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The Dirty War on Syria

Progressive Press
August 25, 2012

The Dirty War on Syria
John-Paul Leonard

The Not so Independent Independent?

Robert Fisk has been starting to doubt the official line a little in the pieces he’s writing from Damascus for the Independent. I submitted two comments to his latest article, “The bloody truth about Syria’s uncivil war – Those trying to topple Assad have surprised the army with their firepower and brutal tactics.”

(The first comment showed up after a few minutes, presumably it had passed computerized vetting for bad language, but it disappeared in an hour or two. Not sure if they ran afoul of the thought police, or if there is a rule against URL’s in posts. So here they are again without the URL’s, let’s hope they stay up. Most of the comments so far are pro-Syria and anti-US death squads.)

1. I hope this comment somehow reaches the Syrian Arab Army leadership. Fisk’s reports often give indications that the Syrian army needs a well-thought-out counter-insurgency doctrine on how to deal with terrorists, who take over urban districts and use civilians as human shields. That is a war crime, and the FSA are a criminal gang. Nonetheless, tanks and artillery are not really suitable for taking out snipers. Why not empower more civilians and army veterans to defend their own neighborhoods? For more details see the blog “The Dirty War on Syria”.

2. Dear Mr Fisk,
I’d like to ask if in repeating that “the revolt began after secret police officers tortured to death a 13-year-old boy,” have you checked into this or are you trusting the media – the corrupt warmongering mainstream media? There are two sides to every story and every time I dig out the Syrian side, I find that the tale put out everywhere by the CIA-trained FSA is a Big Lie.
In the case of Hamza al Khateeb, he was 17, not 13, and he was not arrested and tortured for writing graffiti. He joined by an armed mob that was firing at a police station, and was killed by three bullets – whether fired by the police or perhaps even by provocateurs, commandos tasked with stoking violence. The cause of death – gunshot wounds, and not torture – was established by the coroner before it was known who Hamza was. His body was taken from the scene of the shootings directly to the hospital.

The Syrian government narrative “True Story of Hamza al-Khateeb’s Death Belies Media Fabrications” can be found online as well as a youtube video “Medical Examiner Interview about Hamza Al-Khateeb.”

I think you too, the more you dig into the Syria story, the more you will find it is a dirty war based on a Big Lie against a small, proud, nation that dares to be INDEPENDENT.

Aug 24

Give Us Each Day Our Fill of Lies

A top story on Yahoo yesterday blared the headline, “Assad’s War on Syria’s Children.” The casual viewer will assume that Assad is massacring 1000s of kids. Read it and come to find out all they have is two kids who exhibit violent behavior, after their rebel father and uncle fought back against the army instead of evacuating. Moral: terrorists make terrible parents.

Typical, twisted, Goebbelsian MSM war propaganda, from the aptly named “Daily Beast.”

For that false flag the US is planning in order to get their war on Syria, I bet you their proxy insurgents the FSA Fanatic Saudi Assassins wipe out a school full of kids with chemical weapons and blame it on Assad. No war propaganda more potent than the killing of babies.

They have already recycled the phony Kuwait/Iraq incubator babies deaths tale from 1990 against Syria now. The FSA massacre at Houla was blamed on the Syrian government and used to justify sanctions against Syria – even after the truth had come out that it was done by US-sponsored death squads and not the Syrian Army.

They make up their own truth – and it’s the Big Lie every time.

Aug. 22

Turnabout is Fair Play – Syria should set up Local Militias, and put a Bounty on Terrorist Heads too

By now I’ve seen innumerable reports and videos of the gratitude of Syrians for the protection of their Army against the depredations of FSA terrorist gangs. The latest one appeared in The Telegraph, Aug. 21, Robert Fisk reporting:

At least a dozen civilians emerged from their homes, retirees in their 70s, shopkeepers and local businessmen with their families and, unaware that a foreign journalist was watching, put their arms round Syrian troops.

I also just came across a report from June in Global Research on how the largesse of the oil emirates Qatar and KSA trickles down to the smallest pawns in the game

The young people no longer want to work in the field. You can earn every day 5000, 8000, 1000 pounds, if they kill policemen. A man from Qusseir (Qusair), who has recently reported himself to the authorities, has confessed, that he has 150 000 Syrian pounds for committing the kidnapping and murder of six soldiers.

