It has taken perhaps 4 weeks to pull this post together . Probably it would make more sense to post little by little to remain engaged in the Syria Debate ? However it is what it is and as I research one aspect so I stumble upon another. Those who follow me on twitter @escalatorover will know I am daily active researching and debunking the regular myths around the whole affair: I have regularly exposed false orchestrated Free Syrian Army You tube video, pictures of alleged Government massacres (that the Christian churches Catholic and Orthodox refute). Some of these pictures have originated either from Libya 2011 or from the Lebanese Civil War and Iraq in one notable case 2003 and in others are simply “photo-shopped”.
So too understand where we are today we need to understand where we have been in History
In October 10, 1990, a female who provided only her first name, Nayirah. In her emotional testimony, Nayirah stated that after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait she had witnessed Iraqi soldiers take babies out of incubators in a Kuwaiti hospital, take the incubators, and leave the babies to die. Though reporters did not then have access to Kuwait, her testimony was regarded as credible.
Today we are subjected to a constant barrage about women children being massacred by the Syrian Arab Army or Local Militias
I volunteered at the al-Addan hospital with twelve other women who wanted to help as well. I was the youngest volunteer. The other women were from twenty to thirty years old. While I was there
I saw the Iraqi soldiers come into the hospital with guns They took the babies out of the incubators, took the incubators and left the babies on the cold floor to die.It was horrifying.
In 1992, it was revealed that Nayirah’s last name was al-Ṣabaḥ and that she was the daughter of Saud bin Nasir Al-Sabah, the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States.
It was also revealed the public relations firm Hill & Knowlton, which was in the employ of Citizens for a Free Kuwait, had arranged the testimony. It turned out that she had taken acting lessons on request of the CIA
Importantly of course she had never worked at the Hospital.
In March 2011 the Director of Amnesty International (Kathy Jackson Look alike) Genevieve Garrigos announced to the World in 22 February 2011 that Gaddafi was systematically committing mass murder of Libyan people 3 Months later she admitted that there was no evidence of this and that she had been relying of reports that were unverified. Only very recently have we beemn told by Media reporter their information is also unverified.
Toward the end of the Libyan War (first phase) while Sirte was under concentrated and continual air attack for almost 3 months nobody from Main Stream Media (MSM) or Amnesty International or the UN raised any concerns for the civilian population nor did they ever report from the Government forces side.
War on Civilians US. EU. NATO. UN. Double Standards Every Picture tells a Story
Today in Syria we are being again fed with a mass of white noise from pro-Western MSM using unverified reports from “activists” who have stated they have no intention of any dialogue with the Government.
Any close examination of the video evidence available on YouTube gives weight to the falseness and absurdity of the propaganda being peddled by the Free Syrian Army .
A typical example of History distorted! Hama 1982.
To understand the time in context it is when there was conflict between Israel, Lebanon and Syria.
It is the time of the Shatila and Sabra massacres It is a time when the world was eyeing the entire area.
So the notion that a town that today has only a population of 310,000 then suffered a massacre of 40,000 with 15,000 missing whilst no one noticed is quite absurd. On normal battle related ratio 5-1 wounded to dead this indicates the casualties to be between 200,000 to nearly 300,000
The Hama population in 1995 was 244,000 in 2004 312,000 and today the highest estimate is 350,000. I continue further down on Homs and its history of unrest
A Bastion of Peace? The United States
The US has a history in which they have only had 16 years when they have not been at War either externally or internally. From the Indian Wars to the Civil War to the Mexico War to the Spanish-American War of 1868 they have concocted lies to justify their aggression. In fact since the Revolution the United States has only had a period of 16 YEARS where it has not been involved is a War externally or internally.
In more modern times this has included the Bay of Pigs Cuba and Operation Northwoods. Author James Bamford, “A Pretext For War”, in his book reports on 2005 CIA declassified “Operation Northwoods” documents revealing that in 1962 the CIA was planning to stage phony terrorist attacks on the US and blame it on Cuba to start a war.
