Tuesday, November 12, 2013

611 American attack on Syria based on Israeli Intelligence. Chomsky, Trots, Anarchists & Greens mostly back rebels

American attack on Syria based on Israeli Intelligence. Chomsky, Trots,
Anarchists & Greens mostly back rebels

Newsletter published on 31 August 2013

This bulletin is available for download as a WORD file from
http://mailstar.net/bulletins/130831-b2266.doc

I have switched to .doc so that the bold formatting will show up.

(1) Experts not convinced; Why would Assad invite UN inspectors, then
use chemical weapons the very day they arrive?
(2) US media claim Intercepted Phone Call as evidence about Chemical Weapons
(3) John Whitbeck: intelligence for attack on Syria was provided by Mossad
(4) WSJ touts "Israeli intelligence indicating movement of Syrian
chemical weapons"
(5) US claims about Syria Chemical Weapons are based on intelligence
supplied by Mossad
(6) UN only mandated to determine IF chemical weapons were used, not WHO
used them
(7) Russian ambassador to UN: two rockets carrying toxic chemicals were
fired from Douma, controlled by Syrian "rebels"
(8) Assad claims a strong link between Israel and Syria rebels
(9) Anger in Middle East over Israeli airstrike on Syria (May)
(10) Israeli submarine responsible for July attack on Syrian arms depot
- report
(11) Israel is Fighting a Regional War in Syria
(12) Joseph Lieberman calls for US to intervene in Syria as it did in Libya
(13) Greek Orthodox Archbishop: Syria rebels serve Israeli project to
control the Middle East
(14) Authoritarian regimes (Saudi Arabia, Qatar) sponsor Democracy in
Syria??
(15) EU votes to allow arms shipments to Syrian rebels
(16) Tyler Durden: Syria grand plan (from Wikileaks); US Training Rebels
since 2011
(17) Zbigniew Brzezinski condemns Syria war plan
(18) UN debate stalls US attack on Syria
(19) UK parliament votes against PM's war plan, mindful of Iraq WMD
deception
(20) Gangster State US/UK — Paul Craig Roberts
(21) Chomsky says US & Israel not backing Syria rebels; Left critics
should be ignored
(22) Socialist Worker (Trotskyist, US) condemns Assad
(23) Socialist Worker (Trotskyist, US): Left must support Syria rebels
(24) Socialist Worker (Trotskyist, US) condemns US threatened military
assault
(25) Socialist Alliance (Trot, Australia) rejects US assault but
supports rebels against Assad "tyranny"
(26) Socialist Alternative (Trot, Australia): US & Israel are not
supporting Syria rebels
(27) Red Pepper (Trotskyist / Anarchist, UK) backs Syrian rebels
(28) Australian Greens says more Syria sanctions needed (2012)
(29) European Greens motion condemns "violent and indiscriminate attacks
by the Syrian regime"
(30) European Greens: No military intervention in Syria before UN
mission reports its findings
(31) WSWS Trots: Syria chemical attack is pretext for US military assault
(32) WSWS Trots: Syrian rebels used chemical weapons
(33) Russian Missile Plan Chills Chances for Syrian No-Fly Zone


(1) Experts not convinced; Why would Assad invite UN inspectors, then
use chemical weapons the very day they arrive?


From: "Sadanand, Nanjundiah (Physics Earth Sciences)"
<sadanand@mail.ccsu.edu> Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2013 10:55:03 -0400

http://www.globalresearch.ca/evidence-indicates-that-syrian-government-did-not-launch-a-chemical-weapon-attack-against-its-people/5346804

Evidence Indicates that Syrian Government Did Not Launch a Chemical
Weapon Attack Against Its People

By Washington's Blog

Global Research, August 24, 2013

Washington's Blog

CBS News reports that the U.S. is finalizing plans for war against Syria
– and positioning ships to launch cruise missilesagainst the Syrian
government – based on the claim that the Syrian government used chemical
weapons against its people.

The last time the U.S. blamed the Syrian government for a chemical
weapons attack, that claim was was debunked.

But is the claim that the Syrian government used chemical weapons
against its people true this time?

It’s not surprising that Syria’s close ally – Russia – is expressing
doubt. Agence France-Presse (AFP) notes:

Russia, which has previously said it has proof of chemical weapons use
by the rebels, expressed deep scepticism about the opposition’s claims.

The foreign ministry said the timing of the allegations as UN inspectors
began their work “makes us think that we are once again dealing with a
premeditated provocation.”

But Russia isn’t the only doubter.

AFP reports:

“At the moment, I am not totally convinced because the people that are
helping them are without any protective clothing and without any
respirators,” said Paula Vanninen, director of Verifin, the Finnish
Institute for Verification of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

“In a real case, they would also be contaminated and would also be
having symptoms.”

John Hart, head of the Chemical and Biological Security Project at
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said he had not seen
the telltale evidence in the eyes of the victims that would be
compelling evidence of chemical weapons use.

“Of the videos that I’ve seen for the last few hours, none of them show
pinpoint pupils… this would indicate exposure to organophosphorus nerve
agents,” he said.

Gwyn Winfield, editor of CBRNe World magazine, which specialises in
chemical weapons issues, said the evidence did not suggest that the
chemicals used were of the weapons-grade that the Syrian army possesses
in its stockpiles.

“We’re not seeing reports that doctors and nurses… are becoming
fatalities, so that would suggest that the toxicity of it isn’t what we
would consider military sarin. It may well be that it is a lower-grade,”
Winfield told AFP.

Haaretz reports:

Western experts on chemical warfare who have examined at least part of
the footage are skeptical that weapons-grade chemical substances were
used, although they all emphasize that serious conclusions cannot be
reached without thorough on-site examination.

Dan Kaszeta, a former officer of the U.S. Army’s Chemical Corps and a
leading private consultant, pointed out a number of details absent from
the footage so far: “None of the people treating the casualties or
photographing them are wearing any sort of chemical-warfare protective
gear,” he says, “and despite that, none of them seem to be harmed.” This
would seem to rule out most types of military-grade chemical weapons,
including the vast majority of nerve gases, since these substances would
not evaporate immediately, especially if they were used in sufficient
quantities to kill hundreds of people, but rather leave a level of
contamination on clothes and bodies which would harm anyone coming in
unprotected contact with them in the hours after an attack. In addition,
he says that “there are none of the other signs you would expect to see
in the aftermath of a chemical attack, such as intermediate levels of
casualties, severe visual problems, vomiting and loss of bowel control.”

Steve Johnson, a leading researcher on the effects of hazardous material
exposure at England’s Cranfield University who has worked with Britain’s
Ministry of Defense on chemical warfare issues, agrees that “from the
details we have seen so far, a large number of casualties over a wide
area would mean quite a pervasive dispersal. With that level of chemical
agent, you would expect to see a lot of contamination on the casualties
coming in, and it would affect those treating them who are not properly
protected. We are not seeing that here.”

Additional questions also remain unanswered, especially regarding the
timing of the attack, being that it occurred on the exact same day that
a team of UN inspectors was in Damascus to investigate earlier claims of
chemical weapons use. It is also unclear what tactical goal the Syrian
army would have been trying to achieve, when over the last few weeks it
has managed to push back the rebels who were encroaching on central
areas of the capital. But if this was not a chemical weapons attack,
what then caused the deaths of so many people without any external signs
of trauma?
***

The Syrian rebels (and perhaps other players in the region) have a clear
interest in presenting this as the largest chemical attack by the army
loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad to date, even if the cause was
otherwise, especially while the UN inspectors are in the country. It is
also in their interest to do so whilst U.S. President Barack Obama
remains reluctant to commit any military support to the rebels, when
only the crossing of a “red line” could convince him to change his policy.

The rebels and the doctors on the scene may indeed believe that chemical
weapons were used, since they fear such an attack, but they may not have
the necessary knowledge and means to make such a diagnosis. The European
Union demanded Wednesday that the UN inspectors be granted access to the
new sites of alleged chemical attacks, but since this is not within the
team’s mandate, it is unlikely that the Syrian government will do so.

Stephen Johnson, an expert in weapons and chemical explosives at
Cranfield Forensic Institute, said that the video footage looked suspect:

There are, within some of the videos, examples which seem a little
hyper-real, and almost as if they’ve been set up. Which is not to say
that they are fake but it does cause some concern. Some of the people
with foaming, the foam seems to be too white, too pure, and not
consistent with the sort of internal injury you might expect to see,
which you’d expect to be bloodier or yellower.

Chemical and biological weapons researcher Jean Pascal Zanders said that
the footage appears to show victims of asphyxiation, which is not
consistent with the use of mustard gas or the nerve agents VX or sarin:

I’m deliberately not using the term chemical weapons here,” he said,
adding that the use of “industrial toxicants” was a more likely explanation.

Michael Rivero asks:

1. Why would Syria’s Assad invite United Nations chemical weapons
inspectors to Syria, then launch a chemical weapons attack against women
and children on the very day they arrive, just miles from where they are
staying?

2. If Assad were going to use chemical weapons, wouldn’t he use them
against the hired mercenary army trying to oust him? What does he gain
attacking women and children? Nothing! The gain is all on the side of
the US Government desperate to get the war agenda going again.

As I type these words, US trained and equipped forces are already across
the border into Syria, and US naval forces are sailing into position to
launch a massive cruise missile attack into Syria that will surely kill
more Syrians than were claimed to have died in the chemical attack.

Last time there was a chemical weapon attack in Syria, Bush
administration office Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson said that he thought
Israel might have given chemical weapons to the Syrian rebels to frame
the government.

British MP George Galloway just floated the same theory in regards to
the new chemical weapon attack.

Of course, we don’t know who carried out the attack, or what weapon was
used.

But given the well-documented fact that the U.S. has been planning
regime change in Syria for 20 years straight – and planned to use false
ploys for 50 years – it is worth being skeptical until all of the
evidence is in.

Indeed, many are asking whether this is Iraq War 2.0. For example, the
Independent writes:

Pictures showing that the Syrian army used chemical weapons against
rebel-held Eastern Ghouta just east of Damascus are … likely to be
viewed sceptically because the claims so much resemble those made about
Saddam Hussein’s possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) before
the US and British invasion of Iraq in 2003.***

Like the Iraqi opposition to Saddam, who provided most of the evidence
of WMDs, the Syrian opposition has every incentive to show the Syrian
government deploying chemical weapons in order to trigger foreign
intervention.***

But the obvious fact that for the Syrian government to use chemical
weapons would be much against their own interests does not prove it did
not happen. Governments and armies do stupid things. But it is difficult
to imagine any compelling reason why they should do so since they have
plenty of other means of killing people in Eastern Ghouta, such as heavy
artillery or small arms, which they regularly use.***

The evidence so far for the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian army
is second-hand and comes from a biased source.

