War Propaganda in the “Alternative News”: PR Campaign in Support of The Pro-Al Qaeda “White Helmets” in Syria
Are anarchists carrying water for Uncle Sam? SubMedia, a website that publishes “anarchist news and resistance updates” in video form, is now featuring a 5 minute video, “What Is Mutual Aid?” Toward the end of the video the narrator tells us that “glimpses of the anarchist ideal of mutual aid can be seen in . . . the bravery of the White Helmets of Aleppo who risk their lives to pull children from the collapsed ruins of buildings hit by Assad’s barrel bombs.” Really? This is hard to square with reporting from journalists like Vanessa Beeley, who has researched the White Helmets on the ground in Syria, and found that most people there have never heard of them, that they are a creation of western propaganda.
Vanessa Beeley reports that “with over $60 million in their back pocket courtesy of USAID, the UK Foreign Office and various EU nations like the Netherlands, this group is possibly one of the most feted and funded entities within the west’s anti-Syrian NGO complex, a pivotal part of the clandestine shadow state building enterprise inside of Syria. Like many other ‘NGOs’, the White Helmets have been deployed by the west to derail the Syrian state, first by undermining existing civic structures and by disseminating staged PR to facilitate regime change propaganda, through western and Gulf state media outlets.”
Felicity Artbuthnot in another recent article quotes the Ron Paul Institute as saying: ”We have demonstrated that the White Helmets are an integral part of the propaganda vanguard that ensures obscurantism of fact and propagation of Human Rights fiction that elicits the well-intentioned and self righteous response from a very cleverly duped public. A priority for these NGOs is to keep pushing the No Fly Zone scenario which has already been seen to have disastrous implications for innocent civilians in Libya, for example.”
SubMedia has not responded to a query as to whether it was simply mistaken in promoting the White Helmets, nor has it edited the video. As things now stand, it appears SubMedia is part of an effort to promote these poseurs as humanitarians, coincidentally in sync with that much larger other video outlet, Netflix, who has just rolled out an exclusive documentary promoting the White Helmets as heroes. According to Rick Sterling, the group Code Pink actually put out a press release promoting the Netflix movie.
Where there are PR campaigns, there are suddenly awards. According to Sterling,
“on 22 September 2016 it was announced that the Right Livelihood Award, the so called ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’, is being given to the US/UK created White Helmets ‘for their outstanding bravery, compassion and humanitarian engagement in rescuing civilians from the destruction of the Syrian civil war.’ Sterling continues: “
The Right Livelihood organizers may come to regret their selection of the White Helmets because the group is not who they claim to be. In fact, the White Helmets are largely a propaganda tool promoting western intervention against Syria. Unlike a legitimate rescue organization such as the Red Cross or Red Crescent, the ‘White Helmets’ only work in areas controlled by the armed opposition.”
One must beware of radicals sneaking a bit of poison into an otherwise good message. The famous anarchist Noam Chomsky decried the NATO attack on Yugoslavia in 1999, but agreed with the major premise of that attack, which was that Slobodan Milosevic was a brutal dictator who had to be stopped. This went a long way to defusing an antiwar effort leading up to the NATO bombing campaign. Likewise, SubMedia has lots of good information on anarchist principles, but inserts talking points straight out of the US State Department, like the one about “Assad’s barrel bombs.” We are led down a moral road, only to be confused.
In another SubMedia video, “Requiem for Syria“, an anonymous narrator called “Stimulator” would have us believe that an anarchist revolution is struggling to be born in Syria, on a par with that in 1930′s Spain, and that Bashar al-Assad is responsible for destroying that revolution. According to Stimulator, “leftists believe that Assad has been targeted for regime change by the United Snakes and its allies and that Syria is being protected by staunchly anti-imperialist homies, Russia and Iran. But putting aside the fact that Russia and Iran are both gangsta imperialist states in their own right who oppress the fuck out of their own citizens, there’s an even more obvious flaw in this logic — the fact that the United States isn’t trying to overthrow Assad at all. The real threat to Assad’s fascist fucking regime has come from Syrians themselves, who, after growing sick and motherfucking tired of having their peaceful protests bombed and machine-gunned, launched a popular fucking uprising, and it’s racist as fuck to ignore that.”
Hidden amid the hip language is another US State Department talking point — that the war in Syria was started by Assad attacking his own people. SubMedia is attempting to deny the fact that Israel, the US, Saudi Arabia, and NATO are indeed seeking regime change and have demonized Assad in order to bring that about. Stimulator is in perfect agreement with the main premise of the aggressors: Assad is a brutal dictator, killing legitimate protestors trying to free themselves from his oppression. According to Stimulator, “there’s only one person who can end this civil war in Syria – I’m talking about Syria’s greasy, sunken-eyed, goose-necked dictator himself, Bashar al-Assad.” We are led to believe that one man is the sole cause of this country’s problems. We heard the same with Milosevic, Saddam, and Gaddafi.
