September 17, 2015 “Information Clearing House” – Over recent months the situation in the Mediterranean has served as a dramatic reminder of what the leaders of Europe have tried hard to forget. The Syrian crisis has reached Europe. Although a lot of talk has been made over numbers and percentages of refugees that every country may or may not accept, let’s not forget that behind those numbers and the showy emotionalism of the politicians hides the ugly side of world politics.
The plans to overthrow the “annoying” regimes in the Middle East began at the time when the war hawks of Washington and their European allies prepared the first Iraqi war.
In a 2007 speech, US General Wesley Clark recounted a conversation he had back in 1991 with the then Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz. During that talk, the Secretary told the General that the Pentagon had already drawn plans in order to achieve the change of regimes in Iraq, Syria and Iran. “…We’ve got about 5 or 10 years to clean up those old Soviet regimes – Syria, Iran, Iraq – before the next great superpower comes on to challenge us.”
General Clark went on to reveal that six weeks after the attack on the twin towers in 2001, an official from the Department of Defense told him that the Pentagon had issued a classified document describing the strategy of the USA in order to overthrow the regimes of seven countries in the next five years. The beginning would be made with Iraq, followed by Syria and Lebanon, then Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finally, Iran.
Those claims were confirmed by the former French Minister of Foreign affairs, Roland Dumas when he told aFrench television station that Great Britain used to train and support Syrian rebels at least two years prior to the revolt aiming to overthrow Assad from power.
The money that fuels the war
Between 2006 to 2010, the US spent 12 million dollars in order to support and instigate demonstrations and propaganda against the Syrian government. WikiLeaks released over 7000 secret diplomatic cables that document that funding. The cables revealed that up to 6,3 million dollars was funneled to the Movement for Justice and Development, a Syrian dissident organization based in London. The Movement operated the Barada satellite channel that broadcasted anti-government propaganda in Syria and that played an important part in the 2010-11 anti-Assad protests.
The remaining 6 million were spent by the US in order to support rebels and activists and educate journalists in ways of manipulating the news about the Syrian crisis in a manner that would benefit the rebels. In Aprιl 2011, the spokesman for the State Department, Mark Toner, admitted that the WikiLeaks documents were authentic and he claimed that the US supported several “civil movements in Syria” with “the goal of strengthening freedom of expression”.
In 2012, the French Minister of Foreign affairs, Laurent Fabius, alongside the UK, pushed for a relaxation of the EU arms embargo to Syria to enable “defensive arms to reach opposition fighters”. France was the first European power to recognize the Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces, a coalition of several rebel groups formed in Doha that according to the French president François Hollande, was the “only representative of the Syrian people”. The coalition was also recognized by neighboring Turkey and the Arab League as “the legitimate representative of the Syrian people’s aspirations.”
In December 2012, at a meeting held in Marrakesh, the United States backed the National Coalition as the transitional government of Syria. By that time more than 100 countries, including the European Union, had recognized the Syrian opposition, despite fears that it might be linked to Al Qaeda-related groups. According to the French foreign minister Laurent Fabius, “important” financial contributions were announced at the meeting: Saudi Arabia offered $100 million, the US pledged a further $14m in medical aid and Germany offered $29m.
Two years later, in 2014, French president Hollande, cynically told French media that France was arming and training Syrian rebels, for an unspecified period of time, because “they are the only ones to take part in the democratic process”. In an interview with French daily Le Monde he admitted that France cannot “go it alone” and that there was “a good understanding with Europe and the Americans.”
Indeed there was.
The Libyan connection
Back in September 2012, the US consulate in Benghazi and a CIA base located a mile from the consulate were attacked by local militias. The attacks resulted to the death of four people, including the American ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens.
President Obama and Hillary Clinton were heavily criticized over the lack of security at the consulate and the delayed response.
But the official narrative failed to address some key issues: why the CIA base was attacked and what was the exact role of the consulate in an area partially controlled by local militia?
Officially the consulate’s role was to establish a cultural center and a library in Benghazi. But media reports indicate that the consulate had a much more obscure role.
