Want the Truth About What’s Going on in Syria? Listen to Father Daniël Maes

The gentleman giving the talk in the video above is Father Daniël Maes, a Flemish priest who lives in Syria and who has said that news coverage of the conflict there is “the biggest media lie of our time.” Father Maes, who spoke in Belgium on June 3, lives and serves God in the 1400-year-old Mar Yakub Monastery, located in the village of Qara, some 60 miles northeast of Damascus.

The martyr celebration he speaks of at the beginning of the talk commemorates the deaths of 21 Arab nationalists (both Syrian and Lebanese) who were executed by Turkish authorities on May 6, 1916 for their resistance against the Ottoman Empire. The Arab nationalists, long suffering under Ottoman rule, had supported Britain and France in World War I though later were betrayed–by both, but by the French in particular–in a series of events leading up to the signing of the infamous Sykes-Picot Agreement (an agreement which set up the two European countries as the primary colonial powers in the region, giving the British control over Palestine and establishing the French as the overlords in Syria and Lebanon).

Thus when Father Maes says, “I was a little bit ashamed. I think: ‘I am from the West’,” he is presumably referring to this history, although I would qualify that statement by pointing out that the actions of Britain and France today in backing US goals for regime change are if anything even more ignoble than their treacherous behavior of a century ago.

In his talk, Father Maes also makes a prediction–call it a prophecy if you will–that the war in Syria will take the world from a unipolar to a multi-polar world order.

He also makes reference to a soup kitchen set up by Mother Agnés-Mariam in the city of Aleppo and which serves 25,000 hot meals per day five days a week. You may remember Mother Agnés. I did a series of articles on her back in 2013 and 2014 after she released a 50-page report on the August 21, 2013 chemical attack in Ghouta. The report provided evidence that some of the videos uploaded to the Internet immediately after the attack were staged and faked, but for her efforts, Mother Agnés found herself under attack by liberals like Jeremy Scahill and Owen Jones, both of whom refused to appear at a conference she was scheduled to speak at in London. This was in November of 2013.  I wrote an article about it at the time, which I entitled Mother Agnes and the Self Destruction of the Political Left, and which I reproduce below. I wonder how Scahill and Jones would feel if they knew the woman whose name they besmirched four years ago is now serving food to 25,000 hungry people a day in a war zone. God works in mysterious ways, and this is certainly an example of it. Jones, Scahill and all the other “liberal interventionists” who attacked Mother Agnés should be ashamed of themselves.

As for Father Maes, I first put up a post about him back in January of this year. At that time he told an interviewer, “Do you not know that the media coverage on Syria is the biggest media lie of our time? They have sold pure nonsense about Assad: It was actually the rebels who plundered and killed.”

And in the talk in the video above, he notes that the Syrian Army has recently been making “more and more and more and more progress,” and he expresses hope for an end to the conflict soon.

“We hope that with the Russians and Iran, and of course the Syrian Army and the Hezbollah, that they will finally take out all the terrorists.”


Mother Agnes and the Self Destruction of the Political Left

By Richard Edmondson

Leftist luminaries Jeremy Scahill and Owen Jones attempted to cast aspersions upon Mother Agnes, but instead they have brought discredit not only upon themselves, but upon the conference at which they are to speak in London next Saturday. We should not be surprised at the way all this has turned out.

As I reported previously, Scahill and Jones announced they would not take part in an antiwar conference organized by the Stop the War Coalition should they have to share the same platform with Mother Agnes Mariam of the Cross, a Syrian nun who has worked tirelessly to bring about an end to the bloodshed in her country. As yet, no explanation or elaboration has been offered by the pair as justification for their laying down of such an ultimatum. But for her own part, Mother Agnes has taken steps to ensure they will not have to undergo the abhorrent ordeal of appearing with her. She has pulled out of the conference.

In the war in Syria, or more precisely in the way the war has been reported, radically different narratives have been presented, narratives that are, and have been, almost completely counter to one another. In one view, that reported by Western mainstream media, Syrian President Bashar Assad is a brutal, criminal dictator intent on killing his own people, while those fighting to bring his government down are freedom fighters (although following the posting of a video showing one of the freedom fighters eating a human organ, the media shifted slightly and began allowing that “some” of the insurgents were extremists). By contrast, the picture presented by Russian and other foreign media, and on blogs like this one, is that Assad has the support of a sizeable portion of the Syrian people and that the conflict has little or nothing to do with democracy. Instead it is aimed at effecting regime change to the benefit of Gulf oil monarchies as well as the West and Israel. Also in this view, Assad, while not perfect, is not nearly as ogreish and demonic as he is made out to be in the Western media.

