Seven of Syria’s Thirteen Palestinian camps now controlled by Salafi-Jihadists…
Jihadists are entering Syria at an accelerating pace, according to Syrian, UNWRA, and Palestinian officials as well as residents in the refugee camps here. For the now-estimated 7000 imported foreign fighters, Palestinian camps are seen as optimal locales for setting up bases across Syria.
“Syria’s Palestinian camps have become theaters of war,” said UNWRA Commissioner Filippo Grandi.
The Syrian people compassionately host 10 official, UN-mandated Palestinian camps, along with three unofficial ones, whose populations total at least 230,000. Eight of these are “Nakba (“catastrophe”) camps,” organized soon after Palestinians were expelled from their homes in 1948, while two, Qabr Essit and Dera’a (emergency camp), are “Naksa (“day of setback”) camps.” The latter were set up in 1967 as a result of the internationally condemned Zionist-colonial aggression against the two sister-Arab-nationalist regions—Palestine’s West Bank and Syria’s Golan Heights.
And it was on the Ides of March of the year 2011 we saw an explosion of violence near one of these camps, the Dera’a camp established in 1950, in the south near the Jordanian border.
But first, perhaps a simple listing of the camps, along with their populations and dates of establishment, would be in order here:
1950, Dera’a, 5,916
1967, Dera’a (Emergency), 5,536
1950, Hama, 7,597
1949, Homs, 13,825
1948, Jaramana, 5,007
1950, Khan Dunoun, 8,603
1949, Khan Eshieh, 15,731
1948, Neirab, 17,994
1967, Qabr Essit, 16,016
1948, Sbeineh, 19,624
1955-6, Latakia camp, 6,534 registered refugees
1957, Yarmouk Camp, 112,550 registered refugees
1962, Ein Al-Tal, 4,329 registered refugees
As of 8/8/13, seven of the camps—two in the north and five in the Damascus area and in the south of Syria—are presently with their throats under the jackboot of foreign Salafi-Jihadists. These jihadist cells moved against the camps early in the current crisis for purposes of forced recruitment, to benefit from a supply of noncombatant human shields, to shakedown the residents and take over UNWRA facilities, and to make use of the erstwhile “refugee camp security zones.” All these steps were precursory to the setting up of military bases from which to launch operations aimed at toppling the current government of the Syrian Arab Republic.
How do the jihadists infiltrate the camps?
How is it possible that more than half of the Palestinian camps in Syria not only fell, but did so, regrettably, without all that much resistance, to the point at which we see them now—dominated by largely foreign jihadists who continue to impose their unwanted extremist religious beliefs on a largely progressive secular Palestinian community? It is a subject currently much discussed here.
This observer has deduced from a number of conversations—with former and current camp residents, as well as members of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, Palestinian NGO’s, and also with academics—that there is a ‘model of occupation’ metastasizing in Syria in a manner strikingly similar to what we saw six years ago at Nahr al Bared Palestinian camp near Tripoli Lebanon. The stories we hear today are quite similar to those from among the nearly 30,000 refugees at Nahr al Bared who were forced to flee to the nearby Badawi camp or to Lebanon’s ten other camps—reports related to this observer in visits to Nahr al Bared in May of 2007.
What we hear today in Syria bears an almost uncanny likeness. For instance one lady, whose family is from Safad in occupied Palestine explained: “First they (the intruders) appeared only a few in number. We noticed them and that some had ‘foreign’ accents and wore conservative clothes, most had beards. They were polite and friendly. Then more arrived, a few followed by women and children. They stayed to themselves at first and they began using the local mosque—even being welcomed at first by local sheiks who sometimes expressed admiration for the sincerity and devoutness. Then some of them began to preach their versions of the Koran, and at some point their gentle teaching became more strident, and soon these men were commenting on how some of the Palestinian women dressed in an un-Islamic fashion and even lectured young women about modesty and that they must change their ways, including stop smoking, and to leave public meetings if they were the only women present, and wear a full hijab.”
The lady’s sister interrupted: “Then guns appeared and some of the men appeared to be very skilled when they would use, for example, a school or playground to train. They were so serious and seemed to be in a trance of some kind. There was no possibility to talk or reason with them. All they seemed to want was martyrdom! Some actually believe that Syria was Palestine and they were here to liberate Al Quds!”
Upon some in the camps it began to dawn that the newcomers intended imposing their ideas, and that they fully intended that camp residents should submit to “pure Islam,” as they view it. Some resistance began to jell from camp residents, but the camp popular committees did not have the power to confront them, and a few actually joined them. The fighting with Syrian government troops accelerated the takeover process, and soon the camp residents were presented with a demand: join the gunmen and “liberate” the camps.
With respect to Ahmad Jibril’s Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command—and no offense meant to them and their officials, with whom this observer met in July and early August—but several of their best Palestinian patriot commanders jumped ship in protest against the plan to “liberate” Yarmouk. At the same time many of the PFLP-GC rank-and-file fighters split and joined the opposition for various reasons, including better pay and wanting to be on the presumed winning side. That being said, however, camp residents overwhelmingly rejected the PFLP-GC “defense” project, and insisted that their camp was neutral, that it was to be maintained as a safe zone for its residents, who were guests in Syria pending their return to still-occupied Palestine.
Again, this chain of events is singularly similar to what we saw (too late as it turned out) in Lebanon’s Nahr al Bared, a process which, like the one unfolding now in Syria, was accelerated by the civil war raging here.
There is fear that the Syrian army will sooner or later attack and destroy the camps in order to confront the rebel militias—similar to what the Lebanese army did during the 75 days of shelling in 2007. At that time it took vengeance on the camp and demolished it in an unjustifiable frenzy of shelling for the criminal attack and killing of some Lebanese troops, an attack that had been carried out by camp invaders, not Palestinians. For Palestinians in Syria, it is the all too familiar fate of outsiders entering and seeking to control their camps, coupled with the threat of a host army attacking them to confront the invaders. The residents are once more killed or forced to flee and their homes are destroyed.
Here once more comes to mind the cliché: “Where is the Arab League, the Organization of Islamic Council, the EU or the UN? Where’s Waldo?
In order to gain control of the camps in Syria, two main processes appear to be made use of by the al Qaeda affiliates. One is what this observer labels the ‘Nahr al Bared model”. A Popular Committee member from Yarmouk, who just barely escaped the camp before his home was destroyed by a direct hit mortar round, put it this way:
“Some come bearing gifts. They usually set up small problem solving centers. Maybe a little cash, offers of medical aid, bread distribution, pledges of camp security, these sorts of currently absent social services.”
But the camps quickly become petri dishes, and the explosive growth of the foreign implantations is sometimes dazzling. By the time government supporters report the camp invaders it’s too late. And what can the government do anyhow? Guns appear everywhere, and suddenly it’s no longer ‘nicely nicely’ polite treatment from the Islamic brothers. Residents are told they must help liberate the camp from the Assad regime or face the wrath of Allah. Consequently, fleeing for one’s life becomes an utmost urgency, often literally as the snipers arrive and intense fighting, and rooftop targeting, ensues.
Dodging the snipers
So what happens next to the Palestinian camps in Syria? Is a hopeful, positive or peaceful resolution possible? This observer’s 2-cents worth of analysis suggests that the answer is no. The camps will stay largely under the domination, militarily and socially, of the jihadist elements that continue building fortifications and ‘digging in.’ What is happening is a God-awful calamity, one being foisted upon those whose only prayers and wishes are to leave Syria and return home to reclaim their stolen lands.
A central question is the precarious situation in Yarmouk and the fate of the 18-20 percent of its population still remaining. These are people risking their lives daily trying to avoid snipers from both sides. One can hear speculation on the prospects that the Syrian Army, aided by Hezbollah, will move on Yarmouk to try and expel the rebel militia. Some PLO officials with offices inside the Yarmouk neighborhood claim that Ahmad Jibril’s PFLP-GC is being beefed up and armed by the government with more than just AK47’s and RPG’s. Last winter, some of Jibril’s forces were expelled when they tried to eject the foreign militia, while others, as mentioned above, went over to the opposite side. At the same time, three PFLP-GC commanders quit over tactics while questioning Jibril’s decision to violate the camp’s neutrality, a decision leading to the destruction of parts of Yarmouk.
As to speculation on the possibility of the Syrian government and/or Hezbollah moving to eject the foreign forces from Yarmouk, this observer does not give the reports much credit. The Syrian Army has more urgent and prioritized battles being waged today, with others being planned. Hezbollah, likewise, is facing challenges at present, and fighting in Yarmouk against unknown numbers of rebel militia would surely add to them. Moreover, any force invading a Palestinian camp faces being roundly condemned over violations of the Cairo agreement forbidding host governments from entering UNRWA refugee camps.
This observer and contacts in the Palestinian community cannot verify the recent report for a foreign media source that al Nusra has fled Yarmouk and is on the run. On the run from whom? Currently they are not being seriously challenged. On the contrary, the al-Qeada affiliates are busy digging more tunnels under the camps to store weapons and move freely. Their ranks are growing not dwindling.
Grim as it sounds, they who reside in Syria’s camps, along with the 12 million Palestinian refugees worldwide, will continue to be at the mercy of events they had no part in creating. It is a fate they share at this moment with much of the rest of Syria’s population, and things are not likely to improve in the immediate term.
But on a more positive note, the Palestinians of Syria persist in their resistance and opposition to the illegal occupation of their country. Theirs is a determination to return to their homeland that simply will not fade or wither, and speaking with Palestinian refugees these past several days in Damascus and Homs has convinced this observer more than ever that on this they will not retreat a single inch—and that in time they will liberate their country.
Wars of aggression follow. False arrests target innocent victims. Terror threats repeat. They’re strategically timed. They change the subject. They divert attention.
They fool most Americans. They do so most of the time. Here we go again. Media scoundrels march in lockstep. They regurgitate Big Lies.
On August 2, The New York Times headlined “Qaeda Messages Prompt US Terror Warning,” saying:
“The United States intercepted electronic communications this week among senior operatives of Al Qaeda, in which the terrorists discussed attacks against American interests in the Middle East and North Africa, American officials said Friday.”
“The intercepts and a subsequent analysis of them by American intelligence agencies prompted the United States to issue an unusual global travel alert to American citizens on Friday, warning of the potential for terrorist attacks by operatives of Al Qaeda and their associates beginning Sunday through the end of August.”
Al Qaeda’s a longstanding US asset. It’s used strategically as enemy and ally. Terror threats are fabricated. Bin Ladin was used as “Enemy Number One” years after he died.
Obama didn’t kill him. He was seriously ill with kidney disease. He had other illnesses. In December 2011, he died naturally. The Pakistan Observer reported it. So did BBC and Fox News.
In July 2002, The New York Times said he’s been dead for “almost six months.” He was “buried in the mountains of southeast Afghanistan.”
On August 1, 2013, The State Department headlined “Temporary Post Closures and Worldwide Travel Alert.” It’s like previous ones. They’re fake.
“The following posts normally open on Sunday will be closed” on August 3 and 4, 2013. It’s because of “increased security concerns.”
“For further information, please click on the links below. A Worldwide Travel Alert has also been issued.”
US Embassy Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
US Embassy Algiers, Algeria
US Embassy Amman, Jordan
US Embassy Baghdad, Iraq
US Consulate Basrah, Iraq
US Embassy Cairo, Egypt
US Consulate Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
US Embassy Djibouti, Djibouti
US Embassy Dhaka, Bangladesh
US Embassy Doha, Qatar
US Consulate Dubai, United Arab Emirates
US Consulate Erbil, Iraq
US Consulate Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
US Embassy Kabul, Afghanistan
US Embassy Khartoum, Sudan
US Embassy Kuwait City, Kuwait
US Embassy Manama, Bahrain
US Embassy Muscat, Oman
US Embassy Nouakchott, Mauritania
US Embassy Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
US Embassy Sana’a, Yemen
US Embassy Tripoli, Libya
According to an unnamed senior American official,”more than the usual chatter” was intercepted. Specifics were omitted. There are none. They don’t exist.
They come at Ramadan’s close. They followed Russia granting Snowden asylum. They came three days after fake Israeli/Palestinian peace talks began.
They’re during worsening economic crisis conditions. They affect growing millions. They’re when Washington threatens escalated war on Syria.
They’re at the same time administration officials try justifying institutionalized global spying. Meta-data mining is standard practice. NSA monitors everyone it targets all the time everywhere.
Russell Tice is a former Office of Naval Intelligence/Defense Intelligence Agency/NSA analyst. His career spanned 20 years.
In December 2005, he accused NSA and DIA of unconstitutionally wiretapping US citizens. He got national attention, saying:
“Everyone at NSA knew what they were doing was illegal, because it’s drilled into our heads over and over that it’s against NSA policy, that you do not do that. The choice is to speak out and get fired.”
On August 1, he was interviewed on PBS’ News Hour. He said NSA collects “everything.” It accumulates content “word for word, everything of every domestic communication in this country.”
Every phone call, email, and other personal communication is gathered and stored. Nothing escapes its scrutiny. It lies claiming otherwise. Meta-data collection is official policy. It’s longstanding. It’s done with technological ease.
Earlier he said NSA “targets, sucks-in, stores and analyzes illegally obtained content from the masses in the United States.”
Elected officials are monitored. So are federal judges. Candidate Obama’s phone was tapped. His private emails were read.
Public awareness grows. Fearmongering diverts attention. False flags shift attention from what matters. Administration officials take full advantage.
On August 2, Russia Today headlined “US issues global travel alert over al-Qaeda attack threat,” saying:
It “warn(ed) US citizens about the ‘continued potential for terrorist attacks’ in the Middle East and North Africa.”
It comes weeks ahead of the 12th 9/11 anniversary. It’s also the Benghazi, Libya first anniversary.
The travel alert remains throughout August. The State Department “alert(ed) US citizens to the continued potential for terrorist attacks, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa and possibly occurring and emanating from the Arabian Peninsula.”
“Current information suggest that al-Qaeda and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorists attacks booth in the region and beyond and they may focus efforts to conduct attacks in the period between now and the end of August.”
Americans were warned about potential dangers on subways, air travel, railways, ships, other forms of public transportation, and prime tourist sites.
Media scoundrels regurgitate fearmongering. They do it ad nauseam. On August 3, CNN headlined “US issues global travel alert, to close embassies due to al Qaeda threat.”
Embassy closings and travel alert warning remain in place. Britain and Germany said they’ll “close their embassies in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, on Sunday and Monday. The UK Foreign Office said it was a precautionary measure.”
An unnamed US senior official in Yemen called the threat there “much worse than it has (been) in a long time.”
According to other unnamed US officials:
“Various Western targets – not just those tied to the United States -are under threat.”
Former US ambassador to Iraq Christopher Hill said:
“There have been incidents where they’ve closed down a number of embassies in the Middle East because the information is not specific enough to say that ‘embassy X’ got to be closed as opposed to other embassies.”
“But I think this, closing all of these embassies in the Middle East to North Africa, is in fact unprecedented. At least, I didn’t see this during my career.”
Unsubstantiated fearmongering lacks credibility. The usual “experts” hype it. US broadcasters and cable channels feature them. So do major broadsheets.
Notable past terror attacks were false flags. Perhaps Obama has another one in mind. Perhaps multiple ones. Maybe something major.
