Tuesday 9th of August 2022

friends like these...

friends

Al Qaeda head Ayman al-Zawahiri threw his support behind rebels in Syria as the country's Arab neighbours cut it adrift and vowed to support the uprising against president Bashar al-Assad.

Arab League ministers meeting in Cairo called for a joint Arab and United Nations peacekeeping mission in the troubled country and vowed political and material support for the rebels.

The call came as regime troops continued their deadly assault on areas of the flashpoint city of Homs.

Speaking in a video message, al-Zawahiri described the Assad government as a "cancerous regime" that was suffocating the people of Syria.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-02-13/arab-neighbours-break-with-syria/3825926

reflecting the hysteria...

Syria has "categorically rejected" an Arab League resolution calling for a joint Arab-UN peacekeeping mission to end the country's 11-month conflict.

The resolution, seen by the BBC but not yet officially released, also said the League was ending all diplomatic co-operation with Syria.

Damascus's envoy in Cairo, Yusuf Ahmed, said the plan "reflected the hysteria of these governments".

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17008597

solemnly lecturing Assad...

 

FEW spectacles have been more surreal than senior US officials – starting with the President, the Secretary of State and the US ambassador to the UN - solemnly lecturing Assad and his beleaguered Syrian government on the need to accommodate rebel forces whose sponsors are intent on slaughtering the ruling Alawite minority or driving them into the sea.

At one grimly hilarious moment last Friday, these worthy sermons were buttressed by a message from Ayman al-Zwahiri, the head of al-Qaeda, therefore presumably the number one target on President Obama's hit list, similarly praising the 'Lions of Syria' for rising up against the Assad regime. Al-Qaeda and the White House in sync!

The last time the United States faced serious internal dissent was in the 1960s and early 1970s, from war resisters and black and Native American movements. The government responded instantly with a methodical programme of violent repression, including a well-documented agenda of assassination.

Read more: http://www.theweek.co.uk/world-news/syria-uprising/45380/syria-how-russia-and-china-got-obama-hook#ixzz1mboYUFCu

 

let al-qaeda take over syria?...

SYRIA has become a magnet for foreign fighters, with al-Qaeda-aligned jihadists streaming across the border from Iraq and rebel soldiers from the Libyan city of Misrata crossing in from Turkey, experts say.

With the jihadists come weapons, and there is also a growing movement of AK-47s, hand grenades, heavy machineguns, mortars and anti-armour missiles into Syria, warned Hilal Khashan, a professor of political science at the American University of Beirut.

''Syria is returning to be an arena of regional contestation,'' he said. ''In the 1950s Syria was a magnet for foreign infiltrators, and the main achievement of Hafez al-Assad [President Bashar al-Assad's father] was to eliminate foreign intervention in Syria and transform the country against all odds into a regional power.''


Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/fighters-weapons-flow-into-syrian-war-zone-20120217-1tefb.html#ixzz1mgir3oMl

saudi arabia joins al qaeda...

Saudi Arabia has backed the arming of Syria's opposition guerrilla army in remarks that could signal an intervention by the Sunni Muslim superpower in the Assad regime's crackdown against the uprising.

The Saudi foreign minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, described the arming of the Free Syria Army as an "excellent idea" at an inaugural meeting inTunisia of an anti-Assad group – the Friends of Syria.

But the Saudi delegation later walked out of the summit citing "inactivity" among the member states gathered.

Qatar's foreign minister, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, called for the creation of an Arab force to "open humanitarian corridors to provide security to the Syrian people".

In the Syrian city of Homs, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said it had begun to evacuate women and children from the Baba Amr district, where injured western journalists including the Le Figaro reporter Edith Bouvier and the Sunday Times photographer Paul Conroy had become stranded. The ICRC said 27 Syrian women and children had been taken to a hospital elsewhere in the city. "It's a first step forward," ICRC chief spokeswoman Carla Haddad told Reuters in Geneva. "The priority now is evacuating the seriously wounded or sick." She said the injured journalists were not among those evacuated.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/feb/24/saudi-arabia-backs-arming-syrian-opposition

 

I suppose the west should supply weapons of mass destruction to the opposition in the Saudi kingdom...

hamas joins the queue...

 

In Break, Hamas Supports Syrian Opposition


By FARES AKRAM


 

GAZA —A leader of Hamas spoke out against President Bashar al-Assad of Syria on Friday, throwing its support behind the opposition and stripping Damascus of what little credibility it may have retained with the Arab street. It was Hamas’s first public break with its longtime patron.

Hamas’s prime minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniya, said during Friday Prayer, “I salute all people of the Arab Spring, or Islamic winter, and I salute the Syrian people who seek freedom, democracy and reform.”

The worshipers shouted back, “God is great” and “Syria! Syria!”

Mr. Haniya made his remarks in support of the uprising that is seeking to oust Mr. Assad, a reversal after years in which Mr. Assad has given safe haven to leaders of Hamas while helping supply it with weapons and cash in its battle against Israel.

But the remarks were almost as significant for where they were made: in Cairo, at Al Azhar Mosque.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/25/world/middleeast/hamas-leader-supports-syrian-opposition.html?_r=1&hp=&pagewanted=print       

 

If one was not cynical, one would see a pattern developing here... Only the Russians and the Chinese are not in favour of supporting the rebels... It start to look a bit like the west, al qaeda, the saudis and hamas are UNITED RELIGIOUSLY against the commies and the secular" Syrian despot in a war of freedon for the OIL. RELIGIOUS OIL... And of course Iran supports the dictatorship in Syria... Getting more and more complicated... Going to be ugly...

 

weapons for rebels...

The Lebanese navy is holding a Sierra Leone-registered ship and says it has confiscated a large consignment of arms and ammunition it was carrying.

The 11 crew members were detained after three shipping containers full of heavy and light weapons were found on the Lutfallah II.

The BBC's Jim Muir in Beirut says it is believed the consignment was destined for the rebels in Syria.

Some of the arms were labelled as Libyan, says Reuters news agency.

The ship's owner told Reuters it was due to unload in Tripoli, northern Lebanon.

Milos Strugar, a spokesman for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (Unifil) which assists Lebanon in preventing illegal arms entering the country, confirmed to the BBC that it was bound for a Lebanese port.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17885085

war of such hypocrisy...

Has there ever been a Middle Eastern war of such hypocrisy? A war of such cowardice and such mean morality, of such false rhetoric and such public humiliation? I'm not talking about the physical victims of the Syrian tragedy. I'm referring to the utter lies and mendacity of our masters and our own public opinion – eastern as well as western – in response to the slaughter, a vicious pantomime more worthy of Swiftian satire than Tolstoy or Shakespeare.

