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Clinton’s Policies Look Like a Death Sentence for Americans

By Tim King | American Herald Tribune | October 28, 2016

As Donald Trump gains more bad press, Hilary Clinton rides the political wave with quick responses, deflections and denials. Without question, and largely due to Trump’s obnoxious candor and grandiose proclamations, she is working her way back into the favor of disgruntled democrats and even right wing firebrands like the notorious Glenn Beck. She is, without question, a wolf in sheep’s clothing. While Trump is unbelievably hard to take, constantly, we need to focus on one simple question, which of these candidates will lead to world devastation first?

I suspect it would be Hillary Clinton who would be most inclined toward involving Americans in another military conflict, and she doesn’t go small, as she constantly demonizes Russia with threats of military action. In Clinton’s own words, “You’ve seen reports, Russia has hacked into a lot of things, China has hacked into a lot of things, Russia even hacked into the Democratic National Committee, maybe even some state election systems. So we’ve got to step up our game, make sure we are well defended and can take the fight to those who go after us. As President, I will make it clear that the United States will treat cyber attacks just like any other attack. We will be ready with serious political, economic and military responses.”

Military responses to a nation the US stood on the verge of war with for more than four decades? Military response against Russia? Over suspected hacking? Hillary Clinton betrayed her real mindset once and for all during the recent debate with Donald Trump when she spoke those words of war that would surely lead to only disastrous consequences.

It all stems from the Wikileaks release that included 19,252 emails and 8,034 attachments from leaders at the Democratic National Committee. Clinton says the Russians did it, the national mainstream media parroted those words. It’s the American media’s political conditioning system at its finest, convincingly reaching tens of millions of Americans, and yet nobody knows if the blame is properly attributed to the Russians. In a USA Today article from July 2016, Elizabith Weise wrote, “Computer security researchers say it’s difficult to definitively say the cyber theft of files from the Democratic National Committee subsequently posted online by Wikileaks was the work of Russian hackers, as some media outlets have reported.”

Russia’s leader, Vladmir Putin, says the US long ago tipped the scales in the wrong direction, well before the Cold War even ended. Peace with Russia should be a top priority for any US Presidential candidate. The truth is that American politicians, perpetually convinced they are making the right political moves, created a road block on the highway to peace during the Vietnam War. Putin said during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2016, “It is not in my nature to scold someone — but when the United States unilaterally withdrew from the ABM Treaty (in) 1972 they delivered a colossal blow to the entire system of international security. That was the first blow when it comes to assessing the strategic balance of power in the world”.

Now we have Clinton warmongering over unfounded allegations.

World Rivals in the Air

There is a decades-old history of rivalry between eastern and western jet fighter design and technology. While American designs are more expensive and generally considered to be better, the fastest jet fighter ever made is the Russian MiG-25; it can break Mach III, more than three times the speed of sound. Such demands lessen the life of an aircraft. The MiG-25 is typically not flown at anything close to that speed. As an interceptor however, it was supreme, no allied fighter in the sky could outrun it.

The Korean War was the first test. Soviet MiG-15’s initially dominated the skies. With Russian and Chinese pilots often at the controls, the MiG’s were deadly.

On 1 November 1950, at least sixteen American F-51 fighters (P-51 Mustangs) were shot at by six Soviet MiG-15 interceptors led by Soviet WWII ace Mayor Nikolay V. Stroykov. The WWII “prop” planes like the Mustang, along with the U.S. F-80 Shooting Star and F-84 Thunderjet jet fighters, had a job on their hands fighting the robust and highly maneuverable MiG fighters.

Everything changed when the U.S. Air Force launched the F-86 Sabre. Wikipedia explains that the F-86 Sabre pilots enjoyed advantages they learned to exploit to the fullest. Foremost among those was a radar ranging gun sight on their six .50 caliber machine guns, which ensured that even short bursts of fire generally found their target. F-86 pilots were also equipped with G-suits, which prevented pilot blackout in high-speed turning maneuvers.

It is unlikely that anybody will ever fully agree on the casualties and “kill” ratios over “MiG Alley” during the Korean War.

The Soviets claimed 1,106 United Nations planes of all types shot down, including about 650 Sabres. (The USAF only admits to losing less than 200 aircraft in air combat.)

The F-86 pilots claimed 792 MiG-15s shot down, while B-29 gunners claimed a further 16. These numbers were later reduced to 379 MiGs. The Chinese air force claimed only 85 kills.

In Vietnam, the competitors varied. The MiG-17 and MiG-21 fighters were widely used by the North Vietnamese Air Force. They fought planes like the F-100 Super Sabre, F-5 Tiger and the F-4 Phantom. Once again, if you believe western sources which are fairly reliable for the most part, the U.S. planes dominated in most air to air combat, though the other side had plenty of talented pilots and more aces overall than the Americans.

During the end of the Cold War in the 1980’s, the Soviet MiG-29 was the terror of the skies. There was more speculation about it than real knowledge at first. While MiG aircraft were only built in odd numbers, the movie Top Gun references the aircraft by calling them MiG-28’s – “MiG-28’s, no one’s been this close before!” The planes used in the movie were actually American F-5 Tigers painted black with red stars applied to the tails.

Today the United States spends obscene amounts on planes like the F-22 Raptor and these aircraft do not have any clear advantages over modern Russian planes like the SU-30. Both in this case, are capable of “thrust vectoring” which means the pilot can change the direction of the jet blast and create an entirely separate way to control the jet in flight. The ultimate western jet in the world of thrust vectoring is the AV8/b Harrier which can actually take off and land like a helicopter.

Hopefully the world will not have to put these machines against each other in a future war, but with Clinton at the helm it is entirely possible and the advantages the US used to hold over the Russian military have evaporated into thin air.

Russia’s Modern Approach to Warfare

During the decades-long Cold War, the Soviet Union operated under archaic rules that essentially prevented a commander, or a pilot, from knowing their mission until they were dispatched to carry out the order. Kemp Freund, a US Army sergeant major that I met while I was covering the war in Afghanistan, was quoted in my 2007 video report “Camp Joyce: Remote Fire Base Near Afghanistan-Pakistan Border” saying, “We’re trying to break the old Soviet methods that they use and the Soviet method had that Lt. Col. completely in the dark until he needed to move.” He added, “We’re still working with the higher echelons to get that to move downhill.” The Soviet ways were detrimental and offered little freedom to a trained soldier or pilot but all that is over now.

Today’s Russian pilots not only fly superior aircraft that cost far less than US taxpayer funded military planes, they also utilize tactics of Western pilots. Hillary Clinton surely knows these facts but she wants to play with fire and be another “war president” which was so important to former President George W. Bush, and Obama too for that matter.

Other Looming Conflicts 

Lest we forget, Hillary Clinton’s unwavering support of Israel, the apartheid religious nuclear state that has long been protected by US taxpayer money and military hardware. The government of right wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues to violate the human rights of Palestinians constantly, while building settlements which are completely illegal under international law. Then there are the attacks in Gaza that target schools and hospitals, leaving hundreds and hundreds dead and thousands severely injured. Never does Clinton speak out against the barbaric treatment Israel reserves for non-Jews, never does she refer to the fact that the country we now call Iran hasn’t attacked a nation outside of its borders for more than three hundred years. Yet Iran has been savagely attacked by the United States both directly and indirectly.

