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  • Seth Rutledge

    Last Syria War Update

    Seth Rutledge in Member Posts on Nov 19, 2013
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    Note: This was going to be published in the Peace Newsletter, first for October, and then an edited version for November.  But due to disagreements and lack of interest within the Peace Council they decided not to publish this and have discontinued the War Update.  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. 

     



    [i] http://www.hrw.org/reports/2013/09/10/attacks-ghouta

    [ii] http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-syria-chemical-weapons-attack-human-rights-watch-is-manipulating-the-facts/5351273

     

    [iii] http://tarpley.net/docs/20130915-ISTeams-Ghouta-Report.pdf
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/how-the-syrian-chemical-weapons-videos-were-staged/5350471?print=1

    [iv] http://consortiumnews.com/2013/09/06/obama-warned-on-syrian-intel/

    [v] http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/gas-missiles-were-not-sold-to-syria-8831792.html

    [vi] http://www.mintpressnews.com/witnesses-of-gas-attack-say-saudis-supplied-rebels-with-chemical-weapons/168135/
    http://www.mintpressnews.com/official-statement-on-dale-gavlaks-involvement-in-syria-exclusive/169507/
    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/504735/20130909/syria-chemical-attack-assad-rebels-blame-hostage.htm

    [vii] http://rt.com/news/syria-investigate-un-chemical-116/

    [viii] http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/03/19/syria-says-rebels-kill-16-in-chemical-weapon-attack/

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/uns-carla-del-ponte-says-there-is-evidence-rebels-may-have-used-sarin-in-syria-8604920.html

     

    [ix] http://rassegna.esteri.it/utility/imgrs.asp?numart=1XSWT9&annart=2013&numpag=1&tipcod=0&tipimm=1&defimm=0
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MID-01-280613.html
    http://www.examiner.com/article/saudi-arabia-qatar-and-turkey-has-pledged-50-billion-to-arm-rebels-syria

    [x] http://nsnbc.wordpress.com/2011/09/21/saudi-arabia-sued-by-lloyd´s-for-financing-911/

    [xi] http://beta.syriadeeply.org/op-eds/syrias-insurgency-good-guys-bad-guys/#.UlGXMRAX81l

    [xii] http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-09-25/world/42378372_1_opposition-coalition-rebel-obama-administration

    [xiii] http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/13/world/middleeast/syrian-rebel-infighting-undermines-anti-assad-effort.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    [xiv] http://www.pydinfo.com/press-release/237-statement-of-the-peoples-protection-units-ypg-to-the-independent-international-commission

    [xv] http://www.pydinfo.com/about-the-pyd

    [xvi] http://nsnbc.me/2011/10/06/the-national-counsel-of-syria-and-u-s-unconventional-warfare/

    [xvii] http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/07/18/314447/syria-militants-blast-gas-fuel-pipelines/

    [xvii]http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/11/01/269915/syrian-insurgents-blow-up-oil-pipeline/

    [xvii] http://www.syrianews.cc/syria-terrorists-mortar-homs/

    http://friendsofsyria.co/2013/07/27/christians-flock-to-syria-to-defend-assad-and-holy-sites/

     

     

     

    [xviii] http://news.yahoo.com/syrian-official-war-causes-15-billion-losses-143037131.html

    [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

     

    [xxi] http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/07/26/252950/bnd-qaeda-behind-terror-in-syria/

    [xxii] http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/04/opinion/syrias-crumbling-pluralism.html?_r=2&

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-backed-death-squads-massacre-hundreds-of-syrian-kurds/5345412

    [xxiii] http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/04/13/whatever-happened-to-the-arab-spring/

    [xxiv] http://www.globalresearch.ca/turkish-officials-are-using-syrians-for-organ-harvesting/5334010

    [xxv] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/08/syria-refugees-prostitution_n_2839383.html

    [xxvi] http://www.businessinsider.com/israel-grants-golan-heights-oil-license-2013-2

    http://www.eubusiness.com/news-eu/syria-conflict-fuel.o6y

    [xxvii] http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/f2d9bbc8-bdbc-11e2-890a-00144feab7de.html#axzz2TYfrqkjWv

  • Seth Rutledge

    War Propagandists Continue Attack on Syria

    Seth Rutledge in Member Posts on Nov 19, 2013
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    War Propagandist Continue Attack on Syria
                As the Geneva 2 talks commence, like clockwork there are new revelations of the Syrian regimes horrible crimes.  This time it is a report[1], funded by Qatar[2], claiming photo evidence of 11,000 men murdered by the Syrian government.  Touted as absolute proof of the Syrian government’s brutality, this report so far has revealed nothing. 