It comes down to who has the greater credibility—the Western, and principally US, media, which promoted the war in Iraq on the basis of false claims about weapons of mass destruction, or Russian media outlets like RT, who have no record of peddling lies in an effort to justify wars. You would think that for leftists the choice would be clear. But for some reason, Scahill, a reporter for The Nation, and Jones, who has a column in The Independent, have taken a position that possibly would suggest they accord the Western media the greater credibility—at least insofar as the Syrian war in general, and Mother Agnes in particular, are concerned.

Those favoring US intervention in Syria no doubt had their hopes raised by the August 21 chemical weapons attack. An all out escalation into a regional and possibly even global conflict seemed imminent, but the hopes of warmongers were dashed through some clever statesmanship by Vladimir Putin and also after Mother Agnes released a 50-page report introducing evidence that some of the videos uploaded immediately after the attack had been staged and scripted and suggesting that the attack might have been carried out not by the Syrian government but by the opposition. You can read the full report here. Decide for yourself whether you think it’s credible.

My own take on it all is that through her report, as well as through her presence, her holiness, and her actions—including the evacuation of more than 5,000 people from a besieged town in October—Mother Agnes has considerably undermined the Western narrative on events in Syria. And that obviously has upset a lot of plans and made a lot of people mad.

“Why did the invitation from Stop the War to a nun working to stop war raise objections?” asks William M. Boardman in an article posted Thursday. Boardman goes on to comment, “It’s hard to find any evidence that Mother Agnes has committed anything worse than what others consider thought-crimes and politically incorrect obeservations, some of which are actually correct.”

So was somebody pressuring Scahill and Jones to disassociate themselves from Mother Agnes? Did they think doing so would advance their careers? Did Scahill think it would win him additional appearances on the Rachel Maddow Show or CBS Evening News? Is Jones hoping for more exposure on Sky News and the BBC? I don’t have an answer to these questions. I would note only that intoxication of power is not something leftists are especially immune to any more so than anyone else. The main problem is succumbing to such impulses at the expense of someone making a genuine effort to achieve peace.

When faced with a choice between taking a stand based upon principle and one based upon convenience, the left seems to opt more and more for the latter these days, and it is attitudes such as this that are leading it, much like Western society as a whole, toward self destruction. So what should the organizers of the conference do? Here is my suggestion: Re-extend the invitation to Mother Agnes. Do so publicly. She may decline. But you will at least regain some credibility. Should she accept, all the better. And if Jones and Scahill wish to pull out as a result, even better yet. Their presence at the podium at this point is probably more of a liability than an asset in any event. Proceeding under the present conditions—with Scahill and Jones on the bill and the curtain in effect drawn on any participation by Mother Agnes—will cheapen and devalue the event.

Why Obama Prioritizes Ousting Assad Over Defeating Syria’s Jihadists

Why Obama Prioritizes Ousting Assad Over Defeating Syria’s Jihadists (I)

ERIC ZUESSE | 16.04.2016

Part 1

Dr Christina Lin, a leading young scholar on jihadist groups, opens her April 8th commentary at Asia Times: «In a blunder reeking of the fallout caused by supplying Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to 1980s mujahideen in Afghanistan, civilian airline passengers are now under threat from Syrian jihadists armed with portable surface-to-air missiles (MANPADS).

Reports say some American-backed jihadi groups are being equipped with US-made MANPADS. Indications are they’re obtaining these advanced weapons either directly or indirectly from the US or its Mideast allies in connection with a recent escalation in the fighting in Syria.

On April 2, fighting broke out between western-backed al-Qaeda affiliates and the Syrian army, ending the Syrian ceasefire. The groups that broke the ceasefire included al-Qaeda in Syria (al-Nusra), the Chinese Uyghur Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP), The Levant Brigade, the Freemen of Syria (Ahrar ash-Sham), Division 13, and other jihadi groups. According to AP, the US-trained and armed Division 13 is now fighting alongside al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham. The latter two are part of the Turkey/Saudi/Qatar-backed Army of Conquest».

That report goes on to document, essentially, that US President Barack Obama is continuing his efforts to replace the the only secular, non-sectarian government in the Middle East, that of the Ba’athist Party, which has always been the only non-religious political party in the Arab world – everything else in Arabia has been fundamentalist-Sunni, to at least some extent. (Think of it: after 9/11, the US government aiding al-Qaeda! The US government is more against Russia than it’s against jihadists – though Russia never invaded the US, and communism is gone!)