Maintaining her warmongering spirit, Clinton said, “I want the Iranians to know that if I’m president we will attack Iran.”  She added that, “We would be able to totally obliterate them.”

October 29, 2016 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 2 Comments

Team Clinton Focuses on the Demise of Hezbollah

By Franklin Lamb | CounterPunch | August 8, 2016

Tel Hara, on the Golan Plain, Syria – The likely next American President, Hilary Clinton is fielding an array of foreign policy advisers, a few being sort of table scraps from the Bush administration and others having resigned from Obama’s. They are today preparing white papers on all manner of “adjustments” to what the presumed 45th American President reportedly believes was a weak and wrongheaded Obama Middle East policy, particularly with respect to the Syrian crisis and Hezbollah.

This according to sources at the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) Judicial Council on which this observer served representing his State of Oregon many moons ago. One staffer reports that the Neocon-Zionist lobby has a Middle East Policy deal with the Clinton campaign as a linchpin of her pledge to “eternally cover Israel’s back.” The Clinton camp, which appears to be gaining adherents within the CIA, the State Department and the Pentagon, believes that the Obama administration’s policy toward Russia and Syria is badly flawed partly because, so they claim, Obama wrongly assumes that Russia wants to limit its involvement in Syria. Clinton advisers claim that, on the contrary, Putin’s key objectives include demonstrating that Russia is winning in Syria, that the US has become a paper tiger in the region, and that the Arab states best follow Russia’s lead as it dramatically returns to the region a la the former USSR.

To set the stage for the her administration, some would-be Clinton advisers such as WINEP’s Dennis Ross, are counseling that she must increase political pressure now, as the clock runs out on the Obama administration, to dramatically beef up what they view as Obama’s weak “truce agreement” between Washington and Moscow. This as former Defense Secretary and Clinton adviser, Leon Panetta, is advocating that the next president increase US Special Forces in Syria and launch air strikes to shore up “moderates” fighting the Syrian government. Others are urging that after Clinton is sworn-in the US must pounce on all “truce violations” with drones and cruise missiles and target Syrian airbases and artillery positions, while simultaneously setting up safe areas for civilians, and if deemed necessary, no-fly zones.

Still others, including a dissenting internal memo last month signed by 51 State Department diplomats advocated attacks on Syrian government forces especially Hezbollah to end aggression against the country’s civilian population, to alter the military balance and bring about a negotiated political settlement. As Clinton’s Syrian policy is being formed, details will likely be kept out of the Presidential campaign, at least from her side, so as not to alienate the crucial Obama camp before November 8th.

There is reportedly one aspect of Clinton’s Middle East policy that has been detailed and is ready for implementation following her inauguration once details are coordinated with Israel, NATO and the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). It is being advocated by AIPAC on Capitol Hill and among Clinton operatives at the DNC and details how the Clinton administration “must destroy Hezbollah and cut off Tehran’s anti-Arab, anti-Sunni and anti- Christian hegemonic lifeline for its rapidly escalating domination of the Middle East.”

Clinton’s Middle East foreign policy shift reportedly will focus on the complete destruction of Hezbollah. Rather than merely containment as Obama insists at meetings of his National Security Council. John Kerry, a rumored Clinton cabinet member refers to Hezbollah solely as “Iran’s Basij in Lebanon/Syria/Iraq/Yemen/Bahrain and you name it.” History may soon record whether the Clinton administration, breaking sharply with the Obama administration, is able to “reshape the region” as Israel’s Netanyahu is squeezing her to do, and destroy Hezbollah, and if necessary, Iran’s IRGC-Al Quds Force. The latter, according to Clinton’s advisers and US allies are active in all the countries on Kerry’s list and far beyond.

Destroying or severely crippling Hezbollah is also being advocated as a cheap throw-away ‘crowd-pleaser’ for the incoming Clinton administration, both in Congress where both sides of the aisle, Democrats and Republicans, would very likely applaud attacks on Hezbollah as part of a rejuvenated “manned-up” and expanding US-led War on Terrorism. The Israel lobby is expressing confidence on Capitol Hill that relentlessly targeting Hezbollah militarily and economically will please and embolden Washington’s friends who remain chagrined by Obama’s containment policy in Syria while this needed policy shift will be discomfiting to US adversaries. It is also being argued that the six GCC monarchies will welcome tough Clinton administration action and can be expected to redouble their funding to shore up the Syrian opposition while at the same time the Clinton administration will also demonstrate US resolve to renew Washington’s commitment to holding Hezbollah accountable for its claimed terrorism. All the above it is claimed would hasten an end to the war here in Syria and make a political settlement more likely.

One “emeritus” Clinton adviser is Amos Yadlin, Israel’s former Military Intelligence chief. Recently Yadlin has been arguing that Israel and the US need to intervene in Syria more actively with a policy, that leads to the defeat of the “our most bitter enemies: “Iran and Hezbollah.”  Yadlin makes no secret of the fact that Israel will destroy Hezbollah ‘next time’ in Lebanon and that only the approaching date will not be revealed in advance.

Clinton supports the Hizbullah International Financing Prevention Actsigned by Obama this past April. The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, (OFAC) issued regulations aimed at implementing act. The latest U.S. regulations target those “knowingly facilitating a significant transaction or transactions for” Hezbollah and those “knowingly facilitating a significant transaction or transactions of a person identified on the List of Specially Designated Nationals (SDN’s) and Blocked persons.” OFAC’s list includes names of officials, businessmen and institutions that the U.S. says are linked to Hezbollah such as the group’s al-Manar TV and Al-Nour Radio. Clinton advisers argue that even more has to be done targeting Hezbollah.

Several hundred pages of ‘selling points’ circulating Capitol Hill and among EU countries are designed to build “an unshakable global commitment to destroy Hezbollah” according to one staffer on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Also being distributed on Capitol Hill are “research papers” from a Iranian opposition group called Naame Shaam. One is titled Iran in Syria: From an Ally of the Regime to an Occupying Force. The 200-page report analyzes various aspects of the military, political and economic role played by Hezbollah and Iran since March 2011, following the outbreak of the Syrian conflict.

An Israeli Embassy brief targeting Hezbollah includes the following excerpt on the subject of claimed Hezbollah crimes against humanity and urges the US and the EU to intensify sanctions: “Contrary to claims by Hezbollah’s Sec-General Hassan Nasrallah and Iran’s “Supreme Leader” Ali Khameini, Hezbollah entered Syria in large numbers by April 2011 and started sniping at demonstrators and Syrian army soldiers who refused to shoot children. A July 2012 video taken by Hezbollah and published in July 2011 shows heavily armed Hezbollah fighters and a number of tanks in Horan near Deraa, the city where the uprising started. A report in January of 1212 by The Times, documented large numbers of Hezbollah and Iranian snipers were deployed “to shoot anti-regime protesters.” These reports were confirmed by scores of Deraa residents who have confirmed more than 200 eyewitness reports that Iran deployed Hezbollah fighters “to stand behind Syrian troops and kill Syrian soldiers immediately, if they refused to open fire on demonstrators.” Local residents have confirmed these reports as have some of the more three dozen Iranian and Hezbollah snipers who participated. Three months after the start of the March 2011 civilian protests, the first clashes were reported in June 2011 in al-Qusayr, in the countryside of Homs. By May 2012 Hezbollah, overran 10 of the 23 (Syria-Lebanon) border villages and established fortified bases exclusively for its use, at time expelling Syrian army troops in “their” area which led to the Syrian army killing of three Al Manar journalists at Ma’loula.”

