bullshit detector | 27.08.2013 18:47
The governments of the US and UK, in declaring that Assad has been responsible for the recent chemiocal attack in Syria provide absolutely no evidence for this assertion, discounting any possibility that it might have infact been some element within the rebels responsible for the chemical attack in Syria a few days ago. Why would the Syrian regime undertake such an attack a few days before UN inspectors were due to visit? Even the BBC questioned this logic at the time of it's reporting.
UK Seeks to Further Fund, Arm Al Qaeda Collaborator Moaz al-Khatib
March 4, 2013 (LD) - Resorting to name-calling, the United Kingdom's legitimacy slumped further still as it stubbornly maintained its support for terrorists attempting to overthrow the Syrian government, now unsuccessfully for over 2 years. Unlike in Libya where NATO was able to militarily intervene directly and overthrow the Libyan government before the public realized the so-called "rebels" were in fact the US State Department, United Nations, and the UK Home Office (page 5, .pdf)-listed Al Qaeda terrorist organization, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), the West's assault on Syria has dragged on much longer.
So long in fact, that the entire world is now acutely aware of the so-called "rebels," their overt affiliations and membership amongst Al Qaeda, the serial atrocities they've committed, and the draconian, barbaric sectarian (and quite "undemocratic") rule they plan on imposing, already on display in northern Syria where extremist cleric, Moaz al-Khatib, designated by the West as the "opposition leader," recently visited.
Al-Khatib is portrayed as a "moderate" by the Western media, which makes a point of repeating this every time al-Khatib's name is mentioned. His profile, as provided by the BBC states:
Mr Khatib is not allied to any political party and is known as a moderate who has called for political pluralism and strongly opposes sectarian divisions among Syrians
"We demand freedom for every Sunni, Alawite, Ismaili (Shia), Christian, Druze, Assyrian ... and rights for all parts of the harmonious Syrian people," he said after being elected leader of the National Coalition.
Of course, his carefully crafted image and rhetoric is overshadowed by his actual deeds, which included his openly embracing Al Qaeda in December of 2012, demanding that the US delist Al Qaeda's Syrian franchise, al-Nusra, as a terrorist organization. Reuters quoted al-Khatib as saying:
"The decision to consider a party that is fighting the regime as a terrorist party needs to be reviewed. We might disagree with some parties and their ideas and their political and ideological vision. But we affirm that all the guns of the rebels are aimed at overthrowing the tyrannical criminal regime."
Al-Khatib's comments not only indicated his support for Al Qaeda, but revealed his "opposition" front's collaboration with the terrorist organization, admittedly leading the fighting across Syria from Daraa in the south, to Idlib and Aleppo in the north, and all along Syria's border with Iraq, where the very extremists the US fought for nearly 10 years are slinking over the border and now being portrayed as "freedom fighters" by the Western media. It should also be noted that al-Nusra is guilty of some of the most heinous atrocities of the Syrian conflict, including a recent, indiscriminate car bombing in Damascus which killed over 50 people, including school children.
More recently, Al-Khatib, even as he prepared to receive millions in aid from the West, including the US and UK, reiterated his support for Al Qaeda. The Washington Post's article, "U.S. announces expanded battlefield aid to Syrian rebels, but not arms," stated:
Coalition chairman Mouaz al-Khatib angrily appealed for a humanitarian corridor to the besieged city of Homs and said the rebels are tired of Western complaints about extremists in their ranks. He argued that the real enemy is the Assad regime but said too many outsiders are worried only about “the length of a beard of a fighter.”
“No terrorists in the world have such a savage nature as those in the regime,” Khatib said in Arabic.
The Syrian opposition leader’s finger-jabbing anger was in marked contrast to Kerry’s clipped and measured tone. Kerry looked at Khatib without expression as the Syrian spoke.
