Death in Syria 95


The killings of Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik are deeply sad, as are the killings of all those millions of innocents who have died in the conflicts of the last decade whose names do not get such global sympathy. That is not to decry the sympathy; the world needs more of it, not less.

The Assad rule of Syria is brutal and it would be good if it were to end. There is no doubt the indiscriminate nature of the bombardment of Homs is vicious and wrong. But the same was true of the NATO destruction of Sirte. The idea that the answer to such deaths is to intensify the killing to a more industrial scale is crazed. The deliberate escalation of civil war in order to back a new winning side to gain leverage over economic resources appears to be the new standard method of advancing the interests of ruling western elites.

The truth is that Gadaffi was awful, but the life of ordinary Libyans is no better for the war, death and destruction and there is no practical improvement in human rights – indeed an awful lot more arbitrary rule, rape, brutalisation and killing by armed militias.

Life in Iraq is materially still massively worse than under the awful Saddam Hussain. The doctrine of “liberal intervention” is a screen for resource grab. The fact its practical effects on the countries upon whose inhabitants the necessary death – or “creative destruction” in the words of imperialist propagandist Niall Fergusson – is rained, are the opposite of those claimed, is hidden by the media simply declaring “Mission accomplished” and moving on. The awfulness of everyday life today in Iraq and Libya is not shown.

I hope Syrians can save themselves from their own government, their own militias, and above all from the awesome death-dealing of NATO.


95 thoughts on “Death in Syria

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  • Freeborn

    Syria is a mosaic of ethnic and religious groups. In such a situation the strategy of tension or arc of crisis geo-srtategic planners of the US, UK, Israel and their Zionist fellow-travellers can subvert and impose puppet regimes of their choice.

    Webster Tarpley has been in various Syrian cities and the picture of the current state of Syria he describes is utterly at odds with that depicted by the Zionist and gatekeeper media sources:

    http://www.voltairenet.org/Webster-Tarpley-from-Damascus-CIA

  • ingo

    well spoken Writerman and Courtenay. So what can we do about Leviathan and his political marionettes around the world. They want war and steal others resources by force, threaten those who dare to make a pitch for whats theirs by right and pervert our weak electoral system.

    Apathy and utter disinterest in politics is ensuring their reign, so are we wasting our time even trying? what chances has a progressive new idea/political party got in these days of our BBC ministry of information?
    The answer lies in decentralised politics, regional removable leaders, a more open system of Government and local accountable taxation. Although our human capacity to make the same mistakes locally, as are made centrally, always exists, but, the difference would be that they are our local mistakes and that we can re-call those who made them.
    Taking politics away from an easily nobbled centre and keeping companies in check would mean to trash the WHO and its trade rounds, comprehensively, because the playing field has to be curtailed for these giants and nationalisation works just fine here, you can remove their markets at a stoke, minimise the overwhelming choice we have been presented with under the disguise of ‘competition’, ask they to site here to sell here, or leave, and we can stipulate a set of social responsibilities, but as Clark so rightly said yesterday, you can provide the water lead the horses to it, but whether they will drink is another question, the public might not be with us on radical change, too much salt on the butter, still, they would not understand why such a move is necessarry.

  • willyrobinson

    Good nuanced article, but it’s a tough question and I can’t agree with everything.
    .
    If I was Libyan, would I be finding life harder now after Gadaffi? probably. Would I have any doubts that “humanitarian protection” was not the NATO mission in Libya? None. But, would I have done anything differently or wished for non-intervention?…very hard to say.
    .
    Craig, I know it’s impossible, but if the country in question was Karimov’s Uzbekistan, would you feel the same way about intervention? Yes, the REASONS for any intervention would be the same (greed, control), but would you not give a people under a dire government this slim chance of improvement?
    .
    I’m in no way sure myself. I am largely in agreement with you, but when my Syrian friends pray for intervention as the least bad option, any argument about global neo-colonialism seem cold and even callous.