The  document, which includes satellite photos, continues, “Nasrallah explained to Lebanese media that ‘Hezbollah did not tell them what to do and this has nothing to do with the fighting in Syria. He omitted to mention that historically this area has been the main route for Iranian arms entering Lebanon and is located near Hezbollah arms depots in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley.”

Another handout reads:  “From the spring of 2011 until today, the Hezbollah’s siege, starving and slaughter of innocent women and children across Syria has continued to intensify despite, until recently, denial after denial. Hezbollah crimes have been extensively documented in an undisclosed European country by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, established on 22 August 2011 by the Human Rights Council through resolution S-17/1 adopted at its 17th special session with a mandate to investigate all alleged violations of international human rights law since March 2011 in the Syrian Arab Republic. Also gathering and documenting hundreds of cases of individuals committing crimes against humanity is the Commission for International Justice and Accountability.”

As the intense anti-Hezbollah campaign gets organized in Washington, Israel reportedly considers itself the winner to date in Syria, and expects to have much more influence and a green-light to destroy Hezbollah in a Clinton administration than was the case with Obama’s. Tel Aviv has to date been content to bide its time and simply deter Hezbollah in southern Syria/Lebanon and along the Golan Plain while recently occupying another roughly 20 by 12 miles strip of Syria territory. This latest land confiscation was done with impunity as UNDOF observers watched with binoculars. One reason UNDOF was impotent during the Israeli land grab was that a majority of them had relocated from the Syrian side to the Israeli side of the Golan ceasefire line in September 2014. UNDOF will not return until the Syrian war ends, if then.

Israel has made clear via its new Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, leader of the fascist Yisrael Beiteinu party, that Israel will not return one centimeter of its recently occupied Syrian territory “until we sign a peace agreement with the new government of Syria. All Muslims must know that we Israelis are their friends and that we are on the right side of this Syrian war.”

Meanwhile Israel has an understanding with various rebel groups in Southern Syria including the newly re-named Jabhat al Nusra (The Front for the Defense of the Syrian People) now calling itself – Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (the Front for the Conquest of the Levant), giving food and medical treatment to anyone asking for assistance within its new zone. Israel is also reportedly recruiting ‘operatives’ from southern Syria militia around Quneitra, the largely destroyed and abandoned capital of the Quneitra Governorate. Similar recruitment from the local population to what its army undertook during its 22-year occupation of South Lebanon before it was liberated by Hezbollah. Israel is reportedly paying up to $1000 per month, “salaries”, (compared to the average monthly salary in Syria these days of approximately of $100). Israel offers even more for “special services” targeting Hezbollah. Israel is in the process of occupying, in one way or another, parts of southern Syria. And one can feel it in the air.

Whatever success the Clinton team will have with its goal of destroying Hezbollah and however one evaluates Obama’s policy, this region appears headed for yet more prolonged violence and many more deaths of innocent civilians.

Franklin Lamb is a visiting Professor of International Law at the Faculty of Law, Damascus University and volunteers with the Sabra-Shatila Scholarship Program (sssp-lb.com).

August 8, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hillary Clinton And The Syrian Shoah

By Gilad Atzmon | March 19, 2016

From: Sidney Blumenthal To: Hillary Clinton Date: 2012-07-23

Quoting an Israeli security source Sidney Blumenthal wrote:

“[I]f the Assad regime topples, Iran would lose its only ally in the Middle East and would be isolated. At the same time, the fall of the House of Assad could well ignite a sectarian war between the Shiites and the majority Sunnis of the region drawing in Iran, which, in the view of Israeli commanders would not be a bad thing for Israel and its Western allies.” (https://wikileaks.org/clinton-emails/emailid/12171)

In 1982, Oded Yinon an Israeli journalist, formerly attached to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, published a document titled ‘A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties.’  The strategic plan later named ‘The Yinon Plan’ suggested that for Israel to maintain its regional superiority, it must break its neighboring Arab states into smaller sectarian units engaged in endless tribal wars. The Yinon Plan implied that Arabs and Muslims killing each other was an insurance policy for Israel.

Most commentators on the Middle East and American foreign affairs now realise that the chaos in the Middle East has a lot to do with Israel and its supportive Jewish lobbies around the world. However, thanks to the newly leaked Clinton email archive we may have a document that provides confirmation that the Yinon Plan was, de facto, an Israeli strategy to create sectarian chaos in the Middle East.

According to the Wikileaks archive of former US Secretary of State Clinton, it appears that in 2012 the Israeli intelligence service considered a potential Sunni-Shiite war in Syria a favorable development for the Jewish State and the West.

In an email sent by Sidney Blumenthal to Hilary Clinton, an Israeli source is quoted suggesting that Iran would lose “its only ally” in the Middle East if the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad collapses. Such a development in the view of Israeli commanders “would not be a bad thing for Israel and its Western allies,” Blumenthal wrote.

It is crucial to point out that in his email to Clinton, Blumenthal also quotes an alternative view that is more reasonable and is far less enthusiastic about the escalation in Syria. “Israeli security officials believe that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is convinced that these developments (expanding Arab civil war) will leave them [Israelis] vulnerable, with only enemies on their borders.”

This email allows us to look at a vivid Israeli political debate that occurred back in 2012. The Jewish State had to decide whether to destroy the Syrian people just to weaken Iran or alternatively to destroy Iran for the sake of destroying Iran. History suggests that a decision was taken to destroy the Syrians first. And the outcome must be disappointing for Israel —Iran is now stronger than ever.

Shockingly, in late 2015, after three years of disastrous Syrian civil war with hundreds of thousands of fatalities and millions of displaced people, Clinton, so it seems, still clung to the formula that Israel’s concerns with Iran should be fought on the expense of the Syrian people. In an email that US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton sent to an unknown account on 11/30/2015 Clinton wrote:

“The best way to help Israel deal with Iran’s growing nuclear capability is to help the people of Syria overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad.”

Israel is not the only one to blame for the Syrian shoah; Hilary Clinton shares some of the responsibility. I suggest that Ms. Clinton consider inviting at least a few Syrian refugees to settle in Clinton’s suburban home. Such a move would prove that she can be empathetic, merciful and hopefully regretful.

March 19, 2016 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 1 Comment

Face It: Trump is Right About Iraq — and that Should Sink Clinton

By Sam Husseini | February 14, 2106

At first I thought it ironic that Saturday’s Republican debate happened in the “Peace Center” in Greenville, South Carolina. [video and transcript]

But perhaps that had a positive effect.

Actually, no. For the discerning listener, Donald Trump has been critical of U.S. militarism for some time. On Russia, on Syria, on Iraq, on North Korea.

People say that Trump is loud. But I don’t think he’s been loud enough.

