- They cannot win a conventional war.          

Fidel Castro Ruz .- They cannot win.

Michel Chossudovsky. – And that we can see in Iraq; in Afghanistan they can destroy an entire country, but they cannot win from a military standpoint.          

Fidel Castro Ruz. – But to destroy it [a country] at what price, at what cost to the world, at what economic costs, in the march towards catastrophe? The problems you mentioned are compounded, the American people would react, because the American people are often slow to react, but they react in the end. The American people react to casualties, the dead.

A lot of people supported the Nixon administration during the war in Vietnam, he even suggested the use of nuclear weapons in that country to Kissinger, but he dissuaded him from taking that criminal step. The United States was obliged by the American people to end the war; it had to negotiate and had to hand over the south. Iran would have to give up the oil in the area. In Vietnam what did they hand over? An expense. Ultimately, they are now back in Vietnam, buying oil, trading. In Iran they would lose many lives, and perhaps a large part of the oil facilities in the area would be destroyed.

In the present situation, is likely they would not understand our message. If war breaks out, my opinion is that they, and the world, would gain nothing. If it were solely a conventional war, which is very unlikely, they would lose irretrievably, and if it becomes a global nuclear war, humanity would lose.

Michel Chossudovsky.- Iran has conventional forces that are …significant.

Fidel Castro Ruz.-   Millions.

Michel Chossudovsky.-  Land forces, but also rockets and also Iran has the ability to defend itself.

 Fidel Castro Ruz.-   While there remains one single man with a gun, this is an enemy they will have to defeat.

Michel Chossudovsky.-  And there are several millions with guns.

 Fidel Castro Ruz.-   Millions, and they will have to sacrifice many American lives, unfortunately it would be only then that Americans would react, if they don’t react now they will react later when it will be too late; we must write, we must divulge this as much as we can.   Remember that the Christians were persecuted, they led them off to the catacombs, they killed them, they threw them to the lions, but they held on to their beliefs for centuries and later that was what they did to the Moslems, and the Moslems never yielded.

There is a real war against the Moslem world.  Why are those lessons of history being forgotten?  I have read many of the articles you wrote about the risks of that war.

Michel Chossudovsky.-  Let us return to the matter of Iran.  I believe that it is very important that world opinion comprehends the war scenario.  You clearly state that they would lose the war, the conventional war, they are losing it in Iraq and Afghanistan, Iran has more conventional forces than those of NATO in Afghanistan.

 Fidel Castro Ruz.-   Much more experienced and motivated.  They are now in conflict with those forces in Afghanistan and Iraq and one they don’t mention: the Pakistanis of the same ethnic group as those in the resistance in Afghanistan. In White House discussions,  they consider that the war is lost, that’s what the book by Bob Woodward entitled “Obama’s Wars” tells us.  Imagine the  situation if in addition to that, they append a war to liquidate whatever remains after the initial blows they inflict on Iran.

So they will be thrust into a conventional war situation that they cannot win, or they will be obliged to wage a global nuclear war, under conditions of a worldwide upheaval.  And I don’t know who can justify the type of war they have to wage; they have 450 targets marked out in Iran, and of these some, according to them, will have to be attacked with tactical nuclear warheads because of their location in mountainous areas and at the depth at which they are situated [underground].  Many Russian personnel and persons from other nationalities collaborating with them will die in that confrontation.

What will be the reaction of world opinion in the face of that blow which today is being irresponsibly promoted by the media with the backing of many Americans?

Michel Chossudovsky.-  One issue, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, they are all neighbouring countries in a certain way.  Iran shares borders with Afghanistan and with Iraq, and the United States and NATO have military facilities in the countries they occupy.  What’s going to happen? I suppose that the Iranian troops are immediately going to cross the border.

Fidel Castro Ruz.-   Well, I don’t know what tactic they’re going to use, but if one were in their place, the most advisable is to not concentrate their troops, because if the troops are concentrated they will be victims of the attack with tactical nuclear weapons. In other words, in accordance with the nature of the threat as it is being described, the best thing would be for them to use a tactic similar to ours in southern Angola when we suspected that South Africa had nuclear weapons; we created tactical groups of 1000 men with land and anti-air fire power.  Nuclear weapons could never within their reach target a large number of soldiers. Anti-air rocketry and other similar weapons was supporting our forces.  Weapons and the conditions of the terrain change and tactics must continuously change.

Michel Chossudovsky.-  Dispersed.

Fidel Castro Ruz.-   Dispersed, but not isolated men, there were around 1000 men with appropriate weapons, the terrain was sandy, wherever they got to they had to dig in and protect themselves underground, always keeping the maximum distance between components.  The enemy was never given an opportunity to aim a decisive blow against the 60,000 Cuban and Angolan soldiers in southern Angola.

What we did in that sister country is what, a thousand strong army, operating with traditional criteria, would have done.  Fine, we were not 100 000, in southern Angola there were 60,000 men, Cubans and Angolans; due to technical requirements the tactical groups were mainly made up of Cubans because they handled tanks, rockets, anti-aircraft guns, communications, but the infantry was made up of Cuban and Angolan soldiers, with great fighting spirit, who didn’t hesitate one second in confronting the white Apartheid army supported by the United States and Israel.  Who handled the numerous nuclear weapons that they had at that moment?

In the case of Iran,   we are getting news that they are digging into the ground, and when they are asked about it, they say that they are making cemeteries to bury the invaders. I don’t know if this is meant to be ironic, but I think that one would really have to dig quite a lot to protect their forces from the attack which is threatening them.

Michel Chossudovsky.-  Sure, but Iran has the possibility of mobilizing millions of troops.

Fidel Castro Ruz.-   Not just troops, but the command posts are also decisive.  In my opinion, dispersion is very important.  The attackers will try to prevent the transmission of orders.  Every combat unit must know beforehand what they have to do under different  circumstances.  The attacker will try to strike and destabilize the chain of command with its radio-electronic weapons.  All those factors must be kept in mind.  Mankind has never experienced a similar predicament.

Anyway,  Afghanistan is “a joke” and Iraq, too, when you compare them with what they are going to bump into in Iran: the weaponry, the training, the mentality, the kind of soldier…  If 31 years ago, Iranian combatants cleaned the mine fields by advancing over them, they will undoubtedly be the most fearsome adversaries that the United States has ever come across.

 

Our thanks and appreciation to Cuba Debate for the transcription as well as the translation from Spanish.

 

 

Fidel’s Message on the Dangers of Nuclear War

Recorded on the last day of the Conversations, October 15, 2010

TRANSCRIPT

The use of nuclear weapons in a new war would mean the end of humanity. This was candidly foreseen by scientist Albert Einstein who was able to measure their destructive capability to generate millions of degrees of heat, which would vaporize everything within a wide radius of action. This brilliant researcher had promoted the development of this weapon so that it would not become available to the genocidal Nazi regime.

Each and every government in the world has the obligation to respect the right to life of each and every nation and of the totality of all the peoples on the planet.

Today there is an imminent risk of war with the use of that kind of weapon and I don’t harbour the least doubt that an attack by the United States and Israel against the Islamic Republic of Iran would inevitably evolve towards a global nuclear conflict.

The World’s peoples have an obligation to demand of their political leaders their Right to Live. When the life of humankind, of your people and your most beloved human beings run such a risk, nobody can afford to be indifferent; not one minute can be lost in demanding respect for that right; tomorrow will be too late.