(2) US media claim Intercepted Phone Call as evidence about Chemical Weapons

From: "Sadanand, Nanjundiah (Physics Earth Sciences)"
<sadanand@mail.ccsu.edu> Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2013 10:10:26 -0400

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/10270272/The-World-Today-August-28.html

The Telegraph (London, August 28, 2013) The World Today: August 28

Britain and America move towards launching strikes on Syria

By Barney Henderson

9:15AM BST 28 Aug 2013

Syria in crisis

After a day in which David Cameron declared Britain must act now against
Syria to punish Bashar al-Assad’s regime for “the massive use of
chemical weapons”, with military commanders drawing up plans for missile
strikes as early as this weekend, and Joe Biden, the US vice-president,
said there is "no doubt" that Assad launched the lethal gas attack, the
focus has now turned towards the evidence for the attack claimed by the
Obama administration - and the domestic and international wranglings and
ramifications of action. Mr Cameron and Mr Obama again spoke at length
about the crisis last night. Britain and the US appear to be standing
firmly together once again.

The US media is full of reports about what the claimed evidence is. It
will be made public later this week. Foreign Policy states that an
intercepted telephone call between an official at the Syrian ministry of
defence and a leader of a chemical weapons unit reveals a panicked
conversation, with the government official demanding answers for a gas
attack that killed up to 1,300 people.
<http://click.email.telegraph.co.uk/?qs=dc1e590ffab6af597466c57f9d9380b137f9f781ceadacf6731fc425a752d52e>


The Wall Street Journal (£) points to "a flood of previously undisclosed
intelligence", including satellite images and intercepted
communications, that convinced the Obama Administartion beyond any doubt
that the Assad regime was behind the attack.
<http://click.email.telegraph.co.uk/?qs=dc1e590ffab6af59ff2080f29a3f1047f2dd30ffdb69d2889d8cc2c6688375ec>


The Washington Post goes one step further, detailing a timeline of how
government troops stored, assembled and then launched the chemical
weapons last Wednesday.
<http://click.email.telegraph.co.uk/?qs=dc1e590ffab6af59d8775d4fcfb14f99cbc5a579ec099f2475d626e2f9e0f234>
...

(3) John Whitbeck: intelligence for attack on Syria was provided by Mossad

From: "Sadanand, Nanjundiah (Physics Earth Sciences)"
<sadanand@mail.ccsu.edu> Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2013 10:10:26 -0400

The Israeli intimate involvement in instigating aggression against Syria
the pretext for attack on Syria provided by Israeli intelligence services.

Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2013 FM: John Whitbeck Further to my message of Monday
(below), the official American assessment of who was responsible for the
apparent use of chemical weapons in Syria has now escalated from “very
little doubt” to, in a text read by Vice President Joe Biden, “no doubt”
that it was the Syrian government.

What evidence could have been gathered prior to the forensic
examinations by the UN inspectors on the ground to provoke this change
to absolute certainty?

The answer may be found in an article published yesterday in the
prominent Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronoth (“American Operation,
Israeli Intelligence”), which reports that “the IDF’s 8200 intelligence
unit was listening to the Syrian leadership during the lethal chemical
weapons attack last week in which hundreds were killed, and it was
Israel that relayed the incriminating information to the West”, that
three Israeli generals arrived in Washington on Monday “to show their
counterparts the most updated intelligence” and that “the source of most
of the information that the US has about Syria is Israeli, as is the
information about the targets for a possible attack.”

As is almost always the case with the United States and its European
acolytes, what Israel wants, Israel gets.

Those who do not rely exclusively on Israeli intelligence as a source of
evidence may be interested in a brief paragraph buried in a lengthy New
York Times report published yesterday in the International Herald
Tribune (“Like ‘watching a horror movie’”): “Near the attack sites,
activists found spent rockets that appeared to have been homemade and
suspected that they had delivered the gas. Mr. Salahideen [previously
identified as “a reporter for the opposition’s Alaan television
network”] said he did not think the small rockets could carry the amount
of gas needed to kill so many people and guessed that government forces
had fired the rockets to make it easier to blame the rebels, who often
fire improvised rockets at government targets.”

In any event, there now appears to be somewhere between “very little
doubt” and “no doubt” that the United States, Britain and France will
soon launch, with no consideration for the United Nations or
international law, a “punishment” strike against Syria, most likely
against targets thoughtfully chosen and provided by Israel, and that
this strike will lead to ... what, precisely?

There could then be “very little doubt” that the already slim hopes for
a political settlement to the Syrian civil war, through a
Russian-American peace conference or otherwise, would be definitively
dead and buried, while Edward Luttwak’s dream of perpetual violence and
bloodshed in Syria would be given a major boost.

Of course, Israel would be happy and, presumably, encouraged by its
successful manipulation of Western governments against Syria to perceive
a useful precedent for dealing with its most important ennemi du jour,
Iran. Meanwhile, Messrs. Obama, Cameron and Hollande could, at least in
the near term, look and feel macho and preempt partisan criticism from
domestic opponents by demonstrating that they “did something”.

Pity the poor Syrian people.

Sent: Monday, August 26, 2013 2:20 PM

FM: John Whitbeck

Transmitted below is a FRANCE 24 summary of the preparations for
potential Western “military action” against the Syrian government,
ostensibly justified, regardless of international law (which virtually
no one deems relevant any more), by an apparent use of a lethal chemical
agent in Syria.

As a matter of dispassionate logic, I share President Assad’s sense that
the American statement that there is “very little doubt” that Syrian
government forces used chemical weapons in this incident (a claim echoed
in virtually the same terms of near certainty by the British and French
governments) is “illogical” and “an insult to common sense”.

Two thing are clear:

1. The incentive for the Syrian government, which has seen the momentum
in the Syrian civil war swing decidedly in its favor in recent months,
to kill a large number of children in a chemical weapons attack would be
ABSOLUTELY ZERO.

2. The incentive for one of the anti-government forces, seeing that the
opposition’s sole hope for drawing Western powers militarily into the
Syrian civil war (after which, Libya-style, “credibility” concerns would
ensure that the Western powers would have to maintain and intensify
their involvement until regime change is achieved) is to successfully
pin a chemical-weapons-use charge on the Syrian government, to kill a
large number of children in a chemical weapons attack would be
ABSOLUTELY HUGE.

Of course, these incentives and disincentives do not constitute evidence
as to who released a lethal chemical agent. (So far as I am aware, no
evidence either way has yet been gathered, and the U.S. government
appears to be arguing that it is already too late for any evidence to be
gathered.) Syrian government forces could have been responsible. People
have been known to do crazy and self-destructive things during armed
conflicts.

However, as a lawyer, I am also aware of the common legal practice of
approaching unclear circumstances, logically and responsibly, on the
basis a “rebuttable presumption” – in this and other cases, that the
party responsible for an act is more likely to be the party hoping to
benefit as a result of the act than the party certain to suffer as a
result of the act. Actual evidence can, of course, rebut the logical
presumption.

Acting contrary to a “rebuttable presumption” without clear evidence
rebutting the presumption is neither logical nor responsible.

One other thing is clear – what the Israeli government wants. The
Israeli government wants the West to take “military action” against the
Syrian government.

Perhaps that is the only reality that really matters – at least for the
American, British and French governments.

(4) WSJ touts "Israeli intelligence indicating movement of Syrian
chemical weapons"


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324906304579039342815115978.html

August 27, 2013, 8:27 p.m. ET

U.S., Allies Prepare to Act as Syria Intelligence Mounts

Evidence Includes Satellite Images, Intercepted Communications

By ADAM ENTOUS, SAM DAGHER and SIOBHAN GORMAN CONNECT

During his Tuesday briefing, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney
reiterated the President's confidence that the Syrian government used
chemical weapons on August 21. He also said that options for a response
do not include regime change.

Positions hardened in the international standoff over Syria, as U.S.
officials said privately that a flood of previously undisclosed
intelligence, including satellite images and intercepted communications,
erased any last administration doubts that the Syrian regime had used
chemical weapons against its own people.

French, U.K. and U.S. military officials talked Tuesday about
coordinating their response to the alleged attacks.

WSJ national security correspondent Adam Entous has exclusive details of
Israeli intelligence indicating movement of Syrian chemical weapons to
the site of an alleged chemical attack outside of Damascus, Syria.

The current U.S. position, reflected in a set of tough remarks Tuesday
by Vice President Joe Biden, represents a dramatic turnaround from last
week. As late as Friday, Secretary of State John Kerry was pressuring
Syria to let United Nations inspectors visit the affected areas to help
determine the veracity of reports of a chemical attack.

Less than 48 hours later came a marked shift in tone. In an email on
Sunday, White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice told U.N.
Ambassador Samantha Power and other top officials that the U.N. mission
was pointless because the chemical weapons evidence already was
conclusive, officials said. The U.S. privately urged the U.N. to pull
the inspectors out, setting the stage for President Barack Obama to
possibly move forward with a military response, officials said.

The weekend turnabout was spurred by new intelligence that convinced Mr.
Obama's top national security advisers that forces loyal to Syrian
President Bashar al-Assad had used chemical weapons and that they were
actively trying to cover up evidence of it even while they shelled the
site of the attack, officials said. The White House also became
convinced the regime was stalling the U.N. inspection to delay a U.S.
response, they said.

One crucial piece of the emerging case came from Israeli spy services,
which provided the Central Intelligence Agency with intelligence from
inside an elite special Syrian unit that oversees Mr. Assad's chemical
weapons, Arab diplomats said. The intelligence, which the CIA was able
to verify, showed that certain types of chemical weapons were moved in
advance to the same Damascus suburbs where the attack allegedly took
place a week ago, Arab diplomats said.

The U.S. position changed rapidly. In a CNN interview recorded Thursday,
Mr. Obama highlighted the dangers of intervening with force in Syria
without U.N. Security Council approval. By Saturday night, the
administration had set a different course—if the U.S. chose to strike,
it would do so with allies and without the U.N., in order to sidestep an
expected Russian veto.

