Syria: looking back at 2011 and the eruption of violence

I came along and excellent article about Syria, which exposes the role of the mass media and western policymakers by shedding light on truths that were suppressed during the early stage of the Syrian conflict:
http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/09/03/more-nato-aggression-against-syria/

From the onset most western and arab media invented and persistently promoted one major narrative in order to demonize the Syrian government:
They claimed that the protests were entirely peaceful for a very long time. Some went so far to say that in the entire first year or at least in the first 6 months of the „revolution“ the „opposition“ stuck to peaceful means.
Only after suffering continuously indiscriminate and disproportionate violence at the hands of the security forces, the allegedly secular/liberal/moderate opposition turned to violence as a means of self defense.

The myth of the peaceful unarmed opposition does not withstand if scrutinized without bias. „When mass protests began in Syria they included violent attacks and murders of police from the beginning„:

„…up to 60 Syrian security forces were killed that day in a massacre that has been hidden by both the Syrian government and residents of Daraa.

One Daraa native explains: “At that time, the government did not want to show they are weak and the opposition did not want to show they are armed.”

Beyond that, the details are sketchy. Nizar Nayouf, a longtime Syria dissident and blogger who wrote about the killings, says the massacre took place in the final week of March 2011.“

„on April 25, 2011, nineteen Syrian soldiers were gunned down in Daraa by unknown assailants. „

„April 10 was also the day when we learned of the first massacre of Syrian soldiers – in Banyas, Tartous – when nine troops were ambushed and gunned down on a passing bus. The BBC, Al Jazeera and the Guardian all initially quoted witnesses claiming the dead soldiers were “defectors” shot by the Syrian army for refusing to fire on civilians.

That narrative was debunked later, but the story that soldiers were being killed by their own commanders stuck hard throughout 2011 – and gave the media an excuse to ignore stories that security forces were being targeted by armed groups.

The SOHR’s Rami Abdul Rahman says of the “defector” storyline: “This game of saying the army is killing defectors for leaving – I never accepted this because it is propaganda.”

„on April 23, seven soldiers were slaughtered in Nawa, a town near Daraa. Those killings did not make the headlines like the one in Banyas. Notably, the incident took place right after the Syrian government tried to defuse tensions by abolishing the state security courts, lifting the state of emergency, granting general amnesties and recognizing the right to peaceful protest. „

„Instead, all we ever heard was about the mass killing of civilians by security forces: “The dictator slaughtering his own people.” But three years into the Syrian crisis, can we say that things may have taken a different turn if we had access to more information? Or if media had simply provided equal air-time to the different, contesting testimonies that were available to us? „

„Syrian-based Father Frans van der Lugt was the Dutch priest murdered by a gunman in Homs just a few weeks ago. His involvement in reconciliation and peace activities never stopped him from lobbing criticisms at both sides in this conflict. But in the first year of the crisis, he penned some remarkable observations about the violence – this one in January 2012:

“From the start the protest movements were not purely peaceful. From the start I saw armed demonstrators marching along in the protests, who began to shoot at the police first. Very often the violence of the security forces has been a reaction to the brutal violence of the armed rebels.”

In September 2011 he wrote: “From the start there has been the problem of the armed groups, which are also part of the opposition…The opposition of the street is much stronger than any other opposition. And this opposition is armed and frequently employs brutality and violence, only in order then to blame the government.”
http://rt.com/op-edge/157412-syria-hidden-massacre-2011/

Then there is the myth of the „moderate opposition“. To this date major parts of euro-american mass media continue to uphold the bizarr claim that the armed Syrian opposition or at least the major bulk of the fighters, the so called „Free Syrian Army“ are moderates.

