Anzacs and War – Considering a Syrian Perspective by Susan Dirgham, July 2015 PART ONE Introduction Australians have had a connection with the people of Syria since the First World War, when…
14th September 2016
“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” ~ George Orwell.
The media furore surrounding the now viral image of wounded Syrian child, Omran Daqneesh, in terrorist-held eastern Aleppo, Syria is still raging, while the push back against the tide of western-sponsored anti-Syrian State propaganda reveals itself to be strengthening with each new spike in pro-terrorist hyperbole designed to provoke a knee-jerk foreign policy response that is either advocating a “No Fly Zone”, or some degree of escalation of foreign military intervention inside of Syria.
Today [20/8/2016] I had the honour to meet with Dr Bouthaina Shaaban, political and media advisor to Syrian President Bashar al Assad. We discussed many issues including this most recent heart wrenching image that is appearing across all main stream media channels. As we opened the discussion, Dr Shaaban said immediately:
“We are paying for this propaganda with our blood.”
Dr Shaaban went on to describe how the “corporate media is distorting reality in Syria“, while also explaining why she was reluctant at the beginning of the NATO member and allies war on Syria, to speak to western mainstream media:
“They came here with accusatory questions, they didn’t come here to know what is going on. They came here to ask me why are you working with a man who is ‘killing his own people.’ What an ugly start for an interview. I said there is no point, they come here to gain credibility but only to re-confirm their own story rather than to find out what is really going on. I didn’t want to be used to ‘re-confirm’ their own story or to give them credibility.”
Dr Shaaban believes that there is a need to ensure voices like hers that resonate with passion for her country and its people, which should be heard across a far wider range of media platforms to counter what might be described as a vast Zionist and Gulf State (GCC) funded media network that is driving the propaganda train though the US and Europe. Dr Shaaban mentioned a weekly column that she is writing in Arabic and suggested that perhaps she should translate it for English media.
What follows is the transcript of Dr Shaaban’s statements on various subjects:
Why is our country being destroyed?
“I wrote that really we are going through a third world war, without naming it a third world war but this time it’s a global war between two projects and two ways of thinking – between western concepts that they want to promote: their own way of life, their own ideology, their own way of thinking even at the expense of other lives and the innocence of our countries while the old civilisations like the Chinese, the Indian, the Arab civilisation are struggling to keep their identity and to pass this identity to their children and grand-children
Personally I no longer believe that the way the system is working in the west has any ‘democracy’ for us, or has any ‘human rights’ for us, or that there is any ‘free press’ for us in their official media system. If you know how we feel now you would be really surprised.
I have two daughters and a son. One daughter is doing a PhD in architecture in London and the other is doing a PhD in the US in international relations and politics. The one in London has a three year old girl, the one in the States has a four year old boy. They have been here for a month, every time they go to the Old City, they come back crying. They say, is it possible that our children cannot live the way we lived, cannot know the Syria we knew, cannot enjoy the Syria we enjoyed? Why?
Why are we being prevented from passing on our experience, our culture, our livelihood to our children? Why are our families being destroyed? Why is our country being destroyed? This is a daily struggle for our children. My children take their children and show them everything because they are afraid that tomorrow this will not be here anymore.
This is a terrible thing to happen to any country, to any people on earth. We have the right to live the way we think, to live our own culture. You might find Paris exciting, I find Damascus the most beautiful place on earth. This is us, this is who we are. I was asked many times to leave as an Ambassador but I cannot leave Damascus, can you believe it? I do not want to live one year out of Damascus, I can never get enough of this city.
So, leave us alone – that is really our message and unfortunately the calculus of politics in the west has no consideration whatsoever for the way people feel or for their aspirations.”
“The problem with the western system is that they think they are superior and they think that they want to “civilize” us and they want us to come up to their “standards”, and I hate when I hear Obama or any US official talking about American exceptionalism. What do they mean American exceptionalism?
God created us as people. We belong to the same humanity, we belong to the same world. In the Quran God spoke about the differences between us and we should understand that we should celebrate and cherish these differences. This idea of supremacy is basically rooted in racism because it believes in the supremacy of one sect, colour or nationality over another.
I feel it is bad for the west too because racism is now producing bad results for western countries especially as there are so many different religions living everywhere in the world. The only salvation for all of us is to say there is one world, one humanity and to apply this rule to everybody. We must truly believe in that not only talk about it in the media and then practice racism in the law. There is a huge area for dialogue but we need people who believe in similar values.”
“We are fighting a war on the ground but it is also a clash of values.“
Reshaping our world and the problems we face.
“The Gulf States are a huge problem. With the petro dollar they are feeding the arms industry in the US, UK and France and prolonging this conflict. It is going to be a long process, we are living through a transitional stage in world history. It is going to be a long process in order to reshape our world. That is why we all have the obligation to be active so our new world is based on better values, better ethics, better ways of dealing with each other.
To achieve this new world, co-operation between east and west is crucial.
Where are the leaders in the US, or even in Europe, who are visionary and who are thinking about their countries for the next fifty years and who are doing the right thing for the people from an historical perspective? So perhaps we are living through a crisis of leadership.”
The Destruction of the Middle East is to protect Israel. NATO is trying to impose an Islamist extremist state onto Syria’s secular state.
“I think there are two explanations for that. First the west should be embarrassed to be supporting countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar against Syria, Iraq or Sudan. We were the secular republics who produced books, scientists, intellectuals etc. I think there is a reason for that. The reason for what the west is doing, in my opinion as an Arab woman, could be summed up by the Arab-Israeli conflict. I feel that the western support for Israel against the Palestinian people and the destruction of a whole people and their identity by Israel shows that what the west cares about is for Israel to be the powerful state in the region for the next fifty or a hundred years. In order for Israel to be the prevailing force in the Middle East it is necessary to destroy Arabic culture.
Unfortunately, now I can see a union of evil between the Gulf States and Israel and western systems. I use the word systems to divorce this evil from the western people.
I respond as an Arab woman, who grew up knowing that my country was part of Bilad al-Sham, Greater Syria. I do not say this in an aggressive tone, but in a loving tone because Syria was Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan and I can’t understand why as a Syrian woman, I cannot visit Al Aqsa. Its very close geographically, yet its impossible for me to get there because Israel has been planted in the Middle East.
Israel is a major focus for western countries and all these wars against Arab countries and what they call the ‘Arab Spring’ is to destroy Arab armies and to prevent any Arab country being able to resist Israel in the future. They do not want us to be able to liberate our Golan Heights, or Palestine, or to simply assure the rights of the Arab people.
By the way, there are at least 50 UN resolutions that give the Palestinians at least half of Palestine and the world is doing nothing about that – on the contrary the US used 37 vetoes in order to prevent the Palestinians getting their rights. Western hypocrisy is amazing.
That is where the supremacy in the west is turned against Arabs because it is the Zionist media that tells the west that the Arabs are ‘backwards’ or primitive. People are persuaded by this propaganda and they treat us as the Zionists wish us to be treated. This is racism against Arabs and emanates from the Zionists.
Hillary Clinton has spoken about working with the Muslim Brotherhood. It is extensively documented that the Muslim Brotherhood has had connections to the CIA since they were created. Even if we read nothing but we apply the western proverb, “who is the beneficiary” – you will find Israel is the beneficiary from all this destruction.
You can see that the army and our intellectuals are the major targets for Israel. They dont want any intellectuals or any army left in our country. They destroyed the Iraqi army. There is a war of attrition against the Syrian army, against the Libyan army, the Sudanese, the Lebanese.