Albert Einstein himself stated unmistakably: “I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones”. We fully comprehend what he wanted to convey, and he was absolutely right, yet in the wake of a global nuclear war, there wouldn’t be anybody around to make use of those sticks and stones.

There would be “collateral damage”, as the American political and military leaders always affirm, to justify the deaths of innocent people.

In a nuclear war the “collateral damage” would be the life of all humanity.

Let us have the courage to proclaim that all nuclear or conventional weapons, everything that is used to make war, must disappear!

Fidel Castro Ruz

October 15, 2010

A SYRIAN LEADER TELLS HIS COUNTRY’S STORY: AN INTERVIEW WITH SAA GENERAL HASSAN HASSAN

In Gaza

20190620_203559

Eva Bartlett sits down for an exclusive interview with the head of the Syrian Arab Army’s Political Administration, General Hassan Hassan.

August 5, 2019, Mint Press News

For years, international headlines spotlighting Syria have claimed that the Syrian government, army, and its allies were guilty of a variety of atrocities. Yet as time has passed, many of the accusations levied at government and its allies have been shown to have been either falsified, staged (as in the case of allegations of chemical attacks in eastern Ghouta), or actually committed by the myriad terrorist groups operating in the country.

For their part, Syrian leadership has maintained from the start that the demonstrations in their country were not peaceful, from 2011 and on. Media in the West and the Gulf vilified Syria’s leadership, featuring story after story of government-imposed violence while ignoring or whitewashing the violence of the burgeoning armed groups flooding into Syria.

From as early as 2011, armed groups were throwing civilians from rooftops and committing beheadings, kidnappings, and massacres. The year 2011 alone saw multiple massacres of civilians and security forces committed by what the media called “unarmed protesters” and later by the “Free Syrian Army.” This was the same year that many in the media were insisting that a “peaceful revolution” was underway.

Since that time, those same armed groups, as well as the many iterations they spawned, have starved, tortured, imprisoned, murdered, maimed and even harvested the organs of Syrian civilians, in addition to killing Syrian and allied soldiers and journalists and destroying much of the country’s infrastructure.

To give a voice to the often ignored “other side” — those Syrians that have been working to defend their country since 2011 —  Eva Bartlett interviewed the Syrian Arab Army’s Head of Political Administration, General Hassan Hassan. General Hassan’s shelves and large wooden desk are covered with stacks of books, family photos, and various homages to the country he serves — the general holds a Ph.D. in geopolitical studies. The following is a transcript of Bartlett’s interview with Hassan following the 74th anniversary of the founding of the Syrian Arab Army.

 

Eva Bartlett (EB) | I would like to begin by asking you your thoughts on how honest Western and Gulf media’s reporting on Syria has been, especially regarding their choice of lexicon — for example, regarding the Syrian Army, the Syrian Government, what they call rebels — and the events in Syria in general.

General Hassan (GH) | Media has been one of the weapons of mass destruction used in this war on Syria. The biased media, in addition to the takfiri [Salafi] fatwas — especially the fatwas — have been the weapons that contributed most to the destruction taking place in Syria, including the destruction of human beings, vegetation, civilization,…everything.

President Bashar al-Assad emphasized more than once the necessity of countering the rhetoric used. I can elaborate for two or more hours on the terms used. However, I will limit myself to some examples.

The Free [Syrian] Army is among the lexicons used. What “army” and what “freedom” are they talking about? Every army is known for its discipline, hierarchy, fighting strategies in both defense and attack, and the cause it fights for.

The so-called Free Syrian Army has none of these qualities, except for the ability to kill. The media tried to put into circulation the term Assad’s Brigades or Assad’s Forces. Our army is the Syrian Arab Army, which includes in each of its formations soldiers from all Syrian governorates, with no exception.

I’ll give you an example. Almost three months ago, the militants supported by Turkey targeted a Syrian army position to the north of Latakia. Twelve soldiers were martyred as a result. Each soldier is from a different governorate. This is the Syrian Arab Army.

They used the term “defection.” There is no defection in the Syrian Arab Army; defection did not really occur in the Syrian Arab Army but there are some cases of soldiers running away. The term “defection” is used when a brigade or a squad defect from a certain army. Until now, the Syrian Arab Army has not witnessed what might be called defection even within its smallest units.

In order to spread the idea of defection they resorted to unsophisticated lies. In 2012 they said that General Mohammad al-Rifa’i, commander of the Fifth Squad, had defected from the army. This lie was circulated through the media. Yet, Syrian TV interviewed the general, who had retired in 2001, 11 years prior.

Gangs would stop civilian or military vehicles on highways, hold soldiers hostages, film them and force them at gunpoint to declare that they had defected [from the army].

I’ll give an example available from the internet of their lies regarding the term the Free Syrian Army. Anyone can check the Free Syrian Army term through Google. We type Abu Saqr al-Asadi — right here, I have typed Abu Saqr al-Souri [the Syrian]. We now find [the result] “face to face with the fighter Abu Saqr al-Asadi who ate the heart of a soldier.” (Abu Saqr is also transliterated as Abu Sakkar, as per the BBC article referred to by General Hassan).

That was in 2013 when he was filmed cutting into the chest of the soldier and eating his heart. It is here on Google from the BBC Arabic website. This is not a Syrian media outlet. It is a Western outlet. It is not a pleasant sight to watch him chewing the soldier’s heart.

Abu Saqr al-Asadi was a fighter in the Al-Farouq Brigades, which was an armed rebel organization formed by the Free Syrian Army. When he died he was a member of the Nusra Front. So, he was a member of the Free Syrian Army, used to be with the Farouq Brigades, and then joined the Nusra Front.

I could speak for hours about the issue of lexicon. For instance, they talked about what is called the armed opposition. How could opposition be armed?! Opposition is a political term. Opposition is a political party that did not win elections. Such a party plays the role of opposition in the parliament. These militant groups want to govern the country, the people and everything by armed force. Does this sound normal? Never was there a term called “armed opposition,” except when they spoke about these terrorist gangs.

 

EB | So in the article you’ve just shown, the English version, the BBC did not report it as an act of carnage. They humanized Abu Saqr and asked him what drove him to do such a desperate act?

GH | This is the media war. Either they say he is violent or they say he is an angel; hasn’t he demonstrated how he cut out an organ and ate a piece of it? When the BBC describes a man who ate the heart of a dead soldier as a peaceful man, how then would they describe beasts?

 

EB | Regarding events in Syria in 2011, both Western and Gulf media called it a peaceful unarmed uprising for many months, even for up to a year. Do you have an example of attacks by what the West called unarmed protesters against the Syrian army, police or security forces in 2011?

GH | In 2011 they said the reason behind the first spark was that the army, or another security body, pulled out the nails of some children in Dara`a. Over the past eight years, it has become clear that all of the armed groups are equipped with video cameras and live-streaming devices. Can any of them provide us with a video of one child whose nails were pulled out? Where are these children? Why couldn’t the media that fabricated such lies film the pulled-out nails?

Let’s go back to the peaceful uprising. On April 10, 2011, less than a month after the beginning of the so-called uprising, an army convoy transporting soldiers back to their homes was intercepted on the highway from Tartous to Banias. Nine people were martyred: two officers, five warrant officers, and two civilians. They also fired at the ambulances that tried to reach the wounded.

Other examples are the Nawa massacre in Dara`a, the Jisr al-Shoghur massacre, and the Asi River massacre — where they live-streamed the dumping of people into the river. All these massacres were perpetrated before the end of June 2011.