Last night, he screamed an anti war stance to the boos of Bush’s and Rubio’s and Kasich’s one percent donors. It’s only half of what needed to be said, but it was a measure of reality that’s desperately needed.

Trump: “You fight ISIS first. Right now you have Russia, you have Iran, you have them with Assad and you have them with Syria. You have to knock out ISIS. … You can’t fight two wars at one time.” But of course, to some of the U.S. establishment, two wars is slacking, they want more than two wars. Trump continued: “We shoulda never been in Iraq. We have destabilized the Middle East. They said there were weapons of mass destruction. There were none. And they knew there were none. … The World Trade Center came down (BOOING) during the reign. He [G. W. Bush] kept us safe?”

And, if anyone noticed, even as the auditorium packed of monied interests booed Trump, the tracker at the bottom of the screen went up for him.

Trump’s truth telling was met with more ridiculousness and lies.

Jeb Bush described Trumps attacks as “blood sport” which, given the subject matter at hand — his brother’s appetite for illegal war and failure in his responsibility to protect the U.S. public was, to put it mildly, ironic. And then Bush appealed to the values of his family, which, evidence would show, includes hands quite drenched in blood.

John Kasich’s reaction on Iraq WMDs was to appeal to Colin Powell’s credibility, which has been a late night TV joke for over a decade. He also claimed the U.S. got into a civil war, which is wrong — the U.S. government helped foster the sectarian violence. And no, Kasich, the borders of the Mideast were not “drawn after World War I by Westerners that didn’t understand what was happening there” — they were drawn by Westerners who wanted to divide and rule — as is the actual goal of Western interventions to this day.

Marco Rubio was perhaps the most priceless — “Saddam Hussein was in violation of UN resolutions, in open violation, and the world wouldn’t do anything about it.” That’s a total lie. Iraq had disarmed and the U.S. did everything it could to not have the UN verify that disarmament so that the draconian sanctions would continue on Iraq indefinitely and they could have their regime change war, see my time line: accuracy.org/iraq.

The worthies at the Weekly Standard now write: “Interviewers should press Trump on this: What evidence does Trump have that George W. Bush and his top advisers knowingly lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? How many other government officials does Trump believe were in on the deception? What does Trump believe would have been the point of such a lie, since the truth would soon come out?”

In fact, it’s quite provable that the Bush administration lied about Iraqi WMDs before the invasion. I know, I helped document such lies at the Institute for Public Accuracy, where I work, before the 2003 invasion:

In October, 2002, John R. MacArthur, author of Second Front: Censorship and Propaganda in the 1991 Gulf War, noted: “Recently, Bush cited an IAEA report that Iraq was ‘six months away from developing a weapon. I don’t know what more evidence we need.’ The IAEA responded that not only was there no new report, ‘there’s never been a report’ asserting that Iraq was six months away from constructing a nuclear weapon.” That’s just the tip of the iceberg of what was knowable at the time. See other such news releases from before the invasion: “White House Claims: A Pattern of Deceit” and “Bush’s War Case: Fiction vs. Facts at Accuracy.org/bush” and “U.S. Credibility Problems” and “Tough Questions for Bush on Iraq Tonight.”

The problem in 2002 and early 2003 was that Bush didn’t get those tough questions. Just like there are no real tough questions about U.S. policy in Libya, Syria, etc now.

What we’re getting is Trump raising these issues years later when it seems some of the public is finally/still willing to hear them. And that’s splendid. The establishment has tried to just keep rolling along with their wars and deceits after the Iraq invasion. No accountability, no nothing. They make Wall Street look like self-critical introverts. To answer the Weekly Standard’s question — the truth still hasn’t come out in full force; Bush and the other pro-war deceivers have managed to get away with it all.

The only problem with what Trump is saying is that he’s not saying it loud and strong enough. He didn’t back up the case for impeachment against G. W. Bush for the Iraq invasion, which was the point of one of the questions to him, though several legal scholars have done so, including Francis BoyleJonathan Turley, and Bruce Fein and Elizabeth Holtzman. Reps. Dennis KucinichCynthia McKinney and John Conyers, in different ways and at different times, pursued the possibility.

Some are deriding Trump for apparently exaggerating his objections to the Iraq war in 2003 and 2004. Maybe so, but the fact of the matter is that most who spoke out meaningfully against Iraq war early were defacto drummed out of establishment media and politics.

Trump is being Buchanan 2.0 — that there’s some real bad that comes with that and there’s some real good that comes with that. And quite arguably in a post 9/11 world, the good is more important than it was in 1992.

As I’ve written elsewhere, I have no idea what Trump would actually do in office and what his current motivations are. He’s been contradictory, but the thrust of his comments is quasi isolationist. His campaign should certainly be a huge opening to groups wanting to reach out to millions of working class whites on issues of foreign policy, trade, as well as some core economic issues.

And even on foreign policy, Trump can be extremely dangerous. For example, the apparent force behind his anti Muslim comments is Frank Gaffney, a rightwing pro-Israel militarist.

The point is that what Trump is appealing to is an electorate that is sick of deceit and perpetual wars and there’s a lot of good that comes with that. It should be an opportunity for anyone claiming to care about peace — and not a cause to mock the people supporting him as I’ve seen many “progressives” do.

But, for the Democrats, the import now is this: What’s it going to look like if Trump is the Republican nominee? If Clinton is the Democratic nominee, Trump — with very good reason — will tie the stench of perpetual wars and the lies that accompany them around her neck. She will make the 2004 John “I-was-for-the-war-before-I-was-against-it” Kerry look like a stirring exemplar of gracefully articulated principles.

If any Democrat cares a bit about electability, Clinton — the candidate not only of Wall Street, but of endless war and of the war machine — should have been dumped yesterday.

February 14, 2016 Posted by | Militarism | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Daraa 2011: Syria’s Islamist Insurrection in Disguise

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By Prof. Tim Anderson | Global Research | July 5, 2015

“I have seen from the beginning armed protesters in those demonstrations … they were the first to fire on the police. Very often the violence of the security forces comes in response to the brutal violence of the armed insurgents” – Jesuit priest Father Frans Van der Lugt, January 2012, Homs Syria

“The claim that armed opposition to the government has begun only recently is a complete lie. The killings of soldiers, police and civilians, often in the most brutal circumstances, have been going on virtually since the beginning.” – Professor Jeremy Salt, October 2011, Ankara Turkey

“The protest movement in Syria was overwhelmingly peaceful until September 2011” – Human Rights Watch, March 2012, Washington

A double story began on the Syrian conflict, at the very beginning of the armed violence in 2011, in the southern border town of Daraa. The first story comes from independent witnesses in Syria, such as the late Father Frans Van der Lugt in Homs. They say that armed men infiltrated the early political reform demonstrations to shoot at both police and civilians. This violence came from sectarian Islamists. The second comes from the Islamist groups (‘rebels’) and their western backers, including the Washington-based Human Rights Watch. They claim there was ‘indiscriminate’ violence from Syrian security forces to repress political rallies and that the ‘rebels’ grew out of a secular political reform movement.

Careful study of the independent evidence, however, shows that the Washington-backed ‘rebel’ story, while widespread, was part of a strategy to delegitimise the Syrian Government, with the aim of fomenting ‘regime change’. To understand this it is necessary to study the outbreak of the violence in Daraa, in March 2011. Central to that insurrection were shipments of arms from Saudi Arabia to Islamists at the al Omari mosque.

