All posts tagged: Syria

Idlib – Reportage from the Last Front in Syria

Andre Vltchek For a while, all the guns have fallen silent. I am near Idlib, the last stronghold of the terrorists in Syria. The area where the deadliest anti-government fighters, most of them injected into Syria from Turkey, with Saudi, Qatari and Western ‘help’, are literally holed up, ready for the final showdown. Just yesterday, mortars were falling on villages near the invisible frontline, separating government troops and the terrorist forces of Al Nusra Front. The day before yesterday, two explosions rocked the earth, only a couple of meters from where we are now standing. They call it a ceasefire. But it’s not. It is one-sided. To be more precise: the Syrian army is waiting, patiently. Its cannons are pointing towards the positions of the enemy, but the orders from Damascus are clear: do not fire. The enemy has no scruples. It provokes, endlessly. It fires and bombs, indiscriminately. It kills. Along the frontline, thousands of houses are already ruined. Nothing gets spared: residential districts, sport gymnasiums, even bakeries. There is an established routine: assaults …

Douma “Chemical Attack”: Still Waiting for an Apology

As in so many of Australia’s military forays around the world, the legal basis for the Syria involvement is notably absent, although in this particular case their role was limited to being cheerleaders on the sidelines. Australia’s participation in the so-called coalition of forces fighting in Syria and allied to the United States, a serial offender against international law, has no legal foundation whatsoever. The Australian government has had legal advice on the matter, and has had such advice since 2014. If it was confident of its legal position, why then does it continue to refuse to release that advice?

Syria Accuses US of Stealing 40+ Tons of Gold

Eric Zuesse The Syrian National News Agency headlined on February 26th, “Gold deal between United States and Daesh [ISIS]” and reported that: Information from local sources said that US army helicopters have already transported the gold bullions under cover of darkness on Sunday [February 24th], before transporting them to the United States. The sources said that tens of tons that Daesh had been keeping in their last hotbed in al-Baghouz area in Deir Ezzor countryside have been handed to the Americans, adding up to other tons of gold that Americans have found in other hideouts for Daesh, making the total amount of gold taken by the Americans to the US around 50 tons, leaving only scraps for the SDF [Kurdish] militias that serve them [the US operation]. Recently, sources said that the area where Daesh leaders and members have barricaded themselves in, contains around 40 tons of gold and tens of millions of dollars. Allegedly, “US occupation forces in the Syrian al-Jazeera area made a deal with Daesh terrorists, by which Washington gets tens of …

A Religious Wake-up Call

Kevin Smith and Lesley Buckley What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” Gospel of Mark, 8:36 I’ve been looking at religion for some time now, thinking if there are areas where perhaps it can be more involved as a voice against regime change, extremist ideology and continuous war. My thoughts on the concept of religion and its basic teaching are positive. Despite what some people say, I think peace and compassion is a strong theme in the writings of the Bible and Koran. But, I’m sure like me there are many of us who take issue with the behaviour of the religious hierarchy and some followers. Recently, I attended a course which explores the basics of Christianity and what underpins Christian beliefs. Among the thoughts I had is why Jesus has not paid us a return visit maybe to give us a further chance to change. With so many more people living on our planet and in such dangerous and immoral times, surely we are in need …

Why has CounterPunch spiked Andre Vltchek’s ‘Lies of the Empire’?

Ramin Mazaheri I first started reading Andre Vltchek on the website CounterPunch, which is a truly great leftist website… even though I will probably never get published on there, even if I was relaying the cure for cancer: CounterPunch appears totally opposed to working with any state media, and I work for Iran’s PressTV. Rather anarchist and ivory-tower, but… whatever. Reporters have only two choices: work for either privately-owned or state-owned media. I.e., you can work for shareholders, a patrician family (whether urban giants or rural petty tyrants), or some billionaire whose new sports team is in the middle of a boring rebuild, or you can work for the People. I chose the People. Even if this closes a million doors to me – and the fact that I work for the Iranian People closes a million others – I have zero regrets. (Blogging – working for Yourself – is now a third choice, but I don’t have the tech savvy to make that economically viable, and the vast majority of blogging journalists say the …

Crocodile Tears for Venezuela

On 26 February, Stephen Hickey, UK political coordinator at the United Nations, delivered a statement at the Security Council briefing on Venezuela that put the blame for the situation in that country on its government. He said that years of misrule and corruption have wrecked the Venezuelan economy and that the actions of the “Maduro regime” have led to economic collapse.