That is the peaceful [Arab] spring the Western and Gulf media talked about.

Are these examples enough, or should I cite more? It’s important to me that Western readers know how many lies and how much deception there has been, especially by the media.

I’ll give you another minor example. Usually, the BBCAl-Jazeera and France 24, etc. would broadcast that an explosion took place in a certain area. However, there was no explosion. But 15 to 30 minutes later an explosion would take place in the same area. It was like a code to the armed groups to carry out the explosion.

I’ll provide you with a more comprehensive example. When the area of Ma`raba [near al-Tal, a suburb of Damascus] was targeted by the Israeli enemy, cameras were focused on the targeted area even before the missiles hit.

 

EB | So, they were ready?

GH | The cameras were aimed at the area where the missiles were supposed to hit. At the moment that the missiles hit the targeted area, members of armed groups began cheering “Allahu Akbar… Allahu Akbar.” This was documented by their cameras; definitely not Syrian media cameras. At the same time, armed groups in eastern Ghouta attacked Damascus from seven fronts.

As an ordinary person — not as a military figure– I could tell it was a role carried out by three. First, the one who carried out the aggression, and that is the Zionist entity [Israel].

Second, the media outlets that were assigned to broadcast the aggression before it was carried out.  And third, the armed groups who attacked Damascus. Therefore, the cameraman and those militants are substitute recruits of the Israeli enemy. I cannot call them but the substitute army of Israel and the United States.

According to confessions by Israeli and American officials, including previous U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, ISIS was made by America. Later on, ISIS was classified as a terrorist organization.

Thus, those terrorists made in the U.S. are the rebels of the peaceful [Arab] spring later circulated in the region by means of the foreign media outlets.

 

EB | According to Israeli media, Israel is fighting terrorism, Muslim extremists. However, there are reports of Israel treating militants or terrorists in Israeli hospitals. Can you please outline Israel’s role in the war on Syria?

GH | Everything that has taken place in Syria and in the region — all the blaze erupting in the region,  under what they falsely called the Arab Spring — serves the interests of Israel. These are not my own conclusions; rather, it is the Israeli media who talk about this. The Israeli prime minister appeared on television when he visited wounded terrorists, injured while fighting the Syrian army, being treated in Israeli hospitals. This is number one.

The other issue is that every time the Syrian Arab Army is making an apparent advance, Israel conducts an aggression [airstrike]. When Israel is unable to achieve its objective, it seeks the help of the United States, just as it did when the U.S. Air Force targeted the Tharda Mountains in Deir ez-Zor as the Syrian army was en route to clear Deir ez-Zor of terrorists.

I hope that you underscore the following statement: Those who sponsor terrorism don’t fight it.Israel is an entity based on both killing and falsehood. When Palestine was already inhabited, they claimed that Palestine was a land without people and wanted to give it to people without a land. Thus, the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary, Arthur Balfour, gave what the U.K. didn’t own to those who didn’t deserve it.

In 2019, Trump did the same and gave the Golan to Israel as if Trump inherited it from his own father. Who gave Trump the right to give other people’s property to others? The issue here is that international law needs power to protect it. Unfortunately, the United States is still the superpower of the world and the financial and economic despot of the world. U.S. officials are indifferent to falsehood, humanity, law or human rights. All this means nothing to them.

I would like to remind foreign readers that Iraq was destroyed under the pretext of having weapons of mass destruction. The whole world still recalls Colin Powell when he presented what he called a satellite image as evidence of Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction. When Powell left office, he admitted to U.S. media outlets that that moment was the darkest in his lifetime. The question is: When did he admit it? How many innocent victims were killed as a result?

How come a sovereign state was occupied without international legitimacy? American officials don’t care about this. Wherever the U.S. has interfered around the world, the result has been more killing, destruction, and suffering and successive U.S. administrations are competing to serve Israel.

 

EB | Syria has been accused of using chemical weapons against civilians. Does the Syrian army use chemical weapons against civilians?

GH |  An official mission came to Syria and demanded that the Syrian government carry out an official investigation. They delayed for years before the mission arrived. And those who came submitted an untruthful report.

Syria signed the agreement and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) visited Syria and checked all places and the existing stockpile [of chemical weapons] was destroyed on a U.S. vessel. Accordingly, The OPCW announced that Syria was chemical weapons-free.ve

The Syrian Government has been accused of using chemical weapons many times, in eastern Ghouta and in other areas. Under this pretext, [th U.S. and its allies] launched their aggression on Syria. Syria affirmed many times through statements by Syrian officials, both before and after the agreement was signed, that Syria does not in any way intend to use chemical weapons and that Syria has not used nor will it use chemical weapons.

After the declaration of this organization [OPCW] that Syria is free from chemical weapons, how could Syria use something that it does not have? Despite evidence that chemical substances and weapons entered into areas under the control of militant groups in Syria through Turkish borders, investigations were not resumed.

There are a number of videos showing how the armed groups were the ones using chemical weapons themselves. Each time Syria was accused of using chemical weapons, the Syrian army was on the verge of finishing a military operation. Is it logical they’d use chemical weapons — which would prevent the declaration of victory?

With regard to their claim of using chemicals in Ghouta, the areas there are interconnected. Those who use chemical weapons cannot protect themselves. When those terrorists used chemicals there, both the civilians and the military were hit, as was the case in Khan al-Asal and elsewhere. This was exposed in the [UN] Security Council by Bashar al-Ja’afari.

Syria does not possess chemical weapons. Syria has never used chemical weapons before. Syria cannot use a chemical weapon for a simple reason, or for two reasons in fact: Ethically, Syria does not believe in using chemicals [weapons]. This is number one. Second, Syria does not own chemical weapons.

 

EB | The Rukban Camp is near the U.S. base of al-Tanf. One question is about the U.S. relationship with ISIS in that area and whether or not America has been fighting ISIS in the area. Also, according to Western media, refugees evacuated from Rukban to centers in Homs, for example, are taken and thrown in prison.

For example, the Canadian Globe & Mail, citing a Qatari-based organization, said that from 2017 to 2019 around 2,000 Syrians who returned to government-controlled areas (in general and not from Rukban specifically) were detained and 784 are still in prison. How would you reply to accusations that people returning home were detained or forced to serve in the Syrian army?

GH | In relation to ISIS and the U.S., I can say that a mother does not eat her own son. ISIS is a U.S. product, according to American confessions. However, America sometimes becomes a cat and eats some of its own kittens when they become a burden.

America uses ISIS, fights with ISIS, not against ISIS. Whenever the role of some armed ISIS fighters comes to an end, the U.S. abandons or gets rid of them. The U.S. does not care whether those members get killed or not.

However, when the U.S. needs them, it sends helicopters to evacuate them, just like what happened when Deir ez-Zor was liberated. American helicopters would land and evacuate ISIS leaders together with their families and fly them somewhere else.

Rukban Camp is within the sight of the Americans in the Tanf base. U.S. surveillance can distinguish a hen from a rooster on a street anywhere in the world. How is it that ISIS members are able to move at the Tanf border without being observed by the U.S. military there? How can the U.S. convince the world that it is fighting ISIS when the latter’s members move freely under U.S. observation?

Four months ago, I was working with the Head of the Russian Reconciliation Centre, General Victor Kopcheshen. He told me that the Russian government received an official reply from the Americans that they would not allow any Syrian or Russian to come close to the 55-kilometer line around Rukban Camp to help evacuate people from the camp.

