Talk about Fake News!! This shit being proffered by The Lamestream Media is the epitome of Fake News and the entire Political Establishment is enabling it and gobbling it up and perhaps Trump is too.
It makes no sense whatsoever for Assad to gas his own people at this point in time considering The West was softening its rhetoric & stance about Regime Change in Syria. It makes no sense for Assad to gas his people ever, and frankly, I don’t think he’s that stupid. Not to mention but I will, Syria fulfilled its agreement with The West, brokered & guaranteed by Russia, to rid itself of all its chemical weapons per the Wikipedia screen shot below.
If The West is hellbent on Regime Change in Syria, nothing Assad can ever or will ever do will be good enough. The West will find the pretext to turn Syria into a Failed State just as it’s done to Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya — and soon enough Iran. Ironically, the Gassing Pretext was used in Iraq as well under the aegis of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Hypocritically, Israel has approximately 160 nuclear warheads that have never been declared. In otherwords, Israel has illegal Weapons of Mass Destruction per United Nations’ rules, and The West doesn’t seem to care. So, when I see The Lamestream Media parroting The Deep State’s feigned concern about Weapons of Mass Destruction, I shake my head and laugh because I know it’s complete BULLSHIT!!! If The American Deep State, and The West in general to include NATO, truly gave a shit about illegal Weapons of Mass Destruction, then it would have conducted Regime Change in Israel long ago.
I have to say, it’s rather bizarre to type the phrase illegal Weapons of Mass Destruction. How nonsensical. Shouldn’t all Weapons of Mass Destruction be illegal? Or am I just being a Snowflake?
Wow!! One of the reasons I haven’t completed this blog post in one fell swoop is because the situation is still developing and it’s significant — about as significant as significant can be, meaning the consequences are existential. As we now know, Trump, at the manipulative behest of The Deep State appealing to his selfish and self-interested ego & hubris, ordered a Tomahawk Cruise Missile Attack on the Shayrat Air Base (where Russian troops are stationed) southeast of the Syrian city of Homs, the alleged origin of the Syrian flights that delivered the gas in the alleged Chemical Attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib Province. My only question is, why 59 and not 60? Was it Budget Concerns? Tomahawk Missiles cost approximately $1 Million a pop, so even though this amount is
Chump Trump Change for some, perhaps The Donald wanted to put a little aside for his vaunted Infrastructure Improvement Project that will be rolled out any day now within the next one hundred years or more. If it’s not because of Budgetary Concerns, can we start using nice round numbers, please? Or was one a dud?
Seriously though, The Media, and The Political Establishment in its entirety, is/are positively giddy and agog over this latest news. It’s somewhat of a vindication of Obama’s notorious Red Line abdication & capitulation, Nuclear Armageddon be damned!!! Frankly, it’s a despicable display of sadistic warmongering, but what else is new? The ghost of Curtis LeMay, not Joseph McCarthy, lives on and is very active haunting the Hallowed Halls of The Pentagon and The National Security State. If you believe in the whole Christian God/Satan Duality Story, I don’t by the way but it’s great metaphor, this is precisely what Satan wants — to destroy God’s Creation once and for all. Satan, as the Anti-Christ and Anti-God, seeks to destroy Creation/Life as the Anti-Thesis of its nemesis, God. And we’re almost there. It’s been nice knowing you, even though it hasn’t been. There is one Silver Lining if the metaphorical Satan has its way — The Colonel will be dead too, and that my friends, puts a huge smile on my face — from ear to fucking ear. I’m sure the 3 to 5 million dead Vietnamese agree. Do you hear that Colonel? I’m talking to you because I know you can handle The Truth — you fucking piece of shit scumbag.
Where’s The Beef?
Bold claims require strong, irrefutable evidence, especially if you’re initiating actions with dire consequences based on those bold claims. The LameStream Media has acted as a Pentagon Propaganda Mouthpiece on this story and most every story involving military matters & maneuvers. The Prostituted Press unconditionally accepts whatever The Deep State says is The Truth without any critical analysis whatsoever. The Lamestream Press is nothing more than a Propaganda Parrot. It simply has no credibility. There are zero, yes zero, exceptions to this rule. All Mainstream Media venues are on board with this. They all play, and work, for the same team — Team Moloch.
From the very beginning when this story first broke about an alleged Chemical Weapons Attack in Syria, the Talking Heads in The Media concluded, without a proper investigation like I conducted in my most recent blog post Legal Murder here, that the story was based in fact and it was clear & undeniable that Assad and his Regime were responsible. Flash some pictures of children suffering and in distress and apparently that’s all the evidence you need for a somnambulant public who will just take your word for it because they’re too busy buying useless shit or driving Johnny & Susie to soccer practice and then to McDonald’s to be bothered to learn The Truth. “It must be true what the media says about these distressed and dead children I see on the television. I mean, why would they lie about such a thing?” Good question — why would they lie about such a thing? More on that later.
So, who or what is the source of the claim alleging a Chemical Weapons Attack in Syria? But of course, it’s none other than the recently vaunted & vainglorious White Helmets of Oscar Fame. How convenient. How telling. Who are these White Helmets? I’m glad you asked. When investigating any bold claim, or any claim for that matter bold or not, always consider the source or sources. Let’s consider this source, because once we do, it says an awful lot about the bold claim. Here’s an excellent article from 21st Century Wire unveiling the lodestar de jour White Helmets. This organization Smells to High Heaven. I consider its bold claims dubious at best and certainly not The Truth until the claim(s) can be thoroughly vetted & verified like I did with Legal Murder which took me nearly a month and a half to complete. A month and a half? Ain’t nobody got time for that!! There’s a Pipeline to be built atop the rubble of bricks & bones that is soon to be formerly Syria.
This has to be historic low for Hollywood and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
In your average lifetime, everyone will get their share of war propaganda films. In America, it’s a kind of sacred tradition, where Hollywood does the job of revisionism, paving over an otherwise uncomfortable history with a new coat of celluloid. It’s necessary – not just to make us feel better about ourselves, but also to cover-up any inconvenient truths and high crimes of the state.
To be honest, when I first heard about this film being promoted by Netflix, I wasn’t surprised at all because ever since the Syria conflict began in 2011, the establishment media has gone out of its way to falsely promote it as a “civil war”, and have used the NGO known as the White Helmets which calls itself the ‘Syria Civil Defense’, as its primary media protagonist in furthering that narrative.
The fact that a documentary about The White Helmets received an Oscar Award simply confirms what a glorious bubble the entertainment industry resides in, and how easy it is these days for a documentary film to used for the purposes of propaganda and made to reinforce a mainly US-UK foreign policy project.
To Hollywood, it’s a feel good documentary, designed to make us feel good about a dirty war in Syria. But this is a level of distortion and spin that would make even Joseph Goebbels’ head spin.
In his essay published at Global Research, Dr. T.P. Wilkinson explains the liberal obsession with cosmetic revisionism:
“The “wrong war” thesis is elemental to what Carroll Quigley called “liberal imperialism” in his history of the Anglo-American establishment. Liberal imperialists, to which the faux gauche (the descendants of Fabianism) also belong, do not oppose empire. They simply want it to be more aesthetically appealing, and lost wars are most un-aesthetic. So what is the liberal imperialist’s answer to unappetizing military defeats? It is cosmetic surgery.”
Expensive war propaganda in Hollywood is nothing new. High profile films like Zero Dark Thirty, American Sniper and Argo were all released to much fanfare. Each of them fulfilled a role in forming a more perfect American narrative, and in some cases completely rewrote history altogether. But these were meant to be theatrical releases so naturally there’s a generous dose of artistic license taken by the director. Nothing unusual there. It’s what Hollywood does. These films also had some distance between the present day and wars which had already lapsed.