Al-Khatib's history as a "cleric," and his continuous, open, and adamant support for Al Qaeda, even in the wake of repeated atrocities, should be a prompt for the West to add him and his "opposition" organization to its list of foreign terrorist organizations. Anti-terrorist legislation in both the US and UK stipulate that any individual or organization providing material support for a listed terrorist organization is guilty of a criminal offense. Clearly not only does al-Khatib qualify, but so does US Secretary of State John Kerry and his British counterpart Foreign Secretary William Hague, as they hand Al Qaeda-coddling al-Khatib millions to carry on his open support of terrorism.
Syria's President Assad Called "Delusional" for Reading West's Own Documented Admissions
Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad recently berated the West for its hypocritical support of terrorism in Syria, and likened the West's attempt to portray itself as attempting to bring peace to Syria to an arsonist trying to put out a fire. While the UK's Foreign Secretary William Hague resorted to juvenile name-calling as he dismissed accusations that his government is sponsoring international terrorism, President Assad is simply reading articles dating back to 2007 where Western officials openly admitted their plan to use terrorist extremists to overthrow the Syrian government - not for promoting "democracy," but specifically to undermine and overthrow Iran in turn.
Both Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh's New Yorker 2007 article, "The Redirection," and the Wall Street Journal's 2007 article, "To Check Syria, U.S. Explores Bond With Muslim Brothers," tell a narrative of a West actively arming and funding sectarian extremists with direct ties to Al Qaeda even then, to begin undermining and overthrowing both Syria and Iran. The conspiracy admitted to then, is now openly being executed to horrific effect in Syria and along its peripheries.
William Hague and John Kerry can deny, spin, and coverup the fact that they are funding and arming Al Qaeda either directly or through a series of increasingly obvious proxies, millions to overthrow the Syrian government, but Syrian President Assad is by no means "delusional" as Hague childishly accused, for pointing out this documented and increasingly transparent conspiracy. Hague, it would appear, would also have us believe the New Yorker's Seymour Hersh and the staff at the Wall Street Journal are likewise "delusional."
It is important that we identify the corporate-financier interests driving this increasingly unhinged, unraveling agenda - interests we most likely patronize on a daily basis, and both boycott and permanently replace them to erode the unwarranted influence they have used to both plan and execute this assault on Syria's people. Today it is Syria, surely tomorrow, if they succeed, it will be us.
Syrian opposition accused of human rights abuses
By Chris Marsden
22 March 2012
A report by Human Rights Watch on abuses committed by the Syrian opposition cites eye-witness accounts of kidnappings, torture, forced confessions and summary executions of security personnel and civilians.
None of this will come as a surprise to anyone who has followed events in Syria. Some of these atrocities have been videoed and appear on YouTube. In reality, many more such crimes have been carried out since the very beginning of an insurgency that had an armed character from its earliest stages.
Earlier official Syrian reports cited over 2,000 security personnel having been killed, and that figure must be higher after weeks of violent confrontations.
There are, moreover, numerous media reports highlighting the sectarian character of the conflict, with Sunni forces targeting Alawites, Christians and other minorities, and of government loyalists reciprocating in kind. In addition, the well-known presence in the opposition of al-Qaeda style Salafist forces, backed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, has become an acute political embarrassment to Washington.
That is why the HRW report now admits to a tiny fraction of what has taken place. But it does so only in order to make an appeal to the Syrian National Council and the Free Syrian Army to better police its constituent elements and to make a better job of suppressing information of what is being carried out on the ground in the ongoing campaign to destabilise the regime of Bashir al-Assad.
The report is framed as an “Open Letter to the Leaders of the Syrian Opposition”, and is Cc’d to Colonel Riad al-Asaad, commander of the FSA, Dr. Burhan Ghalioun, president of the SNC and General Mustafa al-Sheikh of the SNC’s newly established Military Council.
HRW couches its criticisms in claims that excesses have been generated by “widespread violations by Syrian government forces, including disappearances, rampant use of torture, arbitrary detentions, and indiscriminate shelling of neighborhoods”, that it has “repeatedly documented and condemned”. It also stresses that the groups animated by “anti-Shia or anti-Alawite sentiments” “do not appear to belong to an organized command structure or to be following Syrian National Council orders.”