Less than four months ago we first began evacuating a few hundred [people] from Rukban. Now, the number of people who returned from Rukban Camp has exceeded 15,000 (As of July 31, that number has reached 17,458 according to Russia’s Ministry of Defense). Can anyone provide me with the name of even one person who left Rukban and got detained? These claims are flagrant lies.


Author’s note | 

I asked officials at the UN about the accusation that the Syrian government was imprisoning former residents of Rukban, I detailed their reply in a separate article for MintPress:

“David Swanson, Public Information Officer Regional Office for the Syria Crisis UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs based in Amman, Jordan, told me regarding claims of substandard conditions and of Syrians being forcefully held or mistreated in the centers that:

‘People leaving Rukban are taken to temporary collective shelters in Homs for a 24-hour stay. While there, the receive basic assistance, including shelter, blankets, mattresses, solar lamps, sleeping mats, plastic sheets, food parcels and nutrition supplies before proceeding to their areas of choice, mostly towards southern and eastern Homs, with smaller small numbers going to rural Damascus or Deir-ez-Zor.

The United Nations has been granted access to the shelters on three occasions and has found the situation there adequate. The United Nations continues to advocate and call for safe, sustained and unimpeded humanitarian assistance and access to Rukban as well as to all those in need throughout Syria. The United Nations also seeks the support of all concerned parties in ensuring the humanitarian and voluntary character of departures from Rukban.’

Hedinn Halldorsson, the Spokesperson and Public Information Officer for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) based in Damascus, told me:

‘We looked into this when the rumours started, end of April, and concluded they were unfounded – and communicated that externally via press briefings in both Geneva and NY. The conditions in the shelters in Homs are also adequate and in compliance with standards; the UN has access and has done three monitoring visits so far.’”


GH | I would like to stress a point concerning military service in the army. Several presidential decrees have been issued. Any Syrian citizen [living] abroad who wishes to settle his status and return to Syria can benefit from those decrees, which invalidate any other verdict issued against that Syrian citizen.

These decrees do not nullify a Syrian citizen’s rights nor their duties. Syrian citizens who return to Syria are still Syrian citizens and therefore still have the duties of Syrian citizens. The decrees granted them a grace period of six months to settle their legal status.

For example, a person who lost their official ID, or army service registry or anything, can settle their legal status during this period. It is a normal official procedure to call for duty those who are subject to mandatory or reserve military service. This procedure has been applied to all Syrian citizens in all provinces, not only those who return.

I cannot say just respect the rights and ignore the duties. Everyone is equal before the law. They have to obey what Syrian law states and the majority of them are loyal and doing their duties enthusiastically.

But the people who have their status settled do not have the right to commit a crime. If I had a son living abroad who returned and settled his status, does it give him the right to commit an offense against his neighbors or to kill somebody or commit a crime? The law is the law and must be adhered to.

 

EB | Western media say that Iran and Russia’s presence in Syria is an attempt to occupy Syria and control it. What are the roles of Iran and Russia in Syria?

GH | Before I answer your question, let us decide what logic we’re using. Are we using the logic of international law or the law of the jungle? Who has the right to speak in the name of the Syrian people? It is only the Syrian state that has the right to speak in the name of the Syrian people. No other side has the right to speak for them. Surely, those who are speaking in the name of the Syrian people do not know the Syrian people. It is really strange that the governments of those who kill the Syrian people are acting as if they were advocates of the Syrian people.

According to international law, it is the right of any state to defend itself when such a country faces hazards endangering its own existence. Such a country has the right to defend its existence and sovereignty by using all means possible. In this respect, this country has the right to rely on its relations with friends and allies as well, no matter whether those allies are Russian, Iranian or any other ally. Neither the U.S., Israel nor the Gulf states have anything to do with this. It is a matter of Syrian sovereignty.

The other thing has to do with the military presence of any country on the territory of another state. Such a presence can be legal in one of the following two cases: when invited by the state concerned, or through a resolution issued by the [UN] Security Council. Otherwise, such a presence is an occupation.

Therefore, there is no reason for the Syrian state to be ashamed of its stance on the presence of Iran or Russia in Syria. The Syrian State declares its stances clearly and explicitly: that the presence of Iran, Russia and Hezbollah is based upon an official invitation by the Syrian government. Thus, their presence is legal according to international law. Can anyone in the West — or the media outlets who claim to be neutral — convince any Syrian citizen that the U.S. presence or the Turkish presence is legal?

The Syrian State says they are forces of occupation. There is no [UN] Security Council resolution allowing them to be present in Syria. So what is the meaning behind their presence? They are using the law of force, rather than the force of law. Thus, they are referring back to the law of the jungle and not to the force of international law.

Those occupiers support terrorism, created terrorism, and are still financing it according to a confession made by the former Qatari prime minister that his country spent $37 billion to arm and finance armed groups in Syria. The Qatari PM confessed that his country and the armed groups had agreed to destroy Syria. Yet, they disputed when things went out of their control. They paid the armed groups to hunt the prey. However, they disputed among themselves when the prey escaped.

 

EB | Syria welcomed Palestinian refugees and has supported the Palestinian resistance. Could you please explain the role of some Palestinians in the events in Syria within the past few years, whether in fighting terrorism or supporting it.

Will Hamas Challenge Fatah in the West Bank?

GH | The Syrian State does not deal with people and does not take stances based on reactions. The Syrian state has its own constants and principles, and it [continues to] adhere to these constants and principles even in its ninth year of war. Syria still believes that the cause of Palestine is the central cause of the Arab world.

So, when some Palestinian groups choose to affiliate themselves with the Muslim Brotherhood rather than being loyal to the Palestinian cause and to Syria, it makes Syria [even] more committed to its principles. Especially as these days, the world knows well that the Muslim Brotherhood [has become] the basis of evil since they’ve adopted terrorism.

The Palestinian cause remains the central cause. Syria will always take interest in the Palestinian cause, in spite of the fact that some [Palestinians] were eager to be part of the war on the Syrian State. Even though weapons that were supposed to be used to fight Israel were used in the war on Syrian citizens.

The Syrian State is now recovering and history will remember those [Palestinians] as traitors. History will show that Syria has been, and will be, loyal to the Palestinian cause.

The Yarmouk Camp is back under Syrian sovereignty. The camp is now free from those who carried weapons and used them against Syrian citizens, whatever names they used — ISIS, Nusra or otherwise — and regardless of their nationality, Palestinian or otherwise. All of them are now gone, thanks to the sacrifices made by the Syrian people the heroism of the Syrian Arab Army and the wisdom of our leader, President Bashar al-Assad.

 

EB | Some Palestinians remained loyal to Syria, including in fighting terrorism, like the Quds Brigade…

GH | Yes, of course. Surely. There are loyal people even inside occupied Palestine. Not all people are ungrateful to those who help them. Not all people bite the hand that is stretched out to help them. Only traitors bite that hand.

 

EB | When eastern Aleppo and eastern Ghouta were being liberated, Western and international media said that the Syrian army was massacring and raping civilians there and that both the Syrian and the Russian militaries were bombing hospitals. Now, they are saying that 29 hospitals in Idlib have been targeted. What would you say about these accusations?

GH | We have liberated eastern Ghouta. We have also liberated eastern Aleppo. In both locations, a number of field hospitals were shown on television with piles of medicine. This implies that these hospitals were not bombed. This is very briefly.

