All posts filed under: Syria

Chomsky’s Unearned Prestige

Eric Zuesse A large part of Noam Chomsky’s public image as an intellectual is derived not from his role in the field of linguistics, but instead from his having co-authored with Edward Herman Manufacturing Consent. The first matter to be discussed here will therefore be Chomsky’s contribution to that work; and, more broadly, that work’s contribution to human understanding — the actual significance of the book. Chomsky’s contribution to that 1988 book was to describe the selling of specifically the wars in Vietnam and in adjoining Indochinese nations, according to that book’s main author, Herman’s, theory. That theory was called the “Propaganda model of communication”. It’s the book’s theory, or “model,” of manufacturing consent for wars. According to their book, the practitioners of this model are the public relations or PR profession that sell, to the domestic American public, invasions and military occupations of foreign lands. This is a specialized field of PR. Herman’s theory (or “model”) of political PR (commonly called “propaganda”) for the invasion and control of foreign countries, had, itself, actually already …

War Criminals at Large

It is a common misconception that democracies do not start wars of aggression or carry out terrorist attacks. The historical facts for the period from 1945 to today show a completely different reality: time and again, democratic states in Europe and North America have participated in wars of aggression and terrorist attacks in the past 70 years.

Mass Psychosis and The Church of Humanitarian Interventionism

David Penner for The Saker Blog, January 3, 2019 Ask any American liberal aged sixty-five and older what they think about Franco, Mussolini, or Hitler and they will vehemently denounce these men as tyrants, murderers, and despots. Ask them what they think about the Vietnam War and they will say it was a tragedy, not only for the Vietnamese, but for the poor American soldiers who were drafted and used as cannon fodder. Liberals also once defended the civil rights movement and the New Deal while vigorously opposing McCarthyism. That these same people would go on to support de-unionization, re-segregation, and Russophobia while enthusiastically backing barbarous wars and interventions in Yugoslavia, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan and Ukraine constitutes not only a betrayal of leftist principles, but is indicative of a rejection of reason and the reality-based world. Like the proverbial general always fighting the last war, liberals remain trapped in the past, unable to adapt to rapidly unfolding kinetic developments. The problem is that not only is this general fighting the last war, this is a general …

Faint Signs of Hope in Syria and Afghanistan

James O’Neill In March 2003 Iraq was invaded by military forces led by the United States, and including other military forces from a range of US allies, including Australia. The ostensible reason for the invasion was the Iraqi government’s alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). Possession of such weapons is not of itself a legitimate basis for invasion. The Allies therefore had to embellish the claim. Saddam Hussein was going to attack the United Kingdom, with only 45 minutes warning! He was using these weapons against his own people (a claim later repeated to justify the attack on Syria). He posed a threat to peace and stability in the Middle East (irony bypass required here). It was even hinted, none too subtly, that Saddam was one of the persons responsible for the events of 11 September 2001 (“9/11”). There was not a shred of evidence to support any of these allegations. Absence of evidence has never been a deterrent where imperial ambitions are concerned. The invasion of Iraq was about many things, but …

Lies and Damned Lies: Australia, the US and the “Syria Withdrawal”

Few of us would claim we never told a lie, but neither that we did so enthusiastically. Just the innocent deception of our own children with the Santa Claus fairy tale is a lie, even if told for the most altruistic of reasons. Perhaps that illustrates the conundrum, and need for some distinction between “innocent lies” and egregious ones, and those in between.

Syria and the will of God

Kevin Smith In my lifetime, there has never been a greater force of evil than the terror rained down on Syria by foreign nations. Its cruelty and savagery have had no bounds. Nonetheless, Syria has defended itself against the economic might of 2/3 of the world’s great powers and has beaten them all. As a career military officer and student of military affairs, I cannot explain how Syria could accomplish this if it were not the will of God.” These were words spoken by US Virginia state senator Richard Black during a recent visit to Syria. Here is a link to more of what he said. For me, these words are the most profound and thought-provoking I’ve read about Syria. I read them every day. I’ve been observing and researching events in Syria and western government’s role in the chaos for some years now. I have also been thinking about faith and wondering if a god plays a role in world events. Evil versus Syria I think all people, religious or not, who care about …

“We have defeated ISIS in Syria” – Is Trump telling the truth?