Syrian soldiers have said that they have received about 180 000 Syrian pounds [about $3000 US], to desert (from the Army), what is a fortune here in Syria.

Fisk also quotes an Army general on the terrorists:

They snipe at us and then they run and hide and in the sewers. Foreigners, Turks, Chechens, Afghans, Libyans, Sudanese.” And Syrians, I said. “Yes, Syrians too, but smugglers and criminals,” he said.

Juxtaposing these three facts, a tactic occurred to me that could help Syria win the counter-insurgency. Rather than making civilians wait for the army to save them, why not recruit trustworthy veterans or reservists for a neighborhood militia in civilian dress? Some neighborhoods and clans have already done this on their own, Christians in particular, setting up checkpoints with armed guards to protect themselves. Most Syrian men serve two years in the army, so they know how to fire a gun.

As an incentive, declare a bounty for the killing or capture of foreign terrorists. Of course, such a program needs to be well-planned to avoid abuses. Candidates for neighborhood counter-insurgency commando service would need to be vetted and trained to avoid chaos and killings of ordinary civilians, or infiltration by FSA sympathizers. But we already have those problems with the FSA. So with judicious application, such a program could be a game-changer.

Bounties should either be higher, or paid exclusively for, foreign combatants. For their protection, foreign journalists should wear Press jackets, carry a visa, and make themselves known to authorities in the areas where they are working. Reservists might need special training in stalking snipers, and their identities might need to be kept secret, to avoid being singled out by terrorists.

Chairman Mao said, “The guerrilla must swim among the people as the fish swims.” The same holds true for counter-insurgents. Well-targeted, hand-in-glove methods will also greatly reduce the physical and moral damage from the use of heavy weapons, which are at any rate poorly suited to hit-and-run guerrilla tactics.

It is understandable if the Syrian authorities may experience anxiety about loss of direct control over each weapon and soldier under such a policy, but adequate control can be maintained. The fact remains that the heroic Syrian Arab Army was built for a conventional war with Israel. Today’s war waged by the US and proxies is an insidious, unconventional model, requiring innovation and cunning to combat it.

Update Aug. 24. When i see a single FSA sniper terrorizing a whole neighborhood, or one terrorist blowing up a tank with an RPG, I really have to ask if the SAA are using the best mix of weapons. True, they keep killing terrorists, but can they afford the cost? NATO can send more insurgents and wear Syria down in a war of attrition.

Nowadays is the age of open source – you can’t concentrate all tasks and do everything yourself – got to harness the power of the people. The Evil Empire got to be as big as it is because it learned this long ago. Syria is under attack by a CIA People Power Coup, among other things. The Syrian people are so thankful to their army, I’m sure they would be glad to help.

A comment on Twitter today by @FadiSalem, quoting an Aleppo activist about the FSA: “They have no regards what so ever for civilian life. They hide among them, leave them when shelling starts.”

Aug. 20

REALITY AND DEMONOLOGY IN THE WAR ON SYRIA

It seems the real situation in Syria is never as bad as the hysteria pushed by the Western media. Of course, no news is always bad news for the media, but with Syria, there is an added motive – catastrophic reports raise the pressure for intervention.

That’s why I liked the concluding words of this unusually low-key, level-headed “Despatch from Damascus” by a German journalist, posted on Aug. 4th:

Damascus itself was placid, and normal life went on…I walked through the city, speaking to shop owners, taxi drivers, people on the streets, policemen, women in headscarves and in Western outfits. The answer was always the same – the international media completely distort what is happening. They singled out the Qatar-based TV station Al-Jazeera for particular criticism…

A final surprise came at the Lebanese side of the border. There I saw the first time the black-white-green rebel flag waving in the wind. Immediately beyond the Lebanese border station were a dozen Western TV teams, waiting for the ‘refugees’. Some of them were paying interviewees in dollars for short interviews; and the wilder the story, the better they seemed to like it. It seems that reality doesn’t mean all that much when the Western media talk about Syria.