A veneer of integrity is always important. Hollywood still purports to put a lot of currency in the truth. During this year’s Oscars, The New York Times ran a TV ad (above) for the first time since 2010 entitled, “The truth is. . .”
This campaign is meant to decry fake news and its ugly cousin ‘alternative facts’ to show what high standards the mainstream media has – which demonstrates the delusional world the in which the establishment exists. Earlier this month, I wrote an exposé showing exactly how the New York Times has been America’s perennial leader in running fake news for the purposes of advancing a war agenda. It’s ironic that this advertisement would run on a night when an Oscar would be given to one of the most egregious propaganda films of all time.
Last Sunday night, The White Helmets, directed by Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara, took home an Academy Award for best documentary short. Unlike Argo, or American Sniper, this was a film about a war which is happening now, but this was not a conventional documentary film. The footage was provided by a terrorist-affiliated NGO based in Turkey, operating in Syria, and who is primarily funded by the US State Dept, the British Foreign Office, the Netherlands, and other NATO member and Gulf states to the tune of over $150 million and whose chief remit is producing US-led Coalition propaganda images for mass media consumption. The film, funded and distributed by Netflix, seems to be an extension of that remit.
Normally we think of documentaries as films that are supposed to speak truth to power, but this film does the opposite. It reinforces an Anglo-American establishment power structure responsible for one of the most violent, dirty wars in modern history. It reinforces a collection of lies placed on heavy rotation by the political and media establishments since the conflict began.
In every way, Syria is the wrong war. For the US and the UK, there’s much at stake – the legacies of two paradigmatic political figures, Barack Obama and David Cameron, along with the reputations of other architects of the west’s dirty war on Syria, like former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and British Foreign Minister William Hague. Back when the war was getting started, both Clinton and Hague were busy front-running their “Friends of Syria” whistle stop tour around the Middle East and Europe, securing Gulf cash commitments while grooming their hand-picked ‘opposition’ government in exile, holding court in various 5 star hotels in Paris, London and Istanbul. The US had tried this only a year earlier with Libya, and at the time in 2011-2012, they had every reason to believe that the Libyan formula could be repeated in Syria. Those hopes were dashed by early 2013, when it became apparent that Libya was officially a failed state. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of extremist foreign fighters and jihadi soldiers of fortune began pouring into Syria. It was an invasion. This was the West’s proxy army, ready to decapitate the government, dismember the state and destabilize the region – with the full blessing of Washington DC and its partners.
The Troika of Washington-London-Paris then doubled down by pouring billions of dollars in lethal weapons to various fighting groups laying in waiting in Turkey and Jordan, as well as those already active in Syria. There were a number of well-documented arrangements, but one of the most successful working models was for the CIA and its European NATO partners illegally supplying the weapons funnelled through Jordan and Turkey – and all paid for by Saudi, Qatari cash. All the while, the public were told by the US-led Coalition all of this was for the “moderate rebels” in Syria. These were meant to be the “freedom fighters” that Ronald Reagan referred to back in the 1980’s. As it turned out, these freedom fighters in Syria were a chip of the old block from the violent, psychopathic US-backed and CIA-trained paramilitary death squads which would wreak havoc and terrorise El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras. In Syria, they are much worse in fact, as they employed a potent brand of warped, radical Salafi and Wahabist religious fervour as the central axis of their self-styled, Medieval nihilistic raison d’etre. Yes, these are the moderates, backed by the US, UK, France, Turkey, Germany, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, every other NATO member state, and of course, Israel, who has skillfull as always by staying out of the media firing line (with the help of the media). It’s a collective project. Their mission: ‘regime change’ in Syria – to overthrow by force – the government in Damascus.
More at link behind title.
The White Helmets, described as Activists versus Jihadist Freedom Fighters/Rebels, are hardly an objective, reliable source. Per the article I linked to, they’re being funded heavily by The West and in fact may be a creation of The West so there is no independence. Maybe the claim is true about Assad and this latest alleged Chemical Weapons Attack, but they’ll need to come up with a much more convincing case than they have thus far. I’m skeptical and cynical when you consider The West, and specifically America, have been proven to lack credibility when it comes to these bold claims used as a pretext to military attacks and/or invasions/occupations. Remember the claims about WMD in Iraq? Those bold claims went virtually unchecked/unquestioned by The Lamestream Media and the actions based on those now established false claims have been disastrous. It destructively changed the balance of power in the Middle East, tipping it more to Iran’s favor by dispossessing Iraq’s Sunni population and replacing it with a vulnerable and tentative Shia-dominated power structure and governance.
Of course, we’re being told that the bold claims are backed up by serious, irrefutable “Intelligence Reports & Analysis,” however, the evidence cannot be revealed due to National Security concerns. That’s always the standby excuse when there is no evidence, isn’t it? “We can’t reveal why and how we know because it needs to remain confidential due to our National Security.” We’re just supposed to have faith and trust that giving them absolute power (unquestioned, unchecked and beyond reproach) to say and do anything won’t result in corrupting them absolutely. Sorry, but I’ve given up on that whole faith & trust thing long ago. From now on my critical stance is Where’s The Beef?
Why would Bashar al-Assad order a Chemical Weapons Attack approximately one week or less after Rex Tillerson publicly announced that the fate of Assad and Syria will be left to the Syrian people? Tillerson’s statement was no doubt welcomed as great news by Assad and more importantly the hobbled and depleted Syrian Military. They had finally garnered some breathing room and were making some headway in beating back the “Rebels,” only to sabotage all that ground gained by initiating a Chemical Weapons Attack? No way.
The Lamestream Media is presenting it as though Assad is a naughty little boy who took Trump’s campaign rhetoric and Tillerson’s latest statement about Syria’s fate as permission to do whatever he and his Generals like, and apparently they like gassing little children, so that’s the first thing they did. Ludicrous. Assad is not a naughty little boy — he’s actually quite intelligent and I assure you, he is not any where near as brutal and “in control” as his father was. If his father was still alive and in power, there would be no Syrian Civil War and there would be no “Rebels.” It is Bashar’s incompetence compared to his father’s tight-fisted acumen that has placed Syria in the precarious position of annihilation, but let’s not mistake incompetence for clueless, unbridled hubris, because that’s what a Chemical Weapons Attack would require, or one of the things it would require, concerning Assad’s state of mind.
No, it makes no sense for Assad and his Generals to have carried this out. The timing is too perfect for The West to make its case. It’s not a coincidence, in my opinion. This doesn’t pass the smell test and Russia’s explanations for what it was are also dubious and lack credibility. What really happened we will probably never know because First Impressions have been set like concrete for a new highway — a Highway to Hell. The Political Establishment was ready to roll with this right out of the gates as though they anticipated it and cooked it up and all of them, for the most part with a few token dissenters for good measure, are on board and relieved that Trump has come to his senses and sees The Light.
Trump’s Miraculous Transformation
How do we explain Trump’s miraculous transformation? His 180 degree turnabout? Just a week prior, Tillerson effectively said that America is taking a hands-off approach to Syria’s fate and leaving it to the Syrian people to determine Assad’s & their future. Then this. Of course, the excuse is that Assad engaged in a Chemical Weapons Attack and that prompted the policy shift. No, sorry, that’s too convenient and it was also too convenient that Trump ordered, or approved, the Tomahawk Cruise Missile attack while Xi Jinping was relaxing on one of Trump’s many gold sofas at his Mar A Lago estate in swanky Palm Beach, Florida. Mao Zedong is rolling in his grave.