                All of the attention of the forensic experts who apparently examined the photos is focused on evidence of torture.  Yet even if the photos are someday released and do indeed show evidence of torture, how are we to know who tortured/murdered these men?  Apparently we are supposed to take the anonymous leaker's word for it.
                There is also a blatant logical fallacies in the narrative: “The purpose of documenting the corpses was to... inform the families of murdered detainees in due course that the cause of death in each case was either a “heart attack” or breathing problems”...”  How do pictures showing clear signs of torture and starvation show that the death was due to heart attack or breathing problems? 

                Through out this conflict there has been a clear pattern.  Every time there is a conference, or the UN is performing an investigation, we have a new set of allegations, accompanied with grizzly photos.  Before this, there was the Ghouta chemical attacks, coinciding with the arrival of UN inspectors to investigate previous chemical weapon attacks including one against Syrian government troops.[3]  The claim was made that only the Assad government could have perpetrated the attacks, and that the missile trajectories traced back to government held territory.[4]

                Some pointed out that the youtube videos showed obvious fakery,[5] and there were reports and leaks indicating that the rebels may have been responsible.[6]  More recently these doubts have been confirmed in a study done by MIT[7] corroborating the UN’s recent admission[8] that the rockets could not have been fired from government held territory. 

                 From the report: “The UN independent assessment of the range of the chemical munition is in exact agreement with out findings.  This indicates that these munitions could not possible have been fired at east Ghouta from the “heart”, or from the eastern edge of the Syrian government controlled area shown in the intelligence map published by the white house on august 30, 2013.  This mistaken intelligence could have led to an unjustified US military Action based on false intelligence.  A proper vetting of the fact that the munition was of such short range would have led to a completely different assessment of the situation from the gathered data.  Whatever reasons for the egregious errors in intelligence, the source of these errors needs to be explained.  If the source of these errors is not identified, the procedures that led to this intelligence failure will go uncorrected, and the chances of a future policy disaster will grow with certainty. “             Recent US intelligence leaks to Pulitzer prize winning journalist Seymore Hersh[9] indicate that the opposition was known to have sarin production and delivery capability, and that the constant surveillance of the Syrian government's chemical weapon stocks showed no movement.  These revelations add credibility to those who claimed that the Ghouta chemical attacks were likely perpetrated by the rebels in an effort of spur a US military intervention.             Clearly foundation funded media and organizations such as Human Rights Watch, Democracy Now!, Amnesty International, Mother Jones and many others along with the mainstream corporate sources have turned out to be wrong; while globalresearch.ca, counterpunch, infowars, nsnbc.me, strategic culture, Tarpley, Anges Mariam, and others were once again proven to be honest and anti-imperialist, or at least more sound in judgment.  I also sought to publish an artile addressing the legitimate doubts about the official narrative based on evidence available at that time.[10]
                Now with this most recent photo “leak” we have to ask: who do we believe? 



    [1] http://www.theguardian.com/world/interactive/2014/jan/20/torture-of-persons-under-current-syrian-regime-report

    [2] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/20/evidence-industrial-scale-killing-syria-war-crimes

    [3] http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/03/19/syria-says-rebels-kill-16-in-chemical-weapon-attack/

    [5] http://tarpley.net/2013/09/16/sister-agnes-mariam-of-syria-analyzes-goutha-videos-touted-by-obama-white-house-finds-overwhelming-evidence-of-fabrication-and-fakery/

    [8] Around 16:00 http://webtv.un.org/watch/un-mission-to-investigate-allegations-of-the-use-of-chemical-weapons-in-the-syrian-arab-republic-press-conference/2932994876001/#full-text

    [10] http://www.alchemicalnursery.org/blogs/2013-09-04-14-15-41.html
    http://www.alchemicalnursery.org/blogs/syria-chemical-weapons-false-pretext-for-war.html

     

  • Seth Rutledge

    "Alternative" Media Complicity in US War Propaganda

    Seth Rutledge in Member Posts on Aug 31, 2013
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    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.

  • Seth Rutledge

    Syria Chemical Weapons False Pretext For War

    Seth Rutledge in Member Posts on Aug 29, 2013
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    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.”

    1.http://news.antiwar.com/2013/05/07/syrian-rebels-kidnap-four-un-troops-in-golan-heights/

    2.http://rt.com/news/sarin-gas-turkey-al-nusra-021/

    3.https://www.cia.gov/library/reports/general-reports-1/terrorist_cbrn/terrorist_CBRN.htm

    4.http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/may/6/syrian-rebels-used-sarin-nerve-gas-not-assads-regi/

    5.http://www.worldtribune.com/2013/05/31/nato-data-assad-winning-the-war-for-syrians-hearts-and-minds/

    6.http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/26/us-syria-crisis-chemical-weapons-idUSBRE93P0UG20130426

    7.http://www.infowars.com/intelligence-suggests-assad-not-behind-chemical-weapons-attack/

