Saturday, August 31, 2013

Revolutionary analysis of the Syria revolution and liberated Kurdistan

The following article was sent from SPJF affiliate Northbay MDS [link].
Stand with the People of Syria! [link]
Stand against War in Syria!

"Syria: As Rebels Escalate Genocide Against Kurds, Obama Prepares Air Strikes to Bring Them to Power; Kurds Under Brutal Attack by U.S. Backed Rebels; Origin of Gas Attack Not Proven, Not Likely the Syrian Government"
by Steven Argue of the Revolutionary Tendency [], an article of Liberation News, subscribe free []: 
Also from this author see -
* For a Socialist Republic of United Kurdistan as Part of a Socialist Federation of the Near East!
* Afghanistan: Misogynistic Hell Hole Made in the U.S.A. []
Update 2013-09-01: Since I wrote this article, Obama changed his position and announced he would seek Congressional approval. He changed his position yesterday (Saturday).
This change is a huge turn around from Obama's previous position. The troops were alread
y in place in the Mediterranean and ready for a military strike on Saturday. Obama also refused Syrian requests to delay a military attack to allow UN teams to finish their investigations into who is responsible for the poison gas attacks. Then, after UN investigators were forced to leave Syria under the threat of imminent U.S. bombing, Obama suddenly decided to seek Congressional approval for a direct military attack on Syria.
This is a retreat by Obama, but not yet a victory. Obama is seeking approval for military attacks. Hopefully U.S. Congress will follow in the footsteps of the British Parliament in rejecting direct military intervention in Syria. Already, the the war is unpopular. A recent poll showed 50% of Americans oppose U.S. intervention and 42% support it. 80% of Americans said that Obama needed Congressional approval before Obama finally decided to seek it.
Massive opposition to the U.S. invasion of Iraq didn't stop that war, but public sentiment opposing a war on Syria won't hurt. Let's keep up the heat and spread the word demanding:
No military attack on Syria!
End U.S. arming of the rebels!
End U.S. economic sanctions against Syria!

Photo: August 28, 2013, Kurdish women in Ras Al-Ayn, liberated Kurdish Syria, battling against U.S. backed Al Qaeda insurgents. Everywhere the U.S. backed rebels have come to power they have imposed anti-woman Sharia (Islamic) law and carried out genocide against Kurds, Christians, Alewites, and Shi’ites. [Photo credit Harold Doornbos and Jenan Moussa / FP]
The Obama administration is preparing an imminent military attack on Syria. British Prime Minister Cameron was to join the U.S. in the attack, but was rebuked by the British parliament, which voted 285 to 272 against a British military attack on Syria. After the vote, David Cameron acknowledged his defeat saying: “It is clear to me that the British Parliament, reflecting the views of the British people, does not want to see British military action. I get that, and the government will act accordingly.”
Barack Obama is also legally required to gain similar approval from the U.S. Congress according to the 1973 War Powers Act. Obama, however, is illegally moving ahead in preparations for war without seeking the approval of the U.S. Congress. France, the former colonial masters of Syria, however, will still potentially join Obama in a military attack on Syria. President Francois Hollande states, "The only option that is not on the table is to do nothing." According to French law, he is not required to seek the approval of the Parliament unless the military attack on Syria lasts longer than four months.