Soon after the war to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi in Libya began, in February 2011, the CIA set up a base for its spying operations in Benghazi. The CIA base was known as the Annex and according to the Wall Street Journal the sole aim of the consulate was to “provide diplomatic cover to the Annex”.
The Sunday Times of London reported that the United States had been secretly purchasing the stockpiled weapons of Gaddafi — including anti-aircraft SA-7 missiles, anti-tank rounds, rocket-propelled grenades and mortar shells. Via a connection with Middle Eastern countries that were already supporting various opposition groups in Syria some of these weapons were channeled to the rebels.
Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter Seymour Hersh has also revealed that President Obama and the Turkish PM, Erdogan had reached a secret deal in the beginning of 2012. The deal was that the CIA and the British M16 would undertake to move Gaddafi heavy weapons out of Libya and use them to supply the Free Syrian Army; Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar were to provide the funds for this operation that was covered under the auspices of an Australian entity.
It is very likely that most of those weapons ended up in the hands of the Al-Nusra front – an extremist group that is linked to Al Qaeda in Syria. When the US and its European and Middle Eastern allies were channeling heavy weaponry to the rebels in Syria, up to 9 per cent of the Free Syrian Army’s total fighters belonged to the Al Nusra Front. In 2012 Washington Post reported that the jihadist group is growing fast “in part because it has been the most aggressive and successful arm of the rebel force”
Indeed, by 2013, virtually all rebel areas controlled in Syria would be led by jihadists.
The Ghouta massacre
In August 2013, yellow smoke rose over the rebel -controlled suburb of Ghouta near Damascus. A few hours later and the lifeless bodies of 1000 people, including 300 children would be lying in the streets. It was one of the worst sarin attacks in the history of the Syrian civil war.
President Obama accused the Syrian regime for allegedly crossing the ‘red line’ he had set in 2012 on the use of chemical weapons and announced US military intervention in Syria.
However, two days before the planned strike, Obama said that he would seek congressional approval of the intervention.
So what has made the US President to change his mind?
Seymour Hersh presents an alternative narrative to the events: The US intelligence feared that Turkey was supplying sarin gas to rebels’ months before the attack took place. This information was never made public.
Hersh writes that “the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency issued a highly classified five-page “talking points” briefing on June 19th which stated the Syrian rebel group al-Nusra maintained a sarin production cell”. According to the paper “Turkey and Saudi-based chemical facilitators, ‘were attempting to obtain sarin precursors in bulk, tens of kilograms, likely for the anticipated large scale production effort in Syria”.
According to Hersh’s exposé, in 2012 the US intelligence services believed that the rebels would lose the war. This prompted the Turkish national intelligence agency and Gendarmerie, the nation’s paramilitary law enforcement arm, to work with al-Nusra Front in Syria in order to help them built their chemical development. Erdogan allegedly hoped that the use of chemical weapons on Syrian civilians would led to a military response from the United States against Assad.
Hersh’ report has sparked controversy and the New Yorker and Washington Post declined to publish it.
It would take years until the political and military games surrounding the Syrian conflict come to light.
Meanwhile, 4 million Syrians are forced to escape the conflict and over 250.000 people have tried to reach Europe in August 2015. Western countries are willing to grant asylum, but are not willing to stop the actions that fuel the war.
It seems that the bodies of the drowned Syrian children shocked a lot of consciences, but changed no policies.
By Fragkiska Megaloudi
Fragkiska Megaloudi is an independent journalist covering humanitarian stories and news from my home country of Greece.
Originally published at:
This article was first published on August 1, 2010
“It isn’t just conspiracy theorists who are concerned about HAARP. The European Union called the project a global concern and passed a resolution calling for more information on its health and environmental risks. Despite those concerns, officials at HAARP insist the project is nothing more sinister than a radio science research facility.”
– Quote from a TV documentary on HAARP by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).
HAARP (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program) is a little-known, yet critically important U.S. military defense program which has generated quite a bit of controversy over the years in certain circles. Though denied by HAARP officials, some respected researchers allege that secret electromagnetic warfare capabilities of HAARP are designed to forward the US military’s stated goal of achieving full-spectrum dominance by the year 2020. Others go so far as to claim that HAARP can and has been used ...