    8.http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-07-22/world/40728996_1_obama-administration-syria-civil-war

    9. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/24/us-syria-crisis-jobar-idUSBRE97N04T20130824

    10. http://rt.com/news/damascus-syria-chemical-weapons-082/

    11. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/171240#.UiEABj-r21s

    12. http://www.infowars.com/rebels-admit-responsibility-for-chemical-weapons-attack/

    13. http://rt.com/news/syria-investigate-un-chemical-116/

  • Seth Rutledge

    April War Update North Korea, Afghanistan, Central African Republic

    Seth Rutledge in Member Posts on May 09, 2013
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    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[1] effective against China and Russia. The US invaded N. Korea in 1950 resulting in over three million deaths.[2] 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.[3] 

    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.”[4]  The CIA, Saudi Arabia and Pakistani intelligence created the Taliban[5]  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.[6]

    There are over 100,000 NATO troops in Afghanistan, of which 68,000 are from the US.[7]  The US plans to continue military operations there for at least a decade after the 2014 “withdraw” date,[8] 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[9], and total costs including medical care and disability for veterans will exceede $2 trillion.[10]  3,281 NATO soldiers have been killed, and 17,674 US troops have been wounded since the beginning of the war in 2001.[11]  At least 20,000 Afghan civilians have been killed and many more injured since 2001.[12]

    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,[13] representing a multi-billion dollar industry.[14]  Afghan Minister of Counter Narcotics General Khodaidad has accused NATO forces of taxing opium production, and profiting from the drug trade.[15]  US financial companies make massive profits laundering hundreds of billions of dollars of drug money,[16] and the opium trade funds the Taliban and international terrorists.[17]  

    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.[18]  600 French and 100 US troops oversaw the transition without interfering.[19]  France has plans to begin mining uranium.[20]  The rebel’s new government called on the EU for aid, and seeks to revise the CAR’s contracts with China.[21]

     



    [1] http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/apr/03/us-missile-defence-system-guam-north-korea

    [2] http://necrometrics.com/20c1m.htm#Ko

    [3] http://www.globalresearch.ca/sanctions-of-mass-destruction-smd-us-sponsored-economic-blockade-destroys-north-korea-s-health-care-system/20215

    [4] http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323826704578351963393889782.html

    [5] “The Globalization of NATO” by Mahdi Nazemroaya pg. 125

    [6] http://www.thenation.com/article/bushs-faustian-deal-taliban#

    [7] http://www.isaf.nato.int/images/stories/File/Placemats/ISAF-ANA Troops Placemat-Feb19 2013.pdf

    [8] http://www.defensenews.com/article/20121115/DEFREG02/311150011/USMC-General-U-S-Forces-Remain-Afghanistan-Past-2014

    [9] http://costofwar.com/

    [10] http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-most-expensive-war-in-world-history-costs-of-iraq-afghanistan-wars-could-rise-to-6-trillion/5329432?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-most-expensive-war-in-world-history-costs-of-iraq-afghanistan-wars-could-rise-to-6-trillion

    [11] http://icasualties.org/OEF/Index.aspx

    [12] http://unama.unmissions.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=K0B5RL2XYcU=&tabid=12254&language=en-US (page 15)

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2002/may/20/afghanistan.comment

    [13] http://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/WDR2012/WDR_2012_web_small.pdf (page 36)

    [14] http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/afghanistan/drugs-market.htm

    [15] http://publicintelligence.net/usnato-troops-patrolling-opium-poppy-fields-in-afghanistan/

    [16] http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/04/wachovia-paid-trivial-fine-for-nearly-400-billion-of-drug-related-money-laundering.html

    [17] http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503543_162-20073655-503543.html

    [18] http://panafricannews.blogspot.com/2013/04/central-african-republic-refugee-crisis.html

    [19] http://nsnbc.me/2013/04/04/central-african-intrigue-the-coup-in-the-central-african-republic/

    [20] http://cent-afr-rep.ru/uran-zoloto-neft/

    [21] http://nsnbc.me/2013/04/04/central-african-intrigue-the-coup-in-the-central-african-republic/

  • Seth Rutledge

    War Update March: Haiti, Syria, Libya

    Seth Rutledge in Member Posts on Mar 29, 2013
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    Haitian's have taken to the street to protest the UN presence in their country, a police station was burned and tear gas was used to disperse the crowd.  The UN mission in Haiti brought cholera to Haiti over two years ago, so far causing more than 8,000 deaths and 600,000 illnesses.  The UN has refused to allocate the funds necessary to end the epidemic, despite the nearly 677 million spend on maintaining the nearly 10,000 strong UN military occupation of the country.  Haiti has been under UN control since the 2004 US coup ousted their democratically elected government and installed a regime marred by electoral fraud and opposition exclusion, executive overreach, and paramilitarism.  The current government is powerless to stop the exploitation of Haiti’s mineral resources by international mining companies who were recently granted 1/6th of the total land in Haiti and pay only 2.5% royalties.  International sweatshops have also setup in Haiti’s “free trade zones” where they are exempt from taxes, duties, and can pay workers 4.50$/day and receive subsidies.  One such complex, the Caracol Industrial Park forcefully displaced 366 farming families in 2011 from 250 hectares who had produced 1,400 metric tons of food/year.

