Libya 2.0: Media Hysteria Over Syria “Bombing” City of Aleppo

If tired WMD lies won’t convince the public to back foreign intervention, perhaps recycled lies from Libya?
by Tony Cartalucci

July 24, 2012 – The Telegraph has reported (emphasis added), “fighter jets have reportedlylaunched bomb attacks on Syria’s second city of Aleppo, which, if confirmed, would be the first time Assad forces had used war planes against citizens.”

A sole”tweet” from BBC’s Ian Pannell, who has yet to provide any source, evidence, or details regarding his vague claim, immediately made headlines across the Western media.

The claim is based on a single “tweet” from BBC’s Ian Pannell who, after hours of making his his claim that, “fighter jets have bombed eastern #Aleppo city. A significant escalation and perhaps the first time they’ve been used in #Syrian conflict,” has failed categorically to cite his source, provide any evidence of his claims, or provide details of the targets and context of the attacks, if indeed they took place. Yet the Western media “echo chamber” began repeating the story seconds after it was posted, and through this alone it attempted to validate the claim while building momentum behind NATO insinuations.

Taken from an official Defense Department transcript, the US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and Admiral Michael Mullen both concede they’d seen no confirmation “whatsoever” regarding claims by the corporate media that Libya’s Qaddafi had used airstrikes against his own people. However, this fabrication would be used for very real airstrikes, not by Qaddafi, but by NATO under the guise of the “Responsibility to Protect.”

Narratives of “brutal dictators” bombing civilians with aircraft have been used before, most notably in Libya where verified lies were told regarding Qaddafi’s use of aircraft against the city of Benghazi. These fabrications were used to justify foreign military intervention and regime change under the guise of a “no-fly zone” to “protect civilians.”

However, the US Department of Defense itself noted that none of these accusations were founded in fact or confirmed in any way, and the Russian government went as far as providing satellite imagery of sites allegedly bombed to show no such strikes were made.

Ironically, NATO’s subsequent “protection of civilians” flattened several cities across the country, slaying thousands of civilians.   Continue reading

Arab League As An Anti-Arab Weapon

By Elena Pustovoitova

Source: Strategic culture foundation

Elementary arithmetic routinely holds keys to much more complex political algebra. At the moment, for example, it appears that fairly simple regards explain the bizarre conduct of the Arab League which, contrary to reasonable expectations, aligned itself with the West in destabilizing Syria and keeping Bashar Assad under pressure.

It became clear immediately when protests erupted in Syria in March, 2011 that Washington would welcome serious arguments in favor of Assad’s ouster. The unrest in the country came as a predictable – and by no means the last – phase in the sequence of revolts inspired by the US and other countries in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Bahrain with the aim of tailoring the maps of North Africa and the Middle East to the liking of global heavyweights. Later on, the slogan of regime change in the name of “democracy” similarly popped up in Algeria, Jordan, Morocco, and Oman.

It did not evade watchers that mass protests in Syria began in the southern city of Daraa and mostly took place on Fridays, at the Muslims’ post-prayer time. Due to the clearcut tendency, Syria’s brewing revolt was even dubbed “the Friday Revolution”. The unrest quickly spilled from Daraa to other Syrian cities, with the protesters’ agenda – the abolition of the state of emergency law and the uprooting of the decades-old regime – borrowed with minimal adjustments from the Tahrir Square. Unlike Mubarak in Egypt, Syria’s Assad lifted the state of emergency right away, but the protesters evidently had much more far-reaching goals in mind. Continue reading

End of game in the Middle East

By Thierry Meyssan
Source: Voltaire Network
 
Although the armed clashes are not completely over in the beleaguered district of Homs and that the Syrian and Lebanese authorities have yet to inform public opinion of their recent actions, Thierry Meyssan appeared Monday night on the leading Russian television channel to make an initial assessment of the operations, providing first-hand information which he is sharing with the readers of Voltaire Network.
 
For eleven months, the Western powers and the Gulf States have lead a campaign to destabilize Syria. Several thousand mercenaries infiltrated the country. Recruited by agencies in Saudi Arabia and Qatar within the Sunni extremist community, they came to overthrow the “usurper Alawite” Bashar al-Assad and impose a Wahhabi-inspired dictatorship. They have at their disposal the most sophisticated military equipment, including night vision systems, communication centers, and robots for urban warfare. Supported secretly by the NATO powers, they also have access to vital military information, including satellite images of Syrian troop movements, and telephone interceptions.
This has been falsely portrayed to the Western public as a political revolution crushed in blood by a ruthless dictatorship. Of course, this lie has not been universally accepted. Russia, China and the Latin American and Caribbean member states of ALBA repudiate it. They each have a historical background that allows them to readily grasp what is at stake. The Russians are thinking of Chechnya, the Chinese of Xinjiang, and the Latin Americans of Cuba and Nicaragua. In all these cases, beyond ideological or religious appearances, the methods of destabilization by the CIA were the same.

