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The Bitter Truth Behind the Syrian Crisis

Paul Craig Roberts recently suggested an archly apt bumper sticker: “Be nice to America or we will bring democracy to your country.”

Our government does not bring democracy to countries. Raise your hand if you are naive enough to believe it does. Especially after the Iraq and Afghanistan wars were launched (still ongoing). Those two countries are two of the five most corrupt countries in the world thanks to our craven "involvement" -- involvement a profoundly understating word.

What is going on in Syria should have our media and our citizenry paying close and suspicious attention to the war-mongering, corporate agenda-ed violence our government has continued to perpetrate and to hypocritically “spin” “spin” “spin” excuses for. You would think we would have learned. Apparently not. Thousands of human beings are being killed in Syria now, thousands of human beings are being displaced once again, many refugees from Iraq who have survived war insanity thanks to us already and now have to endure more horrors. There should be REAL compassion and empathy for these people. Attention to this fresh hell. The real REALITY of this fresh hell.

Daniel McAdams in "America's Syrian Jihad":

Anyone really paying attention to US policy in the Middle East these past several months must be wondering whether Washington has gone insane. US foreign policy under the triple threat of Susan Rice, Samantha Power, and Hillary Clinton has gone to openly supporting what the German intelligence services (echoed in several prominent and panicked mainstream German media sources) have found to be predominantly al-Qaeda-backed terrorist attacks inside Syria. Americans can be forgiven for scratching their heads at the reality that the United States government is actively supporting in Syria what it has spent the last eleven years fighting just a few thousand miles away in Afghanistan.


"The Vatican has received reports deemed credible that Sunni rebels financed by Qatar were attacking churches and ordering Christians to leave their homes.

"The reports, which stemmed from leading Catholic clerics, said the most threatened were Christians in rebel-held areas of Syria.

"'The picture for us is utter desolation,' Bishop Philip Tournyol Clos, a Greek Catholic cleric, said.


"The bishop, who holds the title of archimandrite, said a leading church in Syria, Mar Islamic jihadists backed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar and, as we now know, supported by the US from a secret base in Turkey, have laid siege to the largest Syrian city, Aleppo, forcing the population to flee in terror.


Sadly under US schizophrenic foreign policy "democracy is what we say it is," so because those three million residents of Aleppo who turned out to the streets in support of Assad are not favored by the US, they do not count as legitimate democratic voices.

Patrick Seale laments the crisis in Syria:

Once one of the most solid states in the Middle East and a key pivot of the regional power structure, Syria is now facing wholesale destruction. The consequences of the unfolding drama are likely to be disastrous for Syria’s territorial integrity, for the well-being of its population, for regional peace, and for the interests of external powers deeply involved in the crisis.

Patrick Seale's take:

The Western powers would be well advised to unite with Russia and China in putting maximum pressure on both sides to put up their arms and come to the table. Diplomacy, rather than war, is the only way to preserve what is left of Syria for its hard-pressed citizens.

For that we would need serious statespeople as governmental leaders committed to the welfare of human beings and not corporate global profit-making and patriarchal imperialism group-think. Sadly, they and the UN governance are not up to the task of brokering peace.

There was a lot of romanticized over-generalized propaganda in the mainstream western media about the “earnest and noble” rebels against the ruthless and inhumane Assad government forces. Some continue to fight on naively trusting their soon to betray foreign backers. Some have fled from the violence. Others have re-committed to the Assad regime out of terror of having their beloved country turned into another Iraq.

Our government is doing all it can to bend world opinion to its will to allow and even invite its direct rather than covert military involvement in “REGIME CHANGE” in Syria. The myth is that we are supporting the “Arab Spring” and humanitarianism when the collection of countries led by the US as “Friends of Syria” want to topple the Assad government in defiance of international law for avaricious corporate and strategic military advantages.

What is also incredibly CRAVEN is for our government to participate in toppling the Assad government by making use as said above of Al Qaeda fighters conveniently terrorizing the Syrian population to weaken Assad’s hold on them. Al Qaeda fighters, some the same who killed our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. You would think this might be a bigger deal with the mainstream media or even worth one serious mention (and not as manipulative justification for the US to cynically invade the country and bomb the sh*t out of it in order to save it from Al Qaeda that it enabled to be there in the first place.) But, no re the media. Their silence shows how sold out they are to the corporate overlords using the US military as a tool for amoral mass imperial piracy.

Chris Marsden of wsws:

Washington’s criminal actions in deliberately provoking a sectarian war in Syria are at the centre of a still greater crime. In order to secure unchallenged hegemony over vital oil supplies, the US is allying itself with Al Qaeda elements, the Muslim Brotherhood and Gulf despots to redraw the map of the Middle East in blood.