Eric Zuesse At 11:52AM on Wednesday, December 19th, CBS News headlined “White House orders Pentagon to pull troops from Syria immediately” and reported that, “Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a veteran of the US Air Force who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and now serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said it’s ‘simply not true’ [which Trump, had said there, that] ISIS is defeated in Syria.” CBS News didn’t indicate which political Party Kinzinger represents, but he is a Republican, and he represents the rural Illinois 16th Congressional District, where Donald Trump had beaten Hillary Clinton by a 17% margin in 2016. So, Kinzinger is an anti-Trump Republican on this matter. He’s credible about that, not partisan about it. Who is telling the truth, Trump’s “We have defeated ISIS in Syria” or Kinzinger’s contrary, and what explains the contradiction between the accounts by Trump and Kinzinger? As the CBS News report says, “Two weeks ago, Special Envoy Brett McGurk said the end of ISIS will be a long-term initiative, and “nobody is declaring mission accomplished.” CBS’s …

Andre Vltchek Interviewed in L’Antidiplomatico

Alessandro Bianchi’s interview with Andre Vltchek, originally published in L’Antidiplomatico. You can read both parts 1 and 2 in the original Italian here and here. Alessandro Bianchi Let’s start from today’s crisis in the Sea of Azov. The European Union and NATO have given full support to Ukraine after the violation of Russian sovereignty by two Ukrainian vessels. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg gave his full support to Poroshenko, who declared martial law. What does a country like Italy risk in continuing its accession to NATO? Andre Vltchek: Russia intercepted three Ukrainian ships in the Kerch Strait. The ships had, even according to Ukrainian authorities, several intelligence officers on board, as well as a number of light arms and machine guns. It was clear provocation, as the ships refused to inform Russian authorities about their intentions, and behaved in an aggressive manner. They were passing through Russian territorial waters. Ukrainian intelligence officers were obviously in charge of the entire operation. So, what is really so ‘alarming’ for the West? The ships were stopped, some crew …

The Only Regime Change that Is Needed Is in Washington

Philip Giraldi One of the things to look forward to in the upcoming holiday season is the special treats that one is allowed to sample. Fruitcake and nuts are Thanksgiving and Christmas favorites. They usually come in tins or special packages but it seems that this season some of the nuts have escaped and have fled to obtain sanctuary from the Trump Administration. Currently, there is certainly a wide range of nuts available on display in the West Wing. There is the delicate but hairy Bolton, which has recently received the coveted “Defender of Israel” award, and also the robust Pompeo, courageously bucking the trend to overeat during the holidays by telling the Iranian people that they should either surrender or starve to death. And then there is the always popular Haley, voting audaciously to give part of Syria to Israel as a holiday treat. But my vote for the most magnificent nut in an Administration that is overflowing with such talent would be the esteemed United States Special Representative for Syria Engagement James Jeffrey. …

The New U.S. Strategy in Syria is Bound to Fail

Firas Samuri The leading analysts repeatedly stated that the U.S. has failed to overthrow President Bashar Assad. Recently, The National Interest reporter and researcher, Doug Bandow, has made sure of it during his trip to Damascus. He claims “at long last, the conflict is winding down. Assad has won, and Washington has lost, and America’s approach has been a disastrous failure.’ Meanwhile, the Trump administration is considering the possibility of changing the current political course that previously hasn’t led to any success. Today a new strategy for the war in Syria is hastily working out. According to Stratfor, an American geopolitical intelligence platform and publisher, the U.S. is focused on the full withdrawal of the Iranian military and their proxies from Syria, as well as on changing the current Syrian government. The ‘war strategy’ particularly highlights the Russian and Iranian approach. However, the United States could hardly be expected to force Moscow and Tehran to leave Syria, as these states are acting officially in fighting terrorism at the invitation of the Syrian President. Due to …