The Alleged Sarin Gas Attack-
“The chemical massacre of Damascus cannot and must not remain unpunished,” said French President François Hollande. This is the same pretext of “humanitarian” war pushed by Obama. who claims that 1200 people were killed in a chemical attack by the Syrian government. The Syrian government, on the other hand, says that the U.S. and French backed rebels in Syria were instead the ones who carried out chemical weapons attacks. In response to the attacks, they demanded a UN investigation. On August 31st, however, the UN investigating team in Syria was forced to leave the country, fleeing an imminent bombing campaign by the United States government.
Obama’s latest charges of a chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government are not new. Obama has repeatedly made the same charges in the past. Yet, when the UN investigated, they found no evidence of a sarin gas attack by the Syrian government. What they did find was evidence of a gas attack by the U.S. and French backed rebels. This was reported in the major media outlet Reuters on May 5th, 2013: “The United Nations independent commission of inquiry on Syria has not yet seen evidence of government forces having used chemical weapons, which are banned under international law, said commission member Carla Del Ponte.”
That same article did, however, report evidence that a sarin gas attack carried out by the U.S. backed rebels, stating: “U.N. human rights investigators have gathered testimony from casualties of Syria's civil war and medical staff indicating that rebel forces have used the nerve agent sarin, one of the lead investigators [Carla Del Ponte] said on Sunday.”
The U.S. government, while now preventing a UN investigation of its latest charges of a chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government, has now also falsely accused the Syrian government of hindering a UN investigation of those charges. As CBS news reported earlier this week, quoting a government source in the U.S. who asked not to be identified, "At this juncture, any belated decision by the regime to grant access to the UN team would be considered too late to be credible…”
Yet, before the US war preparations drove UN investigators out of Syria, the only delay in investigations was caused for a day by sniper fire on Tuesday, and that fire was from an unidentified gunman. U.S. government attempts to blame the Syrian government for delaying investigations simply are not founded. As Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem points out: "Miss Kane came on Saturday, on Sunday we agreed and on Monday, they [the U.N. inspectors] went to Moadamiyeh (a town in Ghouta). We did not argue about the sites they wanted to visit. We agreed straight away. How could we be accused of causing a delay?"
Now, UN investigations are being delayed for an indeterminate amount of time due to U.S. war plans. Requests by the Syrian government for the U.S. to delay their attacks until inspections were completed have been rejected by the US government. All evidence shows that it is the U.S. government that is delaying an investigation of alleged sarin gas attacks, not the Syrian government.
In addition to the American case being less than proven, Dale Gavlak and Yahya Ababneh report on August 29th in Mint Press News their evidence from the ground in Syria is that the U.S. backed rebels are responsible for the gas attacks. The evidence presented is of several interviews with U.S. backed rebels and the father of a rebel who died, saying that the supposed “chemical attack” was actually an accident caused by gas in the possession of the rebels. These sources say that the chemical weapons were provided by Saudi Arabia and that the rebels did not know how to properly store them. They explain that as a result, an unintended chemical release occurred, killing people, including rebels who were guarding the tunnels where the gas was being stored. These interviews are reportedly from on the ground in Syria. This author has not independently verified those interviews, but Dale Gavlak is a mainstream journalist who has written in the past for the Associated Press, NPR and the BBC.
Saudi Arabia has in fact been supplying the rebels with arms. They have been doing this as the Saudi Arabian government also brutally crushes pro-democracy movements in their own country and in Bahrain. Logically, explanations that involve the poison gas coming from the rebels are actually what does make sense. One reason for this is that the Syrian Arab Army is generally winning in the war against the rebels, both militarily and politically. The Syrian government lacks the desperation that is suggested by this kind of attack. In addition, since Obama has repeatedly stated that a chemical attack would be cause for direct American intervention, a chemical attack wouldn’t make tactical sense for the Syrian government either. In fact, the only side that could benefit from a chemical attack would be the U.S. backed rebels.
Given the U.S. government’s history of lying about everything from WMDs in Iraq to the Gulf of Tonkin Incident in Vietnam, lies to get the backing of the American people in wars where the working class of the United States had no interests, we should similarly reject the U.S. government’s unsubstantiated accusations today blaming chemical attacks on the Syrian government.