Dr. Ismail Salami on the Syrian situation:

It is sad to see that sinister forces are mobilized to accelerate the collapse of Syria with the ultimate goal of serving the imperialist interests of the US and the UK, strengthening the colonizing regime of Israel in the region and limiting the influence of Iran and Hezbollah.

All these vicious forces have helped turn Syria into a piece of votive beef in the hands of ravishing warmongers.

Naill Green in "Syrian ethnic, sectarian conflicts deepen as US plots to install client regime":

The Gulf sheikhdoms, especially Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have supplied millions of dollars’ worth of weapons to the Syrian opposition and pledged to pay salaries to “rebel” fighters. While Washington has claimed that it is providing “non-lethal” supplies to the opposition, such as night vision glasses and communications equipment, teams of CIA operatives are acknowledged to be working inside Turkey to coordinate the distribution of money and arms to the various militant groups.


The United States and its allies are escalating their intervention in Syria despite growing concerns over the character of the Islamist forces they are supporting. Having stoked the conflict in Syria to the point of civil war, Washington now faces the prospect of an ethno-sectarian break-up of the country and the spread of fighting throughout the region.


The piece, written by Vali Nasr, Dean of the Johns Hopkins School of International Studies, warns that if Assad should fall from power, over 100 different opposition groups inside Syria would continue to fight for power with each other and with members of the Alawite, Shiite, Christian, and Druze religious minorities, threatening to turn Syria into “a larger version of Lebanon in the 1970s … There would be ethnic cleansing, refugee floods, humanitarian disasters and opportunities for Al Qaeda.”


Despite the danger to the lives of millions in Syria and throughout the Middle East, Washington and its allies are escalating their reckless proxy war.

Ben Schreiner expands on the scenario and how the US mainstream media is not addressing the real US behind the scenes involvement happening now in his article "Stoking the Syrian Inferno":

The bloody U.S.-led proxy war in Syria, laying unimaginable waste to its cities and people, escalates daily.  For Washington, “all options” are now clearly in play in the quest for “regime change” in Damascus.

All such heightened U.S. support for the “Free” Syrian Army coincides with mounting evidence of rebel atrocities and an increasing al-Qaeda infiltration into the ranks of the armed opposition.  Nonetheless, the U.S. facilitated arms spigot continues to pump increasingly lethal weapons to oppositional forces.

As NBC News reported this past week, the militarized Syrian opposition has now received its first batch of surface-to-air missiles via Washington’s N.A.T.O. ally Turkey.  The blowback possibilities astound.

As one might expect, though, determining exactly who the C.I.A. is overseeing deliveries of surface-to-air missiles to, has been sidestepped by a U.S. press deeply infatuated by the ruggedly heroic image of the rebels it so eagerly nurtures.  Just how allying with al-Qaeda fits into the ongoing U.S. “war on terror” is thus utterly ignored.  Depending on the day then, al-Qaeda is either presented to the U.S. public as a menace to all who cherish freedom, or a necessary instrument in the “liberation” of Syria.  Orwell would no doubt feel at home is such a world.


The destruction of the Syrian state and the slaughter of its people, however, do not represent the grisly “collateral damage” of U.S. imperial ambitions, but rather a principal aim.  After all, a fragmented and war-ravaged Syria presents nothing less than a strategic victory of sorts for Washington in its larger preoccupation with weakening Syria’s regional ally, the Islamic Republic of Iran.  And any opportunity to target Iran, no matter the costs in human life and misery for the Syrian people, is to be taken.

Schreiner spells it out. A bloody civil war suits the US/NATO/Israel cabal. The deaths and displacement and maiming of thousands and thousands of Syrians and Middle Eastern refugees now living there does not matter as long as the bloody political/military game weakens Syria for the long range goal of imperialistic opportunism to weaken Iran and ultimately Russia and China.

Stephen Lendman in “US Proxy Al Qaeda Death Squads in Syria” reports on hard anecdotal evidence of atrocities being committed by terrorists enabled by US-led western countries. Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, etc. with intelligence, weapons, money, propaganda support, etc.

Washington's agenda involves death squad diplomacy. Evidence mounts proving it. It's standard practice in all US direct and proxy wars. It's how America treats its enemies.

Massacres and unspeakable atrocities are committed. Women are raped. Civilians are treated like combatants. They're indiscriminately killed.


On July 11, German writer Jurgen Todenhofer confirmed  the presence of Al Qaeda insurgents in Syria. He met with them, he said. He holds them and others like them responsible for mass terror attacks.

On July 24, Asia Times writer John Rosenthal headlined "German intelligence: al-Qaeda all over Syria," saying: "German intelligence estimates that 'around 90' terror attacks that 'can be attributed to organizations that are close to al-Qaeda or jihadist groups' were carried out in Syria between the end of December and the beginning of July, as reported by the German daily Die Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ)."