Last April’s Boston Marathon bombing was a black ops scheme. It was state-sponsored terrorism. Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were set up. They were innocent patsies.
They had nothing to do with it. Police murdered Tamerlan in cold blood. Dzhokhar faces longterm hard time.
The FBI bears responsibility for US terror plots. So does CIA. It’s longstanding policy. Post-9/11, it escalated.
Bush declared war on terrorism. Obama continues what he began. Washington needs enemies. When none exist, they’re invented.
Muslims are America’s target of choice. Innocent victims are entrapped. Doing so lets FBI operatives claim fabricated war on terror victories.
It lets NSA officials saying spying uncovers plots before they hatch. It lets America get away with murder. It does so on a global scale.
Lies, damn lies, and repeated lies facilitate state sponsored terrorism. It remains ongoing. Lots more is planned. America’s waging war on humanity. It’s longstanding US policy.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
On July 1 Croatia became the 28th country to join the European Union, and on current form there will be no further enlargement for many years to come. A look at the glaring dysfunctions in Croatia’s accession, compared to the double standards Brussels imposes on Serbia and Ukraine, is indicative of the peculiar mitteleuropäisch view of what constitutes “Europe” which still dominates the political and media elite thinking in Berlin and Vienna.
After the disappointing experience with Bulgaria and Romania, which joined the EU in 2007 but continue to be plagued by unstable governments and all-pervasive corruption, many experts have expressed doubts about Croatia’s readiness for membership. On its entry a month ago it became the third-poorest nation in the EU, with unemployment hovering around 20 percent. Of those who work, one-third are employed in the public sector. If it joins the eurozone in three years, Croatia would also become a prime candidate for an eventual bailout.
According to Transparency International, Croatia is ranked below Rwanda, Namibia, Jordan or Cuba in its 1012 graft index. Former prime minister Ivo Sanader, who played a key role in negotiating the EU membership, was sentenced to ten years in jail last year for accepting multi-million bribes from foreign companies. Last March the European Commission expressed concern over Croatia’s low level of legal penalties in corruption cases and its effectiveness in battling human trafficking and organized crime. “Widespread political and economic corruption persist, and its courts often show an overly lax attitude toward due process,” The New York Times editorialist warned on June 28. “The fact is that the Union may well be about to repeat the mistakes of the last round of accessions,” he warned, thus jeopardizing Croatia’s own future, diminishing membership prospects for other Balkan states, and stalling further enlargement for the next decade or more.
It is no secret in Brussels that Germany wanted Croatia in for its own geopolitical reasons, however, and that was the end of the debate. There is also an economic interest. Since their products have become significantly more competitive with the elimination of the 20 percent tariff on EU goods, German manufacturers and merchants in particular stand to profit from Croatia’s entry. They cherish the prospect of over four million potential new customers who are traditionally fond of German brands.
Many Croatians remain deeply skeptical about the benefits of joining the Union. In last year’s referendum on EU membership, only 43 percent of eligible voters cast their ballots and exactly two-thirds voted in favor of the union—a mere 28 percent of Croatia’s electorate. Recent polls show that only 39 percent welcomed the accession. State-funded celebration in Zagreb notwithstanding, Croatian accession was marked by all-pervasive gloom among its people as well as across the EU. Some Croats fear that tough competition from the north will drive many struggling companies out of business. Even Greece, Bulgaria and Romania are in better financial shape than Croatia, according to World Bank statistics.
For a country facing serious demographic decline, the most serious likely consequence of EU membership will be an exodus of educated young people when work restrictions expire in two years from now. Among Croatia’s under-25s unemployment rate exceeds 50 percent. A massive brain drain has already happened to Poland after it joined the EU in 2004, and to Bulgaria and Romania after 2007.
Croatian Euroskeptics say that just getting ready for EU entry has crippled their country in the same manner as Brussels’ neoliberal ideology has damaged the “Club Med.” Croatia cannot join the eurozone immediately, but it is maintaining a fixed euro-kuna exchange rate to qualify for membership in three years’ time. This denies it an opportunity to devalue and make its exports and tourist industry more competitive. On current form, Croatia’s tourist infrastructure can hardly compete with that of Italy, Spain, or Greece.
“Croatian governments have followed obediently the EU’s austerity advice, even before the accession.” Srecko Horvat and Igor Stiks wrote in an op-ed for the Guardian. The country’s foreign debt now exceeds $60 billion, more than $13,000 for each of Croatia’s 4.4 million people. It now has virtually no industry and relies heavily on tourism, which accounts for 20 percent of GNP. All this, Horvat and Stiks say, means that “Croatia has not actually joined only the EU; in reality, it has become a fully fledged member of the EU periphery.” One of the EU’s longest external land borders at 800 miles, they add, will necessarily cut Croatia off from its immediate and natural surroundings and bring further isolation from its neighbors.
By entering the EU Croatia has lost its membership in the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA), which now consists of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro and Serbia. The loss of customs privileges and trade benefits in those markets will cost the country at least 220 million dollars a year in lost exports, according to the Croatian Chamber of Commerce. Other analysts say that some 4,000 people will become unemployed as a result of Croatia losing CEFTA membership, with no compensating benefits in the highly competitive EU markets.
Last but not least, EU membership creates a major problem for thousands of Croats who make their living from fishing along the country’s Adriatic coast. They will face competition from much larger and better equipped fishing vessels from other EU countries—above all Italy—which are now free to operate in Croatian waters. In addition, they will have to invest heavily into new, EU-compliant trawl nets and safety equipment. Most of their gear is not in accordance with the EU’s Common Fishing Policy (CFP), whose regulations were modeled mostly on fishing in the Atlantic Ocean. Local fishers complain that successive Croatian governments did not even try to protect their interests and that they face bankruptcy.
For better or worse, Croatia is in the EU while other aspirants, like Serbia to the east, will stay out for many years to come—or, in the case of Ukraine, are not yet even in discussions for membership. Enlargement fatigue is all-pervasive among old and new Union members alike. The fact that it is particularly strong in Germany is what really matters. (Several smaller countries share the sentiment, notably Austria and Benelux.) German preferences largely explain the unequal treatment by Brussels of other countries in the former Yugoslavia and in Europe’s “eastern neighborhood.” What is sauce for the Croatian goose is no sauce for the Serbian or Ukrainian gander. Unlike in earlier rounds of accession, the EU no longer offers a specific timetable for achieving the promise of membership made at the summit in Thessaloniki ten years ago. Rather, the process remains open-ended and indeterminate. EU Commissioner for Enlargement Štefan Füle claims that enlargement will continue, but officials in Brussels privately concede that this is not the case.
Last April Serbia had to sign a humiliating, EU-brokered deal with Kosovo’s secessionist government in order to obtain a “conditional” date for the opening of accession negotiations next January. Effectively giving up one-seventh of one’s sovereign territory for the sake of the elusive “Date” was both a crime and a mistake, but even that does not promise the government in Belgrade that it will be any closer to full EU membership a decade from now than it is today. Turkey has been a candidate since 1999, and yet it will never be allowed to join the EU. Skopje-Macedonia (FYROM) has had a candidate status for the past eight years, with the final goalpost nowhere in sight.
Even after Serbia’s capitulation last April, German lawmakers came up with a list of seven additional demands which Belgrade would need to complete in order to be given a date for the commencement of accession negotiations. They wanted the Serbian authorities “to find and prosecute the demonstrators who attacked the German embassy in Belgrade in February 2008” (a day after Berlin recognized Kosovo’s independence), which is well-nigh impossible because the German government has refused to give the Serbs any surveillance camera footage. More egregiously, the Bundestag demanded that the Serbs accept, and not deny, that “genocide” was committed in Srebrenica; to apply pressure on northern Kosovo Serbs to “actively cooperate” with EULEX and Kfor; and to display “visible readiness for legally binding normalization of relations” with Kosovo.
Brussels’ lack of straight dealing is equally glaring in the case of Ukraine, which is not even being offered the prospect of EU membership anytime soon. Kiev has been struggling since 2007 to obtain the more limited Association Agreement with the EU. At the 15th Ukraine-EU Summit in December 2011, the EU leaders and President Yanukovych announced that they had reached “a common understanding on the text of the Association Agreement,” and in March 2012 the chief negotiators of the European Union and Ukraine initialed the text of the Agreement. Stefan Füle announced at that time that the Agreement could be finally signed after the Ukrainian general election in October 2012. It did not happen. Additional demands and conditions keep emerging instead.
Topping the list is the case of Yulia Tymoshenko, a former prime minister, who is serving a seven-year jail sentence for corruption and is facing murder charges for the 1996 killing of a political opponent. Even though the case against the richest woman in Ukraine seems strong, Brussels has taken the position that it was politically motivated. The EU has also criticized Ukrainian authorities for failing to conduct last October’s parliamentary elections “in line with international democratic standards.” With Germany again the lead skeptical voice on the EU side, the question of whether the Association Agreement will be signed at the Vilnius summit this November remains uncertain. If it is not signed, it will not be for lack of trying from the Ukrainian side.
Unequal treatment of different countries by the EU’s old core—and above all by Germany—reflects some old prejudices and cultural preferences which will not go away. Of course, no German politician will ever admit that his or her judgment is impacted by the fact that the Croats were German allies in both world wars, while the Serbs or Ukrainians were no
There was a time during the 30-month covert dirty war on Syria when the Western governments and mainstream media would make a clamor over reported massacres.
Why? Because it is increasingly clear that the groups committing these crimes against thousands of Syrian civilians are the foreign-backed mercenaries, whom the Western media and their governments have tried to lionize as “rebels” fighting for “democratic freedom”.
That charade is rapidly disintegrating, exposing not just criminal Western governments sponsoring the violence against civilians, but an entire media industry that is also guilty of war crimes through its willful complicity.
This is not mere hyperbole. To disseminate false information and lies about conflict – under the guise of independent news – is to be complicit in covering up war crimes. You can hardly get more serious misconduct than to tell lies about crimes against humanity.
These toxic lies and propaganda are now being exposed as the Western-backed plot to subvert the sovereign state of Syria unravels; this unraveling is accentuated by the West’s death squads becoming even more unhinged as they stare at looming defeat at the hands of the Syrian army.
The latest massacre occurred in the town of Khan al-Assal in the northern province of Aleppo. Some 150 people, mostly civilians, were reportedly slaughtered in cold blood. Many of the victims were shot in the head execution-style. The groups claiming responsibility are the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front and Ansar al Khalifa.
Reliable sources say that the killers tried to cover up their barbaric crimes by mutilating the corpses and burning the remains. Only days before this orgy of murder, the same groups are believed to have massacred at least seven civilians in the town of Maqbara in the province of Hasakah.
Elsewhere, as the Syrian national army makes searing advances against the militants, it is apparent from the identities of the dead that the majority of these fighters are foreigners, from Saudi Arabia, Libya, Jordan, Turkey, as well as from the US and Europe, including Britain, France and Germany.
Just last week, it was reported that Saudi Arabia bought $50 million-worth of heavy arms from Israel to supply this foreign network in its endeavor to terrorize the people of Syria into submission.
Already, the US, Britain and France have stumped up over $200 million which they claim is provided to “the Syrian opposition” in the form of “non-lethal aid”.
This is just cynical semantics to cover up the fact that the Western governments and their regional Turk, Arab and Israeli proxies are sponsoring genocide in Syria.
Over the weekend as the mass murders in Khan al-Assal and Maqbara emerged there was a telling silence in the Western media. A cursory glance at outlets such as New York Times, Washington Post, Voice of America, the Guardian, BBC, France 24, Deutsche Welle, Reuters, among others, showed no or negligible reports on the atrocities.
A notable exception was the London-based Financial Times, which headlined: “Syria opposition condemns rebel attack”. The FT tried to obfuscate the mass murder of civilians by claiming that “extremist rebels” had executed captured Syrian army soldiers and by giving prominence to condemnation of the “abuses” by the exile non-entity group, the Syrian National Coalition.
Similar Western silence followed another massacre last month in the village of Hatlah in the eastern province of Deir al-Zour. In mid-June, more than 60 mainly Shia inhabitants were slaughtered again by Western-backed foreign militants. Most of the victims were women and children. Syrian government appeals for international condemnation
at the United Nations were ignored.
Contrast this void in Western government and media reaction to earlier massacres. In May and June 2012, the Western media went viral with reports of mass killings in the villages of Houla and Qubair where some 108 and 78 inhabitants were murdered, many of them with throats slit. Immediately, the Western media then claimed or implied that the perpetrators were Syrian state forces and roundly condemned President Bashar al-Assad.
Back then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accused Assad of “ruling by murder and fear” and led the chorus of Western governments calling for Assad to step down.
It later transpired that the Houla and Qubair massacres were the work of the Western-backed foreign militants. But Western media did not follow-up with corrective reporting. This is the conduct of a propaganda ministry, not independent journalism.
The same propaganda formula of sensationalist headlines and innuendo, with minimal evidence, was repeated in subsequent massacres, such as in Tremseh in July 2012, or the bomb attack on Aleppo University in January this year in which more than 80 were killed. Also in that same month, more than 100 bodies were fished out of the Queiq River in the Bustan al-Qasr district of Aleppo – all of those victims with gunshot wounds to the head. Never mind that the district was under the control of foreign militants, the Western media continued their campaign of innuendo that it was the Syrian state forces that carried out the executions.
The Syrian government has consistently alleged that all these mass killings are the work of Western-backed militants. This sickening terrorist methodology concatenates with the Takfiri mentality of killing everyone who is deemed to be an infidel – Sunni, Shia, Alawite, Christian, non-believer alike, who does not subscribe to their fundamentalist twisted theology.
It is entirely in keeping that Western governments and Wahhabi Arab despots sponsor such groups given the long history of collusion between these protagonists, going back to the creation of al-Qaeda by Western military intelligence in Afghanistan during the 1980s to fight the then Soviet-backed government in Kabul.
The indiscriminate murder of civilians in wholesale massacres by Western-backed death squads operating in Syria to overthrow the Assad government is also consistent with the countless no-warning car bombs that have ripped through markets, streets, hospitals and schools all across Syria. Days before the latest slaughter in Khan al-Assal, a car bomb killed at least 10 in the Jaramana district of the capital, Damascus.
A few months earlier, another deadly bomb attack also targeted Jaramana, killing more than 30. The district is a mixed community of Muslim, Christian and Druze, which is largely supportive of the Assad government. As with the many other massacres in Syria, the aim is to terrorize the civilian population, to sow sectarianism and to coerce
the populace to relinquish support for the government.
As the foreign criminal conspiracy to force regime change in Syria flounders – with the turning point being the Syrian army victory in Qusayr early last month – the Western-sponsored terrorists are resorting to more and more desperate methods. This depravity was manifested yet again in the slaughter of civilians in Khan al-Assal and Maqbara. Tragically and despicably, we can expect more such atrocities in the coming weeks and months as the Western criminal conspiracy suffers more defeats.
But what is truly remarkable is how the Western governments and their propaganda machine, known euphemistically as the mainstream news media, are ignoring these latest massacres. That is because their vile game is up. They can no longer dissimulate on the reality of who is carrying out these massacres and how it is all part of a criminal genocidal campaign directed from Washington, London and Paris. That is why they are feigning to ignore such atrocities. To look into them honestly would uncover the ugly face of Western imperialism and the unconscionable role played all along by so-called Western news media.