U.S. Backed Rebels Committing Genocide against Kurds -
On June 13th, 2013 the United States decided to openly arm the rebels of Syria. Before that date, the U.S. government actively supported the rebels, gave them supposed “non-lethal” aid, and armed the rebels through its allies in the region including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Israel, and Turkey. In this effort, the U.S. has also been pretending to arm only some supposed good faction of rebels in the Free Syria Army (FSA) and not to arm other Islamist rebels linked to al-Qaeda and genocide. Yet, in reality, the FSA itself is genocidal and Islamist. In fact, it even includes an Osama bin Laden Brigade, has imposed Islamic law everywhere it has taken power, works in joint military operations with the al Qaeda factions, and the U.S. is arming all of the Islamist factions anyway.
John McCain actually traveled to Turkey where he tried to make the point that the United States was only arming the good rebels. He even had his picture taken with a group of these “good rebels”. Yet, the absurdity of this was laid bare when civilian Shi’ite victims of those rebels came forward to identify one of them as a war criminal. His name is Mohammad Nour, identified by two Shi'ite kidnapping victims as the chief spokesman and photographer for the Free Syria Army's Northern Storm brigade in the operation that kidnapped them and 9 other civilian Shi'ite hostages over a year ago. Attempts are still being made to release the 9 other Shi'ite hostages. The U.S. backed rebels in Syria are committing genocide against Kurds, Christians, Alawites, and Shi’ites, slaughtering men women and children, destroying homes, and driving these minorities from Syria. Rebel genocide against Christians, Alawites, and Shi’ites have been ongoing for quite some time. Likewise, rebel atrocities against Kurds have been well documented since the beginning of the war. In late July, those continuing rebel attacks on Kurds escalated to the level of genocidal attacks.
The rebels of Jabaht al-Nusra and Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), backed by the United States and its regional allies in the Middle East, have been carrying out genocidal attacks against the Kurdish people of Syria. A writer attempting to “debunk” these stories of ethnic cleansing claimed that the Kurds themselves have investigated reports of genocide and found nothing to them. This is simply false. The Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is the main ruling party in Kurdish controlled Syria, reports with extensive documentation that the U.S. backed rebels have carried out “brutal ethnic cleansing attacks against the peacefully co- existing ethnicities in the Kurdish region in Syria.” They explain those ethnicities in the Kurdish region include “Kurds, Arabs and other Syrian multi-ethnicities, Assyrians, Armenians, Christians.” The PYD go on to report: “Since 17 July 2013, Al-Qaida affiliated armed groups, Jabhat al-Nusra and Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, have launched brutal attacks on Kurdish areas and its neighbourhoods in Tel-Abeyd, Sere kaniye, Tel- Aran, Tel- Hasel, killing, kidnapping and shelling with heavy weaponry the Kurdish neighbourhoods and calling publicly for killing, kidnapping and looting Kurds to force them to leave their homes and properties. As a result, hundreds of Kurdish civilians have been kidnapped, tortured and their houses have been looted and burned down. These ongoing brutal massacres are targeting all Kurdish civilians in al-Hasaka, Kobani and Afrin areas.
“Since 29 July 2013 two Kurdish towns, Tel-Aran and Tel- Hasel, and its villages of Aleppo, have been under brutal attacks and massacres have occurred. Forty innocent Kurdish children, women and elderly people have been murdered and two young men have been beheaded and Kurdish homes have been cruelly looted and destroyed and 250 civilians are being kept hostage and their fate still unknown.
“Thousands of vulnerable civilians forcibly fled in horror, since then both towns are under siege and isolated and there are confirmed eye witnesses and evidence reports that both towns’ civilians have been subjected of ethnic cleansing and massacres by those terrorist armed groups. These terrorist attacks on civilians, just for their ethnic identity is an act of ethnic cleansing of ethnic communities who have been co-existing peacefully together and to destabilise the Kurdish regions that have been relatively peaceful in an attempt to evict the people and forcibly impose the rules of the Islamic state of Iraq and Syria.”
These genocidal attacks on Kurdish civilians by the U.S. backed Islamist rebels have been ignored in the U.S. corporate media. Likewise, in the last two years of fighting, Syrian Christians, Alawites, and Shi’ites have been the victims of similar bloody slaughters and genocide by those same U.S. armed and financed rebels.

U.S. Backed Genocide Against Christian, Kurds, and Alawites -
The U.S. backed Free Syria Army shocked the world when one of its soldiers, Khaled al-Hamad, ripped a human organ out of the chest of a man and chewed it in front of a camera saying ”I swear to God we will eat your hearts, Alawite soldiers of Bashar the dog”. The Alawites are a religious minority hated by the so-called “Free Syria Army” which has carried out massacres of Alawite men, women, and children.
On May 19th, 2013 Free Syria Army spokesman Colonel Abdel-Hamid Zakaria told Al-Arabiya television that if the Free Syria Army was defeated in Al-Qusayr, the entire communities of Alawite and Shiite minorities in Syria would be “wiped off the map”. The Free Syria Army was in fact defeated in Al-Qusayr. He went on to say, “It’s going to be an open, sectarian, bloody war to the end.” The Alawites and Shiites are religious minorities in Syria. They are hated by the U.S. backed Sunni religious extremists of the Free Syria Army (FSA) and allies who have carried out massacres of men, women, and children in Alawite, Shi’ite, Christian, and Kurdish communities.
If we are to believe the U.S. corporate media, it is the Assad government and not the rebels who are in a genocidal war against its own people. While the Assad government is not innocent of crimes, as far as genocide is concerned, it is the U.S. backed rebels who have been carrying it out against Kurds, Christians, Alawites, and Shi'ites. It is these rebels who have brutally massacred whole communities of religious and national minorities and who have played a major role causing the deaths of 100,000 people and driving 1.9 million people out of Syria. Disproportionately, these refugees are religious and ethnic minorities who don’t share the rebel’s strict Sunni / Wahhabi Islamic faith.