He visited the area. He interviewed an eyewitness. He left him unidentified for his safety. He was at Qara's Saint James Monastery. Victims were pro-Assad Sunnis, he said. Many people know what happened but won't say "out of fear for their lives."

"Whoever says something can only repeat the rebels' version. Anything else is certain death."

Hackensberger related similar stories. A former Qusayr resident said Christians and others refusing to "enroll their children in the Free Syrian Army" were shot. He held "foreign Islamists" responsible.


A Homs Sunni resident told Hackensberger he witnessed armed insurgents stopping a bus. "The passengers were divided into two groups: on one side, Sunnis; on the other, Alawis."

Nine Alawis were decapitated.

Pepe Escobar has been writing realistic commentaries about the growing catastrophe in Syria for a good long while:

It’s 1980s Afghanistan all over again. The over 100 heavily armed gangs engaged in civil war in Syria are overflowing with Gulf Cooperation Council funds financing their Russian RPGs bought on the black market. Salafi-jihadis cross into Syria in droves — not only from Iraq but also Kuwait, Algeria, Tunisia and Pakistan, following enraged calls by their imams. Kidnapping, raping and slaughtering pro-Assad regime civilians is becoming the law of the land.

They go after Christians with a vengeance. They force Iraqi exiles in Damascus to leave, especially those settled in Sayyida Zainab, the predominantly Shi’ite neighborhood named after Prophet Muhammad’s grand-daughter, buried in the beautiful local mosque. The BBC, to its credit, at least followed the story.

They perform summary executions; Iraq’s deputy interior minister Adnan al-Assadi told AFP how Iraqi border guards saw the Free Syrian Army (FSA) take control of a border outpost and then “executed 22 Syrian soldiers in front of the eyes of Iraqi soldiers”.

As it stands, the romanticized Syrian “rebels” plus the insurgents formerly known as terrorists cannot win against the Syria military — not even with the Saudis and Qataris showering them with loads of cash and weapons.


Blowback meanwhile is ready to strike like the Medusa. What is for all practical purposes NATO-GCC mujahideen/jihadi death squads will be more than happy to bleed Syria across sectarian lines — in the sand and especially in urban areas. It’s hunting season now, not only for Alawites but also Christians (10% of the population).

A foreign policy that privileges Sunni jihadis formerly known as terrorists to create a “democratic” state in the Middle East seems to have been conjured by Bane — the Hannibal Lecter meets Darth Vader bad guy in The Dark Knight Rises, the final chapter of the Batman trilogy. And yes, we are his creators....

Pepe Escobar again:

Qatar and Saudi Arabia are taking no prisoners. No one in Washington seems to be looking back to post-jihad Afghanistan before making a decision. By the way, this is the 1980s Afghan jihad all over again - with Saudi Arabia and Qatar playing the role of Pakistan, the FSA as the glorious mujahideen "freedom fighters" and Obama as Ronald Reagan; the only element missing is Obama approving a "memorandum of notification" to his initial intelligence finding, authorizing Washington to weaponize the freedom fighters and introducing a swarm of drones.

Finian Cunningham also calls out the shock and awe terrorism campaign sponsored by the anti-Assad foreign powers using Al Qaeda terrorists.

Western-sponsored mercenaries have carried out numerous massacres and atrocities against civilians in recent months in a calculated bid to terrorise the general population into spurning the Assad government. The reign of terror is also being distorted in the Western media as being instigated by the Assad forces, thereby justifying Western sanctions and a NATO military intervention, as in Libya, in an unspoken campaign for regime change.

At the end of May, over 100 people, including women and children, were massacred in the village of Houla. Initially, that mass killing was blamed on the Assad forces, but subsequently it was shown that the victims were actually supporters of the government and that the slayings were, in fact, the grisly work of Western-backed Jihadi mercenaries, most of whom have infiltrated Syria from other countries, such as Libya, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan. A similar atrocity occurred the first week of June in the village of Qubair – again shown later to be the work of the Western-backed Jihadists, who are also known to be linked to Al Qaeda and other Western intelligence proxies, such as Blackwater (Xe) mercenaries.


Such barbarity is in keeping with the brutality of the so-called rebel groups that have been terrorizing Syrian society at large. These groups have killed hundreds with no-warning car bombs in urban areas since the beginning of this year. They have kidnapped family members for ransoms, only to hand over mutilated corpses – cruelly after they had been paid off. These groups have fired on civilians from sniper positions on rooftops and on the minarets of mosques. They have machine-gunned busloads of pilgrims; they have derailed passenger trains.


Another development is the attempt by Western media to portray the Jihadist and Al Qaeda groups as a distinct, minor appendage to the Free Syrian Army – a rogue element. What the video of the killings in Aleppo clearly confirms, however, is that such a distinction is more a figment of Western media imagination. The truth is that the Western governments, their intelligence and professional killers along with their Turk, Arab and Israeli allies have opened a terrorist Pandoro’s Box in Syria. And no amount of hairsplitting can close the lid on that heinous crime of aggression.