Unfortunately some who call themselves Arab in the Gulf use the petro-dollar in order to serve this project against our culture and our civilization because as a Syrian woman I feel the Gulf has no culture, no history. This is Bilad al-Sham continually inhabited for ten thousand years. The Gulf is forty years old and therefore they have no right to speak in the name of the Arabs
We are the Arabs, we are history, we are civilization.
What they are doing is against our civilization, against our history and against our future but I feel this is a very dangerous project that reminds me of how the American Indians were treated. They have destroyed Palmyra, they have destroyed our history and our culture.
Khaled al-Assad is the only archaeologist in the world who was writing about who was here in the past, in Palmyra. He was proving that the Zionists were never here. They killed him, they burned his library, they burned his books so we have nothing left of his work. From an observers’ perspective, they are focusing on history, material history, cultural history, identity, army. Any power that keeps you as an entire state, or any statesman that represents strength or unity will be demonized and destroyed.
Even Ramadan al Bouti a Sunni scholar who was speaking sense was murdered because they want to destroy anybody who speaks the truth or who is influential and can gather people around him.
What is the significance of President Assad? He is credible, people believe in him, Arab people believe in him. They do not want anybody like that to have influence. I feel there is a huge plan against all of us.
They operate by buying people, Arab people, people in powerful positions who serve the Zionist project against our culture and identity because they can be bought by money.
I am talking to you from experience, I was subjected to a huge amount of pressure by many countries to be bought by money and all the temptations you can think of were offered to me but I am somebody who cannot be bought by money. I am somebody who believes in my country and in my people. Even if I die, I can die for a cause. If I can’t live for it I can die for it.
Most of the defections that happened in Syria were driven by money. None of them has a cause or an ideology or any credibility with our people.
As you said quite rightly, the western people do not see any of this, they only see the shadow. Those people bought by money, they are the shadow state.
Nobody wants to know who we really are.”
The reason nobody knows the real Syria and the real Syrians, is because the western media has routinely lied and deceived us from the very beginning of the war against Syria – led by the US, NATO members and funded by the Gulf states, supported and encouraged by Israel who, as Dr Shaaban states, stands to benefit most from the perpetual chaos being maintained inside their strongest enemy in the region.
The image of Omran is another example of the NATO members and their media counterparts who see children as tools (an example of geopolitical child abuse) to achieve their own “regime change” agenda in Syria. It is another example of the wanton exploitation of the misery NATO members are imposing upon a sovereign nation via the crippling economic sanctions and an invasion of Syria by a foreign proxy army of criminals, mass murderers and suicide bombers they have consistently persuaded us to be legitimate “opposition forces.”
Children are being weaponized to achieve military escalation, the lethal no-fly-zone, and to enable further crowd funding for terrorism under the guise of the NATO first responders, the Syria White Helmets who are nothing more than terrorists masquerading as humanitarians.
Nobody is listening to the real Syria but they are prepared to nominate Al Qaeda for the Nobel Peace Prize.
To know the White Helmets better and to understand their role inside Syria please read 21st Century Wire’s article: Who Are Syria’s White Helmets.
Please get to know the “real Syria” before its too late.
This article was first published at 21st Century Wire.
14th September 2016
Apologies for lack of posts lately. I have just returned from an extended visit to Syria and the border towns of Lebanon/Syria. My visit included meeting with Syria’s President, Bashar Al-Assad as part of the US Peace Council delegation itinerary.
Syrian Arab News Agency report on this meeting 28/7/2016:
“Damascus, SANA-President Bashar al-Assad said the policy of the US administration in the region goes against the interests and values of the American people, adding that they are getting increasingly violent at the expense of logic and common sense.
During his meeting on Thursday with the US Peace Council delegation currently visiting Syria led by Henry Lowendorf, President al-Assad said the US policies are at a collision course with the interests of the US citizens and the peoples of the world, indicating that the role of the United States as a superpower should otherwise be positive and based on fostering knowledge, science and technology instead of chaos and destruction.
President al-Assad gave a concise review of the events in Syria since the start up until now, indicating that the crisis which later morphed into a war on the Syrian people was prompted by Syria’s rejection to have a regional role that runs counter to the interests of its people.
The delegation members said their visit is aimed at having a close look into the situation in Syria and conveying their first-hand accounts to the US public opinion, vowing to do their best to stop the war and US and Western interference in Syria.
They underlined their vehement opposition to the US belligerent and interventionist policies, pledging to exert efforts to change this policy.
President al-Assad, for his part, praised such visits for their importance in helping governments change their policies if they are willing to.
In a statement to journalists, Lowendorf said the delegation held “fruitful and constructive” talks with President al-Assad.
“We had the honor to meet President al-Assad. He was straightforward and wanted us to be so. We related to him what we saw and he provided rational, accurate and wise answers for our questions…He impressed us with his insight not only about the situation in Syria but also about world powers,” he added.”
For now, here is a very insightful statement from President Assad made in 2015:
“When we reach the stage where the countries involved in conspiring on Syria and in shedding Syrian blood stop supporting terrorism, then we can say that we are in the last quarter, because other details that are called a political solution or a political track or anything similar become simple details and of little value, and when we say ‘of little value’ this means that they aren’t essential in resolving the crisis, and they become details on which an agreement can be reached.
Now, they propose that there must be dialogue with political forces to reach a solution for the crisis, and we say there’s no reason not to do so; let those forces that present themselves as representatives of the Syrian people come and prove that they represent them or have influence, and we would hold dialogue with them without hesitation. This is what is called the political track.
But in fact, for this political track to have an effect, it must be between Syrian independent political forces that belong to the Syrian people and have their roots in Syria and Syria alone, unlike what we see now in several of the forces we hold dialogue with that are bound financially and politically to foreign sides”
President Bashar al-Assad.
5th August 2016
21st Century Wire
As the battle for Aleppo gathers momentum and the encircled terrorist factions respond violently to the strangulation of their supply lines and diminishment of their territory in eastern Aleppo, CNN goes to extraordinary lengths to obfuscate US connections to these terror gangs, romanticise the role of terror in Syria and even more astonishingly “normalise” suicide bombers and promote the re-branded Al Nusra as the new “moderates”.
Al Nusra Front (aka Al Qaeda in Syria) under new nomenclature suddenly become ‘freedom fighters’ (sounds familiar) and the new ‘reasonable option’ in the US mainstream media and the US voting public barely seem to notice?
On August 2nd 2016, as the Syrian Arab Army made serious advances on the ground against the NATO and GCC-backed terrorist factions occupying the eastern sectors of Aleppo, the Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria, Jabhat Al Nusra made the announcement that it was changing the name of the group. Naturally, CNN ran with this story almost immediately.
This re-branding also coincides with the agreement between Russia and the US to finally combine forces in combating Al Qaeda/Al Nusra fighting inside Syria. Here we can see the true function of CNN in the conflict theatre – to help sculpt the US government narrative – and to carefully nudge the public perception along those lines.
CNN’s crack journalist, Clarissa Ward, who has visited terrorist held areas inside Syria 14 times since the NATO dirty war on Syria began 5 years ago, even donning the full veil and chador, or niqab, presumably to “respect” the ‘moderate rebel’ jihadi extremist demands, has played the staring role in the CNN team producing these sensational reports.
Clarissa Ward who professes Syria is a place “close to her heart” wrote that Al Nusra had taken the decision to split from Al Qaeda and re-brand as Jabhat Fatah al Sham.