Stimulator goes on to interview Robin Yassin-Kassab, British author of Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War, who agrees with Stimulator that the left has been duped into believing “that this is a regime change plot directed by the United States against the glorious resistance regime in Syria, and the facts don’t bear that out at all.” The people of Syria are in revolt, he claims, and Assad is trying to put down the revolt. Yassin-Kassab asserts, without evidence, that “women have been subjected to a mass rape campaign which the regime organized.” This was a propaganda talking point in the attack on Libya, and, for that matter, Yugoslavia.
People living outside Syria lack first-hand knowledge, but a number of sources in Syria have said that Assad actually has the support of the majority of the people there. Lily Martin writes that
“as an eye witness to the entire war in Syria, from March 2011 to present, I can state this was no revolution. I am an American citizen living permanently in Syria, which is my husband’s birthplace. I have been here 24 years. A real revolution would have the support of the people, inside Syria, not Syrians living in Paris and London for the past 40 years. To have a real grassroots uprising, you need the support of the people living inside Syria, who would share your views. If it had been a real uprising/revolution, the whole process could have taken 3-6 months, because the Army would have followed the will of the people, given the fact the Syrian Army is made up of Syrians of all ethnic and religious sects. The Syrian Army is a true representative of the Syrian population. If the population wanted the goals stated by the ‘protesters’, which was to establish Islamic law in Syria, and to abolish the current secular government, the Army would have eventually followed along, expressing the will of the people.”
Lily Martin and Vanessa Beeley are, finally, more credible than the anonymous figures at SubMedia. SubMedia is also, like Chomsky, silent about Israeli and US government partnership in the September 11, 2001 attacks, when such perceptive radicals as these should certainly know better. It is not above the practitioners of deception to create an opposition that says a lot of the right things, but does the essential dirty work. Indeed, this is an important part of their trade. The avalanche of lies provided in the mainstream media can be organized by run-of-the-mill propagandists. The real propagandists are the ones who cultivate people who actually look like they’re on our side.
If there ever was a revolution in Syria, it was quickly overwhelmed by Zionist manipulation of the United States into destroying yet another country on the list of nations that threaten Israel, and, for good measure, getting the US and Russia to destroy each other so that Israel will emerge as the world’s new superpower, presiding over the ashes. Such is the insanity of current world events.
Copyright © Richard Hugus, Global Research, 2016
Going from bad to even worse: The very strident and harsh rhetoric coming out of Washington and directed towards Russia is unprecedented. Bilateral relations have reached a dangerous low. What happens now?
CrossTalking with Gilbert Doctorow, Brian Becker, and Daniel McAdams.
A group of 29 countries called for the Venezuelan government and opposition to engage in renewed national dialogue Thursday, amid calls for more US sanctions against the South American country.
Led by the right-wing government of Paraguay, the international group including the US and UK called on President Nicolas Maduro to “ensure the full respect of human rights, due process, the separation of powers and the consolidation of a representative democracy”.
Issued during a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, the statement also called for the Venezuelan government to ensure the organisation of a presidential recall referendum.
Venezuela condemned the declaration as “interventionist”, while its regional allies drew support outweighing the Paraguayan statement.
A call from Cuba for respect for state sovereignty drew the support of 88 countries.
Maduro described the outcome of the UNHRC meeting as a “great victory” for Venezuela.
“To their 29 votes, we got 88,” he said.
The fiery session Thursday was the latest in a series of jabs at Venezuela over the course of the meeting. When the UNHRC forum began on September 13, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein lashed out at Maduro’s government over “allegations of repression of opposition voices, arbitrary arrests and excessive use of force against peaceful protests”.
A major anti-government rally two days later drew thousands of opposition supporters to the streets of Caracas and other major Venezuelan cities, with no signs of widespread police crackdowns or repression. Another large rally is scheduled to take place on October 12.
More International Setbacks, Possible Sanctions
The controversy at the UNHRC followed weeks of bad news for Venezuela’s international relations. Earlier this month Venezuela was barred from its position as president of the South American trade bloc Mercosur, while Maduro’s hosting of a summit of the Non-Aligned Movement failed to draw more than a handful of international allies.
Then on Wednesday, US lawmakers issued renewed condemnation, and calls for new sanctions on Caracas.
On Tuesday, the US House of Representatives passed a resolution calling for the release of “political prisoners” in Venezuela.