Even so, the reports constitute an unintended indictment of the media propaganda that for month after month skewed coverage of events in Syria by focusing exclusively on the suppression of what they insisted was an entirely peaceful anti-government movement.
Among the examples cited is a report by “Mazen,” an activist who speaks of three government loyalists kidnapped and tortured to death.
FSA supporter “Samih” of Saraqeb reports members of the Al-Nur battalion, a Salafist group, as well as other members of the FSA kidnapping civilians for ransom. “Marwan”, an Alawite resident of Karam el Zeytoun, spoke of the capture and execution of his parents, with their bodies shown on YouTube. HRW also acknowledged that there was no evidence that any of seven Iranian nationals captured and not yet released by the FSA were spies, as accused, and that some were definitely civilian energy contractors.
Of most concern for HRW is the existence of “at least 25 videos on YouTube in which Syrian security forces or their alleged supporters confess to crimes” with clear evidence of having been tortured and other videos and verbal information showing “that members of armed opposition groups have executed people”. This includes one posted February 4, showing “a man hung from a tree by his neck in front of several armed fighters” and another of a person identified as a member of Air Force Intelligence based in Homs who has been badly beaten: “Written statements accompanying the video state that it was filmed before his execution, and the interrogator in the video, amid curses, asks him for his final request before dying.”
HRW appeals to the SNC Military Bureau, created on March 1, 2012, to “condemn and forbid these abuses”.
One could add to this list of crimes the three car bombings that have claimed the lives of over 50 people and injured hundreds more. But one thing is clear from these limited admissions: nothing can be taken at face value when it comes to the coverage of Syria by the media and the official proclamations by the United Nations and the governments in Washington, London and Paris.
In order to legitimise any and all actions taken to bring down Assad, all evidence of the true character of the insurgency is routinely suppressed.
Among the most notorious examples is the concealing of the report drafted by the Arab League observer mission to Syria that acknowledged that the ruling Baathists were faced with an armed insurrection.
The report cited, among other things, “an escalation in violence perpetrated by armed groups” in Homs, “believed to include some 3,000 individuals”, and “armed groups committing acts of violence against Government forces, resulting in death and injury”, witnessed by observers in Homs and Dera’a, including “the bombing of a civilian bus, killing eight persons and injuring others, including women and children”.
Another interesting feature of the report is its statement that media “reports of ever-rising casualty figures and atrocities that generally originate with the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights” were not to be believed. Reports of specific acts of violence “were unfounded”.
A recent report in Lebanon’s Al Akhbar by Sharmine Narwani throws additional doubt on the casualty reports emanating from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, based in London and allegedly funded by Qatar, which are most often cited by the media and the United Nations.
She examined the list of deaths for December 2011, naming 77 registered casualties with no identifying information provided in a total of 260 unknowns on the list.
“Around that time, I had come across my first list of Syrians killed in the crisis, reportedly compiled in coordination with the SOHR, that contained the names of Palestinian refugees killed by Israeli fire on the Golan Heights on 15 May 2011 and 5 June 2011 when protesters congregated on Syria’s armistice line with Israel. So my first check was to see if that kind of glaring error appears in the SOHR list I investigate in this piece.”
“To my amazement,” she writes, “the entire list of  victims from those two days were included in the SOHR casualty count. ... It also didn’t take long to find the names of well-publicized pro-regime Syrians on the SOHR list and match them with YouTube footage of their funerals.”
Exaggerating casualty numbers gives the impression of a bloodbath perpetrated by security forces on the innocent, as does the practice of declaring them all to be civilians rather than armed combatants. If the list of deaths is significantly smaller and includes far more insurgents—as well as the victims of the insurgents, civilians included—then the response of the government would automatically appear more proportionate.
These are the political considerations animating Human Rights Watch in offering its friendly advice to the SNC and FSA on behalf of Washington. They want the propaganda campaign for regime change to better withstand scrutiny, even as additional arms are being flooded into Syria by Saudi Arabia and Qatar.