“Mostafa Mahamed, one of the group’s leaders, says that prior to the split al-Nusra “was an official branch of al Qaeda. We reported to their central command and we worked within their framework, we adhered to their policies.With the formation of JFS, or Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham, we are completely independent. That means we don’t report to anyone, we don’t receive our directives from any external entity.” ~ CNN Report
CNN then go on to draw on comments from Charles Lister, known propagandist and executive producer of the “moderate rebel” promotional literature. Scholar at the the Washington based and Qatari funded Middle East Institute, Charles Lister of course celebrates this name change, claiming it is a natural progression for the group to protect it from Russian and Syrian Airforce strikes.
Qatar itself is also heavily invested in “regime change” in Syria. Besides funding the terrorist factions directly, Qatar is also involved in the more subtle building of a shadow state inside Syria via the myriad of NATO and EU funded NGOs who serve as a fifth column for the governments hostile to Syria and enable these governments to work on infiltrating local services and councils. This operation has been discussed in a previous 21st Century Wire article, #AleppoIsBurning Campaign Created by NATO to Facilitate a “No Bomb Zone.”
So, this group that receives weapons, equipment and “directives” from NATO member states, in particular the US, has rebranded to prevent Russia targeting them as an internationally designated terrorist group? According to Charles Lister, there are perfectly logical explanations for this re-brand that defy such spurious speculation:
“Al Qaeda as an international organization has been changing,” says Lister. “It is becoming more of an idea than an organization. It is looking to decentralize jihad, to give more autonomy to individual affiliates with the aim of making jihadi rule more likely. “Jabhat al-Nusra has demonstrated the value of that,” he says, distancing itself from some of the more bloodthirsty Islamist groups. “It has an explicit ban on tough punishments: It doesn’t chop hand off for thievery, it doesn’t execute for murder.” ~ CNN Report
Has nobody watching or reading CNN realised how twisted this statement is?
Al Nusra does not “chop hands off for thievery, it doesnt execute for murder“. There is some logic to this however… when the murderers absolve themselves of their own crimes it makes sense that they will abolish the execution policy when they are the primary perpetrators of the crime inside Syria. They don’t chop hands off, what is the point when a head can be chopped off instead?
Why punish murder when they are massacring the Syrian people on a daily basis?
The Al Nusra Invasion of Maaloula Whitewashed by CNN
Yesterday Vanessa Beeley [the author] met with Father Talal Taalab, a Christian priest from the historic Christian village of Maaloula perched 15oo metres high on the mountainside of the Rif Dimashq governorate, 56 km north-east of Damascus and close to the border with Lebanon.
This beautiful Syrian Christian village has been in existence for more than 7000 years and has proudly preserved its culture and heritage including the Aramaic language. The following video was filmed on the 29th July 2016 inside the Mar Takla monastery, Maaloula. The Lords prayer is being recited in Aramaic.
In the 1920s, according to Father Taalab, Turkey introduced Muslim Brotherhood factions into Maaloula “planting strangers in our land.”
The Christian communities welcomed these “strangers” and provided them with housing and land, even building a mosque for them inside Maaloula.
From 2011 onwards, Father Taalab sensed a growing threat from members of this Muslim community, he noticed that many of them were joining the flourishing groups of insurgents and extremists. Even those living inside Maaloula were being enticed into joining the ranks of those terrorists who wished only to cleanse the area of those who did not adhere to their extreme view of Islam and intolerance towards “apostates” and infidels.
On the 4th September 2013, these terrorists that CNN are trying to present as reformed criminals, suicide bombed the southern SAA checkpoint that was the only defence for the crypto-occupied Christian residents. A Jordanian suicide bomber drove a truck up to the checkpoint that was blocking the southern entrance to the village and detonated it, giving the signal for the attack to begin.
During this attack, 8 Syrian Army soldiers were murdered by the insurgents and two tanks were disabled. The terrorists then went on to capture the Safir Hotel which gave them a vantage point from which they could snipe the village residents. Father Taalab describes how many of the Muslim Brotherhood residents who had been their neighbours for years, turned on their Christian hosts and began chanting in support of the Al Nusra insurgents while they were attacking Christian homes and looting or torching their churches.
On the 7th September 2013, Black Saturday in the Maalouli calendar, Al Nusra extremists entered a house in Maaloula. They rounded up three young men, Sarkis, Mikhael and Anton [see below, from left to right]. Their photos are pinned to the wall of Father Taalab’s office.
Al Nusra demanded that each man convert to Islam, each man in turn refused to renounce their faith and were shot in the head one by one. The second and third were forced to watch their lifelong friends and brothers murdered before being shot themselves for their refusal to abandon their beliefs.
The Al Nusra operatives then went on to shoot an 80 year old man, Lawandeus, who was Anton’s father. Lawandeus was blind and deaf but this did not prevent Al Nusra’s attempted murder of this defenceless elder citizen whose son’s blood was already staining the floor.
On entering the house, these Al Nusra NATO-GCC agents had also shot Anton’s sister, Antoinette, in the back. Presuming she was dead they then proceeded to shoot her brother and his two comrades in the head while Antoinette, half conscious, a bullet in her spine, was forced to witness the cold-blooded murders. Her brother Anton was a shoemaker, the only son of their parents and someone who served his church and the community faithfully and compassionately.
Mikhael was the town baker and Sarkis was an engineering student with a promising future, cut short by the Al Nusra blood-letters whose purpose was to ethnically cleanse the Christian community from its ancestral home.
On the same day, Al Nusra kidnapped six young men from the village including Father Taalab’s brother and two other family members. Father Taalab maintains that Al Nusra deliberately targeted the families of the village clergy which further supports the claim that Al Nusra were intent upon the ethnic cleansing of this ancient community.
These six young men are still missing. For the first six months, Father Taalab was in contact with them via phone. After that initial six months nothing has been heard from them. The pain of this “not knowing” was visible in Father Taalab eyes and expression as he talked of efforts ongoing to try and locate the boys and to return them to their families in Maaloula.
“We are hopeful that all our belongings will be returned to us including the icons and artefacts but most importantly the human souls that were torn from our midst and from their mothers’ side.” ~ Father Taalab
We would expect a media outlet as prominent as CNN to report on these atrocities in detail but when we look at their accounts of Al Nusra’s invasion and occupation of Maaloula we find that they have, to a large extent, whitewashed the extremism and murderous intent.
In fact, according to CNN, “Maaloua was spared the atrocities endured elsewhere across Syria.” In a May 2016 report, CNN barely mentions the Al Nusra savagery, with only a fleeting reference to the 2013 crimes: “The convent was badly damaged in 2013 and 12 nuns were taken hostage and held by Islamist fighters for months before being released unharmed.”
This glib reformulation of the truth acts as a criminal gatekeeper as to the true evil of Al Nusra and the barbarity of their acts against the Maalouli people. CNN is fundamentally entering into the arena of terror apologism and perhaps even endorsement of their heinous crimes against an unprotected and unprepared Christian minority community that had peacefully co-existed with its eventual attackers for almost a full century.
CNN also marginalise the desecration of ancient cultural heritage sites, the burning of medieval Icons, the torching of sacred places of worship, the shooting of the crosses, the theft of the ancient statues and artefacts. These NATO-GCC terrorists cut a violent and bloody swathe through this steadfast civilisation that had evolved over seven thousand years into a humble and hospitable community that opened its doors to all faiths and sects.