For a White House that has tried to differentiate itself from its
predecessor's war in Iraq, the bar for using intelligence to justify a
military operation is high, current and former officials say. The
administration plans to make public this week at least some of its
evidence before taking any military action, which it says would be aimed
at punishing, not removing, Mr. Assad. ...

(5) US claims about Syria Chemical Weapons are based on intelligence
supplied by Mossad.


From: Paul de Burgh-Day <pdeburgh@harboursat.com.au> Date: Thu, 29 Aug
2013 09:48:54 +1000

http://landdestroyer.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/cofirmed-us-claims-against-syria-there.html

CONFIRMED: US Claims Against Syria - There is no Evidence

By Tony Cartalucci

August 28, 2013

The Wall Street Journal has confirmed what many suspected, that the
West's so-called "evidence" of the latest alleged "chemical attacks" in
Syria, pinned on the Syrian government are fabrications spun up from the
West's own dubious intelligence agencies.

The Wall Street Journal reveals that the US is citing claims from
Israel's Mossad intelligence agency fed to the Central Intelligence
Agency (CIA), a repeat of the fabrications that led up to the Iraq War,
the Libyan War, and have been used now for 3 years to justify continued
support of extremists operating within and along Syria's borders.

Wall Street Journal's article, "
<http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324906304579039342815115978.html>
U.S., Allies Prepare to Act as Syria Intelligence Mounts," states:

One crucial piece of the emerging case came from Israeli spy services,
which provided the Central Intelligence Agency with intelligence from
inside an elite special Syrian unit that oversees Mr. Assad's chemical
weapons, Arab diplomats said. The intelligence, which the CIA was able
to verify, showed that certain types of chemical weapons were moved in
advance to the same Damascus suburbs where the attack allegedly took
place a week ago, Arab diplomats said.

Both Mossad and the CIA are clearly compromised in terms of objectivity
and legitimacy. Neither exists nor is expected to provide impartial
evidence, but rather to facilitate by all means necessary the
self-serving agendas, interests, and objectives of their respective
governments.

That both Israel and the United States,
<http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/03/05/070305fa_fact_hersh?currentPage=all>
as far back as 2007 have openly conspired together to overthrow the
government of Syria through a carefully engineered sectarian bloodbath,
discredits entirely their respective intelligence agencies. This is
precisely why an impartial, objective third-party investigation has been
called for by the international community and agreed upon by the Syrian
government - a third-party investigation the US has now urged to be
canceled ahead of its planned military strikes.

The
<http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324906304579039342815115978.html>
Wall Street Journal reports:

In an email on Sunday, White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice
told U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power and other top officials that the
U.N. mission was pointless because the chemical weapons evidence already
was conclusive, officials said. The U.S. privately urged the U.N. to
pull the inspectors out, setting the stage for President Barack Obama to
possibly move forward with a military response, officials said.

The US then, not Syria, is attempting a coverup, with fabrications in
place from discredited, compromised intelligence sources and the threat
of impending military strikes that would endanger the UN inspection
team's safety should they fail to end their investigation and withdraw.


<http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324906304579039342815115978.html>
The Wall Street Journal also reiterated that the US is planning to fully
sidestep the UN Security Council and proceed with its partners unilaterally:

...if the U.S. chose to strike, it would do so with allies and without
the U.N., in order to sidestep an expected Russian veto.

The US proceeds now with absolute disregard for international law, all
but declaring it has no intention of providing credible evidence of its
accusations against the Syrian government. It is a rush to war with all
the hallmarks of dangerous desperation as the West's proxy forces
collapse before the Syrian military. Western military leaders must
consider the strategic tenants and historical examples regarding the
dangers and folly of haste and imprudence in war - especially war fought
to protect special interests and political agendas rather than to defend
territory.

The populations of the West must likewise consider what benefits they
have garnered from the last decade of military conquest their leaders
have indulged in. Crumbling economies gutted to feed the preservation of
special interests and the growing domestic security apparatuses to keep
these interests safe from both domestic and foreign dissent are problems
that will only grow more acute.

Outside of the West, in Moscow, Beijing, and Tehran, leaders must
consider a future where Western special interests can invade with
impunity, without public support, or even the tenuous semblance of
justification being necessary.

(6) UN only mandated to determine IF chemical weapons were used, not WHO
used them


From: Paul de Burgh-Day <pdeburgh@harboursat.com.au> Date: Wed, 28 Aug
2013 17:57:59 +1000

Inspectors In Syria Forbidden From Finding Out WHO Used Chemical
Weapons, Only IF They Were Used

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article35992.htm

By Washingtons Blog <http://www.washingtonsblog.com>

The Fix Is In

The Wall Street Journal
<http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323407104579034633663263254.html>
reports:

“The [weapons inspection] team must be able to conduct a full, thorough
and unimpeded investigation,” said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on
Sunday night. However, the team is only mandated to determine if
chemical weapons were used, not who used them, Mr. Ban’s spokesman said.

In other words, even if it was the rebels who carried out the attack, it
will still be used as an excuse to attack the government.

The fix is in … the U.S. will get the war it planned
<http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/11/neoconservatives-planned-regime-change-throughout-the-middle-east-and-northern-africa-20-years-ago.html>
20 years ago

(7) Russian ambassador to UN: two rockets carrying toxic chemicals were
fired from Douma, controlled by Syrian "rebels"


From: Paul de Burgh-Day <pdeburgh@harboursat.com.au> Date: Fri, 30 Aug
2013 12:14:28 +1000

https://www.facebook.com/pepe.escobar.77377/posts/10151840247251678?_fb_noscript=1

Pepe Escobar · 600 followersAugust 27 at 2:54am near Hong Kong, Hong Kong ·

VERY IMPORTANT: RUSSIA HAS PROOF THAT THE "REBELS" DID IT.

Khalil Harb, of Lebanese paper As-Safir, confirmed a few minutes ago to
my great friend Claudio Gallo an article published in Arabic two days
ago, quoting a Russian source.

According to the source, Russia's ambassador in the UN Security Council,
Vitaly Churkin, presented conclusive evidence - based on documents and
Russian satellite images - of two rockets carrying toxic chemicals,
fired from Douma, controlled by the Syrian "rebels", and landing on East
Ghouta. Hundreds of "rebels", as well as civilians - including those
children on the cover of Western corporate media papers - were killed.
The evidence, says the Russian source, is conclusive. This is what
Lavrov himself was hinting at yesterday. And that's the reason there's
no UN Security Council resolution against Syria, and why Washington does
not want the inspectors to find anything.

(8) Assad claims a strong link between Israel and Syria rebels

From: chris lancenet <chrislancenet@gmail.com> Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2013
07:57:44 +0900

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-08-27/al-assad-warns-syria-will-never-become-western-puppet-state

http://www.globalresearch.ca/president-al-assad-syria-will-never-become-a-western-puppet

Assad Warns: "Syria Will Never Become A Western Puppet State" - Full
Interview

  Submitted by Tyler Durden on 08/27/2013 09:35 -0400

... Q4 Interviewer: The Syrian government claims a strong link between
Israel and the terrorists. How can you explain this? It is commonly
perceived that the extremist Islamists loathe Israel and become
hysterical upon hearing its name.

President al-Assad: If this was the case, why is it then that when we
strike the terrorists at the frontier, Israel strikes at our forces to
alleviate the pressure off of them? Why, when we blockade them into an
area does Israel let them through their barricades so they can come
round and re-attack from another direction? Why has Israel carried out
direct strikes against the Syrian Army on more than one occasion in
recent months? So clearly this perception is inaccurate. It is Israel
who has publically declared its cooperation with these terrorists and
treated them in Israeli hospitals. If these terrorist groups were indeed
hostile to Israel and hysterical even on the mention of the word as you
mention, why have they fought the Soviet Union, Syria and Egypt, whilst
never carrying out a single strike against Israel? Who originally
created these terrorist groups? These groups were initially created in
the early 80’s by the United States and the West, with Saudi funding, to
fight the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. So logically speaking, how could
such groups manufactured by the US and the West ever strike Israel! ...

(9) Anger in Middle East over Israeli airstrike on Syria (May)

http://www.euronews.com/2013/05/05/anger-in-middle-east-over-israeli-airstrike-on-syria/

05/05 19:05 CET

Israel’s second airstrike in Syria in days against what it calls Iranian
missiles en route to Hezbollah in Lebanon has provoked sharp reactions
in the region.

Cairo called it a violation of international law, and a threat to
regional stability that “made the situation more complicated”. The Arab
League called on the UN to “immediately halt the Israeli attacks on
Syria”, while the Syrians themselves warned Israel that they had opened
a potential Pandora’s box.

“The Syrian Arab Republic confirms that this agression opens the door to
all possibilities,” said Syria’s Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi.

Sunday’s airstrike on three targets on the outskirts of Damascus was the
third this year on Syrian soil. The Syrian government immediately
claimed it proved an “organic” link with “Takfiri terrorist groups.”

(10) Israeli submarine responsible for July attack on Syrian arms depot
- report

http://rt.com/news/israeli-submarine-%20strike-syria-081/

July 14, 2013 12:44

Israeli submarines carried out the attack on an arms depot in the Syrian
port city of Latakia on July 5, according to a report published in the
British Sunday Times. US media previously claimed the offensive was
carried out by the Israel Air Force.

The Times cited Middle East intelligence sources as stating that the
Israeli Dolphin-class submarines targeted a contingent of 50
Russian-made Yakhont P-800 anti-ship missiles that had reportedly
arrived earlier this year to support Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime.

The alleged Israeli naval strike was reportedly closely coordinated with
the US.

The Yakhont is an expert version of Russian P-800 Oniks supersonic
cruise missiles, which can carry 200kg warheads as far as 300km long.
They can be launched from land, sea, air and submarine. The Yakhont
missiles are also capable of cruising several meters above the water
surface, making them difficult to detect by radar. According to the
newspaper, the Israeli fleet of German-built submarines launched a
cruise missile at the weapons cache after which Syrian rebels reportedly
attested to hearing early-morning explosions at a Syrian port-side naval
barracks.

Syrian rebels said that they were not responsible for the explosions.

A spokesman for the Free Syrian Army’s Supreme Military Council, Qassem
Saadeddine, confirmed the attack hit Syrian Navy barracks at Safira. He
said the rebel forces’ intelligence network had identified the newly
supplied Yakhont missiles being stored there.

According to the rebels, the scale of the blasts was beyond the
firepower available to them, but consistent with that of a modern
military like Israel's.