Syria: The Creeping Partition

by Peter Ford, October 24, 2018, Syriana Analysis The September crisis over Idlib was brought to a conclusion by the Russian Turkish agreement to create a partially demilitarised border strip. This should have been implemented by 16 October but hasn’t. Idlib Some armed groups have pulled back their heavy weapons from the 15-20 km wide 250 km long strip but others haven’t, while the groups internationally categorised as a terrorist, including Hayat Tahrir Ash Sham (HTS), Hurras Ad Deen, and the Turkmenistan militia, have not vacated the area as the Turks promised. Russia was supposed to be allowed into the area to monitor but isn’t. In blatant violation of the ceasefire, some of the groups are shelling neighbouring government-controlled areas including the outskirts of Aleppo and northern Lattakia. The Turks claim all is well. The Russians, putting a brave face on a very unsatisfactory situation, call for patience. The reality appears to be that the Russians don’t think the Syrian government forces are strong enough to overcome the approximately 90,000 jihadi fighters in Idlib, many …

BBC Documentary – “A Dangerous Dynasty: House of Assad”

David Carlson I rarely watch anything on the BBC now and this first part in a three part character assassination of Bashar Assad is a testament as to why watching anything the BBC produces is as near perverse as some of their DJ’s. “Nick Greene”, the Grun states ” forensic excision of the tumour at the heart of Syria,” is about as sick as gaggle of Bishops at a Jimmy Saville party. The sickly female voice over 20 years ago would only be found on a childrens program explainingg basics of a subject to ten year olds but now, it seems, is standard fare for adults happy to accept such condescension. To start with the ommision of how Hafez Assad rescued Syria from American and French colonial interference that by policy was designed to keep Syria a fractured state of warring tribes is as I expected a deafening silence. That he came from a peasant family with nothing to be President that united his nation in a secular peace and a growing prosperity for all …

Chemical weapons in Syria? BBC Panorama relies on questionable evidence

A joint investigation by BBC Panorama and BBC Arabic claimed to show how chemical weapons have been used by the Syrian Government as part of a deliberate military strategy. Yet there are serious concerns over the investigation’s reliance on ‘broadly impartial’ sources — who are not named — and consequently the reliability of the report’s findings.

Bellingcat outed by the Independent

Philip Roddis The West’s war on Syria, and rapidly heating cold war on Russia, have involved extensive use of smear. Of unsubstantiated or even disproved allegations repeated in our not-so free mediauntil even those who rightly or wrongly – usually wrongly – deem themselves critical thinkers assume, no-smoke-without-fire  fashion, there must be truth to them. This conclusion is seldom drawn by the conscious mind. That’s not how propaganda works: witness on the one hand that near universal belief that ‘adverts don’t sway me in the slightest’;  on the other those misguided capitalists who, oblivious to our immunity to it, continue to throw vast sums at that propaganda form we call commercial advertising. Putin – my, how we feted his predecessor, the drunken Yeltsin, as he oversaw Russia’s descent to basket case status while Wall Street drooled over the spoils! – and Assad feature hardly less frequently on our screens and front pages than do ads for new cars and sofas. The stakes are higher, though[1], which explains two aspects of their demonisation not shared by commercials. One is …

How the UN Joined America’s War Against Syria

America has been at war to transfer control of Syria over to the Saud family, who own Saudi Arabia; and America has been trying to do this ever since the first of the CIA’s coups against Syria failed in 1949. But only during the U.S. Presidency of Barack Obama did the United Nations become a tool in this American enterprise.