“This resolution states in no uncertain terms that President Maduro’s shameful and rampant corruption in Venezuela must end,” said Florida Representative and former chairperson of the Democratic National Committee Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Schultz herself faced allegations of corruption earlier this year, after whistle-blower website Wikileaks released documents that appeared to show Schultz and other leading party officials failed to maintain impartiality during the Democratic primaries.
CNE Head Targeted by Rubio
The day after the House issued its latest Venezuela resolution, long time anti-Venezuela campaigner Senator Marco Rubio called on President Barack Obama to authorise sanctions on government officials including the head of Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE), Tibisay Lucena.
Rubio claimed Lucena and other top officials have “committed significant acts of violence or human rights abuses”.
Lucena herself has no oversight over Venezuela’s security forces, which have been accused of human rights abuses. Nor has she directly been involved in the arrest of opposition political figures such as Leopoldo Lopez, who was imprisoned in 2015 after a Venezuelan court found him guilty of inciting a wave of deadly violence.
As head of the CNE, Lucena has been criticised by opposition supporters, who say her organisation has dragged its feet on preparing for a presidential recall referendum, which could lead to Maduro being forced from power early. CNE officials have responded to the complaints by arguing the opposition itself has slowed the referendum by allegedly including bogus signatures in a preliminary petition that was required to prompt a recall vote.
Last week, the CNE confirmed the referendum would not be possible until next year, dashing opposition hopes of forcing new elections. The timing of the referendum is significant: if it takes place before January 10, 2017, Maduro could be forced from office, and snap elections held. If the referendum is held after this cut off point, Maduro will simply be replaced by his vice-president for the rest of the normal presidential term.
The CNE’s handling of the referendum has also been criticised by the US, prompting backlash from the Maduro administration.
In a bid to ease tensions, the US and Venezuela are expected to hold new diplomatic talks in the coming weeks.
According to a report from the Associated Press this week, the talks will include Venezuelan officials and a US Department of State official. The official was named as Thomas Shannon, the state department’s current undersecretary of state for political affairs.
No further details of the meeting have been released, though another recent meeting between Venezuelan officials and US Secretary of State John Kerry reportedly focused on the detention of Joshua Holt.
A US national, Holt was detained by the Venezuelan military in June, under allegations of stockpiling firearms in the home of his wife in Venezuela. Holt’s relatives have denied the allegations.
Augusto Pinochet. | Photo: EFE
The Death Caravan was the name of a military operation that killed almost 100 political prisoners in Chile beginning on Sept. 30, 1973.
Former Army Commander Juan Emilio Cheyre and six military officials were arrested July 7 in Chile for their involvement in the death of 15 people as part of an operation known as the Death Caravan, launched the same month as the military coup that overthrew President Salvador Allende.
The Death Caravan was the name of a military operation that killed and disappeared almost 100 political prisoners in Chile beginning on Sept. 30, 1973, following General Augusto Pinochet’s coup, with the support of the United States. The military ruled the country with an iron fist for 17 years, until 1990.
Judge Mario Carroza told La Tercera that the decision to arrest the former commander-in-chief of the Chilean army was based on “knowledge of what happened during the three hours in La Serena,” where the killing took place.
Carroza added that “testimonies of direct observers during the reconstruction of the scene” coincided with other elements of the investigation, and will be an important factor in the trial.
The arrests followed a complaint filed by the Human Rights Program affiliated with the interior ministry.
Cheyre was named commander-in-chief of Chile’s army in 2002, one year before he was publicly accused of participating in the murder of a couple and stealing their 2-year-old child in La Serena back in 1973. Chile’s justice eventually filed a case without finding Cheyre responsible for the act.
Serving in the top-ranking military role until 2006, Cheyre was appointed as president of Chile’s electoral body in 2013 by the neoliberal President Sebastian Piñera.
Cheyre jailed an estimated 80,000 people, tortured 30,000 and murdered around 3,200. Only 75 of more than a thousand of his former agents are serving prison sentences for human rights violations.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford warned Congress that the implementation of a No Fly Zone, a centerpiece of Hillary’s foreign policy strategy, would result in World War III.
During testimony before the Senate Committee on Armed Services last week General Joseph Dunford rang the alarm over a policy shift that is gaining more traction within the halls of Washington following the collapse of the ceasefire brokered by the United States and Russia in Syria saying that it could result in a major international war which he was not prepared to advocate on behalf of.
Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) asked about Hillary Clinton’s proposal for a no fly zone in Syria in response to allegations that Russia and Syria have intensified their aerial bombardment of rebel-held East Aleppo since the collapse of the ceasefire.
“What about the option of controlling the airspace so that barrel bombs cannot be dropped? What do you think of that option?” asked Wicker.