Although I never voiced this opinion, I actually have entertained the notion Hillary would have been better than Trump in one regard. She’s predictable. She never gave the impression she was Putin’s Bitch, quite the contrary, in fact. Trump, on the other hand, did give that impression and if someone thinks you’re their Bitch and you turn out not to be, well, the implication and repercussion could be, and most likely will be, equally unpredictable.
Putin knows Hillary and knows how to deal with her. He may not like her, and in fact probably hates her, but for him, she’s predictable — an Open Book that’s easy to read. Trump is proving the opposite and that’s many more times as dangerous, hence the Doomsday Clock being set closer to midnight than any time since the 1950’s.
Making America Great Again by destroying the world. I mean, why not? What do we have to lose?
It’s that, I believe, but much more. I feel fairly certain this is what is behind it. From my blog post of November 10, 2016 entitled The Peaceful Transition Of Power here. I’ll provide a snippet below for your edification. Trump held out longer than most, so for that I’ll give him some credit. But ultimately they got to him. It was inevitable. Ordained. It could not be any other way. And so it is and here we are. And to think, I don’t get paid for any of this. If I did, I’d be wealthier than Trump, but The Truth or anything approximating it is worth Less Than Zero in our upside down world, so I remain a pauper in perpetuity singing to the mountain and the moon.
What actually happens during these meetings is anyone’s guess. But there is no doubt a substantial transformative process takes place. If it doesn’t take place with Trump, you can be sure he will be neutralized sooner rather than later, but I doubt it will come to that. What happens during this process is so powerfully persuasive, it can’t be resisted or overcome.
So, what happens? The Misinformers in The Deep State-Controlled Media will tell you it’s just simply the sharing of rather benign & innocuous State Secrets, but it has to be much more than that considering the About Face Transformation that takes place. The ripples, People. The unique wave pattern. The transformation is the ripple & the waves.
Some have claimed that the newly elected POTUS meets The Aliens or The Greys for the first time. That sounds rather far-fetched to me, but hey, You Never Know. It certainly would explain such a stark turn about.
Perhaps it’s similar to a Harry Potter Moment where The Deep State escorts the President-Elect to The Pensieve and shows them all that is, has been and will be and the experience is so overwhelming & breathtaking that the President-Elect is changed forever.
Or, maybe it’s as simple as The National Security State Goons strap the President-Elect to a seat in a clandestine theater somewhere deep in the bowels of The White House with a device to keep his/her eyelids open similar to A Clockwork Orange, and force the President-Elect to watch the REAL Zapruder Film of JFK’s assassination over and over again until he/she Cries Uncle.
If I had to guess, I say it’s something more akin to the last theory, but I don’t know. We should know, though, because what prevails from this process is a usurped & coopted former individual who has been transformed into a mere medium or instrument of degradation & destruction. They are given their orders, and the message is, if you don’t follow them, you will be destroyed. And those orders are, obviously, to rape Humanity & the Planet. The message is, keep people alive only to exploit them, and then discard them like you would a husk from an ear of corn. The goal, it seems, is to degrade, torture, denude and ultimately destroy all Life on Planet Earth, and that’s why I say You Never Know about the hyperbole above related to The Greys and Harry Potter. I mean, seriously Folks, something’s happening here, and what it is isn’t exactly clear. We need to make it clear.
More at the link to blog post above.
What’s Really Going On With Syria?
It’s not a simple answer. There are a number of things going on with Syria. Syria, and the entire Middle East for that matter, has had a tumultuous history. The region has seen more than its share of conflict and bloodshed since the beginning of time, or at least since the beginning of Civilization, and from what we’ve been told by Anthropologists and Archaeologists, it’s where Civilization took root. Syria’s history is emblematic of the history of the entire region. Western meddling & interference, once it was discovered this region sat atop an ocean of the Black Gold known as oil, has only served to exploit & exacerbate the perpetual internecine tension & tumult. There are multiple sectarian and factional fault lines vulnerable to exploitation and The West has adroitly used these to fracture and mitigate any form of collaborative & cooperative Pan-Arab Nationalism. BBC has a great summarized timeline of Syria’s Post-Ottoman Rule history that reveals just how chaotic and tumultuous its governance has been.
For those interested, the movie Lawrence of Arabia starring Peter O’Toole centered around the time frame shown in the screen capture above. It’s a great movie based very loosely on T. E. Lawrence’s book, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom. I tried to read this book but failed to finish it. It’s a tedious tome that will put you to sleep in a matter of seconds. However, I did manage to run across several beautifully written passages that are worthy of quoting because they capture the essence of the Arab psyche and disposition. T.E. Lawrence was an extraordinarily Odd Bird who was largely ostracized by his peers. He slept, ate, travelled and fought alongside the Arabs in their fight to throw off the yoke of Ottoman Rule. In fact, it can be argued that he aided them significantly in that endeavor, but alas only to see them subjugated, more indirectly than directly, by The West. The Middle East we know today is largely a Western Fabrication borne of that time. It was cobbled together without any idea or concern really for its complex future implications. Nation Building at its finest. Here are some of the more salient & pertinent T.E. Lawrence quotes from The Seven Pillars of Wisdom.
The common base of all the Semitic creeds, winners or losers, was the ever present idea of world-worthlessness. Their profound reaction from matter led them to preach bareness, renunciation, poverty; and the atmosphere of this invention stifled the minds of the desert pitilessly. A first knowledge of their sense of the purity of rarefaction was given me in early years, when we had ridden far out over the rolling plains of North Syria to a ruin of the Roman period which the Arabs believed was made by a prince of the border as a desert-palace for his queen. The clay of its building was said to have been kneaded for greater richness, not with water, but with the precious essential oils of flowers. My guides, sniffing the air like dogs, led me from crumbling room to room, saying, “This is jessamine, this violet, this rose.”
But at last Dahoum drew me: “Come and smell the very sweetest scent of all”, and we went into the main lodging, to the gaping window sockets of its eastern face, and there drank with open mouths of the effortless, empty, eddyless wind of the desert, throbbing past. That slow breath had been born somewhere beyond the distant Euphrates and had dragged its way across many days and nights of dead grass, to its first obstacle, the man-made walls of our broken palace. About them it appeared to fret and linger, murmuring in baby-speech. “This,” they told me, “is the best; it has no taste.” My Arabs were turning their backs on perfumes and luxuries to choose the things in which mankind had had no share or part.
To live, the villager or townsman must fill himself each day with the pleasures of acquisition and accumulation, and by rebound off circumstances become the grossest and most material of men. The shining contempt of life, which led others into the barest asceticism, drove him to despair. He squandered himself heedlessly, as a spendthrift: ran through his inheritance of flesh in a hasty longing for the end — the Semite hovered between lust and self-denial.
Since the dawn of life, in successive waves they had been dashing themselves against the coasts of flesh. Each wave was broken, but, like the sea wore away ever so little of the granite on which it failed, and some day, ages yet, might roll unchecked over the place where the material world had been, and god would move upon the face of those waters. On such wave (and not the least) I raised and rolled before the breath of an idea, till it reached its crest, and toppled over and fell in Damascus. The wash of that wave, thrown back by the resistance of vested things, will provide the matter of the following wave, when in fullness time the sea shall be raised once more.