Below is a slideshow of some of the photos taken during the visit to Maaloula on the 29th of July 2016, clearly showing the extent of the destruction carried out by the NATO-GCC terrorists as they marauded through the town and its sacred heritage sites.
Remember, according to Charles Lister, these murderers are “moderates”: “it [Al Nusra] doesn’t chop hand off for thievery, it doesn’t execute for murder.”
This short video was taken on the 29th July 2016, almost three years after these horrific crimes were committed by the CNN poster boys for “moderate” terrorism inside Syria. It shows the US Peace Council delegation entering Maaloula. As you can hear from the comments, the scars of the Al Nusra butchery still remain in the bullet holes that pepper the walls and buildings and deep in the hearts of this simple community that has suffered inestimable loss and endured a savagery they never imagined could exist among them.
Are CNN Embedded with Al Qaeda inside Syria?
Now we have established evidence of just one of the many areas of Syria where Al Nusra have committed atrocities against the Syrian people we should return and examine more closely, the role of CNN as US State media purveyor of the “moderate rebel” myth and normaliser of terrorist acts “moderately” conducted daily and justified by any means possible.
Clarissa Ward stated that she has visited Syria 14 times since the NATO-GCC dirty operation to secure “regime change” began to tear Syria apart over five years ago. In these CNN reports, Ward appears to have extensively embedded herself in the Al Nusra/Al Qaeda held areas of Aleppo and along the corridor that leads from the Turkish border to the terrorist occupied city. As explained previously, Al Nusra and other NATO-GCC backed gangs such as Nour al Din Jenki occupy the eastern sectors of Aleppo city with ISIS intermingling in the northern regions.
‘Nour al Din Jenki’, another US supported terrorist faction were responsible for the recent horrific beheading of a young 11 year old Palestinian child, the footage of which has shocked audiences across the world but which the US State Department still balks at condemning. The life of a child, beaten, tortured and finally publicly decapitated seems less important than the protection of their assets inside Syria.
In March 2016 Ward and CNN with the assistance of Bilal Abdul Kareem of ‘On the Ground News’ (OGN) executed a plan to film deep inside the “rebel” territories of [eastern] Aleppo, Idlib city and Maarat al Numan. It must be clarified that the areas infiltrated by this media team are in fact stongholds of terrorism, ISIS, Al Nusra/Al Qaeda and Ahrar al Sham the other half of the erstwhile Jaish al Fatah [Army of Conquest] alliance that Al Nusra has now publicly disassociated from with its convenient name change.
Bilal Abdul Kareem interviewing Muhaysini. Photo: Screenshot
Bilal Abdul Kareem is no stranger to these terrorist areas, he has been the long-time pet interviewer of Sheikh Abdullah Muhaysini, head of Jaish al Fatah and Riyadh-educated and funded child suicide-bomber trainer, executioner, judge of apostates and all round mass murderer who has very recently been calling upon terrorist suicide bombers in and around Aleppo to massacre Syrian Arab Army soldiers and allies to gain their virgin prizes in Jannah [Paradise]:
The intrepid Ward wears the niqab on this mission, appearing to be succumbing to the most extreme demands of fundamental Wahhabi Islam being imposed by ISIS, Ahrar al Sham and Al Nusra in Idlib, eastern Aleppo and Maarat al Numan.
As with most US mainstream media (and US political figures like John McCain) championing ‘moderate’ terrorists, Ward crossed into Syria illegally via the Turkish border without permission from the Syrian government and fraternized with the same terrorists that are massacring and sadistically brutalizing the Syrian people in these regions.
Had Ward entered legally, she would have had the protection of the Syrian Government and Armed forces. She would not have had to wear the Niqab as the majority of Government held areas that house the majority of the Syrian people from all religious sects and walks of life do not enforce any sort of dress code.
Of course, this would have made for a far less dramatic news piece for CNN producers who are keen to develop the US State Department’s and the CIA’s own ‘moderate rebel’ and ‘freedom fighter’ narrative.
Had Ward officially and respectfully asked if she could interview the “armed opposition” she would have been told by Dr Bashar Al Jaafari [Syrian Representative to the UN] that:
“If you wish to talk to the armed opposition, I suggest you go to Saudi Arabia.”
What is Ward’s role in this war? It is certainly not to bring the truth to the outside world.
Ward collectively re-brands these NATO member state and GCC-funded mass murderers, armed ‘activists’ and moderate rebels.
In her news packages, Ward sits with these terrorist criminals and sympathises with their supposed plight as they are bombed by the Syrian and Russian airforce trying to drive this foreign-backed cancer from a still sovereign nation that has been invaded by a NATO-GCC proxy army comprising of rapists, child abusers, smugglers, drug addicts and escaped convicts.
Ward romanticizes these felons and killers, she allies herself and CNN with their “cause” although an explanation of that cause is not forthcoming other than, naturally, the deposing of President Assad, his “brutal regime” and the destruction of the Syrian National Army.
Almost every family in Syria has a relative in the Syrian Army, Ward is advocating their murder and denying the universal grief and sorrow felt by every single Syrian man, woman and child that has lost their father, son, brother or uncle at the hands of the criminals that Ward portrays as heroic “rebels”.
“They were the ones under the relentless bombardment from the Assad regime. The vast majority of people living there are good people who are suffering enormously.” ~ Clarissa Ward: What its like being a Journalist in one of the Worlds most Dangerous Countries
What Ward fails to mention is that, yes, the good people, the Syrian people are suffering enormously but from terrorist occupation. In Syrian reality, the Syrian Arab Army is their liberator not their prison warden as so often described by Ward and the CNN team.
Ward does not mention Kafarya and Foua, the Ahrar al Sham besieged Shia Muslim villages in Idlib. Kafarya and Foua are being starved to death. Kafarya and Foua are being gradually and viciously ethnically cleansed by those Ward describes as “activists”.
This protracted war crime in Kafarya and Foua, endorsed and facilitated by the UN and NATO does not even warrant a mention from Ward and her CNN/OGN entourage.
The following video made again by Bilal Abdul Kareem of OGN demonstrates quite clearly that these terrorist factions and their supporters are not starving, they are not besieged, they are only hungry for bigger and better weapons with which they can continue their bloodletting inside Syria on behalf of the Gulf States, Turkey, Israel and NATO.
In one interview, Clarissa Ward calculatingly says:
“Syria grabbed my heart and never let go.”
Does Clarissa Ward ever mention the heart eating exploits of the CNN poster boys and their allies? No, of course not. That would muddy the filthy vermin infested water that CNN are trying to sell us as beneficial for the Syrian people who are in reality poisoned by CNN’s toxic propaganda and support of the terrorist entities that are destroying entire communities, uprooting many others and torturing or violating those that remain behind.
CNN Normalizes Al Nusra Suicide Bombers – “Inside the Mind of a Suicide Bomber”
Two nights ago, CNN aired a chilling and shocking programme where they actively normalised the use of suicide bombers as a natural act of war.
In a ten minute interview with CNN, who yet again give a platform to these pro-terrorist talking heads, Norwegian filmmaker Paul Refsdal explains how he had to provide a CV and two references in order to be able to film and interview Al Nusra suicide bombers inside Syria.
In this hallucinatory interview, CNN allow Refsdal to reduce the massacres carried out by these suicide bombers down to the “absurd” and to justify the use of suicide bombers as a legitimate act of war against the Syrian Arab Army.