“It was not the FSA that targeted this,” Saadeddine told Reuters. “It is
not an attack that was carried out by rebels. This attack was either by
air raid or long-range missiles fired from boats in the Mediterranean,”
he added.

The pre-dawn attack was first reported by CNN. ...

(11) Israel is Fighting a Regional War in Syria

http://www.globalresearch.ca/israel-is-fighting-a-regional-war-in-syria/5336916

By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

Global Research, May 30, 2013

The changing internal situation in Syria is putting a new set of plans
into motion, which involve Israeli aggression against Syria.

Not only have the US and its allies been trying to militarily buttress
the retreating anti-government militias, but now they aim to create a
new phase in the conflict where states start asserting leverage against
Syria in place of the weakening anti-government forces. In other words,
external pressure is being applied to replace the declining internal
pressure.

The entry of Israeli troops and the Mossad security service into Syria
with repeated Israeli air strikes via illegal use of Lebanese airspace
on the Syrian military research facility in the town of Jamraya
clarifies Israel’s role in destabilizing Syria. Israel has also admitted
that “intense intelligence activity” is being maintained in Syria by
Israeli forces and that it is even thinking of occupying more Syrian
territory as a new “buffer zone.” Fox News, which is openly biased in
favour of Israel, has released a video of Israeli troops illegally
crossing the Syrian border. Reports have also come out of Syria that an
Israeli military vehicle was seized during fighting with anti-government
forces in the town of Qusair, inside Syrian territory. ...

This article was originally published on RT Op-Edge.

(12) Joseph Lieberman calls for US to intervene in Syria as it did in Libya

http://www.lieberman.senate.gov/index.cfm/news-events/news/2012/7/statement-by-senators-lieberman-mccain-and-graham-on-syria/

STATEMENT BY SENATORS LIEBERMAN, McCAIN, AND GRAHAM ON SYRIA

07.27.12

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT), John McCain (R-AZ),
and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) today released the following joint statement
regarding the situation in Syria:

"Last March, as Moammar Qaddafi's tanks were approaching the gates of
Benghazi, Libya's second largest city, the United States and our allies
intervened, averting a massacre and helping the Libyan people to win
their freedom and liberate their country.

"Today, armored columns are advancing on Aleppo, the second largest city
in Syria, with the clear intention of unleashing indiscriminate violence
against civilians. Helicopter gunships, heavy artillery, and fixed wing
aircraft are already pounding Aleppo and other Syrian cities. The State
Department spokesperson has expressed "concern that we will see a
massacre in Aleppo" – and for good reason. And yet, the United States is
failing to take any of the steps that are within our power to stop
Bashar al Assad's killing machine.

"It is not too late for the United States to make the difference in
Syria, as we did in Libya. We can and should be providing weapons,
intelligence, and training directly to the rebels – not sitting on the
sidelines and outsourcing this job to others. Even more urgently, as 62
foreign policy experts recently urged, the United States and our allies
should work with the Syrian opposition to establish safe havens in
liberated parts of Syria and do what is necessary to guarantee their
protection, including consideration of a no fly zone, given Assad's use
of helicopters and aircraft. In none of this, moreover, does the U.S.
need to act alone. Our allies in the region are ready and eager to work
together with us – indeed, some of them are already much more engaged in
this fight than we are – but American leadership is necessary. Right
now, it is woefully absent.

"Years from now, the Syrian people will remember that – in their hour of
desperation, when they looked to the world for help – the United States
stood idly by as brave Syrians struggled and died for their freedom in a
grossly unfair fight. If we continue on this path of inaction, a mass
atrocity will surely unfold in Aleppo, or elsewhere in Syria. We have
the power to prevent this needless death and advance our strategic
interests in the Middle East at the same time. If we do not, it will be
a shameful failure of leadership that will haunt us for a long time to
come."

(13) Greek Orthodox Archbishop: Syria rebels serve Israeli project to
control the Middle East


    Israel Shamir <adam@israelshamir.net> 28 July 2013 23:29

My Archbishop speaks in defence of Syria:

Archbishop Theodosios (Atallah) Hanna: Israel seeks to control the
Middle East

Those who bear arms against Syria serve Israel

Edited by Elias Harb

July 27, 2013

http://www.intifada-palestine.com/2013/07/greek-orthodox-archbishop-theodosios-atallah-hanna-israel-seeks-the-control-above-the-middle-east/

Archbishop Theodosios ( Atallah) Hanna of Sebastia, Archbishop of the
Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem said in a new statement that
all those people who bear arms against the Syrian people and  the  Army
are only tools who serve the Israeli project , their aim is to divide
and control the Arab states in the Middle East.

Archbishop Theodosios (Atallah) Hanna also said that it does not matter
who these people are, and what are the names and affiliations of those,
who bear weapons against the Syrian Army and the Syrian people, they all
are just mere pawns that serve Israel and its plan to divide and conquer
the control above the Arab region.

The new interview with the Archbishop Theodosios (Atallah), was
broadcasted by the al-Mayaaden television station yesterday. In this
interview, the well known Archbishop also stated that all the people on
Syrian soil who murder, abduct, and slaughter between its borders are
“the enemies of the Arab nation”. Archbishop Theodosios added that these
people would be just like the Israeli regime with which they share the
aims as well as the criminal nature.

Archbishop Theodosios, also stressed in this new interview by
al-Mayaaden TV that the violence and terrorism against the Syrian people
and the Syrian nation has nothing to do with just demands for reforms
from the Syrian government , but that the violence and terrorism merely
seeks to destroy the secular state of Syria.

The Archbishop also warned about a foreign attack or military
intervention in Syria and stated further that the true national
opposition of Syria is the one who “that commits to its country’s
principles and flies its flag”, and not “the flag of the French
mandate.” In the opinion of the, Archbishop Theodosios ( Atallah) Hanna,
any true national opposition does not receive orders by foreign powers.

The Archbishop also warned that some granting of visas by Western
governments into the hands of displaced Syrian Christians in Lebanon
under humanitarian pretexts would be another part of the plan by the
Israeli regime in order to drive the Christians out of the Middle East.

Archbishop Theodosios appealed to all Arab Christians that, whether they
are living in Syria or in another Arab state, they should stay in their
country and defend their Arab state alongside their Muslim brothers and
sisters at the end of the interview by al-Mayaadin TV.

(14) Authoritarian regimes (Saudi Arabia, Qatar) sponsor Democracy in
Syria??


http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2013/05/29/the-syrian-crisis-in-light-of-the-decline-of-europe.html

The Syrian Crisis in Light of the Decline of Europe

Dmitry MININ | 29.05.2013 | 00:00

What does the legalization of single-sex «marriages» in France, which
even such desperate acts as Dominique Venner's suicide in the Cathedral
of Notre Dame de Paris have been unable to stop, have in common with the
civil war in Syria? The common factor is that in both cases we can see
signs of the self-destruction complex which is devouring Europe. The
«Decline of Europe», predicted over 100 years ago by Oswald Spengler,
has reached the depths of denying not only its own cultural and
historical roots, but the reproduction of life itself... The West, as if
possessed by a Freudian «death drive», is trying in some kind of frantic
blindness to destroy ancient Christian, and thus European, heritage in
Syria. And in exactly the same way it is destroying itself little by
little through its attitude toward the institution of the family and
toward faith.

It's some kind of theater of the absurd and a mockery of common sense
when authoritarian regimes such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, where there
is not a fraction of the freedoms and religious tolerance which have
long been a hallmark of Syrian society, become Europe's allies in the
fight «for democracy» in Syria. ...

Civilization in Syria was born in the 4th millennium B.C. Damascus is
the most ancient of currently existing world capitals. Syria holds an
important place in the history of Christianity. It was on the road to
Damascus that the Apostle Paul converted to the Christian faith. It was
in Syrian Antioch that the disciples of Christ were first called
Christians.

Out of Syria's population of 23 million, approximately 86% are Muslims,
and 10% are Christians. Syrian Christians have their own courts, which
deal with civil matters such as marriages and divorces. Among the
Christians in Syria, half are Orthodox, and 18% are Catholics (mostly
members of the Syrian Catholic and Melkite Catholic churches). There are
also congregations of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

In addition to Muslim holidays, Easter and Christmas are also state
holidays in Syria. In Damascus there are several Christian quarters (Bab
Touma, al-Qassaa, Ghassani) and many churches, including the ancient
Chapel of St. Paul. The coexistence of world religions side by side
here, which could become an example for the Middle East, is especially
noticeable in Damascus' famous Umayyad Mosque. In the mosque's prayer
hall is a shrine with the Head of John the Baptist (Yahya), who was
beheaded on the orders of King Herod. This holy relic is venerated by
both Christians and Muslims. One of the mosque's three minarets is named
after Isa ibn Maryam (Jesus son of Mary). According to local tradition,
Jesus Christ will descend to the earth from heaven via this minaret
before the Judgment Day. The mosque is open to people of any faith every
day except Friday. ..

(15) EU votes to allow arms shipments to Syrian rebels

Date: Sat, 01 Jun 2013 07:35:44 +1000 From: "Franklin Lamb"
<fplamb@gmail.com>

The EU votes for arms to Syria and targets the civilian population with
US-led sanctions

Franklin Lamb

Beirut.

Under withering pressure from Washington and the UK, the European Union
met this week to decide whether to increase the pressure on the Syrian
public by repealing the March 2011 arms embargo that was intended to
prohibit arms shipments to Syria and whether or not to continue economic
sanctions against the Syrian public.

On 5/27/13 it decided to open the flood gate of arms flow into Syria and
to keep the civilian targeting economic sanctions in place.

  Lobbying for scrapping the arms embargo, set to expire at midnight on
31 May, had reached nearly historic intensity at EU HQ in Brussels,
London and Washington. Recently, the US State Department demanded that
every one of the 27 European Ambassadors posted in the US appear at the
State Department for “consultations to avoid any misunderstandings about
what the White House was expecting at the upcoming EU meeting.”

US Secretary of State John Kerry had been urging the EU to gut the arms
embargo so as to expedite weapon shipments to the rebels. It currently
appears that Britain now has the support of France, Italy and Spain,
while Germany appears neutral and Austria, Finland, Sweden and the Czech
Republic are still opposed. "Fine for him to say, but what is Washington
willing to do?" one European foreign minister opposed to lifting the ban
put it to BBC correspondent Lyse Doucet. ...