While Qatar and Saudi Arabia arm and fund the rebels of Syria to overthrow Bashar al-Assad's Alawite/Shia-Baathist dictatorship, Washington mutters not a word of criticism against them. President Barack Obama and his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, say they want a democracy in Syria. But Qatar is an autocracy and Saudi Arabia is among the most pernicious of caliphate-kingly-dictatorships in the Arab world. Rulers of both states inherit power from their families – just as Bashar has done – and Saudi Arabia is an ally of the Salafist-Wahabi rebels in Syria, just as it was the most fervent supporter of the medieval Taliban during Afghanistan's dark ages.

Indeed, 15 of the 19 hijacker-mass murderers of 11 September, 2001, came from Saudi Arabia – after which, of course, we bombed Afghanistan. The Saudis are repressing their own Shia minority just as they now wish to destroy the Alawite-Shia minority of Syria. And we believe Saudi Arabia wants to set up a democracy in Syria?

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-syrian-war-of-lies-and-hypocrisy-7985012.html

see toon at top...

 

foreign-financed jihadists...

As Syrian War Drags On, Jihadists Take Bigger Role


By and HWAIDA SAAD

BEIRUT, Lebanon — As the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad’s government grinds on with no resolution in sight, Syrians involved in the armed struggle say it is becoming more radicalized: homegrown Muslim jihadists, as well as small groups of fighters from Al Qaeda, are taking a more prominent role and demanding a say in running the resistance.

The past few months have witnessed the emergence of larger, more organized and better armed Syrian militant organizations pushing an agenda based on jihad, the concept that they have a divine mandate to fight. Even less-zealous resistance groups are adopting a pronounced Islamic aura because it attracts more financing.

Idlib Province, the northern Syrian region where resistance fighters control the most territory, is the prime example. In one case there, after jihadists fighting under the black banner of the Prophet Muhammad staged significant attacks against Syrian government targets, the commander of one local rebel military council recently invited them to join. “They are everywhere in Idlib,” said a lean and sunburned commander with the Free Syrian Army council in Saraqib, a strategic town on the main highway southwest from Aleppo. “They are becoming stronger, so we didn’t want any hostility or tension in our area.”

Tension came anyway. The groups demanded to raise the prophet’s banner — solid black with “There is no god but God” written in flowing white Arabic calligraphy — during the weekly Friday demonstration. Saraqib prides itself in its newly democratic ways, electing a new town council roughly every two months, and residents put it to a vote — the answer was no. The jihadi fighters raised the flag anyway, until a formal compromise allowed for a 20-minute display.

In one sense, the changes on the ground have actually brought closer to reality the Syrian government’s early, and easily dismissible, claim that the opposition was being driven by foreign-financed jihadists.    

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/empty-seats-fiasco-locog-...   

 

Meanwhile Panetta:

 While giving no indication that the Obama administration is contemplating military intervention, Mr Panetta said it is increasingly clear that the Syrian crisis is deepening and that Assad is hastening his own demise.

"If they continue this kind of tragic attack on their own people ... I think it ultimately will be a nail in Assad's coffin," Mr Panetta told reporters travelling with him from Washington. "His regime is coming to an end."

Mr Panetta said he would use his meetings in Tunisia, Egypt, Israel and Jordan to reinforce an international consensus that Assad must step down and allow a peaceful transition to a democratic form of government.

He said he also will continue consultations on efforts to ensure that Syria's stockpiles of chemical weapons do not fall into the wrong hands.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9437483/Syria-Aleppo-attack-is-nail-in-Bashar-al-Assads-coffin.html 

the god of hateful stupidity in their jihadist balls...

Islamists occupying the northern Mali town of Aguelhok have stoned an unmarried couple to death in front of about 200 people, two local government officials said.

The incident, which reportedly took place on Sunday, is the first reported sharia killing since they occupied the area, ratcheting up pressure on an embattled interim government.

"I was there. The Islamists took the unmarried couple to the centre of Aguelhok. The couple was placed in two holes and the Islamists stoned them to death," a local government official told the AFP news agency on condition of anonymity.

"The woman fainted after the first few blows," he said, adding that the man had shouted out once and then fallen silent.

A second official confirmed the information, saying the couple had two children, the youngest of which was six months old.

"They were living in the bush; they were brought to town by the Islamists who stoned them to death. People came out to watch, there were witnesses," he said, also not wishing to be identified.

'Al-Qaeda tactics'

The small town in the region of Kidal near the Algerian border was one of the first to be captured by Tuareg separatists rebels on January 24.

Some 82 civilians and soldiers were summarily executed, France said earlier this year, accusing the rebels of using al-Qaeda style tactics.

The Tuareg rebellion sparked a coup d’état in March by angry and overwhelmed soldiers, but the chaos only allowed the desert nomads and Islamists fighting on their flanks to seize the country's north, an area larger than France.

The Islamist groups, which experts say are acting under the aegis of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) have since chased out the Tuareg separatists and are firmly in control of the region.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2012/07/201273021254165201.html

syria's christians are protected by assad...

If Assad falls, is Britain ready to rescue Syria's Christians?



The tolerance shown towards Christians in Syria is unlikely to survive Assad's overthrow by Sunnis

COLUMN LAST UPDATED AT 07:35 ON TUE 31 JUL 2012

THE fighters in Aleppo and other parts of Syria trying to rid their country of President Assad and his ruling clique are to be admired. It must require great courage to take on a professional army with improvised tactics and equipment.
 
All of us in the United Kingdom owe our democratic political settlement to similar men from the time of the English Civil War. The political aspirations of the Long Parliament did not bring an end to absolute monarchy. It required the military muscle of commanders like Oliver Cromwell and countless other men and women who followed them, enduring danger, disease and death on behalf of the parliamentary cause.

We should be grateful for hard men prepared to take on entrenched regimes. But generally, as was true in Cromwell's New Model Army, the hard men throughout history tend to be driven by belief and ideology. And the driving ideology behind the Syrian rebellion is Sunni Islam in both its austere mainstream and violent Salafist forms.


Read more: http://www.theweek.co.uk/world-news/syria-uprising/48234/if-assad-falls-britain-ready-rescue-syrias-christians#ixzz22CW1QVs4

decline of our understanding....

Al-Qaeda is on a "path of decline" after many of its top leaders were killed, but its affiliates are a rising threat in vulnerable regions, the US State Department has warned in a report.


In its Country Reports on Terrorism 2011, the department branded Iran "the world's leading sponsor of terrorist activity" providing funds and support "for terrorist and militant groups throughout the Middle East".
Both Iran and al-Qaeda are helping to foment unrest by spreading "violent extremist ideology and rhetoric" in some of the world's most restive regions, the report to Congress maintained.



Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/alqaeda-in-decline-but-us-warns-on-iran-20120801-23dr1.html#ixzz22GGHMtFC

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That's a lot of codswallop...
In fact the war against Assad is being fought with Al Qaeda on the side of the rebels... And we in the west support the rebels... Brother... As Robert Fisk alludes to, this is a defacto war against Iran... Many "little" wars in Africa are fought by a number of growing Al Qaeda trained troups against legitimate governments... Al Qaeda NEVER HAD  a structured command system until the west invented one for them...
Iran actually loathes Al Qaeda... Iranians are mostly shia while Al Qaeda is Sunni.... Al Qaeda and Iran are NOT peas in the same pod... Saddam also hated Al Qaeda for being extremists... Assad was very tolerant of religious "diversity" in Syria while the new mob — or rebels seeking "freedom" — wants to impose exclusive Mulsim sharia law in that country... Exile! you the Christians in Syria... Most of the Sunni extremists come from Saudi Arabia and their atrocious wahhabi version of Islam... But we love the Saudis because they have OIL... We're mad hypocrites... And guess what? They know it and make us dance to the Sunni loony tune...

 

 

Syria Can Get Even Worse...

 

US president Barack Obama has reportedly signed a secret order authorising US support for rebels in Syria.

The reports come as Syrian government forces and rebel fighters continue their battle over the nation's trade hub, Aleppo, where rebel fighters were condemned overnight for executing four members of the pro-government militia.

Mr Obama has previously stated he is against arming the rebel fighters, but pressure is mounting on the US to do more to end the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

The White House is not commenting on the arrangement, but Reuters says Mr Obama signed the secret order to assist the rebels earlier this year.

It gives the CIA and other agencies permission to provide support to Syrian rebels.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-08-02/us-backing-syrian-rebels-say-reports/4172006?WT.svl=news2


 

Assad’s regime, it warns, is morphing into something less like a government and more akin to factional militia locked into an increasingly brutal fight for its collective survival, relying on an Alawite community that sees a rebel triumph as nothing less than a mortal threat.

[The regime] is mutating in ways that make it impervious to political and military setbacks, indifferent to pressure and unable to negotiate. Opposition gains terrify Alawites, who stand more firmly by the regime’s side. Defections solidify the ranks of those who remain loyal. Territorial losses can be dismissed for the sake of concentrating on “useful” geographic areas. Sanctions give rise to an economy of violence wherein pillaging, looting and smuggling ensure self-sufficiency and over which punitive measures have virtually no bearing. That the regime has been weakened is incontrovertible. But it has been weakened in ways that strengthen its staying power.

(MORE: 5 Ways Syria Can Get Even Worse)

The rebel campaign in Aleppo was, by some rebel accounts, an attempt to create a “safe haven” that would encompass Syria’s largest city, and its commercial hub, and stretch all the way to the Turkish border. That would not only allow armaments to be delivered more freely from Turkey but would also create a beachhead on which rebels could proclaim an alternative political authority that could then be recognized by foreign powers as Syria’s legitimate government. Clearly, foreign backers were hoping for that outcome — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last week even predicted the emergence, soon, of a “safe haven” for anti-Assad forces in Syria — which is modeled loosely on Libya. There, it was after rebels had taken control of the eastern city of Benghazi and proclaimed an alternative government, that NATO intervened ostensibly to protect them from being overrun but then waged an offensive air campaign to take down Gaddafi. The emergence of a rebel-controlled zone in Syria would certainly have raised pressure on Western governments to provide direct military support to defend it.

So far, that outcome isn’t looking likely.


Read more: http://world.time.com/2012/08/02/syrian-paradox-the-regime-gets-stronger-even-as-it-loses-its-grip/#ixzz22O9PnIoG

 

-----------------------------------

 

I can tell you the Russians are going to be furious...

 

the west is encouraging the muslimization of the east...

 

"There is the unravelling of the Sykes-Picot agreement," said Walid Jumblatt, the leader of Lebanon's Druze sect, in reference to the secret agreement between the British and French in 1919, which carved up the Levant into spheres of influence in the wake of the Ottoman empire's demise. "We are seeing the end of what was created 90 years ago. The consequences will be very, very, grave unless they are managed properly."

Syria was stitched together as a nation state between the end of the first world war and the start of the second. And Lebanon's development as a country followed roughly the same timeframe.

However, neither state – and especially Lebanon – has ever been truly comfortable in its own borders, or skin. Both are patchworks of sects that have often been at odds with each other and which are very much affected by regional dynamics.

"These agreements are breaking down," said Jumblatt. "The Alawites could move into the north of their country and establish a homeland near Latakia and that would change the situation in Lebanon hugely."

Lebanon's Shias, for decades a minority but now more of a demographic force, are aligned to Syria's Alawites, who are regarded as an offshoot of Shia Islam. Hezbollah, the political bloc that represents most of Lebanon's Shias, is heavily invested in the survival of Syria's leader, Bashar al-Assad, as is the regional Shia heavyweight, Iran.

A potential partition of either country would be a seismic change in the regional dynamic. "There needs to be urgent action," Jumblatt said. "If it doesn't happen, who knows what the consequences could be."

From Beirut's elite, but now largely empty, downtown shopping district to south Lebanon's Shia villages,, it is difficult to find anyone who does not fear what the next six months hold for Lebanon, or to find agreement on who is to blame.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/15/lebanon-syria-sectarian-kidnappings-warnings

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war by proxy....

The battle for Damascus could be heard inside the Foreign Minister's office yesterday, a vibration of mortars and tank fire from the suburbs of the capital that penetrated Walid Muallem's inner sanctum, a dangerous heartbeat to match the man's words.

America was behind Syria's violence, he said, which will not end even after the battle for Aleppo is over. "I tell the Europeans: 'I don't understand your slogan about the welfare of the Syrian people when you are supporting 17 resolutions against the welfare of the Syrian people'. And I tell the Americans: 'You must read well what you did in Afghanistan and Somalia. I don't understand your slogan of fighting international terrorism when you are supporting this terrorism in Syria'."

Walid Muallem spoke in English and very slowly, either because of the disconcerting uproar outside or because this was his first interview with a Western journalist since the Syrian crisis began. At one point, the conflict between rebels and government troops in the suburbs of Douma, Jobar, Arbeen and Qaboun – where a helicopter was shot down – became so loud that even the most phlegmatic of Foreign Ministers in a region plagued by rhetoric glanced towards the window. How did he feel when he heard this, I asked him?

"Before I am a minister, I am a Syrian citizen, and I feel sad at seeing what's happening in Syria, compared with two years ago," he said. "There are many Syrians like me – eager to see Syria return to the old days when we were proud of our security."

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/exclusive-we-believe-that-the-usa-is-the-major-player-against-syria-and-the-rest-are-its-instruments-8082457.html

 

See toon at top...

 

operation eager lion...

Syria: the tension picks up steam. Eager Lion exercise – on the way to cross the threshold


Andrei Akulov

The possibility of intervention in Syria without United Nations approval is growing. The events in Houla, the following expulsion of Syrian ambassadors from a number of countries exacerbate the situation while the guilt of the Syrian government is far from being a proven fact. The tension picks up steam. Looks like warmongers gradually get the upper hand in the in desire to provoke a conflict.