It is interesting to note that during the US Peace Council delegation meeting with President Bashar al Assad on the 28th July 2016, Assad mentioned that according to his government data, the majority of ISIS leaders fighting in Syria, originate from Norway. Perhaps Paul Refsdal is a potential candidate. Surely we should at least be asking who provided his references.
There is barely a whisper of condemnation for these mass murderers and ideologically deluded criminals. Once more CNN serves as the platform to lionize terrorism and to elevate it to normalcy in the minds of viewers and readers.
This is a very dangerous path to walk down and one from which return is not easy. Where are CNN leading us and why?
Should we expect CNN to now suddenly approve of past Palestinian resistance tactics and their use of suicide bombers in response to the disproportionate force deployed against them by a very real and illegal (according to international law) Israeli Military Occupation Forces in Palestine? That is the logical conclusion surely?
Al Nusra/Al Qaeda name-change given a platform by CNN
CNN went one step beyond most other media channels who reported on the timely re-branding by Al Nusra/Al Qaeda.
CNN televised the announcement by Mohammed Joulani, flanked by two unsavoury members of the terrorist group. Once again CNN gave the platform to an internationally designated terrorist group and endorsed their attempt to distance themselves from the damaging Al Qaeda brand.
This cynical ploy to alter public perception and open the door to future protection of and collaboration with this NATO-GCC terrorist asset must be highlighted. The consequences of this operation being successful are too dreadful to conceive or entertain particularly for the already bloodied and ravaged Syrian nation and its wounded people.
Mockingbird Media: CNN Working in Lock-step with the US State Department
CNN is not the only State operative to be working hard at distancing Al Nusra from Al Qaeda and creating smoke screens to disassociate the US government from its terrorist connections in Syria.
John Kirby of the US State Department manages to twist his response to a question regarding the Al Nusra re-branding into an unintelligible concoction of double-speak, ultimately avoiding the question altogether as only the US State Department can.
Where is the categorical response that should have been forthcoming – “under any name they are a gang of mass murderers illegally on Syrian soil and as such are legitimate targets for the Syrian National Army and their allies”.
Hell might freeze over long before we hear that from the US State Department or any of their related agencies in the media or predatory humanitarian complex.
The Deadly Implications of the Al Qaeda name change game
Wikipedia has already edited its entry for Mohammed Joulani, Emir of Jabhat al Nusra to incorporate the product re-branding:
“Ahmed Hussein al-Shar’a (Arabic: أحمد حسين الشرع), known by the nom de guerre Abu Mohammad al-Julani (Arabic: أبو محمد الجولاني), is the emir of the Syrian militant group Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, he also led its predecessor organisation Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda. Al-Julani was listed by the US State Department as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” on 16 May 2013″
The name change has significance and this should not be overlooked.
“It is interesting that CNN translates “Sham” to Levant which includes Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Turkey and Cyprus. The British would also add Libya and Egypt to the Levant.
The world “Sham” should actually only include Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and Jordan.
The Islamic definition of “Fateh” is conquest which means quite simply the introduction of the rule of Allah according to the armies of “Fateh”that are predominantly driven by the extremist ideologies of Wahhabism and Al Qaeda so ISIS, Al Nusra, Ahrar al Sham etc. Conquest in this context means the displacement and destruction of all those who do not adhere to this extremist ideology.” ~ Abdo Hadad, Maaloula
The CNN expansion of the territory to include the whole of the Levant as opposed to the Sham is perhaps an indication of where this latest turn of events may lead.
Are we about to see the normalization of Al Qaeda and their deployment into Idlib to present the “moderate” face of extremism to the outside world. An extremism that intends to impose its Islamic state upon a specific area of Syria that is already heavily occupied by its forces, controlled by Turkey acting as middle man for Saudi Arabia and the NATO Alliance.
Presently, Aleppo is slipping from NATO-GCC grasp, and it will be a huge loss for their terrorist brigades. Is Idlib the new target and is Jabhat Fateh al Sham the new “moderate” Al Qaeda primed to occupy this belt of territory bordering Turkey which will give Erdogan an even greater role inside Syria without having to deploy his own armed forces.
Once again, CNN provide the clues by publishing Charles Lister’s view on the Al Qaeda re-brand:
“Their long term aim is to establish an Islamic emirate in Syria”
Gilad Atzmon has emerged as a strong supporter of Religious Nationalism and Empire
14th July 2016
21st Century Wire
“My land is a stone of thirst and pain. My land is a bread as hot as my heart. My land is a river of hatred and resentment.”
~ Ignazio Delogu “Sa Terra Mia”, Sardinia
In his 1921 novel, Sea and Sardinia, D H Lawrence said, “This land resembles no other place. Sardinia is something else. Enchanting spaces and distances to travel-nothing finished, nothing definitive. It is like freedom itself.”
Sardinia is one of the most geologically ancient and fascinating land masses in Europe, it has welcomed migration and settlers since prehistoric times.
In the 9th Century the Phoenicians used it as a safe harbour along their trade routes from the coast of what is now Lebanon to the far flung shores of Africa. Modern day Cagliari is suggested to have been created by the people of Tyre in Lebanon, then called Tyrus.
Sardinia’s history spans centuries from pre-history to the Byzantine era and the late middle ages to post second world war. Sardinia has survived devastating famines, repelled Napoleonic invasions from its shores and endured slavery when 900 of the inhabitants of a neighbouring islet were kidnapped by Tunisians in 1798. The island was heavily bombarded by Allied forces during WWII prior to the Armistice of Cassibile in 1943 when Italy joined forces with the Allies, causing bitter divisions in Italy among those who turned against Germany and those who remained loyal to Benito Mussolini.
Sardinia is home for 1.6 million people, a diverse and ecologically important wildlife, 1200 miles of stunning coastline, not to mention the proliferation of historical heritage sites. All irrelevant when stacked up against the military industrial complex and its beneficiaries.
Post WWII, NATO gradually invaded Sardinia. Military bases sprang up across the island. These include Decimomannu air base and Salto di Quirra, the biggest scientific miltary base in Europe. 60% of all Italian, NATO and non-NATO military installations are based in Sardinia on this stretch of land 24,000 square kilometres, a piece of land one tenth the size of the Italian mainland. 35,000 hectares are being used for “experimental” weapons testing. Sixteen NATO military bases have marred the devastatingly beautiful landscape of Sardinia:
50. La Maddalena – Santo Stefano [Ss]. US atomic base, submarine base, naval squad in support of American aircraft carrier “Simon Lake”.
51. Monte Limbara [tra Oschiri e Tempio, Ss]. US missile base.
52. Sinis di Cabras [Or]. NSA data processing center.
53. Isola di Tavolara [Ss]. US Navy submarine support radiotelegraphic station.
54. Torre Grande di Oristano. NSA radar base.
55. Monte Arci [Or]. US telecommunication station with NATO coverage.
56. Capo Frasca [Or]. US heliport and system radar.
57. Santulussurgiu [Or]. USAF telecommunication station with NATO coverage.
58. Perdasdefogu [Nu]. Experimental missle base.
59. Capo Teulada [Ca]. From Capo Teulada to Capo Frasca [Or], approximately 100 km of coast, 7,200 hectares of land and more than 70,000 hectares of “off limits” zones: shooting range for navy and aerial practices for the US 6th Fleet and NATO.
60. Cagliari. US naval base.
61. Decimomannu [Ca]. US airport with NATO coverage.
62. Aeroporto di Elmas [Ca]. USAF air base.
63. Salto di Quirra [Ca]. Missile shooting range.
64. Capo San Lorenzo [Ca]. Training zone for the US 6th Fleet.
65. Monte Urpino [Ca]. US and NATO munitions depot.
In February 2008 the US ended 35 years of Naval presence in Sardinia, closing its submarine maintenance and atomic base in La Maddalena.