If you follow the BBC Syrian historical timeline I linked to above, you’ll see Hafez al-Assad, Bashar’s father, brought a semblance of stability to Syria via a military coup he spearheaded in 1970 to consolidate power much like what Marshal Josip Broz Tito did in Yugoslavia. Tito had to hold together a sectarian nation comprised of many differing cultures that had a history of brutal & bloody conflict and he did it masterfully. Hafez al-Assad faced a similar challenge in Syria, and whilst Hafez was many times more brutal & ruthless than Tito, he also masterfully held the factionalized & sectarian country together and he managed to keep it secular which, you would think, is A Good Thing by Western Standards. If Assad and his “Regime” are toppled, Syria, I assure you, will neither be secular nor democratic nor civilized by Western standards in any way if it even manages to regain some semblance of stability and doesn’t remain chaotically failed in perpetuity. Now let me ask you, cui bono? Seriously, who would benefit from such a back asswards foreign policy? I’ll let you guess, but I already know the answer.
It’s true, Syria under the Military Dictatorship promulgated by Bashar’s father, Hafez, has ruthlessly beat down rebellious factions within its borders. From the BBC timeline we see that Hafez annihilated 20,000 civilians and combatants in Hama as a reaction to a Muslim Brotherhood inspired and precipitated uprising. Hafez al-Assad was ruthlessly squashing the Islamists in defense of a, albeit tyrannical, secular government. And whilst that sounds horrible to the non-violent Puritanical West and America (yeah, right, non-violent & Puritanical my ass), do any of you think America or any European country would be any different if a serious rebellion, instigated and enabled & supported by outside actors, manifested to a threatening degree? You’re naive to believe any European country or America would act any differently. The only difference is, it hasn’t happened yet in Europe or America, but mark my words, it’s going to happen, and sooner than you think, and mark my words again, when it does, America and any European country will act according to the Assad Playbook. That’s a guarantee you can take to the bank.
Hell, in America we don’t even have to guess what the carnage would be like, combatant and non-combatant alike, if a rebellion materialized that was a True Threat to any degree because we have evidence of what America has done when there wasn’t even a True Threat to any degree from a non-conformist group that wouldn’t toe the line. David Koresh and the Brand Davidians, anyone?
America has never had an amiable, working relationship with Syria, or has it? Certainly not officially, but unofficially, well, that’s another matter entirely. I’ll elaborate on that shortly — the unofficial relationship. The official relationship has been, to say the least, cold & distant — not even arm’s length. In fact, the first POTUS to visit Damascus was, of all people, Richard Nixon in June of 1974 when he was deeply embroiled in the Watergate Cover-Up Investigation. Here’s a photo from that visit.
Look closely at Hafez’s left hand. He has six fingers. The digit between the index finger and the thumb doesn’t look fully formed so the effect is likened to a crab claw. Weird. Cool. Far out. Awesome. For me, pointing out ruthless dictator’s foibles & flaws makes them more human even if they are more like a crab, although, a sixth digit could be an asset especially if it’s a sixth digit in your bank account.
America, and The West in general, has had a more collaborative & cooperative unofficial relationship with Syria, at least periodically. A not so well-kept secret is the fact that American/Western Intelligence Services used Syria’s State Torture Apparatus for purposes of Extraordinary Rendition as the following respective Guardian and Open Society Foundations articles illuminate and underscore. This is your country, PEOPLE, and Trump says he wants more, not less, torture. Despicable. Hypocritical. Evil.
In recent weeks, US officials have been falling over one another to denounce the brutality of the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria. President Obama has accused it of committing “outrageous bloodshed” and called for Assad to stand down; Hillary Clinton has referred to the Syrian leader as a “tyrant”; Elliot Abrams, deputy national security adviser under George W Bush, has called Syria a “vicious enemy”.
I can’t help but wonder what Maher Arar must make of such comments. Arar, a telecommunications engineer born in Syria, moved to Canada as a teenager in 1987 and became a citizen in 1991.
On 26 September 2002, he was arrested at JFK airport in New York, where he had been in transit, on his way home to Canada after a family holiday abroad. Following 13 days of questioning, the US authorities, suspecting Arar of ties to al-Qaida based on flawed Canadian police intelligence, “rendered” him not to Canada, where he lived, but to his native Syria, from where his family had fled 15 years earlier.
For the next 10 months, he was detained without charge in a three-foot by six-foot Syrian prison cell where, according to the findings of an official Canadian commission of inquiry, he was tortured. Arar says he was punched, kicked and whipped with an electrical cable during 18-hour interrogation sessions. He received C$10.5m in compensation from the Canadian government and a formal apology from prime minister Stephen Harper for the country’s role in his ordeal.
A decade on, the question remains: why did the US deport Arar to a “vicious enemy” country run by a “tyrant”? Was it because Canada couldn’t use torture to interrogate Arar, so they decided to send him to Syria, which would? Human- rights groups have long believed the unstated aim of so-called “extraordinary rendition” was to subject terror suspects to aggressive methods of interrogation abroad that are illegal in America.
US officials cannot feign ignorance. They had every reason to believe the Syrians would abuse Arar. Six months earlier, in March 2002, the US state department’s human rights report on Syria had concluded that “continuing serious abuses include the use of torture in detention”. Arar claims his Syrian torturers were supplied with specific questions by the US government; he was asked the exact same questions in Damascus he had been asked in New York.
After his release, in October 2003, both Syria and Canada publicly cleared Arar of any links to terrorism. But the US government – first under Bush, and now under Obama – refuses to discuss the matter, let alone apologise. The Arar case wasn’t a one-off. According to the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer, who has spent much of the past decade investigating what she calls “the dark side” of the war on terror, Syria was one of the “most common” destinations for rendered suspects. Or, in the chilling words of former CIA agent Robert Baer, in 2004: “If you want a serious interrogation, you send a prisoner to Jordan. If you want them to be tortured, you send them to Syria.”
More at the link behind the title.
After the attacks against the United States of September 11, 2001, the Central Intelligence Agency conspired with dozens of governments to build a secret extraordinary rendition and detention program that spanned the globe. Extraordinary rendition is the transfer—without legal process—of a detainee to the custody of a foreign government for purposes of detention and interrogation.
The program was intended to protect America. But, as described in the Open Society Justice Initiative’s new report, it stripped people of their most basic rights, facilitated gruesome forms of torture, at times captured the wrong people, and debased the United States’ human rights reputation world-wide.
To date, the United States and the vast majority of the other governments involved—more than 50 in all—have refused to acknowledge their participation, compensate the victims, or hold accountable those most responsible for the program and its abuses. Here are 20 additional facts from the new report that expose just how brutal and mistaken the program was:
A little over ten short years prior, The Western Establishment was hot on The Assads. They were enamored with Syria’s de facto Royalty. And why not? The Assads, Bashar and his wife Asma, are thoroughly Westernized. They dress and act European. Bashar, before he was selected to become the heir to Hafez’s throne, was studying to be an Opthlalmologist in London and his wife Asma was raised in London as a secular Sunni where she attended Church of England schools. Those who knew her well said you never would have known she was Muslim — she hid it that well. Don’t think this isn’t one of the reasons the Islamists hate The Assads in Syria — because they’re not Fundamentalist enough, or they’re not Fundamentalist at all, so, of course, it seems only ironically fitting America, and The West, decided that it’s important to intervene in Syria, just as it did in Iraq & Libya, in order to help transform Syria, like Iraq, into an Islamic Fundamentalist State just like Iran. Great plan, guys!! Really. Sheer brilliance. The Zionists in Israel applaud you and thank you for all the hard work at American Taxpayers‘ expense because we all know the chintzy, manipulating, clever bastards in Tel-Aviv would never use their own money because, for the most part, their own money is America’s money considering without America as its dupe & Sugar Daddy Benefactor, Israel would not exist.