„It is often suggested the “moderate opposition” is popular, democratic and secular. President Obama has recently proposed giving $500 million to the “moderate opposition”.
Patrick Cockburn sums up the reality in the newly released book “The Jihadis Return: ISIS and the New Sunni Uprising”:

“It is here that self-deception reigns, because the Syrian military opposition is dominated by ISIS and by Jabhat Al Nusra, the official Al Qaeda representative, in addition to other extreme jihadi groups. In reality there is no dividing wall between them and America’s supposedly moderate opposition allies.”

This situation is not new. A NY Times article in summer 2012 discussed the hidden presence of Al Qaeda within the “Free Syrian Army” „

In another article Patrick Cockburn writes: „Jihadi groups ideologically close to al-Qa‘ida have been relabeled as moderate if their actions are deemed supportive of U.S. policy aims. In Syria, the Americans backed a plan by Saudi Arabia to build up a “Southern Front” based in Jordan that would be hostile to the Assad government in Damascus, and simultaneously hostile to al-Qa‘ida-type rebels in the north and east. The powerful but supposedly moderate Yarmouk Brigade, reportedly the planned recipient of anti-aircraft missiles from Saudi Arabia, was intended to be the leading element in this new formation. But numerous videos show that the Yarmouk Brigade has frequently fought in collaboration with JAN, the official al-Qa‘ida affiliate. Since it was likely that, in the midst of battle, these two groups would share their munitions, Washington was effectively allowing advanced weaponry to be handed over to its deadliest enemy. Iraqi officials confirm that they have captured sophisticated arms from ISIS fighters in Iraq that were originally supplied by outside powers to forces considered to be anti-al-Qa‘ida in Syria.“
http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/08/21/why-washingtons-war-on-terror-failed/

“In the East of Syria, there is no Free Syrian Army any longer. All Free Syrian Army people [there] have joined the Islamic State,” says Abu Yusaf, a high-level security commander of the Islamic State, whom The Washington Post’s Anthony Faiola wrote about last week…“

„some of the people the U.S. and their allies had trained to fight for ‘democracy’ in Libya and Syria had a jihadist agenda — already or later, [when they] joined al Nusra or the Islamic State,” a senior Arab intelligence official said in a recent interview…“

„For a long time, Western and Arab states supported the Free Syrian Army not only with training but also with weapons and other materiel. The Islamic State commander, Abu Yusaf, added that members of the Free Syrian Army who had received training — from the United States, Turkey and Arab military officers at an American base in Southern Turkey — have now joined the Islamic State. “Now many of the FSA people who the West has trained are actually joining us,” he said, smiling.“
http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/08/18/the-terrorists-fighting-us-now-we-just-finished-training-them/

To this day many western mainstream media still stick to two fairy tales:
a) That there is a single entity called „Free Syrian Army“ and that it is the biggest rebel faction
b) That the FSA, unlike ISIS or Jabhat al Nusra (JAN) is „moderate“

Just a single example that clearly demonstrates how moderate and respectable the FSA is (IRONY):

„Contacted by telephone, Adnan al-Assadi, Iraq’s deputy interior minister, said Iraqi border guards had witnessed the Free Syrian Army take control of a border outpost, detain a Syrian army lieutenant colonel, and then cut off his arms and legs.

„Then they executed 22 Syrian soldiers in front of the eyes of Iraqi soldiers,“ Assadi said.“
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/07/201271919353589773.html

For more detailed information about the non-existence of a „moderate“ Free Syrian Army, look here:
https://radioyaran.com/2013/12/19/syria-it-is-insane-that-the-west-still-considers-supporting-islamists/
https://radioyaran.com/2013/10/11/syrian-rebel-massacre-in-lattakia-and-the-moderate-fsas-involvement/
http://100wordz.wordpress.com/2014/06/10/was-not-the-southern-front-supposed-to-be-dominated-by-moderate-pro-western-rebels/

 

 

The „moderate“ FSAs cooperation with Al Qaeda in Syria

Not only has the allegedly moderate, non-sectarian, pro-western and Israeli tolerated FSA been using the lethal combat efficiency of the Al Qaeda affiliated Nusra Front (JN), but they have also sold advanced anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons to the even more radical Salafi Al Qaeda branch Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISUS/ISIL):