Eager Lion 2012, the largest joint military exercise in the Middle East in a decade held in Jordan, lasted three weeks wrapping up on May 30. It brought together more than 12,000 special forces servicemen from 19 countries, including Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Pakistan, Qatar, Britain, France, Italy, Spain and Australia. Of those, 6,500 soldiers were from the United States, and 3,500 were from Jordan. The event drew special attention given the events in Syria. Some media outlets claimed Eager Lion was a general rehearsal before an invasion or cover for training Syrian militants. The US and Jordanian military brass say it’s not the case because it had taken three years in the planning and actually is an outgrowth of the annual bilateral “Infinite Moonlight” US-Jordan exercise that goes back to the 1990s. Perhaps so, but it’s an interesting fact that Assad, the surname of Syrian president, means “lion” in Arabic.

Around 3,000 US, Jordanian and Saudi special forces backed from air and sea and reinforced by armored components practiced landings on beaches and the rapid seizure of fortified mountain bases and command facilities on Jordanian terrain. Coordination of activity among forces with disparate weaponry, command structures, and capabilities was especially important. The command post was set up aboard the new USS New York amphibious transport dock, which was sent to the Red Sea to boost American strength in the region with 700 marines aboard, landing craft and helicopters for dropping troops opposite land targets. Though the exercise included all branches of America’s armed forces, it had a particular emphasis on Special Operations Forces (SOF), one of the reasons that a Special Operations Command General Ken Tovo was chosen to head the event. Special operations is one of the few areas of the US military that is slated to grow in the coming years against the background of military expenditure shrinkage. Between 70 and 80 percent of America’s deployed SOF were deployed in the so called Greater Middle East in the past decade.

http://syria360.wordpress.com/2012/06/04/operation-eager-lion-2012-and-war-with-syria/

no heavy artillery for the rebels who could be terrorists...

Citing U.S. Fears, Arab Allies Limit Syrian Rebel Aid


By

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — For months, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been funneling money and small arms to Syria’s rebels but have refused to provide heavier weapons, like shoulder-fired missiles, that could allow opposition fighters to bring down government aircraft, take out armored vehicles and turn the war’s tide.

While they have publicly called for arming the rebels, they have held back, officials in both countries said, in part because they have been discouraged by the United States, which fears the heavier weapons could end up in the hands of terrorists.

As a result, the rebels have just enough weapons to maintain a stalemate, the war grinds on and more jihadist militants join the fray every month.

“You can give the rebels AKs, but you can’t stop the Syrian regime’s military with AKs,” said Khalid al-Attiyah, a state minister for foreign affairs in Qatar. Providing the rebels with heavier weapons “has to happen,” he added. “But first we need the backing of the United States, and preferably the U.N.”

Saudi officials here said the United States was not barring them from providing shoulder-fired missiles, but warning about the risks. The Saudis and Qataris said they hoped to convince their allies that those risks could be overcome. “We are looking at ways to put in place practices to prevent this type of weapon from falling into the wrong hands,” one Arab official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity in line with diplomatic protocol.

American support for such weapons transfers is unlikely to materialize any time soon. The Obama administration has made clear that it has no desire to deepen its efforts, mostly providing logistical support for the rebels.

Administration officials would not comment on what they are telling their Persian Gulf allies about arming the rebels. “We are doing what we feel is appropriate to help the unarmed opposition to be more effective and working closely with the opposition to prepare for a transition,” the State Department said in response to a question on the subject.

read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/07/world/middleeast/citing-us-fears-arab-allies-limit-aid-to-syrian-rebels.html?hp&_r=0&pagewanted=print     

 

See toon at top...  

sharing values...

 

Rebel Arms Flow Is Said to Benefit Jihadists in Syria


By

WASHINGTON — Most of the arms shipped at the behest of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to supply Syrian rebel groups fighting the government of Bashar al-Assad are going to hard-line Islamic jihadists, and not the more secular opposition groups that the West wants to bolster, according to American officials and Middle Eastern diplomats.

That conclusion, of which President Obama and other senior officials are aware from classified assessments of the Syrian conflict that has now claimed more than 25,000 lives, casts into doubt whether the White House’s strategy of minimal and indirect intervention in the Syrian conflict is accomplishing its intended purpose of helping a democratic-minded opposition topple an oppressive government, or is instead sowing the seeds of future insurgencies hostile to the United States.

“The opposition groups that are receiving the most of the lethal aid are exactly the ones we don’t want to have it,” said one American official familiar with the outlines of those findings, commenting on an operation that in American eyes has increasingly gone awry.

The United States is not sending arms directly to the Syrian opposition. Instead, it is providing intelligence and other support for shipments of secondhand light weapons like rifles and grenades into Syria, mainly orchestrated from Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The reports indicate that the shipments organized from Qatar, in particular, are largely going to hard-line Islamists.

The assessment of the arms flows comes at a crucial time for Mr. Obama, in the closing weeks of the election campaign with two debates looming that will focus on his foreign policy record. But it also calls into question the Syria strategy laid out by Mitt Romney, his Republican challenger.

In a speech at the Virginia Military Institute last Monday, Mr. Romney said he would ensure that rebel groups “who share our values” would “obtain the arms they need to defeat Assad’s tanks, helicopters and fighter jets.” That suggests he would approve the transfer of weapons like antiaircraft and antitank systems that are much more potent than any the United States has been willing to put into rebel hands so far, precisely because American officials cannot be certain who will ultimately be using them.    

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/15/world/middleeast/jihadists-receiving-m...  

 

Did you think the Wahhabi Muslims from Saudi Arabia and Qatar governments were not going to support extremists in Syria? Wow... The only people who "share our values" (boom-boom-you're-dead) in Syria are the Assad supporters... All the others are various factions of extremists (jihadists)...

Romney is a dangerous idiot.... See toon at top...

 

the road to damascus...

 

Missteps by Rebels Erode Their Support Among Syrians


By

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Syria’s rebel fighters — who have long staked claim to the moral high ground for battling dictatorship — are losing crucial support from a public increasingly disgusted by the actions of some rebels, including poorly planned missions, senseless destruction, criminal behavior and the coldblooded killing of prisoners.

The shift in mood presents more than just a public relations problem for the loosely knit militants of the Free Syrian Army, who rely on their supporters to survive the government’s superior firepower. A dampening of that support undermines the rebels’ ability to fight and win what has become a devastating war of attrition, perpetuating the violence that has left nearly 40,000 dead, hundreds of thousands in refugee camps and more than a million forced from their homes.

The rebel shortcomings have been compounded by changes in the opposition, from a force of civilians and defected soldiers who took up arms after the government used lethal force on peaceful protesters to one that is increasingly seeded with extremist jihadis. That radicalization has divided the fighters’ supporters and made Western nations more reluctant to give rebels the arms that might help break the intensifying deadlock. Instead, foreign leaders are struggling to find indirect ways to help oust Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad.