  • Clark

    Ingo, yes, we desperately need local accountability, but we also need stronger government at the global level. International law is defied quite routinely. Little islands of partial democracy within a system dominated by money and raw power is inadequate. Even if we secure true democracy locally, local organisations will be too small to control global corporations, some of which already have profits in excess of some smaller countries’ entire economies. With the help of the corrupt “globalisation” trade treaties, this situation is getting steadily worse.
    .
    Some may disagree, and fear the power of global government as the dreaded “New World Order”. I share these concerns, but point out that power loves to find a vacuum, because a vacuum provides no resistance as power moves in and occupies that gap in the structure.

  • Neil Saunders

    I could not agree more with Freeborn above and would just suggest a look at the last posting on the Baghdad Burning blog of 2007. Oh what we can do in just four short years.
    Destruction, destruction + death everywhere, the writing of your new history where you learn from us and have no passt which we have any repssect for. Now was that not the Khmer Rouge or are the Saudi Wahabists / Salafists their reincarnation.

  • Freeborn

    The US UK France Israel NATO-EU have used the same devastatingly effective destruction+death+destabilization+sanctions template in the Middle East for decades now.

    The idea that powers hijacked by the Zionist central banking cabal centuries ago have the interests of the Syrian people at heart is absurdly deluded.

    WW3 is the only way out of the financial crisis for central bankers before they are unmasked. It’s worked before and it’ll probably work again.

  • Mary

    Is there a care home for these double acts on BBC News 24 when they retire who have spent their lives spouting lies and propaganda? Surely they must go off their trollies eventually?
    .
    Did you hear the shrill Shillary from Tunisia saying that Assad must be ‘toppled’ and castigating Russsia and China again? These days she is rivalling Madeleine Albright and the only omission was a reference to dead babies in incubators.
    .
    ‘US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton slated Russia and China as “despicable” for opposing UN action on Syria. The two nations were not in attendance at the Friends of Syria meeting in Tunisia, and earlier this month both voted against a UN resolution condemning the violence.
    .
    Speaking after the conference, Mrs Clinton said: “It’s quite distressing to see two permanent members of the Security Council using their veto while people are being murdered – women, children, brave young men – houses are being destroyed.
    .
    “It is just despicable and I ask whose side are they on? They are clearly not on the side of the Syrian people.”‘

    http://news.sky.com/home/world-news/article/16176733
    .
    PS Of course she and her cabal in Washington have never had any blood on their hands.

  • DownWithThisSortOfThing

    If I was Libyan, would I be finding life harder now after Gadaffi?
    .
    Probably, especially now that the US has just announced sanctions on Libya are to remain for another year because of ‘security concerns’.

  • Passerby

    DownWithThisSortOfThing,
    There is no business like sanctions business, …….
    More like extortion and racketeering that is made acceptable by a change of label to “sanctions”.
    ,
    The billions of Qaddafi are serving their rightful owners; Goldman Sachs et al.

  • Joe

    There is no option for the people of Syria to be independent of their government and NATO control. It’s one or the other. Clearly they are better off under Assad. Also, you may be repeating mainstream propaganda about “indiscriminate shelling of Homs”. This is as much a propaganda war as one waged by NATO’s ‘al-qaeda’ hired guns.

  • Njegos

    Mary –

    Hyprocrite Hilary is a thoroughly disgusting woman. Hardly surprising when you consider that her mentor was Madeleine “Half a Million Dead Iraqi Children are Worth the Price of Sanctions” Albright.

    I have lost count of American vetoes against resolutions condemning Israeli intransigence and barbarity. I hope that Assad prevails not because I think he is necessarily the best thing for Syria but removing him will clear the way for an attack on Iran. That being said, Assad is definitely preferable to what Washington and Israel have in mind for Syria.

    Meanwhile, the situation in Afghanistan reminds me increasingly of the last days of the war in Vietnam:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-17165410

    I love the way anyone who attacks NATO is a “coward”.

  • Fedup

    Joe,
    The proceedings of the “Friends of Syria” were broadcast live in Syria, although with the captions identifying the traitors and their pay masters, which is purely a dictatorial ploy. The Syrian population were left in no doubts as to who the mercenaries are serving and why do they wish to topple Assad on their mission to sell out Syria and those Syrians who thought of political reform could bode well for their futures.
    ,
    ,
    ,
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    Njegos
    I love the way anyone who attacks NATO is a “coward”.
    ,
    These days self defence is an illegal pursuit, and is classified as crimes against humanity, dunchyou know?