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Group of Syrian government opponents, belonging to the hotchpotch commonly known as “Free Syrian Army.”
The strangest thing about this situation is to observe the Western media deluding themselves that the Salafists, Wahhabis and Al-Qaeda fighters are motivated by democratic principles, while they continue to demand on Saudi and Qatari satellite airwaves the head of the Alawi heretics and the Arab League observers. It matters little if Abdel Hakim Belhaj (number 2 of Al-Qaeda and current military governor of Tripoli, Libya) came personally to install his men in northern Syria, and Ayman Al-Zawahiri (current leader of Al-Qaeda since the official death of Osama bin Laden) has called for a jihad against Syria: the Western press pursues its romantic dream of a liberal revolution. Continue reading

Pentagon plans US-backed war against Syria

By Chris Marsden ( Source: World Socialist )
10 February 2012

The Pentagon has drawn up plans for military intervention in Syria.

A military strike would be coordinated with Turkey, the Gulf States and the NATO powers, according to reports that acknowledge such plans officially for the first time. The plan is described as an “internal review” by Pentagon Central Command, to allow President Barack Obama to maintain the pretense that the White House is still seeking a diplomatic solution.

This is considered vital, as military intervention would most likely be conducted through various Middle East proxies, which the US and NATO could then back with airpower. Turkey and the Arab League states, led by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, do not want to be seen for what they are: stooges of the US. Deniability for them therefore requires the US to conceal the full extent of its involvement.

In the February 6 Financial Times, Anne-Marie Slaughter, a former director of policy planning for the US State Department, argued for “A little time… for continued diplomatic efforts aimed at shifting the allegiances of the Sunni merchant class in Damascus and Aleppo.”

As with the war against Libya last year, military intervention would again be justified citing the “responsibility to protect” civilians. But its real aim is regime change to install a Sunni government beholden to Washington, allied with the Gulf States, and hostile to Iran.

A State Department official told the UK’s Daily Telegraph that “the international community may be forced to ‘militarise’ the crisis in Syria” and that “the debate in Washington has shifted away from diplomacy.”

Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, said, “We are, of course, looking at humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people, and we have for some time.”

The Telegraph noted, “Any plan to supply aid or set up a buffer zone would involve a military dimension to protect aid convoys or vulnerable civilians.”

Leading US political figures have also been calling publicly for the arming of the Free Syrian Army, an exclusively Sunni force stationed in Turkey and backed and funded by Ankara, Riyadh and Doha. They include Joe Lieberman, John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

The issue was discussed this week in Washington directly with the FSA, whose logistical coordinator, Sheikh Zuheir Abassi, took part in a video conference call Wednesday with a US national security think tank.

The US, France, Britain and Arab League are already operating outside the framework of the United Nations as a “Friends of Syria” coalition, in order to bypass the opposition of Russia and China to a Libya-style intervention.

Qatar and Saudi Arabia are known to be arming the FSA and to have their own brigades and advisers on the ground, as they did in Libya.

According to the Israeli intelligence website Debka-File, both British and Qatari special operations units are already “operating with rebel forces under cover in the Syrian city of Homs just 162 kilometers from Damascus… Our sources report the two foreign contingents have set up four centers of operation—in the northern Homs district of Khaldiya, Bab Amro in the east, and Bab Derib and Rastan in the north. Each district is home to about a quarter of a million people.”

But the Gulf States do not have the firepower required to overthrow the Assad regime. For that Turkey is the key player. Debka-File notes in the report that the presence of the British and Qatari troops “was seized on by Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan for the new plan he unveiled to parliament in Ankara Tuesday, Feb. 7. Treating the British-Qatari contingents as the first foreign foot wedged through the Syrian door, his plan hinges on consigning a new Turkish-Arab force to Homs through that door and under the protection of those contingents. Later, they would go to additional flashpoint cities.”

Turkey is publicly debating military intervention based on establishing “safe havens” and “humanitarian aid corridors,” with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu visiting Washington this week after stating that Turkey’s doors are open to Syrian refugees.