And now arrogance and missteps are draining enthusiasm from some of the fighters’ core supporters.

“They were supposed to be the people on whom we depend to build a civil society,” lamented a civilian activist in Saraqib, a northern town where rebels were videotaped executing a group of unarmed Syrian soldiers, an act the United Nations has declared a likely war crime.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/09/world/middleeast/in-syria-missteps-by-...      

 

Nothing new... with revolutions, when violence is involved, there is always a tendency for atrocities to be committed on both sides, but especially from those who seek change — without ultimately knowing what the value of change is, beyond hatred bathed in extremism of religious belief...  The French revolution led from a king being deposed to the rise of a bigger despot, Napoleon, who became "Emperor"... Meanwhile that revolution murdered many a fine person, including scientists whose bread slices were buttered by the king — but had made enormous contribution to the sum of knowledge.

In Syria, the revolution is fought by religious nutters on behalf of "freedom" that the west "supports" because we don't like Assad and his links to Iran — that's the sum of it all.

The extremists Sunni of Saudi Arabia and Al Qaeda are also helping the "revolutionaries" because they are fighting the Shia ruler — nothing more, nothing else... And "freedom" would soon become a full strict religious dictum should the rebels win... 

 

the bay of damascus?...

Not that Assad sees any reason to pack his bags, having retained the support of his key backers, Russia and Iran, and effectively fighting the rebellion to a military stalemate — albeit one that leaves him in control of much less of Syria than he was two years ago. The Syrian strongman has already rejected two proposals, one from Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki last April and the second from the Arab League in July, for safe passage abroad. Asked during a Russia Today television interview on Thursday whether he might leave the country, Assad fumed, “I am Syrian. I was made in Syria. I have to live in Syria and die in Syria.”

Of course, Assad’s calculations might change if the rebels acquired the weapons, particularly surface-to-air missiles, that might neutralize some of the regime’s military advantages. That, together with the efforts of Obama and others, could influence Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to persuade his Syrian client to step down. But that may be some time in coming. Until then, the killing is likely to continue.

http://world.time.com/2012/11/08/the-anti-assad-offensive-can-the-west-oust-syrias-strongman/

Yes, the killing is likely to continue... and most likely should the "west" armed the rebels (including Al Qaeda) some more, the Iranians and the Russians (and the Chinese?) might actually give Assad more killing power.  Giving more fire-power to the rebels would thus make things worse. Unlike Libya, Syria is in a different situation. The UN would not be able to get a mandate to intervene and any US incursion would be seen as provocation...

Wait for the US to manufacture a provocation "from the other side" like in the second Bay of Tonkin incident...

hang on, dave...

http://www.theweek.co.uk/world-news/syria/50008/hold-dave-arming-syrias-rebels-could-make-things-worse

David Cameron seems to have caught a mild dose of the Tony Blair interventionist bug. After all, his supporters argue, the intervention last year in Libya was a qualified success – though some would say in the wake of the chaos in parts of Tripoli and the murder of US Ambassador Stephens in Benghazi, it now looks more like a qualified failure.

in bed with al qaeda...

A plan to provide military training to the Syrian rebels fighting the Assad regime and support them with air and naval power is being drawn up by an international coalition including Britain, The Independent has learnt.

The prospect of Western intervention comes as opposition groups, which have been disorganised and divided, at long last formed an umbrella political group and a command structure for their militias. Their foreign backers are said to believe that the 22-month-long civil war has now reached a tipping point and it has become imperative to offer help to the revolutionaries to enable them to make a final push against the regime.

The head of Britain’s armed forces, General Sir David Richards, hosted a confidential meeting in London a few weeks ago attended by the military chiefs of France, Turkey, Jordan, Qatar and the UAE, and a three-star American general, in which the strategy was discussed at length. Other UK government departments and their counterparts in allied states in the mission have also been holding extensive meetings on the issue.

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/exclusive-uk-military-in-talks-to-help-syria-rebels-8399658.html

 

See toon at top...

a serious problem...

Al Qaeda in Syria


The presence of rebel fighters in Syria that were trained and supported by Al Qaeda poses a serious problem for the United States and Western allies. The Nusra Front, an offshoot of Al Qaeda in Iraq, has become one of the most effective forces fighting against President Bashar al-Assad.

The fear is that the group could hijack the revolution and emerge as the dominant force in Syria after Mr. Assad is ousted from power. Obama administration officials have been increasingly frank about this threat, along with the possibility that sectarian conflicts among the country’s Sunni, Alawite, Christian and other groups may well rage on after Assad.

There are no easy answers, and no one believes that Washington, or any external power, can dictate the outcome. But President Obama still needs to provide a clearer picture of how he plans to use American influence in dealing with the jihadi threat and the endgame in Syria.

Mr. Obama has blacklisted the Nusra Front as a terrorist organization, which would make it illegal for Americans to have financial dealings with it. It makes sense to isolate the group and try to dry up its resources, but the designation by itself isn’t sufficient. American officials have to make a case directly to the countries or actors that are believed to be most responsible, either directly or as a conduit, for the weapons and other assistance to the Nusra Front: Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan. However much they may want to see Mr. Assad fall, they play a deadly game in empowering any affiliate of Al Qaeda, which though weakened, is dedicated to global jihad and the violent overthrow of Sunni monarchies.

The problem is that many Syrian rebel groups work closely with the Nusra Front precisely because its skilled fighters have been so effective at storming fortified Syrian positions and leading other battalions to capture military bases and oil fields.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/11/opinion/al-qaeda-in-syria.html?hp&_r=0...  

 

See toon at top and comment above...   

hypocritical demand...

 

Qatar, one of the principal supporters of the Syrian rebels fighting Bashar al-Assad, has criticised the EU's decision to extend its blanket arms embargo on Syria and said it would only prolong the war.

Hamed bin Jassim Al Thani, prime minister and foreign minister of the Gulf state, told al-Jazeera TV that the decision was wrong and accused the Syrian government of seeking to buy time.

On Monday EU foreign ministers agreed to extend the arms embargo on Syria for a further three months, although they accepted a British proposal to allow the supply of "greater non-lethal support and technical assistance for the protection of civilians".

After further discussions they may also permit military training and advice in areas that are under rebel control, diplomats said.

"I am astonished at this decision," Bin Jassim said. "The rebels only want to be able to defend themselves. At the present time this is the wrong decision. It will only prolong the crisis."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/19/qatar-eu-syria-arms-embargo

The "rebels" started a war against the Syrian government that responded in kind to the attack... Now the rebels need more weapons to "defend themselves"... The Rebels are mostly Sunni extremists, including Al Qaeda "soldiers"(see toon at top)... There is a good chance that weapons from the EU to the rebels in Syria would end up in Mali, in the hands of the Muslim extremists there... If the Yourpean intelligence agencies don't know this, then they have glue for brains... The world is full of opportunists and crazy zealots...