Dr Lin quotes a Saudi official as saying (in Germany’s Spiegel), «We believe that introducing surface-to-air missiles in Syria is going to change the balance of power on the ground… just like surface-to-air missiles in Afghanistan were able to change the balance of power there». He was referring there to this in 1979, where Obama’s friend Zbigniew Brzezinski explained why the Americans and the Saudis were supplying SAMs to the mujahideen who became al-Qaeda, and he was also referring to this in 1998, where Brzezinski, when asked whether he thought that arming those fundamentalist Sunnis had been a mistake, said that it certainly was not. Obama is continuing in that vein. Brzezinski still was talking there as if Russia equals the USSR, equals «the enemy». Obama acts from that same viewpoint – the viewpoint that will end either in WW III, or in Russia’s capitulation to the US aristocracy.

In their view, the end of communism, and the end of the Soviet Union, and the end of the Soviets’ Warsaw Pact (which was their counterpart to America’s NATO alliance), made and make no difference, and Syria should be ruled by jihadist groups, because its current government is allied with Russia, and Russia always tries to kill jihadists, never allies with them (as the US does).

Obama overthrew the Russia-friendly government of Ukraine and replaced it with an anti-Russian government; he also led the NATO bombing campaign that overthrew the Russia-friendly leader of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi; and he has since been trying to do the same thing in Syria, to Assad.

Dr Lin continues:

«Now, if it turns out that al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria are indeed armed with MANPADS, it would amount to what former CIA director David Petraeus called ‘our worst nightmare’. The missile would do far more than improve terrorist groups’ military capabilities to conduct future attacks.

A 2005 RAND study also concluded that Jihadists shooting down a civilian airliner would put a temporary freeze on worldwide air travel, causing a $15 billion loss to the world economy. More than a decade after this study, the present-day economic loss would be substantially higher than $15 billion».

Dr Lin’s calling this a «blunder» from Obama is based upon an assumption that Obama isn’t aware of the harms that he’s causing by what he’s doing; but, on the same day, a report, including shocking documentation from Jane’s (the specialist site about military matters), makes clear that Obama is determined to overthrow Assad no matter what the consequences.

The anonymous «Moon of Alabama» blogger posted at Global Research on April 8th, «US Delivers 3,000 Tons Of Weapons And Ammo To Al-Qaeda and Co. in Syria». Shown there is the «Simplified packing list for December 2015 arms» that were sent. The anonymous blogger explained:

«One ship with nearly one thousand tons of weapons and ammo left Constanta in Romania on December 5. The weapons are from Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania. It sailed to Agalar in Turkey which has a military pier and then to Aqaba in Jordan. Another ship with more than two-thousand tons of weapons and ammo left in late March, followed the same route and was last recorded on its way to Aqaba on April 4.

We already knew that the ‘rebels’ in Syria received plenty of weapons during the official ceasefire. We also know that these ‘rebels’ regularly deliver half of their weapon hauls from Turkey and Jordan to al-Qaeda in Syria (aka Jabhat al-Nusra):

Hard-core Islamists in the Nusra Front have long outgunned the more secular, nationalist, Western-supported rebels. According to FSA officers, Nusra routinely harvests up to half the weapons supplied by the Friends of Syria, a collection of countries opposed to Assad…

US and Turkey supported ‘rebels’ took part in the recent attack on Tal al-Eis against Syrian government forces which was launched with three suicide bombs by al-Qaeda in Syria. This was an indisputable breaking of the ceasefire agreement between Russia and the US. It is very likely that some of the weapons and ammunition the US delivered in December were used in this attack».

Consequently, Obama is clearly determined to supply weapons to the jihadists until they win. This is no «blunder». It’s a determination to beat Putin, no matter what. It has consequences not only for the US and for Russia, but for the countries that America invades or whose governments America overthrows. Here are those consequences.

The «2016 Global Emotions Report» by Gallup, surveying over a thousand people in each one of 140 different nations, found that, by far, the people in Syria had «the lowest positive experiences worldwide», the people there were far more miserable than in any other nation. The score was 36 (on a scale to 100). Second and third worst were tied at 51: Turkey because of the tightening dictatorship there as Turkey has become one of Obama’s key allies in toppling Assad; Nepal, on account of the earthquake. Then tied at 54, were three countries, the fourth, fifth, and sixth, most-miserable places to live: Georgia, which still hasn’t recovered from the US-backed wars against Abkhazia and South Ossetia, where the majority want to be part of Russia; Serbia, where the majority are opposed to the government’s move to enter NATO; and Iraq, which still hasn’t recovered from Bush’s 2003 invasion. Then tied at 55, are five countries, the seventh-through-eleventh-most-miserable nations: Yemen, where America’s ally the Sauds are dropping American bombs onto Shiite neighborhoods; Bosnia and Herzegovina, which still hasn’t recovered from the civil war and the US bombing; Lithuania, which became impoverished by IMF-imposition of economic austerity, which has prevented economic recovery; Belarus, which will probably be the last country in the world to break away from Marxism; and, finally, the 11th-worst, Ukraine, which prior to the US coup, was less miserable than 29 countries and had a score of 60, which was 5 points higher than today’s – Obama’s coup there has definitely immiserated the Ukrainian people (not to mention displaced millions and slaughtered thousands by the ethnic-cleansing campaign against residents of the former Donbass region of Ukraine).

