Note: This was going to be published in the Peace Newsletter, first for October, and then an edited version for November. Because of the objection of one staff member who was unwilling to engage in dialog about the piece or issues in Syria it never appeared nor did any other analysis of the situation in Syria at a crucial time when the US was (and still is) on the brink of war. Due to that conflict the War Update has been canceled. I thank the Peace Council staff and the Peace Newsletter committee who have supported me in speaking the truth about the real situation in Syria and in other controversial areas like Libya and Sudan. If you enjoyed the War Update then please contact the Peace Newsletter committee and let them know how you feel; perhaps they will have me back.
War Update November
Following HRW[i] and US allegations that the Syrian gov. used chemical weapons in Ghouta, the Syrian government has agreed to destroy it's chemical weapons. The Obama admin has delayed their plans for direct military intervention, but continue providing rebel groups with direct military aid and training. Inconsistencies and inaccuracies in the HRW and UN reports[ii], faked youtube evidence,[iii] intelligence[iv] professionals, doubts within the UN,[v] and testimony from Syria[vi] suggest other possible narratives including a rebel false flag provocation. The Syrian government has asked the UN to investigate three more chemical attacks on government soldiers in Damascus since the September Ghouta incident,[vii] and a previous chemical attack that killed 16 Syrian soldiers in Aleppo which may have been perpetrated by opposition militants.[viii]
Factions of the Syrian opposition and foreign mercenaries have received billions of dollars from the Monarchies Qatar and Saudi Arabia[ix], historical supporters of Wahabi terror.[x] It is estimated that now between 68-80% of the opposition fighters are seeking to establish an Islamic state.[xi] Forty three FSA brigades recently abandoned the Syrian National Council to form the Army of Islam under the leadership of Salafist Sheikh Muhammad Zahran Alloush.[xii] Extremist and al Qaeda militant groups have been fighting against the remaining FSA brigades across the country[xiii] including Kurdish militias under the Democratic Union Party (PYD)[xiv]. The PYD have created relative stability and a truce with the Syrian government, they have established democratic self-governance and seek to maintain the integrity of the Syrian state.[xv] The US and her allies are using a combination of unconventional warfare methods against Syria which have been used in Afghanistan (freedom fighter mercenaries), El Salvador (death squads), Iraq (promote sectarian war), Chechnya (terror) and Central Europe (color revolutions).[xvi] They are targeting civilian,[xvii] state[xviii] and industrial[xix] infrastructure. Tactics include starvation and thirst,[xx] targeting of civilians through bombing and shelling;[xxi] sectarian/ethnic cleansing,[xxii] assassination of civilian leaders, public figures, and nationalistic families; and a strategy of divide and conquer to create sectarian rifts.[xxiii]
The destabilization of Syria has allowed looters, organ harvesters,[xxiv] human traffickers,[xxv] weapon dealers, foreign energy companies,[xxvi] Western allies in the region,[xxvii] extremist militant groups, and Western approved politicians to benefit at the expense of the Syrian people. Keeping Syria in state of constant war may be an effective enough strategy to accomplish the Western agenda in the region i.e. control of the energy resources/corridors and weakening of the Shea resistance block states. This strategy of attrition maintains US dominance of Levantine energy resources and will ultimately lead to the immiseration of the Syrian people.
[xix] [xix] http://www.globalresearch.ca/syrian-chambers-of-industry-turkey-has-been-stealing-from-aleppos-factories/5319465 [xix] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/10051207/Under-the-black-flag-of-al-Qaeda-the-Syrian-city-ruled-by-gangs-of-extremists.html
Since the August 21 chemical weapon attack in Damascus chemical weapon caches have been discovered in opposition tunnels; and an AP reporter has interviewed rebels who admit that they are responsible for the chemical releases. In light of these and other revelations it is amazing that the push for war can continue. Yet most people are unaware of this information because the mainstream media, and also much of the so-called alternative media have ignored the evidence.
I have taken a look at some of the more popular so-called left leaning alternative media sites to see if they were complicit in hiding crucial information, and the result is a resounding yes.
Democracynow.org: They don't attempt to cast any doubt on the government being behind the attacks, but support the mainstream narrative.
CommonDreams.org: They have published no articles casting doubt on the mainstream narrative.
zcommunications.org/znet: They have comments about the illogic of the Syrian government using chemical weapons, but don't bring up any of the information about past or present chemical weapon use by the opposition.
TheNation.com: They never question that the government perpetrated the attack.
Alternet.org: They doesn't even question that the government perpetrated the attack.