Other falsehoods have included Bay of Tonkin Vietnam, US overthrow of Lebanon Government in 1958 to Iraq 1990 and in 2003 under the pretext of WMDs . You will recall this is also when Colin Powell presented to the UN with what he then believed (but not now) video and photographic as evidence of Iraq’s ability to produce and stockpiles WMDs
Recently early July the UN filed a report on “Crimes in Syria”: Let’s look at it briefly. This was an investigation by a panel of 3 investigators led by Paulo Pinheiro, a Brazilian professor. None of these investigators have been to Syria. They stated in the report it was based on 369 interviews (victims witnesses defectors & other people with “inside knowledge” They went on to admit most of the interviews were by phone only and a few in person with people who had already fled the country.
This is not unlike the previously video above “Humanitarian War the initial Amnesty International report given by Genevieve Garrigos on Gaddafi crimes in Benghazi This is the report she was later to retract as an error as it too was based on victims witnesses defectors & other people with “inside knowledge”
Syrian History is complex yet simple:
It had a period of “Democracy and “independence” with an imposed Monarchy of from 1947 to 1949. In 1949 there was a Coup led by General Adib Shishakli who was born in Hama who overthrew the Monarchy.
In 1954 there was another revolt led by the Communists and Ba’athist Socialists. When the revolt reached its peak, Gen Shishakli fled to Lebanon and then to Brazil.
A democracy was formed but remained free of a Monarchy. By 1957 the Syrian Communists had become the main single party political force. In response the Syrian Baathists sought Union with Egypt then led by Nasser to create the UAR (The United Arab Republic) led by Major Salah Jadid . A certain Captain Hafiz al-Assad was on the “revolutionary” committee.
In 1961 there was another military coup in 1961 and the Union with Egypt and the UAR was dissolved. Nazim al-Qudsi, who led the first post-UAR government. Jadid and other Officers were forced to retire from the Syrian Army for their Nasserite loyalties. Jadid remained away from public view, but as second secretary of the Ba’ath Party, he kept allies in the top posts in Government and the army.
In another Coup Jadid returned and Hafez al-Assad was appointed defence minister and though many of the inner circle were Alawite 3 were Sunni including Abd al-Karim al-Jundi, who was appointed security chief thus giving the regime a sectarian character. Several were military men, and all belonged on the Baath Party’s left-wing.
The next period was one of some confusion but Syria moved to have closer ties with the Soviet Union and pursued hardline policies towards Israel and “reactionary” Arab states especially Saudi Arabia, calling for the mobilization of a “people’s war” against Zionism and pursued a rigorous socialist transformation of Syrian society which was then as it is today a secular society.
However it was in this period the Baath Party replaced parliament as law-making body and all other parties were banned including the Communists.
However support for his regime declined sharply following Syria’s defeat in the 1967 Six Day War, when Israel captured the Golan Heights, and as a result of the troubled internal conditions of the country.
The Minister of Defense Hafez al-Assad, protested “adventurism” of Jadid, and demanded a normalization of the internal situation by adopting a permanent constitution, de socialising the economy, mending ties with non-Baathist anti socialist groups, the US and seeking an alliances with conservative Arab states including Jordan and Saudi Arabia while still excluding the Communists.
The Black September
In 1970, when conflict erupted between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Jordanian army, Jadid sent Palestinian troops of the nominally PLO-run Palestinian Liberation Army, based in Syria into Jordan to assist the PLO. The events ignited conflict between Hafez al-Assad and Salah Jadid in Syria when On September 15 1970, King Hussein declared martial law in Jordan.
The next day, Jordanian tanks (the 60th Armoured Brigade of the Jordanian Army) attacked the headquarters of Palestinian organizations in Amman; the army also attacked refugee camps in Irbid, Salt, Sweileh, Baq’aa, Wehdat and Zarqa.
Arafat later claimed that the Jordanian army killed between 10,000 and 25,000 Palestinians.