To what extent would it be sincere, or even honest, then, for the US President to say this?:

«America’s willingness to apply force around the world is the ultimate safeguard against chaos, and America’s failure to act in the face of Syrian brutality or Russian provocations not only violates our conscience, but invites escalating aggression in the future… In Ukraine, Russia’s recent actions recall the days when Soviet tanks rolled into Eastern Europe. But this isn’t the Cold War. Our ability to shape world opinion helped isolate Russia right away. Because of American leadership, the world immediately condemned Russian actions; Europe and the G7 joined us to impose sanctions; NATO reinforced our commitment to Eastern European allies; the IMF is helping to stabilize Ukraine’s economy; OSCE monitors brought the eyes of the world to unstable parts of Ukraine. And this mobilization of world opinion and international institutions served as a counterweight to Russian propaganda and Russian troops on the border and armed militias in ski masks».

Those «armed militias in ski masks», incidentally, were US-CIA-hired mercenaries. He had to know that; he simply lied.

Part 2

Why Obama Prioritizes Ousting Assad Over Defeating Syria’s Jihadists (II)

In the US Presidential contest this year, the big foreign-affairs issue that separates Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump on one side, and all of the other candidates on the other, is whether to prioritize killing jihadists, above defeating Assad and any other ally of Russia.

Both Sanders and Trump say that killing jihadists is definitely the top priority. Hillary Clinton and the other Republicans say that both priorities are equal and must be pursued with equal vigor, even though that will mean helping the jihadists whenever they’re causing damage to Russia or to Russia’s allies – such as to Assad in Syria. Judging Obama by his actions not his (lying) words, he’s on the side of Clinton and the other (the self-acknowledged) Republicans. The reality is that anyone (such as Clinton, Cruz, and Kasich) who says that both priorities are equal, is really in favor of placing the defeat of Russia as being a higher priority than killing jihadists – but for political reasons can’t afford to admit it publicly. Those candidates are actually the candidates who (like the Bushes and the Clintons) represent the Saud family, who financed al-Qaeda before 9/11, and who continued doing it after 9/11, and whose friends the other Arab royal families, are financing the other jihadist organizations.

On the one side in this ongoing international war are Russia and its few allies, which include the Shiites, both the secular Assad in Syria, and the fundamentalist Khamenei in Iran; and, on the other side are the United States and its many allies, which include the fundamentalist Sunni royal families, which own Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, UAE, Bahrain, and Oman, but which also include the fundamentalist Sunni, Tayyip Erdogan, in Turkey, who is the Saud family’s agent in the US-led NATO anti-Russian military club. And, of course, NATO and Japan are also on the American team. And so is Israel.

This is geopolitics, the contest for power between the two blocs of aristocracies – the US-Saudi-led bloc on the one side, versus the much smaller Russia-led bloc on the other.

Here is how Brzezinski put it, on page 46 of his classic 1997 statement of the position of the US-Saudi-led bloc, in his book The Grand Chessboard, where he was discussing specifically Ukraine, and also explaining why the West must support the fundamentalist Sunni, or jihadist, groups that threaten to break up and thus weaken or destroy Russia:

«Ukraine, a new and important space on the Eurasian chessboard, is a geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent country helps to transform Russia. Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire. Russia without Ukraine can still strive for imperial status, but it would then become a predominantly Asian imperial state, more likely to be drawn into debilitating conflicts with aroused Central Asians, who would then be resentful of the loss of their recent independence and would be supported by their fellow Islamic states to the south … However, if Moscow regains control over Ukraine, with its 52 million people and major resources as well as its access to the Black Sea, Russia automatically again regains the wherewithal to become a powerful imperial state, spanning Europe and Asia».