However, the NATO presence in Sardinia was far from diminished by this departure. As the shutters closed on the US offices in La Maddalena the island would enter a dark new phase – a storm of weapons testing that would leave it crippled economically and physically.
The Militarisation, Contamination and Slow Painful Destruction of Sardinia
NATO bases occupy more than one third of Sardinia’s land and sea territory. During military drills and naval exercises, the sea surrounding Sardinia is closed to navigation and fishing, thus increasing the NATO control beyond the land boundaries to encompass around 7,200 square miles.
Militaries and arms manufacturers have used Sardinia to test new bullets [including DU, depleted uranium], bombs, missiles and drones. It is a training base for navy and airforces. It is the scene of military exercises, drills and war “games”. Old weapons, explosives and missiles are also exploded, burned and buried – ensuring pollution of air, land and water sources. It is also a hop-off point to North Africa. Bombing sorties into Libya, for example, have been launched from the island.
A document leaked in 2003 revealed that the Italian government is raking in $ 63,000 per hour in rent for the land in Sardinia being used for experimental weapons testing and clandestine military exercises.
“But as the bases are generally rented for 10 or 15 days uninterruptedly, it means that the Italian state makes around 1.2 million euros [$1.33m] per day, or much more considered that up to three different companies often operate in PISQ at the same time. Military forces from Libya, the United States, Israel and other countries have all quartered in Sardinia over the past years” ~ Mariella Cao, Gettiamo le Base [Get rid of the bases]
“My son [Francesco] died at 29 after he did military service in Capo Teulada. He got cancer. Medical records showed there were thorium, steel, iron, strontium in his pancreas and liver,” ~ Giancarlo Piras
Various biochemists who have conducted research and analysis of the land surrounding or inside the main weapons testing grounds have found high levels of “brass, steel, iron, tungsten and other materials such as aluminum, which is linked to Alzheimer’s disease and other pathologies” according to Maria Antonietta Gatti, an eminent scientist who worked on the project to expose NATO contaminants.
“The tests also revealed high levels of the rare earth element cerium, which indicates that the thorium was of anthropogenic origin – potentially from a thorium capsule that forms part of the guidance system for MILAN missiles.” ~ Doug Weir, Coordinator of the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons
Gatti further warned against eating the cheese, drinking the milk or consuming the meat from livestock grazing these toxic areas. She claimed that during her research, satellite images showed that in certain areas like Salto di Quirra, it was evident that vegetation had been severely affected and decimated.
“When I found heavy metals inside a number of people, also young, with leukemia and malformed animals, all living in places which are extremely clean except for the military industry, I obviously asked myself whether there could be a correlation between those diseases and the tests….
Rain leads to the contamination of the soil. Through air pollution, other areas that are not involved in the testing are contaminated as well… The sea is polluted. Local governments do not warn people when there are testing activities; they do testing even at night.”~ Gatti
2011 Dead Shepherds Exhumed
In 2011, local public prosecutor, Domenico Fiordalsi led a campaign to investigate the NATO contamination and its deadly consequences. Fiordalsi sought to exhume the corpses of local shepherds who had died of various mutations of cancer and abnormal diseases in order to prove a correlation between these high incidences of unusual deaths and the increased weapons testing activity on the island.
Fiordalsi’s investigation uncovered extremely fine dusts that can bypass the lungs and penetrate internal organs which were found inside the bone marrow and brains of some of the exhumed corpses.
The nuclear physicist Evandro Lodi Rizzini of Brescia University and CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) found elevated levels of radioactive thorium 232 and cerium (proving that the thorium was man-made) in the tissues of 15 of 18 bodies of Quirra-area shepherds who died of cancer between 1995 and 2000.
On March 24, 2012 Fiordalisi indicted twenty people on charges of “willful omission of precautions against injury and aggravated disasters or because they falsely certified the absence of pollution with the aim to “hide the environmental disaster.” The documents from Fiordalisi’s investigation have now been turned over to a tribunal for prosecution.” ~ Helen Jaccard, War is a Crime
Helen Jaccard of War is a Crime compiled a detailed report of the various forms of contamination on Sardinia in her 2012 report.
. Large quantities of buried waste containing cadmium, lead, antimony, and napalm
• High levels of lead on several beaches and in the water
• Explosions of waste and weapons from past wars affecting areas up to 2000 square meters each that no longer support vegetation – each explosion produces as much pollution as an incinerator of municipal solid waste during one year – exposing communities, shepherds, base personnel and animals to toxic dust containing thorium, lead, cerium and cadmium
• Thorium, a radioactive and highly carcinogenic heavy metal used in military targeting systems has been found in Sardinian honey, milk, and other areas of the food chain.
• Pieces of bombs, missiles, and bullets are lying on the ground and in the sea
• Unexploded ordnance lies in and around the restricted areas, including both land and sea.
The effects upon this dwindling community are devastating. According to Helen Jaccard’s report, there has been a steady increase in birth defects and malformations both in humans and livestock. Two headed lambs are being born and tissue taken from these malformed creatures reveals high levels of depleted uranium. Limb deformities, multiple organ defects and growth issues have also been recorded.
Deformed lamb: Photo War is a Crime report
The incidences of Cancer related diseases has hugely increased, particularly leukaemia or lymphoma. Thyroid cancer and auto-immune diseases are also on the increase.
“John Madeddu worked in the Capo Frasca base from 1968 to 1987. He has diffuse large cell lymphoma. He remembers an area where a large number of bullets accumulated in a clearing. When it rained it created a marsh and the water seeped into the ground. The artesian wells provide water for both the base and the nearby farms. This kind of contamination has continued to build over the years with no clean-up effort undertaken. Animal deformities are common near the bases. Cattle still graze here and even if directly hit and killed by weapons containing heavy metals these animals are being butchered and eaten.” ~ Helen Jaccard
According to Fernando Codenesu, Professor at the Department of Energy at the Torino Polytechnic, Sardinia has rocks that are very fragile and contain heavy metals. An explosion breaks the rocks into micro and nano-particles containing these heavy metals. These in turn are dispersed over wide areas by the wind and contaminate the groundwater. People and livestock are then breathing in these nano particles on a daily basis.
“One micro-gram, that is, one millionth of a gram is sufficient to kill a person. It causes a rise in atomic disintegrations; with a production of 2000 alpha rays a day, nuclear radiation is most damaging.” ~ Dr Rizzini on the effects of depleted uranium and thorium
Decimonmannu: NATO’s water contamination project
“Decimomannu in Southwest Sardinia has the largest NATO air base in the world, used since 1954 as collaboration between Italy, Germany, Canada, the United States and NATO. From here they support transport aircraft of the Military Airlift Command from the United States to the Middle East and Africa. A total of 4 F-18s, along with a single Boeing 707 refueling aircraft was deployed to Decimomannu Air Base on the island of Sardinia for operations over Libya.
The military base of Decimomannu has been contaminating the environment with jet fuel and other poisons. Jet fuel contains xylene, benzene and lead, highly dangerous and carcinogenic substances. Mayor Louis Porceddu in February 2011 prohibited the use of the local wells.” ~ Helen Jaccard
In 2003, prior to the US departure in 2008, Submarine U.S.S Hartford struck a rock off the coast of Santo Stefano and according to US reports, it damaged a rudder, sonar and electronics. However local residents claim that greater unseen damage was done.