The other point is that when a building is selected as a command center for armed groups under the pretext of its being a hospital, does this mean we should let those positioned in eastern Ghouta target Damascus on a daily basis with their shells?

Didn’t the world watch those angels of mercy, when they entered Adra industrial town, burning people alive in ovens and throwing civilians off fourth and fifth floors?

We’re talking about war here, we’re talking here about armies of terrorists equipped with light, medium and heavy weapons and empires of media around the world, in addition to the regional and world powers supporting them.

It is the duty of the Syrian State, before being its own right, to provide the Syrian people with protection against terrorism. The problem with the national Syrian media is that it does not reach the West.

Crossing points are identified as corridors for the exit of civilians before any military operation gets started in a populated area. Such corridors are then equipped with ambulances, medical services and every other need. Who targeted the nurses, doctors and civilians on their way out when citizens were evacuated from eastern Ghouta?

Has anybody seen the photo of the Syrian soldier carrying an old woman on his back and a child on his arm? That soldier knew he could drop as a martyr carrying this heavy load. Other soldiers fell as martyrs while they were helping civilians escape.

That number, 29 hospitals, is a lie in itself. It is more than the number of [national] hospitals available all over Syria. Do they allocate a hospital for every twenty or thirty people? This is illogical.

There is also something strange about all the field hospitals that we discovered. Saudi, Israeli and U.S. medicine was found in these hospitals. How did such medicine reach the terrorists? Did it come from underneath the ground?

And those who had been targeting Damascus and Aleppo are all of sudden depicted as angels of mercy, peace and freedom advocates calling for democracy?

It’s worth pointing out to people in the West that it has been proven that only a limited number of the fighters in armed groups came from western Europe and North America, while tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, came from other countries.

The Turkish president declares that such terrorists are free to leave Syrian territory whenever he gets upset with Europe or the U.S. Subsequently, EU countries and the U.S. get so horrified at the possibility of those terrorists returning home.

The EU countries and the U.S. do not want any of those terrorists to return. Why is it that they do not want them to come back? Are they not their own citizens? They say that such terrorists will spread terrorism, so they spread terrorism there while they plant roses and flowers here? Is it okay for terrorists to spread terror here while they’re forbidden to return to their own countries?

Briefly, these are the types of lies spread by the West.

I’m calling on each and every citizen of Western countries, as I am absolutely sure that they have pure human emotion, not to believe the Western media. I want them to be certain that their governments have participated in the killing of the Syrian people and in the killing of Syrian children. Their governments participated in the killing of Syrian women and the killing of the Syrian elderly and convinced them [Western citizens] that they were promoting something else [freedom].

 

EB | Recently, journalists from CBS and Sky News were in Idlib. I believe one of the two groups, Sky News, claimed that it was targeted by the Syrian army. Could they be reporting independently of al-Qaeda or any of the other terrorist groups in Idlib? They claim they are not [embedded] with al-Qaeda. Is this feasible? Is this realistic? 

GH | It’s a funny question. You’re a journalist. Surely, this is not the first time you have visited Syria. Have you faced any obstacles while entering Syria as a journalist? Do any Western or European countries accept the entry of foreign journalists illegally into their countries?

Sky News, the BBC, and Al Jazeera teams conduct live transmissions while embedded with armed groups — the terrorists. I wish that the mental power of the Syrian soldiers could become super advanced so that they can order shells to avoid foreign correspondents who are side by side with terrorists. The army is responding to attacks launched by terrorists — soldiers and officers of the Syrian army cannot give orders to an exploding shell to avoid this or that.

The most important question is this: What are they doing there? How did they enter? Who is in control in Idlib? Isn’t it the Nusra Front? How are they [the journalists] allowed to be there? They are there under the protection of the Nusra Front. They are under the protection of an internationally-designated terrorist organization. Their countries should hold them accountable for communicating with terrorist groups before asking why the army is targeting them.

 

EB | How can Idlib be liberated when Turkish forces occupy northern Syria and there are civilians in Idlib, in addition to the 70,000 al-Qaeda and other terrorist fighters?

GH | There were civilians and armed groups in Homs. There were civilians and armed groups in Ghouta as well. There were civilians and armed groups all over Dara`a.  All these regions have been liberated. The majority of citizens remained there while the terrorists were wiped out. Idlib is no exception. Eastern parts of the Euphrates are no exception either.

Each square centimeter of Syrian land is part and parcel of Syria as a whole. It is the duty and the right of the Syrian State to eradicate terrorism.

Unless under an invitation by the Syrian government, any foreign military presence on the Syrian territory is a force of occupation. The Syrian State is entitled to face such an occupation with every possible means.

The Syrian State has opened the door wide for reconciliation. The Syrian State trusts the wisdom of Russian and Iranian friends and relies on its relations with Turkey.

Surely each Syrian citizen, civilian or military, wishes that not even one drop of blood be spilled. This does not mean to yield to occupation in any way.

Idlib will be freed either through reconciliations or a political agreement. Otherwise, the Syrian State will find the means to liberate Idlib in the same way it liberated all other regions. I am absolutely certain — not as an officer but rather as a citizen — I know how Syrian citizens think; they believe that Idlib will be freed, as will each and every inch of the Syrian territory.

The presence of U.S., Turkish, or any other occupation force does not mean such a force is a destiny that cannot be faced. As long as we [the Syrian State] spare no effort or means — whether military, political, economic or diplomatic —  to win this war [against terrorism] by God’s will, and I hope it is not going to be through military action. But if things reach a dead-end, Idlib will not remain under occupation.

 

EB | Can you speak to the importance of liberating Idlib, not only for Syria’s territorial integrity but also for the villages in Northern Hama that are affected by terrorists in Idlib? The media is not talking about Mahardeh, Sqailbiyeh and other places being attacked by terrorists.

GH | When Mhardeh and Sqailbiyeh are targeted, as a Syrian citizen, I do not see these two towns as less important than Damascus. Likewise when the neighborhoods of Homs were targeted.

All areas inhabited by Syrian citizens under the control of the Syrian State have been targets for those armed terrorist groups that are supported by the West, which claims it is standing by human rights and cares about the interests of the Syrian people.

For Syrian citizens, the liberation of each centimeter, or rather each grain of sand, is as important as the liberation of Idlib. Of course, the existence of armed groups in Idlib leads to abnormal circumstances that cause dysfunction in citizens’ daily lives. Thus, it is important to liberate Idlib to guarantee the return of normal life in Mahardeh, Sqailbiyeh and other areas.

At the same time, it is important to end the occupation by the U.S. and its allies.

I hope that each European or American citizen will ask: Why do Syrian citizens return to areas that have been liberated? Why do citizens welcome the army? Why do citizens — except those who are held hostage by terrorists — flee from areas under the control of terrorist groups?

The civilians residing in terrorist-held areas are helpless hostages. A year ago all of the neighborhoods in eastern Ghouta were populated by terrorists. If the Syrian army had been shelling civilians in the past, why not do now? Why are people now living in peace there?

These are questions that I put forward to people living in the West. I hope they are human enough to ask [themselves] these questions.

 

EB | Regarding misinformation from international media on the Syrian Arab Army, portraying them as murderers and rapists. Can you speak about the sacrifices of the Syrian Arab Army throughout these eight years of war?

GH | I will answer your question with a question. Syria is an area of 185,000 square kilometers. According to United Nations documents, 360,000 armed terrorists infiltrated Syrian territory.