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Wrt Craig original post, have you noticed on social networks, the legions of ‘HMV’ people, from various pertinent diasporas, often educated at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies)/Oxbridge/Ivy League (though one acknowledges that there are also many from these institutions who would disagree with them) who seem to emerge and – either simplistically or else with complexity – basically act as a chorus for the actions of the USA/UK/NATO et al – even when their supposed ‘liberalism’ simultaneously entails backing Saudi Arabia (which of course, in this dynamic is a USA/UK/NATO stooge). In Afghanistan, their argument seems to be, “Access to clean water, girls at school”, etc., while in Syria and Libya they could use that argument so it’s “absence of civil and political life and the presence of a secret police”. Yet one way or another, they always seems to end up backing Western-Western-backed attacks on ‘Third World’ countries. They intone, “… except Iraq”, yet I don’t remember hearing from these people during the invasion of Iraq.
    .

    If one iterates one’s opposition to their views on these matters and points out the presence of several elephants in the sitting-room, one immediately tends to be branded as either “a closet Islamist” or else, (here’s a new one) “a deluded, counter-revolutionary Leftist”. Yet the irony is, it is the West which currently is arming Islamist paramilitaries across the Middle East (and that seems to be entirely acceptable to these people). No doubt, they would’ve said the same thing during the 1980s wrt Afghanistan. And in essence, THAT is what led to ‘girls not going to school in Afghanistan, lack of clean water’, etc.
    .

    Yet, hilariously, they often tend to describe that as , “a mistake” and lay the blame solely at Pakistan’s door. Excuse me? The USA crows about how cleverly it vanquished the USSR, partly via the Afghan War of the 1980s; they cannot simultaneously claim that it was a mistake. No, it was very deliberate policy – as it is, now. These now are resource wars, proxy wars against Iran and, in the broader context, against Russia/China. Hague was wrong about a new Cold War; in fact, he and his buddies have started a new Hot War. Congratulations.

  • Mary

    These HMV types are embedded in most of the neo-liberal and right wing think tanks too Suhayl.

    .
    Did you hear the nonsense being put out about the demolition of Osama Bin Laden’s compound?
    .
    Located in the Fiction Section on the BBC website.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-17165800

    .
    PS The little dog in the His Master’s Voice logo was called Nipper.
    {http://www.newco81-design.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/hmv221.jpg}

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Now, Syria is having a referendum – something the Greeks were denied – on whether to end one-party rule and limit presidential terms and on having multiple parties and on a new constitution. The referendum has been brought forward and promises elections in 90 days. And yet, predictably, the ‘opposition’ is having none of it. If you read b/w the lines in (or rather, read it in a mirror) this Sky news report, you may be able to detect something of what might be the truth.
    .
    uk.news.yahoo.com/deadly-reality-syrias-referendum-day-172203844.html
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    intifada-palestine.com/2012/02/independent-report-contradicts-western-portrait-of-syria/
    .
    counterpunch.org/2012/02/17/china-steps-up-in-syria/
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    rcnetwork.net/Syria/
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    The rcn material provides an alternative view to that being dished-up by the mainstream Western media. Note the strapline: ‘US may offer military aid to Syrian opposition’. Ho, ho, ho! Santa Claus is coming to town! You mean, that’s not already happening?!!