The Assads were so popular with The West in the early 2000’s, Vogue, of all publications, ran a very flattering & endearing expose’ on them, or more specifically a fawning expose’ on Asma Assad. Here’s a reprint of the article below. Note that Vogue expunged this from their archives and pretends that it never happened. What cowardice. What happened? Why were they so taken with Asma one moment, and just like that, with the snap of a finger, they abandon Asma and her understated, elegant, sophisticated, refined style because…….because why? Because they were ordered to do so, that’s why. Vogue pulling the article and pretending it never published it is yet another example that The Lamestream Press is a propaganda organ for The Establishment and when it comes to matters such as Syria, all Mainstream Publications, and also many Non-Mainstream Publications with substantial audiences, must be on the same page, and that page now reads, “The Assads are pariahs and they must go.” Thankfully, Gawker, much to Peter Thiel’s chagrin, salvaged the illusive, expunged Asma Assad expose’. I’ll reprint it here for posterity in case, for whatever reason, Gawker decides to expunge it too.
Asma al-Assad is glamorous, young, and very chic—the freshest and most magnetic of first ladies. Her style is not the couture-and-bling dazzle of Middle Eastern power but a deliberate lack of adornment. She’s a rare combination: a thin, long-limbed beauty with a trained analytic mind who dresses with cunning understatement. Paris Match calls her “the element of light in a country full of shadow zones.” She is the first lady of Syria.
Syria is known as the safest country in the Middle East, possibly because, as the State Department’s Web site says, “the Syrian government conducts intense physical and electronic surveillance of both Syrian citizens and foreign visitors.” It’s a secular country where women earn as much as men and the Muslim veil is forbidden in universities, a place without bombings, unrest, or kidnappings, but its shadow zones are deep and dark. Asma’s husband, Bashar al-Assad, was elected president in 2000, after the death of his father, Hafez al-Assad, with a startling 97 percent of the vote. In Syria, power is hereditary. The country’s alliances are murky. How close are they to Iran, Hamas, and Hezbollah? There are souvenir Hezbollah ashtrays in the souk, and you can spot the Hamas leadership racing through the bar of the Four Seasons. Its number-one enmity is clear: Israel. But that might not always be the case. The United States has just posted its first ambassador there since 2005, Robert Ford.
Iraq is next door, Iran not far away. Lebanon’s capital, Beirut, is 90 minutes by car from Damascus. Jordan is south, and next to it the region that Syrian maps label Palestine. There are nearly one million refugees from Iraq in Syria, and another half-million displaced Palestinians.
“It’s a tough neighborhood,” admits Asma al-Assad.
It’s also a neighborhood intoxicatingly close to the dawn of civilization, where agriculture began some 10,000 years ago, where the wheel, writing, and musical notation were invented. Out in the desert are the magical remains of Palmyra, Apamea, and Ebla. In the National Museum you see small 4,000-year-old panels inlaid with mother-of-pearl that is echoed in the new mother-of-pearl furniture for sale in the souk. Christian Louboutin comes to buy the damask silk brocade they’ve been making here since the Middle Ages for his shoes and bags, and has incidentally purchased a small palace in Aleppo, which, like Damascus, has been inhabited for more than 5,000 years.
The first lady works out of a small white building in a hilly, modern residential neighborhood called Muhajireen, where houses and apartments are crammed together and neighbors peer and wave from balconies. The first impression of Asma al-Assad is movement—a determined swath cut through space with a flash of red soles. Dark-brown eyes, wavy chin-length brown hair, long neck, an energetic grace. No watch, no jewelry apart from Chanel agates around her neck, not even a wedding ring, but fingernails lacquered a dark blue-green. She’s breezy, conspiratorial, and fun. Her accent is English but not plummy. Despite what must be a killer IQ, she sometimes uses urban shorthand: “I was, like. . . .”
Asma Akhras was born in London in 1975, the eldest child and only daughter of a Syrian Harley Street cardiologist and his diplomat wife, both Sunni Muslims. They spoke Arabic at home. She grew up in Ealing, went to Queen’s College, and spent holidays with family in Syria. “I’ve dealt with the sense that people don’t expect Syria to be normal. I’d show my London friends my holiday snaps and they’d be—‘Where did you say you went?’ ”
She studied computer science at university, then went into banking. “It wasn’t a typical path for women,” she says, “but I had it all mapped out.” By the spring of 2000, she was closing a big biotech deal at JP Morgan in London and about to take up an MBA at Harvard. She started dating a family friend: the second son of president Hafez al-Assad, Bashar, who’d cut short his ophthalmology studies in London in 1994 and returned to Syria after his older brother, Basil, heir apparent to power, died in a car crash. They had known each other forever, but a ten-year age difference meant that nothing registered—until it did.
“I was always very serious at work, and suddenly I started to take weekends, or disappear, and people just couldn’t figure it out,” explains the first lady. “What do you say—‘I’m dating the son of a president’? You just don’t say that. Then he became president, so I tried to keep it low-key. Suddenly I was turning up in Syria every month, saying, ‘Granny, I miss you so much!’ I quit in October because by then we knew that we were going to get married at some stage. I couldn’t say why I was leaving. My boss thought I was having a nervous breakdown because nobody quits two months before bonus after closing a really big deal. He wouldn’t accept my resignation. I was, like, ‘Please, really, I just want to get out, I’ve had enough,’ and he was ‘Don’t worry, take time off, it happens to the best of us.’ ” She left without her bonus in November and married Bashar al-Assad in December.
“What I’ve been able to take away from banking was the transferable skills—the analytical thinking, understanding the business side of running a company—to run an NGO or to try and oversee a project.” She runs her office like a business, chairs meeting after meeting, starts work many days at six, never breaks for lunch, and runs home to her children at four. “It’s my time with them, and I get them fresh, unedited—I love that. I really do.” Her staff are used to eating when they can. “I have a rechargeable battery,” she says.
The 35-year-old first lady’s central mission is to change the mind-set of six million Syrians under eighteen, encourage them to engage in what she calls “active citizenship.” “It’s about everyone taking shared responsibility in moving this country forward, about empowerment in a civil society. We all have a stake in this country; it will be what we make it.”
In 2005 she founded Massar, built around a series of discovery centers where children and young adults from five to 21 engage in creative, informal approaches to civic responsibility. Massar’s mobile Green Team has touched 200,000 kids across Syria since 2005. The organization is privately funded through donations. The Syria Trust for Development, formed in 2007, oversees Massar as well as her first NGO, the rural micro-credit association FIRDOS, and SHABAB, which exists to give young people business skills they need for the future.
And then there’s her cultural mission: “People tend to see Syria as artifacts and history,” she says. “For us it’s about the accumulation of cultures, traditions, values, customs. It’s the difference between hardware and software: the artifacts are the hardware, but the software makes all the difference—the customs and the spirit of openness. We have to make sure that we don’t lose that. . . . ” Here she gives an apologetic grin. “You have to excuse me, but I’m a banker—that brand essence.”
That brand essence includes the distant past. There are 500,000 important ancient works of art hidden in storage; Asma al-Assad has brought in the Louvre to create a network of museums and cultural attractions across Syria, and asked Italian experts to help create a database of the 5,000 archaeological sites in the desert. “Culture,” she says, “is like a financial asset. We have an abundance of it, thousands of years of history, but we can’t afford to be complacent.”