Massimo Zucchetti, Professor at the Department of Energy at the Torino Polytechnic and his team analyzed algae in the archipelago. The presence of radioactive alpha particles and plutonium traces were found, sometimes in high concentrations. This contamination is due to either a continuous loss of pollutant from the submarine base, or to environmental releases that took place during the USS Hartford accident.On January 20, 2004, the “schwäbische Zeitung”newspaper reported that there was an alarming high amount of radioactivity in the water surrounding La Maddalena Island. ~ War is a Crime
Another US toxic legacy for innocent people to contend with.
The people of Sardinia have a heritage of resistance in their blood and they are not taking this NATO led militarization and destruction of their environment lying down. They are demanding transparency and truth with regards to the toxic materials being tested. They demand full de-militarization of the island, the cleansing and decontamination of the island and its waters.
They expect health care and medical compensation for the cancers that are affecting their families and loved ones, financial assistance for the worst affected industries such as fishing and farming.
They demonstrate regularly, sometimes risking their lives to rise up against the NATO boot that is crushing their existence and driving the breath from their lungs. They endure threats and menaces from those who benefit from the military arms industry profits and war mongering.
An idyllic island, home to wildlife, botannical treasures and its people for centuries is under threat from those whose objective is ever more toxic and destructive armoury that is laying our planet to waste. Like so many un-prepared for this onslaught, the Sardinian people are dying and fighting against the disease epidemics that are being unleashed upon them. Where sheep grazed peacefully upon verdant hillsides and children played on the crystal sands, there is now the detritus of war and a trickle genocide being carried out by NATO’s soldiers of fortune.
Once more paradise has been turned into hell on earth by the military industrial complex and its ruling parasites in NATO.
14th July 2016
21st Century Wire
“Thank you very much. It’s a great honor and pleasure for us to have a man I’ve admired – most of us have admired – for many years, a man who – U.S. Naval, served in Vietnam, won the Purple Heart – I mean, three Purple Hearts, the bronze medal, the silver medal, has been a senator, candidate for president, and now our Secretary of State.”
These accolades were the opening salvo from Walter Isaacson in a conversation with US Secretary of State, John Kerry. A conversation held in front of an audience, June 28th 2016, at the Aspen Ideas Festival held in Colorado and recorded by the US State Department.
What John Kerry said in this conversation effectively demolishes the foundations of US “regime change” policy in Syria and its support of the so called “moderate rebels”.
Background on Ahrar al Sham ~ The Favourite US Terrorists
Many of you may remember the 21st Century article US Smoke and Mirrors to Protect Terrorist Proxies in Syria. In this article Yalla la Barra explained the US State Department policy of shielding their “moderate rebel” gangs under the Ahrar al Sham umbrella which served to detach them from the Al Nusra/Al Qaeda body of terrorism and to designate them a branch of US friendly “opposition” conveniently “intermingled” with Al Nusra thus prohibiting Russian targeting of Al Nusra just in case they hit one of the moderates in the process.
“Throughout the two and a half months that have passed since the start of the Cessation of Hostilities (CoH), the State Department has refused to acknowledge that the US backed rebel factions are fighting in Aleppo and elsewhere alongside Jabhat al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria.
There has not been a single press briefing where the spokesman has not accused Russia and Syria of targeting US backed rebel factions and civilians.
Whether it’s John Kirby or Mark Toner, the spokesman keeps talking about intermingling between the “moderates” and the Al-Qaeda affiliate and that the Russians/Syrians need to be able to separate the two. At the the press briefing of April 25, 2016 Mr Kirby said:
“So again, I go back to what I said before. We want to see the cessation observed by all parties. As I said in my answer to Said, we’re not blind to the fact that it’s a very dynamic situation in Aleppo and that there is intermingling. We’ve said that for a while now…” ~ US Smoke and Mirrors to Protect Terrorist Proxies in Syria
As a further reminder here is the video of Mark Toner’s painful explanation of the “intermingling” of terrorist factions:
In July 2015, former US Ambassador to Syria and suspected death squad creator, Robert Ford had this to say about Ahrar al Sham in an article penned by Ford and Ali el Yassir, entitled appropriately, Yes, Talk with Syria’s Ahrar al Sham.
“Moreover, lumping Ahrar and Nusra together is intellectually sloppy, especially when they exhibit ideological and political differences…. Our refusal even to talk with groups like Ahrar further reduces the little influence Americans still have in Syria. As the Assad regime steadily weakens, the administration keeps trying to lead the opposition from behind, hoping for an opposition white knight to appear. Instead, because Islamist groups like Ahrar strongly influence decisions about the fate of Syria, Washington will be left behind.”
Ford insisted on dialogue with Ahrar al Sham, he also attempted to divorce them from Al Nusra/Al Qaeda, somehow whitewashing their brutality by highlighting their nationalism, a claim that is bizarre in the extreme when one considers how few Syrians, if any, actually belong to the group which consists predominantly of foreign mercenaries as do 90% of the “armed opposition” inside Syria.
UK educated leader of Ahrar al Sham, Labib Al Nahhas, has even been given a platform on the Washington Post:
“The group to which I belong, Ahrar al-Sham, is one example. Our name means “Free Men of Syria.” We consider ourselves a mainstream Sunni Islamic group that is led by Syrians and fights for Syrians. We are fighting for justice for the Syrian people. Yet we have been falsely accused of having organizational links to al-Qaeda and of espousing al-Qaeda’s ideology.”
“By Labib Al Nahhas, Foreign Affairs Director at Ahrar Al Sham: Ahrar Al-Sham, as a mainstream Sunni Islamist group deeply rooted in the revolutionary landscape, is forging that alternative. But those expecting a “perfect” Sunni alternative according to Western liberal standard are sure to be disappointed.
As we should all know by now, political systems and models of government cannot be imported into the Middle East and expected to flourish where historical experiences, political cultures and social structures are so radically different. There needs to be a major role for religion and local custom in any political arrangement that emerges out of the debris of conflict, and it should be one that corresponds with the prevailing beliefs of the majority of Syrians. ”
“A Spanish citizen who studied in Birmingham and headed a tech company based in a London suburb is leading efforts to rebrand one of Syria’s most prominent armed Islamist opposition groups. Labib al-Nahhas is the “foreign affairs minister” for Ahrar al-Sham, agroup that has fought in alliances with al-Qaida’s Syrian franchise, and aims to establish a Sunni theocracy in Syria.
One of its original leaders also had personal connections with Osama bin Laden. After graduating he spent time in France, the Netherlands and the US, as well as the UK, where official documents list him as director of a company based in a west London suburb. But in 2010 he moved back to Syria, finding a job in the telecoms industry.”
Ahrar al Sham as a group have had their virtues extolled by other prominent mainstream media outfits.
“The Ahrar al Sham is part of a broad coalition of Syrian opposition groups, the Islamic Front. And it is among the most powerful force and better organized,” says the BBC’s Middle East correspondent, Jim Muir.
Professor Scott Lucas at EA Worldview:
Recent efforts by Ahrar al-Sham to portray itself as a moderate group may be linked to the increasing number of assassination attacks. According to Syrian journalist Akil Housain, the movement is in the process of purging its traditional leadership, which is considered more radical, and replacing it with younger leaders. This process has apparently angered Ahrar al-Sham ally and Al Qa’eda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra.