    Syria: The US has facilitated and air drop of 3,000 tons of weaponry for the Free Syrian Army (FSA), and are training FSA fighters in Jordan.  The US has pledged an additional 60 million to purchase armored vehicles and other equipment for the FSA.  Israel, recipient of nearly 4 billion in US military aid/year, has been treating wounded FSA fighters.  Israel has permitted a US energy company to extract oil from the Golan Heights, Syrian land occupied since 1967 that provides 1/3 of Israel’s water.  The FSA have clashed with Hezbollah in Lebanon vowing to eliminate the military/political organization in Lebanon.
    Libya: ongoing inter militia fighting has recently displaced more than 3,000 and disrupted oil exports.  Armed resistance to the NATO installed government was finally quelled in the brutal siege of Bani Walid in October 2012, but the country is now under the control of militias and protest continues in the face of repression.  The south has been declared a closed zone of military operations under the control of a military governor.  Libyans now face a myriad of difficulties including: restriction of free speech; drug, arms, and human trafficking; a soaring murder rate; persecution of Christians and Sufi’s; and the repression of women.  The US has deployed marines to combat terrorism, but the groups that they are allegedly combating control large areas, such as Ansar al-Sharia the group accused of leading the assault on the embassy in Benghazi that killed US ambassador Stephens.

  • Seth Rutledge

    A Syrian's Perspective: Bashar al-Assad's Democratic Movement

    Seth Rutledge in Member Posts on Mar 29, 2013
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    The Democratic Movement vs. The Foreign Invasion

    Bashar al-Assad has recently been demonized by the mainstream and so-called alternative media who claim that he is a brutal dictator. Actually Bashar is a reformer who has done much to further the causes of democracy and freedom. It is the opposition and their foreign supporters who represent the most repressive elements of the former ruling party in Syria. To fully understand this its is helpful to look at the historical context of the current crisis. The so-called “spontaneous popular uprising” started in Daraa on March 15
    th, 2011. The court house, police stations, governor's house, and other public buildings were looted and torched by the “peaceful protestors” in the first week of the crisis. The people in Homs then began to protest in solidarity with Daraa, but this was uncharacteristic of peaceful Homs and many Syrians knew that it was a fake revolution.

    About 110 unarmed police officers were murdered in Daraa and Homs, sparking anger against the “revolutionaries.” There was an incident in the city Baniyas where an Alawite truck driver was attacked by an armed mob, skinned, and paraded through the city. This disgusted almost all Syrians and since then not a single major city actually rebelled against the government. The foreign backed “revolutionaries” would attack a neighborhood, police station, or army base, from across the borders of Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, and Iraq. Then they would claim that the city was in rebellion.

     

    But the Syrians, seeing the same lies in all the western and Arab news stations, and the exiled rotten officials adopting the 'revolution', mostly took an anti-revolution stance. That is why whenever the rebels would infest a town or city you would immediately hear of a massacre to punish the residents for not supporting them. Of course the mainstream media would claim that it was Assad forces punishing the town that dared to oppose him!

     

    Assad took advantage of the revolution to introduce his packages of reforms, putting aside those in the old guards who opposed them. Many of the old guard then joined the opposition abroad.

     

    The opposition demanded the removal of article 8 from the Syrian constitution making the Baath Party head of the government. Instead of just deleting it Bashar Assad had the constitution re-written buy a specialized committee of Syrian experts from all parties in Syria and with input from all Syrians. A referendum was held and the new constitution was approved with almost 90% of a voter turnout of 60%. Assad then enacted a Media Law that would allow more freedom of expression and the establishment of new independent media outlets. Assad eased requirements on the formation of political parties, excluding sectarian based parties. We now have at least nine new political parties.

    Municipal elections were held in December 2011. Many of those who won seats were assassinated or threatened throughout the country by the same revolutionaries who claimed to want democracy. Parliamentary elections were held in May 2012 with no eligibility restraints on the candidates. Many new members of parliament have also been assassinated by the FSA including the wife and three daughters of parliament elect trustee Abdulla Mishleb in the infamous Houla massacre. Historical Context: Syria in the 1980s

    Recent events can be better understood in the context of Syrian history. Bashar al-Assad is the son of late president Hafez al-Assad. Hafez was described by western mainstream media as a tyrant and oppressor but he was not nearly as bad as any other leader in his time like Thatcher, Reagan, or any of the region's rulers including Turkey's military rule.