Meanwhile, proper journalistic services like Press TV that are reporting the reality of what the Western governments are really doing in Syria via their death squads are being banned from satellite networks controlled by Western authorities.
Indeed, a very real extension of this censorship is how Press TV correspondent Maya Nasser was murdered last September by Western-backed death squads in Damascus for the very reason that he was helping to uncover the truth about what is being inflicted on Syria. Assassination is just an extreme act of censorship, as the Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw once noted.
Western government and media silence over the latest massacres in Syria is not just a matter of indifference or sloppy journalism. It is indicative of their complicity in the covert genocidal war on Syria.
Finian Cunningham, originally from Belfast, Ireland, was born in 1963. He is a prominent expert in international affairs. The author and media commentator was expelled from Bahrain in June 2011 for his critical journalism in which he highlighted human rights violations by the Western-backed regime. He is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in journalism. He is also a musician and songwriter. For many years, he worked as an editor and writer in the mainstream news media, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. He is now based in East Africa where he is writing a book on Bahrain and the Arab Spring.He co-hosts a weekly current affairs programme, Sunday at 3pm GMT on Bandung Radio
Source: Press TV
It’s about advancing America’s imperium. There’s nothing civil about it. It’s about toppling another independent government. They’re not tolerated. Washington wants pro-Western puppet ones replacing them.
War rages. Tens of thousands died. Dozens more do daily. Obama remains unaccountable. His hands are blood-drenched. He’s a war criminal multiple times over. He thrives on death and destruction.
Western-sponsored death squads invaded Syria. Assad’s wrongfully blamed for their crimes. He’s battling to save his country. He doing so responsibly.
He’s doing what every leader would do. Defeating foreign invaders matters most. The vast majority of Syrians support him. He’s their last line of defense.
He achieved impressive gains. He’s routing foreign terrorists. Monday news reports said Syrian forces gained full control over Homs district. It’s an important strategic victory. It’s Syria’s third largest city.
Insurgents call it “the capital of the revolution.” It’s a key central western city close to northern Lebanon. It links Damascus to the sea.
Victory came a day after Syrian forces captured the historic Khalid Bin al-Walid mosque. It’s in Homs’ Khaldiyeh neighborhood. It dates from the 13th century. Insurgents controlled it for over a year. Heavy fighting caused extensive damage.
Khaldiyeh’s population once numbered about 80,000. Several thousand at most remain. Months of conflict took its toll. Many died. Others fled.
On July 29, Mossad-connected DEBKAfile (DF) headlined “Syrian army and Hizbollah capture Homs – opening way to (full control of Aleppo) and decisive Assad victory.”
Syrian forces continue to pound insurgent positions. Many flee to escape death or capture.
Israel’s nonplussed. According to DF, “Washington, Jerusalem and Ankara have run out of time for quibbling whether to step into the Syrian conflict. The critical decision facing them now is whether to” get involved or keep “stand(ing) aside.”
Obama “must now decide very quickly whether Assad and his Russian and Iranian backers should be allowed to win the Syrian ‘civil’ war or” jump in to stop him.
The battle for Syria continues. The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) said Assad’s forces “continued hunting terrorists in Homs and its countryside and inflicted heavy losses upon them.”
“An official source in the province told SANA that the army units have achieved new progress in al-Khalidiyeh neighborhood and destroyed a number of terrorists’ dens, in addition to killing and injuring scores of them.”
Syrian forces “destroyed a number of terrorists’ dens and gatherings along with the weapons and ammunition inside them in al-Hamidiyeh, Jouret al-Shayah, al-Qusour and Bab Houd neighborhoods in Homs and in al-Dar al-Kabeira, al-Ghanto and al-Mashajar al-Janoubi in Talbisa and in al-Rastan city.”
SANA discussed other important Syrian gains. They repeat with impressive regularity. Aleppo area terrorists were routed. Many were killed. Their weapons were captured or destroyed.
Army units “carried out operations against terrorists’ dens and gatherings in the eastern Ghouta in Damascus Countryside, killing and injuring several terrorists, in addition to regaining control over a number of buildings in al-Qaboun neighborhood in the city.”
Terrorists affiliated with “Tahrir al-Sham Brigade” in eastern Ghouta were killed. Others attacking Daraa military checkpoints were repelled. They suffered heavy losses.
“Non-Syrian terrorists (were) killed in Lattakia countryside.” Others “suffer(ed) heavy losses in Idleb.” More were routed in Hama.
Victories haven’t turned the tide. Ending conflict matters most. Washington didn’t start things to quit. Balkan wars persisted throughout the 1990s. Years more fighting could affect Syria.
Peace talks are illusory. Last year’s Geneva conference failed. Plans for Geneva II won’t fare better. Syria has no Western peace partner.
According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Washington’s subverting conflict resolution efforts. Attacks on Syrian forces are planned. Doing so contravenes peace attempts. Obama pretends support. His actions speak louder than words.
He’s armed terrorist fighters all along. He’s sending more weapons. Doing so furthers conflict. Peace remains elusive. It’s illusory. Washington prioritizes war. Proxy death squads wage it.
Plans suggest greater US involvement. Doing so means full-scale war. Another regional charnel house looms. Libya 2.0 assures one. America’s legacy reflects unconscionable mass killing and destruction.
Post-9/11 alone, millions died. Many more were injured or displaced. America wants the entire region redrawn. Millions of deaths are a small price to pay.
Washington-controlled NATO bears full responsibility. Israel shares its own. Voice of Russia’s John Robles said “NATO and the West have an agenda, and that agenda is complete and total military domination of the world.”
“No matter that the Cold War has long been over, and the West and NATO’s beloved reason for expansion, the ‘evil specter’ of Communism in Europe, has been relegated to the pages of history, the US and its NATO allies need phantoms and demons, rogue nations and terrorists, evil aggressors and vicious invaders to justify their own existence and, even more so, to justify their own endless aggressive expansion and disguise the fact that such a global expansion is illegal and in fact a plan aimed at the domination of the world by one power.”
“The US and the Western military industrial complex are not interested in peace.”
Fake terrorist threats fuel its war priorities. They’re pretexts for Washington’s plan to rule the world.
With NATO partners and Israel, it’s waging war “against peaceful countries.” They’re nonbelligerent. They threaten no one.
Washington’s aggression may destroy humanity in the process. The “single biggest threat to peace” today isn’t Syria, Iran or North Korea.
It’s US-led NATO’s global ambitions. Overreach may destroy the world to dominate it.
Former Congressman Ron Paul thinks Obama’s Syria policy resembles Bush on Iraq. Rhetoric is familiar, he said. He’s seen it before, saying:
“Because of this use of gas, the president claimed, Syria had crossed his ‘red line’ and the US must begin to arm the rebels fighting to overthrow the Syrian government.”
A previous report said Obama decided much earlier. He did so “when the intelligence community did not believe ‘with high confidence’ that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons.”
“Further, this plan to transfer weapons to the Syrian rebels had become policy much earlier than that, as the Washington Post reported that the CIA had expanded over the past year its secret bases in Jordan to prepare for the transfer of weapons to the rebels in Syria.”
“The process (today is) identical to the massive deception campaign that led us into the Iraq war.”
Like Bush/Cheney & Co., Obama “fix(es) the intelligence and facts” to fit policy.
“And Congress just goes along, just as they did the last time.”
History does more than repeat. It prioritizes mass slaughter and destruction.
According to Senator Rand Paul, “Americans would probably be surprised to learn that their government was arming affiliates of Al Qaeda” and other anti-Syrian extremists.
They’re Washington’s most effective fighting force. Obama wants them more heavily armed. Congress is AWOL.
Proper oversight’s absent. “(I)f the Constitution still matters, the president needs (congressional) authorization to arm these rebels.” He lacks it.
He’s secretly supplying weapons. Doing so is “complicated and dangerous.”
“If the United States wants to choose a side in Syria, there is no clear moral choice. More important, there is no clear US national interest in Syria.”
“That is why I have introduced bipartisan legislation along with Sens. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) that would prohibit the president from providing military aid to the Syrian rebels without congressional consent.”
“The United States should never get involved where we have no clear national interest.”
“We should not intervene militarily in a country like Syria, where we can’t separate friend from foe and might end up arming the very people who hate us the most.”
America’s a warrior nation. War is permanent policy. Peace is deplored. Global domination matters most. Independent countries are targeted. Conflicts persists without end.
When wars become the national pastime, catastrophic outcomes are certain.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
This week the great hordes waited with anticipatory fervor as celeb-royal Kate Middleton (aka Catherine Duchess of Cambridge) gave birth to a baby boy and the future heir to the British throne, continuing Britain’s chain of royals that seem to entrance the world with their influence and celebrity.
Crowds Flood London to Wait For Royal Baby News
Many have heard the story: Kate Middleton, ’a commoner’, was elevated to elite status during the romantic, fairytale narrative of being swept up to marry a Prince of the land. Prince William was young, fresh, and modern, a far cry from his father’s generation and the dark shadow of his mother’s death.
This popularity came at a time when the approval of royalty was at a dangerous low. The role of an elite royalty class – symbols of inherited privilege, and the royals’ own personal finances – largely funded by taxpayers, was being closely examined and questions were being raised about their usefulness in a modern western democracy.
Not unlike the drama surrounding the Royal Wedding in 2011 pairing Kate Middleton and Prince William, this newly born baby has drawn the attention of well-wishers, royal followers, simple gawkers, and irritated naysayers alike. Most importantly, however, the wedding and baby has manifested popularity for the Royals as not seen since before the death of Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales.
As always, surrounding the birth of a royal, there are symbols, ceremonies and rituals involved.
Son During Moon
The baby boy child was reportedly born via natural birth 22 July 2013, the day of a supermoon.
This month’s full moon falls one day after July’s lunar perigee, which is the moon’s closest point to Earth for this monthly orbit. Astronomers will call this full moon a perigee full moon, but everyone else will call it a supermoonSource
This is an interesting concurrence as the baby’s father, Prince William, was born on the summer solstice (June 21st, 1982), and the baby’s mother, Kate, was born during a total lunar eclipse the same year (January 9, 1982), and are sometimes referred to as the ’Solstice King and his Lunar Queen’.
For those of you wondering if the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton is fated, defying all odds – it’s true! The remarkable birth of Prince William on a Solar Eclipse – meeting of the Sun and the Moon – on the Summer Solstice has dazzled many astrologers for years, as this reflects the “Solstice King” of the old myths of the UK. When studying the chart of Kate, lo and behold, she was born on the Lunar Eclipse just after the Winter Solstice in the same year as Wills!
As many of you who know the basics of astrology are aware, the Sun is the “King” and the Moon is his sacred feminine counterpart. For those of us north of the equator, the Winter Solstice is the darkest day of the year and feminine in nature. The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year and masculine in nature. Eclipses are considered to be the windows or gateways through which we communicate with all that is beyond time and space. Source
Astrologers have pointed out that the end of July is hosting a rare alignment:
Monday, July 29 features an incredibly rare aspect known as a Grand Sextile.
It’s essentially a six-pointed star, or hexagram, comprised of seven planets that form harmonious angles (trines and sextiles) to each other. This synergistic seven are all in “feminine” (earth or water) signs, emphasizing stability, gentleness, love and harmony. Many astrologers view this as the moment our culture will take a step toward embracing “feminine” principles.Source
Feminine Grand Sextile
More rituals and traditions were observed, as reported by The Telegraph:
The baby will officially be known as HRH Prince (name) of Cambridge.
The Queen, other senior members of the Royal family and the Middleton family had already been informed when the announcement was made.
In line with royal tradition, the Duke and Duchess have not yet revealed the baby’s name. The Duke of Cambridge was not named for a week after his birth, partly because his parents reportedly disagreed over names.
Celebratory gun salutes will now be fired by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery in Green Park (41 rounds) and the Honorable Artillery Company at the Tower of London (62 rounds).
Baby Cambridge will make his public debut when the Duchess of Cambridge leaves hospital and stands on the same spot where Diana, Princess of Wales was first photographed holding Prince William 31 years ago.
No date has yet been set for when the baby will be christened, but it is likely to be some time in the autumn, when the Royal family return from their summer break at Balmoral.
The Duke of Cambridge, for example, was christened six weeks after his birth, in the Music Room of Buckingham Palace, using water drawn from the River Jordan in the Holy Land, in keeping with a tradition dating back to the Crusades.
Another royal tradition is for babies to wear a lace and satin christening robe made in 1841 and worn by all of Queen Victoria’s children and every generation of royal babies since, including Prince William.
Diana holds Prince William, with husband Prince Charles, 1982. There have been many echoes between Kate and Diana. Presenting the baby in a polka-dot frock is yet another. Are these things arranged or happenstance?
As of writing, the baby’s name has not been released, but these symbolic and important call signs are never made without precise planning and forethought. The name of a royal child isn’t a random selection, but almost always a purposeful and deliberate repetition of ancestors, who themselves maintained positions of power and rulership. The names can invoke gods, celestial bodies, desires for certain fates, and more. Whether or not these associations are aspects of real power or not, in many cases the elite believe them to be, and it’s wise to recognize that belief, for their actions and decisions may affect the world around us.
In the end, you can follow the Royals and all their ups and downs or turn a blind eye to any aspect of their existence, but know that a royal baby means the monarchy endures whether people like it or not.
Source: Red Ice Creations
They’re US proxy fighters. They’re imported from dozens of countries. They’re waging war against sovereign Syrian independence. Don’t expect duplicitous Western politicians or media scoundrels to explain.
Assad’s military outguns and outflanks Washington’s shock troops. Reinforcements keep coming. Libya 2.0 looks possible. Perhaps likely.
Russia hopes for a September international peace conference. Originally a June one was planned. Why bother when Washington prioritizes war. It spurns peace. Last year’s conference failed.
Expect nothing different this time. Peace remains elusive. Advocates have no partners.
According to European Council president Herman Van Rompuy:
“A military solution to the crisis is impossible. (T)he solution is only diplomatic.” Conflict can end soon. It can happen if Washington calls off its dogs. It shouldn’t have unleashed them in the first place.
Syria is Obama’s war. He began it. He can end it. Not according to some reports. On July 18, London’s Guardian headlined ”Obama considering military power in Syria, top general tells Senate.”
Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey said he provided Obama with “options for the use of force.” He declined to explain more.
“(I)t would be inappropriate for me to try to influence the decision with me rendering an opinion in public about what kind of force we should use.”
John McCain’s super-hawkish. He’s not alone. He asked the wrong question. He asked Dempsey what carries greater risk: continued limited Washington intervention or more robust tactics.
He favors more heavily arming terrorist fighters. They’re getting plenty of weapons already. He wants no-fly zone protection implemented.
Doing so’s an act of war. It’s illegal without Security Council authorization. So is meddling in Syria’s internal affairs politically, economically, and/or militarily (directly or indirectly).
McCain’s dismissive of international law. So are other congressional hawks. Dempsey said he favors “building a moderate opposition and supporting it.”
“The question whether to support it with direct kinetic strikesâ¤|is a decision for our elected officials, not for the senior military leader of the nation.”
Kinetic strikes refer to missiles, bombs, drone attacks, and other military initiatives. According to Dempsey, they’re “under deliberation inside of our agencies of government.”