From this account we not only learn of the exaggeration of violence, but also that the people overwhelmingly support the government.

In a recent interview, Alex Jones agreed with guest Syrian Girl Partisan that short of a chemical weapons false flag attack, the empire has few options open to intervene. The latest attempt to drum up such a pretext was aimed as much at Iran as Syria. The claim by Dep’t of Offense Secretary Panetta that Iran is training militias in Syria was a masterpiece of duplicity

- the US itself has already invaded both Iran and Syria with commandos, death squads and proxies,
- the allegation of a military intervention by Iran in Syria could be a pretext for an overt attack on either country.
- claims of a loyalist militia are constantly used to shift blame for killings by US proxy death squads onto the Syrian government, and to cover up the fact that Syrian civilians themselves are rejecting and even opposing the US-backed militants

Perhaps the US will be content just do as much damage to Syria as it can using the jihadist cannon fodder available, and let the conflict splutter on. They have been trying to crack Syria for 65 years now. Syria’s electoral reform will make it easier to buy influence in the country. Already in 2014, they can try to create a scandal over the question whether the constitution allows Assad to run for president again or not. While one school of thought was that Syria needed to be taken out before tackling Iran, tying up Syria with low-intensity warfare may be enough.

Facts vs. Acts — Analyzing Activist Assumptions

Let us look at some of the reasons given by opposition activists for supporting armed violence against the Syrian state.
- 42 years of rule by the Assad family
- Security forces allegedly firing on unarmed demonstrators
- Torture
- Shelling in civilian areas

Like Father Like Son?

When you ask Syria opposition activists, “Why not give the new reforms a chance?” they often answer, “Too little, too late. We suffered 42 years under the Assad dictatorship.” When you then ask why they are not supporting the protests against the Al Khalifa family of Bahrain, who have ruled there for over 200 years, you get no answer.

The opposition likes to conflate Hafez Assad the strongman with his son. Bashar Assad was chosen to be president by the Baath party, and does not appear to wield absolute, personal power. Yet the opposition blames him for everything from the houseflies to the weather.

My impression is that Bashar is on the soft side for a leader, rather than the strongman dictator type. In interviews, he conscientiously rejects any notion of his own personal power, speaking always of the constitution, the party, the office.

When Bashar was first elected, he announced plans for reforms. Unfortunately, they were too long in coming, true enough. Perhaps he couldn’t push them through over the old guard in the Baath party.

Another point of softness was B. Assad’s attempt to win Western favor by making concessions. A few years back, he let in the IMF austerity shamans — an entering wedge for destabilization. This spring, he tried to respect the UN ceasefire, which only let terrorists get more deeply entrenched.
If the US and the activists they support wanted reform, they could have pushed for reform and got it. Instead, the protests immediately turned to violence. Nevertheless, as soon as the protests started in Spring 2011, the Baathists saw the writing on the wall and started the political reform process.

Who pulled the trigger first? Who had the motive and the plan?

Another favorite opposition argument is that peaceful protesters restrained themselves for a long time, until the “brutal crack-down by the Assad regime” stoked their rage and they started to fight back. However, the facts show that violence began almost from the start, so quickly that it is very hard to figure out who fired first. Michel Chossudovsky of Global Research analysed the evidence in a May 2011 article, “Syria: Who is Behind The Protest Movement? Fabricating a Pretext for a US-NATO ‘Humanitarian Intervention.’” He writes,

The Western media has presented the events in Syria as part of the broader Arab pro-democracy protest movement, spreading spontaneously from Tunisia, to Egypt, and from Libya to Syria.

Media coverage has focussed on the Syrian police and armed forces, which are accused of indiscriminately shooting and killing unarmed “pro-democracy” demonstrators. While these police shootings did indeed occur, what the media failed to mention is that among the demonstrators there were armed gunmen as well as snipers who were shooting at both the security forces and the protesters.

Chossudovsky notes that the protests started not in Damascus, where the authentic internal opposition is based, but in Daraa (or Deraa), a small town of 75,000 souls on the border with Jordan. The pattern has held throughout — the FSA always concentrates on targets near borders, as they must be supplied from foreign countries.

