|War and Terror: Turkey Downs Russian Fighter to Draw NATO and US Deeper into Syrian Quagmire|
Thursday, November 26 @ 02:21:48 UTC
|By Mike Whitney|
November 25, 2015 - Counterpunch
On Tuesday, Turkey shot down a Russian warplane that was
carrying out military operations against jihadi groups in
Northern Syria. The downing of the Su-24 fighter jet is part of
a broader plan by the administration of Turkish President Tayyip
Recep Erdogan to topple the secular government of Syrian
President Bashar al Assad and to establish “safe zones” on the
Syrian side of the Turkish-Syrian border. Erdogan needs the safe
zones to provide a sanctuary for the militant extremists who are
the footsoldiers in his war against Syria. The downing of the
Russian fighter is a desperate attempt by Erdogan to incite a
reaction from Russia that will draw either NATO or the United
States deeper into a conflict which has dragged on for 4 and a
half years and killed 250,000 people.
Unlike the Obama administration, that has been willing to arm
and train jihadi groups to conduct its proxy-war against Assad
in Syria, Erdogan is a true believer, a committed Islamist who
has done everything in his power to roll back democracy in
Turkey, to establish one-man rule, to destroy the independent
judiciary, to silence the free press, and to establish a
conservative and intolerant Islamic state. Erdogan is what many
would call a “Koolaid drinker”, a man who believes that his
support for disparate and vicious terrorist groups that have
decimated Syria, laid its civilian infrastructure to waste, and
displaced more than half the population is “God’s work”. Make no
mistake, the Turkish government is the modern-day Caliphate. The
fact that its government officials dress in nicely-tailored
suits rather than black pajamas, is merely a way to divert
attention from their extreme fanaticism and their covert support
for liver-eating fundamentalist savages.
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|War and Terror: From Pol Pot to ISIS: the Blood Never Dried|
Wednesday, November 18 @ 02:43:03 UTC
|By John Pilger |
November 17, 2015 - counterpunch.org
In transmitting President Richard Nixon’s orders for a “massive” bombing of Cambodia in 1969, Henry Kissinger said, “Anything that flies on everything that moves”. As Barack Obama wages his seventh war against the Muslim world since he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and Francois Hollande promises a “merciless” attack on the rubble of Syria, the orchestrated hysteria and lies make one almost nostalgic for Kissinger’s murderous honesty.
As a witness to the human consequences of aerial savagery – including the beheading of victims, their parts festooning trees and fields – I am not surprised by the disregard of memory and history, yet again. A telling example is the rise to power of Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge, who had much in common with today’s Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). They, too, were ruthless medievalists who began as a small sect. They, too, were the product of an American-made apocalypse, this time in Asia.
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|War on Syria: Should US Ally with Al Qaeda in Syria?|
Friday, October 02 @ 08:50:25 UTC
|By Robert Parry|
October 02, 2015 - consortiumnews.com
The key sentence in The New York Times’ lead article about Russian airstrikes against Syrian rebel targets fell to the bottom of the story, five paragraphs from the end, where the Times noted in passing that the area north of Homs where the attacks occurred had been the site of an offensive by a coalition “including Nusra Front.”
What the Times didn’t say in that context was that Nusra Front is Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, an omission perhaps explained because this additional information would disrupt the righteous tone of the article, accusing Russia of bad faith in attacking rebel groups other than the Islamic State.
But the Russians had made clear their intent was to engage in airstrikes against the mélange of rebel groups in which Al Qaeda as well as the Islamic State played prominent roles. The Times and the rest of the mainstream U.S. media are just playing games when they pretend otherwise.
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|War on Syria: Why Assad Refuses to Step Down|
Tuesday, December 09 @ 12:01:50 UTC
|Paris Match: Many people say the solution lies in your departure. Do you believe that your departure is the solution?|
Syrian president Assad: What was the result (of French policy when they attacked Gaddafi)? Chaos ensued after Gaddafi’s departure. So, was the departure the solution? Have things improved, and has Libya become a democracy?
By Stephen Gowans
December 09, 2014 - gowans.wordpress.com
Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has told an interviewer from the French magazine Paris Match that he won’t step down. And not because he wants to remain president, but because he “will never accept that Syria become a western puppet state.”
The view that Syria is under attack because it isn’t a western puppet state, and that Washington wants Assad to step down to make it one, cannot be so easily dismissed. There’s plenty of evidence that states that seek to remain independent of US prescriptions on how they ought to organize their economies and foreign policies are uniquely targeted for sub-critical warfare (sanctions, sabotage, demonization, diplomatic isolation), or—where a military victory can be secured with impunity for the aggressor—by outright military intervention.
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|War and Terror: 10 Myths About Obama’s Latest War in Iraq and Syria|
Friday, October 03 @ 11:54:14 UTC
|By Reese Erlich|
October 03, 2014 - reeseerlich.com
Veteran foreign correspondent Reese Erlich was in northern Iraq at the start of the U.S. bombing campaign against Islamic State. He interviewed Kurdish leaders, peshmerga fighters and U.S. officials. He says the reality on the ground is far different from the propaganda coming out of Washington.