    The current anti-Assad opposition often refer to the 1982 Hama 'massacre'. They claim that Hafez besieged the city and then bombed it killing up to 40,000 civilians. I lived in Damascus at that time and you must understand the conditions in the country at the time to know what really happened. 1) The Muslim Brotherhood was engaged in a war of terror at that time, nothing less than what the Free Syrian Army (FSA) is doing now. The Muslim Brotherhood's forces were called the 'Fighting Vanguard' (Arabic “Al Taleea Al Muqatleh”). Many of the present leaders of the FSA are the same men who led the Fighting Vanguard in the 80s; and they were as savage as their sons now. One of the Fighting Vanguard's bombings included the Azbakiyeh Bombing in Damascus which took the lives of over 175 civilians and injured hundreds more, and there were many other terror attacks.

    2) The entire Hama episode was led by Hafez al-Assad's younger brother (Bashar al-Assad's uncle) Rifaat Assad. Rifaat was heading the Saraya Difaa (later to become the Republican Guard). At that time the Syrian minister of defense was Mustapha Tlass, and the Syrian minister of foreign affairs was Abdul Halim Khaddam. All three of them: Riffaat al-Assad, Mustapha, and Abdul Khaddam are leading and financing the political opposition against Bashar from abroad right now.

    In the current conflict Mustapha's son Manaf Tlass was sent to negotiate a settlement with his cousins who were rebelling in Rastan. But instead of negotiating he gave them weapons from the Republican Guards caches and leaked secrets causing the deaths of many Republican Guard soldiers at the hands of the FSA.

    Thirty years after the fighting in Hama a report by US intelligence was declassified revealing that the death toll didn't even reach 2,000. That number included 400 Muslim Brotherhood Fighting Vanguard militants; many Syrian Army soldiers and officers; Baath Party and other state officials; and a number of civilians who were caught in the fire.

    3) At the same time the Syrian Army was fighting the Israeli, US and French Armies in Lebanon.

    4) Syria was under harder sanctions than it is now. Syria has been under increasingly severe western sanctions since 1956, 15 years before Hafez Assad took power.

    Bashar al-Assad's Damascus Spring: Syria in the 2000s

    Late Hafez Assad followed a more complex policy regarding foes and foreign agents in his government than Bashar does. Hafez would keep his foes in their posts but under his watchful eyes. When Bashar was selected by the Syrian Parliament to succeed his father in 2000 he removed all of the treasonous foes and foreign agents that Hafez had maintained in office.

    Bashar's first reform was to ease some political restrictions, allowing politicians to move more freely. In June 2000 the Damascus Spring was started. It lasted until Autumn 2001 by which time most of the treasonous opposition's foreign funding, and relations with the US Department of State and corporate think tanks had been exposed. The corrupt officials and their families were expelled from Syria and settled in foreign countries. They used their massive accumulations of wealth to mount political opposition to Bashar from abroad.

    In 2003 the US was occupying Iraq. US Secretary of State Collin Powell visited Bashar and handed him a list of demands including: 1. Cutting all ties with the five main Palestinian factions in Syria, 2. Severing Syria's relations with Iran in exchange for a promise of better relations with some Arab states. 3. Signing a peace treaty with Israel similar to one Syria had already refused. 4. Removing books from schools with any enmity towards Israel. 5. Allowing western banks and companies unhindered access to Syrian markets and resources along with other neo-liberal reforms.

    Bashar refused these demands in the face of the nearly 200,000 coalition troops across the Syrian border in Iraq. Instead Bashar sought to hinder the occupation of Iraq and demanded that the occupying forces withdraw. Because of the proximity of Damascus to the western boarder with Lebanon Syria has the strategic need to secure this border. None the less in 2000 Bashar started withdrawing Syrian troops from Lebanon where they had battled Israeli forces. The troops were reduced from 35,000 in the year 2000 to 14,000 in early 2004.

    In 2005 Lebanese Prime Minster Rafic Hariri was assassinated with the help of members of the Lebanese Future Movement party and likely the help of the US and France. This was a political blow to Assad within Lebanon, and he was also blamed for the assassination using media manipulation and prepared activists. Tens of thousands of Lebanese took to the streets to condemn the killing of Hariri including members of Syria's closest allies Hizbullah and Amal. The media claimed that the crowds were against the Syrian Army presence in Lebanon. US and France tried to pressure Assad into reinforcing the Syrian Army in Lebanon to stabilize the country but Bashar withdrew all Syrian troops from Lebanon. This background gives the context accompanying president Assad's reform attempts in Syria, where he had to face foreign powers from abroad and their agents from within. The current crisis is not a civil war or rebellion, but a foreign aggression against a sovereign nation.