The first fatalities in Daraa were seven policemen and four armed protesters. Some or all of the dead may have been shot by mysterious snipers on rooftops, who were shooting at BOTH police and protesters. In Syrian state TV footage used by the BBC, it says on the screen, “You are seeing gunmen shooting at unarmed civilians and security forces.”

Why shoot at both sides? To stoke enmity and violence between the two sides. What would be the motive? For violent elements to take over the protest movement and overthrow the state.

In other words, as the BBC put it in their emotion-charged video “Inside the Secret Revolution,” the snipers were “agents provocateur.” But the BBC claims these provocateurs were plainclothes government thugs — the “Shabiha.” The word means “spooks,” and refers to a gang of Latakia port smugglers, among them a nephew of Hafez Assad, during the 70′s and ’80s. Hafez Assad suppressed them in the 90s, and they were disbanded in 2000.

Up until the stage of open warfare this summer made it impossible, drumbeaters for war on Syria have blamed all killings by terrorists on the Shabiha. Yet there is very little evidence for their “ghostly” existence (other than the usual “unconfirmed activist reports” and dubious videos).

Of course, the last thing a government wants to do is stoke internal violence, and even less, to kill its own security forces. The Syrian authorities were doing what any state does, to try and restore law and order, not to pour oil on flames and engulf itself.

Rather than “cracking down,” the authorities immediately tried to calm the situation by offering to release the students who had been arrested, but the mobs went ahead and set fire to government buildings. Were they paid or incited to do this?

The Biased Broadcasting Corporation, or BBC

The BBC don’t try to explain why the government would want to provoke violence. We know, however, from the US Unconventional Warfare manual TC 18-01, that the US does use this kind of violent destabilization tactic. The BBC then present a “witness” (with face dramatically hidden from the camera), allegedly a Syrian army defector. His wild story would have fetched a good price on the Lebanese border. Officers allegedly ordered their men at gunpoint to shoot, saying, “Don’t shoot the ‘armed groups,’ they are with us. There are no rebels, no conspirators, just the people. Shoot the people.” According to this Hollywood-cartoon-villain self-indictment, the officers shot dead seven men because they had refused to shoot the protesters! A shocking but inherently absurd script with a slick presentation that still makes a strong impression.

A month later, as the army occupies Daraa to try to restore order, Al-Jazeera reports this hellish scenario: people don’t dare to go in the streets because “plain clothes thugs and secret police” snipers on rooftops are shooting both civilians and soldiers. Based on “unconfirmed activist reports” of course. But we have a report from Webster Tarpley on the same situation in Homs in November. Tarpley told that the people of Homs begged for the Army to come restore orde. Meanwhile the Big Lie Media pinned blame on Assad for the havoc wreaked by the FSA there, always claiming the rooftop snipers were Assad’s – one form of their video lies.

Tarpley on Russia Today, Nov. 2011:

I’ve just completed about one week of fact-finding tour of the country and I’ve been in Homs, I’ve been in Tartus, Banias, I’ve been in the military hospital here in Baghdad, and I can tell you what average everyday Syrians of all ethnic groups – Christian, Sunni, Shiite, Alawite, Druze – what they say about this, is that they are being shot at by snipers. In Homs in particular they are saying that there are terrorist snipers shooting at civilians, men women and children. Blind terrorism, random killing, simply for the purpose of destabilizing the country. I would not call this a civil war by any stretch of the imagination. I think that’s a very, very misleading term in the following sense. What you’re dealing with here are death squads. You’re dealing here with terror commandos, the kind of thing that everybody remembers from Argentina and Central America. This is a typical CIA method. In this case it’s a joint production of the CIA, MI-6, Mossad, DGSE of the French. It’s got money coming from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

All throughout 2011 and up until the surge on Damascus and Aleppo, the MSM try to pretend that all killings have been carried out either by the army or the Shabiha, never by the FSA. FSA terrorists sometimes even dress in Syrian Army uniforms, to reflect blame for their terror acts on army. Total casualty figures are inflated, packaged as civilian deaths and laid at the government’s door in full, without detailing how many were combatants.