Genocide Against Christians -
Many rightwing sources in the United States cannot be trusted regarding the genocide against Christians in Syria. Their reports include faked fatwas, supposedly from Islamic clerics, telling the Islamic rebels that it’s OK to rape and kill Christian women. Yet, the atrocities and horrors of the ongoing genocide against Christians by the U.S. backed rebels are still well documented.
For instance, in a video released by the rebels themselves, they behead an unarmed Christian man. Like many Christian victims of the U.S. backed rebels, he was a non-combatant. His name was Andrei Arbashe, 38, a taxi driver who had recently married. After murdering him, the rebels cut up his body and fed him to the dogs.
In the Syrian city of Quasyr, U.S. backed rebels ordered all Christians to either join the rebels or leave town. Thousands of Christians fled in fear for their lives. Earlier, in Hamidiya and Bustan al-Diwan, the Faruq brigade of the U.S. backed Free Syria Army went door to door forcing Christians to leave. In Homs, while under rebel control and under sharia (Islamic) law, 80,000 Christians were forcibly expelled, and as of June, 2012, only 400 Christians were left in the area.
Christians who didn’t flee from Homs are being murdered by rebels. On August 17th, 2013 Christians, including civilians, were massacred by the U.S. backed rebels at check points in Al-Hasn and Marmarita. The same “cleansing” of Christians has been done to the cities of al-Burj al-Qastal, as well as in some of the rural areas of Latakia and Idlib. In government controlled Damascus, the rebels are using car bombs to deliberately kill and terrorize civilians in Christian and Alawite communities.
At least fourteen minority churches, mosques, shrines, and a synagogue have also been deliberately destroyed by the rebels. Between 200,000 and 400,000 Christians have fled Syria since the start of the war. In comparison to their numbers in the Syrian population, this is a disproportionate number that reflects the systematic genocide that is being carried out by the rebels. In Turkey, Christians have also been driven out of the government run refugee camps by U.S. backed Jabhat al-Nusra rebels.
These genocidal Islamists intend to use Obama’s air strikes to take power.. The Islamists of the so-called Free Syria Army declared their intentions through spokesperson Louay al-Moqdad on Weds, Aug. 28th, “The possible military strike against the Syrian regime will be strong and we will take advantage of it to topple Assad,”

Parallels with Obama’s Genocide of Blacks in Libya -
Similar to Free Syria Army spokesman Colonel Abdel-Hamid Zakaria’s open promise that Alawite and Shiite minorities in Syria would be “wiped off the map”, U.S, backed rebels in Libya made the same promise of genocide against Black Africans living in Libya. After taking power they delivered on those promises. Numerous acts of murder and terror were committed against Black Africans. In fact, the Libyan city of Tawergha is now a ghost town. This is because 30,000 Black Africans were "cleansed" from the city by U.S. backed "rebels". Those rebels were brought to power with U.S. military aid and air strikes and allied troops on the ground from Qatar.
Everything moved backwards under that imperialist imposed counter-revolution in Libya. Today, warring Islamic factions control the country and torture is so prevalent that Doctors Without Borders pulled out of the country, saying that their role could not be one of patching victims back up between torture sessions. Yet, imperialist oil companies are profiting from the war, including U.S. based Conoco Phillips, Italy's Eni SpA, and France's Total SA.