Asked about Dempsey’s comments, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama always asks military commanders for options. It’s “true in an arena like Syria” and elsewhere.
Obama’s reviewing them, he added. According to Vice Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral James Winnefeld:
“There are a whole range of options that are out there. We are ready to act if we’re called on to act.”
These type comments aren’t new. Whether direct US intervention follows remains to be seen.
Senator Carl Levin wants it. He wants Syria bombed. He urged Obama to attack “airfields, airplanes and massed artillery.” He supports terrorist insurgent invaders. He does so shamelessly. More on him below.
Armed Services Committee members are considering whether to renominate Dempsey and Winnefield for second terms. McCain’s opposed.
Democrats have majority say. Expect both top commanders to be approved.
At the same time, anti-Assad forces are fighting each other. Extremist Al Nusra insurgents are clashing with Free Syria Army elements. Unity remains elusive.
Things escalated dramatically. Whether full-scale internecine conflict follows remains to be seen. If so, maybe each side will annihilate the other. That’s one way to wind things down.
On July 19, Russia Today headlined “Al Qaeda’s planned emirate in Syria is West’s own doing.” Syrians want a secular state.
Al Qaeda wants its own. Syrian unity is threatened. So far insurgent extremists lack enough strength to prevail.
Assad forces consistently rout them. Without US intervention, they don’t have a chance. They can prolong conflict.
They can cause many more deaths, injuries and displacements. They can’t prevail without Libya 2.0 help.
On July 17, London’s Telegraph headlined ”Army chief: We risk war with Syria.”
General David Richards is UK outgoing armed forces chief. Britain must be prepared to “go to war” with Syria, he said. “(I)f you want to have the material impact on the Syrian regime’s calculations that some people seek…ground targets” must be “hit.”
“There is a lack of international consensus on how to take this forward,” he said.
“We are trying to cohere the opposition groups, but they are difficult to cohere because there are many different dimensions to them.”
“So it is work in progress. So I am very clear in my military advice to the government that we need to understand what the political objective is before we can sensibly recommend what military effort and forces should be applied to it.”
“That is something we debate a lot, from the Prime Minister downwards. We also need to do this with our allies.”
“Allies have different views on the way ahead. Understandably there is a great reluctance to see Western boots on the ground in a place like Syria.”
“If you wanted to have the material impact on the Syrian regime’s calculations that some people seek, a no fly zone per se is insufficient.”
“You have to be able, as we did successfully in Libya, to hit ground targets.”
“You have to establish a ground control zone. You have to take out their air defences.”
“You also have to make sure they can’t manoeuvre – which means you have to take out their tanks, and their armoured personnel carriers and all the other things that are actually doing the damage.”
“If you want to have the material effect that people seek you have to be able to hit ground targets and so you would be going to war if that is what you want to do.’
“That is rightly a huge and important decision. There are many arguments for doing it, but there are many arguments for not doing so too.”
Syria’s situation is “highly complex,” he stressed. Escalated war risks cross-border conflict. It’s happening in Lebanon.
It could affect all Syria’s neighbors. Perhaps other regional states. The entire region could become embroiled. Global conflict could follow.
Richards knows the risks. So do other high-level military commanders. They’re warriors, not peacemakers.
Richards called himself a “moral soldier.” His remark is offensive. It’s oxymoronic on its face. He said Afghanistan’s a “good war.”
Others know better. Benjamin Franklin said “(t)here is no such thing as a good war or a bad peace.”
Russia said it won’t let Assad be toppled militarily. It has strategic interests at stake. Perhaps it wants Syria to be Obama’s regional Waterloo.
Halting his imperial rampaging’s important. If Russia and China aren’t committed, who will be? United they stand the best chance. It’s time they stepped up to the plate and acted.
America wages wars on small nations. It prefers weaker ones it can roll over. It abstains from challenging more equal rivals militarily. Bullies operate that way.
Jimmy Carter believes “America does not at the moment have a functioning democracy.” It never had one. Carter didn’t explain.
He’s pessimistic. He’s got good reason to be. He called Snowden’s leaks “beneficial.”
He thinks NSA spying undermines US credibility worldwide. It constitutes “the invasion of human rights and American privacy.” It’s “gone too far.”
“I think that the secrecy that has been surrounding this invasion of privacy has been excessive,” he said.
“So I think that the bringing of it to the public notice has probably been, in the long term, beneficial.”
He criticized Obama’s policies earlier. He condemned his drone attacks. He called targeted assassinations lawless.
Imperial policies undermine America’s “role as the global champion of human rights,” he said.
“America’s violation of international human rights abets our enemies and alienates our friends.”
America lacks moral authority. It lost it multiple ways. Carter’s no saint. Compared to Obama, he looks that way.
A Final Comment
On July 18, Senators Carl Levin (D. MI) and Angus King (I. ME) headlined ”For Syria, lessons from the Balkan war.”
Levin chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee. King serves on it with him. Both express hawkish views. They visited the region. They did so for propaganda purposes.
They deplore peace. They support escalated war. They may get what they wish for. They’ll be accountable for lots more blood on their hands.
“We believe the United States should join with its partners and allies in the region and elsewhere to pursue an end to the bloodshed,” they said.
“An international coalition that strengthens the military and political capabilities of thoroughly vetted anti-Assad forces should supply equipment and training.”
“That coalition should also plan for steps that would place even greater military pressure on the Assad regime, including possible strikes against the missiles, aircraft and other heavy weapons that are the instruments of Assad’s campaign of terror.”
Both senators know Washington directly aids Al Qaeda and other extremist groups. They’re supplied weapons, funding, training and direction. It’s been ongoing since conflict began. CIA and US special forces are involved. It’s an open secret.
Levin and King believe the best way to end war is wage more of it. They believe war is peace. They stop short of recommending US boots on the ground. Perhaps they will later. Who knows?
No matter the risks involved, they said, “the costs of inaction are equally high. Assad’s survival, with support from Iran and Hezbollah, would surely strengthen them, to our great detriment.”
They barely stopped short of urging regional war against nonexistent threats.
They blame Assad for Washington’s crimes. It’s standard imperial duplicity. Obama bears full responsibility. Don’t expect them to explain.
“â¤|.US national interests are at stake,” they claim. So are neighboring countries “Israel, Turkey and Jordan.”
They propose international action against Assad. They want “a comprehensive strategy” agreed on as soon as possible.
They want all-out war. They want it against an independent, nonbelligerent sovereign state. They ignore inviolable international law principles.
They turned truth on its head, saying:
A “widespread insurgency has strong popular support.”
False! The vast majority of Syrians support Assad. Independent polls show it. The longer conflict persists, the more his support grows.
Syrians depend on him for whatever protection he can provide. When Syrian forces liberate insurgent held areas, residents express gratitute openly.
Levin and King want America to “help the Syrian people end the senseless slaughter they are suffering” by inflicting more of it.
They, likeminded congressional members, Obama, and complicit administration officials reflect diabolical forces of evil. They’re unmatched in human history.
They’re waging war on humanity. Perhaps they believe the best way to save it is destroy it.
They support permanent war. They want unchallenged US global dominance. They’ll stop at nothing to achieve it.
Imagine the worst ahead. They endorse what’s likely coming. Survival’s up for grabs.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
No Shame on Pennsylvania Ave…
Beirut — Fatou Bom Bensouda, the Gambian-born deputy prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), was never Washington’s first choice to succeed the inveterately self-promoting elitist ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo.
And it is doubtful that key Obama administration officials have changed their minds this week given Ms. Bensouda’s impassioned invitation on 6/27/13 to Palestine, urging its accession to the Rome Statute and the ICC, the former signed and ratified, as of this month, by 122 states with 31 additional countries, including Russia, having signed with ratification pending in their legislatures.
Visiting Al Jalil UNWRA high school across from Shatila camp here in Beirut recently, this observer was asked several questions by students and staff and the most frequent inquiry, which came as no surprise, concerned why the Lebanese government, even those who claim to support the Palestinian cause, still have not acted in Parliament to grant Palestinian refugees the same elementary civil right to work and to own a home that every refugee everywhere, even in Zionist occupied Palestine, have long enjoyed.
The second most commonly asked question, did surprise me a bit and it was why the Palestinian leaders in Ramallah have not joined the International Criminal Court (ICC) in order to challenge the criminal, apartheid regime in occupied Tel Aviv and hold it accountable under international humanitarian law for crimes against Palestinian prisoners and more than a dozen equally brutal campaigns that target the indigenous population increasingly being condemned internationally.
From my time visiting Al Jalil School, it became clear that the students and faculty want their country, Palestine, to join the ICC. One is advised that this sentiment is the same in all 54 Palestinian refugees’ schools in Lebanon and this insistence mirrors virtually all Palestinian, camps, groups and NGO’s with whom I have discussed the subject.
The new ICC Prosecutor Bensouda is also encouraging Palestine to join the International Criminal Court, as she prepares for the cases that are likely to be filed with the ICC in the coming months. Addressing this week’s Transitional Justice and International Justice the Arab World conference, she declared that her office believes Palestine qualifies to join the ICC after the UN General Assembly voted to admit Palestine as a non-member state last November.
The ICC prosecutor’s office is rumored in The Hague to be particularly impassioned and focused on those areas in which their chief, Ms. Bensouda, has particular international legal expertise. With the main area being international crimes comprising the category of continuous crimes against humanity, which, arguably, since 1948, have been most egregiously committed by the last 19th century colonial enterprise that still brutally occupies Palestine.
Prosecutor Bensouda and her ICC staff is reported to be particularly intent on investigating continuing violations of basic humanitarian principles, standards and rules and both have spoken about the case of Palestinian Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh, a cancer-sufferer who died in Israeli custody on 6/25/13 after the Israeli government rejected repeated international calls and protests for his release. This, even as its officials conceded that Mr. Abu Hamidiyeh was no threat to society and could likely be successfully treated if allowed medical treatment for his life threatening condition. One ICC investigator, who asked for anonymity, stated that she and her colleagues considered the actions of the Netanyahu government with respect to the Abu Hamidiyeh, and similar cases, to be “sick!”
The White House and its allies are not pleased by prospects for an eventful next few years at the ICC. What have particularly unnerved outgoing UN Ambassador, Susan Rice and Israeli PM Netanyahu, are the 5/23/13 comments of Ms. Bensouda during the 38th FIDH Congress in Istanbul which celebrated the 15th anniversary of the Rome Statute which created the ICC.
“Gone are the days when those who commit international crimes, could be cleansed of their atrocities through a mere hand shake and a scribble of their initials on a piece of paper which purports to bind them to conditions that they have no intention of ever observing.” She added: “My challenge is to consolidate what has been achieved, to build on from it, and to answer victims’ calls for justice. That is the promise made in Rome and that is the promise we cannot fail to fulfill”.
One the several “going out the door” comments Ms. Rice made on cleaning out her UN office on her way to become President Obama’s National Security Adviser, was basically a reiteration of her livid expressions made following last fall’s UN General Assembly vote giving Palestine its new international status. When asked if she considered the UN vote a repudiation of the Obama administration and her personally, Ms. Rice scolded:
“That resolution is not going to take them closer to statehood, or to the ICC! It may actually make the environment more difficult for them and public references to the “State of Palestine” do not make it a sovereign state. Any reference to the ‘State of Palestine’ in the United Nations, including the use of the term ‘State of Palestine’ on the placard in the Security Council or the use of the term ‘State of Palestine’ in the invitation do not reflect acquiescence that ‘Palestine’ is a state,” she said.
It may be recalled that in a letter addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the President of the UN Security Council immediately following the 11/29/12 General Assembly vote, the permanent UN observer of Palestine reiterated his delegation’s position that ”all Israeli settlement activities are illegal, constituting grave breaches of article 49 (6) of the Fourth Geneva Convention and thus constituting war crimes, as further determined in accordance with article 8 (2) (b) (viii) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Israel, the occupying Power, must be held accountable for all of the war crimes it is committing against the Palestinian people.”
This letter was cited by the most recent UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) report of February 2013, which also found Israel, as an occupying power, in violation of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention for ”transferring parts of its civilian population into territory that it occupies.”
Adding to all its currents problems, is this week’s announcement that President Obama’s “favorite general,” Retired Gen. James “Hoss” Cartwright will likely cause yet more serious problems for the administration when details of his suspected leaks of information about a covert U.S.-Israeli cyber-attack on the Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear program, for which he is expected to soon be arrested and indicted. Coming on the heels of the Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks case, Washington is said to have no patience whatsoever, for Palestine making more problems and opening an ICC Pandora’s box.
Ramallah is being flooded with threats this month from Middle East envoy, Tony Blair, US Secretary of State, John Kerry, now on his 5th visit to the Middle East in as many months, Jordan’s King Hussein and reportedly, several others. The message for Mahmoud Abbas is that the Palestinian Authority risks a cut-off of funds and US dis-engagement from any “peace process” as well as the scrapping of the rumored “mega economic & development package” which Kerry aids are currently finalizing, if Palestine goes anywhere near the International Criminal Court.
It’s a tough call for President Mahmoud Abbas and his supporters because Hamas wants Palestine to immediately file cases against Israel at the ICC and so it appears, do a large majority of Palestinians, in Lebanon and internationally.
In perfect Bush-like fashion, President Obama has invented a bogus pretense for military intervention in yet another Middle East country. The president’s claim that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons — and thus crossed Obama’s imaginary “red line” — will likely fool very few Americans, who already distrust their president after the massive NSA spying scandal.
Obama has officially started down a path that inevitably leads to full-scale war. At this point the Obama administration thinks it has already invested too much military, financial, and diplomatic capital into the Syrian conflict to turn back, and each step forward brings the U.S. closer to a direct military intervention.
Much like Obama’s spying program, few Americans knew that the United States was already involved, neck deep, with the mass killings occurring in Syria. For example, Obama has been directly arming the Syrian rebels for well over a year. The New York Times broke the story that the Obama administration has — through the CIA — been illegally trafficking thousands of tons of guns to the rebels from the dictatorships of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. If not for these Obama-trafficked guns, thousands of deaths would have been prevented and the Syrian conflict over.
But even after the gun trafficking story broke, the mainstream media largely ignored it, and continued “reporting” that the U.S. has only been supplying the Syrian rebels with “non-lethal aid,” a meaningless term in a war setting, since all military aid directly assists in the business of killing.
The U.S. media also buried the truth behind the ridiculous chemical weapons claims by the Obama administration, which, like Bush’s WMDs, are based on absolutely no evidence. Having learned nothing from Iraq, the U.S. media again shamelessly regurgitates the “facts” as spoon-fed to them by the government, no questions asked. In reality, however, a number of independent chemical weapons experts have publicly spoken out against Obama’s accusations.
The U.S. media also refuses to ask: on what authority does the United States have to determine the usage of chemical weapons in other countries? This is the job of the UN. What has the UN said on the matter?
“According to the testimonies we have gathered, the [Syrian] rebels have used chemical weapons, making use of sarin gas.”
Again, the “rebels” have used chemical weapons, not the Syrian government, according to the UN representative. Many analysts have pointed out the obvious fact that the Syrian government would have zero military or political motive to use chemical weapons, especially when they have access to much more effective conventional weapons. Obama’s Bush-like lies are too familiar to the American public, who overwhelmingly do not support military intervention in Syria, or giving direct military aide to the Syrian rebels.