In December, Asma al-Assad was in Paris to discuss her alliance with the Louvre. She dazzled a tough French audience at the International Diplomatic Institute, speaking without notes. “I’m not trying to disguise culture as anything more than it is,” she said, “and if I sound like I’m talking politics, it’s because we live in a politicized region, a politicized time, and we are affected by that.”
The French ambassador to Syria, Eric Chevallier, was there: “She managed to get people to consider the possibilities of a country that’s modernizing itself, that stands for a tolerant secularism in a powder-keg region, with extremists and radicals pushing in from all sides—and the driving force for that rests largely on the shoulders of one couple. I hope they’ll make the right choices for their country and the region. ”
Damascus evokes a dusty version of a Mediterranean hill town in an Eastern-bloc country. The courtyard of the Umayyad Mosque at night looks exactly like St. Mark’s square in Venice. When I first arrive, I’m met on the tarmac by a minder, who gives me a bouquet of white roses and lends me a Syrian cell phone; the head minder, a high-profile American PR, joins us the next day. The first lady’s office has provided drivers, so I shop and see sights in a bubble of comfort and hospitality. On the rare occasions I am out alone, a random series of men in leather jackets seems to be keeping close tabs on what I am doing and where I am headed.
“I like things I can touch. I like to get out and meet people and do things,” the first lady says as we set off for a meeting in a museum and a visit to an orphanage. “As a banker, you have to be so focused on the job at hand that you lose the experience of the world around you. My husband gave me back something I had lost.”
She slips behind the wheel of a plain SUV, a walkie-talkie and her cell thrown between the front seats and a Syrian-silk Louboutin tote on top. She does what the locals do—swerves to avoid crazy men who run across busy freeways, misses her turn, checks your seat belt, points out sights, and then can’t find a parking space. When a traffic cop pulls her over at a roundabout, she lowers the tinted window and dips her head with a playful smile. The cop’s eyes go from slits to saucers.
Her younger brother Feras, a surgeon who moved to Syria to start a private health-care group, says, “Her intelligence is both intellectual and emotional, and she’s a master at harmonizing when, and how much, to use of each one.”
In the Saint Paul orphanage, maintained by the Melkite–Greek Catholic patriarchate and run by the Basilian sisters of Aleppo, Asma sits at a long table with the children. Two little boys in new glasses and thick sweaters are called Yussuf. She asks them what kind of music they like. “Sad music,” says one. In the room where she’s had some twelve computers installed, the first lady tells a nun, “I hope you’re letting the younger children in here go crazy on the computers.” The nun winces: “The children are afraid to learn in case they don’t have access to computers when they leave here,” she says.
In the courtyard by the wall down which Saint Paul escaped in a basket 2,000 years ago, an old tree bears gigantic yellow fruit I have never seen before. Citrons. Cédrats in French.
Back in the car, I ask what religion the orphans are. “It’s not relevant,” says Asma al-Assad. “Let me try to explain it to you. That church is a part of my heritage because it’s a Syrian church. The Umayyad Mosque is the third-most-important holy Muslim site, but within the mosque is the tomb of Saint John the Baptist. We all kneel in the mosque in front of the tomb of Saint John the Baptist. That’s how religions live together in Syria—a way that I have never seen anywhere else in the world. We live side by side, and have historically. All the religions and cultures that have passed through these lands—the Armenians, Islam, Christianity, the Umayyads, the Ottomans—make up who I am.”
“Does that include the Jews?” I ask.
“And the Jews,” she answers. “There is a very big Jewish quarter in old Damascus.”
The Jewish quarter of Damascus spans a few abandoned blocks in the old city that emptied out in 1992, when most of the Syrian Jews left. Their houses are sealed up and have not been touched, because, as people like to tell you, Syrians don’t touch the property of others. The broken glass and sagging upper floors tell a story you don’t understand—are the owners coming back to claim them one day?
The presidential family lives surrounded by neighbors in a modern apartment in Malki. On Friday, the Muslim day of rest, Asma al-Assad opens the door herself in jeans and old suede stiletto boots, hair in a ponytail, the word happiness spelled out across the back of her T-shirt. At the bottom of the stairs stands the off-duty president in jeans—tall, long-necked, blue-eyed. A precise man who takes photographs and talks lovingly about his first computer, he says he was attracted to studying eye surgery “because it’s very precise, it’s almost never an emergency, and there is very little blood.”
The old al-Assad family apartment was remade into a child-friendly triple-decker playroom loft surrounded by immense windows on three sides. With neither shades nor curtains, it’s a fishbowl. Asma al-Assad likes to say, “You’re safe because you are surrounded by people who will keep you safe.” Neighbors peer in, drop by, visit, comment on the furniture. The president doesn’t mind: “This curiosity is good: They come to see you, they learn more about you. You don’t isolate yourself.”
There’s a decorated Christmas tree. Seven-year-old Zein watches Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland on the president’s iMac; her brother Karim, six, builds a shark out of Legos; and nine-year-old Hafez tries out his new electric violin. All three go to a Montessori school.
Asma al-Assad empties a box of fondue mix into a saucepan for lunch. The household is run on wildly democratic principles. “We all vote on what we want, and where,” she says. The chandelier over the dining table is made of cut-up comic books. “They outvoted us three to two on that.”
A grid is drawn on a blackboard, with ticks for each member of the family. “We were having trouble with politeness, so we made a chart: ticks for when they spoke as they should, and a cross if they didn’t.” There’s a cross next to Asma’s name. “I shouted,” she confesses. “I can’t talk about empowering young people, encouraging them to be creative and take responsibility, if I’m not like that with my own children.”
“The first challenge for us was, Who’s going to define our lives, us or the position?” says the president. “We wanted to live our identity honestly.”
They announced their marriage in January 2001, after the ceremony, which they kept private. There was deliberately no photograph of Asma. “The British media picked that up as: Now she’s moved into the presidential palace, never to be seen again!” says Asma, laughing.
They had a reason: “She spent three months incognito,” says the president. “Before I had any official engagement,” says the first lady, “I went to 300 villages, every governorate, hospitals, farms, schools, factories, you name it—I saw everything to find out where I could be effective. A lot of the time I was somebody’s ‘assistant’ carrying the bag, doing this and that, taking notes. Nobody asked me if I was the first lady; they had no idea.”
“That way,” adds the president, “she started her NGO before she was ever seen in public as my wife. Then she started to teach people that an NGO is not a charity.”
Neither of them believes in charity for the sake of charity. “We have the Iraqi refugees,” says the president. “Everybody is talking about it as a political problem or as welfare, charity. I say it’s neither—it’s about cultural philosophy. We have to help them. That’s why the first thing I did is to allow the Iraqis to go into schools. If they don’t have an education, they will go back as a bomb, in every way: terrorism, extremism, drug dealers, crime. If I have a secular and balanced neighbor, I will be safe.”
When Angelina Jolie came with Brad Pitt for the United Nations in 2009, she was impressed by the first lady’s efforts to encourage empowerment among Iraqi and Palestinian refugees but alarmed by the Assads’ idea of safety.
“My husband was driving us all to lunch,” says Asma al-Assad, “and out of the corner of my eye I could see Brad Pitt was fidgeting. I turned around and asked, ‘Is anything wrong?’ ”
“Where’s your security?” asked Pitt.
“So I started teasing him—‘See that old woman on the street? That’s one of them! And that old guy crossing the road?
That’s the other one!’ ” They both laugh.
The president joins in the punch line: “Brad Pitt wanted to send his security guards here to come and get some training!”