Paul Craig Roberts in "Syria: Washington’s Latest War Crime:

One wonders what Syrians are thinking as “rebels” vowing to “free Syria” take the country down the same road to destruction as “rebels” in Libya. Libya, under Gaddafi a well run country whose oil revenues were shared with the Libyan people instead of monopolized by a princely class as in Saudi Arabia, now has no government and is in disarray with contending factions vying for power.

Just as no one knew who the Libyan “rebels” were, with elements of al Qaeda reportedly among them, no one knows who the Syrian “rebels” are, or indeed if they are even rebels ( Some “rebels” appear to be bandit groups who seize the opportunity to loot and to rape and set themselves up as the governments of villages and towns. Others appear to be al Qaeda. (


The following is from a leaked intelligence document describing a previous Western terrorist intervention in Syria just in case any reader is so naive as to think that “our government would never do that.”

“In order to facilitate the action of liberative (sic) forces, …a special effort should be made to eliminate certain key individuals. …[to] be accomplished early in the course of the uprising and intervention, …
Once a political decision has been reached to proceed with internal disturbances in Syria, CIA is prepared, and SIS (MI6) will attempt to mount minor sabotage and coup de main (sic) incidents within Syria, working through contacts with individuals. …Incidents should not be concentrated in Damascus … Further: a “necessary degree of fear .. frontier incidents and (staged) border clashes”, would “provide a pretext for intervention… the CIA and SIS [MI6] should use … capabilities in both psychological and action fields to augment tension.” (Joint US-UK leaked Intelligence Document, London and Washington, 1957) (


Washington’s cover for its violent overthrow of other governments is always moralistic verbiage. First the target is demonized, and then Washington’s naked aggression is described as “bringing freedom and democracy,” “overthrowing a brutal dictator,” “protecting women’s rights.” Any assortment of cant words and phrases seems to work.

Patrick Seale calls out the faults on both side of the Syrian crisis:

With hindsight, it can be seen that President Bashar Al Assad missed the chance to reform the tight security state he inherited in 2000 from his father. Instead of recognising — and urgently addressing — the thirst for political freedoms, personal dignity and economic opportunity, which were the messages of the ‘Damascus Spring’ of his first year in power, he screwed the lid down ever more tightly.

Suffocating controls over every aspect of Syrian society were reinforced, and made harder to bear by the blatant corruption and privileges of the few and the hardships suffered by the many. Physical repression became routine. Instead of cleaning up his security apparatus, curbing police brutality and improving prison conditions, he allowed them to remain as gruesome and deplorable as ever.


Syria and its Iranian ally are once again under imminent threat. The US and Israel make no secret of their goal to bring down both the Damascus and Tehran regimes. No doubt some Israeli strategists believe that it would be greatly to their country’s advantage if Syria were dismembered and permanently weakened by the creation of a small Alawite state around the port-city of Latakia in the northwest, in much the same way as Iraq was dismembered and permanently weakened by the creation of the Kurdish Regional Government in the north of the country, with its capital at Arbil.


America, the dominant external power, has made many grievous policy blunders. Over the past several decades it failed to persuade its stubborn Israeli ally to make peace with the Palestinians, leading to peace with the whole Arab world. It embarked on catastrophic wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It failed to reach a ‘grand bargain’ with Iran which would have dispelled the spectre of war in the Gulf and stabilised the volatile region. And it is now quarrelling with Moscow and reviving the Cold War by sabotaging Kofi Annan’s peace plan for Syria.

There can be no military solution to the Syrian crisis. The only way out of the nightmare is a ceasefire imposed on both sides, followed by negotiations and the formation of a national government to oversee a transition. Only thus can Syria avoid wholesale destruction, which could take a generation or two to repair.

But the destruction of Syria and once again the welfare of millions does not seem to matter to the world powers. Does it to you and me? When are we going to say no and not continue on as accessories to mass murder and bobbleheaded acceptors of mass insulting and surreal propaganda? But, what the hey, it's an election year. Team Obama and Team Romney don't seem to have time or heart for real REALITY, nor does the seductively powerful corporate media.

"Orwellian" doesn't begin to describe this ethical freakshow for those savvy and morally awake enough to grasp it.

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mtngun's picture
Submitted by mtngun on

"When are we going to say no and not continue on as accessories to mass murder ?"

We have no say in the matter. Both legacy parties are pro-War, pro-Israel.

Nor will there be major anti-war protests in this country while Obama is in the WH. "War is not bad when a Democrat does it ! If you think Obama's wars are bad, then you must be a racist ! Romney is worse !"