“We Want to Deescalate the Situation,” US Says One Day After Shooting Down Syrian Plane

Posted on June 19, 2017

It’s hard to know who is making policy in Washington these days. Did the decision to shoot down a Syrian plane come out of the White House? The Pentagon? The CIA? The State Department? Hard to say for sure, but White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer claims the US is seeking a “deescalation” of the situation in Syria.

“The escalation of hostilities among all of the factions that are operating there doesn’t help anybody,” Spicer said in a press briefing on Monday. “And so making sure that people understand while we want to de-escalate the situation there, that we have to understand that we will always preserve the right of self-defense.”

He also said the US must “do what we can to work with partners” and that the US will “keep an open line of communication with the Russians,” though how this is going to be achieved, given the fact that Russia has broken off the so-called “deconfliction” channel it set up to communicate with US forces in 2015, is not made clear.

Spicer’s comments are so convoluted and nonsensical it is impossible to draw any clear meaning from them. On the one, he wants to “de-escalate” things in Syria, but on the other he tells us the US intends to “preserve the right of self-defense,” this, of course, as it carries out an illegal invasion of a sovereign country.

Below are some perspectives on the developing crisis that are a bit more coherent and rational than Spicer’s. An important point that gets made is that the US media will almost inevitably spin the story in such a manner that will escalate the situation further.

Washington’s War Crimes in Syria

By Bill Van Auken

June 16, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – The United States government is guilty of war crimes. This is the stark conclusion reached by the independent international commission of inquiry established by the United Nations in 2011 to investigate human rights violations stemming from the protracted US-backed war for regime change in Syria.

The Pentagon’s relentless bombing campaign in and around the northern Syrian city of Raqqa, the so-called “capital” of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), has inflicted a “staggering loss of civilian life,” while forcing over 160,000 civilians to flee their homes, Paulo Pinheiro, chairman of the UN’s commission of inquiry, said on Wednesday.

US warplanes have dropped tens of thousands of munitions on Raqqa and the surrounding area, killing and maiming thousands of Syrian men, women and children. US Marines units, which have steadily swelled the ground forces illegally deployed on Syrian soil, have unleashed further lethal firepower, firing 155mm howitzers into crowded urban neighborhoods and flying Apache attack helicopters to provide close air support to the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces. This proxy force of Washington is dominated by the Kurdish YPG militia and “advised” by US Special Operations troops.

The bloody siege of Raqqa is unfolding even as the Pentagon is carrying out a similar slaughter, begun last October, in Mosul, an Iraqi city 232 miles to the east that once boasted a population of over 2 million. Most of Mosul has been pulverized by US bombs, rockets and shells. Thousands have been killed and wounded, while many remain still buried under the rubble.

The scope of the war crimes being carried out by the Pentagon comes more sharply into focus with the verified reports that US artillery units are firing white phosphorus shells into both Raqqa and Mosul. These incendiary chemical weapons, banned under international law for use in populated areas, ignite human flesh on contact, burning it to the bone, while those who breathe the gases released by the shells suffocate and burn from the inside out. The horrific wounds caused by these weapons reopen when exposed to air. White phosphorus is used to strike terror among those under attack.

Another murderous weapon being employed against the populations of Raqqa and Mosul is the MGM-140B rocket. Fired from a mobile rocket launcher, the weapon detonates in midair, scattering some 274 anti-personnel grenades, each of which is capable of killing anyone within a 15-meter radius.

Last month, US Defense Secretary James Mattis told the media that the Pentagon was adopting “annihilation tactics” in its anti-ISIS campaign, adding, “Civilian casualties are a fact of life in this sort of situation.” Mattis, a recently retired Marine general whom the military nicknamed “Mad Dog,” knows whereof he speaks. In 2004, he led the two murderous sieges of Fallujah that claimed the lives of thousands of Iraqis, and, as in the latest US atrocities, made use of white phosphorus shells against a civilian population.