As King Hussein dealt with threats by both Palestinian refugees in his country and invading Syrian forces, the king asked “the United States and Great Britain to intervene in the war requesting the United States attack Syria. Transcripts of diplomatic communiques show that Hussein requested Israeli intervention against Syria.
The U.S. Navy’s 6th Fleet positioned off the coast of Israel, near Jordan. At the beginning of September, U.S. President Richard Nixon sent an additional carrier task force and the Marine assault ship USS Guam to supplement the 6th Fleet. Two Royal Navy aircraft carriers arrived in the area of Malta as well. By 19–20 September, U.S. Navy concentrated a powerful force in the Eastern Mediterranean.
According to the official U.S. version the goal was to protect American interests in the region and to respond to the capture of about 50 German, British, and U.S. citizens in Jordan by Palestinian forces. The Soviets claimed that the goal of U.S. shock grouping was in taking control of the West Bank of the Jordan river to support the upcoming Israel invasion into the neighbouring territories of Syria, Jordan and Lebanon.
To protect Soviet interests in the area and to assist Syria, the 5th Mediterranean Squadron of the Soviet Navy was increased to over twenty surface warships and six submarines. By mutual agreement with Syria, Soviet landing troops were ordered to engage with any U.S. landing and assist in securing Syria’s sovereignty and border with Israel.
On 19–20 September U.S. landing ships entered Haifa (Israel )outer harbour and prepared for disembarking: U.S. Marines made ready for a first phase helicopter landing . However, after the Soviet landing ships made for *Tartus, the preparations for disembarking were quickly cancelled.
The 82nd Airborne had been alerted on the Sept.15. On the 19th they boarded their C-141s at Fort Bragg. They were to complete an Air drop in to the Amman Airport, secure and hold position for the heavier units to be brought in by air. Within minutes after the first C-141s became airborne the mission was aborted and all returned to Pope AFB/Fort Bragg.
U.S. Forces remained on alert in the area throughout September and October. However, the tensions gradually decreased starting from 23–24 September.
In November 1970 Jadid had tried to dismiss Assad over the debacle of the Syrian Military intervention in Jordan his continued anti-communist stance and increasing appeasement to the US. Unfortunately for Jadid the hand of the CIA was already at work.
This work by the CIA culminated in Assad’s “Corrective Movement” of November 1970 when he led a Coup against Jadid and seized power. Though Jadid had the support of most of the civilian Baath apparatus, Assad position of Minister of Defence gave him control of the State military machine In 1969, Assad removed all Jadid loyalists from the Ministry of Defence and Army,
In the unfolding crisis the Syrian communists and other leftists aligned itself with Salah Jadid.
The result was Assad launched a coup against Jadid and Nureddin al-Atassi the Prime Minister. Both were arrested and both without trial were gaoled. Jadid remained in prison 23 years until his death in 1993 and Atassi until his in 1992. Assad was installed as President initially for a 7-years and The Ba’ath Party nominated a 173-member “People’s Council”. The Ba’ath Party took 87 seats with remaining seats divided among “popular organizations” The Communist were banned and excluded
In 1973, Syria and Egypt launched the Yom Kippur War to recover territories lost to Israel in 1967 This resulted for Syrian army being forced from the Golan Heights. Today Israel continues to occupy the Golan Heights.
In early 1976 intervened in Lebanon with over 40,000 troops to prevent the Maronite Christians from being overrun, in the Lebanese Civil War. Syria remained until 2005 partly as a deterrent against Israel.
*Russian Base at Tartus
Tartus has been a base for the Russian (previously Soviet Mediterranean squadron since 1971) and is part of a leasing arrangement made as a deal to offset Syrian debts to Russia Russia’s largest and most important military base in a foreign country is the Black Sea Fleet base in Sevastopol, Ukraine.
To deploy beyond the Black Sea, Russian warships based at Sevastopol must pass through the Bosporus Strait, which was militarised by NATO-member Turkey in 1982.