    About the author:

    The author was born and lived in Damascus, Syria. He moved to Germany ten years ago and runs a company that organizes tourist groups to Syria. Before the conflict he went to Syria often to stay for days and months. He has been an outspoken defender of the Syrian government and has been targeted by the Free Syrian Army who destroyed his property and threatened his life, and so writes under the name Arabi Souri. This article was edited by Seth Rutledge.

  • Seth Rutledge

    War Update February

    Seth Rutledge in Member Posts on Mar 06, 2013
    Tagged in: Untagged 

     

    Syria: an alleged hacked British defense contractor email reveals a US/Qatar plan to deploy a chemical weapon false flag attack in Syria.i Israel conducted an air strike on Syria; the US reportedly approved and is poised to carry out similar strikes.ii The US has given the rebels 50$ million.iii 4 million Syrians are in need of humanitarian assistance.iv

    Ethiopia: In December Ethiopian paramilitaries renewed attacks on communities in Ogdenv in an ongoing campaign to clear the land for resource extraction. The Ethiopian government’s army and paramilitaries have used rape, torture, and murder to drive communities into Internally Displaced Person camps where they are starved. There are currently 3.7 million people in need of assistance and over 1.5 million without food or water.vi As many as 1 million Muslims peacefully protested on February 7th demanding freedom of religion and release of political prisoners; journalists attempting to cover the protests have been detained and protestors oppressed.vii The UK has recently provided training and funding directly to the paramilitaries forcesviii; the US provides up to $600 million yearly aid to Ethiopiaix which is diverted to the military and paramilitary.x

    Somalia: The US recognized the UN appointedxi government of Somalia. US troops have operated in Somalia since 1992; Somalia has been under a US funded occupation since the overthrow of the Islamic Courts Union in 2007. First the Ethiopian military, and then the African Union army, destroyed tens of square miles of densely populated areas to crush the resistance and clear the land for mineral and energy exploitationxii. Millions of displaced Somalis are now starving in refugee camps.xiii The separatist Putland government has ordered the execution of political opposition leaders and fired upon peaceful demonstrations.xiv The appointed federal government is not opposed to separating Somalia into smaller states.xv

    Mali: the Malian military has committed extrajudicial killings of the northern residents.xvi Over 412,000 people have fled Mali, and 5 million have been affected by the fighting.xvii The French and Malian military, with US military support, have re-captured N. Mali, but French bombings continue to batter the guerilla insurgency.xviii Tuareg rebels sought independence in the 1960's at the purported end of French colonial rule; Tuareg rebellions in 1990 and 2008 challenged the right of French uranium mining companies to poison their land in neighboring Niger.xix French Special Forces have deployed to protect uranium mines in Niger, and US troops and drones are to be deployed on the Mali border.xx

    iii http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/14846

    iv http://www.unmultimedia.org/radio/english/2013/01/four-million-people-in-need-of-humanitarian-assistance-in-syria-un/

     

    v http://ogaden.com/hornnews/ethiopia.html

    vii http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2012-07-17-ethiopia-rocked-by-massive-muslim-protests

    viii http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/10/ethiopia-forces-human-rights-funding

     

    x http://indepthafrica.com/in-ethiopia-a-war-on-humanitarian-agencies-and-staff/

    xi http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2012/08/2012818183718864689.html

    xiii http://www.countercurrents.org/mountain190711.htm

    xv http://panafricannews.blogspot.com/2012/11/getting-somalia-wrongagain.html

    xvi http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/02/01/mali-malian-army-islamist-groups-executed-prisoners

    xvii http://www.un.org/apps/news/infocusRel.asp?infocusID=150&Body=+Mali+&Body1

    xviii http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-02-12/france-bombs-hideout-as-mali-insurgency-deepens/4513852

     

    xix http://web.archive.org/web/20080311152154/http://www.voanews.com/english/archive/2008-02/2008-02-08-voa29.cfm?CFID=271210454&CFTOKEN=65103413

    xx http://www.globalresearch.ca/u-s-escalate-imperialist-war-in-mali-and-niger/5321787

     

  • Seth Rutledge

    Conversation With a Syrian in Syria

    Seth Rutledge in Member Posts on Feb 23, 2013
    Tagged in: Untagged 

    February 19, 2013

    Aref Hamdoush lives in Lattakia.  He is a military and political analyst and has studies military science for 5 years.  His sources include friends in the Syrian army, and former friends who have joined the FSA.

    Seth Rutledge - Are there many demonstrations going on in Syria?

    Aref Hamdoush: millions went into streets to tell the world we are with Bashar al Assad, millions all over Syria and even Syrians out side Syria all over the world.