(16) Tyler Durden: Syria grand plan (from Wikileaks); US Training Rebels
since 2011


"Military Intervention In Syria" US Training "Rebels" Since 2011 And The
Complete Grand Plan - The March 2012 Leak

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 08/25/2013 13:47 -0400

August 25, 2013

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-08-25/military-intervention-syria-us-training-rebels-2011-and-complete-grand-plan-march-20
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article35969.htm

For all those still shocked by the "developing events" in Syria, here is
the full rundown as it was orchestrated back in 2011, and as it was
released in March 2012 by Wikileaks.

 From Wikileaks,
<https://wikileaks.org/gifiles/docs/1671459_insight-military-intervention-in-syria-post-withdrawal.html>
released 3/6/2012, typos and grammar errors as in original.

INSIGHT - military intervention in Syria, post withdrawal status of forces

Released on 2012-03-06 07:00 GMT

<http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2013/08/Wiki%20stratfor.jpg>


A few points I wanted to highlight from meetings today --

I spent most of the afternoon at the Pentagon with the USAF strategic
studies group - guys who spend their time trying to understand and
explain to the USAF chief the big picture in areas where they're
operating in. It was just myself and four other guys at the Lieutenant
Colonel level, including one French and one British representative who
are liaising with the US currently out of DC.

They wanted to grill me on the strategic picture on Syria, so after that
I got to grill them on the military picture. There is still a very low
level of understanding of what is actually at stake in Syria, what's the
strategic interest there, the Turkish role, the Iranian role, etc. After
a couple hours of talking, they said without saying that SOF teams
(presumably from US, UK, France, Jordan, Turkey) are already on the
ground focused on recce [ZH: "recce" means reconnaissance] missions and
training opposition forces. One Air Force intel guy (US) said very
carefully that there isn't much of a Free Syrian Army to train right now
anyway, but all the operations being done now are being done out of
'prudence.' The way it was put to me was, 'look at this way - the level
of information known on Syrian OrBat this month is the best it's been
since 2001.' They have been told to prepare contingencies and be ready
to act within 2-3 months, but they still stress that this is all being
done as contingency planning, not as a move toward escalation.

I kept pressing on the question of what these SOF teams would be working
toward, and whether this would lead to an eventual air camapign to give
a Syrian rebel group cover. They pretty quickly distanced themselves
from that idea, saying that the idea 'hypothetically' is to commit
guerrilla attacks, assassination campaigns, try to break the back of the
Alawite forces, elicit collapse from within. There wouldn't be a need
for air cover, and they wouldn't expect these Syrian rebels to be
marching in columns anyway.

They emphasized how the air campaign in Syria makes Libya look like a
piece of cake. Syrian air defenses are a lot more robust and are much
denser, esp around Damascus and on the borders with Israel, Turkey. THey
are most worried about mobile air defenses, particularly the SA-17s that
they've been getting recently. It's still a doable mission, it's just
not an easy one.

The main base they would use is Cyprus, hands down. Brits and FRench
would fly out of there. They kept stressing how much is stored at Cyprus
and how much recce comes out of there. The group was split on whether
Turkey would be involved, but said Turkey would be pretty critical to
the mission to base stuff out of there. EVen if Turkey had a poltiical
problem with Cyprus, they said there is no way the Brits and the FRench
wouldn't use Cyprus as their main air force base. Air Force Intel guy
seems pretty convinced that the Turks won't participate (he seemed
pretty pissed at them.)

There still seems to be a lot of confusion over what a military
intervention involving an air campaign would be designed to achieve. It
isn't clear cut for them geographically like in Libya, and you can't
just create an NFZ over Homs, Hama region. This would entail a
countrywide SEAD campaign lasting the duration of the war. They dont
believe air intervention would happen unless there was enough media
attention on a massacre, like the Ghadafi move against Benghazi. They
think the US would have a high tolerance for killings as long as it
doesn't reach that very public stage. Theyre also questiioning the
skills of the Syrian forces that are operating the country's air
defenses currently and how signfiicant the Iranian presence is there.
Air Force Intel guy is most obsessed with the challenge of taking out
Syria's ballistic missile capabilities and chem weapons. With Israel
rgiht there and the regime facing an existential crisis, he sees that as
a major complication to any military intervention. ...

(17) Zbigniew Brzezinski condemns Syria war plan

Zbig: Obama Syria plan is 'chaos, baffling, a mess, tragedy'

BY PAUL BEDARD | JUNE 14, 2013 AT 11:25 AM

http://washingtonexaminer.com/zbig-obama-syria-plan-is-chaos-baffling-a-mess-tragedy/article/2531924

The president's abrupt decision to arm Syrian rebels is a huge mistake,
one driven by emotion and propaganda not they kind of strategic White
House plan that has marked past successful interventions in civil wars,
according to former Carter-era national security chief Zbigniew Brzezinski.

In a broad attack on President Obama's vague interventionist policy, the
highly-respected international affairs analyst warned that by jumping in
to Syria's civil war with no plan is likely to lead to another costly
and extended military action that could eventually draw U.S. forces into
a clash with Syria's top ally Iran.

"I think our posture is baffling, there no strategic design, we're using
slogans," slammed Brzezinski on MSNBC's Morning Joe Friday. "It's a
tragedy and it's a mess in the making," he said. "I do not see what the
United States right now is trying to accomplish."

The administration Thursday changed its wait-and-see policy, sparked by
Syrian admissions it had used chemical weapons in the civil war. The new
policy of arming rebels was announced by deputy national security
advisor Ben Rhodes.

"It all seems to me rather sporadic, chaotic, unstructured, undirected,"
said Brzezinski. "I think we need a serious policy review with the top
people involved, not just an announcement from the deputy head of the
NSC that an important event has taken place and we will be reacted to it."

Several lawmakers have been pressing Obama to arm rebels and create a
no-fly zone, two things the president is finally willing to do. The
effectiveness of a go-it-alone policy, however, has been questioned in
the military, especially plans for a no-fly zone.

Brzezinski said, "we are running the risk of getting into another war in
the region which may last for years and I don't see any real strategic
guidance to what we are doing. I see a lot of rhetoric, a lot emotion, a
lot of propaganda in fact."

Instead, he advised that the administration build a coalition that
includes Russia, Japan, China and India to put pressure on Syria's
ruling regime to give up.

"That is the kind of response that might have some effect. Instead we
are essentially engaging mass propaganda, portraying this as a
democratic war," said Brzezinski

(18) UN debate stalls US attack on Syria

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MID-03-290813.html

By Kaveh L Afrasiabi

Aug 29, '13

NEW YORK - At the United Nations, despite the threat of a United States
missile attack on Syria, momentum is actually shifting away from
imminent action in favor of a more patient "wait and see" approach
spearheaded by the secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon.

On Wednesday, the Russian and Chinese delegation walked out of a
Security Council emergency meeting on Syria triggered by a United
Kingdom draft resolution calling for humanitarian military intervention
in Syria "to save civilian lives" in light of the recent ghastly
chemical weapon attack that the US, UK and France insist without a
shadow of doubt was the work of the Syrian regime.

That opinion is not shared by many UN member states, including some
non-permanent members of the Security Council, who prefer to defer a
judgment until the UN investigation team in Syria delivers its report;
according to Ban, those investigators "need four days" to complete their
work.

The UK's introduction of the resolution "put a mini-brake" on the
possibility of an attack, according to a South American diplomat whose
country is at present a member of the Security Council and spoke to the
author on the condition of anonymity. "We don't want another Iraq war
fiasco," the Latin diplomat insisted, alluding to the "WMD (weapons of
mass destruction) hoax" of the 2003 US-led invasion of a sovereign Arab
country.

Another European diplomat relayed the same sentiment, adding that the
majority of European Union member states "including Germany, Austria,
Italy and others" are adamantly opposed to any "preemptory strike" on
Syria based on "inconclusive evidence''.

Meanwhile, Syria's envoy to the UN presented his government's case
against any attack and claimed that the rebels have launched three new
chemical attacks against the Syrian military, asking the UN to
investigate those areas where it claimed the attacks took place.
Damascus's insistence that the rebels were behind the gas attack on
August 21 in a Damascus suburb that killed hundreds has been flatly
rejected by the US yet somewhat endorsed by a member of the UN
Commission of Inquiry on Syria, Carla del Ponte, who has twice - on
Monday as well as May 6, 2013 - stated there is evidence that the rebels
have used sarin gas. ...

(19) UK parliament votes against PM's war plan, mindful of Iraq WMD
deception


http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/30/us-syria-crisis-britain-idUSBRE97R1BD20130830

Iraq war ghosts end UK plans to take part in Syria action

By Andrew Osborn and Guy Faulconbridge

LONDON | Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:07pm EDT

(Reuters) - Prime Minister David Cameron's plans for joining a potential
military strike on Syria were thwarted on Thursday night after Britain's
parliament narrowly voted against a government motion to authorise such
action in principle.

In a humiliating defeat for the British leader likely to damage
Cameron's hopes of being re-elected in 2015 and set back traditionally
strong U.S.-UK relations, parliament defied Cameron by 285 to 272 votes.

Commentators said it was the first time a British prime minister had
lost a vote on war since 1782.

Speaking immediately after the vote, Cameron told lawmakers he would not
seek to go against parliament's will.

"It is very clear tonight that while the House has not passed a motion,
it is clear to me that the British parliament, reflecting the views of
the British people, does not want to see British military action - I get
that and the government will act accordingly," he said.

British Defence Secretary Philip Hammond later said he thought the
United States, a key ally, would be disappointed that the UK "will not
be involved.

He added: "I don't expect that the lack of British participation will
stop any action." But, he told BBC TV, "It's certainly going to place
some strain on the special relationship," referring to ties with Washington.

U.S. officials suggested President Barack Obama might be willing to
proceed with limited action against Syria even without allied support,
but that no final decision had been reached.

Veto-holding members of the United Nations have held inconclusive
debates on a draft Security Council resolution that would authorize "all
necessary force" in response to the alleged gas attack by Syria's
government.

Cameron's defeat calls into question Britain's traditional role as the
United States' most reliable military ally, a role that Cameron worked
hard to cement, and underscores how bitter the legacy of Britain's
involvement in the 2003 Iraq war remains a decade later.

On that occasion, Britain, under the leadership of then-Prime Minister
Tony Blair, helped the United States invade Iraq after asserting -
wrongly, it later turned out - that President Saddam Hussein possessed
weapons of mass destruction.