1. Islamic State presents an immediate threat to the people of the U.S.
In justifying air attacks on Syria on Sept. 23, President Barack Obama said, “We will not tolerate safe havens for terrorists who threaten our people.”
I saw firsthand the tens of thousands of Yazidis forced to flee Islamic State fighters. IS is a vicious, un-Islamic, ultra-right-wing group that poses a real threat to the people of Syria and Iraq. But those people will defeat IS, not the U.S., whose motives are widely questioned in the region. IS poses no more of a terrorist threat to the American people than al-Qaida and its offshoots.
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|War on Syria: Western Leaders Fear-Monger to Mobilize Support for Air-Strikes on Syria|
Saturday, August 30 @ 11:59:52 UTC
By Stephen Gowans|
August 30, 2014 - gowans.wordpress.com
One of the roles of leading politicians and top officials of the state is to enlist public support for policies which serve the goals of the upper stratum of the population from whose ranks they sometimes come and whose interests they almost invariably promote. When these policies are at odds with the interests of the majority, as they often are, the mobilization of public consent is possible only through deception. The deception is carried out through prevarication, equivocation, and fear-mongering, crystallized into misleading narratives which the mass media can be reliably counted on to amplify. So it is that Western officials have ramped up a campaign of deception to provide a pretext for military intervention in Syria to combat ISIS but which may very well serve as a Trojan horse to escalate the war on the Syrian government.
The foundations of the campaign were laid in March, when US officials began warning that Islamists bent on launching strikes against Europe and the United States were massing in Syria.  The campaign kicked into high gear with ISIS’s territorial gains in Iraq and the organization’s beheading of US journalist James Foley. Now US officials say they are contemplating air strikes against ISIS targets in Syria.
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|War and Terror: Elections in Syria: The People Say No to Foreign Intervention|
Wednesday, June 04 @ 13:05:56 UTC
|By Ajamu Baraka|
June 04, 2014 - blackagendareport.com
“Tens of thousands of ordinary Syrians have braved threats and violence to participate in the election process.”
Defying threats of violence, tens of thousands of ordinary Syrians went to the polls to cast a vote that was more about Syrian dignity and self-determination than any of the candidates on the ballot. After three years of unimaginable atrocities fomented by a demented and dying U.S. empire, with the assistance of the royalist monarchies of the Middle East and the gangster states of NATO, the Syrian people demonstrated, by their participation, that they had not surrendered their national sovereignty to the geo-strategic interests of the U.S. and its colonial allies in Europe and Israel.
The dominant narrative on Syria, carefully cultivated by Western state propagandists and dutifully disseminated by their auxiliaries in the corporate media, is that the conflict in Syria is a courageous fight on the part of the majority of the Syrian people against the brutal dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad. As the story goes, the al-Assad “regime,” (it is never referred to as a government), can only maintain its power through the use of force. By attacking “its own citizens,” the regime, representing the minority Alawite community, can only maintain its dominance over the rest of the country through sheer terror.
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|War on Syria: Syria's New Game: The Russian Factor|
Thursday, September 19 @ 05:33:13 UTC
|By Ramzy Baroud|
September 19, 2013
Many US media commentators were fairly accurate in labeling some of the language used by Russian President Vladimir Putin in a New York Times article as "hypocritical". But mainstream US media should be the last to point out anyone's hypocrisy as it has brazenly endorsed every military intervention unleashed by their country since World War II.
Putin's statement "we must stop using the language of force and return to the path of civilized diplomatic and political settlement," merits serious scrutiny. Considering that violence has been a readily available option in Russia's own wars from Afghanistan, to Chechnya and Georgia, the language of dialogue and civilized political settlements have been rarely exercised.
However, independent from that context, Putin was surely correct in his assessment of US behavior. It was indeed difficult to point out any palpable inaccuracy in Putin's NYT's article published on the 12th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
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|War and Terror: Counter-Questions on Syria|
Friday, September 06 @ 00:27:59 UTC
|By Stephen Gowans|
September 06, 2013 - gowans.wordpress.com
The US state is above international law, according to US president Barack Obama. In an address announcing that he was referring to the US Congress the decision to take military action against Syria, Obama declared that the United States needs to violate international law in order to enforce “the international system” and “international rules.” The international “system” and “rules” Obama referred to, which he apparently intended his audience to construe as “international law,” is not, in fact, international law, but rules Obama himself has unilaterally drawn up, and through rhetorical sleight of hand, attempted to pass off as international law. Yet, the very act Obama proposes—waging war on Syria without UN Security Council authorization, and to punish an act that, if there were hard evidence that it actually happened, would not be unlawful—is a flagrant violation of the authentic international system Obama deceptively claims he wishes to uphold. Obama has arrogated onto himself the powers and responsibilities of world ruler. He sets the rules, decides when they’re broken, and metes out the punishment.