I would like to draw an example other than Syria. I’ll give the U.S., the superpower of the world, as an example. Let’s suppose that 36,000, rather than 360,000, terrorists infiltrate any state of the United States. That’s 10 percent of the number of terrorists who made their way into Syria. Let’s also suppose that such terrorists are supported by world powers. What would have happened to the U.S.?

The achievements of the Syrian Arab Army are not ordinary; these achievements are miraculous accomplishments.

The two greatest armies in modern history have failed to achieve what the Syrian Army has accomplished. In Afghanistan, fewer than 10 percent of the number of terrorists in Syria were able to defeat two armies: the Red Soviet Army and the U.S. Army.

But, the Syrian Army defeated such terrorism. According to military theory, any fight between an army and terrorist militia of armed gangs will end with the armed gangs winning. This has been evident throughout military history.

For the first time in the history of humankind, a traditional army has defeated armies of militant groups. The Syrian Army fought battles that can be classified as new in military science. The Syrian Army fought above ground and underground battles in addition to their battles against the media war, intelligence war, information war, economic war, gang and street-to-street wars. Despite all of that, the Syrian Army achieved victory. Therefore, can we imagine the magnitude of the sacrifices made in this respect by the Syrian Army?

In the first months of this war, the Syrian leadership realized that the terrorists wanted Syrians to be used to seeing blood everywhere. So, soldiers were forbidden from carrying weapons, even handguns, when they went to areas of so-called demonstrations to prevent demonstrators from destroying infrastructure.

For months the soldiers confronted the militants knowing that they could be martyred. However, the discipline of the Syrian army pushed the soldiers to do their missions without carrying a weapon.

Let any Western citizen imagine how it would be for a soldier with no weapons facing armed militants to stop them from destroying infrastructure and targeting civilians.

This is the Syrian army. The Syrian army cleared most of the Syrian regions occupied by the fiercest types of terrorism ever witnessed in the history of mankind.

 

EB |  Thank you very much for your time and for the interview in general.

GH |  I also would like to thank you all for what you’ve done so far and for all of the questions you raised. I kindly request that you share my replies with foreign readers.

Personally, I think your role as an objective journalist transcends the traditional role of journalism. It reflects an ethical responsibility of telling the truth about what you’ve seen. If you want to help the Syrian people, the greatest help you can offer the Syrian people is to tell the truth you have seen with your own eyes, not just what is said all over the internet.

Again, anyone can look up Abu Saqr al-Souri and see how he ate the heart of a dead soldier. He was a member of the so-called peaceful group of the Free Syrian Army, when he was killed — he was with the Nusra Front. This can be enough to convey the message.

Pompeo ‘Happy’ to Pontificate in Tehran, Revealing US Tyranny of Arrogance

Finian Cunningham
August 3, 2019
Image result for Pompeo ‘Happy’ to Pontificate in Tehran, Revealing US Tyranny of Arrogance

Imagine the spectacle. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sitting in Tehran and telling the Iranian people via a state media interview how “evil” their government is. No wonder tensions with Iran are reaching a flashpoint when Washington is so arrogant and delusional.

Last week, Pompeo told US media he was willing to go to Iran despite the Americans having no diplomatic relations with Tehran. Pompeo was not intending to suddenly meet with Iranian officials. Instead he wants a putative visit to Tehran to be an occasion to get on state media and address the Iranian people “directly”.

In response to a question about whether he was prepared to go to Tehran, the American top diplomat said:

“Sure. If that’s the call, I’d happily go there… I would welcome the chance to speak directly to the Iranian people.”

“I’d like a chance to go [to Tehran], not do propaganda but speak the truth to the Iranian people about what it is their leadership has done and how it has harmed Iran,” he added.

That’s not diplomatic outreach. It is simply about seeking the chance to pontificate in Tehran. Despite claiming he would “not do propaganda”, the talking points that Pompeo would regurgitate on Iranian media would be the usual baseless slander that has become Washington’s standard depiction of Iran. A depiction that Pompeo as well as President Donald Trump have personally propagated.

Iran, according to Washington dogma, is an evil terrorist-sponsoring regime that ruthlessly represses its 80 million people, fueling conflict all over the Middle East, and secretly building nuclear weapons. Typically, the Americans never provide any evidence to substantiate their caricature of Iran. It’s merely a “truth” solidified by relentless repetition of hollow allegations. In short, propaganda.

And Pompeo wants to insult the intelligence of Iranians by being given a pulpit on Iranian state media.

By saying he wants to “speak directly” to the Iranian people, Pompeo is adverting to the real US agenda of fomenting regime change.

America’s official arrogance and hypocrisy are boundless. Every malign activity that Washington accuses Iran of can be thrown straight back at the US with manifold more accuracy of facts. The US has destroyed the Middle East with numerous criminal wars and covert regime-change operations, has sponsored terrorists as its proxies, and has fueled the danger of nuclear war by illegally arming Israel with hundreds of weapons of mass destruction.

President Trump has sinisterly alluded to potentially using WMD against Iran in recent weeks, threatening to deploy overwhelming force “to end the regime”.

Admittedly, the American president has at times said he is open to talks with the Iranian government. His “offer” is unconvincing of an intention for genuine dialogue. Trump expects Iran to come to the negotiating table in an act of surrender and self-debasement to accept his terms of “disarmament”. All the while using the threat of annihilation as a bargaining tool.

Moreover, Pompeo expressed his entitlement to lecture the Iranians and urge them to liberate themselves from a “theocratic tyranny

” because, he said, the Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javid Zarif is allowed “the freedoms of the United States to come here and spread malign propaganda”.

Pompeo was referring to an official visit to the US earlier this month by Zarif who was attending the United Nations in New York City for a diplomatic conference. All foreign diplomats have a sovereign right to attend the UN. Pompeo’s remarks indicate a presumption that the US government has dominion over the UN and international law.

The alleged “malign propaganda” that Pompeo accused Zarif of spreading was an interview he conducted with the NBC news channel at the Iranian ambassador’s residence. During that interview, Zarif did not unload on the litany of factually verifiable war crimes that the US is culpable of.

What Zarif said was a model of restraint and diplomacy. He said that if the US lifted crippling sanctions off Iran, then the “door is wide open” for future negotiations.

Calling for the avoidance of war, the Iranian diplomat pointed out that it was the United States, not Iran, that had undermined diplomacy by walking away from the 2015 nuclear agreement between Tehran and world powers, reported NBC.

“It is the United States that left the bargaining table. And they’re always welcome to return,” Zarif added.

What Pompeo calls “malign propaganda” many other people would view as an accurate, if restrained, telling by the Iranian diplomat of how it really is.

Given the unlawful aggression that the Trump administration is wielding against Iran in terms of economic warfare on the country’s vital oil trade and in terms of military force buildup in the Persian Gulf, including nuclear-capable B-52 bombers, what Iran is demonstrating is an immense discipline to maintain regional and world peace.

Iran’s conditions for possible negotiations are eminently reasonable. They include being respected as a sovereign nation and entering into dialogue as a mutual party where discussions can be held on the basis of facts and international law.

Pompeo’s supreme arrogance about America’s presumed exceptional entitlements and superiority are, unfortunately, a sign that Washington is incapable of being a normal state. The real “theocratic tyranny” is in Washington where it has the perverse belief that it has divine right to destroy other nations if they don’t grovel sufficiently at its feet. But those feet are made of the proverbial clay signifying a doomed power, as Iran’s dignity and defiance is revealing.

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Trump Warns Again He Could “Kill Millions of Afghans”!