When Turkey provocatively claimed the right to close the Strait at its discretion in peacetime as well as during wartime. Under the 1936 Montreux Convention, the Bosporus was deemed an international shipping lane. Hence as Russia’s only Mediterranean base, that makes Tartus a vital strategic asset beyond the Black Sea and the Bosporus.
So you can see the internal crisis in Syria has clear threats to regional and World Peace.
We have learned today August 3 that Putin had given orders for “Marines ” to depart to Syria; though I did tweet this over a month ago “Russian Blue Hats” were to be deployed. So it has been known for some time and so should surprise no-one
1916 – 1958 Greater Syria
In reference to Lebanon I’ll take a step back to 1916 and The “Sykes-Picot Agreement”. It was agreed after the expulsion of the Turks at the end of the First “Great War” the French would occupy Greater Syria which included and what is known as today as Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. In 1920 under a League of Nations mandate the whole area was ceded to France.
In 1932 the French moved their military academy from Damascus to Homs, and it remained the only military academy in Syria until 1967 The French colonialists created a unit of Special Forces in which the Alawites were given privileged positions.
The Homs Military Academy played a major role in the years following Syria’s independence in 1947, as many of its graduates went on to become high-ranking officers in the Syrian Army, many of them taking part in the series of coup d’états that were to follow. An important example was Hafez al-Assad who became the president of Syria from 1971 – 2000 Until 1967 it was the only military academy in Syria.
After WW11 in 1946 the French were kicked out of Syria which then was declared an independent republic and was settled for the next 3 years until defeat in the Arab Israeli war of 1948. In 1949 there were in quick succession 3 military Coups and by 56 there had been total of 7 in just 6 years of independence.
In November 1956, as a direct result of the Suez Crisis (the failure of Great Britain and France attempting to size the Suez Canal after Nasser nationalised it) Syria signed a co-operation treaty with the Soviet Union (the Largest Soviet State was Russia). This provided a foothold for more progressive (socialist) influence within the government in exchange military equipment and support in engineering expertise and health services.
Suez 1956 in Pictures “An Unprovoked attacked on Egypt by UK France and Israel”
Only heated debates behind the scenes between Soviet Deputy Foreign minister Andrei Gromyko who became world-renowned for his extensive knowledge of international affairs and for his negotiating skills (unlike Kofi Annan) and the US at the United Nations (of which Syria was an original member) lessened the threat of World War!
Andrei Gromyko was Soviet foreign minister (1957–85)
Syria’s political instability during the years after the 1954 overthrow, the parallelism of Syrian and Egyptian policies, and the appeal of Egyptian President Gamal Abdal Nasser’s leadership in the wake of the Suez Crisis created support in Syria for a Union with Egypt. On 1 February 1958, Syrian President Shukri al-Quwatli and Nasser announced the merging of the countries, creating the United Arab Republic .
Syria and Turkey Always an uneasy relationship
This relationship increased the strength of Syrian military and their access to more technological weapons worried Turkey, they feared Syria might attempt to retake Hatay province. Turkey started massing its troops at the Syrian border. During this standoff, leftists gained more control over the Syrian government and military. This is still a matter of dispute between Syria and Turkey today and it is the area the Turkish fighter recently shot down took off from before entering Syrian airspace. SEE a previous post “Play it again Sam” Syria Turkey and the “Gleiwitz” option
Uprisings and Outside interference and the next war …next
The 1953 Iranian coup d’état was the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Iran and Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh on 19 August 1953 Mosaddegh. In 1951, Iran’s oil industry was nationalized with near-unanimous support of Iran’s parliament in a bill introduced by Mossadegh who led the nationalist parliamentarian faction. Iran’s oil had been controlled by the British-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC), now known as BP
The Coup was orchestrated by the intelligence agencies of the United Kingdom and the United States . Though not for detail here the path to the overthrow of the Iranian (democratic) Government by the United States was followed in the same way in Libya 2011 and was attempted in Syria today.
CIA’s declassified documents and records show that they paid some of the most feared mobsters in Tehran to whip up and stage pro-Shah riots in August 1953.