  • Passerby

    Suhayl Saadi said: “Syria is having a referendum”
    ,
    No small thanks to China, Russia, and Iran. If it were not for these the “International community” (euphemism for US and toadies) by now had Libyaed the joint to kingdom come.
    ,
    The “Syrian Free Army” was pleading with the NATO to enforce a no fly zone on Syria, and let them (FSA) kill maim and destroy their way into power. In fact a pretty swift package appearing on al jazeera, was broadcast soon after the UN veto, in which one of the head honchos of FSA sitting in Saudi declared; “now Russians are our enemies too” in a pretty animated and angry fashion.
    ,
    The pusillanimous Qatari foreign minister had the temerity to threaten the Russian ambassador to UN; “I warn you against any veto on the crisis in Syria, Russia has to accept the UN decision, otherwise face the consequences .. ”
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    To which Vitaly churkin had replied; you speak to me again in this fashion. there will not be a Qatar left for you to go back to.
    ,
    ,
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    As for the poor bastards in Greece, they are being encouraged to leave the Euro, after accruing billions more in debt. No one to help the Greeks, they have been left to the vultures.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Note this from a book about the Aldo Moro murder. Note the phrase, ” ‘parallel’ military forces connected with NATO…” Ah, they are old hands at this type of operation!
    .
    From the mid-1970s, the CIA/NATO effectively ran the Red Brigades and much else covert activity in Italy. The theory is that Aldo Moro was murdered because he was the leading exponent of the Christian Democratic Party and the Communists reaching an historic accord and so he had to be got rid of because the CIA/NATO did not want Communists in the Govt of Italy. Much of their Cold War policy in Italy was aimed at preventing that eventuality. Moro also knew all about the CIA/NATO’s activities in his country and had become (in their eyes) unreliable – in essence, a whistleblower-with-power. As we know, people have been killed for far less.
    .
    I introduce this subject here simply to illustrate that NATO/CIA et al are often behind political events and to foreground the likelihood that right now, they are arming the ‘rebels’ in Syria via covert ops, yet again directly destablising a sovereign country.
    .
    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=rUohGOGzQ9cC&pg=PA217&lpg=PA217&dq=Mario+Moretti,+spy&source=bl&ots=whrithSigV&sig=n6XxmG4w8uBa-VKE3bWTxTRuZzc&hl=en&sa=X&ei=_JZOT7vuNuHX0QWA-60n&ved=0CCkQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Readers here will know about this, so I’m likely to be preaching to the converted. But this is a good essay on the subject. It was, of course, all over Wetsren Europe, not just in Italy. Coups, terrorist attacks, the lot. All done by the CIA/MI6 and their corresponding bodies across Europe. All done simply to prevent the rise of the Left:
    .
    http://www.geopoliticalmonitor.com/operation-gladio-and-nato-terrorism/
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    Now, where do you suppose all that immense skill and experience have gone? Answer: Right now, it is likely to be focussed on the Middle East.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Furthermore, one begins to suspect that Islamist extremism in the West (and mayeb elsewhere too), one way or another (i.e. either directly or through local intelligence services) is being run by the same forces. After all, if, in 1977, one had suggested that the CIA were running the Red Brigades and neofascist terrorist cells in Italy and many other terrorist outfits (Left and Right) across Europe, one would have been laughed at as being paranoid.
    .
    In other words, I think it entirely possible that the caricature ‘preachers’ are being run by MI5/6.
    .
    Any takers for this idea – not exactly an original one? Any concrete evidence? Feel free to supply it, right here.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    The excellent Wikispooks site has the full document of the Aab League Observer group here – see link. The full contents of this report have been suppressed – not discussed – by the Western MSM. See, for example, this quote:
    .
    “On being assigned to their zones and starting work, the observers witnessed acts of violence
    perpetrated by Government forces and an exchange of gunfire with armed elements in Homs and Hama. As a
    result of the Mission’s insistence on a complete end to violence and the withdrawal of Army vehicles and
    equipment, this problem has receded. The most recent reports of the Mission point to a considerable calming of
    the situation and restraint on the part of those forces.
    .
    26. In Homs and Dera‘a, the Mission observed armed groups committing acts of violence against
    Government forces, resulting in death and injury among their ranks. In certain situations, Government forces
    responded to attacks against their personnel with force. The observers noted that some of the armed groups
    were using flares and armour-piercing projectiles.
    .
    27. In Homs, Idlib and Hama, the Observer Mission witnessed acts of violence being committed against
    Government forces and civilians that resulted in several deaths and injuries. Examples of those acts include the
    bombing of a civilian bus, killing eight persons and injuring others, including women and children, and the
    bombing of a train carrying diesel oil. In another incident in Homs, a police bus was blown up, killing two
    police officers. A fuel pipeline and some small bridges were also bombed.
    .
    28. The Mission noted that many parties falsely reported that explosions or violence had occurred in
    several locations. When the observers went to those locations, they found that those reports were unfounded.
    .
    29. The Mission also noted that, according to its teams in the field, the media exaggerated the nature of the
    incidents and the number of persons killed in incidents and protests in certain towns.
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    Here’s the link:
    .
    wikispooks.com/w/images/8/8b/Report_of_Arab_League_Observer_Mission.pdf