By Staff, Agencies

US President Donald Trump has once again warned that American troops could win the Afghan war within days by killing millions across the conflict-ridden country.

Trump made the warning on Friday as he hailed the “progress” made in peace talks between his administration and the Taliban militant group.

“We’ve made a lot of progress. We’re talking,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

He further claimed that US forces, bogged down in the country for nearly two decades, “could win Afghanistan in two days or three days or four days, but I’m not looking to kill 10 million people.”

In a similar comment in July, Trump spoke about 10 million casualties but this time he specified that no nuclear weapons would be involved, saying, “I’m talking conventional.”

The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in October 2001, shortly after the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington.  While the invasion ended the Taliban’s rule in the country, it has failed to eliminate the militant group. Daesh [the Arabic acronym for terrorist ‘ISIS/ISIL’ group] has also emerged in the Asian country more recently.

The US has been attempting to negotiate an alleged peace deal with the Taliban militant group, which now controls or influences about half of Afghanistan’s territory.

The Afghan government is left out of the talks between the Taliban and the US. The Taliban say they don’t recognize the Kabul government and that they will not hold talks with it unless all foreign forces exit the country.

Meanwhile, about 20,000 foreign troops, mostly Americans, are based in Afghanistan.

Washington representatives and those of the Taliban are soon expected to begin their eighth round of talks in the Qatari capital of Doha to reach an agreement on ending the Afghan war, with the US saying it wants to see a deal inked by September 1.

According to a UN report released this week, at least 1,366 civilians were killed and another 2,446 wounded during the first six months of 2019 as a result of the conflict in Afghanistan.

No, Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard Is Not “Assad Apologist”

Media and politicians deliberately confuse non-interventionist, anti-war views with being a supporter of “brutal dictators” and “regimes”

Global Research, August 02, 2019

With nearly two dozen declared candidates competing for the 2020 Democratic Presidential primary field and the opportunity to run against Donald Trump in the general election, it’s no surprise that candidates are trying their best to “destroy” their opponents during the debates.

During yesterday’s second night of the second Democratic DebateCongresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, brought up California Senator Kamala Harris’s record as prosecutor. She said,

“I’m concerned about this record of Senator Harris. She put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana”.

Gabbard also said

“She kept people in prison beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor of the state of California,” and added “The bottom line is, Senator Harris, when you were in a position to make a difference and an impact in these people’s lives, you did not,”. Gabbard ended with “The people who suffered under your reign as prosecutor, you owe them an apology.”

After the debate in Detroit, while talking to CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Harris resorted to name calling and belittling Gabbard by saying she was an “apologist” for Assad “who has murdered the people of his country like cockroaches.” She also said that because she is “obviously a top-tiered candidate” that she was prepared to take some hits especially from people who were polling at close to zero percent.

It’s interesting how the majority of the criticism that Gabbard faces is from her own party, whereas Republicans and progressives actually like her. She’s even sided with Republicans on the whole Russian collusion fiasco, some have even accused her of being hired by Russia to take down Kamala. Therefore, it’s no surprise that once #KamalaHarrisDestroyed started trending on Twitter people started accusing Russian bots and MAGA supporters of fueling it.

Let’s get back to why Gabbard is not an “Assad apologist.”

In January 2017, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard visited Syria on a fact-finding mission, and met with President Bashar Al Assad in Damascus, but few know that she met with the opposition as well, among others. She has said that she is willing to meet with any leader, “because the only alternative to having those meetings is war”.

Gabbard’s skepticism of how the media was portraying the Syrian president grew and the more openly she spoke about the need for proof before assigning blame for alleged chemical weapons attacks, the harsher the criticism against her became, from the media and her own party.

Gabbard has been accused of being an “Assad apologist” by many but the name calling doesn’t end there. The Washington Post called her “Assad’s Mouthpiece”, The Daily Beast said she was “Bashar Assad’s Favorite Democrat”.

What all of these people are missing is that she has on many occasions called Assad “a brutal dictator” or has folded under pressure like she did earlier this year on The View and the latest example is last night when Anderson Cooper badgered her repeatedly about whether she thinks Assad is a murderer, and yet again she caved.

Her weakness when faced with high pressure situations is a flaw that some of her supporters and critics have noticed and pointed out. It’s not a good look and some will try to defend it and say that it’s just “political talk” to get her elected, but folding and backtracking are signs of weakness and could cost her.

It also seems apparent that many are confusing her non-interventionist, anti-war views with being a supporter of “brutal dictators” and “regimes”.  Her opposition in 2013 to Obama’s proposed military strikes in Syria resulted in her introducing legislation to block CIA activities in Syria and military actions against Assad. In 2016 she was only one of three members of Congress that voted against House resolution 121, “Syria war bill” which condemned the Syrian government and other parties for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

She has opposed overthrowing the Syrian government under the false pretense of “humanitarianism”. That same year she even met with President Trump to try to convince him of her views. The following year she stated that the US’s “regime change” involvement in Syria caused the Syrian refugee crisis. That same year she visited Syria, met with President Assad and spoke with Syrian civilians. In 2017 she also supported the Stop Arming Terrorists Act. However, she also supports separatist Kurdish militia’s in Syria.

Gabbard has questioned whether or not Assad ordered chemical weapon attacks against Syrian civilians, she called for an investigation by the U.N. In 2018 she spoke during interviews about the US and their allies providing support to terrorist organizations like AlQaeda. Then, in 2019 while on The View she said there was no disputing the fact that (Assad) is a brutal dictator that has used chemical weapons against his people. Without any evidence, and while playing the role of judge and jury, she caved and said what the hosts wanted to hear.

Even after kowtowing mainstream media’s narrative about Assad being a “brutal dictator” and “murderer” who “uses chemical weapons on his own people”, Democrats insist Gabbard is sympathetic to Syria’s Assad.

Gabbard never was, nor is she now an Assad “apologist”. President Assad has the support of the majority of his people and has been fighting foreign and domestic terrorism in Syria for over eight years, he surely doesn’t need anyone to apologize for him.

Whoever wins the next US election should let Syrians determine their own fate and stay out of their internal political affairs. Ending “regime change” wars and bringing back US troops from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and the rest of the world should be a top priority on their agenda.

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This article was originally published on InfoRos.

Sarah Abed is an independent journalist and political commentator. For media inquiries please email sarah@sarahabed.com

This time, the accusation of Syria of using chemical weapons may be dangerous الاتهام بالكيميائي في سوريّة هذه المرّة قد يكون خطيراً

This time, the accusation of Syria of using chemical weapons may be dangerous

يونيو 25, 2019

Written by Nasser Kandil,

Since the American presence in the Gulf turned into an dormant force that is unable to make any events contrary to the active movement of the resistance forces represented in the operations of Ansar Allah which imposed their presence on the world oil markets, Washington felt that the initiative was moving to the hands of the resistance forces despite the American sanctions, threats, and mobilization which were thought by Washington and its allies to be enough to keep the initiative, but Iran was seeking to avoid the military response to the sanctions, so it tried to escalate gradually in its nuclear program in order to put the Europeans in front of difficult options including ending the nuclear commitment. Therefore the Gulf arena seemed free for the Americans and their allies but they were surprised by bombing oil tankers in the Emirati Fujairah Port and the announced attack of Ansar Allah which targeted Aramco pipeline that links the east of Saudi Arabia with its west and secures an alternative crossing to Hormuz Strait to pump oil across the Red Sea.