In early 2011 Syrians were well aware of a piece of history few western observers would remember: a strikingly similar Islamist insurrection took place in the town of Hama, back in 1982. Yet this was crushed within weeks by the Syrian Arab Army. Reviewing this conflict is useful because of the myths that have grown up around both insurrections.

US intelligence (DIA 1982) and the late British author Patrick Seale (1988) give independent accounts of what happened at Hama. After years of violent, sectarian attacks by Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood, by mid-1980 President Hafez al Assad had ‘broken the back’ of their sectarian rebellion, which aimed to impose a Salafi-Islamic state. One final coup plot was exposed and the Brotherhood ‘felt pressured into initiating’ an uprising in their stronghold of Hama. Seale describes the start of that violence in this way:

‘At 2am on the night of 2-3 February 1982 an army unit combing the old city fell into an ambush. Roof top snipers killed perhaps a score of soldiers … [Brotherhood leader] Abu Bakr [Umar Jawwad] gave the order for a general uprising … hundreds of Islamist fighters rose … by the morning some seventy leading Ba’athists had been slaughtered and the triumphant guerrillas declared the city ‘liberated’ (Seale 1988: 332).

However the Army responded with a huge force of about 12,000 and the battle raged for three weeks. It was a foreign-backed civil war, with some defections from the army. Seale continues:

‘As the tide turned slowly in the government’s favour, the guerrillas fell back into the old quarters … after heavy shelling, commandos and party irregulars supported by tanks moved in … many civilians were slaughtered in the prolonged mopping up, whole districts razed’ (Seale 1988: 333).

Two months later a US intelligence report said: ‘The total casualties for the Hama incident probably number about 2,000. This includes an estimated 300 to 400 members of the Muslim Brotherhood’s elite ‘Secret Apparatus’ (DIA 1982: 7). Seale recognises that the Army also suffered heavy losses. At the same time, ‘large numbers died in the hunt for the gunmen … government sympathizers estimating a mere 3,000 and critics as many as 20,000 … a figure of 5,000 to 10,000 could be close to the truth’ He adds:

‘The guerrillas were formidable opponents. They had a fortune in foreign money … [and] no fewer than 15,000 machine guns’ (Seale 1988: 335). Subsequent Muslim Brotherhood accounts have inflated the casualties, reaching up to ‘40,000 civilians’, and attempting to hide the vicious insurrection by claiming that Hafez al Assad had simply carried out a ‘civilian massacre’ (e.g. Nassar 2014). The then Syrian President blamed a large scale foreign conspiracy for the Hama insurrection. Seale observes that Hafez was ‘not paranoical’, as many US weapons were captured and foreign backing had come from several US collaborators: King Hussayn of Jordan, Lebanese Christian militias (the Israeli-aligned ‘Guardians of the Cedar’) and Saddam Hussein in Iraq (Seale 1988: 336-337).

The Hama insurrection helps us understand the Daraa violence because, once again in 2011, we saw armed Islamists using rooftop sniping against police and government officials, drawing in the armed forces, only to cry ‘civilian massacre’ when they and their collaborators came under attack from the Army. Although the US, through its allies, played an important part in the Hama insurrection, when it was all over US intelligence dryly observed that: ‘the Syrians are pragmatists who do not want a Muslim Brotherhood government’ (DIA 1982: vii).

In the case of Daraa, and the attacks that moved to Homs and surrounding areas in April 2011, the clearly stated aim was once again to topple the secular or ‘infidel-Alawi’ regime. The front-line US collaborators were Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey. The head of the Syrian Brotherhood, Muhammad Riyad Al-Shaqfa, issued a statement on 28 March which left no doubt that the group’s aim was sectarian. The enemy was ‘the secular regime’ and Brotherhood members ‘have to make sure that the revolution will be pure Islamic, and with that no other sect would have a share of the credit after its success’ (Al-Shaqfa 2011). While playing down the initial role of the Brotherhood, Sheikho confirms that it ‘went on to punch above its actual weight on the ground during the uprising … [due] to Turkish-Qatari support’, and to its general organisational capacity (Sheikho 2013). By the time there was a ‘Free Syrian Army Supreme Military Council’ in 2012 (more a weapons conduit than any sort of army command), it was two-thirds dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood (Draitser 2012). Other foreign Salafi-Islamist groups quickly joined this ‘Syrian Revolution’. A US intelligence report in August 2012, contrary to Washington’s public statements about ‘moderate rebels’, said:

‘The Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood and AQI [Al Qaeda in Iraq, later ISIS] are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria … AQI supported the Syrian Opposition from the beginning, both ideologically and through the media’ (DIA 2012).

In February 2011 there was popular agitation in Syria, to some extent influenced by the events in Egypt and Tunisia. There were anti-government and pro-government demonstrations, and a genuine political reform movement that for several years had agitated against corruption and the Ba’ath Party monopoly. A 2005 report referred to ‘an array of reform movements slowly organizing beneath the surface’ (Ghadry 2005), and indeed the ‘many faces’ of a Syrian opposition, much of it non-Islamist, had been agitating since about that same time (Sayyid Rasas 2013). These political opposition groups deserve attention, in another discussion. However only one section of that opposition was linked to the violence that erupted in Daraa. Large anti-government demonstrations began, to be met with huge pro-government demonstrations. In early March some teenagers in Daraa were arrested for graffiti that had been copied from North Africa ‘the people want to overthrow the regime’. It was reported that they were abused by local police, President Bashar al Assad intervened, the local governor was sacked and the teenagers were released (Abouzeid 2011).

Yet the Islamist insurrection was underway, taking cover under the street demonstrations. On 11 March, several days before the violence broke out in Daraa, there were reports that Syrian forces had seized ‘a large shipment of weapons and explosives and night-vision goggles … in a truck coming from Iraq’. The truck was stopped at the southern Tanaf crossing, close to Jordan. The Syrian Government news agency SANA said the weapons were intended ‘for use in actions that affect Syria’s internal security and spread unrest and chaos.’ Pictures showed ‘dozens of grenades and pistols as well as rifles and ammunition belts’. The driver said the weapons had been loaded in Baghdad and he had been paid $5,000 to deliver them to Syria (Reuters 2011). Despite this interception, arms did reach Daraa, a border town of about 150,000 people. This is where the ‘western-rebel’ and the independent stories diverge, and diverge dramatically. The western media consensus was that protestors burned and trashed government offices, and then ‘provincial security forces opened fire on marchers, killing several’ (Abouzeid 2011). After that, ‘protestors’ staged demonstrations in front of the al-Omari mosque, but were in turn attacked.

The Syrian government, on the other hand, said that armed attacks had begun on security forces, killing police and civilians, along with the burning of government offices. There was foreign corroboration of this account. While its headline blamed security forces for killing ‘protesters’, the British Daily Mail (2011) showed pictures of guns, AK47 rifles and hand grenades that security forces had recovered after storming the al-Omari mosque. The paper noted reports that ‘an armed gang’ had opened fire on an ambulance, killing ‘a doctor, a paramedic and a policeman’. Media channels in neighbouring countries did report on the killing of Syrian police, on 17-18 March. On 21 March a Lebanese news report observed that ‘Seven policemen were killed during clashes between the security forces and protesters in Syria’ (YaLibnan 2011), while an Israel National News report said ‘Seven police officers and at least four demonstrators in Syria have been killed … and the Baath party headquarters and courthouse were torched’ (Queenan 2011). These police had been targeted by rooftop snipers.