Israel’s Failed Attempt to Start WWIII Is the Beginning of the End in Syria

by Tom Luongo, via Strategic Culture There is one thing that Israel fears more than anything else in Syria. The loss of its ability to fly its F-16’s with impunity and hit whatever targets it wants claiming defensive measures to stop Iran, their existential enemy. Israel finally admitted to carrying out over 200 such missions over the past 18 months, only a few of which ever made any kind of international media, recently. And with the sneak attack on Latakia which involved using a Russian IL-20 ELINT war plane as radar cover Israel has now not only raised the stakes to an unacceptable level, it has also ensured that this may be the last such aerial assault it will ever be able to carry out. The setup is pretty clear. Israel and France coordinated an attack on multiple targets within Syria without US involvement but with absolute US knowledge of the operation to provoke Russia into going off half-cocked by attacking the inconsequential French frigate which assisted Israel’s air attack. Any denunciation of sinister intent …

Open Thread – Russian Plane Brought Down in Syria

Last night, a Russian IL-20 military surveillance plane went missing over Syria, presumably shot down. Fifteen Russian personnel are presumed dead. This took place during an (illegal) attack by Israeli F-16 jets. At the same time, RT reported that Russia had detected missile launches from a French frigate in the Mediterranean.

This morning, Russia has formerly complained to Israel – claiming the Israeli military gave less than 1 minute of warning, and then used the Russian plane as cover, causing the Syrian air defenses to bring down the friendly plane.

Washington’s Long War on Syria Isn’t About to End

by Stephen Gowans, September 10, 2018 The United States has a new strategy for Syria, according to The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. The new direction, however, is simply the old, largely unrecognized, one, transformed from a de facto status to official one by presidential authorization. In other words, an aggressive US policy on Syria will continue to be implemented—one the US president had, for a time, openly mused about reversing, but has now accepted. The strategy, crafted by “the steady state”, and now acquiesced to by the US president, features the continued illegal and indefinite occupation of roughly one-third of Syrian territory by US forces as well as US interference in Syrian attempts to liberate Idlib from the control of Al Qaeda forces allied to Washington, its Arab monarchist collaborators, and their partner, Israel. It also features US pressure, military and otherwise, to confront Iranian forces and to drive them out of Syria. The overarching goal of the strategy, clearly articulated by US officials, is to dictate the form, nature and raison …

Dutch government faces legal trouble after aiding terrorists

by FWMstaff, Free West Media The “moderate” rebels in Syria were not moderate at all, the recent scandal in the Netherlands has demonstrated yet again. Faced with mounting legal problems, the Dutch government has been forced to cut loose the jihadists. At least one prosecutor seems to believe that the government committed a crime. According to Public Prosecutor Ferry van Veghel, the so-called “moderate” Ahrar al-Sham is indeed a terrorist organisation. He says that the Public Prosecutor has indicted Dutch citizens for participation in the movement. According to Van Veghel, there is no difference between jihadist, extremist and terrorist organisations.  “All organisations whose purpose is to establish a caliphate in Syria, which aim to frighten civilians, they can be regarded as a terrorist organisation according to the law.” And the presence of these armed groups at “democratic conferences” organised by the United States and its allies, makes no difference he says: “I think it is always good to judge organisations mainly on their actions and not so much on their words.” Ahrar al-Sham was no …

P is for Phosphorus and for Projection

Hope K On Thursday September 6th, US Ambassador Nikki Haley warned Syria and its allies Russia and Iran that the US will act if chemical weapons are used against Syrian civilians. On Saturday September 8th, the Russian Ministry of Defense stated that US jets shelled the Syrian city of Hajin with white phosphorus. White phosphorus is a gnarly chemical weapon that can burn human flesh down to the bone. So, does that mean that the US is going to “act” on itself? Probably not. The Pentagon denies the Russian Defense Ministry’s claim. Somebody’s lying. Who could it be? Well, I don’t know about you, but my mind immediately goes back to June of 2017, when the US military got caught using white phosphorus in Iraq and Syria after they said they didn’t. Then they claimed they just used it for smokescreens. The US signed a treaty in 2009 with the promise they would never again use the chemical weapon white phosphorus, except when they need to for smokescreen purposes. That’s an interesting exception. It sounds …