According to a number of global mainstream media sources, the Pentagon is covering up a disturbing video that was never made public with the rest of the recent torture report.
According to various well respected journalists, including Seymour Hersh, the appalling video was recorded at Abu Ghraib, the notorious US torture dungeon in Iraq that made headlines roughly a decade ago, when the inhumane tactics being used at the prison were exposed.
Sadly, it seems that the evidence released years ago was only scratching the surface.
While the video has remained under wraps thus far, Hersh says it is only a matter of time before it comes out.
Giving a speech at the ACLU last week after the senate torture report was initially released, Hersh gave some insight into what was on the Pentagon’s secret tape.
In the most revealing portion of his speech he said that:
“Debating about it, ummm … Some of the worst things that happened ...
A year ago, at a closed-doors meeting between the USA and EU officials and the leaders of the four major parties of FYROM in Strasbourg, a route map for the resolution of the protracted political crisis was agreed on (or rather imposed). The roots of this political crisis are to be found outside FYROM: it is actually more a confrontation by proxy between “the West”, which supports the opposition, and Russia, which is trying to maintain its influence in the region. In conjunction with the public discontent at government policies and the escalating corruption, the negotiations have contributed to sharpening the crisis, which has become acute.
The route map imposed on the closed-doors meeting between US representatives and the EU and local political leaders was supposed to lead to elections in April 2016. But the elections were postponed to 5th June 2016, in order to be “better prepared”. As it turned ...
Since the end of the Cold War, the United States of America has systematically violated the prohibition against the threat or use of force contained in the UN Charter and the Kellogg Briand Pact. It has carved out a regime of impunity for its crimes based on its UN Security Council veto, non-recognition of international courts and sophisticated "information warfare" that undermines the rule of law with political justifications for otherwise illegal threats and uses of force.
Former Nuremberg prosecutor Benjamin B. Ferencz has compared current U.S. policy to the illegal German "preemptive first strike" policy for which senior German officials were convicted of aggression at Nuremberg and sentenced to death by hanging.
In 2002, the late U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy described post-September 11th U.S. doctrine as "a call for 21st century American imperialism that no other nation can or should accept." And yet the U.S. government has succeeded in assembling alliances ...
Author’s note and Update
The following article was first published in September 2014 at the outset of the air campaign “against the ISIS”. In recent developments Russia has officially joined the campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS). What are the implications?
Amply documented but rarely mentioned in news reports, the ISIS is a creation of US intelligence, recruited, trained and financed by the US and its allies including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Israel and Jordan.
What this means is that the ISIS terrorists are the foot soldiers of the Western alliance. While America claims to be targeting the ISIS, in reality it is protecting the ISIS. The air campaign is intent upon destroying Syria and Iraq rather than “going after the terrorists”.
But now Russia is involved in the campaign against the ISIS in coordination with the Syrian and Iraqi governments.
What does that mean? The official story is that Russia supports America’s resolve to fight the terrorists. It’s all for a good cause.
In reality, ...
Miloš Zeman said in an interview for the Serbian newspaper Večernje novosti, that recognition of Kosovo’s independence has opened a Pandora’s Box and called the Kosovo deputy Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi a war criminal.
Zeman, among other things, confirmed that he will travel to Moscow for the celebrations of the end of the Second World War because the Soviet army liberated most of the former Czechoslovakia.
The Czech president has openly expressed himself on Kosovo in the past, for example he labeled the country a very strange state with a strong narco-mafia influence.
This article originally appeared at Hospodářské Noviny. Translated for RI by Anthony Grulich
The recognition of the independence of Kosovo has opened up a Pandora’s Box and unleashed a dangerous process of redrawing borders around the world said Czech president Miloš Zeman in an interview published by the Serbian newspaper Večernje novosti. He reiterated that he himself did not recognize the independence of Kosovo and called ...
The facile and indiscriminate use of the term fascism has led to a widespread misunderstanding and misuse of its meaning. Asked to define fascism, most people would respond in terms such as dictatorship, anti-Semitism, mass hysteria, efficient propaganda machine, mesmerizing oratory of a psychopathic leader, and the like.