I need a new keyboard... It's has an ants nest in it and some keys are getting iffy... That's wildlife for you...

between a rock and a hard place...

 

The escalating confrontation between Mr. Assad’s forces and ISIS is another indication of just how much the rise of the radical group has erased borders and upended alliances around the region, and the world. President Obama, who has long called for the ouster of Mr. Assad, is facing similar pressure to attack ISIS inside Syria after his top military adviser said the group cannot otherwise be defeated.

With other Syrian-led insurgent groups struggling, ISIS and the Syrian Army increasingly find themselves facing each other across a crucial front line, around the northern city of Aleppo. If they choose to clash head-on, that would transform the complicated three-year battle into a showdown between a powerful jihadist force and Mr. Assad and his allies.

Critics of Mr. Assad have long speculated that he allowed ISIS to thrive because it served as a foil and battled Syrian rebel groups, while validating his government’s claim that it was fighting terrorists. Though analysts say there is no evidence of a formal alliance, they note that the Syrian government benefited in some ways from ISIS, which has focused mainly on trying to establish Islamic rule in the areas it controls, and has fought the Islamist and nationalist insurgents more focused on ousting Mr. Assad.

read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/23/world/middleeast/assad-supporters-weigh-benefits-of-us-strikes-in-syria.html?_r=0

 

See toon at top...

 

learning from a canadian leader...

 

 

Michael Ignatieff Interview by Spiegel


Is Assad the Lesser of Two Evils?

 

 

 

 


SPIEGEL: And he is now offering his services to the West as a partner. You wouldn't have any objection to keeping the dictator in power -- Assad as the lesser evil?

Ignatieff: I think it's the only way to end the slaughter of the civilian population. Listen, I know that this is a deal with the devil. It's hard to imagine an uglier tradeoff for peace and justice than this one. But continuing to demand Assad's removal without having real leverage to force it to happen has become an empty threat -- an even more hopeless strategy. The alternative is more years of civil war, death and destruction.

SPIEGEL: With all due respect, now you're sounding more like a jaded political realist than a hopeful, humanitarian interventionist.

Ignatieff: Even if I continue to believe in the responsibility to protect and build on its importance, I can't put this concept above everything else. I've spent my whole life trying to reconcile my human rights convictions with realistic geopolitics. Sometimes it's an almost unbearable discrepancy.

SPIEGEL: This dilemma is also evident in the war between Israel and the Palestinians. Is there a moral and politically realistic guideline here?

Ignatieff: The rocket attacks by Hamas are undoubtedly a violation of international law. Israel has the right to self-defense, to destroy the rocket launchers from which they are fired. But the Israel army also has to respect international law and avoid indiscriminate force, especially to the civilian population.

SPIEGEL: The Netanyahu government claims it's doing so.

Ignatieff: Oh, come on. The director of the UN school in Gaza City gave the Israelis the coordinates for his facility a dozen times -- and gave them to Hamas, as well -- and still the school was bombed and children died. One can only pray that both sides will recognize that the advances of the Islamic State and the dissolution of government control in the Middle East also pose a great threat to them. Both sides -- Israelis and Palestinians alike -- are currently being betrayed by their political leadership.

SPIEGEL: Shouldn't this lead to a re-evaluation of US-Israeli relations in Washington?

Ignatieff: It's time for President Obama to examine whether Washington's strategic interests are really still identical with Israel's. I believe these interests have been drifting apart for a long time.

Read more: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/interview-with-michael-ignatieff-on-islamic-state-and-mideast-turmoil-a-990667.html

 

Note the Liberal Party of Canada is more like the Labor Party in Australia. Meanwhile the Conservative Party of Canada does not lie about its name unlike the Liberal (CONservative) Party of Australia which is more CONservative right-wing than Ghengis Khan on par with their Canadian counterpart.

 

See toon at top...

when you have a pair of seven to win...

It was revealed this week that Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has approved military cooperation with the United States against the Islamic State group (formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant). This followed reports of another beheading by the group, this time of a captured Lebanese soldier.

The galvanisation of the anti-Islamic State camp is almost surreal. Iran is now coordinating with its long-time foe to hit Islamic State targets, while Bashar al-Assad welcomes the extension of US air strikes to Syria and Saudi Arabia eyes with concern the gathering storm and builds fences along its long border with Iraq, hoping to stop the movement of Islamic State fighters and recruits.

The arrival of the Islamic State group on the scene has altered regional dynamics on many levels. One interesting aspect is the consolidation of the Iran-Syria bloc, which looked shaky this time last year. That is because President Hassan Rouhani thought he could advance his own agenda by throwing Assad to the wolves.


Syria as distraction

Rouhani came to office last August with a popular mandate to free Iran from international sanctions, imposed as a result of its nuclear programme. Syria was a distraction and the sooner it moved out of the spotlight the better for Rouhani.

The problem was that Rouhani did not have a free hand on Syria. Iran had signed a security pact with Syria in 2006 and was deeply committed to protecting Assad. The most vocal supporters of the Assad regime were in the central command of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

read more: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/09/why-ayatollahs-are-sticking-with-20149894612380848.html

the west needs russia...

 

Russia - isolated and confronting Western sanctions due to its behaviour in Ukraine - is genuinely concerned about the rise of Islamist fundamentalism, which threatens to spread ever closer to Russia's own borders.

It wants to see the so-called Islamic State defeated and some order restored in Syria, where it has long maintained a strategic interest. It believes Western policy in the region has been self-serving and wildly naive.

Existing regimes have been toppled leaving little more than chaos in their wake.

With the UN General Assembly in New York fast approaching, Mr Putin is eager to embark upon a new initiative on the world stage; one that will highlight Russia's distinctive voice, but one that also will underline what he sees as Moscow's irreplaceable role in the international system.

So seen in this light, the Russian deployment to Syria may already have achieved much of what Mr Putin is seeking.

For a start Russia has demonstrated that it is a strategic player in the region and is prepared to put its military might behind its diplomacy.

It has also demonstrated that its support for President Bashar al-Assad, at least for the short- and medium-term, is solid and a factor with which all other actors must contend.

read more http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-34362377

 

 

Australia is considering softening its opposition to the Assad regime in Syria, with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop saying a political solution needs to be found to solve the country's deadly conflict.

Ms Bishop is currently at the United Nations in New York and hinted at the major policy shift.

"The fear that a number of countries have is that if the Assad regime were either removed or collapsed, it would create a vacuum, and one might find that it was filled by an even more diabolical presence than the Assad regime," she said.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-26/australia-considers-changing-position-assad-must-step-aside/6806852

 

See toon and articles at top...

 

 

sharing US weapons between enemies...

The Pentagon has said that a group of US-trained Syrian fighters has handed over ammunition and equipment to the Al-Nusra Front rebel group, purportedly in exchange for safe passage.

The acknowledgement contrasted with earlier denials by the US Defence Department of reports that some fighters had either defected or handed over gear.