What has the UN said on giving military aid to the rebels?
UN chief Ban Ki-moon has called the Obama’s decision “a bad idea” and “not helpful.” This is because pouring arms into any country where there is a conflict only increases the bloodshed and risks turning the conflict into a broader catastrophe.
But like Bush, Obama is ignoring the UN, and there’s a logic to his madness. Obama has invested too much of his foreign policy credibility in Syria. His administration has been the backbone of the Syrian rebels from the beginning, having handpicked a group of rich Syrian exiles and molded them into Obama’s “officially recognized” government of Syria, while pressuring other nations to also recognize these nobodies as the “legitimate Syrian government.” Assad’s iron grip on power is a humiliation to these diplomatic efforts of Obama, and has thus weakened the prestige and power of U.S. foreign policy abroad.
More importantly, Obama’s anti-Syria diplomacy required that diplomatic relations between Syria and its neighbors — like Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey — be destroyed. These nations have peacefully co-existed for decades with Syria, but have now agreed — under immense U.S. pressure — to sever diplomatic relations while helping destroy the Syrian government by funneling guns and foreign fighters into the country, further destabilizing a region not yet recovered from the Iraq war. Obama’s Syria policy has turned an already-fragile region into a smoldering tinderbox.
If Obama were to suddenly tell his anti-Syria coalition that he’s realized his efforts at regime change have failed and that he would instead pursue a peaceful solution, his allies and Middle East lackeys would be less willing in the future to prostitute themselves for the foreign policy of the United States; and the U.S. would thus find it more difficult in the future to pursue “regime change” politics abroad. If Obama doesn’t back up his “Assad must go” demand, the U.S. will be unable to make such threats in the future; and U.S. foreign policy is heavily dependent on this type of political bullying.
Furthermore, Obama’s anti-Syria puppet coalition is taking tremendous political risks when it shamelessly follows in Obama’s footsteps, since the U.S. is terribly unpopular throughout the Arab world. This unpopularity is further proof that the “official” Syrian opposition that is asking for U.S. intervention has zero credibility in Syria, since very few Syrians would like to invite the U.S. military to “liberate” their country, especially after the “successful” liberations of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya.
Obama, too, is worried about domestic politics in his own country over Syria. He knows that Americans are sick of Middle East wars, while the American public is also worried that arming the Syrian rebels would mean giving guns to the very same people that America is supposedly fighting a “war on terror” against.
In response to this concern Obama has said that the U.S. will only give arms to “moderate” rebels. A European Union diplomat mockingly responded:
“It would be the first conflict where we pretend we could create peace by delivering arms… If you pretend to know where the weapons will end up, then it would be the first war in history where this is possible. We have seen it in Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq. Weapons don’t disappear; they pop up where they are needed.”
In Syria U.S. weapons will thus end up in the hands of the extremists doing the majority of the fighting. These are the people who will be in power if Syria’s government falls, unless a full U.S. invasion and Iraq-style occupation occurs. It’s difficult to decide which outcome would be worse for the Syrian people.
It’s now obvious that President Obama is escalating the Syrian conflict because his prized rebels have been beaten on the battlefield. Obama has thus chosen the military tactic of brinksmanship, a risky strategy that involves intentionally escalating a conflict in the hopes that either your opponent gives in to your demands (regime change), or your opponent gives you an excuse to invade.
Here’s how former U.S. General Wesley Clark explains Obama’s brinkmanship tactic in a New York Times op-ed, which is worth quoting at length:
“President Obama’s decision to supply small arms and ammunition to the rebels is a step, possibly just the first,toward direct American intervention. It raises risks for all parties, and especially for Mr. Assad, who knows that he cannot prevail, even with Russian and Iranian military aid, if the United States becomes fully engaged. We used a similar strategy against the Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic in Kosovo in 1999, where I commanded American forces, and showed that NATO had the resolve to escalate.
“The risk of going beyond lethal aid to establishing a no-fly zone to keep Mr. Assad’s planes grounded or safe zones to protect refugees — options under consideration in Washington — is that we would find it hard to pull back if our side began losing. Given the rebels’ major recent setbacks, can we rule out using air power or sending in ground troops?
“Yet the sum total of risks — higher oil prices, a widening war — also provide Syria (and its patrons, Iran and Russia) a motive to negotiate.” [emphasis added]
Clark’s innocent sounding “no-fly zone” is in fact a clever euphemism for all-out war, since no-fly zones require you destroy the enemy’s air force, surface to air missiles, and other infrastructure.
In Libya Obama swiftly turned a no-fly zone into a full-scale invasion and regime change, in violation of international law. A no-fly zone in Syria would also immediately turn into an invasion and “regime change,” with the possibility that the U.S. or Israel would exploit the “fog of war” to attack Iran.
All of this madness could be stopped immediately if Obama publicly announced that the Syrian rebels have lost the war — since they have — and will be cut off politically, financially, and militarily by the U.S. if they do not immediately proceed to negotiations with the Syrian government. But this peaceful approach will instead be ignored in favor of untold thousands more dead, millions more made refugees, and a broader regional fracturing of Middle East civilization.
While the global elite construct underground bunkers, eat organic and hoard seeds in Arctic vaults; the global poor are being slowly starved thanks to high commodity prices and poisoned with genetically modified (GMO) food. Austerity measures aimed largely at the poor are being imposed on all the nations of the world. Weather events grow more deadly and brushfire wars more frequent. An AK-47 can be obtained for $49 in the markets of West Africa. The depopulation campaign of the inbred Illuminatibankers is accelerating.
In 1957 President Dwight Eisenhower, who later warned of a “military-industrial complex”, commissioned a panel of scientists to study the issue of overpopulation. The scientists put forth Alternatives I, II and III, advocating both the release of deadly viruses and perpetual warfare as means to decrease world population.
The first supposition dovetailed nicely with the pharmaceutical interests of the Rockefellers. According to Nexus magazine, the Rockefellers own one-half of the US pharmaceutical industry, which would reap billions developing medicines to “battle” the deadly viruses about to be released.
In 1969 the Senate Church Committee discovered that the US Defense Department (DOD) had requested a budget of tens of millions of taxpayer dollars for a program to speed development of new viruses which target and destroy the human immune system. DOD officials testified before Congress that they planned to produce, “a synthetic biological agent, an agent that does not naturally exist and for which no natural immunity could be acquired… Most important is that it might be refractory to the immunological and therapeutic processes upon which we depend to maintain our relative freedom from infectious disease.” House Bill 5090 authorized the funds and MK-NAOMI was carried out at Fort Detrick, Maryland.
Out of this research came the AIDS virus which was targeted at “undesirable elements” of the population. The first AIDS viruses were administered through a massive smallpox vaccine campaign in central and southern Africa by the World Health Organization in 1977. A year later ads appeared in major US newspapers soliciting “promiscuous gay male volunteers” to take part in a Hepatitis B vaccine study. 
The program targeted male homosexuals age 20-40 in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, St. Louis and San Francisco. It was administered by the US Centers for Disease Control which, under its earlier incarnation as the US Public Health Department in Atlanta, oversaw the Tuskegee syphilis experiments on African American males. 
San Francisco has been a target of numerous CIA experiments, due to its high population of left-leaning and gay citizens, which the Illuminati views as “undesirables”. According to Dr. Eva Snead, San Francisco has one of the highest cancer rates in the country. For years, malathion – first developed by the Nazis – was sprayed over the city by helicopters from the CIA’s Evergreen Air, whose Arizona base is used, according to author William Cooper, as CIA transshipment point for Columbian cocaine. The mysterious Legionnaire’s Disease occurs often in San Francisco and the CIA’s MK-ULTRA mind control bad acid program was based there.
The intellectual force behind the introduction of AIDS was the Bilderberger Group, which became fixated on population control after WWII. Author Cooper says the Policy Committee of the Bilderbergers gave orders to DOD to introduce the AIDS virus. The Bilderbergers are close to the Club of Rome, which was founded on a Rockefeller estate near Bellagio, Italy and is backed by the same European Black Nobility who frequent Bilderberger meetings. A 1968 study by the Club of Rome advocated lowering the birth rate and increasing the death rate. Club founder Dr. Aurelio Peccei made a top-secret recommendation to introduce a microbe that would attack the auto-immune system, then develop a vaccine as a prophylactic for the global elite. 
One month after the 1968 Club of Rome meeting Paul Ehrlich published The Population Bomb. The book hints at a draconian depopulation plan in the works. On page seventeen Ehrlich writes, “The problem could have been avoided by population control…so that a ‘death rate solution’ did not have to occur.” A year later MK-NAOMI was born. Peccei himself authored the Club of Rome’s much-touted Global 2000 report, which President Jimmy Carter pushed on his BCCI shakedown cruise of Africa. Peccei wrote in the report, “Man is now vested with unprecedented, tremendous responsibilities and thrown into the role of moderator of life on the planet- including his own”.
The Bilderbergers were behind the Haig-Kissinger Depopulation Policy, a driving force at the State Department and administered by the National Security Council. Pressure is applied to Third World countries to reduce their populations. Those that do not comply see their US aid withheld or are subject to Pink Plan low-intensity war that targets civilians, especially women of child-bearing age. In Africa famine and brush-fire wars are encouraged. AK-47 rifles can be bought at West African markets for under $50. The same is true in the markets of Peshawar, Pakistan. In 1975, a year after attending a Club of Rome conference on the topic, Secretary of State Kissinger founded the Office of Population Affairs (OPA).
DOD officials testified before Congress that they planned to produce, “a synthetic biological agent, an agent that does not naturally exist and for which no natural immunity could be acquired… Most important is that it might be refractory to the immunological and therapeutic processes upon which we depend to maintain our relative freedom from infectious disease.”
Latin American OPA case officer Thomas Ferguson spilled the beans on OPA’s agenda when he stated, “There is a single theme behind all our work; we must reduce population levels. Either they do it our way, through nice clean methods or they will get the kind of mess that we have in El Salvador, or in Iran, or in Beirut…Once population is out of control it requires authoritarian government, even fascism, to reduce it…The professionals aren’t interested in reducing population for humanitarian reasons…Civil wars are somewhat drawn-out ways to reduce population. The quickest way to reduce population is through famine like in Africa. We go into a country and say, here is your goddamn development plan. Throw it out the window. Start looking at your population…if you don’t …then you’ll have an El Salvador or an Iran, or worse, a Cambodia”. 
Ferguson said of El Salvador, “To accomplish what the State Department deems adequate population control, the civil war (run by CIA) would have to be greatly expanded. You have to pull all the males into fighting and kill significant numbers of fertile, child-bearing age females. You are killing a small number of males and not enough fertile females to do the job…If the war went on 30-40 years, you might accomplish something. Unfortunately, we don’t have too many instances of this to study”.
Report from Iron Mountain
In 1961 Kennedy Administration officials McGeorge Bundy, Robert McNamara and Dean Rusk, all CFR and Bilderberger members, led a study group which looked into “the problem of peace”. The group met at Iron Mountain, a huge underground corporate nuclear shelter near Hudson, New York, where CFR think tank The Hudson Institute is located. The bunker contains redundant offices in case of nuclear attack for Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch/Shell and JP Morgan Chase.  A copy of the group discussions, known as Report from Iron Mountain, was leaked by a participant and published in 1967 by Dial Press.
The report’s authors saw war as necessary and desirable stating “War itself is the basic social system, within which other secondary modes of social organization conflict or conspire. (War is) the principal organizing force…the essential economic stabilizer of modern societies.” The group worried that through “ambiguous leadership” the “ruling administrative class” might lose its ability to “rationalize a desired war”, leading to the “actual disestablishment of military institutions”.
The report goes on to say, “…the war system cannot responsibly be allowed to disappear until…we know exactly what we plan to put in its place…The possibility of war provides the sense of external necessity without which no government can long remain in power…The basic authority of a modern state over its people resides in its war powers. War has served as the last great safeguard against the elimination of necessary classes.”
Historian Howard Zinn described this conundrum when he wrote, “American capitalism needed international rivalry- and periodic war- to create an artificial community of interest between rich and poor, supplanting the genuine community of interest among the poor that showed itself in sporadic movements”.
The Iron Mountain gang was not the first to discover the virtues of war. In 1909 the trustees of the Andrew Carnegie Foundation for International Peace met to discuss pre-WWI American life. Many of the participants were members of Skull & Bones. They concluded, “There are no known means more efficient than war, assuming the objective is altering the life of an entire people…How do we involve the United States in a war?”
The Report from Iron Mountain goes on to propose a proper role for those of the lower classes, crediting military institutions with providing “antisocial elements with an acceptable role in the social structure. The younger and more dangerous of these hostile social groupings have been kept under control by the Selective Service System…A possible surrogate for the control of potential enemies of society is the reintroduction, in some form consistent with modern technology and political process, of slavery…The development of a sophisticated form of slavery may be an absolute prerequisite for social control in a world at peace.”
“…the war system cannot responsibly be allowed to disappear until… we know exactly what we plan to put in its place… The possibility of war provides the sense of external necessity without which no government can long remain in power… The basic authority of a modern state over its people resides in its war powers. War has served as the last great safeguard against the elimination of necessary classes.” Report from Iron Mountain
The Iron Mountain goons, though thrilled by the idea of slavery, listed as other socioeconomic substitutions for war: a comprehensive social welfare program, a giant open-ended space program aimed at unreachable targets, a permanent arms inspection regime, an omnipresent global police and peacekeeping force, massive global environmental pollution which would require a large labor pool to clean up, socially-oriented blood sports and a comprehensive eugenics program. 
The Iraqi genocide fulfilled the dreams of the Club of Rome Zero Population Growth maniacs, while also providing a testing ground for two of the war substitutes proposed by the Iron Mountain fascists: an arms inspection regime and UN peacekeepers. Both concepts gained traction in the international community thanks to the Gulf War.
Let the Iraqi Genocide Begin
Estimates of Iraqi casualties during the Gulf War are sobering. Some organizations like Greenpeace put the death toll at near one million people. It was a war in which the media was denied access on a scale never before seen, so casualty figures vary greatly. According to Tony Murphy, a researcher at the International War Crimes Tribunal, the US attack on Iraq killed 125,000 civilians, while destroying 676 schools, 38 hospitals, 8 major hydroelectric dams, 11 power plants, 119 power substations and half the country’s telephone lines. The attacks occurred mostly at night when people were most vulnerable.
In the months following the war the death rate of Iraqi children under five tripled. Thirty-eight percent of these deaths were caused by diarrhea.  Victor Filatov, a Russian journalist reporting for Sovetskaya Rossiya from post-war Baghdad wrote, “What further bloodshed do these barbarians of the 20th century need? I thought the Americans had changed since Vietnam…but no, they never change. They remain true to themselves.”
According to former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark, the US was found guilty of nineteen war crimes against Iraq before the International War Crimes Tribunal. The US dropped 88,000 tons of bombs on Iraq during the Gulf War and has rained down countless more bombs since. Many bombs were tipped with armor piercing depleted uranium (DU) warheads, which may account for chronic Iraqi health problems. Dr. Siegwart-Horst Gunther, a German physician who came to Iraq to help its people, became gravely ill when he handled just one cigar-sized fragment from a DU warhead. Dr. Gunther measured the tiny object’s radioactivity to be 11 microSv per hour, whereas an acceptable exposure is no more than 300 microSv per year.  Three hundred tons of DU ammunition was deployed during the war.