Such a pervasive misconception of the meaning of the term fascism is not altogether fortuitous. It is largely because of a longstanding utilitarian misrepresentation of the term. Fascism is deliberately obfuscated in order to sanitize capitalism. Ideologues, theorists and opinion-makers of capitalism have systematically shifted the systemic sins of fascism from market/capitalist failures to individual or personal failures.
Thus, the origins, the rise and the ravages of the classic European fascism are blamed largely on Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, not the socio-economic circumstances that gave rise to those instrumentally “useful” characters. An obvious flaw of this interpretation of fascism is that it cannot ...
This article by Dr. Jacques Pauwels was published six years ago.
In the current context, the US is threatening to wage a preemptive nuclear war against Russia, which possesses a vast arsenal of nuclear weapons. Hillary Clinton has confirmed that “nukes are on the table” and she intends to use them if she becomes president. We need to defend ourselves against Russia, Iran, North Korea and China. Her solution is to blow up the planet.
World War II ended in Mushroom Clouds.
If Hillary decides to wage a preemptive nuclear war on Russia, World War III would commence with mushroom clouds.
How would World War III end. Would it have an ending?
In the words of Fidel Castro, “the collateral damage” of a nuclear war in the present context would be humanity in its entirety.
The threat is real: the US contemplates waging war war on Russia, which is tantamount to waging war on the World.
The conditionality of the Soviet Union’s agreement to allow East Germany to be taken by West Germany and for the Cold War to end, was that NATO would not expand «one inch to the east». This was the agreement that was approved by the Russian President of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, a great man and a subsequent hero to democrats around the world.
He agreed then to end the Soviet Union and abandon communism and thus to end the entire Cold War; he agreed to this because he had been promised that NATO would expand not «one inch to the east,» or «one inch eastward,» depending upon how the promise was translated and understood — but it has the same meaning, no matter how it was translated. He trusted American President George Herbert Walker Bush, whose friend and Secretary of State James Baker made this promise to Gorbachev. With this ...
We all know how the story goes. The Golan Heights is Syrian territory that has been occupied by Israel since the 1967 Six-Day War. It was then controversially annexed in 1981, despite the UN calling the efforts “null”, “void” and “without international legal effect”. Today it is still internationally and legally recognised as Syrian land, but Israel persists with its possession.
Of course, such persistence can prove to be quite lucrative when the land is abundant in resources – especially land as fertile as the Syrian Golan – a generous source of gushing waters and game changing oil reserves.
In fact, the Golan Heights contributes a quenching one-third of Israel’s entire water supply. Its catchments leading to the Jordan River and Lake Kinneret – Israel’s main water source – receive long bouts of heavy rainfall, particularly during the colder months and occasionally during stormy season in the summer.
But the Golan Heights does ...
A hegemonic power never says sorry.
Three recent episodes underscore this truism.
When US President Barack Obama offered a floral wreath at the cenotaph of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park on 27 May 2016, some peace advocates in the United States, in Japan and in other parts of the world hoped against hope that he would say “sorry” for the Atom bomb that the then US President, Harry Truman, had ordered to be dropped over Hiroshima on the 6th of August 1945. The deadly bomb claimed 140,000 lives. Three days later a second Atom bomb destroyed the city of Nagasaki killing another 80,000.
There is a view advanced by a number of scholars and activists that based upon documentary analysis Japan had already indicated to the US Military Command in the Pacific a couple of months before 6th August that it was prepared to surrender if there were some safeguards for the position ...
Andrew Bacevich has written a series of books on the topic of U.S. imperialism and U.S. military power. His latest work, America’s War for the Greater Middle East [the GME War] is the latest in this series and as with the previous works is clearly written and logically presented. It covers more narrowly than the previous works the military aspects of U.S. military endeavours in the Middle East (greater – as in including East Africa and Afghanistan et al). Generally he succeeds well and this work is a good ‘primer’ for anyone interested in a quick historical overview of U.S. military actions in the region.