It takes careful analysis, but when the effort is made, it never seems to fail: the MSM narrative is always a Big Lie, where atrocities are groundlessly blamed on government forces. One is tempted to simply ignore the MSM.

When a government carries out a false flag, they are always quick to point the blame at their target. Thus the BBC was quick to blame “government death squads,” but the Syrians were puzzled. They did not leap to tell the story that would work for them and say, these are CIA death squads – they just called them “protesters.” A similar time lapse was seen after the Houla massacre, where the media accused the Syrian army of shelling civilians. The government was non-plussed and could only protest innocence. It took a while for the truth to come out – that the massacre was carried out by FSA jihadists, who had cut the throats of Assad supporters with knives. No traces of government shelling were to be seen, and the photo they had shown of bodies strewn everywhere was from a scene in Baghdad…But the media had scored their points, and the USUK had used the massacre to tighten sanctions on Syria, with no looking back. This is full-blooded war propaganda, creating facts on the ground, and the Anglo-Americans have always been the top specialists at it.

The “Shabiha” – Ghosts of Ghosts

I have seen innumerable cases where photos of civilians killed by “shabiha” were debunked as fakes, and not one confirmed one yet. If real photos were available, “activists” would not resort to faking them, with the risk of being found out. This leads to the conclusion that there are no real photos, and I have been assured by an anti-FSA activist who checked into this in the first few months and found that all photos of government atrocities were fakes.

It’s logical that the intentional civilian killings are carried out by the FSA, as they have the motive – it destabilizes Syria. One, they can blame the killings on “Shabiha.” Two, they hope to terrorize the populace into supporting them. Three, it weakens the country and may weaken the people’s will to resist takeover by the US proxies. Some grief-stricken families may turn against the government for not stopping the FSA from killing their loved ones. This is all tried and true insurrectionary tactics.

Meanwhile the government has every motive and makes every effort not to kill civilians, but it must defeat armed insurrection.

Torture

Another reason given for opposition to Assad is torture.
Torture is a bad thing, no question about it.
It causes psychological damage to victims, and even to its practitioners. And to no purpose – it doesn’t even work nearly as well as soft indoctrination.
Torture should be eliminated. However, it is not the reason the US wants to topple Assad.
A few years ago, under the practice of “extraordinary rendition,” the US even sent “terrorist suspects” to Syria to be tortured. The US also tortures inmates in Guantanamo. Torture is a worldwide problem.
If activists want to end torture, is making war on Syria the best way to go about it? No. Allowing reforms to take root, allowing a multiparty democracy to develop, is the best hope to end the practice.
War on Syria will lead to more, not less terror. Government officials lack experts in soft indoctrination methods, yet feel the need to find out if detainees are just “peaceful protesters” or armed militants. And the torture of civilians by the FSA is much more brutal than that by the state. The Al Berri clan were beaten and bloodied before being shredded in a machine gun fusillade.

Shelling Residential Areas

This is an issue that has worried me, as seen in earlier blog entries below.
The media like to call this “Assad using the army to attack his own people,” as they are fishing for a UN resolution under the R2P “responsibility to protect” theory.

Let’s ask opposition activists why the FSA is using residential areas as human shields? The activists will probably say it’s OK for revolutionaries.
Do they know this is a war crime, as security expert Charles Shoebridge pointed out the other day, in a tweet to Human Rights Watch reminding them of their own position – “all sides must avoid deploying military targets such as fighters or weapons in or near densely populated areas, and they must try to remove civilians from areas of military operations.”

In other words, endangering civilians by mounting a guerrilla warfare operation in cities and towns is a war crime in itself, not to mention the acts of terror against non-combatants by the invading mercenaries.
While sharing my sentiment that we’d like it if a more limited type of response could eradicate the insurgents’ occupation of urban areas, Shoebridge also noted, “A person who knows about military matters knows this is what happens in urban war. Rebels condemned by UN for exactly this.”

Sometimes the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) shells areas where FSA snipers have occupied the rooftops. Under cover of artillery fire, SAA is able to take back the high ground. It’s a question of tactics.

