Category Archives: Middle East

OPCW’s block of on-site probe shows Western powers now aiming to oust Assad – Lavrov

OPCW’s block of on-site probe shows Western powers now aiming to oust Assad – Lavrov
The attempt by Western countries to derail Russia’s fact-finding initiative in Syria to examine the site of the chemical incident in Idlib province exposes their aim to topple the Syrian government, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

READ MORE: Russia questions Britain’s chemical weapons investigation in Syria

“I believe that it’s a very serious situation, because now it’s obvious that false information about the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government is being used to move away from implementing Resolution 2254, which stipulates a political settlement with the participation of all the Syrian parties, and aims to switch to the long-cherished idea of regime change,” Lavrov said, speaking at a press conference with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Astana.

UNSC Resolution 2254 calls for an inclusive government in Syria and a peace process that would involve a new constitution and free and fair elections.

According to the minister, the decision displayed “complete incompetence” on the part of his Western colleagues, who, in fact, are “prohibiting the OPCW from sending their experts to the site of the incident, as well as to the airfield from where aircraft loaded with chemical weapons allegedly flew out.”

“Yesterday [April 20], our proposal that experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons [OPCW] visit the sites of the suspected chemical attack in Syria was blocked by Western delegations without any explanations,” Lavrov said.

In the meantime, the UK and France claim their experts have received samples from the site of the incident, Lavrov added.

READ MORE: UN doesn’t send experts to Idlib ‘chemical incident’ site as West & US are blocking it – Assad

“London, Paris, and the OPCW have given no answers to our questions as to where they took these samples, who took them, or when they were delivered,” Lavrov stated.

“I think we are very close to this organization [OPCW] being discredited,” Lavrov added.

On Thursday, the OPCW’s executive council overwhelmingly rejected a proposal from Russia and Iran for a new investigation into the Idlib chemical incident.

The proposal had been amended to agree to Western demands that the investigation into the alleged attack be carried out by the existing OPCW fact-finding mission, but was defeated nonetheless.

The draft proposal seen by AFP called on the OPCW “to establish whether chemical weapons were used in Khan Sheikhoun and how they were delivered to the site of the reported incident.”

Both OPCW fact-checking missions tasked with looking into the Idlib incident are being headed by UK citizens, which Lavrov called “a very strange coincidence” that “runs contrary to the principles of an international organization.”

Earlier in April, an incident in the Syrian town of Khan Shaykhun reportedly killed as many as 100 people and injured several hundred. The US has squarely laid the blame on Damascus, claiming that it hid chemical weapons stockpiles from the OPCW after pledging to hand them over in 2013.

Moscow, however, said a thorough investigation, including an on-site inspection in rebel-held territory, should be carried out before jumping to any conclusions. Russia has cautioned that the incident may have been a false flag operation meant to provoke a US attack against Syrian government forces.

Former Department of Defense Science Adviser Debunks Claims of Syrian Chemical Attacks

 

By Derrick Broze

As the United States and Western allies march closer to full-scale conflict with Syria, many of their claims are now being scrutinized and dissected by a skeptical public.

On April 4, residents of the town of Khan Shaykhun suffered a chemical gas attack that reportedly killed 74 and injured 557. Despite a lack of evidence or investigation, the United States government, allied governments, and compliant media were quick to point the finger at Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. The dead stream media ignored the fact that Khan Shaykhun was under the control of Al-Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda linked group which the United States has been funding throughout the Syrian civil war. Instead, the West claimed that Assad launched an air strike which released sarin gas, leading to the deaths and injuries.

Those claims are now being disputed by Theodore Postol, a professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and former scientist with the U.S Department of Defense. In a 14-page report, Postol debunks the White House’s report that concluded Assad was behind the attacks.  Postol’s report found that the U.S. and supporting governments have not provided any “concrete” evidence to black up their claims. Postol also says that it increasingly likely that the attack was carried out by rebel forces.

“The implication of Postol’s analysis is that it was carried out by anti-government insurgents as Khan Sheikhoun is in militant-controlled territory of Syria,” reports the International Business Times. Postol writes that he has reviewed the White House document and came to the conclusion “that the document does not provide any evidence whatsoever that the US government has concrete knowledge that the government of Syria was the source of the chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun, Syria at roughly 6am to 7am on 4 April, 2017.”