Regime Change is Urgently Needed…in Washington

Andre Vltchek I am surprised that no one else is saying it, writing it, shouting it at each and every corner: It is not Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Iran that are in dire and crucial need of ‘regime change’. It is the United States of America, it is the entire European Union; in fact, the entire West. And the situation is urgent. The West has gone mad; it has gone so to speak, bananas; mental. And people there are too scared to even say it, to write about it. One country after another is falling, being destroyed, antagonized, humiliated, impoverished. Entire continents are treated as if they were inhabited by irresponsible toddlers, who are being chased and disciplined by sadistic adults, with rulers and belts in their hands yelling with maniacal expressions on their faces: “Behave, do as we say, or else!” It all would be truly comical, if it weren’t so depressing. But… nobody is laughing. People are shaking, sweating, crying, begging, puking, but they are not chuckling. I see it everywhere where I …

Samara’s Aid Appeal False Claims Exposed

Steven Sahiounie Samara Levy, “Pride of Britain” nominee, a British woman running her own charity known as Samara’s Aid Appeal, was under suspicion of fraud. The detailed claims she made concerning hospitals she claims to have founded, supported and developed have been proven to be untrue. Careful verification in Syria has proven that Samara Levy has never been connected with any medical facility in Syria. After contacting the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Religious Endowments (Awqaf), and the Syria Trust for Development, none of these officials confirmed any knowledge of Samara Levy, or her charity having ever made any medical projects in Syria. The World Health Organization visits many hospitals in Syria, but they are Syrian projects and none are run by Samara Levy. The Church Connection Samara Levy is a member of St. Peter’s Church, Brighton. In a church website, dated December 2018, A statement appears strongly endorsing Samara’s Aid Appeal: “it’s sensible and verifiable and going to people in real need.” The article states the people helped are displaced inside Syria. A …

George and the ‘ISIS Bride’

Kevin Smith Two things I gave up in the New Year after many years were smoking and reading the London Evening Standard. I used to pick up the newspaper at the tube station on the journey from work back to the sticks. ​The newspaper over the last year has got worse in many ways, not least the reporting of Syria and foreign affairs. It’s that bad that there should be an Off-Evening Standard – set up by people who read it so Londoners don’t have to. The Evening Standard is one of those newspapers which is so inept or/and dishonest on these matters it always forces me to pick up my pen and write just to get it out of my system. So in a way it’s a source of negative inspiration for my writing and last year I wrote this for Off- Guardian, about an article Jeremy Hunt published in it. However my son who works in London brings it home and the other day, venturing out into my garden for a crafty vape …

Turkey’s dangerous game causing Idlib catastrophe

Firas Samuri The meeting of the heads of Russia, Turkey and Iran dedicated to the Syrian settlement was held in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi on February 14, 2019. Vladimir Putin, Hassan Rouhani and Recep Erdogan discussed possible ways of the political resolution of the Syrian crisis, joint steps that would help to calm the situation in Syria and seriously advance the peace process by showing respect for international law and the agreements undertaken by the parties concerned. Speaking of the peaceful settlement in Idlib, the sides have agreed to continue working on the implementation of the Sochi summit. The certain adjustments on transferring Idlib’s largest part under Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (former Al-Qaida terrorists or HTS) control would be made. As of yet, it is not clear whether the hostilities against terrorists would open. The detailed answer could be given only after having analyzed the Turkish activity on implementing all the points of the Memorandum on Stabilization of the Situation in Idlib as well as after having studied the development of the situation …

The Year of the Pig is here…literally

Andre Vltchek Gong Xi Fa Cai: happy year of the Pig 2019! Congratulations, the Year of the Pig has arrived! According to the Chinese astrology, 2019 is a great year to make money, and a good year to invest! 2019 is going to be full of joy, a year of friendship and love for all the zodiac signs; an auspicious year because the Pig attracts success in all the spheres of life.” So, what is astrology actually saying? We will soon have some sort of ‘brotherhood of men’ year ahead of us; a year that could bring both peace and understanding between all the zodiac signs? We all wish that it could be possible. But we all have doubts that this is what is actually ahead of us! * So, where does the world stand, as the most populous nation on earth – China (but also Vietnam and several other countries) – celebrates the New Year? To be honest, the world does not ‘stand’ at all – it lies in the gutter. It appears to …

“Pride of Britain” Nominee Under Suspicion of Fraud

Samara Levy is a British woman who runs a charity called “Samara’s Aid Appeal”. She has a very active website as well as a Facebook page. She is a registered UK Charity, which claims to send supplies and medical units to Syria. She has an extensive network of donor-volunteers across UK, and is networking with many churches of all denominations. However, the claims she makes are seemingly not verifiable, and in direct contradiction with the facts on the ground in Syria.