Already embroiled in Afghanistan, Britain was then sucked into a second
quagmire in Iraq, losing 179 soldiers in eight years after the 2003
U.S.-British invasion that toppled Saddam.

Speaking during an at times impassioned debate on Thursday that preceded
the cliff-hanger vote, Cameron acknowledged that painful legacy.

"I am deeply mindful of the lessons of previous conflicts, and in
particular the deep concerns in the country caused by what went wrong
with the Iraq conflict in 2003," he said.

"One thing is indisputable: The well of public opinion was well and
truly poisoned by the Iraq episode and we need to understand the public
scepticism."

Cameron previously implored the world not to stand idly by over Syria's
suspected use of chemical weapons but ran into trouble from sceptical
lawmakers within his own party and from the opposition Labour party who
demanded to see more evidence before voting in favour of military
action. ...

(20) Gangster State US/UK — Paul Craig Roberts

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2013/08/21/gangster-state-usuk-paul-craig-roberts/

August 21, 2013 | Categories: Articles & Columns | Tags: king world
news, |   Print This Article

Gangster State US/UK

Paul Craig Roberts

On July 23 I wrote about how the US reversed roles with the USSR and
became the tyrant that terrifies the world. We have now had further
confirmation of that fact. It comes from two extraordinary actions by
Washington’s British puppet state.

David Miranda, the Brazilian partner of Glenn Greenwald, who is
reporting on the illegal and unconstitutional spying by the National
Stasi Agency, was seized, no doubt on Washington’s orders, by the puppet
British government from the international transit zone of a London
airport. Miranda had not entered the UK, but he was seized by UK
authorities. http://rt.com/op-edge/uk-gay-greenwald-freedom-police-679/
Washington’s UK puppets simply kidnapped him, threatened him for nine
hours, and stole his computer, phones, and all his electronic equipment.
As a smug US official told the media, “the purpose was to send a message.”

You might remember that Edward Snowden was stuck for some weeks in the
international transit zone of the Moscow airport. The Obama tyrant
repeatedly browbeat Russia’s President Putin to violate the law and
kidnap Snowden for Obama. Unlike the once proud and law-abiding British,
Putin refused to place Washington’s desires above law and human rights.

The second extraordinary violation occurred almost simultaneously with
UK authorities appearing at the Guardian newspaper and illegally
destroying the hard drives on the newspaper’s computers with the vain
intention of preventing the newspaper from reporting further Snowden
revelations of US/UK high criminality.

It is fashionable in the US and UK governments and among their
sycophants to speak of “gangster state Russia.” But we all know who the
gangsters are. The worst criminals of our time are the US and UK
governments. Both are devoid of all integrity, all honor, all mercy, all
humanity. Many members of both governments would have made perfect
functionaries in Stalinist Russia or Nazi Germany.  ...

(21) Chomsky says US & Israel not backing Syria rebels; Left critics
should be ignored


http://lb.boell.org/web/

The Heinrich Böll Foundation, associated with the German Green Party, is
a legally autonomous and intellectually open political foundation.

http://lb.boell.org/web/113-1317.html

INTERVIEW

The Arab world has harbored fantasies about the supernatural power of
the United States

July 11, 2013

Heinrich Böll Stiftung

Mohammed Attar Interviews Noam Chomsky During his recent visit to
Beirut, American thinker and philosopher Noam Chomsky met with a group
of independent Syrian media activists, aid workers and individuals
active in cultural and economic spheres. Chomsky had made it clear that
he had come to listen to them; to lend an ear to their different views
on the current situation in Syria.

Following the meeting I had the honour of holding an interview with him.
At the outset of our discussion I stated that my motivation in talking
with him was to encourage him to open up to Syrians, to address them
directly with his evaluation of the situation in their country,
following a series of interviews with Lebanese newspapers in which he
had approached the subject through the filter of the papers’ own
priorities and political biases. However Chomsky, now in his eighties,
gently insisted that he was here to acquaint himself with the issue up
close, rather than to offer fully formed conclusions of his own.

The discussion ranged over positions that Chomsky has subscribed to in
previous interviews concerning his view of the complex situation in
Syria, Hezbollah’s involvement, the American and Israeli stances towards
revolutionary Syria and other related issues. ...

Israel, the United States and attitudes towards the Syrian revolution

In your view, what is Israel’s true position regarding the Syrian
revolution?

Israel has done nothing to indicatethat it is trying to bring down the
Assad regime. There are growing claims that the West intends to supply
the opposition with arms. I believe this is quite misleading. The fact
of the matter is, that were the United States and Israel interested in
bringing down the Syrian regime there is a whole package of measures
they could take before they came to the arms-supply option. All these
other options remain available, including, for example, America
encouraging Israel to mobilize its forces along the northern border, a
move that would not produce any objections from the international
community and which would compel the regime to withdraw its forces from
a number of frontline positions and relieve the pressure on the
opposition. But this has not happened, nor will it, so long as America
and Israel remain unwilling to bring down Assad regime. They may not
like the regime, but it is nevertheless a regime that is well practised
in accommodating their demands and any unknown alternative might prove
worse in this respect. Much better, then, to watch the Syrians fight and
destroy each other.

Your discourse unambiguously states that America and Israel have no
desire to see the regime fall and that their actions are determined by
the “better the devil you know” principle. How do you explain a
counter-discourse, promulgated by analysts and intellectuals, especially
among Leftist circles in Europe the US and the Arab world, which is
based on the supposition of an American/Israeli/imperialist plot? For
some people, the revolution in Syria has been a conspiracy from the
outset. For others it was hijacked by the conspiracy.

For a long time, the Arab world and other places beside have played host
to stories and illusions about the supernatural power of the United
States, which controls everything through complex conspiracies and
plots. In this worldview, everything that takes place can be explained
in terms of imperialist conspiracies. This is an error. Without a doubt,
the United States are still a great power and capable of influencing
events, but they are not always able to manipulate them by means of
complex conspiracies: this really is beyond their capacities. Of course
the Americans do sometimes try to do this, but they fail, too. What
happened in Syria is not outside our understanding: it began as a
popular and democratic protest movement demanding democratic reforms,
but instead of responding to it in a constructive, positive manner,
Assad reacted with violent repression. The usual outcome of such a
course of action is either a successful crushing of the protests or
otherwise, to see them evolve and militarize, and this is what took
place in Syria. When a protest movement enters this phase we see new
dynamics at play: usually, the rise of the most extremist and brutal
elements to the front ranks. ...

Bashar Al Assad’s fate and the future of Syria

What will be the fate of Bashar Al Assad’s fate, do you think?

His fate will to fall one way or another. But I won’t lie to you: I
believe that the consequences of the current situation could be
terrible. Syria could break up. The Kurds could gain independence in
some of their areas through some kind of relationship with Iraqi
Kurdistan and maybe in coordination with Turkey, while the remaining
Syrian territories could split in two, with Assad ruling one part of
what remains. This is horrible and very painful for the Syrian people
and Syria, but unfortunately that is the way things are going at the
moment. ...

There is one astonishing point related the Syrian revolution.
Individuals and groups belonging to the Far Left in Europe, the Arab
world and other regions of the globe, have evinced hostility to the
revolution on the grounds that it is part of an American and imperialist
plot. Hostility also comes from the Far Right, which regards it as an
extremist threat to the existence of minority communities and Christians
in particular. We have heard similar statements from the French Far
Right and from Nick Griffin, leader of the extremist British National
Party who visited Damascus, defending Bashar Al Assad. How do you
interpret this phenomenon?

Just disregard them. They are insignificant. They represent groups that
cannot be reached or communicated with. There is no need to worry too
much about your inability to convince fringe groups it is difficult to
reach out to in the first place. There are groups far more important,
active and influential over the decision-making process that should be
reached out to first. ...

This interview took place on 16/6/2013, and was executed exclusively for
The Republic website, the newspaper of the Local Coordination Committee
(LCC), and the Heinrich Böll Stiftung (hbs). Special thanks to Dr.Fawaz
Traboulsi for making this interview possible. ---

Translated from the Arabic by Robin Moger

(22) Socialist Worker (Trotskyist, US) condemns Assad

http://socialistworker.org/2013/06/25/will-the-us-hijack-syrias-revolution

Will the U.S. hijack Syria's revolution?

Lee Sustar analyzes the dynamics in Syria following the U.S.
announcement that it will step up support for rebels fighting the Assad
regime, including supplying small arms.

June 25, 2013

THE LARGEST mass revolutionary movement of the Arab Spring is under
increasing pressure from outside powers, including the U.S., which want
to channel the struggle for Syria's future into a sectarian war that
pits the Sunni Muslim majority against Shiite Muslims and other
religious minorities.

The Syrian civil war has seen at least 90,000 killed--the vast majority
at the hands of the regime--and millions more turned into refugees or
internally displaced.

But even worse bloodletting could be still to come. The Syrian regime of
Bashar al-Assad, backed by Iran and Russia, is continuing to whip up
sectarian hatred by targeting the Sunni majority and playing up fears
among religious minorities. At the same time, Saudi Arabia and Qatar
have funded Islamist groups linked to al-Qaeda that have an sectarian
agenda of their own, targeting Syria's Shiites, Alawites, Christians,
Druze and others.

Nevertheless, the grassroots movement that developed through mass
protests and civil disobedience hasn't been defeated. Revolutionary
civilian groups continue to run towns and communities attacked or
abandoned by the regime. In the face of an increasing dynamic of
militarization encouraged by foreign powers trying to shape events in
Syria, these organizations are striving to exercise political control
over armed groups that are increasingly subject to manipulation from abroad.

The latest foreign intervention comes from the U.S., which has okayed
the supply of light weapons to the Free Syrian Army (FSA), the umbrella
group of militias that is challenging the Assad regime.

Washington's move came just days after forces from Lebanon's Hezbollah
helped the Syrian military to recapture the western Syrian town of
Qaysr, a key point on rebel supply lines. Hezbollah is a Shiite Muslim
political movement aligned with Iran, where Shiite clerics have
dominated the state since the 1979 revolution. Both Iran and Hezbollah
see the Assad regime as a bulwark against the U.S., Israel and the
majority Sunni Muslim Arab monarchies that vie with Iran for influence
in the Middle East.

U.S. supporters of more aggressive intervention--for example, Republican
Sen. John McCain--are increasing the pressure on the Obama
administration over reports that the Syrian regime used chemical
weapons. Others accuse the rebels of employing chemical arms.