Postol’s claims are based on several arguments. For one, he says the repeated use of chemical attacks by rebel forces over the last few years makes it likely they are the culprits. Also, he examines the main piece of evidence put forth by the White House, namely, photographs which purport to show a crater with an artillery shell that the U.S. says contained the sarin gas.

This conclusion is based on an assumption made by the White House when it cited the source of the sarin release and the photographs of that source. My own assessment is that the source was very likely tampered with or staged, so no serious conclusion could be made from the photographs cited by the White House.

Postol notes that the damage to the shell is not consistent with being dropped from an airplane. However, he believes the damage indicates that an explosive charge was placed on the shell containing the sarin gas and then detonated. “Since the pipe was filled with sarin, which is an incompressible fluid, as the pipe was flattened, the sarin acted on the walls and ends of the pipe causing a crack along the length of the pipe and also the failure of the cap on the back end,” Postol wrote.This is not the first time Postol has spoken against claims of the U.S. government. After the 2013 chemical weapons attack in eastern Ghouta, Postol also stated that the evidence did not point to Syrian President Assad. Postol worked with former UN weapons inspector Richard Lloyd on a report that called into question claims made by the U.S. As Global Research notes,

Just like Ghouta, Idlib (Khan Shaykhun) is dominated by al-Nusra. Earlier this year, even the Washington Post admitted that Idlib’s “moderate” rebels had all but been replaced by al-Nusra and other terrorist factions in Syria.

If Western governments and media outlets repeat the mistakes of 2013 by not verifying the claims made by the White Helmets… they may very well end up offering these extremist groups support if they prematurely choose to retaliate against Assad before the dust can settle.

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Postol and Lloyd are right to be skeptical of the claims made by the U.S. government. As Brandon Turbeville has noted, a declassified CIA document from 1983 shows that the U.S. has long held removal of Assad as their goal. The U.S. and Turkey would love to overthrow Assad and build an oil pipeline straight through the nation of Syria. To do this they will use every trick up their sleeve to deceive the public and push for more wars in the name of “liberty” and “democracy.” In fact, the U.S. is already trying to blame a recent bus attack on President Assad – once again without much credible evidence.

It’s up to the free hearts and minds to push past the propaganda and do everything in our power to push back against World War 3. Please join us in our efforts to spread this message far and wide. It’s time for the world to unite and send a message to the White House: #StandDownMrTrump

For more details on why all critical thinkers should be skeptical of the U.S. government regarding Syrian attacks, please see this and this.

Derrick Broze is an investigative journalist and liberty activist. He is the Lead Investigative Reporter for ActivistPost.com and the founder of the TheConsciousResistance.com. Follow him on Twitter. Derrick is the author of three books: The Conscious Resistance: Reflections on Anarchy and Spirituality and Finding Freedom in an Age of Confusion, Vol. 1 and Finding Freedom in an Age of Confusion, Vol. 2

Derrick is available for interviews. Please contact Derrick@activistpost.com

This article may be freely reposted in part or in full with author attribution and source link.

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UK directing hideous Yemen civilian bombing campaign. Is Parliament not interested?

U.S. and U.K. Continue to Participate in War Crimes, Targeting of Yemeni Civilians

By Glenn Greenwald

From the start of the hideous Saudi bombing campaign against Yemen 18 months ago, two countries have played active, vital roles in enabling the carnage: the U.S. and U.K. The atrocities committed by the Saudis would have been impossible without their steadfast, aggressive support.

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The Obama administration “has offered to sell $115 billion worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia over its eight years in office, more than any previous U.S. administration,” as The Guardian reported this week, and also provides extensive surveillance technology. As The Intercept documented in April, “In his first five years as president, Obama sold $30 billion more in weapons than President Bush did during his entire eight years as commander in chief.”