"Unfortunately, we learned late today that the NSF (New Syrian Forces) unit now says it did in fact provide six pickup trucks and a portion of their ammunition to a suspected Al-Nusra Front [group]," Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said on Friday.

Colonel Patrick Ryder, a spokesman for Central Command, which is overseeing efforts against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), said the fighters had handed over the gear in exchange for safe passage in the Nusra Front operating area.

"If accurate, the report of NSF members providing equipment to Al-Nusra Front is very concerning and a violation of Syria train-and-equip programme guidelines," Ryder said.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/09/trained-syria-fighters-gave-equipment-nusra-front-150926011820488.html

 

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aside from assad...

The lies of Algerian Power

by Thierry Meyssan

The criteria that we habitually use in politics to explain power games do not apply to Algeria. Its current leaders are above all impostors who have fabricated, one by one, false biographies in order to obtain the consideration of their compatriots. Inch by inch, they have clawed their way to the highest summit of the State. They hold their positions there by the will of the great powers who pretend to believe their fables in order the better to manipulate them.

 


The international medias are discovering with astonishment the reality of the Algerian Power that, until now, they have worked to hide. This Power is not the prize of a single clan, but that of several men of whom the figure of President Bouteflika is the central balancing point.

In Algerian Power, who defends what?

These clans continue to wage a ferocious battle against one another, which has prevented them from nominating not only a successor to the outgoing President, but also a Prime Minister. Finally, they have nominated three - Noureddine Bedoui, assisted by Ramtane Lamamra, both flanked by a third, Lakhdar Brahimi.

Let’s be clear about the distribution of roles :

 

Abdelaziz Bouteflika is a small-time crook who was the secretary of Houari Boumediene, and he was able, over time, to invent a past for himself. For about twenty years, he has usurped the Presidential function, thanks to a series of violations of the Constitution and glaringly obvious rigged elections. Hospitalised in Switzerland for two weeks for certain « periodic medical check-ups », he was diagnosed with « neurological and respiratory problems ». Noting that he was incapable of giving his assent for care procedures, the doctors asked for the name of his legal tutor in order to authorise them. The only response they received was the repatriation of the bedridden dying invalid without his being seen. Then An Nahar TV broadcast some fleeting images of him dating from 18 October 2017, but which were presented as having been taken on 11 March 2019 [2]. Finally, a new letter attributed to Bouteflika was published to announce the sine die extension of his mandate.

 

Noureddine Bedoui was nominated as Prime Minister by the person holding the Presidential pen. Until then, he had been the Minister of the Interior, and was reputed to be close to the outgoing President’s brother, Nacer Bouteflika. It was he who had imagined the possibility of attributing a fifth mandate to the invalid President and had allegedly collected six million signatures to support him. His role is to ensure the Presidential illusion.

 

Ramtane Lamamra was nominated as assistant Prime Minister. Until then, he had been advisor to the invalid President, in other words, one of the holders of his President’s place in the Power structure. He is considered to represent the interests of the ex-colonial power, France.

 

Lakhdar Brahimi was nominated as President of the National Conference tasked with setting up the democratic transition which has often been announced but never initiated. This 85 year-old retiree was recalled because of his service record – he played a central part in the creation of the current system, and represents the interests of the new colonial power, the United States.

This centre-stage personality is in no way what he pretends to be. Born of a family which collaborated with the French occupier, he has managed to make believe that he had, on the contrary, participated in the struggle for national liberation. 
• In 1965, he was the last person to receive Mehdi Ben Barka. 
[Gus note: the assassination of Ben Barka led to the collapse of the French government]. He informed the Moroccan secret services of his intentions and therefore facilitated the kidnapping and assassination of the secretary of the Tricontinental. 
• In 1982, in the context of the efforts by Algeria, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia, he concluded the Taëf Agreement, which put an end to the Lebanese civil war in exchange for the creation of a confessional régime which was totally ungovernable, placing de facto the country under the eternal control of the main regional and international powers. 
• At the end of 1991, he was one of the ten members of the High Security Council of Algeria which destituted President Chadli Bendjedid, annulled the municipal elections, and opened the way for Abdelaziz Bouteflika to approach power [3]. 
• In 2000, he pushed for the creation of an Intelligence Service within the administration of the United Nations [4]. 
• In 2001, at the demand of Washington, he concluded the Bonn Agreements which ended the US / British intervention in Afghanistan and placed Hamid Karzai and the narco-trafickers in power [5]. _ • In 2012, after the resignation of Kofi Annan from his position as mediator for Syria, he was jointly nominated by the UNO and the Arab League, not as mediator, but « special representative ». Far from implementing the Lavrov-Annan peace plan which had been approved by the Security Council, he worked to apply the secret plan of his boss, UN number two Jeffrey Feltman, for a total and unconditional surrender of the Syrian Arab Republic [6].

The role of the Islamists

There are several stories concerning the black decade (1991-2002) during which between 60,000 and 150,000 people lost their lives. The only thing that is certain, when we look at that extended period, is that Wahhabite social projects replaced the State in the countryside, that Islamist terrorism was a British tentative to exclude the French influence, and that the army saved the country while certain military personnel passed over to the side of the Islamist « throat-slashers ».

When it was all over, in 2004, President Bouteflika allied himself personally with the Islamist « throat-slashers » [7]) against the (military) « eradicators » . He presented himself as an old soldier capable of making peace with his enemies. In reality, he allied himself with the Islamists in order to reduce the power of the army and the security services which had placed him power.

 

In 2013, Abdelaziz Bouteflika restructured the Department of Intelligence and Security, deprived them of much of their attributions and means, and retired General Mohamed Mediene. 

In 2014, he authorised the armed branch of the Islamic Salvation Front (ISF), the Armed Islamic Group (GIA - responsible for tens of thousands of deaths) to organise a training camp in the face of the whole world. 

In 2016, he ordered Ahmed Ouyahia (whom he later named as Prime Minister) to receive the head of the GIA, Madani Mezrag, and made it known that he now had enjoyed amnesty and legal immunity. 

In March 2019, his clan brought Madani Mezrag back to the front of the stage in order to incarnate the menace of a new civil war on the demonstrating population.

In this context, the nomination of Lakhdar Brahimi makes perfect sense. When he was tasked with the Syrian dossier at the UNO and the Arab League, he fought for a « political solution » which included the arrest of President Bachar el-Assad and his replacement by a professor from the Sorbonne, Burhan Ghalioun. This man was a collaborator with the National Endowment for Democracy (NED/CIA), even though, officially, he was a partisan of a non-confessional Syria, and had been the speech-writer for Abbassi Madani, the head of the IFS during his exile in Qatar.

Independent Algeria was first of all built in the secrecy inherent to the struggle for national liberation. Then this secrecy was maintained and used by some to construct a legend and which could offer them a glorious role. This mystification, repeated over the decades, deprived the people of the understanding of events. It allowed them to make themselves indispensable by playing danger (the « throat-slashers ») off against protection (the « eradicators »). Prisoners of their own mystification, they are now obliged to submit to the blackmail of France and the United States.