The Obama administration, however, remains wary of all-out military
intervention or even supplying the heavy weaponry requested by rebel
forces. It is hesitant about empowering forces linked to al-Qaeda on
Israel's border. ...

(23) Socialist Worker (Trotskyist, US): Left must support Syria rebels

http://socialistworker.org/2013/04/09/supporting-syrias-revolution

Why the left must support Syria's revolution

Yusef Khalil answers the objections of those on the left who reject the
Syrian uprising against dictatorship--and demands to know which side
they're on.

April 9, 2013

"AIRLIFT TO Rebels in Syria Expands with C.I.A.'s Help" screamed a New
York Times headline in late March. "Foreign intervention!" screamed back
supporters of the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

More than two years after the mass uprising of the Syrian people began,
the regime of Bashar al-Assad is still in power--but at a devastating
cost. Some 70,000 people are dead, according to United Nations figures,
and nearly 5 million have been displaced, internally and externally, by
the regime's scorched-earth war to crush its opponents.

Yet some on the U.S. and international left cling to the idea that the
regime presiding over this violence and repression is progressive--and
that the uprising against it was engineered by Western governments.

Syrians have endured the bloodiest chapter of the Arab Revolutions that
swept through the region, starting in 2011. After months of mostly
peaceful protests, Syria's revolutionaries--responding to the
dictatorship's violent crackdown--had to develop a popular armed
resistance to defend themselves and defeat the forces of the regime.

Large parts of the country, including major military bases and airports,
have fallen from the government's hands, but they remain under heavy
bombardment. Nevertheless, in many of these areas, Syrians are
experimenting with local self-government, now that the regime has lost
its grip.

Despite all the talk from powerful governments about supporting
democracy in Syria, Syrians have for the most part been abandoned.
Promises of humanitarian aid and measures to ease the massive refugee
crisis have gone unfulfilled. "The needs are rising exponentially, and
we are broke," said a spokesperson for the UN Children's Fund UNICEF
earlier this month.

Yet some on the left have sided against the Syrian Revolution, claiming
that the Assad regime belongs to a supposed "anti-imperialist" camp--and
that Washington's rhetorical support for the uprising in Syria shows the
millions who have defied Assad are puppets of imperialism. ...

OF COURSE, the Syrian rebels are seeking weapons from outside the
country. But this isn't a failing of the rebellion--it was forced on
Syrians by the Assad regime, when it declared war on the people and
tried to drown the revolution in blood. Every case of torture and murder
against peaceful activists merely demanding democracy made an unarmed
struggle on its own impossible. ...

(24) Socialist Worker (Trotskyist, US) condemns US threatened military
assault


http://socialistworker.org/2013/08/28/imperial-hypocrisy-to-justify-an-assault

Imperial hypocrisy to justify an assault

Lee Sustar argues that Washington's threats to carry out a military
assault on Syria are an imperialist maneuver behind the façade of
"humanitarian" concerns.

August 28, 2013

Barack Obama and John Kerry answer reporters' questions (WhiteHouse.gov)
EVIDENCE OF a horrific chemical weapons attack by the Syrian regime
against civilians has revived liberal calls for "humanitarian"
intervention by the U.S. military--despite the U.S. armed forces' own
recent record of mass death and destruction in Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond.

For example, Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson wrote that
President Barack Obama should "punish Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad's
homicidal regime with a military strike" because "any government or
group that employs chemical weapons must be made to suffer real
consequences. Obama should uphold this principle by destroying some of
Assad's military assets with cruise missiles." "[S]omebody," says
Robinson, "has to be the world's policeman."

The New York Times editorial board cautioned against an open-ended
intervention, but said that because Obama had made the use of chemical
weapons a "red line" that would trigger a U.S. response, the president
now had to "follow through." In other words, the credibility of the U.S.
empire is now on the line, so a military strike is unavoidable,
according to the Times.

But the threatened U.S. military attack on Syria is motivated solely by
Washington's imperial aims in the Middle East, not by any desire to save
civilians from further repression by a brutal regime. The U.S. objective
is to contain and roll back the democratic revolutions of the Arab
Spring, a project it shares with allies Israel, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf
State monarchies and, now, the Egyptian military that has reasserted its
power. ...

(25) Socialist Alliance (Trot, Australia) rejects US assault but
supports rebels against Assad "tyranny"


http://www.socialist-alliance.org/news/stop-us-led-war-syria

Stop the US-led war on Syria!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Socialist Alliance condemns the threatened US-led Western military
assault on Syria. We call on the Australian government to reject this
latest imperial aggression, to extract itself from its military alliance
with the US and end its involvement in all aggressive multinational
military operations.

The Socialist Alliance supports the Syrian people’s democratic uprising
against the tyranny of the Bashar al-Assad regime but we reject the
interventions of the US and its allies in Syria. The Syrian people
should have the right to decide their own future.

The horrendous chemical weapons attack on civilians is being used as the
justification for this latest intervention. The use of chemical weapons
is a heinous war crime and whoever uses it should be brought to account.

However, whatever the truth is about the exact responsibility for this
brutal attack, the US and its imperial allies do not have the moral
right to be judge, jury and executioner on the manufacture and use of
weapons of mass destruction, chemical and other weapons. These countries
have been profiteering from the deadly arms trade (including banned
weapons) – and in the process have propped up, and continue to prop up,
numerous dictatorial regimes around the world.

The launching of a military attack by the US and its allies in response
will result in further civilian casualties.

Whatever justification is offered, a US-NATO war is not in the interest
of the people of Syria. The terrible consequences of the Western
invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan – consequences that are ongoing and
have spilled across many other countries – are proof of this.

Both Iraq and Afghanistan also had brutal tyrants - yet the US-led
military interventions made the situation far worse for the peoples of
both these countries. Between 1-2 million people have been killed in
these two wars and in addition, depleted uranium weapons will continue
to cause death and deformities for decades to come.

(Statement by the Socialist Alliance National Executive August 28, 2013)

(26) Socialist Alternative (Trot, Australia): US & Israel are not
supporting Syria rebels


http://www.sa.org.au/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=7734:assad’s-backers-on-the-left-are-ignoring-reality&Itemid=386

Assad’s backers on the left are ignoring reality

Michael Karadjis

"Nowhere in rebel-controlled Syria is there a secular fighting force to
speak of," claimed a recent New York Times article.

For those on the left convinced that the US is hell-bent on backing the
Syrian rebellion against the regime of Bashar Assad, or who claim the US
is backing these "Islamist" forces, or even that the whole Syrian
rebellion is a "US war on Syria", this statement was greeted as a sign
that "even the US" is coming to understand how bad the rebels "that it
supports" are.

A more obvious explanation is that the NYT, which tends to closely
reflect US ruling class thinking, is making this ridiculous, sweeping
and clearly false statement precisely to justify the US policy,
consistent over the last two years, of not supporting the Syrian uprising.

But isn’t the US is sending arms to the Syrian rebellion? Simply making
that statement does not prove that it's true. CBS reported on 1 May,
"The first shipment of US aid to the armed Syrian rebels was being
delivered Tuesday to the opposition Supreme Military Council (SMC). It
includes $8 million in medical supplies and ready-to-eat military food
rations."

Note that: After nearly two-and-a-half years of the Syrian uprising,
about two-thirds of that time in the form of armed rebellion, the first
US shipment of aid to the rebels occurred in May 2013 in the form of
"medical equipment and food rations". I guess the medical equipment and
food rations have been launching this two-year "US war on Syria"
retrospectively.

In reality, what we see most of the time is the US expressing extreme
reservations about any kind of intervention in the Syrian civil war. In
February, the US authorised a $60 million package for "non-lethal aid"
for the SMC, once it had decided that the SMC leadership could be
controlled and could control the flow of whatever equipment it got. Of
that $60 million, it is only this $8 million in food and medicines that
has yet seen the light of day.

More recently, there were hints that the package could include things
like body armour and night-vision goggles. On 1 May, the Washington Post
reported that US was "moving toward the shipment of arms" at some
unspecified time in the next few months". But [officials] emphasised
that they are still pursuing political negotiation," with Obama pursuing
further talks with Russia to try to find agreement.

The US government stresses that its lack of material support for the
rebels is due to US hostility to the growing "Islamist" part of the
rebellion. Some of the Islamists are supported by Saudi Arabia and
Qatar, others are not (e.g. the powerful Al-Nusra militia linked to
Al-Qaida). The Islamist forces are generally hostile to US imperialism
and very hostile to Israel, which has in stronger terms expressed
opposition to these forces coming anywhere near power in Syria.

The idea that the US wants to support these Islamists but is pretending
not to is nothing but a fantasy indulged in by parts of the left who
have decided to throw their lot in with the reactionary dictatorship of
Assad. Since the Islamists are doing a significant amount of the
fighting, and the extreme fringe (e.g. Al-Nusra) has taken
responsibility for the most "war-like" actions (e.g. terrorist
bombings), the best way to claim the uprising is a "US war on Syria" is
to make the unlikely claim that the US is supporting and arming these
Islamists, despite the US and other imperialist governments stressing
nearly every day that these Islamists are the primary reason they are
not supporting and arming the uprising.

Indeed, with all the hoo-ha about the Syrian military allegedly using
chemical weapons, and leftist claims that this was the parallel of the
"WMD" excuse to invade Iraq, one might have expected the US to order
some kind of "strong" action. In reality, Obama's reaction was to
redefine the "red line" of greater US involvement in Syria from any use
of chemical weapons to any "systematic use". In sharp contrast to the
lies about Iraqi WMD peddled in order to justify an invasion, in this
case Obama has reacted to allegations of use of chemical weapons by
stressing that the evidence "was still preliminary" and thus he was in
no rush to intervene: " If we end up rushing to judgment without hard,
effective evidence, we can find ourselves in a position where we can't
mobilise the international community…” Most analysis concludes the US is
very unlikely to change course. Phil Stewart and Peter Apps, writing for
Reuters, noted. ...

Many of the assertions about US aid to the Syrian uprising are nothing
but reiterations of the well-known fact that the reactionary Gulf
monarchies of Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been providing a moderate
stream of arms to specific rebel groups. The fact that they are pro-US
is twisted in discussion to mean they are mere puppets of the US, as if
they cannot have their own policies. ...