„He didn’t want to be filmed. But he told us: if we wanted to cut the supply lines it is easier for us to take the warehouses of the FSA. Anyhow we are buying weapons from the FSA. we bought 200 anti-aircraft missiles and Koncourse anti tank weapons. We have good relations with our brothers in the FSA. For us, the infidels are those who cooperate with the West to fight Islam. “
http://blogs.aljazeera.com/blog/middle-east/meeting-al-qaeda-syria

As usual Obama, Kerry and co. ignore or play down such embarrassing facts when they openly speak about funding and facilitating (through Saudi Arabia) the further arming of the FSA.

 

Iran 2009 vs. Syria 2011

The mass demonstrations and protests in Iran after the allegedly forged presidential elections of June 2009 were on a much bigger scale than what happened in Syria after Macrh 2011.
Despite the participation of up to 3 Million people on some days in Tehran alone and despite the disproportional use of lethal violence by the security forces the „green revolution“ ebbed away after a few weeks.

There are several reasons why the protests did not turn into an armed rebellion but the main factors differentiating Irans „green revolution“ from the Syrian version of the „arab spring“ were the following:
– The protesters were not armed and nobody armed them in the process either. There were few casualties among the riot police and the Bassij militia but not as a result of systematic guerilla like violence
– The protesters were not instigated by outside powers to fight against an autocratic regime that was tyrannizing and killing them on sectarian (or ethnic) grounds
– There is a persian saying „The knife has not reached the bone (yet)“ which basically means that despite many social injustices, reprisals, persecutions, economic inequalities and mismanagement and the governments constant interference in peoples private life…still daily life was very much on an acceptable level

In Syria, however, from early on there were deadly ambushes on army and police leaving to the deaths of dozens of security personell in the very first weeks. It is factually completely untrue that the protests were nothing but peaceful for months.
The protests were „contaminated“ quite early with anti-regime accusations and complaints on religious grounds. The state was accused of applying injustice and violence against its opponents because of the latters religious affiliation.
This was by and large utter nonsense but it was meant to serve a well-planned purpose, namely to defame a secular (although autocratic) government as sectarian. Not only there are many Sunnis in the highest political, economic and military ranks of Syrias elite, Bashar al Assad and his brother are married to Sunni women and their paternal grandmother was also Sunni. Now, one could check how many Saudi, Bahraini, Qatari or other „Gulf“ princes and „notables“ are married to Shia women…

The intention behind Syrias portrayal as an allegedly anti-Sunni regime was clearly to incite sectarian sentiment and play the majority card:
a) „Alawite“ Syria is between Sunni countries or border areas with high Sunni presence (Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, western Iraq). This itself makes it totally inconceivable to accuse the Assad regime of having made the conflict sectarian
b) The western-friendly Arab petrodollar monarchies of the Persian Gulf are all ruled by Sunni Kings and Princes. They control the two most influential media networks of the Arab world: Al-Jazeera and l-Arabiyya
c) Hundreds of Millions of North African Arabs are Sunni allowing for a recruiting potential of tens of thousands of „Jihadists“ from among vast numbers of unemployed or socially weak youth. In fact it has turned out that the Jihad idea has attracted even central asian and european Sunnis

The question is whether there was a movement aiming at more reforms, freedoms, human rights and democracy that was hijacked quite quickly or whether this short-lived „secular“ revolution was on a too small scale to be considered a mass movement.
At any rate the power driving the Syrian insurgency is clearly militant Salafi islamism. The forces fighting are not even distantly moderate, academic or technocratic. Their motivation is establishing a (probably sectarian) religious state, not a civil democracy adhering to human rights:

„In fact, the only rebel factions still strong enough to resist and fight the regime on the latest fronts are the radical Islamists. The town of Azizeh, just outside the Marjeh area in the east, the strategically vital Sheikh Najjar industrial zone, the old city and Aleppo’s central prison are all defended by al-Qaeda’s affiliate, Jabhat al-Nusra, as well as Salafist militants Ahrar al-Sham, a member of the Islamic Front.“
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/02/barrel-bombing-syria-aleppo-rebels-regime-war.html

Of course, the US, UK and France along with their Arab „partners“, Israel and Turkey still want to stick to the now grotesque narrative that Syrias war is between a hated, russian/iranian-held, sectarian minority regime and the majority of „it´s“ reform demanding, peaceful, secular, moderate, pro western, democracy minded…people.
So, no matter how much it turns that the „bad guys“ are not only ISIS and JN, but also the other Salafi Islamists who
– are either openly hailing Al Qaeda and its principles
– or closely cooperating with JN (and sometimes even ISIS) as Al Qaedas Syrian branch:
http://www.thenational.ae/the-syrian-rebels-who-have-no-problem-fighting-alongside-al-qaeda
See also: http://100wordz.wordpress.com/2014/01/24/islamic-front-no-answer-for-syria-conflict/

 

 

Macabre dynamics in „liberated“ Syria

„The Nusra Front has given ISIS until Saturday to accept mediation or face being expelled from Syria.“

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-26390351

So, one group of sectarian Salafi beheader extremists is threatening to expel a slightly worse sister organization within Al Qaeda in Syria.
The BBC article leaves a bad taste as it comes along as a subtle advertisement in favor of the Al Nusra Front that demands that ISIS „accept arbitration within five days“.
The correct and not too far fetched interpretation is that Al Nusra hardly has any ideological-political issue with ISIS: „He demanded that ISIS halt all military operations against other rebels“.
This means that ISIS is welcome to remain on Syrian soil as long as they blow up Syrian army checkpoints and kill Alawites instead of „killing of an al-Qaeda emissary, Abu Khaled al-Suri

 

In case you did not know: Iran is sending money and fighters to Al Qaida to kill Shias in Syria

Is this supposed to be a joke?

„Today the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced the designation of a key Iran-based al-Qa’ida facilitator who supports al-Qa’ida’s vital facilitation network in Iran, that operates there with the knowledge of Iranian authorities.  The network also uses Iran as a transit point for moving funding and foreign fighters through Turkey to support al-Qa’ida-affiliated elements in Syria, including the al-Nusrah Front.“
http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/jl2287.aspx

Give me a break: Is the department really claiming that Iran is now sending funds and fighters to al-Qaida in Syria, including the Nusrah Front?
The claim is not only shameless, it is totally sick.
The Nusrah has publicly and more than once taken „credit“ for having targetted and killed Iranians and Shias in Syria. They have proudly burned Husseiniyas and shelled Shia mosques. They have beheaded prisoners of war after having accused them of being „Iranian dogs“ or „Shia infidels“.

No person with a single functioning brain cell does believe this garbage, unless one finds it plausible to claim that Iran is simultaneously supporting and fighting each of Syrias warring factions . Why? Because according to the US and many pro-rebel (mainly arab) sources Iran is behind Assad, Hizbullah and Iraqi Shia militias as well as their most deadly adversaries Nusra Front and ISIS.

Egypt: Islamists shoot down army helicopter with MANPAD

Islamic militants have shot down an Egyptian army helicopter with a heat seeking shoulder-fired missile:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-25915607
The BBC article seems to express „grief“ about this. Probably because the Egyptian regime (and army) is considered pro-western.

Interestingly western press reports of the Syrian rebels´ successes in shooting down Syrian army Migs and helicopters and killing hundreds of personell have been accompanied enthusiasm and joy.
Note: If you are a radical sectarian Islamist fighting a pro-Iranian or pro-Russian state you are good, you are probably a „freedom fighter“ and the US congress will somehow find a way to declare you „moderate“.
If you are however fighting a pro-western state you are a terrorist and one has to be worried if you have acquired and applied deadly weapons.