The US military interventions in Iraq and Syria are not aimed at “annihilating” ISIS, itself the product of the 2003 US invasion and occupation of Iraq, followed by Washington’s utilization of Islamist fighters as proxy ground forces in the regime-change wars in both Libya and Syria. While Raqqa has been surrounded by US-backed forces from the north, east and west, an escape route for ISIS fighters has been opened up to the southeast in order to funnel them into the province of Deir al-Zour, so they can fight the Syrian army there. Similarly, large numbers of ISIS fighters were allowed to flee Mosul, crossing the border into Syria for the same purpose.

Washington’s strategic objectives in Iraq and Syria are not those of “fighting terrorism,” but rather consolidating US hegemony over the oil-rich Middle East and preparing for war against the principal obstacles to this objective, Iran and Russia. For US imperialism, undisputed control over both the Persian Gulf and Central Asia would provide the means to cut off energy supplies to its global rival, China.

These predatory aims are the source of war crimes, and not only in Iraq and Syria. In Yemen, Washington is backing a near-genocidal war led by the Saudi monarchy with the objective of weakening Iran’s influence in the Persian Gulf. During his visit to Riyadh last month, President Donald Trump announced a $110 billion arms deal with the kingdom, which will, in the first instance, replenish the bombs and missiles it is raining on the population of the most impoverished nation in the Arab world.

This arms package follows similar deals signed by the Obama administration, which also supplied the Saudis with logistical and intelligence aid for the Yemen war, including mid-air refueling for its warplanes and US naval backing for a blockade that is starving the population and denying it medical supplies. In addition to killing 12,000 people outright, the US-Saudi war has left at least 7 million Yemenis on the brink of famine, while cholera is threatening to kill thousands more. Save the Children reports that, on average, one Yemeni child is contracting the disease every 35 seconds.

Meanwhile, Washington is preparing to once again escalate the protracted slaughter in Afghanistan. US officials reported Tuesday that Trump has authorized Mattis to set troop levels in the country, which the US has occupied since 2001. Thousands more soldiers are expected to be deployed, with the aim of carrying out the “annihilation tactics” favored by the defense secretary. A taste of what is to come was seen Monday when US troops whose convoy hit a roadside bomb opened fire indiscriminately on civilians, killing a brick kiln laborer and his two sons, ages eight and 10.

As these atrocities play out across an ever-expanding global battlefield, what is striking is the absence of any organized opposition to US war crimes. The continuous wars are not even a subject of debate in Congress and are supported by both Democrats and Republicans. The media, a faithful propaganda arm of the Pentagon and the CIA, has shown a complete disinterest in US war crimes, paying attention only when allegations are made against Russia or the Syrian government.

Moreover, while masses of working people in the US and around the world are opposed to war, the pseudo-left groups that got their start in the middle class antiwar protests of the 1960s and 1970s have abandoned even verbal opposition to US military aggression. Reflecting the interests of privileged middle-class layers, groups like the International Socialist Organization in the US, the Left Party in Germany and the New Anti-capitalist Party in France have articulated the politics of this new constituency for imperialism, justifying neo-colonial interventions in the name of “human rights” and portraying CIA regime-change operations as in Libya and Syria as “revolutions.”

The emergence of a genuine antiwar movement is today a matter of life and death, as the war crimes being carried out by Washington across the globe threaten to coalesce into a global conflict involving the major nuclear powers. Such a movement can be built only in the fight to mobilize the working class independently on the basis of a socialist program to put an end to capitalism, the source of war.

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Iran 1953: State Department Finally Releases Updated Official History of Mosaddeq Coup

Formerly Secret Documents from State, CIA Provide New Information about Covert Operations Planning and Implementation Plus Contemporaneous Analyses Long-Awaited Volume Supplements Earlier Publication that Whitewashed U.S., British Roles

Global Research, June 17, 2017

The State Department today released a long-awaited “retrospective” volume of declassified U.S. government documents on the 1953 coup in Iran, including records describing planning and implementation of the covert operation. The publication is the culmination of decades of internal debates and public controversy after a previous official collection omitted all references to the role of American and British intelligence in the ouster of Iran’s then-prime minister, Mohammad Mosaddeq. The volume is part of the Department’s venerable Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series.