Many believe DU is responsible for Gulf War Syndrome, which has killed and permanently injured many US soldiers who fought in the Persian Gulf theater. Since 2000, nearly 11,000 US Gulf War veterans have died from Gulf War Syndrome, while the Pentagon continues to cover up this travesty.
Satanism & Psychotronic Warfare
The US also tested numerous top-secret high-tech weapons systems in the Gulf theatre, while utilizing some old low-frequency favorites. When Iraqi ground forces surrendered, many of them were in a state of delirium and lethargy that could have been induced by extremely low-frequency radio waves, which the US used as a weapon as early as the Vietnam conflict.
Yale University and CIA psychiatrist Dr. Jose Delgado studied mind control for the Company during the 1950’s as part of the MK-ULTRA program. Delgado determined, “Physical control of many brain functions is a demonstrated fact…it is even possible to create and follow intentions…By electronic stimulation of specific cerebral structures, movements can be induced by radio command…by remote control.”
According to a military document written by Colonel Paul Valley and Major Michael Aquino titled From PSYOP to Mindwar: The Psychology of Victory, the US Army used an operational weapons system “to map the minds of neutral and enemy individuals and then to change them in accordance with US national interests”. The technique was used to secure the surrender of 29,276 armed Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army soldiers in 1967 and 1968. The US Navy was also heavily involved in “psychotronic” research.  Many US soldiers who served near the DMZ that divided North and South Vietnam claimed to see UFOs on a regular basis. The Pentagon Papers revealed that an electronic barrier was placed along the DMZ by the secretive JASON Society.
Major Michael Aquino was an Army psyops specialist in Vietnam, where his unit specialized in drug-inducement, brainwashing, virus injection, brain implants, hypnosis, and use of electromagnetic fields and extremely low-frequency radio waves. After Vietnam, Aquino moved to San Francisco and founded the Temple of Set. Set is the ancient Egyptian name for Lucifer. Aquino was now a senior US Military Intelligence official.  He’d been given a Top Secret security clearance on June, 9, 1981. Less than a month later an Army intelligence memo revealed that Aquino’s Temple of Set was an off-shoot of Anton La Vey’s Church of Satan, also headquartered in San Francisco. Two other Set members were Willie Browning and Dennis Mann. Both were Army Intelligence officers.
The Temple of Set was obsessed with military matters and political fascism. It was especially preoccupied with the Nazi Order of the Trapezoid. Aquino’s “official” job was history professor at Golden Gate College. The Temple recruited the same Hells Angels who Billy Mellon Hitchcock had used to dole out his bad CIA acid. Its members frequented prostitutes where they engaged in all manner of sadomasochistic activities.  Director of Army Counter-Intelligence Donald Press revealed that Dennis Mann was assigned to the 306 PSYOPS Battalion and that Aquino was assigned to a top secret program known as Presidio.
Presidio is also the name of a spooky complex in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which Mikhail Gorbachev reportedly frequented as the Soviet Union was falling apart. Was Aquino part of an operation to “map the mind” of the Soviet Union’s last leader and induce him into proposing both glasnost and perestroika, the two free market policies that ultimately led to the Soviet Union’s demise? Remember the curious mark which suddenly appeared on Gorbachev’s forehead? Was he implanted with some sort of microchip mind-control device to make him think “in accordance with US national interests”?
Such Orwellian technology is marketed on a regular basis throughout the world. International Healthline Corporation and others sell microchip implants in the US, Russia and Europe. The Humane Society has adopted a policy of micro-chipping all stray pets. The State of Hawaii requires that all pets be micro-chipped. Six thousand people in Sweden have accepted a microchip in their hand, which they use for all purchases. Trials are also underway in Japan. In July 2002, National Public Radio reported a similar trial beginning in Seattle. Later in 2002, after a rash of suspicious abductions of young girls, BBC reported that a British company plans to implant children with microchips so that their parents can monitor their whereabouts.
Dr. Carl Sanders, a highly acclaimed electronics engineer, revealed that a microchip project he launched to help people with severed spinal cords was taken over by Bill Colby’s Operation Phoenix in a series of meetings organized by Henry Kissinger. Sanders says the optimal spot for a microchip implant is just below the hairline on a person’s forehead, since the device can be recharged by changes in body temperatures, which are most pronounced there. Interestingly, this is the location of the pineal gland or Third Eye.
The 1986 Emigration Control Act grants the President the power to mandate any kind of ID he deems necessary.  Researchers at Southern California have developed a chip which mimics the hippocampus, the part of the brain that deals with memory. Pentagon officials are interested in using it in experiments to create a “super-soldier”.  Another microchip called Brain Gate is being implanted in paralyzed people. It allows them to control their environment by simply thinking. 
In Iraq, psychological warfare gave way to slow genocide. According to UNICEF, as of late 2001, 1.5 million Iraqi children had died as a result of sanctions, while one child in ten died before their first birthday. Thalassemia, anemia and diarrhea were the biggest killers and could have been prevented were it not for a chronic shortage of blood and medicine in Iraq due to the sanctions. UN Committee 661 served as arbiter of what constituted a “dual use” item and therefore banned for import into Iraq. As of 2001, over 1,600 Iraqi contracts with Western companies for medical equipment had been blocked by 661. 
Yale University and CIA psychiatrist Dr. Jose Delgado studied mind control for the Company during the 1950’s as part of the MK-ULTRA program. Delgado determined, “Physical control of many brain functions is a demonstrated fact…it is even possible to create and follow intentions…By electronic stimulation of specific cerebral structures, movements can be induced by radio command…by remote control.”
The Gulf War decimated Iraq’s sewer and water treatment systems. Iraqis were forced to drink polluted water, leading to numerous health problems. Iraq was not allowed to import chlorine to clean the water since 661 deemed it a potential chemical weapon. Electrical power was rationed in three-hour daily increments per household since the Iraqi government couldn’t get the parts it needed to fix its power plants after the US bombed its entire power grid. With the devaluation of the Iraqi dinar and the ban on the export of 2.4 million barrels of oil per day, the average Iraqi lived on $2.50 a month- enough to buy a pair of shoes. The only Iraqis not affected were the wealthy elite, who had long ago stashed their savings overseas in US dollars.
UNICEF estimates that 28% of Iraqi children no longer went to school. Before the war almost all children attended. Often families could only afford to send one child to school because of the cost of simple things like backpacks, shoes and notebooks. Rafah Salam Aziz, Director of Mansour Children’s Hospital, said parents were often forced to make similar decisions about their children’s lives. Aziz said, “Many times it’s easier for a family to let a baby die rather than let the whole family go hungry and get sick.”
In 1996 Clinton Defense Secretary William Perry announced a new military buildup in the Persian Gulf. Soon cruise missiles were again raining down on Baghdad. Many nations now grew weary of both US bombing and the sanctions regime, which was brutalizing the Iraqi people while strengthening the grip of Saddam Hussein. Russian President Boris Yeltsin, whose country signed a deal with Iraq to rebuild its shattered oil sector, said he was disturbed at the use of “extreme and radical force against the Arab world”. The Russian opposition offered a more scalding appraisal. Alexander Lebed stating angrily, “The US is like a strong master who spits on everybody.”
Turkey, Jordan and Syria all expressed unease over the new round of bombing. Even the Saudis, where Islamic fundamentalism was on the rise and two major bombings had occurred at US bases, now refused to allow the US to use its bases to bomb Iraq. Many countries, including France, began openly flaunting the UN embargo against Iraq in the late 1990’s.
Dennis Halliday, former Assistant Secretary of the UN who initially headed the UN Humanitarian Program to Iraq, resigned his post in protest. He said sanctions were demolishing the very class of Iraqi people who wanted to create a better government in the country. He was scornful of the UN Oil for Food Program under which the US received 70% of Iraqi oil. Halliday stated plainly, “We are guilty of committing genocide, through the Security Council, against Iraq.”
Halliday’s 1998 successor was Hans Van Sponeck, who watched as the UN unfurled the UNSCOM arms inspection regime, paid for by Iraqi oil sales. US inspector Scott Ritter confirmed Iraqi suspicions that UNSCOM was gathering intelligence for CIA and Mossad. UNSCOM was just the latest CIA tool. In 1996 the Iraqi government claimed international relief agencies, including the World Food Program, which claimed to be helping the Kurds, were actually CIA operatives attempting to destabilize the country.
In fact the CIA had spent more than $20 million in its support of the Iraqi National Congress, led by long-time CIA surrogate Jalal Talibani’s PKK Kurdish faction.  In January 1997 Iraq uncovered two Mossad spy rings in one month following the attempted assassination of Saddam Hussein’s son.  Hans Van Sponeck had seen enough. He too resigned in protest.
In early 1999 it was revealed that the US had used UNSCOM to plant electronic bugging devices in the Iraqi Ministry of Defense. Arms inspector Scott Ritter said the CIA was using UNSCOM to “provoke a crisis”. In December 1998 UNSCOM, faced with the embarrassing accusations of espionage, pulled out of Iraq. On December 15th the US launched a new round of bombing. Ritter says intelligence gathered by UNSCOM was used for targeting. UNSCOM spokesman David Kay resurfaced in 2003 calling for a US invasion of Iraq. He now worked for SAIC, which landed numerous Pentagon contracts to rebuild Iraq.
Dean Henderson is the author of four books: Big Oil & Their Bankers in the Persian Gulf: Four Horsemen, Eight Families & Their Global Intelligence, Narcotics & Terror Network, The Grateful Unrich: Revolution in 50 Countries, Stickin’ it to the Matrix and Das Kartell der Federal Reserve.To subscribe to Dean’s weekly blog, Left Hook, go to www.deanhenderson.wordpress.com
-  Behold a Pale Horse. William Cooper. Light Technology Press. Sedona, AZ. 1991. p.166
-  Robot’s Rebellion: The Story of the Spiritual Renaissance. David Icke. Gateway Books. Bath, UK. 1994. p.305
-  Cooper. p.166
-  Ibid
-  Rule by Secrecy: The Hidden History that Connects the Trilateral Commission, the Freemasons and the Great Pyramids. Jim Marrs. HarperCollins Publishers. New York. 2000. p.114
-  Ibid. 116
-  “Child Death Rate Jumps in Iraq”. AP. Great Falls Tribune. 9-24-92. p.8
-  “Depleted Uranium”. Siegwart-Horst Gunther. Covert Action Quarterly. Winter 2001. p.2
-  Cooper. p.369
-  Icke. p.221
-  Cooper. p.361
-  Icke. p.223
-  Inquirer. UK. 10-25-05
-  PhysOrg News. 11-1-95 www.physorg.com/news7746.html
-  “Greetings from Missile Street”. Free Speech TV. Boulder, CO. 12-23-01
-  “US Economic Sanctions Taking Very Human Toll in Iraq”. Great Falls Tribune. 9-13-92.
-  “Slamming Saddam”. Time. 9-16-96. p.31
-  “The Unfinished War”. CNN. 1-6-02
-  Evening Edition. National Public Radio. 9-10-96
-  BBC World News. 1-8-97
Source: Dean Henderson | VeteransToday
Obama Is Making Us De Facto Allies Of Al-Qaida…
Thursday, while he was ringing in Gay Pride Month with LGBT revelers, a staffer, Ben Rhodes, informed the White House press that U.S. weapons will be going to the Syrian rebels.
For two years Obama has stayed out of this sectarian-civil war that has consumed 90,000 lives. Why is he going in now?
The White House claims it now has proof Bashar Assad used sarin gas to kill 100-150 people, thus crossing a “red line” Obama had set down as a “game changer.” Defied, his credibility challenged, he had to do something.
Yet Assad’s alleged use of sarin to justify U.S. intervention seems less like our reason for getting into this war than our excuse.
For the White House decided to intervene weeks ago, before the use of sarin was confirmed. And why would Assad have used only tiny traces? Where is the photographic evidence of the disfigured dead?
What proof have we the rebels did not fabricate the use of sarin or use it themselves to get the gullible Americans to fight their war?
Yet, why would President Obama, whose proud boast is that he will have extricated us from the Afghan and Iraq wars, as Dwight Eisenhower did from the Korean War, plunge us into a new war?
He has been under severe political and foreign pressure to do something after Assad and Hezbollah recaptured the strategic town of Qusair and began preparing to recapture Aleppo, the largest city.
Should Assad succeed, it would mean a decisive defeat for the rebels and their backers: the Turks, Saudis and Qataris. And it would mean a geostrategic victory for Iran, Hezbollah and Russia, who have proven themselves reliable allies.
To prevent this defeat and humiliation, we are now going to ship arms and ammunition to keep the rebels going and in control of enough territory to negotiate a peace that will remove Assad.
We are going to make this a fair fight.
What is wrong with this strategy? It is the policy of an amateur. It treats war like a game. It ignores the lessons of history. And, as it continues a bloodbath with no prospect of an end to it, it is immoral.
In every great civil war of modernity — the Russian civil war of 1919-1921, the Spanish civil war of 1936-1939, the Chinese civil war of 1945-49, one side triumphs and takes power.
The other loses and lives with the consequences — defeat, death, exile.
What is the likely reaction to our escalation from humanitarian aid to military aid? Counter-escalation. Russia, Iran and Hezbollah are likely to rush in more weapons and troops to accelerate the progress of Assad’s army before the American weapons arrive.
And if they raise and call, what does Obama do?
Already, a clamor is being heard from our clients in the Middle East and Congress to crater Syria’s runways with cruise missiles, to send heavy weapons to the rebels, to destroy Assad’s air force on the ground, to bomb his antiaircraft sites.
All of these are acts of war. Yet under the Constitution, Congress alone authorizes war.
When did Congress authorize Obama to take us to war in Syria? Where does our imperial president get his authority to draw red lines and attack countries that cross them?
Have we ceased to be a republic? Has Congress become a mere spectator to presidential decisions on war and peace?
As Vladimir Putin seems less the reluctant warrior, what do we do if Moscow answers the U.S. escalation by delivering on its contract to provide A-300 antiaircraft missiles to Damascus, which can cover half of Israel?
Obama has put us on the escalator to a war already spilling over Syria’s borders into Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan, a war that is now sundering the entire Middle East along Sunni and Shia lines.
He is making us de facto allies of the Al-Qaida-like al-Nusra Front, of Hamas and jihadists from all across the region, and of the Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi just severed ties to Syria and is demanding a “no-fly zone,” which one imagines the United States, not the Egyptian air force, would have to enforce.
Our elites shed tears over the 90,000 dead in Syria. But what we are about to do will not stop the killing, but simply lengthen the duration of the war and increase the numbers of dead and wounded.
At the top of this escalator our country has begun to ascend is not just a proxy war with Iran in Syria, but a real war that would entail a disaster for the world economy.
If the ouster of Assad is what the Sunni powers of Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Egypt demand, why not let them do it?
Anti-interventionists should demand a roll-call vote in Congress on whether Obama has the authority to take us into this Syrian war.
Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?” To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com.
This article was originally published at Creators
The End of Syria As We Know It?