Charles Lister: Supreme “Moderate” Myth Creator:
“The editorial’s author was someone I have come to know very well personally amid Syria’s conflict. Labib al-Nahhas is Ahrar al-Sham’s “head of foreign political relations.” Better known as Abu Ezzeddine, Nahhas is an ordinarily clean-shaven young man from Syria’s central city of Homs. Originally a political official in the Homs-based faction Liwa al-Haq, Nahhas has risen in stature since his group merged with Ahrar al-Sham in December 2014.
A fluent English speaker and a seat-holder on the Executive Council of Syria’s Revolutionary Command Council (RCC), his ability to combine an understanding of both Western (he has spent time in both the United States and Europe) and Syrian mindsets has demonstrated a level of political capacity often lacking in Syrian armed revolutionary circles.” ~ writing for the Qatari funded Brookings Institute
Al Nahhas was even allowed to enter the US on a European passport in May 2016 even though the US State Department claimed it “didnt know”.
“Labib al Nahhas, who calls himself “a chief of Foreign Political Relations at Ahrar al-Sham,” arrived in the US capital for a visit lasting a few days in December, according to McClatchy DC news. The report cites “four people with direct knowledge of the trip.”
As one of them told the network’s reporter, Nahhas arrived in the US to speak with “third parties” even though he would not elaborate further. The other speakers revealed a few more details about the visit, saying that Nahhas had been in Washington to meet with lobbyists and Middle East researchers.” ~ RT
Ahrar Al Sham the bloodthirsty “moderates”
Ahrar al Sham as a stand-alone “moderate” US backed group has been responsible for some of the most hideous ethnic cleansing of Syria’s minorities. It has mercilessly and brutally terrorised the Shia villages of Kafarya and Foua, placing them under partial siege since 2011 and full siege since March 2015.
Over 1700 civilians, many women and children, have been massacred by these self-proclaimed “free men of the Levant” and Kafarya and Foua continues to suffer daily shelling and sniping. I was told by a resident of al Foua that Ahrar al Sham do not even behave like Muslims, the bodies of their own dead are put on display to drive fear into the hearts of the villagers already starving and imprisoned.
The UN has failed to deliver humanitarian aid to Kafarya and Foua on numerous occasions deterred by the threat of the Ahrar al Sham checkpoints which are considered too serious a security risk.
Read more on Kafarya and Foua: The 21st Century Wire Syria Files
In May 2016, Ahrar al Sham massacred scores of Alawite villagers in Al Zara and kidnapped others. Claims that they did not harm anyone who did not resist were cited by Reuters and other western media outlets but witness and survivor statements told a different story. One photo that circulated after this horrifying mass murder showed Ahrar al Sham fighters standing over the dismembered and bloodied corpses of women.
Ahrar al Sham made no effort to deny this image, they merely stated that these women had taken up arms and as such were legitimate victims of their bloodlust, a claim seemingly endorsed by western media pundits who staunchly stood by their “moderate” killers.
“Strangers came to our village. Most of them were foreigners, we understood that they weren’t from Syria from the way they looked. They attacked our village, many were killed. My brother is among the dead, his children were wounded. They killed entire families,” said Ahmad Muhammad al Qasem.
They perpetrated a massacre,” said another villager, Munzer Qasem. “I heard of two or three entire families killed. Abu Naval’s family was killed. He was an old man and was killed together with his daughters. They were slaughtered in their own house.” ~ Syrian Free Press
Ahrar al Sham were also implicated in the mass suicide bombing, May 2016, that claimed the lives of over a hundred civilians and severely injured many more in the coastal towns of Jableh and Tartous that are also refuge to huge numbers of internally displaced Syrian refugees. The western and gulf media was quick to claim ISIS responsibility for the attacks but local residents and TV Channels informed us that Ahrar al Sham had already taken responsibility.
The western protection of its assets was again demonstrated by its eagerness to distance these crimes and mass murder of civilians from its terrorist forces operating under the Ahrar al Sham umbrella.
Ahrar al Sham has been complicit in a multitude of crimes against humanity in Syria, according to many it is actually even more brutal than ISIS in its extremism and targeting and ethnic cleansing of minorities such as the Alawites and Shia muslims. The US defense of Ahrar al Sham as a “moderate opposition” and its platforming of Ahrar al Shams desire for an Islamic state has underpinned their “regime change” policy in Syria.
The John Kerry Grenade
Lets now return to the discourse between Walter Isaacson and John Kerry. During this conversation, Kerry makes two astounding statements that completely overturn the US dialectic regarding Ahrar al Sham.
1: “Everybody knows the threat. We’ve all awakened to the news that I just announced to you. How many times have you awakened to it? Vicious attacks perpetrated by a lone wolf or by a group, inspired on the internet or otherwise. From Orlando to San Bernardino to the Philippines and Bali, we’ve seen pictures and we’ve heard testimony of shocking crimes committed by al-Qaida, by Boko Haram, by Jaysh al-Islam, by Ahrar al-Sham, by al-Shabaab, Daesh, other groups against innocent civilians, against journalists, and against teachers particularly.”
2: “But the most important thing, frankly, is seeing if we can reach an understanding with the Russians about how to, number one, deal with Daesh and al-Nusrah. Al-Nusrah is the other group there – Jabhat al-Nusrah. They are a designated terrorist group by the United Nations. And there are a couple of subgroups underneath the two designated – Daesh and Jabhat al-Nusrah – Jaysh al-Islam, Ahrar al-Sham particularly – who brush off and fight with that – alongside these other two sometimes to fight the Assad regime.”
Thanks to @Walid970721 for the videos.
In one fell swoop, Kerry has demolished the US State Department argument for not targeting their pet killers in Syria. Is this a deliberate shoe in the face of the US and by default, Saudi interests and operatives in the region? Was it a genuine moment of honesty for the usually duplicitous and hypocritical Kerry?
“But then Kerry, perhaps accidentally, threw two other Syrian rebel groups under the bus by calling them “subgroups” of the terrorists.
“There are a couple of subgroups underneath the two designated — Daesh and Jabhat al-Nusra — Jaysh al-Islam, Ahrar al-Sham particularly — who brush off and fight with that — alongside these other two sometimes to fight the Assad regime,” he said, referring to two rebel groups that the United States has not named as terrorist groups until now…..
Two administration officials who work on Syria told me that Kerry’s naming of the Jaysh al-Islam and Ahrar al-Sham as “subgroups” of the terrorist organizations was not only inaccurate but potentially harmful to U.S. government efforts to convince the Russians and the Syrian government not to attack them.
“For months, we’ve been arguing to make sure the Russians and the Syrian regime don’t equate these groups with the terrorists,” one senior administration official told me. “Kerry’s line yields that point.”
Another U.S. official simply emailed, “Baffled. SMH[Shaking my head].” ~ Washington Post
Probably unwittingly the author Josh Rogin ends the article on a comedic note:
“Kerry muddied the waters. That’s typically Moscow’s job.”
Perhaps we are seeing a genuine face saving exercise on behalf of the Americans under Russia’s tutelage and the Washington Post has not been informed?
Undeniably, among those responsible for muddying the water on the Syrian narrative and advocating the murder of its people are the western media who have formed a battalion of war harpies and sectarian propagandists intent upon facilitating the mass slaughter of the Syrian people in service of NATO’s oil and geo-political interests in Syria and the region.
Certainly Kerry’s “slip of the tongue” should not go unnoticed and should be used to remind the media of their accessory to murder when they are finally brought to justice for their role in the “dirty war on Syria”.