Most important, according to the Saudi foreign minister, although it is the Saudis who have ultimate authority to choose targets, “British and American military officials are in the command and control center for Saudi airstrikes on Yemen” and “have access to lists of targets.” In sum, while this bombing campaign is invariably described in Western media outlets as “Saudi-led,” the U.S. and U.K. are both central, indispensable participants. As the New York Times editorial page put it in August: “The United States is complicit in this carnage,” while The Guardian editorialized that“Britain bears much responsibility for this suffering.”

From the start, the U.S.- and U.K.-backed Saudis have indiscriminately and at times deliberately bombed civilians, killing thousands of innocent people. From Yemen, Iona Craig and Alex Potter have reported extensively for The Intercept on the widespread civilian deaths caused by this bombing campaign. As the Saudis continued to recklessly and intentionally bomb civilians, the American and British weapons kept pouring into Riyadh, ensuring that the civilian massacres continued. Every once and awhile, when a particularly gruesome mass killing made its way into the news, Obama and various British officials would issue cursory, obligatory statements expressing “concern,” then go right back to fueling the attacks.

This weekend, as American attention was devoted almost exclusively to Donald Trump, one of the most revolting massacres took place. On Saturday,warplanes attacked a funeral gathering in Sana, repeatedly bombing the hall where it took place, killing over 100 people and wounding more than 500 (see photo above). Video shows just some of the destruction and carnage:

Video shows double tap Saudi airstrike on funeral hall in Sanaa, #Yemen, today. Hundreds killed or wounded. Saudis deny, no word from US.pic.twitter.com/6TYlQWPrCN

— Samuel Oakford (@samueloakford) October 8, 2016

Saudi officials first lied by trying to blame “other causes” but have since walked that back. The next time someone who identifies with the Muslim world attacks American or British citizens, and those countries’ leading political voices answer the question “why, oh why, do they hate us?” by assuring everyone that “they hate us for our freedoms,” it would be instructive to watch that video.

The Obama White House, through its spokesperson Ned Price, condemned what it called “the troubling series of attacks striking Yemeni civilians” — attacks, it did not note, it has repeatedly supported — and lamely warned that “U.S. security cooperation with Saudi Arabia is not a blank check.” That is exactly what it is. The 18 months of bombing supported by the U.S. and U.K. has, as the NYT put it this morning, “largely failed, while reports of civilian deaths have grown common, and much of the country is on the brink of famine.”

It has been known from the start that the Saudi bombing campaign has been indiscriminate and reckless, and yet Obama and the U.K. government continued to play central roles. A U.N. report obtained in January by The Guardian “uncovered ‘widespread and systematic’ attacks on civilian targets in violation of international humanitarian law”; the report found that “the coalition had conducted airstrikes targeting civilians and civilian objects, in violation of international humanitarian law, including camps for internally displaced persons and refugees; civilian gatherings, including weddings; civilian vehicles, including buses; civilian residential areas; medical facilities; schools; mosques; markets, factories and food storage warehouses; and other essential civilian infrastructure.”

But what was not known, until an excellent Reuters report by Warren Strobel and Jonathan Landay this morning, is that Obama was explicitly warned not only that the Saudis were committing war crimes, but that the U.S. itself could be legally regarded as complicit in them:

The Obama administration went ahead with a $1.3 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia last year despite warnings from some officials that the United States could be implicated in war crimes for supporting a Saudi-led air campaign in Yemen that has killed thousands of civilians, according to government documents and the accounts of current and former officials.

State Department officials also were privately skeptical of the Saudi military’s ability to target Houthi militants without killing civilians and destroying “critical infrastructure” needed for Yemen to recover, according to the emails and other records obtained by Reuters and interviews with nearly a dozen officials with knowledge of those discussions.

In other words, the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner was explicitly advised that he might be a collaborator in war crimes by arming a campaign that deliberately targets civilians, and continued to provide record-breaking amounts of arms to aid their prosecution. None of that should be surprising: It would be difficult for Obama to condemn “double-tap” strikes of the kind the Saudis just perpetrated — where first responders or mourners are targeted — given that he himself has used that tactic, commonly described as a hallmark of “terrorism.” For their part, the British blocked EU inquiries into whether war crimes were being committed in Yemen, while key MPs have blocked reports proving that U.K. weapons were being used in the commission of war crimes and the deliberate targeting of civilians.