Beirut — The short answer is Iran and Hezbollah according to Congressional sources. “The Syrian army’s victory at al-Qusayr was more than the administration could accept given that town’s strategic position in the region. Its capture by the Assad forces has essentially added Syria to Iran’s list of victories starting with Afghanistan, Lebanon, Iraq, as well as its growing influence in the Gulf.”
Other sources are asserting that Obama actually did not want to invoke direct military aid the rebels fighting to topple the Assad government or even to make use of American military power in Syria for several reasons. Among these are the lack of American public support for yet another American war in the Middle East, the fact that there appears to be no acceptable alternative to the Assad government on the horizon, the position of the US intelligence community and the State Department and Pentagon that intervention in Syria would potentially turn out very badly for the US and gut what’s left of its influence in the region. It short, that the US getting involved in Syria could turn out even worse than Iraq, by intensifying a regional sectarian war without any positive outcome in sight.
Obama was apparently serious earlier about a negotiated diplomatic settlement pre-Qusayr and there were even some positives signs coming from Damascus, Moscow, and even Tehran John Kerry claimed. But that has changed partly because Russia and the US have both hardened their demands. Consequently, the Obama administration has now essentially thrown in the towel on the diplomatic track. This observer was advised by more than one Congressional staffer that Obama’s team has concluded that the Assad government was not getting their message or taking them seriously and that Assad’s recent military gains and rising popular support meant that a serious Geneva II initiative was not going to happen.
In addition, Obama has been weakened recently by domestic politics and a number of distractions and potential scandals not least of which is the disclosures regarding the massive NSA privacy invasion. In addition, the war lobby led by Senators McClain and Lindsay Graham is still pounding their drums and claim that Obama would be in violation of his oath of office and by jeopardizing the national security interest of the United States by allowing Iran to essentially own Syria once Assad quells the uprising.” Both Senators welcomed the chemical weapons assessment. For months they have been saying that Obama has not been doing enough to help the rebels. “U.S. credibility is on the line,” they said in a joint statement this week. “Now is not the time to merely take the next incremental step. Now is the time for more decisive actions,” they said, such as using long-range missiles to degrade Assad’s air power and missile capabilities. Another neo-con, Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr. (D-Pa.) said the opposition forces risk defeat without heavier weapons, but he also warned that may not be enough. “The U.S. should move swiftly to shift the balance on the ground in Syria by considering grounding the Syrian air force with stand-off weapons and protecting a safe zone in northern Syria with Patriot missiles in Turkey,” Casey said.
According to some analysts, Obama could alternatively authorize the arming and training of the Syrian opposition in Jordan without a no-fly zone. That appears unlikely according to this observers Washington interlocutors because the Pentagon wants to end the Syrian crisis by summers end, the observer was advised “rather than working long term with a motley bunch of jihadists who we could never trust or rely on. The administration has come to the conclusion apparently that if they are in for a penny they are in for a pound, meaning would not allow Iran to control Syria and Hezbollah to pocket Lebanon.”
Secretary of State Kerry had meetings with more than two dozen military specialists on 5/13/13. The Washington Post is reporting that Kerry believes supplying the rebels with weapons might be too little and too late to actually flip the balance on the Syrian ground and this calls “for a military strike to paralyze Al-Assad’s military capacities.” A Pentagon source reported that the USA, France, and Britain are considering a decisive decision to reverse the current Assad momentum and quickly construct one in favor of the rebels” within a time period not exceeding the end of this summer.
Shortly after the meetings began, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia quickly returned to Saudi Arabia from his palace at Casa Blanca, Morocco after receiving a call from his intelligence chief, Prince Bandar Bin Sultan. Bander reportedly had a representative at the White House during the meetings with President Obama’s team. King Abdullah was reportedly advised by Kerry to be prepared for a rapid expansion of the growing regional conflict.
What happens between now and the end of summer is likely to be catastrophic for the Syrian public and perhaps Lebanon. The “chemical weapons-red line” is not taken seriously on Capitol Hill for the reason that the same “inclusive evidence” of months ago is the same that is suddenly being cited to justify what may become essentially an all-out war against the Syrian government and anyone who gets in the way. Hand wringing over the loss of 125 lives due to chemical weapons, whoever did use them, pales in comparison to the more 50,000 additional lives that will be lost in the coming months, a figure that Pentagon planners and the White House have “budgeted” as the price of toppling the Assad government.
“We are going to see a rapid escalation of the conflict”, a staffer on the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee emailed this observer: “The president has made a decision to give whatever humanitarian aid, as well as political and diplomatic support to the opposition that in necessary. Additionally direct support to the (Supreme Military Council), will be provided and that includes military support.” The staffer quoted the words of Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes to the media on 5/13/13 to the same effect.
A part of this “humanitarian assistance” the US is going to established in the coming weeks a “limited, humanitarian no-fly zone, that will begin along several miles of the Jordanian and Turkish borders in certain military areas into Syrian territory, and would be set up and presented as a limited bid to train and equip rebel forces and protect refugees. But in reality, as we saw in Libya a Syrian no fly zone would very likely include all of Syria.
Libya’s no-fly zones made plain that there is no such thing as a “limited zone”. Put briefly, a “no-fly zone” means essentially a declaration of all-out war. Once the US and its allies start a no fly zone they will expand it and intensify it as they take countless other military actions to protect its zones until the Syrian government falls. “It’s breathtaking to contemplate how this in going to end and how Iran and Russia will respond,” one source concluded.
The White House is trying to assuage the few in Congress as well as a majority of the American public that it can be a limited American involved and that the no-fly zone would not require the destruction of Syrian antiaircraft batteries. This is more nonsense. During the no-fly zone I witnessed from Libya in the summer of 2011 the US backed it up with all manner of refueling, electronic jamming, special-ops on the ground and by mid-July a kid peddling his bike was not safe. Over the 192 days of patrolling the Libyan no-fly zones, NATO countries flew 24,682 sorties including 9,204 bomb strike sorties. NATO claimed it never missed its target but that was also not true. Hundreds of civilians were killed in Libya by no-fly zone attack aircraft that either missed their targets and emptied their bomb bays before returning to base while conducting approximately 48 bombing strikes per day using a variety of bombs and missiles, including more than 350 cruise Tomahawks.
At a Congressional hearing in 2011, then US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates got it right when he explained which discussing Libya “a no-fly zone begins with an attack to destroy all the air defenses … and then you can fly planes around the country and not worry about our guys being shot down. But that’s the way it starts.”
According to the accounts published in American media, Obama could alternatively authorize the arming and training of the Syrian opposition in Jordan without a no-fly zone. That appears unlikely because the Pentagon wants to end the Syrian crisis by summers end, the observer was advised “rather than working long term with a motley bunch of jihadists who we could never trust or rely on. The administration has come to the conclusion apparently that if they are in for a penny they are in for a pound.”
In response to a question from this observer about how he thought event might unfold in this region over the coming months, a very insightful long-term congressional aid replied: “Well Franklin, maybe someone will pull a rabbit out of the hat to stop the push for war. But frankly I doubt it. From where I sit I’d wager that Syria as we have known it may soon be no more. And perhaps some other countries in the region also.”
The peace talks are dead because the U.S.-backed rebels are boycotting the negotiations, ruining any hope for peace, while threatening to turn an already-tragic disaster into a Yugoslavia-style catastrophe…or worse.
The U.S. backed rebels are not participating in the talks because they have nothing to gain from them, and everything to lose.
In war, the purpose of peace negotiations is to copy the situation on the battlefield and paste it to a treaty: the army winning the war enters negotiations from a dominant position, since its position is enforceable on the ground.
The U.S.-backed rebels would be entering peace talks broken and beaten, having been debilitated on the battlefield. The Syrian army has had a string of victories, pushing the rebels back to the border areas where they are protected by U.S. allies Turkey, Jordan, and northern Lebanon. Peace talks would merely expose this reality and end the war on terms dictated by the Syrian government.
A rebel leader was quoted in The New York Times revealing this motive for the rebel’s abandonment of peace talks:
“What can we [rebels] ask for when we go very weak to Geneva [for peace talks]?… The Russians and the Iranians and the representatives of the [Syrian] regime will say: ‘You don’t have any power. We are controlling everything. What you are coming to ask for?’”
This is the reality as it exists in Syria, and realistic peace talks would recognize the situation in Syria and end the conflict immediately.
But first the rebel’s supporters — the United States and its lackeys Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar — must acknowledge this reality and demand that the rebels forge ahead with peace talks, on threat of being cut off politically, financially, and militarily.
If this happens, war is over.
But if the war ended tomorrow, Syrian President Bashar Assad, would still be in power, and President Obama has said repeatedly, “Assad must go.” Obama would be further humiliated by his Syria policy if he had to again recognize Assad as president after spending a year recognizing a group of rich Syrian exiles as “the legitimate government of Syria” and after his administration repeatedly announced that the Assad regime had ended over a year ago.
More importantly, if Assad stayed in power, U.S. foreign policy would appear weak internationally, which is one main reason that the U.S. political establishment wants to go “all in” for regime change in Syria: super powers must back up their threats, since otherwise other nations might choose to challenge the United States.
This is the real reason peace talks will not be held. The U.S. and its European allies want regime change in Syria, and they are prepared to allow many more people to die to make it so. This was made clear by the Obama administration. The New York Times reports:
“[Syrian] President Bashar al-Assad’s gains on the battlefield have called the United States’ strategy on Syria into question, prompting the Obama administration to again consider military options, including arming the rebels and conducting airstrikes to protect civilians and the Syrian opposition, administration officials said on Monday.”
The above quote mentions “conducting airstrikes to protect civilians.” This is the infamous language of the UN resolution that allowed U.S.-NATO to intervene in Libya; but Obama immediately overstepped “protecting civilians” and quickly jumped into “regime change,” a gross violation of international law and a Bush-like war crime.
The UN — though especially China and Russia — have learned from the Libya example and will doubtfully ever again approve of a “protect civilian” UN resolution. If the U.S. intervenes in Syria, it will do so with a Bush-style “coalition of the willing,” i.e. U.S. allies.
Obama’s dream of having a post-Assad Syria is further complicated by the fact that Assad is apparently more popular than he has ever been.
Many Syrians that didn’t previously support Assad now do, having concluded that Assad in power is better than their country being obliterated in an Iraq-style invasion, or being dominated by Islamic extremists, as the majority of the Syrian rebel groups are.
Further helping Assad’s popularity is that Israel has bombed Syria recently on multiple occasions, while Syrians watch the unpopular United States funnels massive amounts of weapons to the rebels. As a result, Assad can now successfully portray himself as a defender of Syria’s sovereignty against foreign aggression.
But, Obama will not be deterred. After it became clear that the rebels were losing the war, the U.S. and its European allies removed the remaining legal barriers to further arming the rebels, while the religious leaders of Saudi Arabia and Qatar — both U.S. allies —assisted in the war effort by calling for Jihad against the Syrian government (the same week the leader of al-Qaeda did).
Behind this frenzy of rebel support lies the sick logic that, in order for successful peace negotiations to take place, the rebels need to be in a stronger battlefield position. Arm the rebels to the teeth for peace!
In response to this twisted logic, Oxfam International — a disaster relief coalition — responded by saying:
“Sending arms to the Syrian opposition won’t create a level playing field. Instead, it risks further fueling an arms free-for-all where the victims are the civilians of Syria. Our experience from other conflict zones tells us that this crisis will only drag on for far longer if more and more arms are poured into the country.”
Ultimately, the Syrian rebels would have already been defeated — and thousands of lives spared — if they had not been receiving support from the U.S. and other countries. The U.S.-backed rebels have said that a pre-condition for peace is “Assad must go;” but this demand does not coincide with the reality on the ground: the rebels are in no position to demand this, and the U.S. is using this unrealistic demand to artificially lengthen an already-bloody war.
Obama can either use his immense influence to end this bloody conflict now by withdrawing support to the rebels, or he can extend the conflict and further tear to shreds the social fabric of the Middle East, while risking a multi-nation war that history will denounce as an easily preventable holocaust.
Until a few weeks ago, political leaders in the United States and Western Europe had claimed with monotonous regularity that the government of Syria was on the verge of collapse. “Assad’s rule is coming to an end. It is inevitable,” Jeffrey Feltman, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, told a Senate committee in November 2011. “Assad’s going to be gone; it’s just a question of time,” then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared in November 2012. “I think the regime in Damascus is approaching collapse … it is only a question of time,” NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said last December. Only three months ago President Barack Obama averred that he was confident the Assad regime in Syria would fall. “It’s not a question of if, it’s when,” he said in Amman, Jordan, on March 22. Similar predictions from mainstream punditry are too numerous to quote.
All this was in stark contrast with our assessments from two years ago (“On current form it is an even bet that [Bashar] will survive, which is preferable to any likely alternative,” I wrote in the May 2011 issue of Chronicles), and from February 2012 (“The regime of Bashar al-Assad is… not in any immediate danger of collapsing; if there is no foreign intervention it may survive”). It was reiterated most recently in March of this year, two weeks before Obama’s statement in Amman (“The rebels are unable to bring down the government of President Bashar al-Assad, foreign political support and military supplies notwithstanding”).
I was right and Obama, Clinton et al were wrong. The proponents and opponents of Western intervention now agree that the tide has turned. Sen. John McCain, a hawk par excellence, declared that “Bashar al-Assad is winning” while visiting rebel-held territory last month to urge U.S.-led intervention. The fact that Bashar iswinning has prompted other, more levelheaded commentators to insist that we should stay out of Syria. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) warns that our record of arming “rebels” has resulted in a disaster in Libya and elsewhere. Writing in the National Review, Andrew McCarthy (former Assistant U.S. Attorney who prosecuted the “Blind Sheik,” Omar Abdel Rahman) ridiculed McCain’s call for yet another war. While rubbing elbows with Syria’s motley jihadists last month, McCarthy wrote, the increasingly senile Arizona Senator said that they “are just trying to achieve the same thing that we have shed American blood and treasure for well over 200 years”:
Yeah, just like in Benghazi. And in Egypt, where a pogrom against Christians is underway, and the Muslim Brotherhood government McCain joins Obama in supporting has just installed a sharia constitution. And in Iraq, where Sunnis and Shiites are back to slaughtering each other under the sharia constitution our State Department helped them write. And in Afghanistan, where, under a similar American-sponsored sharia constitution, the Taliban bides its time while the U.S.-backed Islamist forces turn their guns on their American trainers. And in Turkey, where an Islamic-supremacist regime jails its political opponents, supports terrorist organizations, undermines sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program, and gradually suffocates what was once a pro-Western democracy.
“Liberty is not spread by fueling sharia supremacists,” McCarthy concluded – and he used to be a proponent of military intervention, once. The Financial Times also used to favor intervention, but now its columnists admitthat “the fact that Mr. Obama is refusing to respond to calls for ‘tough action’ in Syria is not a sign that he is a weak leader,” it is a sign of his prudence. Writing in the Boston Globe, America’s leading foreign policy realist Andrew Bacevich warned that, on Syria, the U.S. Government “is manifestly clueless and powerless.”
The Syrian rebels are far from powerless, but they are utterly out of their depth. Their most recent announcement that they will not attend the proposed Geneva conference on the crisis unless their fighters receive new supplies of arms and ammunition is a sign of despair. They will not get anti-aircraft weapons they crave because no Western power will deliver such weapons to the bearded human flesh-eaters, the rhetoric in Washington, London and Paris notwithstanding. Their real message is that the fall of Qusayr has changed the equation so radically that the rebels do not want to attend any conference at a time of evident and increasing battlefield weakness. That weakness will be even more evident when Aleppo is cleared of rebel forces, which I predict will happen in the next two to three weeks.