For decades, neither the U.S. nor the British governments would acknowledge their part in Mosaddeq’s overthrow, even though a detailed account appeared as early as 1954 in The Saturday Evening Post, and since then CIA and MI6 veterans of the coup have published memoirs detailing their activities. Kermit Roosevelt’s Countercoup is the best known and most detailed such account, although highly controversial because of its selective rendering of events. In 2000, The New York Times posted a 200-page classified internal CIA history of the operation.

Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and President Dwight D. Eisenhower, (undated photo).

In 1989, the State Department released what purported to be the official record of the coup period but it made not a single reference to American and British actions in connection with the event. The omission led to the resignation of the chief outside adviser on the series, and prompted Congress to pass legislation requiring “a thorough, accurate, and reliable documentary record” of U.S. foreign policy. After the end of the Cold War, the CIA committed to open agency files on the Iran and other covert operations, and the State Department vowed to produce a “retrospective” volume righting the earlier decision.

But it took until 2011 for the CIA to – partially – fulfill its commitment, and even then it was only in the form of a previously classified segment of an internal account of the coup that for the first time included an officially released explicit reference to the agency’s role in “TPAJAX,” the U.S. acronym for the operation. Roughly two years later, after years of research by historian James C. Van Hook, as well as internal negotiations between State and CIA over access to the latter’s records, the Office of the Historian at the Department produced a draft of the retrospective volume, which then had to await top-level clearance.

What explains the refusal by two governments to acknowledge their actions, and the inordinate delays in publishing this volume? Justifications given in the past include protecting intelligence sources and methods, bowing to British government requests and, more recently, avoiding stirring up Iranian hardline elements who might seek to undercut the nuclear deal Iran signed with the United States and other P5+1 members in 2015.

While the volume’s contents still are being sifted through, here’s a description from the Preface:

This Foreign Relations retrospective volume focuses on the use of covert operations by the Truman and Eisenhower administrations as an adjunct to their respective policies toward Iran, culminating in the overthrow of the Mosadeq government in August 1953. Moreover, the volume documents the involvement of the U.S. intelligence community in the policy formulation process and places it within the broader Cold War context. For a full appreciation of U.S. relations with Iran between 1951 and 1954, this volume should be read in conjunction with the volume published in 1989.

“This is going to be an important source for anyone interested in the tortured relationship between Washington and Tehran,” said Malcolm Byrne, who runs the National Security Archive’s Iran-U.S. Relations Project. “But the fact that it has taken over six decades to declassify and release these records about such a pivotal historical event is mind-boggling.”

As Archive staff make their way through the hundreds of records in the volume, we will update this posting with highlights.

Read the volume:

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952-1954: Iran, 1951-1954 (2017)
Editor: James C. Van Hook

 

 

 

 

 

All images in this article are from the original source .

Vladimir Putin: The Most Powerful Person in the World

Vladimir Putin: The Most Powerful Person in the World

EDITOR’S CHOICE | 14.06.2017

Vladimir Putin: The Most Powerful Person in the World

Paul Craig ROBERTS

Dear Friends, current problems with the website’s functionality, which are being addressed, are affecting the newsletter and email and, based on the light response to my quarterly call for donations, possibly donations as well.

In order to keep the content section functioning, the webmaster has turned off some of the other features until the problem has been fully identified and corrected. With the email down, I am unable to learn if any of you are encountering problems making donations. Some donations are being made, but the number is not comparable to past experience. Remember, this is your site. It depends on your support. If PropOrNot and the presstitutes convince you that I am a Russian Agent, you will be dependent on PropOrNot and presstitutes for your information and analysis.

Here is today’s column:

It must be wonderful being Vladimir Putin and being the most powerful person on earth. And not even have to say so yourself. The US Democratic Party is saying it for Putin along with the entirety of the Western presstitute media and the CIA and FBI also. The Russian media doesn’t have to brag about Putin’s power. Megyn Kelly, the Western presstitutes, and Western leaders are doing it for them:Putin is so powerful that he is able to place in office his choice for the President of the United States.

I mean, Wow! What power! Americans are simply out of the game. Americans, despite a massive intelligence budget and 16 separate intelligence services plus those of its NATO vassals, are no match whatsoever for Vladimir Putin.