  • Suhayl Saadi

    To Mods: Please remove duplicate post, above – sorry – and put it on a Lambretta to Brighton!
    .
    [Mod: Comment removed. Hire of Lambretta and rider too expensive, couldn’t afford enough poppers.]

  • Passerby

    Suhayl Saadi
    Absolutely hitting the nail on the head.
    ,
    However; pop this in your percolator and see what is brewed;
    Do you recollect a long speech given by Assad in which he attacked: those power brokers, who think they deal in power…….
    ,
    This speech was made a a year or two ago, so Assad had been approached long before and his assignment haded to him. His refusal, and subsequent maintenance of his independent course of action (from US) obviously have yielded the current situation.
    ,
    This speech was made in Arabic and I have tried to find its transcript in English and sorry to say that I have failed to do so.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Thanks, Passerby. Unfortunately, I don’t know Arabic. You’re right that it would be really good to find a (proper) translation of the speech. Fascinating. Can you give us a link, Passerby and then can anyone who does know Arabic give us a synposis of what Assad said?

  • Fedup

    Suhayl Saadi
    Any takers for this idea – not exactly an original one? Any concrete evidence? Feel free to supply it, right here.
    ,
    Operation Gladio has been a milestone in the black ops. Furthermore, given the long history of creating and maintaining a supposed bunch of “extremists” it is certainly a strong probability given that Al Qaeda is a reference to a data base.
    ,
    Those fluent in Arabic would know the semantics associated with Qaeda which could also mean bottom, and its derivative anus. Arabs always like to associate themselves with the lions, and hawks, and their tough guys like to call themselves: lions of the desert, Hawks of the river bend, and other association with other exotic animals, so to find a bunch of Arab tough guys calling themselves; arseholes of the river bend is a bit of a surprise to say the least.
    ,
    However those familiar with English will know that “Q” is a scary letter, hence the q of Bond, James Bond (as Sean Cannery pronounces), the very clever and sinister, evil genius. The guttural and strange pronunciation of Q also helps the weak of bladder to wet themselves, and the weak of resolve to leave the lights on when they go to sleep, basically qualifying for the scaring the dickens out of the punters just fine. Hence the name al Qaeda and its choice could have only been arrived at in the smoke filled rooms somewhere in US/UK.
    ,
    The nulabour operatives exploited this scary angle along with the Bu$hites to the full effect. Do you recollect the little pamphlet that was suppose to keep you safe and advised everyone to go and buy some plastic sheeting from B & Q, until an unemployed woman on benefits on the TV kicked up a storm with her statement; “I, and others on benefits cannot afford to buy these items and the government ought to help us and provide for us the plastic sheeting etc.”
    ,
    Nonetheless the fact that Sheikh Omar Bakri fortuitously happened to get the hell of Dodge before the sheriff and his posse caught up with him, as well as the timely disappearance of the Anwar Awlaki to Yemen indicate these boys at least were blessed with special sort of a luck that only branch out for certain kind of messengers/snitches.
    ,
    So you are correct in your assumption, the only fact we can truly count on is; the “media” have been lying their arse off, based on these getting briefed by the lying bastards in the positions of the leadership.
    ,
    PS Did you notice the 7/7 double-decker bus involved in the explosion on the wrong street that it should not have been on, and its sides blown out in sort of billboard advert fashion sporting “War of the Worlds” movie advert? That kind of coincidence or attention to detail is somewhat unsettling, won’t you agree?

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