    S- How do most Syrians want to proceed: regime change, new elections, or something else?

    A- I will answer this for sure, most Syrians want elections immediately with Assad as a candidate. Why, because more than 80% of the Syrians support him, we asked for this a long time ago.

    S- Do Syrian’s support the Syrian National Coalition? Are they legitimate representatives of Syria?

    A- The Syrian National Coalition is not national, they represent the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood only caused us troubles in the 80s. The Syrian National Coalition want’s a no-fly zone; no Syrian want’s a no-fly zone unless he is an agent of the West. The Iraqis tell us: don’t make our mistake.

    If the SNC have the support of a large number of Syrians on the ground, then why are they afraid of the elections? Their support on the ground is getting closer to zero day by day.

    You see Syrian society is made of many sects and religions. If the SNC, lead by extremists, wants to kill all of the other sects and religions then they are not with Syria. Any revolution in the world its purpose is to improve the country, not to bring it back into darkness and extremism like the USA and Saudi Arabia define Islamic.  If they care about Syria they wouldn’t sell it’s factories to the Turks; they wouldn’t cut Alawite prisoners into pieces and send the parts to their families.

    S- What is your opinion of the FSA?

    A- Personally if one stood by me I would kill him. They are traitors, they want peace with Israel, they are agents of the USA and Israel, and they are no longer Syrians. Do you know where the name “Free Army” came from? Do you know what happened in Afghanistan, what happened in 9/11?

    When the name “Free Army” started it was in Afghanistan, that’s what they called the Taliban when they fought against Russia- Free Army, Free Fighters. It’s the same here with the FSA, and with the Free Lebanon Army in Lebanon.

    You know it’s not about who is against the system, it’s about who is supporting the FSA with money, weapons, and politically. I was not with the government; I’m against 60% of what they are doing. But it’s better than the FSA, they are blind to Syria. So it doesn’t matter if you don’t agree with the government, it’s the only way for Syria to survive.

    S- Is it true that the government is bombing bread lines?

    A- Why would they do that? The first time the media said that there was a bread shortage Syrian TV showed people taking bread and nothing was going on. Then, about a month ago, there was a real problem getting bread because the FSA told their sleeping cells to buy large amounts of bread and throw it away.  If the government blew people up while taking bread I think all the people would be against the government; and if 23 million Syrians were against the government then the government would have been gone long ago. If the Syrians want to remove the government it would be removed in weeks.

    S- Who do you think is behind the bombing of Aleppo University?

    A- Lets be clear: any bomb going off has Al Qaeda behind it, by all it’s names.

    S- Why aren’t more Syrians marching in support of the government?

    A- There is no need to march; it’s not about people being for or against the government. We have lives and are living them, if we march every day how can we work? Also many have joined the army to fight those extremists.

    In Aleppo people are just trying to survive. But here in Lattakia nothing is going on, it’s all normal. People working, boys and girls walking in the streets with normal clothes, all the prices are almost normal here, many new shops and restaurants have opened. There are no fights.

    What the FSA is doing in Aleppo, they are punishing people because they are against the FSA but cutting the roads, destroying the electricity.

    S- How do you feel about the National Coordinating Body for Democratic Change, it says here it’s a “pro-reform organization that is based in Damascus. It is a broad popular coalition of Pan-Arabists, Nationalists, Kurdish Parties and Organizations, Syrian Socialists, Internationalist Socialists, Marxist Organizations, Peace Movements, Human Rights Organizations, Religious NGOs and other organizations. It is by far the largest and most inclusive pro-reform organization. Although it is by far the largest and most representative pro-reform organization, its initiatives have been largely ignored by Western and Gulf Arab mainstream politicians and media.” http://nsnbc.me/2012/10/24/the-dynamics-of-the-crisis-in-syria-conflict-versus-conflict-resolution-part-1/

    A- That is the group that I support.

    S- Was Bashar al Assad elected?

    A- Yes Bashar al Assad was elected by the Syrians all over Syria in 2000

    S- Why was Assad elected unopposed? Doesn’t that make it a sham election?

    A- I don't know really, I only remember when we went to election box and put yes to him

    S- Do you think the electoral system needs reform?

    A- The coming elections are different than any Syrian has witnessed.

    S- When will the next elections be?

    A= I can't remember the date, but the people against Bashar and Bashar will participate.

    S- Why are these people protesting if Syrians support Assad? http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m94891&hd=&size=1&l=e

    A- You see the black flags, those of are Al Qaeda, they are pro FSA. Theirs signs say: from Hama 1982 until now 2013.