Crimes on Both Sides -
None of this is to say that there are not crimes on both sides. It does, however, destroy Obama’s lies that his intervention created a “democratic” government in Libya and that his coming campaign to support the genocidal rebels of Syria is somehow a humanitarian intervention.
For its part, the Syrian government’s shelling of neighborhoods is also a war crime. Part of the irony, however, is in seeing western reporters on TV sitting in these neighborhoods and reporting the horror of being shelled, when at the same time, these same “news” outlets never covered the same story as the U.S. military carried out similar atrocities against neighborhoods in Iraq, or as the Israeli military carries out similar attacks against neighborhoods in Gaza.
The historic crimes of Bashar al-Assad’s father, Hafez-al Assad, as part of the currently ruling Assad dynasty, also cannot be ignored. Following in the footsteps of earlier French colonial rule, the Syrian military of the Assad dynasty has a history of extreme atrocities against the Sunni majority. These have occurred as retaliation and warfare between the primarily secular government of the Assads and the religious extremists of the Muslim Brotherhood. The worst of these atrocities was the February 1982 massacre by the Syrian government in Hama. This occurred after a series of escalations that included Muslim Brotherhood massacres of Alawites in 1979 and numerous attempts by the Muslim Brotherhood to assassinate Hafez-al Assad. In 1982, in an unforgivable act of horror, the Assad government leveled the primarily Sunni town of Hama, leaving between 10,000 and 20,000 people dead.

French Colonial Roots of the Religious and Nationalist Conflicts -
The roots of much of the current religious conflict in Syria can be found in France’s divide in rule tactics at the time when they ruled Syria directly. After the First World War, the spoils of the conquered Ottoman Empire were divided between imperialist powers. The largely nationally and culturally united region of the lands of Damascus, or “Greater Syria”, were divided up between Britain and France, with Britain occupying Palestine and Jordan, and France getting Lebanon and Syria.
In its allotted portion of the Lands of Damascus, Britain set-up the illegitimate and extremely repressive Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. In Palestine, without consulting the Palestinian people, Britain backed the Zionist aspirations of the Balfour Declaration to turn Palestine into a Jewish homeland. This set the stage for the Israeli colonial settler state that has been driving the Palestinian people from their homes and treating them as non-humans for many decades since.
France divided its portion of the region into Lebanon and Syria as part of their divide and rule tactics. In Lebanon, the French preferred Christians, who held a narrow majority of the percentage of the population over other religious groups. So the French granted the Christians constitutional control of the presidency. The Sunnis came in second in numbers, so the French masters gave them the position of prime minister. The Shi’ites came in last and were only given the speakership of the parliament. What about equal rights? What about atheists? What about western ideals of separation of church and state? None of that was promoted by the west. Instead, the western ideal was to fuse religion and government so as to divide and conquer, making colonial rule more difficult to challenge by its subjects.
In Syria, the French used the Alawite minority against the Sunni majority. Alawites, a religious offshoot of the Shi’ite Muslim faith which comprises only 12% of the population, were elevated from the lowly subordinate position in society they suffered under the Ottoman Empire to the oppressors, for France, of the Sunni majority. France recruited other religious and national minorities to this task as well, but the Alawite minority were given major privileges by the French colonial rulers. Alawites composed 65% of the noncommissioned officers in 1955. The Arab Sunnis, a majority then and currently comprising 60% of the population, were just too large of a group to be trusted by their French colonial masters. The Alawites were recruited into the French Troupes Speciales du Lavant, which ruthlessly suppressed the Sunni majority. Similarly, the British colonial masters in Iraq gave special privileges and power to the Sunni minority
After the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I, the British and French imperialists also laid control over Kurdistan. They drew the new borders of the Middle East in a way that purposely kept the Kurdish people a sizable minority within the new colonial states. As a result, today, the Kurdish people number at an estimated 25-30 million people as the largest national minority in the world without a nation. In Iraq, Kurds are the largest non-Arab minority with 4-5 million people and 15-20% of the population. Kurds are also the largest non-Turkish minority in Turkey comprising 20% of the population. The Kurdish speaking people are 9% of the Iranian population. In Syria, the Kurds are the largest minority with about 1.75 million people comprising about 10% of the population. The French and British propagated national oppression against Kurds as a means of creating disunity and undermining the anti-imperialist struggle.