I mean, really! What is the CIA for? What is the NSA for? What are the rest of them for? Americans would do better to close down these incompetent, but expensive, “intelligence services” and pay the money to Putin as a bribe not to select our president. Maybe the CIA should get down on its knees and beg Putin to stop electing the President of the United States. I mean, how humuiliating. I can hardly stand it. I thought we are the “world’s sole superpower, the uni-power, the exceptional, indispensable people.” It turns out that we are a nothing people, ruled by the President of Russia.

When the Democrats, CIA, and media decided to launch their PR campaign against Trump, they didn’t realize how inconsequential it would make the United States appear by putting American democracy into Putin’s pocket. What were they thinking? They weren’t. They were fixated on making sure Trump did not endanger the massive military/security complex budget by restoring normal relations with Russia.

There is no sign that American leadership in any area is actually capable of thought. Consider Wall Street and corporate leadership. To boost share prices Wall Street forced all corporations to desert their home country and move the production of goods and services sold to Americans offshore to where labor and regulatory costs were lower. The lower costs raised profits and share prices. Wall Street threatened resistant corporations with takeovers of the companies if they refused to move abroad in order to increase their profits.

Neither Wall Street nor corporate boards and CEOs were smart enough to understand that moving jobs offshore also moved US consumer incomes and purchasing power offshore. In other words, the financial and business leadership were too stupid to comprehend that without the incomes from high value-added, high productivity US jobs, the American consumer would not have the discretionary income to continue in his role as the economy’s driver.

The Federal Reserve caught on to Wall Street’s mistake. To rectify the mistake, the Fed expanded credit, allowing a buildup in consumer debt to keep the economy going on credit purchases. However, once consumer debt is high relative to income, the ability to buy more stuff departs. In other words, credit expansion is not a permanent fix for the lack of consumer income growth.

A country whose financial and business leadership is too stupid to understand that a population increasingly employed in part-time minimum wage jobs is not a big spending population is a country whose leadership has failed.

It is strictly impossible to boost profits by offshoring jobs without also offshoring US consumer incomes. Therefore, the profits from offshoring are temporary. Once enough jobs have been moved offshore that aggregate demand is stymied, the domestic market stagnates and then declines.

As I have demonstrated so many times for so many years, as has John Williams (shadowstats.com), the jobs reports from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics are nonsense. The jobs in the alleged recovery from June 2009 are largely low income domestic service jobs and the product of the theoretical birth/death model. The alleged recovery from the 2007-08 financial crisis is the first recovery in history in which the labor force participation rate declined. Labor force participation rates decline when the economy offers scant job opportunities, not when employment opportunities are rising.

What we know about US jobs is that the jobs are increasingly part-time minimum wage jobs. According to a presstitute news report that might or might not be true, there are only 12 counties in the entirety of the United States in which a person can rent a one-bedroom home on a minimum wage income.

In response to this report, a professor at Virginia Tech suggested that the government offer increased rental assistance and boost programs such as the National Housing Trust Fund, which invests in affordable housing.

In other words, taxpayers are to pick up the costs to Americans of US corporations deserting the US labor force. Those Americans who still have middle class incomes will be taxed to cover the lost incomes that the offshoring corporations and Wall Street have snatched away from American workers who can no longer earn enough to pay for their own housing.

In other words, capitalism has reached the point in its descent that it cannot exist without public subsidies for the people dispossessed by capitalism.

On a number of occasions I have written about how many costs of production are imposed on third parties, such as the environment. A significant percentage of the profits of capitalist corporations comes from the political and legal ability of the corporations to impose their costs of production on third parties. In other words, capitalism makes money because it can impose its costs of production on the environment and on people who do not share in the profits. I have provided many examples of this, especially in the area of real estate development. The developer is able to shift a large part of his costs to others.

This cost shifting has now reached the level of inducing Armaggedon. There is an effort to impeach Trump and put the warmonger VP Pence in the presidency. As Trump campaigned on restoring normal relations with Russia, a defeat of the attempt to reduce tensions would reinforce the recent conclusion of the Russian military high command that Washington is planning a first strike nuclear attack on Russia.