“Right now, Senator, for us to control all of the airspace in Syria would require us to go to war against Syria and Russia. That is a pretty fundamental decision that certainly I’m not going to make,” said the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff suggesting the policy was too hawkish even for military leaders.
Despite the ramifications of the policy, Hillary Clinton has argued in favor of a no fly zone throughout her presidency starting in October 2015 just days after Russia began a bombing campaign aimed at maintaining the stability of the Syrian government.
“I personally would be advocating now for a no fly zone and humanitarian corridors to try to stop the carnage on the ground and from the air, to try to provide some way to take stock of what’s happening, to try to stem the flow of refugees,” said Clinton in an interview with NBC’s Boston affiliate at the time.
The former Secretary of State, who has a well-known hawkish position towards regime change and matters related to Russia, has continued to advocate this position which has gained traction in recent weeks among top US diplomats.
More than 50 US diplomats demanded in June, in a notorious dissent memo, that the Obama administration employ military options against Assad, such as the implementation of a no fly zone if not a direct attack against the Syrian regime.
The argument from the diplomats is that the situation in Syria will continue to devolve without direct action by the US military, an argument of dubious legality if undertaken unilaterally without a UN Security Council resolution but which the US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power has been laying the groundwork for under the controversial “right to protect” theory of international law arguing that Russia’s opposition to a resolution should be ignored because they are a party to the conflict.
Russia counters that if the Assad regime falls then terrorist groups including Daesh (or ISIS) and al-Nusra Front (the Syrian affiliate of al-Qaeda) will likely fill the resulting power vacuum descending the country into an even greater harbor for international terrorism.
Another day; another terrorist attack: it seems that every day I wake up at the minute there is a new terrorist attack that has shook the European continent, with France being the scene of frequent attacks over the past 19 months. The most recent attack in France (at the time of writing anyway) was on a church in Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, Normandy, reportedly carried out by two so-called Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists.
One of the assailants is believed to be Adel Kermiche, an individual who was well known to the French authorities. Kermiche was being monitored by police and was wearing an electronic tag at the time of attack, after being arrested twice last year trying to reach Syria to fight for ISIS. The second attacker is reported to be 19-year-old Abdel Malik Petitjean, an individual who was also known to French authorities and was on a terror watch list after trying to enter Syria via Turkey in June.
This came shortly after the Nice attack on the 14th of July, when a truck was driven into crowds celebrating Bastille Day, killing 84 people and injuring over 300. The attack was reportedly carried out by Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, a Tunisian-born delivery driver who was living in France, with ISIS claiming responsibility for the attack. Similar to many other purported terrorist attackers, Bouhlel was shot dead by police before any questions could be asked. Multiple other individuals have also been arrested in relation to the incident.
More to the Official Story?
With the frequency of terror attacks in Europe, there is often a temptation by many who claim to be in the independent media not to ask logical questions and challenge the official narrative in relation to these incidents. There are multiple suspicious elements regarding the official narrative of the Nice attack, which deserve to be highlighted for those interested in uncovering the truth.
As Paul Craig Roberts has reported, the French anti-terrorist police have ordered the authorities in Nice to delete the CCTV footage which recorded the attack. This of course raises some serious questions about what the anti-terrorist police are trying to cover up, and why they are pressuring the authorities to memory-hole such crucial evidence. Roberts has also raised questions regarding the lack of blood in many of the photos of the supposed attack.
Secondly, the officer in charge of Nice’s CCTV control room at the time of the incident, Sandra Bertin, recently revealed that she was “harassed” by an official from the Interior Ministry to alter her report on the attack by adding in the presence of local and national police at the scene. According to Bertin, the official “ordered” her “to put in (the report) the specific positions of the national police” that she “had not seen on the screen.” Did the police have prior knowledge of the attack? Is that why they weren’t at the scene?
Thirdly, the cousin of Bouhlel’s ex-wife has revealed that the reported attacker drank alcohol, ate pork, took drugs and didn’t pray – all strange things for a supposed Muslim extremist to do. Bouhlel also suffered from depression and has had a history of mental health problems. If Bouhlel doesn’t sound like a patsy to you, I don’t know who does.
The fourth suspicious element of the attack was the timing. France has been in a state of emergency since the Paris attacks of November, 2015, with armed troops patrolling the streets. On the 21st of July, French lawmakers voted to extend the state of emergency until the end of January, 2017 – with the emergency powers including giving the authorities the ability to conduct searches without a court authorization, in addition to increasing digital surveillance of phones and computers.
Interestingly, the French President, François Hollande, had planned to lift the state of emergency on the 26th of July. With the Nice attack on the 14th however, the government had no problems passing the extension, with the recent attack on the church ensuring there would be no questions raised on the excessive powers given to the government.