    Do you know the truth about 1982? At that time Egypt sent Special Forces to defeat our president Hafiz, may God bless his soul. Israel was attacking us in Lebanon, and in Iraq. The black oil company trained terrorists and sent them into Syria. Aleppo was the Muslim Brotherhoods base. The world was against us, Lebanon was in civil war and the Syrian army went to finish that war. The king of Jordan was killing all the Palestinians, so the Syrian army was going to go there, but Israel threatened us with a nuke. The president’s brother wanted Syria for himself so he was preparing a military coup; and our president was in very bad health, but he managed to kick his brother out of Syria.

    At that time Damascus had bunkers, we were in war all over Syria. We did not have any financial reserves or food reserves, many places were under heavy attack from the Muslim Brotherhood. Hafiz sent the Special Forces to Aleppo and bombed Hama. The world was against us, still we managed to survive and claim victory.

    When Hafiz bombed Hama it affected some people who carry a great grudge against the government, even if they have the best jobs and so on.

    S- What are their demands?

    A- First they demanded fixing the system and some parts of the Constitution, like section 8. When the government did that they asked for more, the government gave them more and put in a new Constitution for voting. There last demand was on the Emergency Law, so the government removed it as well.

    Then suddenly they asked the police and all government forces to get out of Dar’a. The government agreed, and then the crime rate went up 80%. The people asked the army to go into the city; when the army went to enter it they saw some men dressed like the clothes of our army. So they entered with civilian clothes (keep in mind Dar’a is on the Jordanian border.) So the army cleared Dar’a without killing anyone. Then the problems moved into another border city; then they demanded to remove the president.

    That’s what happened. Even inside Dar’a on of the Sheikhs told people to calm down because everything was completed so there was no need to protest. Some strangers threatened to kill the Sheikh, if he kept telling that to people.

    We started seeing so many strangers dressed in army clothes in the protests, and they started shooting the security and police men. So the security men fired back at them. Some people think that the army was infiltrating the protests; some said that they didn’t see any stranger and the police just fired on them for nothing. Then the Turks and Qataris came on TV and started speaking about the freedom of the Syrian people, and Al Jazeera started spreading lies and the Al Arabia channel, and CNN, BBC and so on.  They said things that had not been seen on the ground, we found out it was a lie. Just like in Libya.

    S- Why doesn’t the government just hold a presidential election?

    A- It will happen soon, but how is it going to be an election by all Syrians if the FSA is keeping people from even opening up their shops and schools? They will kill anyone who tries to vote in the places they are.

    S- If the FSA is so evil why are people still supporting them?

    A- Because of religion, that's all. But so many are against them who were with them at the start. Many protest against the FSA inside their occupied cities; some of the rural cities rose up against them and the FSA fired on them with live ammo.

    S- Are you worried that NATO will start bombing Syria?

    A- NATO can’t bomb Syria. Where would they bomb us from? Turkey had the green light to make war on Syria by the USA, so Erdogan had a big meeting with the heads of the Turkish army; they told him that they would destroy Damascus and Aleppo and other cities, but it would open the boarders to millions of PKK to come into Turkey so Istanbul and Ankara would be destroyed as well.  Also Iran and Iraq would enter the war, it would be a trap to the NATO forces, they would be destroyed by Russian, Iranian, Iraqi, and Syrian missiles and forces. Also Turkey has enough internal problems.

    NATO can’t attack from the sea because Syria has a large arsenal of anti-ship missiles including the Yakhont missiles that Russia gave us which can destroy an aircraft carrier or destroyer. Syria also has very powerful anti-air systems that could bring down all kinds of aircraft and missiles.

    Iran would close the Persian Gulf and the price of oil would skyrocket causing weapons factories to close. 35 American bases would be destroyed in the first 10 minutes of any war by Iran, so the cost could not be handled, especially the safety of Israel.  If Israel started the war and the USA joined in it would mean WW3. They could not control the wars end, it could last 6 months, or years, and by that time no world will remain as it is.

    Syria will achieve the big project by our President Bashar the united second Arabic nation: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine; and we will be a super power.

    S- Yes the stakes are high, but if the US doesn't do it then the petro-dollar could collapse, so really the US can't afford not to.

    A- The dollar must collapse so the world economic will collapse as well, it's the plan my friend. The world will be changed, but not by war with the USA. A big revolution will divide the USA. Syria will be very powerful, Europe will vanish, and Germany will join the BRIC union.

    S- Why doesn't Assad just go? Does Syria really need Assad? Or is it just his ego?

    A- Its not about ego, we don’t want him to go, we love him, he is a true leader. He stood against 130 countries and let Syria survive for more than 2 years. The question is why should he leave? It’s not about him as president or not, it’s about if Syria remains or not. When this crisis is done Syrians will choose what will come.

    S- What would be the consequences if he were to leave?

    A- Destruction to Syria, losing everything.

  • Seth Rutledge

    pod 6

    Seth Rutledge in Member Posts on Feb 09, 2013
    Tagged in: Untagged 
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