Others were armed and brought into Tehran in buses and trucks, and took over the streets of the city.
Key elements in the armed forces were persuaded to stage the coup which saw the imposition of The Shah Pahlavi as an absolute Monarch who relied heavily on United States support to hold on to power until his own overthrow in February 1979.
Mosaddegh was arrested, tried and convicted of treason by the Shah’s military cour and remained in Gaol for the rest of his life. His supporters were imprisoned or executed. Mosadedegh was treated at his trial little better than the German Generals tried for their parts in July Plot to assassinate Hitler.
Such is the commitment of the United States to democracy and little wonder why the Iranians are not that keen on the US especially when you also recall the US and British sponsored Saddam Hussein’s war on Iran from 1980- 1988 causing further foreign policy “Blowback”
The town of Hama in particular was a “stronghold of landed conservatism and of the Muslim Brothers,” and “had long been a redoubtable opponent of the Ba’athist state. The first full-scale clash between the two occurred shortly after the 1963 coup, in which the Ba’ath party first gained power in Syria. In April 1964 riots broke out and Muslim insurgents put up “roadblocks, stockpiled food and weapons.” After a Ba’ath militia man was killed, riots intensified and rebels attacked “every vestige” of the Ba’ath party in Hama. Tanks were brought in to crush the rebellion and 70 members of the Muslim Brotherhood were killed, with the organisation being driven underground.
In 1979 the Muslim Brotherhood undertook guerrilla activities in multiple cities within the country targeting military officers, government officials.
Throughout the first years of the 1980s the Muslim Brotherhood and various other Islamist factions with an emphasis on “sharia law and rejection of Shia Islam” staged hit-and-run attacks against the government and its officials, including a nearly successful attempt to assassinate president Hafez al-Assad on 26 June 1980, during an official state reception for the president of Mali. When a machine-gun salvo missed him,. Surviving with only light injuries, al-Assad’s revenge was swift and merciless: only hours later a large number of imprisoned Islamists were executed in Tadmor Prison
The events of the Hama “massacre” began on 2 am on 3 February 1982”.
To understand the time in contextof then current events it is when there was conflict between Israel, Lebanon and Syria. It is the time of the Shatila and Sabra massacres in Lebanon by the Falange Christian Militias and the South Lebanon Army whose sponsor were the Israelis. It was a time when the world was eyeing the entire region so nothing like the idea of 30 to 40,000 killed in Hama is quite absurd
A Syrian army unit searching the old city “stumbled on the hideout of the local Muslim Brotherhood guerrilla commander, Abu Bakr and were ambushed and “roof-top snipers” killed 20 – 30 of Syrian soldiers.
Abu Bakr who then “gave the order for a general uprising” in Hama. Mosque loudspeakers used for the call to prayer called for jihad against the Ba’ath, and hundreds of Islamic insurgents rose to attack the homes of government officials and Baath Party leaders, overrun police posts and ransack armouries. By daybreak of the morning of 3 February some 70 leading Ba’athists had been slaughtered in much like the recent brutal images of the Free Syrian Army you can find on You Tube today. Abu Bakr and the Islamist insurgents and activists proclaimed Hama a “liberated city”, urging Syrians to rise up against the “infidel”
According to author Patrick Seale in his book “Assad of Syria: The Struggle for the Middle East”
“every party worker, every paratrooper sent to Hama knew that this time Islamic militancy had to be torn out of the city, whatever the cost…”
The military was mobilized, and president Hafez al-Assad sent his Brother Rifaat’s amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge and his special forces (Saraya ad-Difa a paramilitary force) elite army units and Mukhabarat Military Intelligence agents to the city.
Before the attack, the Syrian government called for the city’s surrender and warned that anyone remaining in the city would be considered a rebel. Besieged by 12,000 troops, the fighting in Hama lasted for three weeks – the first week “in regaining control of the town,” and the last two “in hunting down the insurgents.”