Supporting Terror Externally; Produces Terror Internally
France has played a pivotal role in the destabilization of Syria, through their support for the Syrian rebels who are comprised of extremists and terrorists. Hollande admitted that France delivered weapons – including cannons, machine guns, rocket launchers and anti-tank missiles – to the opposition in 2012. France has also been funding the rebels in Syria, delivering vast amounts of cash that is then used to buy weapons and ammunition.
Hollande has been a vocal proponent of overthrowing Bashar al-Assad, stating as recently as September of last year that “Assad is the origin of this problem, and cannot be part of the solution.” Imagine if Assad had been overthrown at the end of 2015, Syria would be completely handed over to ISIS and other similar terrorist forces, exacerbating the threat for terrorism and the refugee problem even more.
If France (and the wider West) had not pumped arms and money into the Syrian opposition, there is no chance that ISIS would be at the level it is (supposedly) at today. The wave of terror that has hit Europe is a direct result of Western foreign policy, with the 19 months of terror in France starting with an attack carried out by terrorists who had just returned from fighting in Syria. That is even if we accept the official story on Charlie Hebdo, considering the fact that one of the police commissioners involved in investigating the attacks suspiciously committed suicide shortly before his report was going to be released on the incident.
Suicidal Policies of the French State
France’s involvement in funding and arming terrorists in Syria is particularly suicidal for the country, considering the fact that France has a large Muslim population, high rates of unemployment in predominately Muslim areas, increasing levels of discrimination against Muslims, in addition to hardly having a shortage of people with a deep hatred of France’s colonial past. Even if we accept (for a moment) the official story of all the terror attacks on French soil in the last 19 months, the government has created the perfect climate for young, disenfranchised men to be radicalized by a group that France helped to empower in the first place.
With the emergency powers extended into 2017, France could very possibly be in a state of emergency up until the presidential election in April and May of 2017. Is there a chance that the election could be delayed if (or when) more terror attacks take place in the country? Will the spate of terror attacks increase the chances that Marine Le Pen will win the election? Is France really on the brink of civil war? Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure: any semblance of liberté is increasingly becoming impossible to find in France.
It is hard to imagine a more resilient, more heroic nation than Syria!
With only 17 million inhabitants (according to the 2014 estimate), Syria is now facing the mightiest coalition on Earth – a coalition that consists of virtually all traditional Western colonialist and neo-colonialist nations.
It is also facing some of the cruelest and deadliest inventions of the West – the extremist and murderous post- and pseudo-Islamic groupings, similar to those that were already unleashed against the Soviet Union during the war in Afghanistan.
Because of the tremendous determination of its people, Syria is still standing! But it is standing against all odds. Its Golan Heights are illegally occupied by Israel, its borders constantly violated by the Turkish military, and by the West’s ‘special forces’ and air force.
Syria’s “political opposition” was created, then groomed and financed by the United States and Europe, in the style of “Color Revolutions”, as has happened in all other socialist countries that the West has been trying to destabilize and return under its deadly rule. Millions of Syrian people have been, during the last six deadly years, terrorized, slaughtered and intimidated by jihadi cadres, implanted by the West and its regional allies: Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, Israel and others.
It is a terrible and uneven fight! Some of the greatest historical cities on Earth, like Aleppo and Palmira, now lie in ruins and ashes. What the European Christian crusaders failed to fully destroy, is now collapsing under the imperialist onslaught. Like everywhere else on Earth, everything that dares to struggle against Western colonialism is being consistently devastated and burned. Almost everyone who resists is mercilessly slaughtered. Hundreds of thousands of Syrian people have already lost their lives. And with each new day, the awful count is rising.
But Syria is standing!
5 million Syrian people have already been forced to leave their country. Now they are being scattered all over the Middle East: throughout Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, and Turkey. Some have even gone as far as Europe, Canada and Chile.
How much more can one country endure?
And how can the rest of the world just stand by and watch as it is put through hell?
The answer is obvious: the rest of the world does not know; it does not understand! The propaganda coming out of the Western mass media outlets and indoctrination-spreading institutions is so thorough, so professional, that to most people all over the world everything related to Syria appears to be blurry, murky, and incredibly complex. President al-Assad is demonized on a daily basis. Heroic resistance is called the “regime’s brutal actions”, pro-western terror groups are described as “moderate opposition.”
In reality, Syria is suffering because it is refusing to kneel; because it is unwilling to prostitute itself; because it will never beg its torturers to stop, allowing them to grab everything above and under the surface.
The Empire never forgives disobedience. Its fundamentalist terror methods are the most brutal ever invented and implemented on Earth.