After lunch, Asma al-Assad drives to the airport, where a Falcon 900 is waiting to take her to Massar in Latakia, on the coast. When she lands, she jumps behind the wheel of another SUV waiting on the tarmac. This is the kind of surprise visit she specializes in, but she has no idea how many kids will turn up at the community center on a rainy Friday.
As it turns out, it’s full. Since the first musical notation was discovered nearby, at Ugarit, the immaculate Massar center in Latakia is built around music. Local kids are jamming in a sound booth; a group of refugee Palestinian girls is playing instruments. Others play chess on wall-mounted computers. These kids have started online blood banks, run marathons to raise money for dialysis machines, and are working on ways to rid Latakia of plastic bags. Apart from a few girls in scarves, you can’t tell Muslims from Christians.
Asma al-Assad stands to watch a laborious debate about how—and whether—to standardize the Arabic spelling of the word Syria. Then she throws out a curve ball. “I’ve been advised that we have to close down this center so as to open another one somewhere else,” she says. Kids’ mouths drop open. Some repress tears. Others are furious. One boy chooses altruism: “That’s OK. We know how to do it now; we’ll help them.”
Then the first lady announces, “That wasn’t true. I just wanted to see how much you care about Massar.”
As the pilot expertly avoids sheet lightning above the snow-flecked desert on the way back, she explains, “There was a little bit of formality in what they were saying to me; it wasn’t real. Tricks like this help—they became alive, they became passionate. We need to get past formalities if we are going to get anything done.”
Two nights later it’s the annual Christmas concert by the children of Al-Farah Choir, run by the Syrian Catholic Father Elias Zahlawi. Just before it begins, Bashar and Asma al-Assad slip down the aisle and take the two empty seats in the front row. People clap, and some call out his nickname:
Two hundred children dressed variously as elves, reindeers, or candy canes share the stage with members of the national orchestra, who are done up as elves. The show becomes a full-on songfest, with the elves and reindeer and candy canes giving their all to “Hallelujah” and “Joy to the World.” The carols slide into a more serpentine rhythm, an Arabic rap group takes over, and then it’s back to Broadway mode. The president whispers, “All of these styles belong to our culture. This is how you fight extremism—through art.”
Brass bells are handed out. Now we’re all singing “Jingle Bell Rock,” 1,331 audience members shaking their bells, singing, crying, and laughing.
“This is the diversity you want to see in the Middle East,” says the president, ringing his bell. “This is how you can have peace!”
So, what the hell is going on? Don’t tell me it has to do with Bashar al-Assad violently repressing the Syrian version of a Color Revolution because, just a few years earlier, America had no problem with Syria violently torturing its own people and in fact America went so far as to contract out its heinous & barbaric torturing to Syria since Syria did it so well. The Western feigned moral outrage over Bashar al-Assad violently reacting to protests in Syria is not believable. So, what happened then? What changed?
Some, including Robert F. Kennedy Jr., believe it has to do with a proposed Gas Pipeline that was intended to traverse through Syrian territory. Allegedly, Assad refused to comply and approve the pipeline and instead is considering a Russian-backed & sponsored Gas Pipeline through Syria. Here’s what Jimmy Dore has to say about it.
This sounds plausible, but when you drill deep down into the details, it doesn’t explain it properly. Don’t get me wrong, America and The West in general, are only interested in The Middle East because of Energy, but that’s at a general level. When you get into specific actions and policies, there is much more to it than just that as the following informative article from TruthOut reveals and underscores.
It’s easy to understand why that explanation would be accepted by many anti-war activists: it is in line with the widely accepted theory that all the US wars in the Middle East have been “oil wars” — about getting control of the petroleum resources of the region and denying them to America’s enemies.
But the “pipeline war” theory is based on false history and it represents a distraction from the real problem of US policy in the Middle East — the US war state’s determination to hold onto its military posture in the region.
It is true that Qatar had proposed a pipeline to carry its natural gas to Turkey. But nearly everything else about the story turns out, upon investigation, to be untrue. There is no contemporaneous report of any such rejection by the Syrian government. It was only four years later, in August 2013 that an Agence France-Presse article recounting what happened in a meeting between President Vladimir Putin and Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan, claimed in passing, “In 2009, Assad refused to sign an agreement with Qatar for an overland pipeline running from the Gulf to Europe via Syria to protect the interests of its Russian ally, which is Europe’s top supplier of natural gas.” No source is given for the statement, but the main source for other information in the article was “a European diplomat who shuttles between Beirut and Damascus.”
That claim has no credibility for a very simple reason: there was no Qatari proposal for Syria to reject in 2009. It was not until October 2009 that Qatar and Turkey even agreed to form a working group to develop such a gas pipeline project.
Even more important, the immediate problem for Qatar’s proposal was not Syria but Saudi Arabia, whose territory the Qatari gas would have to cross to get to Syria. In January 2010, The National, a daily UAE [United Arab Emirates] newspaper reported that the main obstacle to the idea of a pipeline to carry Qatari natural gas to Turkey and then to Europe “was likely to be Saudi Arabia, which has a track record of obstructing regional pipeline development” and still had very bad relations with Qatar. And Middle East geopolitical analyst Felix Imonti reported at Oilprice.com in 2012 that Qatar had been forced to abandon the pipeline idea in 2010 because Saudi Arabia had not agreed to have it built across its territory.
So where did the idea that the Obama administration responded to Assad’s alleged rejection by shifting to covert regime change policy come from? Kennedy’s article asserts, “In 2009, according to WikiLeaks, soon after Bashar Assad rejected the Qatar pipeline, the CIA began funding opposition groups in Syria.”
But the article links to a Washington Post news report on the WikiLeaks cables on Syria that doesn’t support that charge at all. According to the Post report, the cables show that a London-based satellite channel called Barada TV, supported by the State Department, “began broadcasting in April 2009.” But they also show, according to the Post report, that the State Department had “funneled as much as $6 million to the group since 2006 to operate the satellite channel and finance other activities insideSyria.”
So the US funding for opposition groups in Syria aimed at exploiting the regime’s “vulnerabilities” had begun under the Bush administration years before any supposed Syrian rejection of the Qatari pipeline proposal. The WikiLeaks documents thus contradict the alleged connection between the pipeline deal and a change in US policy toward Syria. Moreover, despite the reference to Saudi and Israeli intelligence reports that WikiLeaks has obtained, no story has been published based on those leaked documents that supports the “pipeline war” thesis.
Furthermore, the pipeline theory ignores the fact that the proposed Qatar-to-Turkey pipeline was always contingent on being able to link up with a larger proposed pipeline — the so-called “Nabucco” pipeline going through Turkey that was designed by the EU to reduce European dependence on Russian gas. But as The Guardian reported in July 2009, the Nabucco pipeline project “has been mired in disputes and difficulties for two years, raising doubts about its viability.”
For one thing, it was never clear where the supply of gas would come from. But what reduced its prospects even further was the fact that the European financial and economic slowdown of 2008-09 had caused natural gas prices to decline for the first time ever, and there was no upturn in sight by mid-2010. And gas prices in Central and Eastern Europe, the intended market for the gas, were significantly lower than those in Italy and Greece, which were the target markets for a competing pipeline plan. That caused potential sources of finance to back away from the Nabucco project.
The Shah Deniz consortium, which represented the suppliers of gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz gas field, was to make the ultimate decision on which plan for the pipeline from the Middle East to Europe would be chosen. And at a Black Sea Energy Conference in Istanbul in mid-November 2011 the Azeri gas consortium announced that its gas would be transported to Italy and Greece using a much shorter pipeline than had been envisioned by the Nabucco proposal.