The U.S. and U.K. are the two leading countries when it comes to cynically exploiting human rights concerns and the laws of war to attack their adversaries. They and their leading columnists love to issue pretty, self-righteous speeches about how other nations — those primitive, evil ones over there — target civilians and commit war crimes. Yet here they both are, standing firmly behind one of the planet’s most brutal and repressive regimes, arming it to the teeth with the full and undeniable knowledge that they are enabling massacres that recklessly, and in many cases, deliberately, target civilians.

And these 18 months of atrocities have barely merited a mention in the U.S. election, despite the key role the leading candidate, Hillary Clinton, has played in arming the Saudis, to say nothing of the millions of dollars her family’s foundation has received from its regime (her opponent, Donald Trump, has barely uttered a word about the issue, and himself has received millions in profits from various Saudi oligarchs).

One reason American and British political and media elites love to wax eloquently when condemning the brutality of the enemies of their own government is because doing so advances tribal, nationalistic ends: It’s a strategy for weakening adversaries while strengthening their own governments. But at least as significant a motive is that issuing such condemnations distracts attention from their own war crimes and massacres, the ones they are enabling and supporting.

There are some nations on the planet with credibility to condemn war crimes and the deliberate targeting of civilians. The two countries who have spent close to two years arming Saudi Arabia in its ongoing slaughter of Yemeni civilians are most certainly not among them.

October 11, 2016 “Information Clearing House” – “The Intercept” –

 

UK directing hideous Yemen civilian bombing campaign. Is Parliament not interested?

Russian Defense Minister Warns US: Do Not Strike the Syrian Army

It’s well-known by now that desperate imperial behemoths do desperate deeds. 

Russian Defense Ministry announced today that any US Coalition airstrike or missile hitting targets in territory controlled by the Syrian Army and its government – would place Russian personnel in danger, something Moscow considers unacceptable.

“Any missile or air strikes on the territory controlled by the Syrian government will create a clear threat to Russian servicemen.”

In response, Moscow has deployed its own hypersonic S-400 mobile surface-to-air missile defense system in Syria.

s-400_russia_syria
S-400 SAMs: Russia’s mobile air defense systems ready to deployed against US Coalition aggression in Syria.

Washington and its terrorists-for-hire in Aleppo are losing at present. The US response has been twofold:

1) threaten Syria.

2) threaten Russia. 

With all of the sabre rattling and threats of “alternative means” or even a targeted assassination of the Syrian President by the Obama Administration, it would be a surprise for sure if Washington actually followed through with whatever it portends from one day to the next.

1-john-kerry-slow

Most pundits are in agreement that it would be difficult for any US administration to start an actual shooting war with Russia, as the US are already in violation of every conceivable international law by arming international terrorists in Syria and by carrying out illegal bombing in another country’s sovereign airspace. But that doesn’t rule out a preferred liberal warhawk option – to use a proxy to do its dirty work (ideally, before November 8th). The Obama Administration already has an established track record here, most notably back in October when it tasked NATO member Turkey with shooting down a Russia fighter jet along the Syrian-Turkish border. This stunt was, of course, accompanied with a prepackaged lie where NATO claimed that the Russian fighter had somehow violated Turkish airspace. In the end, this cheap stunt, designed somewhere in either the Pentagon or the Rand Corporation, was exposed as another fraud – perpetrated by the west as a vain and reckless attempt to bait Russia into a serious military confrontation.

If the US ‘Coalition’ (Washington, Gulf theocratic dictatorships and a series of water carrying nations) is going to hit Syrian Army and government positions, it’s more likely it will use a proxy like Turkey, or a country who is allowed to operate outside of international law… like Israel. Either of these will allow Washington and London to play dumb (“Oh, what a terrible situation, what can we do?”) and get off the hook without having to take responsibility for any new geopolitical chaos it has fomented.