All around Syria, countries already lie in ashes. The Middle East hardly exists, anymore. And most of the Syrian people understand: it is perhaps better to die standing, than to live in shackles, on one’s knees, controlled by the kleptomaniacal Western colonialist states!
The more terrible the terror that the West is spreading worldwide in general and in this part of the world in particular, the more vicious its vitriolic propaganda is, the brainwashing indoctrination that flows incessantly from London, New York and Paris.
If one watches the BBC, there is no hint of objectivity left, anymore. The ranks are closed and the West is united in its final drive to discredit absolutely everything that is still fighting for survival, against its global terrorist exploits.
President al-Assad of Syria, the heroic Syrian army and the closest Syria’s allies – Russia and Iran – are being relentlessly demonized, as if it were them who began that monstrous war! And Hezbollah, which is fighting countless epic battles against the ISIS, sits firmly on the West’s terrorist list.
Everything seems to be twisted and perverted, upside down.
But what really should one expect from the expansionist hordes, from the bastions of imperialism? Or has the British (or French) propaganda been any different, when their colonialist countries have for centuries been grabbing and devastating countless foreign states and territories, slaughtering hundreds of millions of innocent people? Wasn’t anyone who resisted Western conquest always thoroughly ridiculed and demonized?
Countries like UK, France, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Spain, Portugal and others, have centuries of experience in how to humiliate victims, how to justify their own heinous acts, how to brainwash their own populations and even some of their victims! And the United States, the direct product of Europe, its muscular offspring, is just using the same, only a bit more vulgar, propaganda tactics.
Nothing rational and objective can be expected from the people of Europe or North America, anymore. Except for a few of those insignificant protests and rebellious acts, the Western population is in a total slumber, indifferent towards the horrors that are being administered by its regime all over the globe. There is hardly any pressure to stop acts of terror against Syria. The only thing that seems to matter to Europeans is how to stop the flow of refugees from the devastated countries.
What a shame! What a thorough shame, people of Europe and North America! Your regime is murdering millions, in one country after another, and you are not even capable of recognizing what goes on… instead you are blaming the victims and those rushing to their rescue!
Now your biggest enemy is Russia. Because Russia (same as China) is clearly unwilling to dance to your fatal tune! Because Russia, for many decades, stood by almost all oppressed countries, and supported the de-colonization of the world, in all of its corners. Like China, Cuba and North Korea have always done.
Russia is now defending Syria. Not because it needs natural resources, not because it wants to plunder. It is doing so simply because it is right thing to do. It does it because if the world is abandoned fully to Western imperialism, there will actually soon be no world at all, or at least there will be no world worth inhabiting!
“Our country is a socialist country. For us it’s more important to consider the benefits to the entire nation than to particular individuals. I have spent more than 50 years dedicating my life to education, which is the backbone of our country, especially now… Sometimes I feel like quitting my job and returning to teaching at Damascus University, but I know that I am still needed where I am now,” I was told by Dr. Farah Motlak, Deputy Minister of Education of the Syrian Arab Republic.
We met in Cairo, Egypt, at a regional conference. I asked him about the Western propaganda against his country. He replied, shaking his head:
“I am not even angry… I am just endlessly sad. The media attacks; the propaganda that is pouring from the West is clearly designed to destroy our country. But we have hope, and we will continue our struggle.”
The international meetings and conferences clearly show how divided even the Arab world is itself. Syria is a symbol. To some, it is a symbol of resilience, of heroism. To others, mainly to those who are funded and consequently conditioned by the West, it represents everything that is evil.
But Egypt itself (where I’m writing this essay), just three years after the pro-Western military coup, is in ruins. Economically it has become a basket case. It is completely devastated, socially.
Of course its destruction is on a “lighter scale”, compared to Iraq, Libya or Yemen. But it is still bad enough: during the coup in 2013, at least 1,000 but most likely 2,000 people were murdered by the junta, while tens of thousands were injured. An estimated 10,000 people are now in prisons all over the country; most of them in terrible conditions; many are being tortured, women prisoners are habitually raped.
“The counter revolution has triumphed,” explained Dr. Mohammed Shafik, a member of the Revolutionary Socialist Movement. “All opposition parties and organizations have been squashed. Thousands of revolutionaries have been imprisoned; hundreds executed by court orders or liquidated by the police… Neoliberalism is taking hold… people are suffering.”
But Western propaganda shows no appetite for criticizing the Egyptian military junta. It is, after all, essentially pro-Western; it is capitalist and to a great extent it is submissive to the Empire and to its allies, including Israel and Saudi Arabia.
As with almost all ‘client’ states of the West, Egypt will never be able to truly improve the lives of the majority of its citizens. The country is already stuck deeply and has been, for decades, in a perpetual social slumber. Those benefiting from the situation are the Western powers and their regional allies, as well as the servile Egyptian elites and the grotesquely colossal, omnipotent military.