Fortunately there are many news outlets who do challenge the mainstream narrative: Counterpunch.org: They talk about the history of the rebels use of chemical weapons and strongly question who is behind the attacks
infowars.com: They have publicized all revelations of rebel chemical use past and present.
stopimperialism.com: They have publicized all revelations of rebel chemical use past and present.
strategic-culture.org: They have been critical from the start and exposed all recent revelations.
boilingfrogspost.com: They have been critical from the start and exposed all recent revelations.
antiwar.com: They have exposed all recent revelations.
blackagendareport.com: They strongly doubt the logic of a government chemical attack. rt.com: They have consistently doubted the US claims and covered the Syrian governments discovery of opposition chemical weapon caches in Damascus.
presstv.com: They have consistently doubted the US claims and covered the Syrian governments discovery of opposition chemical weapon caches in Damascus.
In conclusion, it seems that many of the mainstays of left so-called anti-war alternative media are not providing their subscribers with the information that they need to understand the Syria situation. If there is to be an effective anti-war movement in the US activists must change the channel on these news sources who, while pretending to be anti-war, are actually promoting war propaganda. Clearly there are plenty of good alternatives to the “alternative media.”
9-4-13 Update: Democracy Now! and CommonDreams.org have reported on a McClatchy article "To some, US case for Syrian gas attack, strike has too many holes." This article debates minor points such as the death toll, and the fact that the UN investigation is not complete. However they still ignore the masses of evidence suggesting that the "rebels" were behind that attack. Clearly this is posturing, DN! and CD want us to think that they are questioning the narrative, when actually they are supporting it and only questioning relatively un-important details.
Democracy Now! in particular has been pushing the war mongering narrative with a statement in their September 3rd headline "A report presented to the French Parliament Monday concluded the chemical attack was carried out by the Syrian government." Because they fail to mention who's report or elaborate on it in any way this not useful information but a further attempt to push the war mongers' narrative.
Debunking the myth of the Syrian government's use of chemical weapons in Ghouta.
Myth: Syrian government refused to cooperate with a UN investigation.
Truth: The chemical attack occurred in opposition held territory. The Syrian government escorted the UN inspectors to the site, where they were attacked by snipers. The opposition has shown hostility to UN investigators on numerous occasions.1
Myth: Only the Syrian regime has chemical weapon capabilities.
Truth: The opposition has been caught with sarin gas2, and the CIA admits that al Qaeda has chemical weapon capabilities3. A UN investigation of a previous chemical weapons attack suggested that the opposition had used the chemical weapons not the government4. The Syrian government found chemical weapons in tunnels near the August attack9, and had also found a chemical lab in July.10 The rebels have threatened to use their chemical weapons against Syrians in retaliation for the August attack.11 The Syrian government has called on the UN to investigate three more chemical weapon attacks on government soldiers in Damascus since the attack in Ghouta.13
Myth: The Syrian government needed to deploy chemical weapons to take territory.
Truth: the Syrian government has been winning the war. The Syrian government's popularity has increased5. Nothing could be more detrimental to the government than a chemical weapon attack to provoke a foreign intervention just as they invited UN investigators into the country. Obama's “red line” regarding chemical weapons has created an incentive for the opposition to stage an attack as many predicted.
Myth: The US government has proof that the Syrian government used chemical weapons.
Truth: the UN has examined the US governments evidence and determined that it does not meet their standards6. The claims from Israeli intelligence should not be trusted because they are at war with Syria, and some of the phone intercepts suggest that the Syrian government was surprised and dismayed upon hearing of the attack7. AP correspondent Dale Gavlak interviewed rebels and residents of Ghouta who admitted that they accidentally set off the chemical explosions.12
Conclusion: Apparently arming8 al Qaeda to terrorize the Syrian government and people is not enough, now Obama is gearing up for a bombing campaign. If you want to avoid another expensive war and the creation of yet another terrorist haven, then you could join us this Friday at 11am in front of the Federal building to say “No War on Syria.”
Thanks to everyone who lent their support, time, energy, and outreach to yesterday's March Against Monsanto, for which Alchemical was a formal supporter. There was a great turnout and you can check out some pictures at the following Facebook album page:
You can learn more about GMO labeling issues at:
And you can sign a petition for GMO labeling which is currently being hosted at the Syracuse Greens website - http://syracusegreens.nationbuilder.com/gmo_label_nys - which reads as follows:
We have the right to know! Let’s label GMOs in New York State!
We have a right to know about food we eat and feed our families, but currently we don’t have that ability when it comes to genetically engineered (GE) foods.
The number and variety of GE foods reaching grocery shelves is accelerating. There are no regulatory requirements for long-term testing for human health risks. Until we know without a doubt that GE crops are safe to eat, we should have a choice about whether we want to eat them. The use of GMO crops also pose significant environmental risks, including the increased use of pesticides.