The primary challenge for US Coalition and Israeli aircraft is clear: Russia’s new S-300 and S-400 surface-to-air anti-aircraft missile defense systems. If deployed, it would almost certainly mean that the US and its allies would lose aircraft over Syria. This is a very dangerous prospect because events could easily spiral out of control. That being the case, another trick that Washington will surely organize is to bait a Russian SAM counter attack so that a Coalition aircraft was downed in Turkish or Israeli airspace – which would give John Kerry and Samantha Power the ability to create another dramatic scene at the UN Security Council, while doing what they do best: blame any incident on “Russian aggression”, and creating yet another diplomatic stalemate in the UN, allowing jihadists to continue expanding their violent enclaves.

RT confirms that Moscow has officially thrown down the gantlet to the US:

“Russia’s Defense Ministry has cautioned the US-led coalition of carrying out airstrikes on Syrian army positions, adding in Syria there are numerous S-300 and S-400 air defense systems up and running.

Russia currently has S-400 and S-300 air-defense systems deployed to protect its troops stationed at the Tartus naval supply base and the Khmeimim airbase. The radius of the weapons reach may be “a surprise” to all unidentified flying objects, Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson General Igor Konashenkov said.”

The US has already demonstrated it is willing to try and trigger a wider war when it officially broke and international ceasefire agreement signed with Russian by attacking a Syrian Military position back on Sept 17th, killing some 83 Syrian servicemen.

 

Russian Defense Minister Warns US: Do Not Strike the Syrian Army.

SYRIA: “Bashar Al Assad is Determined to Hold Syria Together”

 

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Syrian Arab Army soldier after the liberation of al-Lairamoun from Nusra Front terrorists, Aleppo July 2016

Jeremy Salt
Palestine Chronicle

The massacre of 106 Syrian soldiers in a US-led air attack brings the Middle East and the world closer to the edge of complete chaos. If Syria can be torn apart, why not your country, or mine? If Syrians can be killed so brutally, and so casually, so dishonestly, so brazenly, so callously, why not all of us? Why should our lives be sacrosanct when theirs are not?

The policymakers in Washington organizing this destruction are not affected. Their wives and children are safe in their suburban houses in their leafy streets and they cannot imagine themselves or their country being sucked into the vortex of annihilation any more than Hitler did before invading Poland. We are back to the 1930s and no-one should be surprised if this situation ends where the 1930s ended.

But the next war will not end where 1939 ended because it will be nuclear and those smug policymakers in Washington and their wives and children will be burnt to a smudge on the wall like everyone else even if they don’t have the imagination to see it.

The fascists of yesteryear have resurfaced in the liberal democracies of today. The fascists wore uniforms, military jackets, belts and caps in black and brown. The liberal democrats wear uniforms, too, grey or blue suits, white shirts and pastel ties. The fascists killed remorselessly. The liberal democrats kill remorselessly. The fascists tore international law to shreds. The liberal democrats tear international law to shreds. The fascists lied as a matter of course. The liberal democrats lie as a matter of course. The fascist media trumpeted lies around the world. The liberal democrat media trumpets lies around the world.

World order now is being torn apart by the liberal democracies. This was made explicit by Condoleeza Rice during the George W. Bush presidency when, spelling out the national security policy of her country, she said the US would not respect the sovereign rights of countries where they did not deserve to be respected in the opinion and in the interests of the US. Well, the US never did respect the rights of other countries when it did not want to respect them but here was the reality being spelled out, arrogantly and openly, for the world to hear.

The 17th century Treaty of Westphalia, guaranteeing order in the European world and still a foundation of hope for global order, was torn up in a second. We have seen the results: countries destroyed and drone missile attacks ordered on the basis of authorization signed by the US president. What international law might say is irrelevant because this is the exceptional state.

Syria may as well not be a country with borders, sovereign rights and represented at the United Nations by the government in Damascus. There might as well not be a UN as far as Syria is concerned. It has done nothing to save Syria from this tempest of destruction and everything to enable it, in the same way that the feeble League of Nations failed to protect Spaniards, Ethiopians and Chinese from the onslaught of the fascists. There might as well be no international law as far as Syria is concerned.