So, long before Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, with the assistance of the CIA, began shipping weapons to anti-regime armed groups in Syria in late 2011, the Obama administration could not have been thinking of regime change in Syria to save a Syria-Turkey pipeline for Qatari gas. They all knew perfectly well that there was no longer any possibility of such a Qatar-to-Turkey pipeline.
More at the link by clicking the title.
There is a theory that’s been floating around for quite some time that the destabilization and failing of Syria is just the next logical step in the implementation of The Yinon Plan. This is a more appropriate and factual fit than the Gas Pipeline theory promulgated by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and parroted by the more radical Liberal Lackey Apparatchiks. The following article from Global Research explains it nicely.
My only beef with this is, it doesn’t explain Turkey’s or Saudi Arabia’s or Jordan’s cooperation. Do the rulers of these countries, both Jordan and Saudi Arabia are governed by monarchies by the way and Erdogan in Turkey has just made himself a dictator in perpetuity, not hate the Zionists of Israel as most Arabs do? If they do, hate the Zionists of Israel, how then do they justify destabilizing and failing their neighboring Arab states and effectively doing the bidding of the Zionists in Israel? It’s no secret that the
Terrorists Rebels fighting the Syrian Military in Syria are substantially backed by both Saudi Arabia and Turkey as well as Jordan. If you look closely at The Yinon Plan, the Zionists who created and control Israel (who are not Jews by the way but instead more akin to the Nazis of Nazi Germany who sought to exterminate The Jews) must be smiling from ear to ear because the Arabs are doing precisely what the Zionists want them to do without them having to, quite literally, lift a finger. Jesus, you Arabs are as dumb as a box of rocks. You’re incapable of overcoming your base, visceral impulses no matter how smart and clever you think you are.
“[The Yinon plan] is an Israeli strategic plan to ensure Israeli regional superiority. It insists and stipulates that Israel must reconfigure its geo-political environment through the balkanization of the surrounding Arab states into smaller and weaker states.
Israeli strategists viewed Iraq as their biggest strategic challenge from an Arab state. This is why Iraq was outlined as the centerpiece to the balkanization of the Middle East and the Arab World. In Iraq, on the basis of the concepts of the Yinon Plan, Israeli strategists have called for the division of Iraq into a Kurdish state and two Arab states, one for Shiite Muslims and the other for Sunni Muslims. The first step towards establishing this was a war between Iraq and Iran, which the Yinon Plan discusses.
The Atlantic, in 2008, and the U.S. military’s Armed Forces Journal, in 2006, both published widely circulated maps that closely followed the outline of the Yinon Plan. Aside from a divided Iraq, which the Biden Plan also calls for, the Yinon Plan calls for a divided Lebanon, Egypt, and Syria. The partitioning of Iran, Turkey, Somalia, and Pakistan also all fall into line with these views. The Yinon Plan also calls for dissolution in North Africa and forecasts it as starting from Egypt and then spilling over into Sudan, Libya, and the rest of the region……
……“The plan operates on two essential premises. To survive, Israel must 1) become an imperial regional power, and 2) must effect the division of the whole area into small states by the dissolution of all existing Arab states. Small here will depend on the ethnic or sectarian composition of each state. Consequently, the Zionist hope is that sectarian-based states become Israel’s satellites and, ironically, its source of moral legitimation… This is not a new idea, nor does it surface for the first time in Zionist strategic thinking. Indeed, fragmenting all Arab states into smaller units has been a recurrent theme.” (Yinon Plan, see below)
More at the link behind the title.
Okay, maybe I have more than a single beef with it. I have a number of beefs with it but nonetheless it fits better than the Gas Pipeline theory. Still, it’s too simple and resorts to the ever-popular cliche Blame The Jews meme, not that there isn’t truth in it, because there is. Everyone is using everyone for their own selfish ends, damn the means. Blaming it solely on the Zionists via The Yinon Plan lets American Imperialism off the hook. No, there’s more to it than just The Yinon Plan, but the intent of The Yinon Plan, to reshape the Middle East, is part of the answer. I’m afraid the other part of the answer is Perpetual War Without End and Syria is one of the unlucky countries to have chosen the short straw even though it didn’t choose and instead the straw was chosen for it. That last statement is disturbing but it’s what fits the facts most precisely. My Moloch Metaphor that I employ so often is only barely a metaphor and in fact, it’s plausible the metaphor is actually quite literal. There Will Be Blood — and so there is. Forever and ever, Amen. This article from Stratfor explains the mentality, consciously acknowledged or not, of those who collaborate and cooperate to bring about a State of Perpetual War. The Leviathan sounds vaguely familiar, doesn’t it? It’s an Egregore of sorts, and we serve it well and in turn it serves us well until we, and it, annihilate ourselves entirely, I suppose.
Some of the most terrifying moments of my life have been in the midst of conflict: with American marines in Fallujah in 2004 and with armed bands in Sierra Leone in 1993. I stood next to mounds of dead Iranian soldiers, teenagers actually, during the Iran-Iraq War in 1984. The horror of war is a reality I have experienced firsthand. And yet an analyst must never give in to his or her emotions. He or she must view history with a heart of ice to find patterns that others miss. This is what Stanford classics professor Ian Morris does in his new book, War! What Is It Good For? Conflict and the Progress of Civilization from Primates to Robots. Morris, both an archaeologist and a historian, surveys thousands of years of history and comes away with the seemingly startling thesis that human progress has been helped, rather than hindered, by war.
As he writes, “by fighting wars, people have created larger, more organized societies that have reduced the risk that their members will die violently.”
Indeed, in the Stone Age, you had as much as a 20 percent chance of dying violently at the hands of another human being. But in the 20th century — even with the trenches, even with Hitler, with Hiroshima, with terrorism and with a panoply of Third World wars — you had only a 1 or 2 percent chance of dying violently. Yes, as many as 200 million people may have died in wars throughout the 1900s, but roughly 10 billion lives were lived during that period. One may argue that this has merely been a matter of food production outpacing the production of assault rifles, so that violence has not so much been suppressed as overwhelmed by science. But Morris sees another factor: the rise of Hobbesian Leviathans that could only come about by war itself.
A Leviathan is the horrifying monster that Job beheld in the Bible, the “king over all the children of pride.” The 17th century English philosopher Thomas Hobbes used the concept as a metaphor for a strong central government that, by monopolizing the use of force, would make men no longer fear each other but only the authorities above them. Such was the way toward peaceful progress. Morris shows that, ironically, throughout history Leviathan has generally been created not by reasoned discussion but by war. He laments that this is so but demonstrates that humanity has thus far found no other way…..
…..Imperialism has led ultimately to what Morris calls a “globocop,” a role that the United States has played, however imperfectly, since the collapse of the Soviet Empire. America may get into Middle Eastern quagmires, but its Navy and Air Force, not to mention the reputation of its land forces and intelligence apparatus, project power sufficiently throughout the world so as to reduce the level of conflict and so far eliminate major interstate war. The United States, for its part, has become the complex and productive society it is largely thanks to the rigors it has passed through in planning for armed conflict, especially World War II and the Cold War. Morris might have added to his text that mass college education, the explosion of suburban life and civil rights for minorities were all expressions of the further democratization of American life that would have been hard to imagine without the national unity enforced by having to fight the Nazis and the Japanese.
More at the link behind the title.
That’s it. I’ve exhausted this topic for now. FYI, I’m opening the comments back up for those interested in adding something intelligent to the record.