Speaking to CBS news in the US, Yuval Steinitz, Israeli Minister of
Intelligence and Strategic Affairs, explained that the "only scenario"
for Israeli military action in Syria would be "to prevent the delivering
of arms, chemical weapons and other kinds of weapons into the hands of
terrorists”.

“Steinitz emphasised,” The report said, “that Israel was not urging the
US to take any military action ‘whatsoever’ in Syria at this stage”.

For Israel, these “terrorists” mean both Hezbollah in Lebanon (which is
currently allied to Assad) and the Sunni Islamist forces fighting to
topple Assad. In an interview with BBC TV in late April, Netanyahu
called the Syrian rebel groups among "the worst Islamist radicals in the
world. So obviously we are concerned that weapons that are
ground-breaking, that can change the balance of power in the Middle
East, would fall into the hands of these terrorists," he said.

According to Aaron Heller, writing in The Times of Israel, Israel is
also worried “that whoever comes out on top in the civil war will be a
much more dangerous adversary" than Assad – specifically in relation to
the Golan Heights. "The military predicts all that (the 40-year peaceful
border) will soon change as it prepares for the worst." The region near
the occupied Golan has become "a huge ungoverned area and inside an
ungoverned area many, many players want to be inside and want to play
their own role and to work for their own interests," said Gal Hirsch, a
reserve Israeli brigadier general, claiming Syria has now become "a big
threat to Israel" over the last two years. The military's deployment on
the Golan is its most robust since 1973, "and its most obvious
manifestation is the brand new border fence, 6 meters (20 feet) tall,
topped with barbed wire and bristling with sophisticated
anti-infiltration devices".

Those raising false "anti-imperialist" flags to justify their support
for a capitalist regime involved in horrifying repression of its people
are ignoring reality. Israel, the key imperialist asset in the region,
very clearly sees the Syrian rebellion as a far worse alternative to the
Assad regime. Assad’s Western defenders either don’t mention Israel at
all when they list the countries they think are waging "war on Syria"
(and hope no-one notices the omission); or, even worse, they add Israel
to their list despite the evidence (and hope no-one notices).

(27) Red Pepper (Trotskyist / Anarchist, UK) backs Syrian rebels

http://www.redpepper.org.uk/solidarity-with-syria/

Solidarity with Syria

8 August 2013: Ewa Jasiewicz explains the urgent need for left-wing
activists in the West to act in solidarity with Syrian liberation struggles

Think of Syria and what images come to mind? Wrecked buildings,
refugees, a stoical Bashar al Assad? Ask most activists in the UK what
they think is going on in Syria and the majority response is ‘I don't
know’ or ‘It’s been taken over by al-Qaeda now, Saudi Arabia and the
USA‘ or ‘Assad is better than imperialism’. ...

Since the beginning of the Syrian uprising, which began in March 2011,
over 100,000 people have been killed. According to the Syrian
Observatory for Human Rights, it breaks down as 37,000 civilians
including 8000 women and children; 43,000 Assad regime military
personnel including special forces;13,539 rebel fighters; and 2,015
defectors from government forces. The figures could be much higher given
that combatant sides prefer to downplay losses. ...

*Some names have been changed

This is the first part of a six day serialization of Ewa’s trip to
Syria, It accompanies Jon Sack’s graphic reportage from the Syrian
border: The Physio.

Ewa Jasiewicz is a journalist and campaigner. She is part of a small
international solidarity initiative working to support grassroots groups
in Syria. ...

(28) Australian Greens says more Syria sanctions needed (2012)

http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/greens-says-more-syria-sanctions-needed-20120530-1ziaz.html

Greens says more Syria sanctions needed

Sydney Morning Herald, May 30, 2012

The Australian Greens have called for additional sanctions against Syria
following the federal government's expulsion of two diplomats in the
wake of the massacre in the Syrian town of Houla.

Foreign Minister Bob Carr on Tuesday announced Syrian Charge d'Affairs
Jawdat Ali and another diplomat had been given 72 hours to leave Australia.

Greens MP Adam Bandt on Wednesday said the minor party welcomed the
decision.

"It is something we called for quite some time ago, and the government
has done the right thing," he said.

Advertisement The next step was to invoke additional sanctions, he said.

He suggested Australia lobby Russia and China "to join in significant
sanctions at the UN level".

Following Senator Carr's announcement, the US gave Syria's most senior
envoy in Washington, the charge d'affaires at the Syrian Embassy, 72
hours to leave the United States.

Britain, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Bulgaria
are also expelling Syrian diplomats.

© 2013 AAP

(29) European Greens motion condemns "violent and indiscriminate attacks
by the Syrian regime"


http://www.greens-efa.eu/the-situation-in-syria-8005.html

10.09.2012

The situation in Syria

Greens/EFA motion for a resolution

The European Parliament ...

1. Condemns once again in the strongest terms the increasing violent and
indiscriminate attacks by the Syrian regime against civilian populations
which constitutes a violation of international law and of the commitment
of the Syrian authorities , under UNSC resolutions 2042 (2012) and 2043
(2012), to cease violence in all its forms, including the cessation of
the use of heavy weapons in population centres;

2. Strongly condemns the widespread or systematic practice of
extrajudicial executions, arbitrary detention and enforced
disappearance, torture and sexual violence against men, women and
children committed by government forces, including pro-government
militias and Shabbiha, directed against civilians as State policy;

3. Urges Syrian authorities to commit with the rules of international
humanitarian law and to immediately allow full and unimpeded access to
the country for humanitarian assistance and medical care to all those
who are in urgent need of aid so as to avoid civilian loss of life;
notes in this respect the recent positive commitments expressed by
President Bashar al-Assad to the President of the ICRC and calls for a
close follow-up ...

(30) European Greens: No military intervention in Syria before UN
mission reports its findings


http://www.greens-efa.eu/syria-10457.html

29.08.2013

PRESS

Syria

EU must involve UN General Assembly and push for peace talks

Commenting on the debate on possible responses following the use of
chemical weapons near Damascus and the search for possible solutions to
the Syria conflict, Green foreign policy co-spokespersons Franziska
Brantner and Ulrike Lunacek stated:

“The use of chemical weapons represents a shocking breach of
international law that must not go unanswered. While urgent action is
now required by the international community, no decision should be made
before the findings of the UN expert mission are available.

"Any international response must take place within the multilateral
framework. Last night's meeting of the UN Security Council suggests it
will not fulfil its mandate of maintaining world peace, notably due to
Russia's obstructionism. Against this background, the EU should push for
the United Nations General Assembly to address the conflict as a matter
of urgency. The General Assembly should consider and decide on possible
international reactions to the use of chemical weapons, as well as
possible ways out of this brutal war, which has already claimed more
than 100,000 lives.

“Continuing to work towards a regional peace conference in Geneva is now
more important than ever and the EU must prioritise this. The EU should
continue to support the ‘Geneva II process’ and put pressure on all
parties in the conflict to participate in the talks.

"The EU must also live up to its humanitarian responsibility and grant
protection to more Syrian refugees. To this end, the European Commission
and Council should ensure EU legislation on granting protection and
humane reception in cases of mass displacement of refugees is activated
without delay.”

(31) WSWS Trots: Syria chemical attack is pretext for US military assault

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/08/24/syri-a24.html

On pretext of chemical attack US prepares military assault on Syria

By Barry Grey

24 August 2013

US officials have outlined a series of options that are being considered
for a direct assault by American and allied military forces against
Syria, using Wednesday’s alleged chemical weapons attack as the pretext.
The stepped-up military preparations make clear that the events on
Wednesday are part of a provocation to justify yet another neo-colonial
war in the Middle East.

The growing threat of direct US intervention in the war for
regime-change against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was also
underscored Friday by President Obama, who used an interview on CNN to
indicate he was seeking to marshal international support and some form
of legal cover for a US-led attack.

The New York Times reported in a front-page article Friday that senior
officials from the Pentagon, the State Department and the intelligence
agencies met with White House officials for three-and-a-half hours
Thursday to outline possible military measures. The article cited
unnamed officials, who said no decision was reached amid internal
differences over whether to launch direct US military action in the
coming days.

(32) WSWS Trots: Syrian rebels used chemical weapons

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/08/30/wash-a30.html

Washington’s lies on alleged Syrian chemical attack unravel

By Thomas Gaist

30 August 2013

Even as the US and its allies intensify preparations for war with Syria,
the lies they told to justify the looming assault are being discredited.
On the same day as the British parliament’s rejection of military action
against Syria, US officials admitted that there was no factual basis for
their accusations that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime used
chemical weapons last week in Ghouta.

While the British parliament’s vote and the US officials’ admissions
stunned the American media and political establishment, Obama
administration officials announced their intention to proceed with plans
to attack Syria late yesterday (See, “British Parliament votes down
Syria action as US presses ahead with strike plans”). The New York Times
reported Thursday evening that “all indications suggest that a strike
could occur soon after United Nations investigators charged with
scrutinizing the August 21 attack leave the country” on Saturday.

Such an attack would be an unprecedented act of international
gangsterism, under conditions where both the British parliament and US
officials themselves are making clear that the war is being launched on
the basis of lies.

Anonymous US intelligence officials reported yesterday that intelligence
confirming Assad’s responsibility for the attack is “no slam dunk.”
According to two intelligence officials and two other US officials who
spoke to the Associated Press, US intelligence is not certain that the
government ordered the chemical attack. Moreover, the same sources say
that US intelligence agencies cannot confirm which side controls many
chemical weapons inside the country.

In fact, it is well known that the US-backed Islamist opposition
militias have acquired and repeatedly used chemical weapons. ...

(33) Russian Missile Plan Chills Chances for Syrian No-Fly Zone

http://www.voanews.com/content/russian-missile-plan-chills-chances-for-syrian-nofly-zone/1670339.html

May 29, 2013

Analysts say it will be more difficult for the United States or other
Western powers to enforce a no-fly zone over Syria if Russia goes ahead
with the sale of anti-aircraft missiles to its ally Damascus.

Moscow said this week it plans to deliver the advanced S-300 air defense
system to the embattled government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad,
despite objections by the U.S., France and Israel.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Tuesday the transfer
will be a "stabilizing factor" and will deter what he called "some
hotheads" from considering sending foreign forces to intervene in the
Syrian conflict.

Ben MacQueen, a Middle East analyst at Australia's Monash University
tells VOA the surface-to-air missiles would represent a major upgrade
over Syria's current air defenses and could challenge Western aircraft. ...


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