Thierry Meyssan

Translation 
Pete Kimberley

Source:

https://www.voltairenet.org/article205683.html

 

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a fake peace-maker...

The article by Thierry Meyssan which follows has been edited by Jules Letambour, for better clarity and update. This article was writen before the Russians wiped ISIS's butt, while the US was faking it and tried to destroy Assad's armies, while taking the credit for ISIS defeat. This is 2019, still with a precarious "accepted" peace balance.

 

 

The second Geneva Conference on peace in Syria failed, first, because the United States decided to support the Saudi position rather than honor their signature on the Geneva 1 communiqué and, secondly, because it was chaired by Lakhdar Brahimi who was not an impartial broker, but served Washington instead of seeking peace.

 

On the advice of Russia, Syria had accepted that the special envoy of Ban Ki-moon would chair the sessions. Moscow hoped at the time that Washington would keep its promises. Damascus remembered that twenty-five years earlier, at Taif, Brahimi had not been an opponent of Syria.

However, the vote by the U.S. Congress granting funding to Al-Qaeda at a secret meeting,

the lack of legitimacy and authority of the delegation of the Syrian opposition,

the cancellation of the UN invitation to Iran on the eve of the conference

and the keynote speech by Secretary of State John Kerry heaping all the responsibility on Syria,

not to mention the hurdles put by the European Union to physically prevent the Syrian delegation from travelling to Switzerland, showed that Moscow had either miscalculated or had been deceived.

 

The Montreux session was exclusively designed to put Syria in the dock, making it fall into a trap. Indeed, the United States had itself drafted the statement by the Syrian opposition and released two days earlier a supposedly independent report — actually a hoax sponsored by Qatar — comparing Syrian prisons to Auschwitz. Though Walid al-Muallem reasonably addressed Syrian public opinion, John Kerry and his allies, for their part, spoke to the rest of the world to impose their propaganda.

 

At the Geneva talks, Lakhdar Brahimi framed Syria’s inflexibility and blamed Syria for the war of which Syria was the victim. Thus, in the eyes of the world, the victims were not victims, but executioners. Brahimi allowed some talk about terrorism, but at the same time always evoked the issue of transitional government. He also accused Syria of not playing the game, as the discussion on terrorism had resulted in the clear legitmate endorsement from the "opposition delegation" of the abuses perpetrated by the jihadists rebels.

 

Since the U.S. shift from the first conference, Lakhdar Brahimi has become a relentless accuser of Syria. On March 14, before the United Nations General Assembly, he accused Syria of turning down international humanitarian aid and of starving the Syrian people. He presented the situation in Yarmouk Camp as "Syria’s deliberate intent to starve the Palestinians", ignoring that the Palestinian Authority supports Syria's Assad government and has thanked Syria for what was done in Yarmouk. Above all, Brahimi never ceased to assert that the Syrian conflict was between the government and some of its citizens, and that there was no military solution/intervention. Brahimi's position was concealing the West’s ten-year involvement in preparing for this war — that the West triggered by sending snipers into Deraa and spreading disinformation about the torture of children. It was also ignoring the presence of foreign fighters, even though Mr. Brahimi had previously admitted they were at least 40,000 of these fighting in Syria. Even though this figure is three times lower than what it actually was [Jules note: this was wrttien in 2014 — it would have been correct for 2015], it is enough to indicate that this was a war of aggression comparable to that that suffered Nicaragua in the 80s.

 

In retrospect, it appears that Syria was mistaken to follow Russia’s advice and trust Lakhdar Brahimi. His appointment was in itself a foreboding of the failure to come: while his predecessor, Kofi Annan, had resigned, saying the mission impossible due to the division of the Security Council, Brahimi himself had accepted this with a smile.

 

Then, Lakhdar Brahimi had combined his role as Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General with that of Special Envoy of the Secretary General of the Arab League, from which Syria was improperly excluded. He was therefore judge and jury.

 

At the time of Brahimi’s appointment in August 2013, I wrote an article about his past and submitted it to a major Syrian newspaper — I did not yet have the privilege of writing for Al-Watan. I reported his engagement in 1992 among the ten members of the Algerian High Security Council. This so-called champion of democracy then annulled the results of democratic elections, forcing President Bendjedid to resign, placed janviéristes generals in power triggering a terrible decade of civil war, which the Algerian people still bear the scars and from which only the United States profited.

 

At the time, the leader of the Algerian Islamists, Abbasi Madani, took the pseudo-secular Syrian, Bourhan Ghalioun (future president of the Syrian National Council) as a political advisor. The armed Islamist faction GSPC (renamed in 2007 Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) was trained in handling weapons alongside the Islamic Fighting Group in Libya (renamed in 1997 Al-Qaeda in Libya); most fighters of the two groups are today incorporated into the armed [rebels] groups in Syria.

 

Very worried about the consequences of these revelations, some Syrian officials opposed their publication. According to them, the dissemination of such an article would have been interpreted, including by Russia, as a desire to break away from the negotiations on the part of Syria. So I published it in Algeria, on Mr. Brahimi’s turf, in El-Ekhbar, the country’s second daily. It provoked a storm against him there.

 

Let’s observe today [2014] the legacy of Lakhdar Brahimi: even before taking part in triggering the Algerian civil war, he had negotiated the Taif Agreement (1989) for the Arab League which divided Lebanon along religious community lines and which, today, make it anything but a sovereign state. Mr. Brahimi is also the one who negotiated the Bonn Accords (2002), installing the Kabul Karzai clan in power on behalf of NATO. Finally, as for the famous report  — to which he gave his name — of the UN Commission he chaired for the Peacekeeping Operations dedicated to "humanitarian intervention", the new name for colonialism. Above all, he endorses the drift of the UN Organization which invented interposition troops to impose the peace of the great powers instead of observers to monitor the application of a negotiated peace between the parties in conflict. He advocated to base this global governance on a doctrine of intervention and a supra-national intelligence service called "Decision Support", which Ban Ki-moon entrusted ... to NATO.

 

Moreover, Mr. Brahimi has never been a "bargainer" or a "mediator" in the Syrian conflict. His mandate, signed by Ban Ki-moon, asks him to use his "talents and his extraordinary experience" to take Syria to a "political transition, in accordance with the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people". "Transition" here does not mean transition from war to peace, but from a sovereign Syria to an enslaved Syria without Bashar el-Assad.

 

Lakhdar Brahimi, who presents himself as a Third World militant, has never served the people of the Third World — not even his own [read article above] — and has always been a servant of the major powers. He does not deserve the respect that has been accorded to him by the media.

 

Thierry Meyssan

Translation 

Roger Lagassé

Source 

Al-Watan (Syria)

 

Read more:

https://www.voltairenet.org/article183178.html

 

 

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