Goodbye ‘Freedom and Democracy’ – Hello ‘Rules-based International Order’

Paul Carline The banner and the clarion call of western countries, and their own asserted legitimation – especially when they are engaging in illegal wars and coups – used to be “freedom and democracy”: the precious gift they were generously and selflessly offering to a backward world – or one allegedly in the ‘chains’ of Socialism/Communism. There was “Radio Free Europe”, for example, pushing out western liberal propaganda, primarily against the countries of the former Soviet Union. The Washington-based “Freedom House” organisation, which claims to be independent, has around 150 staff members in Washington and in ‘field offices’ around the world. Its President is Michael J. Abramowitz, who before joining Freedom House in 2017, was director of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Levine Institute for Holocaust Education. Before that, he was National Editor and then White House correspondent for the Washington Post. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a former fellow at the German Marshall Fund and the Hoover Institution. He is also a board member of the National Security …

Marie Colvin, Homs and Media Falsehoods about Syria

Rick Sterling Introduction In April 2014 I was part of an international delegation which visited Syria for five days. The delegates came from many different countries. Among the notables were the Irish Nobel Laureate Mairead Maguire, a Syrian-British heart surgeon and Julian Assange’s father. We spent time in Damascus, then traveled by bus to Latakia and then Homs. In each city we had meetings with political, religious and social leaders but also had time to wander about and talk with people on the streets. In Latakia, I met Lilly Martin, an American woman who married a Syrian and has lived there, raising a family for the past twenty-five years. She told me how wrong the western media coverage was. Contrary to media claims, she said protests in Latakia were violent from the start. After the first outbreak of violence, Syrian police and military were ordered to not carry weapons. Protesters continued to burn and destroy government offices with incidents of knifing and shooting unarmed police. When we visited Homs I was struck by how normal …

The real enemy of the people

We are all familiar with the terms ‘conspiracy theorist’ and ‘apologist’ used by the establishment and media to smear independent journalists, experts and other commentators. For some time this has been particularly evident in the debates we see over the Middle East wars and Russia. It’s common knowledge that people who use these terms can’t argue rationally so resort to smears.

Syria, Then and Now: Liberated of Western-backed Terrorism

Max Parry In a surprise turn of events, last month U.S. President Donald J. Trump made the abrupt unilateral announcement that American troops would begin to withdraw from Syria. The unexpected decision provoked the wrath of the foreign policy establishment and bipartisan ‘war party’ in Washington who immediately denounced it as a premature, reckless move that would lead to a resurgence of ISIS. As anticipated, the Beltway blob also claimed it was another sign of Trump’s perceived untold allegiance to Russian President Vladimir Putin. None of the warmongers in Washington would dare admit that the real gains made against ISIS were by the Syrian army with Russian air support, let alone that their own policies were responsible for its manifestation. Sure enough, a suicide bombing in Kurdish-controlled Manbij killed four American personnel just a month later and Daesh, which has a history of taking credit for attacks perpetrated by others, immediately claimed responsibility. It is almost as if the strategic asset themselves did not desire an American pullback— could it be another ‘false flag’ to …

Disbelief, Magic Realism and Doublethink Alive and Well in 2018

James O’Neill In the Lyrical Ballads, a collection of essays and poems by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the latter coined the phrase “the willing suspension of disbelief.” It enabled the reader to overlook the logical improbabilities or fanciful concoctions to achieve “poetic faith”. A modern equivalent might be “magical realism,” a term conceived by the German writer Franz Roh in 1925. Magical realism was a style of fiction that painted a realistic view of the modern world while also adding magical elements. Both terms are appropriate when one considers modern journalism, especially as applied to some of the major stories of 2018. Four events during that year illustrate the point. Crimea Although not strictly speaking a 2018 story, it nonetheless ran strongly through 2018, blending a number of sub stories, all with the common element of Russia bashing. Following the United States inspired and financed Maidan coup in February 2014, the Crimeans decided to hold a referendum as to whether or not they would remain part of Ukraine (to whom they were ‘gifted’ …

The War on Populism

Remember when the War on Terror ended and the War on Populism began? That’s OK, no one else does.

It happened in the Summer of 2016, also known as “the Summer of Fear.” The War on Terror was going splendidly. There had been a series of “terrorist attacks,” in Orlando, Nice, Würzberg, Munich, Reutlingen, Ansbach, and Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, each of them perpetrated by suddenly “self-radicalized” “lone wolf terrorists” (or “non-terrorist terrorists“) who had absolutely no connection to any type of organized terrorist groups prior to suddenly “self- radicalizing” themselves by consuming “terrorist content” on the Internet.

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.