Foreign intervention is bad in principle if no vital American security and economic interests are at stake. In Syria this is manifestly not the case. Foreign intervention is bad in particular if its likely outcome is worse than the status quo. In Syria it is clear that the only likely alternative to Bashar is a nosedive into terrorist jihadist mayhem. That is infinitely worse from the vantage point of U.S. interests, geopolitically as well as morally, than what we have now in Damascus. Bashar is certainly no John Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry, but he is the least bad option.
Beirut — A number of analysts and security experts who specialize in intelligence and security subjects in Lebanon and France have expressed this week shock at the way many Western authorities, including several in Europe and the United States, are avoiding engagement with the Syrian authorities and thus missing important avenues to help end the crisis in Syria.
This dismay follows increasing evidence of the grave dangers now threatening to turn Syria into a main operations base for anti-Western and anti-sectarian international jihadist groups and organizations. Some specialists spoke to “Afrique Asie” recently and expressed surprise and concern that authorities in the United States and Europe are deliberately ignoring the daily warnings sent out by intelligence and security organizationsin those countries including the Intelligence Community in the US with is comprised of the 16 American intelligence organizations , also referred to as “elements”. These are the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA),United States Department of Defense, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), National Security Agency (NSA),National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA),National Reconnaissance Office (NRO),Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency (AFISRA),Army Intelligence and Security Command(INSCOM),Marine Corps Intelligence Activity (MCIA), Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), United States Department of Energy , Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence (OICI), United States Department of Homeland Security, Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A),Coast Guard Intelligence (CGI),United States Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI),Drug Enforcement Administration, Office of National Security Intelligence (DEA/ONSI),United States Department of State, Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), United States Department of the Treasury, and the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI).
One of France’s leading experts on terrorism, who visited Libya and Syria after the start of the turbulences, concluded:
“It is understandable that the that authorities in the United States and Europe are deliberately exploiting the Syrian revolution to punish President Bashar Al-Assad for his policies of siding with Iran and supporting organizations, such as Hamas and Hezbollah, that pose threats on Israeli security. However, the real strangeness lies in the fact that those nations are continuing to provide support, weaponry, military training and funding to the Syrian opposition and the media, with their knowledge that the class dominating the armed Syrian opposition is that of Al-Nusra terrorists who are closely affiliated with Al-Qaeda.”
Discussing the reasons preventing those authorities from changing their stance, the acknowledge expert concluded that Western political authorities, including the White House, believe that the Salafist movement’s attacks can be controlled through countries such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Hitherto, the relationship with Bashar Al-Assad has proven his independence as well as his adherence to the policies that bound him to Iran and other anti-Israeli organizations. However, French, European and American security officials perceive this differently.
Most Western intelligence apparatuses sounded out their danger sirens pointing to the necessity of cooperating with Syrian security authorities. This is because the Syrian intelligence is still considered the most effective party facing Salafist movements in the Middle East, and the Syrian army is fighting “terrorist/jihadists” on a daily basis. In this context, the Syrian intelligence never lost the penetrations it had into Al-Qaeda and other Syria-based Salafist movements as part of it work of planning to neutralize future terrorist attacks. To this end, Syrian intelligence committed substantial resources and senior officers in pursuit of international terrorists who are currently based in Syria, but who are laying the groundwork for terrorist attacks soon to be executed in European capitals.
While the United States and its Western allies are offering military, media, financial and political aid to thearmed opposition in Syria, allied with Al-Qaeda and like movements, the Syrian intelligence continues to fight against terrorism on behalf of the world, but with no assistance from countries whose interests and people they are work to protect.
One expert posed a rhetorical question, “Imagine that an assassination as big as that of the “Crisis Cell” officers in Syria was executed during the time when we discovered that among the victims was one of the most cooperative Syrian people with the French intelligence services in the fight against terrorism. And what have we done to protect it? Nothing.” However, as the Syrian story puts it, the Americans might well have been involved with his assassination.
In addition to the death of the “Crisis Cell” officers, in July of 2012, in a complex security operation widely believed to have been executed by the Syrian opposition, Western authorities are in pursuit of Syrians officers who helped save the lives of thousands of French and other Europeans over the past years. It is worthy to note here that one of those officers was wounded and almost killed while he was defending Western embassies under attack by” terrorists.”
When the scholar was asked whom he meant by this and replied: “It is obvious Colonel Hafez Makhlouf, the competent expert in combating Salafist terrorism who currently resides in Syria. It was through the efforts of officer Makhlouf that the Syrian authorities captured a number of terrorist cells, and thus, thwarted major operations that were being prepared for execution in Europe in general, and specifically in France.”
For his part, the security expert and former Lebanese Army General Elias Farhat, argued recently that security operations targeting senior Syrian officers do not only affect Syrian security, but are undermine operations for weakening international security and strengthening terrorists around the world. This is because the Syrian role is viewed even by the US Intelligence Community as being effective in fighting “international terrorism”, and had it not been for the cooperation the Syrians provided to Western security services, “terrorist organizations” would have succeeded in many attacks on European capitals.
Regarding the impact of sanctions imposed by the United States and Europe on the Syrian officers for global security, General Farhat argued that what is incomprehensible is the self-targeting process today being carried out by Western powers because what they are doing with the Syrian security authorities is similar to refusing any help offered to save them from the monster of “terrorism.”
According to the Lebanese General, “Western authorities are providing enormous support for the armedopposition in Syria and they continue targeting senior Syrian officers, with sanctions, as well as planning and executing assassinations against the very peoples who helped save the lives of many Europeans. By doing so inlight of the internal security crisis in Syria, these authorities are curbing all future prospects for Syriancooperation.”
Indeed, Maj. Gen. Ali Mamlouk, who was largely responsible for security cooperation to combat international terrorism between the Syrians and the West in the past decade, was subject to the sanctions imposed by the United States and Europe. In addition, the “Crisis Cell” operation, which participated in the assassination ofagents who were undoubtedly related to the West, resulted in the death of a number of Syrian officers who were responsible for some key security cooperation between Syria and the West. The West is killing and sanctioning many of those who provide it with help.
Walid Zeitouni, a former Lebanese Army General and an intelligence and extremist movements specialist, claims that imposing sanctions on Syrian Generals and senior security officers by the United States and Europe “is suicide carried out by Western governments. These sanctions can only be categorized under stupidity, forthe assassination of the members of the most prominent cell in Syrian security was indisputably executed by Western intelligence agents. Moreover, imposing sanctions on Colonel Hafez Makhlouf came simultaneous to him achieving a lot of security accomplishments not only in favor of Syria, but also for the benefit of international security and that of the West in particular.
The West killing senior Syrian intelligence officers who are some of the key individuals fighting terrorists who are enemies of the West while claiming to fight terrorism while they are taking measures to intensify political, economic, security and media pressure on Syria and its officers and leaders, is self-destructive for these countries.
It is these Syrians are considered among the most effective forces combating global terrorism. While Al-Qaeda and the West are working hand-in-hand in their fight the Syrian army, the West is also busy conspiring against Syria, while engaging in, and aspiring for, the formulation of yet more sanctions against the population of Syria in order to achieve a purely politically motivated regime change. These sanctions are in fact resulting in the rise to power of fundamentalist groups promoting terrorism.
Moreover, there is no benefit for Europe in such a policy, as it targets those who offer help by killing some of their officers, imposing sanctions on others, and aspiring to transfer others to the International Criminal Court. Those being punished are the same people helping fight terrorism on behalf of the world – as with the cases of Colonel Hafez Makhlouf, Maj. Gen. Ali Mamlouk, and the officers of the “Crisis Cell”.
In both the Makhlouf and Mamlouk’s cases, both were blacklisted and sanctions were imposed on them by the United States and Europe, preparatory to transferring them to the International Criminal Court. However, this did not detour either gentleman from continuing to combat terrorist organizations funded by the West to fight President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime.
These organizations are working in parallel and currently are planning terrorist and security attacks in Western capitals, despite the fact that a number of Western and Jordanian officers have repeatedly certified that Colonel Makhlouf achieved numerous successes in the field of security, especially in the fight against international terrorism. Makhlouf’s efforts resulted in saving the lives of many Westerners who were targeted in their home towns by Al-Qaeda’s assets in Syria who operate a planning center. Makhlouf also arrested a number of senior terrorists in Damascus who confessed to planning for operations that were halted through the information offered by the Syrians to the West via intermediary security organizations in the Middle East. When the French requested that the cooperation with the Syrians be restored, their request was turned down, pending the French governments ending its fighting alongside the terrorists in Syria.
Brigadier-General Mahmoud Matar, who was involved in person during the Cold War in a Lebanese-Western security operation that led to foiling a Russian KGB operation to steal a Mirage Airplane from Lebanon to Russia, told “Afrique Asie”:
“It is unfortunate that the extensive presence of Western security agents in Syria is serving the aim to fight the opponents of terrorism, which is wrong. However, I expect that the West would conduct a comprehensive review of its policy in Syria, and that security cooperation between the West and President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime be restored, since the situation is now even worse for the West than it is for Syria.”
This is one subjects that is reportedly being analyzed by the by US Intelligence Community. It is to be hoped that Washington and Brussels listen and act appropriately. If so they will avoid a steep price for their currently flawed policy.
Why Washington and Tel Aviv Want Hezbollah to Keep Fighting in al-Qusayr…
Homs Province, Syria…
During a tour of some of the neighborhoods in Homs, Syria’s third largest city after Aleppo and Damascus, with a pre-conflict population of approximately 800,000 (nearly half Homs residents have fled over the past two years) located maybe about 22 miles NE of the current hot-spot of al-Qusayr, this observer engaged is a few interesting conversations. More accurately labeled diatribes–with some long bearded Sunni fundamentalists who claimed they came from Jabhat al Nusra, aka Jabhat an-Nuṣrah li-Ahl ash-Shām, “Front of Defense for the People of Greater Syria”), and were preparing to return to al Qusayr to fight “the deniers of Allah”!
It is the strategic crossroads town of al-Qusayr, and its environs, which whoever controls, can block supplies and reinforcements to and from Damascus and locations north and east. For those seeking the ouster of Syria’s government, including NATO countries led by Washington, were their “allies” to lose control of al-Qusayr it would mean the cutting off of supplies from along the Lebanese border, from which most of the local opposition’s weapons flow and fighters have been smuggled over the past 26 months. If the Assad regime forces regain control of the city, Washington believes they will move north and conquer current opposition positions in Homs and Rastan, both areas being dependent on support from Lebanon and al-Qusayr. Some analysts are saying this morning, with perhaps a bit of hyperbole that as al-Qusayr goes so goes Syria and the National Lebanese Resistance, led by Hezbollah.
If government forces can retake the city it will put an end to the Saudi-Qatari green light, in exchange for controlling al-Qusayr, of the setting up a Salafist emirate in the area which would constitute a threat to the nearly two dozen Shia Lebanese inhabited villages of the Hermel region. If the Syrian army re-takes al-Qusayr, it would also avoid the likelihood of a full-fledged sectarian war on both sides of the border.
Meeting with a few self-proclaimed al Nusra Front militiaman last week, in Homs, one who spoke excellent British English they had plenty to say to this observer about current events in al Qusayr to which they planned to return the next day to fight enemies “by all means Allah gives us”. One added, when asked if they had confronted Hezbollah: “Of course but Hezbollah can’t defeat us. Eventually they will withdraw from Syria on orders from Tehran. But first enshallah we will bleed Hezbollah with thousands of cut throats”, he boasted raucously as nearby kids cheered and gave V for victory signs, smiles, giggles and cackling all around.
Such Jihadist rants are music to more than a few US congressional and White House ears these days, as once more in this region, a major US-Israeli carefully calibrated regime change project, appears to be falling short.
This week, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted overwhelmingly to arm elements of the Syrian opposition with a recommendation to “provide defense articles, defense services, and military training” directly to the opposition throughout Syria, who naturally, will “have been properly and fully vetted and share common values and interests with the United States”. History teaches that the vetting part would not happen if the scheme is implemented, despite only a few in Congress objecting.
Perhaps lacking some of his father Ron Paul’s insights into US hegemonic plans for this region, Senator Rand Paul did object to the measure and he fumed at his colleagues: ”This is an important moment. You will be funding, today, the allies of al Qaeda. It’s an irony you cannot overcome.”
According to the Hill Rag weekly, veteran war-hawks Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham, flashed a knowing smile but gave no rebuttal, perhaps realizing that Senator Paul is a bit untutored on the reality of current Obama Administration policy in Syria generally, and for al-Qusayr, in particular.
Contrary to the shock and anger expressed by Senator Paul, American policy in Syria is to de facto assist allies of al Qaeda including the US “Terrorist-listed” Al-
Their victory according to US Senate sources would be a severe blow and challenge to Iran’s rising influence in the region and Iran’s leadership of the increasing regional and global resistance to the Zionist occupiers of Palestine in favor of the full right to return of every ethnically cleansed Palestinian refugee.
While Congress was considering what else to do to help the “rebels”, on 5/22/13, no fewer than 11 so-called “World powers” foreign ministers, including Turkey and Jordan, met in Amman to condem, with straight faces, even, tongues in cheek, the “flagrant intervention” in Syria by Hezbollah and Iranian fighters.” They urged their immediate withdrawal from the war-torn country. In a joint statement, the “Friends of Syria” group called “for the immediate withdrawal of Hezbollah and Iranian fighters, and other regime allied foreign fighters from Syrian territory.”
Not one peep of course, about the Salafist-Jihadist-Takfuri fighters from more than 30 countries now ravaging Syria’s population. The truth of the matter is that the governments represented by their foreign ministers this week in Amman, will follow the US lead which means they will assist, despite some cautionary public words, virtually any ally of al-Qaeda whose fighting in Syria may be seen as weakening the Assad government and its supporters in Iran and Lebanon.
According to one long-term Congressional aide to a prominent Democratic Senator from the West Coast, while the Amman gathering described Hezbollah’s armed presence in Syria as “a threat to regional stability”, the White House could not be more pleased that Hezbollah is in al-Qusayr.” When pressed via email for elaboration, the Middle East specialist offered the view that the White House agrees with Israel that al-Qusayr may become Hezbollah’s Dien Bein Phu and the Syrian conflict could well turn into Iran’s “Vietnam”. ..Quite a few folks around here (Capitol Hill) think al-Qusayr will remove Hezbollah from the list of current threats to Israel. And the longer they keep themselves bogged down in quick-sand over there the better for Washington and Tel Aviv. Hopefully they will remain in al-Qusayr for a long hot summer and gut their ranks in South Lebanon via battle field attrition and Israel can make its move and administer a coup de grace.”
The staffer followed up with another email with only one short sentence and a smiley face:
“Of course the White House and its concrete wall-solid ally might be wrong!”
The dangers for Hezbollah are obvious – that it may be drawn ever deeper into a bottomless pit of conflict in Syria that could leave it severely depleted and prey to a hoped for death-blow from Israel.
Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah and other party officials have dismissed that possibility.
The next few weeks may tell.