However it is not one of his better works, and perhaps that is because of the narrowness of focus and the resulting tie ins that could have been made and that without do not provide a perspective of this war amongst all the other wars instigated ...
Exclusive: Few Americans understand the ugly history behind the Nazi-affiliated movements that have gained substantial power in today’s U.S.-backed Ukrainian regime. Western propaganda has made these right-wing extremists the “good guys” versus the Russian “bad guys,” as Jonathan Marshall explains.
By Jonathan Marshall
The latest issue of Foreign Policy magazine, one of the leading journals in its field, offers a two-page photo essay on “what to see, do, and buy” in Lviv, a picturesque city in the Western Ukraine. “Amid the turmoil that has rocked Ukraine over the past two years,” the article gushes, “Lviv has stood firmly as a stronghold of national culture, language, and identity.”
That’s one way of putting it. Another, less charitable way would be to note that Lviv has for nearly a century been a breeding ground of extreme Ukrainian nationalism, spawning terrorist movements, rabid anti-Semitism, and outright pro-Nazi political organizations that continue to pollute the country’s politics.
Sen. John ...
Let’s imagine for just a moment that a people was forcibly dispossessed of its homeland.
Let’s imagine that a portion of this people had rotted in refugee camps for some seven decades while others had lived under a brutal military occupation for almost five decades.
Let’s imagine that the people living under this military occupation were systematically tortured, abused, stolen from, and prevented from exercising their most basic and universally ratified human and political rights.
Let’s imagine that for nearly a decade, a part of this people was placed under an inhuman and illegal siege that brought about the complete collapse of their already desperate economy, and rendered their environment borderline unfit for human inhabitation.
Let’s imagine that, on top of the expulsion, military occupation, and inhuman and illegal siege, these people suffered periodic massacres, the most recent of which killed more than 2,200 people, including 550 children, and destroyed or rendered uninhabitable fully 18,000 homes.
Let’s imagine ...
A complex geopolitical situation in the region forces the Baltic States and their NATO allies to take unprecedented efforts to increase defence capabilities to counter potential aggressors. A new Lithuanian military strategy approved in March describes Russia actions along with terrorism as the main threats for the security of Lithuania, as reported by Delfi.
Unfortunately for pacifists, the Alliance and Russia today are arming and demonstrating their military power. They constantly compare their armed forces' strength and capabilities, conduct large-scale military exercises, respond to each other by deploying new contingents and military equipment closer and closer to the NATO-Russian border.
The Baltic States have become such a border.
Moscow has placed Iskander-M launchers in Kaliningrad. The Russian Iskander is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and has never been made available to any foreign army for operational use. The weapon affords Russia the ability to use its Baltic exclave to threaten US missile ...
The following timeline describes just a few of the hundreds of atrocities and crimes committed by the CIA. (1)
CIA operations follow the same recurring script. First, American business interests abroad are threatened by a popular or democratically elected leader. The people support their leader because he intends to conduct land reform, strengthen unions, redistribute wealth, nationalize foreign-owned industry, and regulate business to protect workers, consumers and the environment. So, on behalf of American business, and often with their help, the CIA mobilizes the opposition. First it identifies right-wing groups within the country (usually the military), and offers them a deal: “We’ll put you in power if you maintain a favorable business climate for us.” The Agency then hires, trains and works with them to overthrow the existing government (usually a democracy). It uses every trick in the book: propaganda, stuffed ballot boxes, purchased elections, extortion, blackmail, sexual intrigue, false stories ...
“There was no battle and no resistance (and no Egyptians). The first conquerors killed from eighty to a hundred Arabs [including] women and children. The children were killed by smashing of their skulls with sticks. Is it possible to shout about Deir Yassin and be silent about something much worse?” For the first time ever, a letter quoting one of the Israeli soldiers who were part of the Al-Dawayima massacre in October 1948 is published in full.
On Friday, February 5th 2016, Haaretz published an article in Hebrew by Israeli historian Yair Auron, which covers one of the biggest massacres of 1948. The massacre is of Al Dawayima, west of Al-Khalil (which is often referred to as Hebron). In a 2004 interview with Haaretz, Israeli historian Benny Morris refers to this as a massacre of “hundreds”.