The only country with the right to position military forces in Syria is Russia. All the others are engaged in the most tremendous violation of international law. Even distant Australia was part of the air attack outside Deir al Zor. The government apologized for the ‘mistake’ and moved on while the real story for the media was not this violation of international law, ending in the killing of 106 Syrians, but the domestic problems of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

The arch villain is the United States. It’s record as an international pirate is seamless. It lives in a permanent state of war with someone, as if this is an existential requirement. The wars began with the wars against the North American Indians, moved on to the war against the colonial British master, then the war against the slaves, then the continuing war against Afro-Americans, then the wars exported around the world, as if the territory of the US was not big enough to contain its inherent violence, as if the belt around a bulging waistline had to be loosened. Wars shipped to Latin America, Southeast Asia and the Middle East: invasions, coups, assassination, economic destabilization and the sponsorship of theft and occupation by the Zionist colonists of Palestine. In the past decade alone the US has torn Iraq and Libya apart and is now trying to finish off Syria.

The attack outside Deir al Zor was not accidental. It was planned, it was deliberate, it was preceded by drone reconnaissance and it lasted for at least an hour, way past the point at which the US would have been informed that it was bombing the wrong target. The aerial assault was immediately followed by an ISIS attack on what was left of the Syrian military installations. In context, the attack was foreshadowed four months ago when 51 State Department personnel petitioned the US government to launch direct attacks on the Syrian military.

It was foreshadowed by the Defence Intelligence Agency evaluation that the establishment of a ‘salafist’ state in eastern Syria would serve US interests: in the form of the Islamic State, this is what the US now has. It was foreshadowed by Hillary Clinton’s statement that if elected president she would authorize direct military attacks on Syrian targets. Finally, after these threats, noone should be surprised that it finally happened.

What has been made clear, yet again, as if the point needs to be made again, is that the US has no more interest in bringing peace to Syria than it did five years ago. It remains determined to break it apart, towards which end it is utilizing the most brutal terrorist groups operating in the world today. They include the Islamic State. The US did not begin launching serious attacks against the Islamic State until shamed by Russia: how serious these attacks have been since remains a matter of conjecture.

It is completely inconceivable that the US did not know the Islamic State was moving against Mosul, Ramadi and Palmyra. Its satellites and drones would have picked up the pickup trucks speeding across the desert. The clouds of dust whirling up from their wheels would have been enough to give them away. The US turned a blind eye, and was therefore complicit in the seizure of these cities by the ostensible terrorist enemy. Furthermore, the attack on Syria has been in the works for decades, planned by the neo-conservatives, including Israel’s American Zionist implants, and honed and refined ever since.

Several times now, at the precise point the Syrian military was poised to liberate those areas of Aleppo infiltrated and occupied by terrorist groups, Russia and the US have declared a ‘cessation of hostilities.’ Each one has been violated by the US and its allies. This repeated disruption of an ongoing military operation has had to be extraordinarily frustrating for Syria and its allies, Iran and Hezbollah. They either know or have to assume that as part of the greater game these are moves Putin has to make. In July he warned that the world was being pulled in an ‘irreversible direction’ by US/NATO war preparations against Russia. It is a sign of the demented state of world politics that a nuclear war can even be regarded as possible. But Putin’s conclusions would seem to be confirmed by the behavior of the US and its allies, recently manifested by Samantha Powers when she walked out of the UN Security Council just as the Soviet ambassador was about to speak and demonstrated also in the statement just released by the foreign ministers of France, Italy, Germany, the UK, the US and the ‘high representative’ of the EU.

Their demarche against Russia is not just deeply dishonest but extremely belligerent. The US attack on the Syrian military position is not mentioned: it is Russia that is responsible for the breakdown of the ‘cessation of hostilities’, Russia by insinuation that bombed the aid convoy outside Aleppo, Russia that is supporting the ‘siege’ of eastern Aleppo and Syria by insinuation that has launched chemical weapons attacks. These liars warn that their patience with Russian unwillingness to live up to its commitments is not unlimited. This has to be read as a threat to Russia and Syria, perhaps of direct intervention in the form of an entirely illegal no-fly zone to relieve the pressure on the beleaguered takfiris in Aleppo.