Syria Christians today: [Also see link to “Play it again Sam” Syria Turkey and the “Gleiwitz” option]
As evidence mounts that foreign Islamists are fighting alongside Syria’s increasingly radicalized rebels, Christians in Aleppo and elsewhere are taking up arms, often supplied by the regime.
“We saw what happened to the Christians in Iraq,” Abu George, a Christian resident of Aleppo’s Aziza district told GlobalPost. “What is going on in Aleppo is not a popular revolution for democracy and freedom. The fighters of the so-called Free Syrian Army are radical Sunnis who want to establish an Islamic state.”While the 30-year-old shopkeeper said he had not received any direct threats from Syria’s Sunni Muslim rebels, he fears a repeat of Iraq’s sectarian blood-letting. The exact number of Christians in Aleppo, a city of three million people, is not known but estimates vary between 200,000 and 250,000.
Christians are caught in a conflict few can predict the outcome of – while Assad’s regime has been portrayed as tyrannical by many, some have suggested that at least it protected religious freedom and allowed minorities like Christians to live in peace.
Many fear how the landscape of Syria will change if radical Islamists take over and decide to bring in Sharia law, the moral and religious codes of Islam, which might threaten religious liberties.
Since the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, the UN Human Rights Council estimates around half of Iraq’s 1.4 million Christians have fled the country, driven out by nearly a decade of church bombings, kidnappings and sectarian murder.
Writing in The New York Times August 4 , Kapil Komireddi warns of “civil disintegration and ethnic cleansing”:
A churchgoing Syrian told me that he used to see himself primarily as “Syrian” and that religious identity, in political terms, was an idea that never occurred to him — until an opposition gang attacked his family earlier this year in Homs. “It’s a label they pinned on us,” he said. “If their revolution is for everyone, as they keep insisting it is, why are Christians being targeted? It is because what they are waging is not a struggle for freedom, and it’s certainly not for everyone.”As Saudi Arabian arms and money bolster the opposition, the 80,000 Christians who’ve been “cleansed” from their homes in Hamidiya and Bustan al-Diwan in Homs Province in March by the Free Syrian Army have gradually given up the prospect of ever returning home.
The rebels’ conduct has prompted at least some Sunnis who had supported the rebels and once-wavering Syrians to pledge renewed loyalty to Assad. Many who once regarded the regime as a kleptocracy now view it as the best guarantor of Syria’s endangered pluralism.
A Sunni shopkeeper in the impoverished suburb of Set Zaynab, which was partly destroyed in the clashes last week, no longer supports the rebellion. “I wanted Assad to go because he is corrupt,” he said. “But what happened here, what they did, it scared me. It made me angry. I cannot support the murder of my neighbors in the name of change. You cannot bring democracy by killing innocent people or by burning the shrines of Shiites. Syrians don’t do that. This is the work of the Wahhabis in Saudi Arabia,” he added, referring to the ultra conservative Sunni sect.
According to USA Today
Since 2003 about 50% of Iraq’s Christians have fled the country, taking refuge in neighboring Countries including Syria, but interestingly not Turkey, according to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
July 5 declared “that al Qaeda members were going into Syria to carry out terror attacks”.
Zebari went on: “We have solid information and intelligence that members of al Qaeda terrorist networks have gone in the other direction, to Syria, to help, to liaise, to carry out terrorist attacks.”
We have been told for months that it was the Government troop firing on civilians Here is yet another picture of an FSA sniper Anyone from a military or special forces background that this position is not for engaging the Syrian Arab Army. If it were with just breeze blocks for protection… a few rounds from a heavy machine gun, RPG or HE Tank or Artillery shell would blow this “position” to “Kingdom Come” No this is a loop (the slit) cut for firing on civilians.
The history sounds too familiar. But again the US stands in reality behind what is going on in Syria today with Turkey flapping around on the sideline promoting others to do its dirty work while NATO WEAPONS are supplied to the Al-Quada and Islamist Rebels .
The US has still not learned the lesson of promoting its interests by arming Islamists as it did in Afghanistan and thus causing a terrorist blowback across the world. This time the threat to world peace is increased.
link in picture