If Syria were to surrender, the Egyptian scenario would be ‘the best’ it could hope for. But most likely, it would meet the terrible fate of Iraq or Libya.
62 Syrian soldiers were reported killed in a U.S.-led coalition airstrike on the Syrian military base Deir el-Zour, on September 17, in Eastern Syria.
The planes destroyed the base housing soldiers that were involved in a battle with ISIS. Almost immediately, the ISIS took over the hill and the area, in what appeared to be a clearly coordinated operation between the West and the “Islamic State”, against the Syrian government forces.
A few days later, a humanitarian convoy was hit near the city of Aleppo. Without presenting any evidence, the West immediately pointed a finger at the Syrian government and Russia. But the Russian Ministry of Defense released images of a US predator drone operating in the area during the attack, and called for a thorough investigation.
The war goes on. The suffering of Syrian people continues.
There is one simple point that is being constantly overlooked by the West:
The legitimate government of Syria invited Russia, its close ally. It asked Moscow for help, to fight ISIS and other terrorist groups implanted by the West and its allies.
Nobody invited the West!
Or perhaps those groups that the West itself created and supported inside Syria invited it?
Both Syrian government forces and Russia are fighting brutal foreign invaders who are attempting to destroy one of the oldest nations on Earth and take control over the entire Middle East.
Syria is at the frontline of the battle against Western imperialism. And so is Russia. And also Iran, while China is joining!
The sacrifice made by the Syrian people is tremendous. But against all odds, the deadly advance of the imperialists may be stopped here, after all.
As I wrote earlier, the price may be terrible. Aleppo is turning into the Middle-Eastern Stalingrad. But the heroic Syrian nation has made its choice: it will fight brutal and barbaric invaders, as it fought the crusaders under the leadership of great Sultan Saladin.
The alternative would be slavery, something unacceptable for the Syrian people!
The reported decision by Asian Development Bank to lend $2.5 billion to Pakistan and be a collateral financier for upgrade of Lahore-Peshawar segment of the Karachi-Peshawar railway line is a significant development. India should analyse it carefully. (Business Standard )
Firstly, Karachi-Peshawar railway line upgrade falls within the ambit of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). That is to say, ADB is joining hands with China (which is the co-financier for the railway line upgrade) in a CPEC project.
Now, this is a big concessional loan ($2.5 billion at low interest rate less than 2 percent) and it wouldn’t have been possible without approval by Japan and the United States, which dominate ADB’s decision-making. We need to take note that Japan and the US are showing pragmatism here, given the reality that CPEC is a flag carrier of China’s One Belt One Road.
In sum, this is a political affirmation of their interest in Pakistan’s stability and development.
The other salience that emerges here is that it is an extremely untimely and counterproductive move on our part to raise dust on Baluchistan. It complicates India’s relations with not only Pakistan but also with China, considering that a significant segment of the CPEC activity is located in Baluchistan, and, equally, our campaign on Baluchistan will not get a sympathetic ear in the world capitals. It will only make us look small-minded and petulant.
Similar pragmatism toward One Belt One Road as ADB is showing also characterises the attitudes of Asian, Middle Eastern and European countries. No doubt, projects enhancing regional connectivity attract all countries. India probably stands out as solitary exception, in its perspective on One Belt One Road derived exclusively through the geopolitical prism.
Secondly, we need to take note that the CPEC is indeed going ahead despite the ‘hawks’ amongst us hoping against hope that it may not take off. The ADB loan itself wouldn’t have been forthcoming without expert opinion saluting the CPEC. The ADB decision has prompted China to fill in with an additional loan of $5.5 billion for the railway project, which now makes CPEC a $51.5 billion eighth wonder in the world.
Two things become clear. One, China is determined to build Pakistan’s infrastructure development and make its economy resilient. Clearly, it is a ‘win-win’ for China too for a variety of factors at work in regional politics and China’s own national strategies. Two, China usually puts its money (big or small) only where the mouth is, which means it is becoming a stakeholder in Pakistan’s future and prosperity with a long-term perspective.
And where China goes, the US and Japan are bound to follow. Simply put, Indian diplomacy runs into almost-impossible headwinds to ‘isolate’ Pakistan in the prevailing circumstances.
It is about time we wake up and put to ourselves some searching questions. Do we have the ghost of a chance to annex Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir, as the present government is leading the domestic opinion to believe? To my mind, our government is whistling in the dark and leading the public opinion in a wrong direction.