If Putin has concluded that war with the US is a real possibility, he is also likely to have concluded that it has to be held off for as long as possible, giving Russia time to prepare militarily. The obvious parallel would be Stalin’s agreement with Hitler in 1939.

Thus negotiations between Kerry and Lavrov can be expected to continue to the bitter end despite their obvious futility insofar as the situation on the ground in Syria is continued. The only other explanation for Putin’s stop-start behavior is that he is in the process of selling Syria out to appease the Americans and gain ‘concessions’ for Russia elsewhere. This does not seem likely as what the US wants from all its ‘partners’ is not cooperation and respect as equals but subjection to the US-directed world political and economic order.

The collapse of the USSR was one great victory (by default) and the incorporation of a westernized Russian satrap into the US world system would be another. Russia already has a corrupt capitalist economy, fed off by oligarchic parasites, but it also has its own history, culture and identity and as much as Putin will try to accommodate the US, these are red lines he is most unlikely to allow himself and Russia to be pushed over.

In the meantime, while this deadly game is being played out, Syria bleeds every day of the week. Its ability to resist this onslaught has been astonishing. Government, people and army have held together against the most intense attempt to destroy an Arab government in modern times. Iraq was fatally weakened in the air war of 1991. It never recovered and was quickly knocked over when the US attacked again in 2003. Libya had no chance and had the US succeeded in getting another fig leaf from the UN Security Council, Syria would have been subjected to a far more devastating aerial attack.

Instead, frustrated and angry, the US had to settle for a war of attrition fought by Takfiri contras funded by the Gulf States and pouring into Syria from Jordan and Turkey. This has resulted in further frustration, anger and more openly expressed belligerence as with Russian help the Syrian military has slowly turned the Takfiri tide. Now only open intervention will save the grand plan, this time not just against Syria but Russia.

In the name of its own security, having undermined Syria’s security and paving the war for the rise of the Syrian Kurdish drive for autonomy, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sent the Turkish army into Syria. This is not an ‘incursion’ but an invasion which Syria cannot resist because it is too hard pressed on too many other fronts.

The Turkish army has occupied 900 square kilometers of Syrian territory and Erdogan is talking of increasing this to 5000 square kilometers, stretching from the east to the predominantly Kurdish city of Afrin in the west. The army is also moving towards Al Bab, on the road to Aleppo.

Erdogan has asked parliament to authorize additional military action in Iraq, where his ambitions would rest on Mosul, claimed by Turkey in the 1920s but awarded to Iraq (and thus Britain) by the League of Nations. Erdogan has now got the ‘safe zone’ in Syria he wanted from the beginning. How ‘safe’ this will be for Turkey, given the developing confrontation between the US and Russia remains to be seen.

Bashar al Assad is determined to hold Syria together. His enemies are determined to pull it apart.

Towards this end they have funded, armed and aligned themselves with armed groups whose only value is to show the world that there is no limit to the degeneracy of which human beings are capable. Are their besuited or otherwise berobed backers in Washington, London, Paris and Middle East capitals any less despicable? No respect for law, no respect for human dignity, no respect for human life, no remorse, no regrets, no morality and no ethics, just the drive to get what they want irrespective of the harm they do to other people.

We are back in the ‘devil’s decade’, Claud Cockburn’s description of the 1930s.

***

Jeremy Salt taught at the University of Melbourne, at Bosporus University in Istanbul and Bilkent University in Ankara for many years, specializing in the modern history of the Middle East. Among his recent publications is his 2008 book, The Unmaking of the Middle East. A History of Western Disorder in Arab Lands (University of California Press).

 

SYRIA: “Bashar Al Assad is Determined to Hold Syria Together”.

SUNDAY WIRE with host Patrick Henningsen

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Strap yourselves in and lower the blast shield — this is your brave new world…

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Nothing to See Syria, Move Along…

America is really trying to keep the wars alive. Melissa Dykes from Truthstream Media exposes the US military strikes on Syrian troops and how they tried to blame the Russia. Meanwhile ISIS coincidentally uses stooges to strike inside the United States? Who still believes this nonsense.

 

 

Nothing to See Syria, Move Along….

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