Even in these circumstances the Government was urging restraint and attempting to respond to the political reform movement. President Assad’s adviser, Dr Bouthaina Shaaban, told a news conference that the President had ordered ‘that live ammunition should not be fired, even if the police, security forces or officers of the state were being killed’. Assad proposed to address the political demands, such as the registration of political parties, removing emergency rules and allowing greater media freedoms (al-Khalidi 2011). None of that seemed to either interest or deter the Islamist insurrection.

Several reports, including video reports, observed rooftop snipers firing at crowds and police, during funerals of those already killed. It was said to be ‘unclear who was firing at whom’ (Al Jazeera 2011a), as ‘an unknown armed group on rooftops shot at protesters and security forces’ (Maktabi 2011). Yet Al Jazeera (2011b) owned by the Qatari monarchy, soon strongly suggested that that the snipers were pro-government. ‘President Bashar al Assad has sent thousands of Syrian soldiers and their heavy weaponry into Derra for an operation the regime wants nobody in the word to see’. However the Al Jazeera suggestion that secret pro-government snipers were killing ‘soldiers and protestors alike’ was illogical and out of sequence. The armed forces came to Daraa precisely because police had been shot and killed.

Saudi Arabia, a key US regional ally, had armed and funded extremist Salafist Sunni sects to move against the secular government. Saudi official Anwar Al-Eshki later confirmed to BBC television that his country had sent arms to Daraa and to the al-Omari mosque (Truth Syria 2012). From exile in Saudi Arabia, Salafi Sheikh Adnan Arour called for a holy war against the liberal Alawi Muslims, who were said to dominate the Syrian government. The Salafist aim was a theocratic state or caliphate. The genocidal slogan ‘Christians to Beirut, Alawites to the grave’ became widespread, a fact reported by the North American media as early as May 2011 (e.g. Blanford 2011). Islamists from the FSA Farouq brigade would soon act on these threats (Crimi 2012). Canadian analyst Michel Chossudovsky (2011) concluded:

‘The deployment of armed forces including tanks in Daraa [was] directed against an organised armed insurrection, which has been active in the border city since March 17-18.’

After those first few days in Daraa the killing of Syrian security forces continued, but went largely unreported outside Syria. Nevertheless, independent analyst Sharmine Narwani wrote about the scale of this killing in early 2012 and again in mid-2014. An ambush and massacre of soldiers took place near Daraa in late March or early April. An army convoy was stopped by an oil slick on a valley road between Daraa al-Mahata and Daraa al-Balad and the trucks were machine gunned. Estimates of soldier deaths, from government and opposition sources ranged from 18 to 60. A Daraa resident said these killings were not reported because: ‘At that time, the government did not want to show they are weak and the opposition did not want to show they are armed’. Anti-Syrian blogger, Nizar Nayouf, records this massacre as taking place in the last week of March. Another anti-Government writer, Rami Abdul Rahman (based in England, and calling himself the ‘Syrian Observatory of Human Rights’) says:

‘It was on the first of April and about 18 or 19 security forces … were killed’ (Narwani 2014). Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad, himself a resident of Daraa, confirmed that: ‘this incident was hidden by the government … as an attempt not to antagonize or not to raise emotions and to calm things down – not to encourage any attempt to inflame emotions which may lead to escalation of the situation’ (Narwani 2014).

Yet the significance of denying armed anti-Government killings was that, in the western media, all deaths were reported as (a) victims of the Army and (b) civilians. For well over six months, when a body count was mentioned in the international media, it was usually considered acceptable to suggest these were all ‘protestors’ killed by the Syrian Army. For example, a Reuters report on 24 March said Daraa’s main hospital had received ‘the bodies of at least 37 protestors killed on Wednesday’ (Khalidi 2011). Notice that all the dead had become ‘protestors’, despite earlier reports on the killing of a number of police and health workers.

Another nineteen soldiers were gunned down on 25 April, also near Daraa. Narwani obtained their names and details from Syria’s Defence Ministry, and corroborated these details from another document from a non-government source. Throughout April 2011 she calculates that eighty-eight Syrian soldiers were killed ‘by unknown shooters in different areas across Syria’ (Narwani 2014). She went on to refute claims that the soldiers killed were ‘defectors’, shot by the Syrian army for refusing to fire on civilians. The Washington based group Human Rights Watch, referring to interviews with 50 unnamed ‘activists’, claimed that soldiers killed at this time were all ‘defectors’, murdered by the Army (HRW 2011b). Yet the funerals of loyal officers, shown on the internet at that time, were distinct. Even Rami Abdul Rahman, keen to blame the Army for killing civilians, said ‘this game of saying the Army is killing defectors for leaving – I never accepted this’ (Narwani 2014). Nevertheless the highly charged reports were confusing, in Syria as well as outside.

The violence spread north, with the assistance of Islamist fighters from Lebanon, reaching Baniyas and areas around Homs. On 10 April nine soldiers were shot in a bus ambush in Baniyas. In Homs, on April 17, General Abdo Khodr al-Tallawi was killed with his two sons and a nephew, and Syrian commander Iyad Kamel Harfoush was gunned down near his home. Two days later, off-duty Colonel Mohammad Abdo Khadour was killed in his car (Narwani 2014). North American commentator Joshua Landis (2011a) reported the death of his wife’s cousin, one of the soldiers in Baniyas.

Al Jazeera, the principal Middle East media channel backing the Muslim Brotherhood, blacked out these attacks, as also the reinforcement provided by armed foreigners. Former Al Jazeera journalist Ali Hashem was one of many who resigned from the Qatar-owned station (RT 2012), complaining of deep bias over their presentation of the violence in Syria. Hashem had footage of armed men arriving from Lebanon, but this was censored by his Qatari managers. ‘In a resignation letter I was telling the executive … it was like nothing was happening in Syria.’ He thought the ‘Libyan revolution’ was the turning point for Al Jazeera, the end of its standing as a credible media group (Hashem 2012).

Provocateurs were at work. Tunisian jihadist ‘Abu Qusay’ later admitted he had been a prominent ‘Syrian rebel’ charged with ‘destroying and desecrating Sunni mosques’, including by scrawling the graffiti ‘There is no God but Bashar’, a blasphemy to devout Muslims. This was then blamed on the Syrian Army, with the aim of creating Sunni defections from the Army. ‘Abu Qusay’ had been interviewed by foreign journalists who did not notice he was not Syrian (Eretz Zen 2014).

Journalist Nir Rosen, whose reports were generally against the Syrian Government, also criticised the western consensus over the early violence:

‘The issue of defectors is a distraction. Armed resistance began long before defections started … Every day the opposition gives a death toll, usually without any explanation … Many of those reported killed are in fact dead opposition fighters but … described in reports as innocent civilians killed by security forces … and every day members of the Syrian Army, security agencies … are also killed by anti-regime fighters’ (Rosen 2012).