The army has made statements that they are striving to minimize civilian casualties, by advancing slowly on terrorist nests, giving civilians a chance to flee.

The FSA also do have some heavy weapons and mortars, which they are known to lob unprovoked into peaceful civilian areas.

According to carefully-laid plans

We’ve seen now that the motivation for violence rests squarely with the Evil Empire, not with the Syrian state. As for the Empire’s evil plan, an updated version of it was published by Michel Chossudovsky on Aug. 3 in “Towards A ‘Soft Invasion’? The Launching of a ‘Humanitarian War’ against Syria”. He writes,

Rather than carrying out an all out Blitzkrieg, the US-NATO-Israel military alliance has chosen to intervene under the diabolical R2P frame of “humanitarian warfare”. Modelled on Libya, the following broad stages are envisaged:

1) A US-NATO backed insurgency [involving] by death squads is launched under the disguise of a “protest movement” (mid-March 2011 in Daraa)

2) British, French, Qatari and Turkish Special Forces are on the ground in Syria, advising and training the rebels as well as overseeing special operations. Mercenaries hired by private security companies are also involved in supporting rebels forces

3) The killings of innocent civilians by the Free Syrian Army (FSA) are deliberately carried out as part of a covert intelligence operation. (See SYRIA: Killing Innocent Civilians as part of a US Covert Op. Mobilizing Public Support for a R2P War against Syria, Global Research, May 2012)

4) The Syrian government is then blamed for the resulting atrocities. Media disinformation is geared towards demonizing the Syrian government. Public opinion is led into endorsing a military intervention on humanitarian grounds.

5) Responding to public outrage, US-NATO is then “forced to step in” under a Humanitarian “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) mandate. Media propaganda goes into high gear. “The International Community” comes to the rescue of the Syrian people.”

6) Warships and fighter jets are then deployed to the Eastern Mediterranean. These actions are coordinated with logistical support to the rebels and Special forces on the ground.

7) The final objective is “regime change” leading to the “break-up of the country” along sectarian lines and/or the installation of an “Islamist-dominated or influenced regime” modelled on Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

8) War plans in relation to Syria are integrated with those pertaining to Iran. The road to Tehran goes through Damascus. The broader implications of US-NATO intervention are military escalation and the possible unleashing of a regional war extending from the Eastern Mediterranean to Central Asia, in which China and Russia could be directly or indirectly involved.

Stages 1 through 4 have already been implemented.

Stage 5 has been announced.

Progressives for and Against Assad Want the Same Things After All

If you ask progressive pro- and anti-government activists what is their vision for Syria, it probably comes down to the same shopping list:

- secular, pluralist, parliamentary democracy
- freedom of speech and political association
- security and safety, human rights, women’s rights, no police brutality
- continuation of the policy of resistance to Zionism, no peace without the Golan Heights
- national unity, economic independence and development

For some progressives like me, it was clear before the fiasco of Aleppo and Damascus that the best chance for Syria to reach these goals was to give the reform constitution a chance. After Aleppo, it became clear to many more people that the armed militants would deliver just the opposite. They represent the worst of all possible worlds – a descent into the kind of hell the Ugly American Empire has left behind in Somalia or Afghanistan. A shattered landscape of feuding warlords, a human rights catastrophe that makes feudalism look like Utopia, Syria as a pariah and an appendage of Israel, carved up like the map under the French mandate, and ironically under the same flag.

Why do Revolutions Backfire?

Like begets like. Due process leads to democracy. Violence leads to tyranny.

It’s not clear though how many “opposition activists” really are inspired by revolutionary or democratic sentiment, and how many are trolls. Neo-con wolves in lefty clothing reflect perfectly the duplicitous essence of Color Revolution Technology.

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  1. May 29, 2014 at 4:47 am

    When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a
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    Is there any way you can remove me from that service?

    Thank you!

    • richardrozoff
      May 29, 2014 at 10:24 am

      I’m sorry.
      It is not possible for a manager like myself to in any way adjust a subscriber’s status.
      Is there an option at the bottom of the notifications that allows you to basically unsubcribe?

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