Again, from a regional security point of view, if the POK and Northern Areas of Pakistan, which are hopelessly impoverished regions, are set on a path of infrastructure development and economic activity, there is less chance of them becoming the sanctuaries of terrorist groups. In fact, this is also one consideration China would have. Don’t we have a congruence of interests with China on regional security and stability in this regard? This is one thing.
Besides, if Pakistan integrates these regions politically, doesn’t it open up an interesting avenue to resolve the Kashmir problem? A realistic perspective would be that without any redrawing of boundaries as such, if the Line of Control gets legitimacy as an internationally recognised border – with Pakistan keeping the areas under its control and India keeping J&K as an integral part of it – won’t that be a basis of durable settlement?
Put differently, if Pakistan integrates Northern Areas and POK, it is tantamount to a unilateral move to ‘solve’ the Kashmir problem. We should actually applaud Pakistan if it goes on to integrate those regions just as it plans at present to integrate the tribal areas. Which in turn would also enable India to work out its own terms of integration of J&K in terms of our democratic principles.
Frankly, India’s paranoia over the CPEC has no rationality. It is based on contrived and often trivial arguments lacking basis and/or unsupported by empirical evidence or are outright falsehoods, which are assembled uncouthly with the ulterior motive to arrive at a certain pre-determined conclusion.
The name of the game is Sinophobia – to somehow complicate the Sino-Indian normalization itself. See a paper by the Vivekananda Foundation on the topic titled Implications of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
Underground it was still so hot that molten metal dripped down the walls… Ken Holden, director NY Dept of Design & Construction, excerpted in video above
This video shows John Gross, a NIST engineer who played a central role in the investigation of the WTC collapses, claiming he has seen no evidence of molten steel or excessively high temperatures in the WTC rubble. His interview – in which he displays obvious signs of discomfort – is intercut with eyewitnesses at Ground Zero describing red-hot, white-hot, or specifically “molten” steel in the rubble.
Such eye-witnesses are numerous, too numerous to all be quoted in the video, and they include firefighters, structural engineers and physicists. Dr Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl was one. Permitted to examine some of the structural steel before it was taken away for melting down, he reported many anomalies:
If you remember the Salvador Dali paintings with the clocks that are kind of melted–it’s kind of like that… That could only happen if you get steel yellow hot or white hot–perhaps around 2,000 degrees Dr Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, professor of civil and environmental engineering UCal Berkeley,
And he was far from being a lone witness:
The debris pile at Ground Zero was always tremendously hot. Thermal measurements taken by helicopter each day showed underground temperatures ranging from 400oF to more than 2,800oF. Jeffrey W. Vincoli CSP, CHCM et al
Typically, when steel bends, it buckles and tears. The smooth bend on this piece shows the steel became malleable — a pretty good indication of how hot it was. Mark Wagner, architect
It looked like an oven, just roaring inside… firefighter, interviewed in video above
Eight weeks later we still got fires burning… at one point I think they were about 2800 degrees firefighter, interviewed in video above
Underground it was still so hot that molten metal dripped down the walls… Ken Holden, director NY Dept of Design & Construction, excerpted in video above
Are we supposed to conclude all these observers, including respected professionals, were mistaken? This is a vital question because ordinary fires can’t reach temperatures sufficient to produce the effects on steel observed by these witnesses. So, if their observations and recordings are true there is clearly some phenomenon going on at Ground Zero unaccounted for by simple office fires.
It’s not necessary to espouse a conspiracy theory in order to recognise more investigation is needed.
Russia has warned that any “direct aggression” by the US against the Syrian government or army would lead to “frightening, tectonic shifts” in the Middle East.
The warning by Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Saturday came after US officials said Washington had begun considering tougher responses to an ongoing Syrian assault on Aleppo, including military options.
Russia has been supporting the Syrian government in its push to take back Aleppo from Takfiri terrorists.
The US is backing what it calls “moderate” militants fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad besides carrying out airstrikes against what it calls Daesh targets.
However, with Syrian advances on Aleppo gaining momentum, US officials have hinted at direct attacks on Syrian troops.
US aircraft recently bombed Syrian army positions in Dayr al-Zawr, killing 83 soldiers. The airstrike, which helped Daesh briefly overrun government positions in the area, was characterized by Washington as unintentional but Syria rejected the allegation.
“How could they (Daesh) know that the Americans are going to attack that position in order to gather their militants to attack right away and to capture it one hour after the strike?” Assad asked during an interview with the Associated Press.
Last week, the Middle East Eye news portal cited a source close to militants as saying that the US was resolved to prevent the fall of Aleppo.
The US State Department has warned it was considering the suspension of “bilateral engagement” in Syria unless Russia took “immediate steps to end the assault on Aleppo.”
A US-Russian brokered ceasefire recently fell apart after the American airstrike on Syrian troops.