Whereas the European Union and various other countries have either banned or require the labeling of genetically engineered foods due to the inevitable health hazards they may cause;
Whereas we have the right to know what we are eating;
Whereas the full extent of health effects of genetically engineered foods are not yet known nor have they been proven to be safe;
We the undersigned call on local, state, and federal lawmakers to require the labeling of genetically engineered foods, starting with passage of the NYS GMO Food Labeling Bill (A3525 / S3835)
The Alchemical Nursery's Frank Cetera presented at the 2013 NY State Green Building Conference. The presentation shared the basics of Permaculture Forest Gardening, and used the case study of the Rahma Clinic's Edible Forest Snack Garden here in Syracuse to illustrate. The slideshow used by Frank is presented at the following link. Contact us, or Frank, if you'd like a presentation on Permaculture and Forest Gardening for your group or conference.
Rahma Forest Garden Zine now Published!
It's finally ready for distro - The DIY User's Guide Zine for the Rahma Edible Forest Snack Garden. We passed them out to all the households neighboring the Rahma site on Saturday April 13th on a door-to-door distro walk for FREE toa ll neighborhood residents. We're accepting sliding scale donations between $2-$5 for copies for everyone else. This will allow us to cover our costs and continue to make further copies in the future :>) To view the online version of the zine please visit
North Korea: The US has performed joint military exercises with S. Korea using nuclear-capable bombers and 10,000 US troops. The UN increased sanctions against N. Korea in response to their satellite launch and nuclear test on February 12. The US has increased its military presence in the region, including installing missile batteries in Guam effective against China and Russia. The US invaded N. Korea in 1950 resulting in over three million deaths. Since 1950 the US and has imposed sever sanctions against N. Korea leading to millions of deaths due to starvation, crumbling sanitation infrastructure, and lack of medical supplies.
Afghanistan: On March 11 Hamid Karsai, the president of Afghanistan, stated that the US is secretly negotiating with the Taliban and that a recent terror attack was “in the service of foreigners not withdrawing from Afghanistan.” The CIA, Saudi Arabia and Pakistani intelligence created the Taliban in the 1970s and financed them to fight against Afghan and Soviet forces until the Taliban took power in 1996. US aid to the Taliban continued until 2001.
There are over 100,000 NATO troops in Afghanistan, of which 68,000 are from the US. The US plans to continue military operations there for at least a decade after the 2014 “withdraw” date, and will need to spend $13-55 billion/year to maintain the current government. The war has cost the US over $630 billion to date, and total costs including medical care and disability for veterans will exceede $2 trillion. 3,281 NATO soldiers have been killed, and 17,674 US troops have been wounded since the beginning of the war in 2001. At least 20,000 Afghan civilians have been killed and many more injured since 2001.
In addition to it’s military bases in Afghanistan (near Russian, China, and Iran), the US has economic interests in Afghanistan. Afghanistan provides over 82% of the world’s opium, representing a multi-billion dollar industry. Afghan Minister of Counter Narcotics General Khodaidad has accused NATO forces of taxing opium production, and profiting from the drug trade. US financial companies make massive profits laundering hundreds of billions of dollars of drug money, and the opium trade funds the Taliban and international terrorists.
Central African Republic (CAR): on March 24 rebel forces deposed the government in a military coup, ending a conflict that has displaced 207,000 people since December 2012. 600 French and 100 US troops oversaw the transition without interfering. France has plans to begin mining uranium. The rebel’s new government called on the EU for aid, and seeks to revise the CAR’s contracts with China.
 “The Globalization of NATO” by Mahdi Nazemroaya pg. 125
 http://www.isaf.nato.int/images/stories/File/Placemats/ISAF-ANA Troops Placemat-Feb19 2013.pdf
 http://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/WDR2012/WDR_2012_web_small.pdf (page 36)
From Ms. Ward's classroom at Delaware School, student Carrie has suggested a link to us for the Alchemical Nursery website as part of a link exchange with their "Our Environment" website.
We hope the community will find this link useful in regard to reuse of materials and kids crafts activities. Move Boxes: Fun Crafts for Kids:
Cardboard is a big source of waste in areas all over the world, making it very important to recycle and reuse it when possible. Kids can begin to learn how to recycle at an early age by using recyclable materials, such as cardboard, in many craft projects. Art projects can be expensive, but using materials you already have means you are recycling and saving money. Kids, parents, and teachers can use materials found in their homes and schools in their art projects, such as paper towel tubes, bottle caps, and shoestrings. Green art supplies are also a good choice as they are non-toxic and environmentally-friendly. Use the following sources to find many fun crafts using cardboard and other recycled materials.
Visit the site to find a large selection of additional links for crafting ideas using cardboard boxes! - http://www.upack.com/moving-services/articles/moving-boxes-fun-crafts-for-kids/
We've also included the link with credit to Carrie in our links section at: http://www.alchemicalnursery.org/component/weblinks/31.html
Thanks Carrie and Ms. Ward!