A numbers game was being played to delegitimise the Syrian Government (‘The Regime’) and the Syrian Army (‘Assad loyalists’), suggesting they were responsible for all the violence. Just as NATO forces were about to bomb Libya and overthrow the Libyan Government, US voices began to demand that President Assad step down. The Brookings Institution (Shaikh 2011) claimed the President had ‘lost the legitimacy to remain in power in Syria’. US Senators John McCain, Lindsay Graham and Joe Lieberman said it was time ‘to align ourselves unequivocally with the Syrian people in their peaceful demand for a democratic government’ (FOX News 2011). The big powers began to demand yet another ‘regime change’.

In June, US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton dismissed the idea that ‘foreign instigators’ had been at work, saying that ‘the vast majority of casualties have been unarmed civilians’ (Clinton 2011). In fact, as Clinton knew very well, her Saudi Arabian allies had armed extremists from the very beginning. Her casualty assertion was also wrong. The United Nations (which would later abandon its body count) estimated from several sources that, by early 2012, there were more than 5,000 casualties, and that deaths in the first year of conflict included 478 police and 2,091 from the military and security forces (OHCHR 2012: 2; Narwani 2014). That is, more than half the casualties in the first year were those of the Syrian security forces. That independent calculation was not reflected in western media reports. ‘Watchdog’ NGOs such as Human Rights Watch, along with US columnists (e.g. Allaf 2012), continued to claim, well into 2012, that Syrian security forces had been massacring ‘unarmed protestors’, that the Syrian people ‘had no choice’ but to take up arms, and that this ‘protest movement’ had been ‘overwhelmingly peaceful until September 2011’ (HRW 2011a, HRW 2012). In fact, the political reform movement had been driven off the streets by Salafi-Islamist gunmen, over the course of March and April.

In June reporter Hala Jaber (2011) observed that about five thousand people turned up for a demonstration at Ma’arrat al-Numan, a small town in north-west Syria, between Aleppo and Hama. She says several ‘protestors’ had been shot the week before, while trying to block the road between Damascus and Aleppo. After some negotiations which reduced the security forces in the town, ‘men with heavy beards in cars and pick-ups with no registration plates’ with ‘rifles and rocket-propelled grenades’ began shooting at the reduced numbers of security forces. A military helicopter was sent to support the security forces. After this clash ‘four policemen and 12 of their attackers were dead or dying. Another 20 policemen were wounded’. Officers who escaped the fight were hidden by some of the tribal elders who had participated in the original demonstration. When the next ‘demonstration for democracy’ took place, the following Friday, ‘only 350 people turned up’, mostly young men and some bearded militants (Jaber 2011). Five thousand protestors had been reduced to 350, after the Salafist attacks.

After months of media manipulations, disguising the Islamist insurrection, Syrians such as Samer al Akhras, a young man from a Sunni family, who used to watch Al Jazeera because he preferred it to state TV, became convinced to back the Syrian government. He saw first-hand the fabrication of reports on Al Jazeera and wrote, in late June 2011:

‘I am a Syrian citizen and I am a human. After 4 months of your fake freedom … You say peaceful demonstration and you shoot our citizen. From today … I am [now] a Sergeant in the Reserve Army. If I catch anyone … in any terrorist organization working on the field in Syria I am gonna shoot you as you are shooting us. This is our land not yours, the slaves of American fake freedom’ (al Akhras 2011).

Notes:

Abouzeid, Rania (2011) ‘Syria’s Revolt, how graffiti stirred an uprising’,Time, 22 March

Al Akhras, Samer (2011) ‘Syrian Citizen’, Facebook, 25 June, online:https://www.facebook.com/notes/sam-al-akhras/syrian-citizen/241770845834062?pnref=story

Al Jazeera (2011a) ‘Nine killed at Syria funeral processions’, 23 April, online:http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2011/04/20114231169587270.html

Al Jazeera (2011b) ‘Deraa: A city under a dark siege’, 28 April, online:http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2011/04/2011427215943692865.html

Al-Shaqfa, Muhammad Riyad (2011) ‘Muslim Brotherhood Statement about the so-called ‘Syrian Revolution’’, General supervisor for the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, statement of 28 March, online at: http://truthsyria.wordpress.com/2012/02/12/muslim-brotherhood-statement-about-the-so-called-syrian-revolution/

Allaf, Rime (2012) ‘This Time, Assad Has Overreached’, NYT, 5 Dec, online:http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/02/06/is-assads-time-running-out/this-time-assad-has-overreached

Blanford, Nicholas (2011) ‘Assad regime may be gaining upper hand in Syria’, Christina Science Monitor, 13 may, online:http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2011/0513/Assad-regime-may-be-gaining-upper-hand-in-Syria

Chossudovsky, Michel (2011) ‘Syria: who is behind the protest movement? Fabricating a pretext for US-NATO ‘Humanitarian Intervention’’, Global Research, 3 May, online: http://www.globalresearch.ca/syria-who-is-behind-the-protest-movement-fabricating-a-pretext-for-a-us-nato-humanitarian-intervention/24591

Clinton, Hilary (2011) ‘There is No Going Back in Syria’, US Department of State, 17 June, online: http://www.state.gov/secretary/20092013clinton/rm/2011/06/166495.htm

Maktabi, Rima (2011) ‘Reports of funeral, police shootings raise tensions in Syria’, CNN, 5 April, online: http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/meast/04/05/syria.unrest/

Crimi, Frank (2012) ‘Ethnic Cleansing of Syrian Christians’, Frontpagemag,29 March, online: http://www.frontpagemag.com/2012/frank-crimi/ethnic-cleansing-of-syrian-christians/

Daily Mail (2011) ‘Nine protesters killed after security forces open fire by Syrian mosque’, 24 March

DIA (1982) ‘Syria: Muslim Brotherhood Pressure Intensifies’, Defence Intelligence Agency (USA), May, online: https://syria360.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/dia-syria-muslimbrotherhoodpressureintensifies-2.pdf

DIA (2012) ‘Department of Defence Information Report, Not Finally Evaluated Intelligence, Country: Iraq’, Defence Intelligence Agency, August, 14-L-0552/DIA/297-293, Levant report, online at:http://levantreport.com/2015/05/19/2012-defense-intelligence-agency-document-west-will-facilitate-rise-of-islamic-state-in-order-to-isolate-the-syrian-regime/

Draitser, Eric (2012) ‘Unmasking the Muslim Brotherhood: Syria, Egypt and beyond’, Global Research, 12 December, online:http://www.globalresearch.ca/unmasking-the-muslim-brotherhood-syria-egypt-and-beyond/5315406

Eretz Zen (2014) ‘Tunisian Jihadist Admits: We Destroyed & Desecrated Mosques in Syria to Cause Defections in Army’, Youtube Interview, 16 March, online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQ8awN8GLAk

FOX News (2011) ‘Obama Under Pressure to Call for Syrian Leader’s Ouster’,29 April, online: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/04/29/obama-pressure-syrian-leaders-ouster/

Ghadry, Farid N. (2005) ‘Syrian Reform: What Lies Beneath’, Middle East Quarterly, Vol 12 No 1, Winter, online: http://www.meforum.org/683/syrian-reform-what-lies-beneath

Haidar, Ali (2013) interview with this writer, Damascus 28 December. Ali Haidar was President of the Syrian Social National Party (SS NP), a secular rival to the Ba’ath Party. In 2012 President Bashar al Assad incorporated him into the Syrian government as Minister for Reconciliation.