After the massacre, a letter was sent to the editor of the leftist affiliated newspaper Al-Hamishmar, but ...
Historically and intuitively, Russia has fought for the survival of humanity. Of course, things are not always pronounced or defined in such terms. However, already on several occasions, this enormous country has stood up against the most mighty and evil forces that have threatened the very survival of our Planet.
During the Second World War, the Soviet people, mainly Russians, sacrificed at least 25 million men, women and children, in the end defeating Nazism. No other country in modern history has undergone more.
Right after that victory, Russia, alongside China and later Cuba, embarked on the most awesome and noble project of all times: the systematic dismantling of Western colonialism. All over the world oppressed masses stood up against European and North American imperialist barbarity, and it was the Soviet Union that was ready to give them a beacon of hope, as well as substantial financial, ideological and military support.
As one oppressed ...
Donald Trump certainly lies more often, and sometimes for the most trivial or ego-driven reasons. But presidential prevaricating is a common tactic dating back to the nation’s early days.
After escalated provocations with Mexico until he obtained the necessary pretext in 1846, President James Polk announced, “War exists,” thus explaining away how it really happened. After defeating Spain, William McKinley said he wanted to “uplift and civilize and Christianize” the Filipinos, and “by God’s grace do the very best we could by them.” But they’d already declared independence, so doing the “best” actually meant allowing the worst — killing and burning villages during a 12-year war of resistance.
In 1947, Harry Truman (image right) wanted to “assist free peoples to work out their own destinies in their own way.” But the pledge didn’t stop him from approving CIA manipulation of elections in Greece and Italy. And when asked about a US operation ...
USAID is spending $300,000 to fight traditional Christian morality in the Republic of Macedonia (a href=”http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-367912520/stock-photo-puzzle-with-the-national-flag-of-macedonia-and-dollar-banknote-concept.html?src=1NQf52M43o22eQ682DptgQ-1-66″>esfera/Shutterstock).
A reader passes along a government document putting out bids for a contract. Here’s the top of the document:
Apparently the (former Yugoslav) Republic of Macedonia, a small Balkan nation that emerged from the breakup of Yugoslavia, is insufficiently progressive on LGBT issues. So the American government is spending $300,000 to undermine the traditional Orthodox Christian culture of the country. Excerpts from the document (emphases mine):
Macedonia has ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Human Rights Convention. Through ratification of these human rights treaties, Macedonia has assumed obligations and duties under international law to respect, to protect, and to fulfil human rights. Despite the adoption of international human rights principles, which are incorporated in domestic legislation, Macedonia has made little progress towards meeting European Union criteria in strengthening the rule of law and respect for human rights according ...
HAARP: Secret Weapon Used For Weather Modification, Electromagnetic Warfare
Classified Evidence: US Soldiers Raped Boys In Front Of Their Mothers
West Rules Macedonia (FYROM) as a US-EU Protectorate, To Put A Check on Russian Influence in the Balkans
Appeal from U.S. to World: Help Us Resist U.S. Crimes
“Going After” the Islamic State. Guess Who is Behind the Caliphate Project?
Czech President Zeman: Deputy PM of Kosovo is a war criminal
Distorting Fascism to Sanitize Capitalism
Why World War II ended with Mushroom Clouds
How America Double-Crossed Russia and Shamed West
The Occupied Golan Heights: How Israel Thrives from Syria’s Natural Resources
Hiroshima, Vietnam, Cuba: A Hegemonic Power Never Says Sorry…
America’s War for the Greater Middle East – A Military History
Nazi Roots of Ukraine’s Conflict
Nuclear weapons in Lithuania: Defence against Russia or target for terrorists?
A Timeline Of CIA Atrocities (Up To 1993)
‘Barbarism by an educated and cultured people’ — Dawayima massacre was worse than Deir Yassin
Why The West Can Never Defeat Or “Forgive” Russia
U.S. Presidential Lying Is Nothing New
America’s Culture War Mercenaries
Categories: CIA, Islamic State, USA
Tags: CIA, Syria, West