Brzezinski was born a Polish nobleman, to a family who were dispossessed by Russians, and he never lost his hatred of Russians. In 1973, he and his friend David Rockefeller (like the Arab royals a hereditary oil-billionaire) founded the Trilateral Commission, to coordinate America and Europe and Japan, so as to conquer Russia by breaking it up – classic divide-and-conquer aristocratic thinking. That’s what his Grand Chessboard is all about: conquest, for global dominance. To understand not only Obama but the Bushes, and the Clintons, that book is the classic. And the reason why the American aristocracy loathes both Sanders and Trump – different though those two candidates are – is that both candidates present the first possibility since the end of the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact in 1991 to end the purely aristocratic war that has continued on since then (with the public financing it via their taxes, and providing the corpses for it in Libya, Ukraine, Syria, and a few other places) to conquer Russia.

Obama is an extraordinarily gifted politician, notwithstanding any deficiencies he has as a national leader, and so here was from his brief exchange (and there was no follow-up on this question) dealing with his biggest achievement and his biggest error as President, speaking with Chris Wallace of Fox News and telecast on April 10th:

«WALLACE: Worst mistake?

OBAMA: Probably failing to plan for the day after what I think was the right thing to do in intervening in Libya».

But, even without any follow-up question, that actually says a lot: it says that, though Obama didn’t even «plan for the day after» (a shocking admission, which really shows the abysmal caliber of the man), his bombing Libya till Muammar Gaddafi was killed «was the right thing to do». (George W Bush feels the same about his having gotten rid of another Russia-ally, Saddam Hussein.) And, of course, the unasked question there was: Why? Why was it «the right thing to do»? But, if his foreign policy is driven obsessively by the goal of taking down the leader of any nation who is friendly toward Russia, then it does make sense, after all – the same sense as what Obama also did to Yanukovych in Ukraine, and is still so persistently trying to do to Assad in Syria. (And Chris Wallace’s having not even noticed that he had, just then, elicited from Obama the most shocking statement in Obama’s entire Presidency, showed that that TV network of psychopaths was functioning true-to-form – the interviewer didn’t even care that the US President had perpetrated a huge bombing campaign without even concerning himself about what the consequences would be – other than to get rid of a leader who was friendly to Russia.)

And, as regards America’s future international relations, the continuance (or not) of this psychopathic goal, is the top issue in the current US Presidential campaign. Whereas the American public don’t even think much about it, America’s billionaires certainly do, which is why they’re pouring billions into the campaigns of Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, and the other candidates who want to continue that goal (taking control of Russia), but with even more intensity than Obama has been doing.

Properly understood, history isn’t only about the past; it is, far more importantly, about the future. That’s why the aristocracy don’t finance the careers of truthful historians: the public is supposed to believe the myths, which have been shaped by the aristocracy in the past. Truthful history would endanger the aristocracy. And that’s why the public isn’t supposed to know such things as, «Why Obama Prioritizes Ousting Assad Over Defeating Syria’s Jihadists», nor even to know that he does. But, he does; and here has been provided an explanation as to why he does (and understanding why, will pose an even greater threat to the aristocracy – which is why few media will publish this).

The con isn’t supposed to be known; or, if it’s known, it’s not supposed to be noticed.

«OBAMA: Probably failing to plan for the day after what I think was the right thing to do in intervening in Libya».

And that’s also the reason «Why Obama Prioritizes Ousting Assad Over Defeating Syria’s Jihadists». He says: doing it in Libya was his «worst mistake». But he cares so little, that he’s trying to do it again, in Syria. He’s true-to-form, for a psychopath.

And this answers the question, as well as it can be answered. It’s not a matter of corpses, and bloodshed, and immiserated nations, to him; it’s «The Grand Chessboard». He simply wants to be the person at the mountaintop, even if it’s a mountain of corpses. Or, maybe, especially if it’s a mountain of corpses. This has been the way of aristocracies for thousands of years, and he’s a natural at it. Just a natural. Especially because the CIA has been aiming since at least 1957 to overthrow the Ba’ath Party as Syria’s leadership, and to replace them with a partitioned Syria, whose key oil-and-gas pipeline route would be controlled by a fundamentalist-Sunni ally of the Sauds.

After all, the Grand Chessboard may be just a game, but it can be a very profitable one, for the right people.

Related

Syrian fighter jets pound Daesh oil tankers in Dayr al-Zawr

10.01.2016 | 13:10

PressTV – The Syrian Air Force has targeted a convoy of 20 tankers smuggling oil from territories held by Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in the Arab country’s east.

Syrian warplanes bombarded the tankers on the al-Mayadin Highway near the eastern city of Dayr al-Zawr on Sunday.