Syrian Independence and the Rise of the Assad Dynasty -
French troops left Syria in 1946. Yet, with formal independence, France left behind a capitalist system of exploitation, religious and national inequalities, and foreign imperialist exploitation. As a result, Syria was filled with extreme political instability.
In 1958, the Syrian ruling class, fearing Communist Revolution in Syria at that time, formed a unified government with Egypt. The new unified government was called the United Arab Republic. Within the framework of the United Arab Republic, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser took over Syria and carried out bans on all political parties and imposed a ban on the Kurdish language. Communists and Kurds faced brutal oppression. Up until a few months ago when Syrian Kurds rose up and took control of their own territory, that ban on the Kurdish language remained in place in Syrian Kurdistan.
Despite the deep and profound problems with Nasser, he did also carry out important revolutionary anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist measures in both Syria and Egypt. In 1961 Nasser nationalized the entire cotton industry, the banks, all heavy industry, and the insurance companies. Heavy taxes were placed on the wealthy, workers had their hours reduced to 7-hour work days from eight without a reduction in pay, and credit interest rates were reduced to zero for many farmers. These gains of the revolution were, however, undermined by the lack of workers democracy, nationalist chauvinism, and dictatorial centralism utilized in carrying them out. The same year that these revolutionary advances were uninitiated, a military coup in Syria put an end to Nasser’s rule in Syria.
The Ba’thist Party first took power in Syria in 1963. Its program was one of secularism, pan-Arabism, and independence from foreign imperialist rule. It also came to power partly on a promise of limited land reform that was popular among the rural poor. Its secular politics were popular with Syria’s religious minorities which make-up 31.5% of the population and have proven to be an important political base of the Ba’athists against religious fanatics of the Sunni faith. Religious minorities in Syria include Alawites, Christians, Druze, and Ismalis. Ethnic minorities include Kurds, Armenians, Circassions, and Turcomans. The large percentage of religious and ethnic minorities living in Syria formed an important part of the political base of succeeding Ba’athist regimes.
Fear of violence from the religious fanatics of the Sunni majority, led by the Muslim Brotherhood, has consolidated support for succeeding Ba’athist regimes from the religious minorities. Yet, the Ba’athists have always been primarily Sunni and Arab as well, looking down on other religions themselves. They have not accepted other nationalities either. This includes Kurds (10% of the population), with the Ba’athists continuing Nasser’s prohibition of the Kurdish language.
Rising-up from within the ranks of the ruling Ba’athist Party, the Assad dynasty first took power in a coup in 1970. This coup was carried out by Bashar al-Assad’s father, Hafez-al Assad. It was not a step forward. The coup undermined the revolutionary reforms carried out when the Ba’athists first took power in 1963. Hafez-al Assad overturned many of the nationalizations and limited agrarian reforms of the 1963 Ba’thist revolution. Hafez-al Assad also undermined the secular nature of the Ba’athist revolution, quoting versus from the Koran at the opening of his speeches and issuing a new constitution that only allowed Muslims to be president.
In 1987, President Gamal Abdel Nasser’s ban on the Kurdish language was extended by Hafez-al Assad to include bans on Kurdish music and on Kurdish videos. In addition, hundreds of thousands of native Syrian Kurds were also stripped of citizenship rights and numerous other acts of repression were documented. Children and businesses were not allowed to register with Kurdish names. According to Amnesty International, hundreds of thousands of Syrian Kurds were essentially considered stateless so were also denied equal rights to health care, education, and employment while also being denied the right to a passport
In 2000 Hafez-al Assad died after 30 years of rule and was replaced by his son, Bashar al-Assad who has ruled Syria since.