This is the risk that the entire world faces due to the dependence of the power and profit of the US military/security complex on war and enemies.

In other words, there is only one remaining rationale for the existence of the United States of America — the interests of the military/security complex — and these interests require a powerful enemy whether real or orchestrated.

Former CIA official John Stockwell wrote: “It is the function of the CIA to keep the world unstable, and to propagandize and teach the American people to hate, so we will let the Establishment spend any amount of money on arms.” The hatred and distrust of Russia that the West is currently being force-fed reflects Stockwell’s revelation, as does the orchestrated hatred and distrust of Muslims that has supported Washington’s destruction in whole or part of seven countries and trillions of dollars in new US war debt.

Globalism, that is, labor arbitrage across national boundaries, and financialization, the diversion of consumers’ incomes into interest and fees to banks, have wrecked the US economy. The “opportunity society” has vanished. Children have poorer economic prospects than their parents. The offshoring of manufacturing and professional service jobs such as IT and software engineering has collapsed the growth of aggregate demand in the US. The Federal Reserve’s credit expansion was only a temporary reprieve.

Formerly prosperous areas are in ruins. States’ budgets and pension systems are failing. There is no payoff to a university education. Americans’ economic prospects have been erased by globalism. Getting ahead requires connections as it did in the aristocratic systems. The high concentration of income and wealth has negated democracy. The government is only accountable to the rich.

American political and business leadership not only destroyed the image of US sovereignty by placing American democracy in Putin’s pocket, but also destroyed the formerly vibrant American economy, once the envy of the world.

Where can Americans find leadership? Certainly not in the Democratic Party, nor in the Republican Party, nor in the media, nor in the corporate community. How then does the US compete with Russia and China, two countries with good leadership? Is war the only answer to the question?

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

Global Research, June 13, 2017

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

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

Dr. Tim Anderson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Dirty War on Syria

by Professor Tim Anderson

click to purchase, directly from Global Research Publishers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ISBN Number: 978-0-9737147-8-4

Year: 2016

Pages: 240

Author: Tim Anderson

List Price: $23.95

Special Price: $15.00

The Dirty War on Syria 

by Professor Tim Anderson

click to purchase, directly from Global Research Publishers

Chapter Overview:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also available in PDF version, click here to purchase

Reviews:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to order Tim Anderson’s Book

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


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Notes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE WHITE HELMETS LIED! OMRAN DAQNEESH THE ORANGE SEAT BOY RESURFACES AND HIS WHOLE FAMILY STANDS WITH THE SYRIAN GOVERNMENT!

by Jonathan Azaziah

Talk about a bombshell! The White Helmets lied through their rotten teeth! Omran al-Daqneesh, the infamous “Orange Seat Boy”, is fine as kind! He’s living in liberated Aleppo with his family! He’s being protected by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA)! And IT JUST SO HAPPENS that his parents and other kin are staunch supporters of the Syrian government. MADNESS!

Flashback to last August. The world was taken by storm as photos of a dust-covered boy in an orange ambulance seat spread across the Zionist media like a wildfire being fueled by gasoline spills. That boy of course was Omran. Plastered on every TV channel, every website and every front page of every newspaper, the boy, it was claimed by the Al-Qaeda-linked, US-UK-Soros-financed White Helmets, had been wounded in air strikes launched by “the Assad regime” and “imperialist Russia”. His family, the White Helmets claimed further, were heavy backers of the “Syrian revolution”. Omran’s photograph was taken by a CIA-Turkish-Qatari-backed Harakat Noureddine al-Zinki terrorist who had previously been involved in beheading 12-year old Syrian-Palestinian boy Abdallah al-Issa in Aleppo’s Handarat. The event incited wave after wave of humanitarian-interventionist propaganda against the Syrian Arab Republic, once again drawing the world to the brink of WW3, and also catapulted the White Helmets onto the global scene, garnering them international spotlight and a limitless flow of support from Jewish Hollywood. And then… Incredibly… Almost mystically… Little Omran and his story disappeared from the mass media just about as quickly as it emerged.