 

 

Congress Secretly Approves Arms for Syria Rebels

After all the embarassing and shocking revelations about the Syrian rebels, after the broad majority of the rebels either openly declare themselves as part of Al Qaeda or strongly sympathize and ideologically identify with Al Qaeda, the US has begun resupplying the rebels with arms.
How can an honest government officially endorse peace talks but at the same time arm a warring faction that is opposed to peace talks and will certainly feel emboldened and encouraged to fight on after getting further arms?
To justify this appalling decision the US has once again resumed reinvigorating the myth of the „moderate rebels“, no matter how ridiculous and incredible such claims have become in the mean time:

„One close observer of the  opposition, who recently returned from travelling in the rebel-held areas of northern Syria, says that “you could go an awful long way talking to these jihadi groups before you met any fighters who did not thoroughly approve of 9/11 as a well-deserved blow against the US”.“
http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/01/27/return-to-damascus/

http://news.antiwar.com/2014/01/27/officials-congress-secretly-approves-arms-for-syria-rebels/

Syria – Western democracies ignore their people´s will

Polls taken in France, UK and US show that the broad majority of these Nato countries populations are vehemently opposed to military intervening in Syria. A similarly high level of opposition is also expressed towards the idea of further arming the increasingly radicalized and sectarian syrian rebels.

The sight of often non-syrian Salafi jihadists beheading christian Pastors as well as syrian Alawites but also the video clip showing a leader of an allegedly moderate syrian rebel faction cannibalizing the body of a dead syrian soldier will hardly have changed public opinion in favor of the rebels.

So, why are the Camerons, Hagues, Hollandes,…and probably also Obamas so keen on attacking Syria?
Why don´t they care for their people´s will? Is not a democracy about representing and fulfilling the people´s will?

Maliki must be nuts if…

really avoids iranian weapons from reaching the syrian army.

How brazen and stupid is the american foreign policy, especially in person of John Kerry?

They keep demanding the Iraqi authorities to do everything to stop the Iranians from arming the syrian army. But why the hell should the Iraqis do that when the Syrians are fighting the same salafist/jihadist criminals who have killed thousands of (predominantly Shiite) Iraqis?

“The weapons provided to those killers in Syria have been smuggled to Iraq and those wolves that came from different countries to Syria are now sneaking into Iraq,” he [Maliki] said during a youth gathering.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/officials-attacks-on-security-checkpoints-kill-7-soldiers-in-central-iraq/2013/08/17/df22c3ea-0727-11e3-bfc5-406b928603b2_story.html

Iraqs Shia (and also some Sunni) are constantly targeted by Wahhabi-minded Jihadists

4000 dead in Iraq in 2013, 670 alone in Ramadan. This is both a catastrophy and a shame, but it´s too convenient to just blame the Americans and their unjustified war against Iraq. The islamic world should have the courage to blame the Saudi and Kuwaiti Sheikhs and the al-Qaradawis, too, who for years have been agitating against Shias and inciting hatred against them.
The killings in Iraq are almost entirely sectarian motivated and have nothing to do with „Saddam regime remnants“ who after ten years still want to take revenge for the loss of power.
The anti-Shia violence is strongly related to the one in Syria and vice versa. It is fueled by Saudi/Kuwaiti/Qatari money and Wahhabi/Salafi ideology rained down on the middle eastern arab audience through dozens of hate mongering arabic satellite channels, and it is carried out by (Iraqi and non-Iraqi) Jihadists, collectively called „Al-Qaeda“.
While it is true that the iraqi Shia have also had their share in anti-Sunni violence, a sizable portion of the Sunni victims were Sunni soldiers or „Sahwa“ members who were targeted by the Jihadists for supporting the „infidel Shia regime“.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-23651828