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|War and Terror: Fast-Tracking Toward War on Syria|
Thursday, June 20 @ 22:51:30 UTC
|By Stephen Lendman|
June 20, 2013
America's run by sociopaths. They're out-of-control criminals. They're traitors. They menace humanity. They violate their sacred oaths of office.
Presidents "do solemnly swear (or affirm to) faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of (their) Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Congressional members "do solemnly swear (or affirm to) support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; (to) bear true faith and allegiance to the same; (to) this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and (to) well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which (they are) about to enter: So help (them) God."
Straightaway in office they spurn them. Presidents do most of all. Wealth, power and privilege alone matter. It shows in how they govern.
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|War and Terror: Lifting the Fake EU Arms Embargo|
Wednesday, May 29 @ 18:58:21 UTC
|By Stephen Lendman|
May 30, 2013
On May 27, the so-called one-year EU arms embargo on Syria's
opposition ended. Officially it does so on June 1. EU nations
agreed to end what never existed.
Since Washington's war on Syria began in early 2011, arms flowed
freely. Western-enlisted death squads get them. At issue is
replacing Assad with a subservient pro-Western puppet.
Syria's being ravaged in the process. Washington, key NATO
partners, Israel and rogue Arab state allies bear full
War rages ahead of Geneva II. Planned peace talks are pretense.
Syrians genuinely want it. So does Russia going all out to
achieve it. Other nations urge peace.
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|War and Terror: Red lines and other double standards|
Thursday, May 09 @ 12:14:49 UTC
|By Stephen Gowans|
May 09, 2013 - gowans.wordpress.com
According to the White House, Israel has the right to defend itself. I would argue that it doesn’t. Based on the theft of another people’s land and denial of their right to return to the homes from which they fled or were driven, Israel no more than any other thief has the right to defend itself.
Judging by its indulgent attitude to Israeli aggressions, Washington claims that Israel has the right to defend itself in any way it pleases: by unprovoked air-strikes across international borders; by meting out collective punishment; by carrying out extra-judicial assassinations; by invasions and occupations; and through other outrages against international law, sovereignty and humanity. In fact, by doing what the United States, itself, regularly does.
The White House says that the most recent Israeli aggression, air-strikes carried out over the last few days against Syrian military facilities, were intended to stop a shipment of advanced surface-to-surface missiles from Iran to the Lebanese resistance organisation, Hezbollah. Striking a dissenting note, The New York Times reported that, “Some American officials are unsure whether the new shipment was intended for use by Hezbollah or by the Assad government.”
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|War and Terror: A new call against standing idly by?|
Wednesday, December 05 @ 08:22:36 UTC
|By Stephen Gowans|
December 05, 2012 - gowans.wordpress.com
Will the United States, or its proxies, directly intervene militarily on the side of Syrian rebels? If so, a pretext will likely be needed, and it may be this: Syrian leader Bashar Assad, desperate to cling to power, is poised to use chemical weapons against civilians. An intervention is necessary to prevent a massacre.
Yesterday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said:”We are concerned that an increasingly beleaguered regime, having found its escalation of violence through conventional means inadequate, might be considering the use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people.” (my emphasis) (1)
The Syrian Foreign Ministry denies the allegation, ruling out the use of chemical weapons against Syrians “under any circumstances.” (2)
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|War on Syria: The Imperialists and the Jihadis: The Evil Alliance Against Syria|
Wednesday, May 30 @ 16:02:57 UTC
|A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford|
May 30, 2012 - blackagendareport.com
“In Syria, as in Libya, the United States has allied itself with al Qaida and forces that are politically very much like al Qaida.”
The afternoon airhead on CNN snarled her revulsion at the very idea that a commentary on Russia’s Pravda newspaper would conclude that Syrian rebels, or even American or British special forces, might be behind the killing of over 100 Syrian civilians, about half of them children, in the town of Houla. Her country and its Free Syrian Army allies would never do such a thing! But, of course, it goes without saying – and without the necessity of any proof whatsoever – that the Syrian government slits babies’ throats for breakfast. For CNN, the inherent goodness of the U.S. and whoever its allies of the moment might be, is a matter of faith.
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|War on Syria: Syria’s Uprising in Context|
Wednesday, March 14 @ 08:35:50 UTC
|By Stephen Gowans|
March 14, 2012
Since the beginning of the unrest in Syria, “the government has said that while some protesters have legitimate grievances, the uprising is driven by militant Islamists with foreign backing.”  This hardly squares with the view of Western state officials and media commentators who say that an authoritarian regime is killing its people and violently suppressing a largely peaceful movement for democracy.
There’s no question that there has been a longstanding Islamist opposition in Syria to Ba’athist rule. The Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party has been in power since 1963. The party’s roots are in Pan-Arabism, non-Marxist socialism, and liberation from colonialism, imperialism and religious sectarianism. Being secular, socialist (though diminishingly so) and dominated by a heterodox Shiite sect, the Alawi, Syria’s lead party has held no appeal for the Sunni majority, which has leaned toward the Muslim Brotherhood.
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