Fast forward back to present day and the revelations about Omran Daqneesh have laid waste to this fictional narrative that the Takfiri-connected White Helmets concocted and forced down the collective throat of the globe through their Zionist media overlords. And this TRUE STORY is barely receiving any coverage at all in the mass press and wherever it is being reported, like the UK Telegraph for example, there are quite blatant attempts being made to downplay and deflect the deceptions of the past. Above and beyond the devastating info that Omran’s dearest ones are partisans of the Syrian Arab Republic’s government and military, Omran’s father revealed that terrorist groups offered to pay him gargantuan amounts of cash–presumably delivered by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey–to spread propaganda against democratically elected Syrian President Dr. Bashar al-Assad as well as the SAA. He would refuse to entertain this treachery and despite the hasbara blitz, his support for his leader and his army never wavered. This didn’t mean things never got difficult however. Omran’s father was forced to shave Omran’s head and change his name just so his son would longer endure anymore vulturous exploitation at the hands of the “moderate rebels”. In more succinct terms: The Daqneesh family most certainly did suffer. But it wasn’t because of Damascus. In fact, it was Damascus which rescued them. Their tormentors, from A to Z, were the very groups that MSM told the world were “fighting for freedom” from a “brutal dictator”.

If you’re shocked by this unexpected turn of events… Don’t be. Not even in the slightest. The story of Omran Daqneesh is much like that of Alan Kurdi. Or Hamza al-Khatib. Or the chemical weapons attacks in Ghouta in ’13 and Idlib just a few months ago. Or the Houla Massacre. Or, in reality, the entirety of the war on Syria. A lie gets told. It proliferates thanks to the pernicious efforts of the global Zionist media and a network of “activists” linked to the NGO-Human-Rights-Industrial-Complex of Soros, the NED and the US State Department. Then months or sometimes years later, when the dust settles, the cameras have moved on their next batch of Zioganda, and the public is no longer paying attention, the truth will come out but it will swiftly get swept under the rug. Moral of the story here: Don’t believe what you see on your Talmudvision. Especially when it comes to Syria. The controllers of information view the masses as “Goyim” and according to their ideology, they find it obligatory-kosher to deceive you to further their agenda. And they couldn’t give the smallest of damns that children get hurt in the process. It’s a happy day for Omran Daqneesh and all those who fight on a daily basis for Syria to be free of Zio-Takfirism, no doubt. It’s a victory of truth over hasbara, for sure. But it would be a hell of a lot happier and triumphant if everyone believed us when we said, “The White Helmets are liars! This story is fishy!”, in the first place.

Understanding the Geopolitics of Terrorism

By Bill Van Auken

June 08, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – The latest in a long series of bloody terrorist attacks attributed to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) unfolded in Iran early Wednesday with coordinated armed assaults on the Iranian Parliament (Majlis) and the mausoleum of the late supreme leader of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini. At least 12 people were killed and 43 wounded.

The reactions of the US government and the Western media to the attacks in Tehran stand in stark contrast to their response to the May 22 bombing that killed 22 people at the Manchester Arena and the London Bridge attacks that claimed nine lives last Saturday.

The Trump White House released a vicious statement that effectively justified the killings in Iran, declaring,

“We underscore that states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote,” an attitude that found its reflection in the relative indifference of the media to the loss of Iranian lives.

It is clearly understood that terrorism against Iran serves definite political aims that are in sync with those of US imperialism and its regional allies.

For its part, Tehran’s reaction to the attacks was unambiguous. It laid the responsibility at the door of the US and its principal regional ally, Saudi Arabia. “This terrorist attack happened only a week after the meeting between the US president (Donald Trump) and the (Saudi) backward leaders who support terrorists,” Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said in a statement, published by Iranian media. The attack was understood in Tehran as a political act carried out in conjunction with identifiable state actors and aimed at furthering definite geostrategic objectives.

The same can be said of the earlier acts of terrorism carried out in Manchester and London, as well as those in Paris, Brussels and elsewhere before them.

The Western media routinely treats each of these atrocities as isolated manifestations of “evil” or religious hatred, irrational acts carried out by madmen. In reality, they are part of an internationally coordinated campaign in pursuit of definite political objectives.