In another development, a top commander of al-Qaeda-linked Ahrar al-Sham terrorist group, called Abu Talib, was killed in a booby trap explosion in Syria’s northwestern Idlib Province.

Meanwhile, Lebanon’s al-Ahed news website reported that a number of civilians sustained injuries after terrorist groups launched mortar attacks on the northern part of the Syrian province of Hama.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. More than 260,000 have reportedly lost their lives and millions displaced as a result of the violence.

Syrian forces have been battling militants, particularly Daesh terrorists, on different fronts throughout the country. They have recently been making rapid advances against terrorists in operations backed by the Russian air cover, which began on September 30 last year at the request of the Damascus government.

On Sunday, some 30 militants belonging to the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front were killed by Russian airstrikes in the southern part of Idlib.

 

 

TERRORISTS ROUTED IN LATAKIA AGAIN AS SYRIAN ARMY REACHES TURK BORDER

 

LATAKIA:  More news pouring in as the terrorist rats of Nusra/Alqaeda eat dirt while running for cover in Erdogan’s Turk-Occupied Syria (Hatay).  We can confirm the liberation of the following areas:

Elevation 754.5

SyriaTel Tower

Al-Aswad Al-Kabeer Mountain

‘Utayra on the Turk border

The Syrian Army has expanded its artillery control over these areas:

Bayt Malik

Al-Qantara

Bayt Shurooq

Al-Khadhraa`

Zaahiya

Al-Kubayr

Al-Sawwaaf

Qal’at Bujaak

_______________________________________________________

PHOTO OF THE DAY:  DR. ASSAD AND THE FIRST LADY, ASMAA` AL-ASSAD, VISIT THE CHURCH OF THE LADY OF DAMASCUS TO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS WITH THE CHRISTIANS OF THE CAPITAL:

Would that reeking, syphilitic pig, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdaadi, do this?  Would Abu Muhammad Al-Jawlaani?  Would the Wahhabist heretics allow a church on their holy sands?  Hardly.  This is the face of secular Syria.


Read more


Syrian Army Establishes Control over Strategic al-Sayyed Mountain in Lattakia

The Syrian Arab army is advancing further in the northern countryside of Lattakia among other areas, killing more terrorists and destroying their heavy weaponry, SANA agency reported.


With cooperation from the popular defense groups, the army established control over the strategic al-Sayyed Mountain in the northern countryside of Lattakia province,” a military source announced on Thursday.


Terrorists positioned in the area were fired at intensively, with many of them getting killed and the rest escaped, the source told SANA.


During combing operations in the mountain, the army units dismantled many explosive devices and mines planted by terrorists and found at its foot a 50 m tunnel equipped with lighting that contained vehicles and equipment used by the terrorists to dig trenches and tunnels to hinder the army’s advance in the region, according to the source.


The new achievement came one day after the army established control over the strategic al-Noubeh Mountain in Lattakia northern countryside.

Source: Agencies

18-12-2015 – 16:57 Last updated 18-12-2015 – 16:57


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Snagging the Pipelines Cobweb: a checkmate for the US?

Strategic Culture Foundation

EDITOR’S CHOICE | 13.12.2015 | 12:00

The civil war in Syria, the attempts of ousting Bashar Al-Assad from Syrian Government and the consequent formation of new terrorist groups have deep roots and untold causes that have to be investigated, yet. What about their consequences in the near future?

US is gambling credibility away in the Syrian conflict. As a matter of fact, Barack Obama’s administration in foreign policy has become closer to George W. Bush’s in terms of results and involvement in different war scenarios. Stars and stripes-mojo is now fading away and Fukuyama’s “End of History” is going together with Samuel P. Huntington “Clash of Civilization” in the ash heap of History. The promotion of global American leadership seems to be a long-gone concept if compared to the geopolitical strategy and the moves that US is making now on the worldwide geopolitical chessboard.

Russia is now emerging from the ashes of post-soviet destruction (remember “Black October 1993”?) and seems to be in advantage in every field previously occupied by the US. Russian preponderance is clear in the Syrian scenario: on one side, Russia and Syria are really fighting Islamic extremism, on the other US are showing worldwide, despite the coverup made by Western media, their “throwing pillows” attitude at terrorists. US and their allies are playing a dangerous game on the edge of the razor in order to regain lost ground. It seems that they are paving the path for another war centered on geopolitical and strategic advantages.