Hashem, Ali (2012) ‘Al Jazeera Journalist Explains Resignation over Syria and Bahrain Coverage’, The Real News, 20 March, online:http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=8106

HRW (2011a) ‘We’ve never seen such horror: crimes against humanity by Syrian Security Forces’, Human Rights Watch, June, online:http://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/06/01/we-ve-never-seen-such-horror-0

HRW (2011b) Syria: Defectors Describe Orders to Shoot Unarmed Protesters’, Human Rights watch, Washington, 9 July, online:http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/07/09/syria-defectors-describe-orders-shoot-unarmed-protesters

HRW (2012) ‘Open Letter to the Leaders of the Syrian Opposition, Human Rights Watch, Washington, 20 March, online:http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/03/20/open-letter-leaders-syrian-opposition

Jaber, Hala (2011) ‘Syria caught in crossfire of extremists’, Sunday Times, 26 June, online: http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/world_news/Middle_East/article657138.ece

Khalidi, Suleiman (2011) ‘Thousands chant ‘freedom’ despite Assad reform offer’, Reuters, 24 March, online: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/24/us-syria-idUSTRE72N2MC20110324

Landis, Joshua (2011a) ‘The Revolution Strikes Home: Yasir Qash`ur, my wife’s cousin, killed in Banyas’, Syria Comment, 11 April, online:http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/the-revolution-strikes-home-yasir-qashur-my-wifes-cousin-killed-in-banyas/

Landis, Joshua (2011b) ‘Syria’s Opposition Faces an Uncertain Future’, Syria Comment, 26 June, online: http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/syrias-opposition-faces-an-uncertain-future/

MEMRITV (2011) ‘Syrian Sunni Cleric Threatens: “We Shall Mince [The Alawites] in Meat Grinders”’, YouTube, 13 July, online:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bwz8i3osHww

Nassar, Jessy (2014) ‘Hama: A rebirth from the ashes?’ Middle East Monitor,11 July, online: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/articles/middle-east/12703-hama-a-rebirth-from-the-ashes

Narwani, Sharmine (2012) ‘Questioning the Syrian “Casualty List”, 28 Feb, online: http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/questioning-syrian-%E2%80%9Ccasualty-list%E2%80%9D

Narwani, Sharmine (2014) Syria: The hidden massacre, RT, 7 May, online:http://rt.com/op-edge/157412-syria-hidden-massacre-2011/

OHCHR (2012) ‘Periodic Update’, Independent International Commission of Inquiry established pursuant to resolution A/HRC/S – 17/1 and extended through resolution A/HRC/Res/19/22, 24 may, online:

http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/CoISyria/PeriodicUpdate24May2012.pdf

Queenan, Gavriel (2011) ‘Syria: Seven Police Killed, Buildings torched in protests’, Israel National News, Arutz Sheva, March 21

Reuters (2011) ‘Syria says seizes weapons smuggled from Iraq’, 11 March, online: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/11/us-syria-iraq-idUSTRE72A3MI20110311?hc_location=ufi

Rosen, Nir (2012) ‘Q&A: Nir Rosen on Syria’s armed opposition’, Al Jazeera,13 Feb, online: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2012/02/201221315020166516.html

RT (2012) ‘Al Jazeera exodus: Channel losing staff over ‘bias’’, 12 March, online: http://rt.com/news/al-jazeera-loses-staff-335/

Salt, Jeremy (2011) Truth and Falsehood in Syria, The Palestine Chronicle, 5 October, online: http://palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=17159

Sayyid Rasas, Mohammed (2013) ‘From 2005 to 2013: The Syrian Opposition’s Many Faces’, Al Akhbar, 19 March, online: http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/15287

Shaikh, Salman (2011) ‘In Syria, Assad Must Exit the Stage’, Brookings Institution, 27 April, online: http://www.brookings.edu/research/opinions/2011/04/27-syria-shaikh

Sheikho, Youssef (2013) ‘The Syrian Opposition’s Muslim Brotherhood Problem’, Al Akhbar English, April 10, online: http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/15492

Truth Syria (2012) ‘Syria – Daraa revolution was armed to the teeth from the very beginning’, BBC interview with Anwar Al-Eshki, YouTube interview, video originally uploaded 10 April, latest version 7 November, online:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoGmrWWJ77w

Seale, Patrick (1988) Asad: the struggle for the Middle East, University of California Press, Berkeley CA

van der Lugt, Frans (2012) ‘Bij defaitisme is niemand gebaat’, from Homs,13 January, online: https://mediawerkgroepsyrie.wordpress.com/2012/01/13/bij-defaitisme-is-niemand-gebaat/

Wikstrom, Cajsa (2011) Syria: ‘A kingdom of silence’, Al Jazeera, 9 Feb, online: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2011/02/201129103121562395.html

YaLibnan (2011) ‘7 Syrian policemen killed in Sunday clashes’, 21 March, online: http://yalibnan.com/2011/03/21/7-syrian-policemen-killed-in-sunday-clashes-report/

July 6, 2015 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Venezuela Tops Latin America in Military Spending Cuts, Slashes Arms Budget by 34%

By Lucas Koerner | Venezuelanalysis | April 16, 2015

Caracas  – According to a new report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Venezuela reduced its military budget by 34 percent in 2014, leading the the region in arms spending cuts.

Venezuela is followed by Uruguay, which decreased its military spending by 11 percent over the past year.

In contrast, United States political allies Paraguay and Mexico led the region in upping military spending, raising their military budgets by 13 and 11 percent, respectively.

Brazil, which is the largest arms spender in Latin America and the tenth largest in the world, cut its military budget by 1.7 percent due to economic difficulties.

The Americas remains the region with the highest military spending, a fact undoubtedly attributable to the presence of the United States, which, despite a modest budget cut of 6.5 percent, retains its spot as the world’s top arms spender.

With an annual military budget of $610 billion, the US accounts for one-third of global spending, amounting to more than triple the budget of the second highest spender, China.

Nonetheless, this enormous disparity in spending has not prevented the US from branding Venezuela a menace to its neighbors, on numerous occasions.

In 2009, then US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton accused Venezuela of fomenting an “arms race” with its purchase of Russian weapons. That same year, Venezuela led the region in cutting military spending, slashing its arms budget by one-quarter.

Last month, President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order labeling Venezuela a “national security threat”, a move which has been vociferously condemned by a host of countries and multilateral blocs across the globe.

April 17, 2015 Posted by | Economics, Militarism | , , , , , | Leave a comment

NSA Blackmailing Obama? | Interview with Whistleblower Russ Tice

breakingtheset · July 9, 2013

Abby Martin talks to Russell Tice, former intelligence analyst and original NSA whistleblower, about how the recent NSA scandal is only scratches the surface of a massive surveillance apparatus, citing specific targets the he saw spying orders for including former senators Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama.

July 10, 2013 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | Leave a comment