Writing in the February 9 New Republic, Soner Cagaptay argues, “Washington’s reluctance to lead an operation may prove a blessing, leaving space for Turkey to take the reins… Turkey would support an air-based intervention to protect UN designated safe havens—as long as the mission is led by a ‘regional force,’ composed of both Turkish and Arab militaries. Qatar and Saudi Arabia, who are funding the opposition, should be happy to work with their new ally in Ankara to protect the safe havens; Washington and European powers could then remotely back the operation, facilitating its success.”

The aim of isolating Iran has become the stated aim of US and Israeli officials, backed by a media campaign prominently involving the liberal press, mixing anti-Iranian sentiment with humanitarian hyperbole professing concern with the fate of Syria’s people.

Efraim Halevy, a former Israeli national security adviser and director of the security service Mossad from 1998 to 2002, wrote in the February 7 New York Times describing Syria as “Iran’s Achilles’ Heel.”

He writes, “Iran’s foothold in Syria enables the mullahs in Tehran to pursue their reckless and violent regional policies—and its presence there must be ended … Once this is achieved, the entire balance of forces in the region would undergo a sea change.”

The New York Times’ British counterpart, The Guardian, entrusts Simon Tisdall with the task of endorsing such anti-Iranian sentiment. He cites favourably Hillary Clinton’s ridiculing of Assad’s claims of foreign intervention in support of the opposition as being “Sadly… fully justified.” Rather, he insists, “The foreign power most actively involved inside Syria is not the US or Britain, France or Turkey. Neither is it Russia, Saudi Arabia nor its Gulf allies. It is Iran—and it is fighting fiercely to maintain the status quo.”

The appalling consequences of an American war against Syria would dwarf those of its Libyan adventure. Syria is only the ante-chamber of a campaign for regime change in Iran and its targeting poses ever more clearly conflict with Russia and possibly China.

Moscow last month sent three warships, including an aircraft carrier, to its only Mediterranean naval base, the Syrian port of Tartus. This followed its blocking of the US, France and UK-backed Arab-League resolution, meant to pave the way for intervention, with the dispatch of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to Damascus for talks with Assad, Tuesday, in a further show of solidarity. Lavrov was accompanied by Mikhail Fradkov, the head of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Office.

Of greater significance still were comments made the following day by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, linking efforts to overthrow Assad with a direct Western threat to the stability of Russia through its support for opposition protests there. “A cult of violence has been coming to the fore in international affairs in the past decade,” he said. “This cannot fail to cause concern… and we must not allow anything like this in our country.”

Qatar builds up anti-Syria Wahhabi army

Abdel Hakim Belhaj is appointed for the anti-Syria mission in Turkey.

Qatar has built up a strong army of hundreds of Wahhabi forces to help overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a new report has revealed.

The forces known as the Free Syrian Army, have 20,000 fighters, and are armed and funded by Qatar, DEBKAfile reported. The Doha-funded army has been mobilized in the form of military battalions and brigades in bases in Syria’s northern neighbor, Turkey.
The measure comes after Qatar was also involved in the ousting of former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, according to the report.

The Qatari and Saudi rulers approved the program for the Qatari chief of staff Major General Hamas Ali al-Attiya to join the anti-Assad army for rapid deployment on the Turkish-Syrian border.
According to the report, so far a total number of 2,500 troops have been recruited. The hard core is made up of 1,000 members of the Islamic Fighting Group in Libya, which fought Gaddafi, and 1,000 operatives of the Ansar al-Sunna, the Iraqi Islamists that reportedly carried out 15 coordinated bomb attacks in Baghdad last Thursday.

Qatar has airlifted the 2,500 troops from Libya and Iraq to the southern Turkish town of Antakya in the border province of Hatay.
The top commander of the anti-Syria mission headquartered in Antakya is Abdel Hakim Belhaj, whose militia seized control of the Libyan capital Tripoli in August.

Qatari officers have set up communication links between the Libyan and Iraqi camps and they are coordinating their operations with the Free Syrian Army since last week.

The Turkish military and its intelligence services are observing the military activities, but they are not interfering. 

The Wahhabi army, funded by Qatar and Saudi Arabia, is silently backed by the US and NATO members, with Turkey in the forefront of this support group.

Syria has been experiencing deadly unrest since mid-March, with demonstrations being held both against and in support of President Assad’s government.

Damascus blames “outlaws, saboteurs and armed terrorist groups” for the unrest, maintaining that it is being orchestrated from abroad.

Source: PressTV