For those who really analyze international politics, human rights and humanitarian reasons have little to do with the real interests in the Near-Middle East Region. Despite the undeniable Russian interests in Syria, especially for the Tartus area where the URSS built a naval supply and maintenance base in 1971, it’s also obvious that Syria is a meeting point of US and their allies’ interests. The interests of US have a reflection on the ‘bureaucracy empire’ of EU and its subjugated states. Europe has been long looking for energetic independence, but it seems there’s no way alternative to Russia to achieve it, despite some leading-to-nowhere proposals.

iran-pars1It becomes clear that a further implementation of a US-friend state role in the field of energy, would be a strategic advantage in order to divide again the Eurasian continent. Starting from this background context we can assume that there’ll be a great competition to gain access to european energetic market. In order to achieve this objective, two states, Qatar and Iran began fighting a strategic war. Qatar and Iran have control on the South Pars natural gas consolidate field, located in the Persian Gulf. Each of these two states has a different project in order to expand its turnover. On one side, Iran has been planning for years a cooperation project with Iraq and Syria with the construction of a 5.600 km natural gas pipeline named “Islamic Pipeline”. On the other side, Qatar has its own alternative project called the “Qatar-Turkey Pipeline” involving Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey and necessarily Syria. Of course, Bashar Al-Assad’s government is unwilling to approve the construction of this pipeline and here comes the necessity for Qatar to bring chaos inside the Syrian State and hope in a forthcoming turnover of the Syrian government.

The shooting down of the Russian SU-24 in Syria led to the suspension of the negotiations on Turkish Stream, another natural gas pipeline connecting Russia and Turkey via Black Sea. US “divide and conquer” tactic, is again producing its consequences in Eurasia, but it seems that the new front in the “War on Terror” is bringing many negative consequences to their own allies and proxy actors, while foreign fighters and the so called “moderate rebels”, once smuggling oil in Turkey, are creeping away from Syria leaving behind their back proofs of weird connections – as denounced in a Amnesty International report about Islamic State weapons indirect supply.

US and their loyal petrol-states are making for the economic annihilation of their own allies, and it seems that only Russia and China have the power to pull them over before the “point of no return” in Syria.

The final question question is: will the US allies (European Union and others) continue to follow a foreign policy based on the “Assad must go” mantra or they will start building a new Eurasian dimension in their policy realizing the losses they suffer as a result of NATO and US unilateral actions in Syria?

Marco Nocera, orientalreview.org

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What Obama did NOT (but should have) mentioned in address from Oval Office

 
United States President Barack Obama addresses the nation shortly after the Islamic State-related San Bernardino shooting. Obama is speaking to the nation from the Oval office for the third time in his presidency. The two previous addresses took place after an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the end of Iraq war.


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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Uprising against Assad was Engineered in Washington

Eric ZUESSE | 10.11.2015 | 00:02

A terrific news report by Jonathan Marshall at Consortium News provides the first-ever presentation in the West of the event that sparked the demonstrations that sparked the Syrian civil war, and of the entire origin of that war.

Unlike so many online ‘news’ reports that are merely authoritarian trash because they don’t link to any of their sources (they rely instead upon dumb readers’ faith or trust in the ‘reporter’ or in the publisher, such as The New York Times or Fox News), this one from Marshall is top-notch: not only does it provide intelligently skeptical readers with instantaneous access to documentation for each one of its key points, but those sources are credible ones. Taken all together, the sources, and Marshall’s presentation of them, constitute a solid historical account of how the war to bring down Syria’s leader, Bashar al-Assad, actually started. It didn’t start by Assad’s dumping (as U.S. President Barack Obama loves to claim) “barrel bombs,” upon merely peaceful protesters in Syria. It started actually in Washington, years before that. The Obama Administration itself was taking advantage of not only the “Arab Spring” protests throughout much of the Arab world, but, specifically, of an ongoing economic catastrophe in Syria that had started five years before the anti-Assad demonstrations did: an extended drought. Here is how the source that Marshall linked to describes it, two years before the “Arab Spring” even began:

In the past three years, 160 Syrian farming villages have been abandoned near Aleppo as crop failures have forced over 200,000 rural Syrians to leave for the cities. This news is distressing enough, but when put into a long-term perspective, its implications are staggering: many of these villages have been continuously farmed for 8000 years.

That source had been published on 16 January 2010. The drought continued on; the situation only got even worse right into 2011 and up through the public demonstrations in Aleppo that started the war. There were no “barrel bombs” then. There was instead surging economic dislocation. Obama merely took advantage of it. He knew that it was coming, and he planned so as to exploit it.