Underlying the violence on the streets of Europe is the far greater violence inflicted upon the Middle East by US, British and French imperialism, working in conjunction with right-wing bourgeois regimes and the Islamist forces they promote, finance and arm.

ISIS is itself the direct product of a series of imperialist wars, emerging as a split-off from Al Qaeda, which got its start in the CIA-orchestrated war by Islamist fundamentalists against the Soviet-backed government in Afghanistan. It was forged in the US war of aggression against Iraq that killed close to a million Iraqis, and then utilized in the 2011 war to topple Libya’s leader Muammar Gaddafi. Fighters and arms were then funneled with the aid of the CIA into the war for regime change in Syria.

The latest round of terror has its source in growing dissatisfaction among Washington’s Middle Eastern allies and its Islamist proxy forces over the slow pace of the US intervention in Syria and Washington’s failure to bring the six-year war for regime change to a victorious conclusion.

The people giving the orders for these attacks live in upper-class neighborhoods in London, Paris and elsewhere, enjoying close connections with intelligence agencies and government officials. Far from being unknown, they will be found among the top ministers and government officials in Damascus if the US-backed war in Syria achieves its objectives.

Those who carry out the terrorist atrocities are expendable assets, foot soldiers who are easily replaced from among the broad layers enraged by the slaughter carried out by imperialism in the Middle East.

The mass media always presents the failure to prevent these attacks as a matter of the security forces failing to “connect the dots,” a phrase that should by now be permanently banned. In virtually every case, those involved are well known to the authorities.

In the latest attacks in the UK, the connections are astonishing, even given the similar facts that have emerged in previous terrorist actions. One of the attackers in the London Bridge killings, Yousseff Zaghba, was stopped at an Italian airport while attempting to travel to Syria, freely admitting that he “wanted to be a terrorist” and carrying ISIS literature. Another was featured in a British television documentary that chronicled his confrontation with and detention by police after he unfurled an ISIS flag in Regent’s Park.

The Manchester suicide bomber, Salman Abedi, was likewise well known to British authorities. His parents were members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), who were allowed to return to Libya in 2011 to participate in the US-NATO regime-change operation against Muammar Gaddafi. He himself met with Libyan Islamic State operatives in Libya, veterans of the Syrian civil war, and maintained close connections with them while in Manchester.

What has become clear after 16 years of the so-called “war on terrorism”—going all the way back to the hijackers of 9/11—is that these elements move in and out of the Middle East, Europe and the US itself not only without hindrance, but under what amounts to state protection.

When they arrive at passport control, their names come up with definite instructions that they are not to be stopped. “Welcome home, sir, enjoy your vacation in Libya?” “Bit of tourism in Syria?”

Why have they enjoyed this carte blanche? Because they are auxiliaries of US and European intelligence, necessary proxies in wars for regime change from Libya to Syria and beyond that are being waged to further imperialist interests.

If from time to time these elements turn against their sponsors, with innocent civilians paying with their lives, that is part of the price of doing business.

In the aftermath of terrorist actions, governments respond with stepped-up measures of repression and surveillance. Troops are deployed in the streets, democratic rights are suspended, and, as in France, a state of emergency is made the overriding law of the land. All of these measures are useless in terms of preventing future attacks, but serve very well to control the domestic population and suppress social unrest.

If the mass media refuses to state what has become obvious after more than a decade and a half of these incidents, it is a measure of how fully the linkage between terrorism, the Western intelligence agencies and the unending wars in the Middle East has become institutionalized.

Innocent men, women and children, whether in London, Manchester, Paris, Tehran, Baghdad or Kabul, are paying the terrible price for these imperialist operations, which leave a trail of blood and destruction everywhere.

Putting a stop to terrorist attacks begins with a fight to put an end to the so-called “war on terrorism,” the fraudulent pretext for predatory wars in which Al Qaeda and its offshoots are employed as proxy ground forces, operating in intimate collaboration with imperialist intelligence services and military commands.

This article was first published by WSWS

Copyright © 1998-2017 World Socialist Web Site – All rights reserved

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


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