The Israeli raids which targeted sites in the south of Damascus and in Quneitra were signs of Washington’ intention to destabilize the situation in Syria in order to make a balance in the rules of engagement. When Al Nusra front accused the Syrian Army of using the chemical weapons in one of the villages of Lattakia’s countryside, the Syrian government hastened to deny that because the source of accusation is Al Nusra front. That denial seemed as a result of the realization that this game is under the coordination of Washington. After the escalation took place in the Gulf, the US State Department announced in a formal statement what it has already announced in similar occasions just in order to justify the military intervention by indicating that it has serious intentions of the usage of the chemical weapons by the Syrian army.

Apart from many positions and analyses which talked about the rocket which targeted the Green Zone in Baghdad near the US embassy, it seemed that that the rocket was a pre-emptive sign to open the issue of the American presence in Iraq if Washington tried to intervene militarily in Syria as the missiles which already targeted Syrian sites. Perhaps, in the coming days we will witness something similar that opens the issue of the American presence in Syria, in a way that puts the game of balance of arenas into an advanced escalation level and puts in return America among difficult options either to respect the rules of engagement which rule the ongoing battles in Syria between the Syrian army and the terrorist groups or to engage in these battles beside the terrorist groups. This means to accelerate the demand of the US withdrawal along with actions that may not remain political.

From their previous experiences, the Americans are aware of the balances that rule the equations in Syria and aware that the attempts to neutralize the Russian role have been failed repeatedly, and that a crucial battle is taking place against the armed groups under Syrian-Russian-Iranian partnership and some kind of the implicit coordination with Turkey. Therefore, Washington has no interest in waging an open battle against this quartet with which it has relations of hostility and tension especially after the Russian words which accuse Washington of dispersing the recent Sochi understandings through its reckless behavior in the region.

The region is on a hot tin and the opposed concerned parties try to avoid the war, but the reckless behaviors may break it out. The resistance axis is no longer behaving as allied groups, rather as an axis according to the speech of Al Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah. Therefore, the Americans and the Israelis have to take these words seriously in order to keep everything under control, but if they decide to go to war, the resistance axis will reply “we do not want war, and we will not hasten to it, but if is imposed on us we will not be afraid and we will turn it from a challenge into an opportunity”.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

 

الاتهام بالكيميائي في سوريّة هذه المرّة قد يكون خطيراً

مايو 23, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– منذ أن تحوّل الحشد الأميركي في الخليج قوة خامدة عاجزة عن صناعة الأحداث وواشنطن تحتاج أدوات بديلة لموازنة الحركة النشطة التي نجحت قوى المقاومة بإطلاقها مع عمليات أنصار الله التي فرضت حضورها على أسواق النفط العالمية. فقد شعرت واشنطن أن زمام المبادرة ينتقل إلى أيدي قوى المقاومة، رغم أن العقوبات والتهديدات والحشود الأميركية كانت باعتقاد الأميركيين وحلفائهم كافية لإبقاء المبادرة بأيديهم، طالما أن إيران تسعى لتفادي الرد العسكري على العقوبات، وقد سلكت طريق التصعيد في ملفها النووي تدريجياً لوضع الأوروبيين أمام خيارات صعبة من بينها إنهاء الالتزام الإيراني بموجبات الاتفاق. فبدا أن الساحة الخليجية خالية للأميركيين وحلفائهم حتى فوجئوا بخبر تفجير ناقلات النفط في ميناء الفجيرة الإماراتي، قبل أن تأتيهم لاحقاً ضربة أنصار الله المعلنة ببيان رسمي والتي استهدفت خط انبيب آرامكو الذي يربط شرق السعودية بغربها ويؤمن المنفذ البديل لمضيق هرمز لضخ النفط عبر البحر الأحمر.

– كانت الغارات الإسرائيلية التي استهدفت مواقع جنوب دمشق وفي القنيطرة، مؤشرات لنيّة واشنطن إعادة تحريك الوضع في سورية كعنوان لإقامة توازن في ساحات الاشتباك، وعندما أعلنت جبهة النصرة عن اتهام الجيش السوري باستعمال الأسلحة الكيميائية في إحدى قرى ريف اللاذقية سارعت الدولة السورية لنفي لافت، لأن مصدر الاتهام هي جبهة النصرة، وبدا أن النفي السوري استباقي ناجم عن إدراك أن اللعبة منسقة مع واشنطن، ولم تلبث الخارجية الأميركية مع تصاعد التوتر في الخليج أن أعلنت في بيان رسمي ما سبق وقالته في مرات مشابهة أرادت خلالها تصنيع ملف اتهامي للدولة السورية لتبرير تدخل عسكري، فأشارت إلى أن لديها إشارات جدية لاستخدام السلاح الكيميائيّ من الجيش السوري.

– بمعزل عن كثير من المواقف والتحليلات التي تناولت الصاروخ الذي استهدف المنطقة الخضراء في بغداد وسقط قرب السفارة الأميركية، فقد بدا هذا الصاروخ استعداداً استباقياً لفتح ملف التمركز الأميركي في العراق إذا قامت واشنطن بالتلويح بتحريك تدخل عسكري يستهدف سورية على طريقة عمليات الاستهداف الصاروخي التي سبق وتعرّضت لها المواقع والقوات السورية، وربما نشهد في أيام قريبة شيئاً مشابهاً يفتح ملف الوجود الأميركي في سورية، بما يضع لعبة توازن الساحات والملفات في مرتبة متقدمة من التصاعد، تضع الأميركي بين خيارات صعبة، احترام قواعد الاشتباك التي تحكم المعارك الدائرة في سورية بين الجيش السوري والجماعات الإرهابية، أو الدخول طرفاً في هذه المعارك من موقع لن يكون سهلاً تمييزه عن موقع الجماعات الإرهابية، وما سيعنيه ذلك من تسريع المطالبة برحيل القوات الأميركية، وما يرافق هذه الدعوات من تحركات قد لا تبقى كلها في الدائرة السياسية.

– يدرك الأميركيون من تجاربهم السابقة التوازنات التي تحكم المعادلات في سورية، ويدركون أن محاولات تحييد الدور الروسي أصيبت مراراً بالفشل، وأن معركة فاصلة تدور رحاها الآن مع الجماعات الإرهابية بشراكة سورية روسية إيرانية ونسبة من التنسيق الضمني مع تركيا، وأن واشنطن لا مصلحة لها بخوض معركة مكشوفة مع هذا الرباعي الذي تربطها بأطرافه علاقات تتراوح بين العدائيّة والسيئة والمتوترة، خصوصاً بعد الكلام الروسي الذي يتهم واشنطن بتبديد تفاهمات سوتشي الأخيرة عبر السلوك المتهوّر في المنطقة.

– المنطقة على برميل بارود، والأطراف المعنيّة والمتقابلة تسعى لتفادي الحرب، لكن الخطوات غير المحسوبة قد تشعلها، ومحور المقاومة لم يعد يتصرّف كتحالف مجموعة أطراف بل كمحور وفقاً للكلام الأخير للسيد حسن نصرالله، وعلى الأميركيين والإسرائيليين أخذ هذا الكلام بجدية في حساباتهم كي لا يقعوا بخطأ في الحساب يتسبب بخروج الأمور عن السيطرة، أما إن أرادوا الحرب فرد محور المقاومة واضح، لا نريد الحرب ولن نبادر إليها، لكن إن فرضت علينا فلا نخشاها وسنحوّلها من تحدٍّ إلى فرصة.

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