In fact, a wikileaked confidential 26 November 2008 cable from the U.S. Embassy in Damascus to the CIA and other associated agencies referred to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization by saying:

UNFAO Syria Representative Abdullah bin Yehia briefed econoff and USDA Regional Minister-Counselor for Agriculture on what he terms the “perfect storm,” a confluence of drought conditions with other economic and social pressures that Yehia believes could undermine stability in Syria. Because he is working with such limited resources, Yehia plans to target FAO assistance to small-holding farmers in the hardest-hit province of northeast Syria, Al Hasakah. (Note: This province shares a northern border with Turkey and a southern border with Iraq. Mosul is approximately 100km from Al Hasakah province.) Because the UN appeal has, thus far, not been entirely successful, Yehia has had to prioritize aid recipients.

That was institutional U.S. federal government knowledge three months prior to Obama’s becoming President. Obama as the President-elect at the time was privy to such information. Once he got into the White House, he needed to understand what was going on in Syria. Was it dumb of Yehia to trust the U.S. government with this information? Was he naive about the type of people who sit in America’s Oval Office nowadays? Is a deer in the forest naive to move when a hunter is stalking it? Is the deer supposed to just stand still, instead? Barack Obama during his electoral campaign had provided the public with no reason to suspect that he might have been harboring aggressive designs against the Syrian government, nor even against the Russian government that has been supporting it. Yehia was just seeking help, like the deer in fear.

Obama knew what was going on. He knew that the Syrian situation wasn’t just “barrel bombs” showing up suddenly out of nowhere, from no cause, and for no reason. He knew more than was published to the public in the American press. His repeated references to “barrel bombs” after the situation in Syria blew up, suggests that he takes advantage of the fact that the American public isn’t aware of such facts. It suggests that he’s playing the American public as trusting gulls, rather than as citizens.

In fact, America’s own National Academy of Sciences recently published a study (17 March 2015), “Climate change in the Fertile Crescent and implications of the recent Syrian drought,” which opens (though propagandistically blaming Assad as having contributed to the drought): “Before the Syrian uprising that began in 2011, the greater Fertile Crescent experienced the most severe drought in the instrumental record. For Syria, a country marked by poor governance and unsustainable agricultural and environmental policies, the drought had a catalytic effect, contributing to political unrest.” (Of course, Obama doesn’t claim to be bombing Assad’s forces because Assad had ‘unsustainable agricultural and environmental policies.’) In the section of that report “Significance,” the investigators-propagandists close: “We conclude that human influences on the climate system are implicated in the current Syrian conflict.”

So, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, in this recent study, is arguing, in effect, that Syria should have a different government. Perhaps the failed state that Obama insists upon producing there would be the ‘solution’? To what extent is the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (its PNAS) nowitself  politicized, nationalistic, propagandistic — that they are retrospectively publishing something like this, which fails to criticize the U.S. Government itself for having turned down the Syrian Government’s years-long pleadings for assistance on the matter? The PNAS study ignores this. Instead, it argues only that, “The rapidly growing urban peripheries of Syria, marked by illegal settlements, overcrowding, poor infrastructure, unemployment, and crime, were neglected by the Assad government and became the heart of the developing unrest.”

Wow, the NAS argues that Assad should have been more dictatorial! That would have helped prevent the effects of the drought? Does nothing that comes from the U.S. Establishment possess credibility anymore — publishing garbage like this inPNAS?  Is Assad more of a dictator than Obama? Does the U.S. National Academy of Sciences really think he should have been? How absurd does the propaganda need to be in order for the U.S. to become a laughingstock to the entire world for its ‘democratic’ pretensions? After all: it’s not a democracy. And the one scientific study that has been done of that has confirmed that it’s not. So: the U.S. now insists upon installing ‘democracy’ in Syria, where all polls show that Assad would win any free election (and the latest polled finding is that he’d win at least 55% of the votes) but Obama insists that he must be ousted, so that there can be ‘democracy’ there?

Marshall’s news report about the origin of the Syrian war was published at Consortium News on 20 July 2015, but was picked up and reported to a broader audience only at a very few news-sites, each no larger (or even smaller) in audience-size than is the publisher (Consortium News) itself. Only RINF, CommonDreams and Truthout republished it. Reddit posted that story’s headline, “Hidden Origins of Syria’s Civil War,” linking to the Consortium News report, but no one up-marked it there, and still no reader-comments have been posted to it there. It was just another voice of real news unheard in the wilderness of propaganda that causes an individual tree to be ignored among the forest.

Thus: This blockbuster three-month-old news-report still remains news in the U.S., even today.

Marshall’s news report was one of the most important of all news reports on the Syrian war, and it certainly deserves larger public distribution than that. So:

Here is his historical account of the origin of the Syrian war.

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Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

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