For the Defense of Kurdish Liberated Territory!
Portions of Syrian Kurdistan have now been liberated by the Kurdish people and are under the control of the Kurdish Popular Protection Units (YPG). Except for in regions of recent defeats at the hands of Obama’s genocidal rebels, neither Assad central government nor the imperialist backed “Free Syria Army” has control over Syrian Kurdistan. This is a great victory for Syrian Kurds. A secular and democratically elected government has been established with a volunteer police force, women’s centers have been established to advance women’s rights by educating women about their rights and self defense, schools are now teaching in Kurdish, and Kurdish cultural centers have been established where Kurds can enjoy cultural celebrations banned under Assad. These are all significant gains for a long oppressed people.
In YPG controlled territory, the dominant political party is the communist influenced Democratic Union Party (PYD) which is the Syrian wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The PKK has long been fighting against the oppression of Kurdish people by the U.S. backed Turkish government. U.S. weapons have been used to carry out warfare against the Kurdish population and a U.S. operation captured PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan who now sits in a Turkish prison.
In Syrian Kurdistan, Vice Chairwoman of the ruling Democratic Union Party (PYD), Asya Muhammed Abdullah points out, "For 30 years we Syrian Kurds have been fighting for our rights, that's why so many of our friends have been arrested and tortured to death by the regime."
Yet Kurds have also been the victims of the U.S. and Turkish backed Free Syria Army. Instead of pretending the FSA's imperialist backed counter-revolutionary forces represent a "revolution", as fake Trotskyist outfits like the International Socialist Organization (ISO) do, legitimate Trotskyists call for the military defense of the Kurdish and Assad governments from U.S. imperialism. Unlike the ISO, Lenin and Trotsky were very clear on the right of nations to self-determination.
In addition to the national liberation achieved by the PYD, sweeping socialist revolution is also needed. Sixty percent of the oil wells of Syria are currently in the hands of the Kurds (or were a few months ago anyway). The other 40% is controlled by the Islamists of Jabhat al-Nusra and the Free Syria Army. Economically, Syria’s Kurdish region depends on electricity produced in Arab regions. In terms of practical economic considerations, the revolution liberating Syrian Kurdistan cannot be limited to Kurdistan because neither the Turkish backed Islamists nor the Assad regime are friendly to Kurdish national self-determination. Within these contexts, the PYD’s program is far too modest to address essential revolutionary tasks, including long-term national liberation. The essential program is one for the overthrow of capitalism as well as for the overthrow of all of the capitalist regimes in the region, including those of Assad, the U.S. backed rebels, and Erdogon’s repressive government in Turkey. Victories for national liberation must be deepened to include the overthrow of capitalism and extended beyond Kurdish territory with the advocacy of socialist revolutions that can establish a united federation of socialist republics of the Middle East which would include Kurdish, Arab, Turkish, Armenian, Persian, and Hebrew speaking republics.
Despite the deficiencies of the PYD’s program, their achievements have brought real gains for the Kurdish people. Yet, those gains will remain precarious without a sweeping socialist revolution.
The U.S. arms the anti-woman religious fanatics of Syria, and is preparing direct military air strikes to help bring them to power. Meanwhile, these same people list the secular and pro-woman Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) as a terrorist organization. The PYD is labeled a terrorist organization by the governments of Turkey, the United States, the European Union, and by NATO. Yet, the true terrorists are the U.S. backed Islamists in Syria.
Despite appeals for help from the Kurdish PYD to Amnesty International in exposing the crimes of the U.S. backed Islamists, Amnesty International is instead advising the U.S. on how best to carry out impending U.S. bombing raids on Syria. This reflects a far rightward turn the organization has taken in openly supporting U.S. imperialist wars.
The U.S. has long opposed the national rights of the Kurdish people, aiding Saddam Hussein as he murdered 90,000 Kurds in Iraq with poison gas and giving Turkey the military aid to murder tens of thousands of Kurds. In Syria, the U.S. prefers the Islamic puppets it is trying to groom for power within the rebel forces as an attempt at reliable allies in a post-secular Syria that will privatize the oil in the Kurdish oil rich region. They probably see the communist influenced PYD as less likely to sell-out Kurdish control of their own resources to world imperialist oil interests than the Islamist rebels they hope to place in power.

U.S. Motives for War -
The French and American imperialists and their Islamist rebel lackeys have several motives for waging war against the Kurdish people. As mentioned above, U.S. and French imperialist oil companies will want control of the oil rich Kurdish region. In addition, the U.S. does not want a legitimate leftist Kurdish government in Syria to destabilize its corrupt and oppressive puppet government in Kurdish Iraq. In Kurdish Iraq, while jailing activists and journalists who expose the truth, that U.S. puppet government is conspiring with imperialist oil companies to loot Kurdish Iraq of its oil resources behind the backs of the people. Likewise, the U.S. does not want the positive example of a liberated Kurdistan in Syria destabilizing its ally of Turkey, a country where Kurdish radio, Kurdish education, and Kurdish political representation are (with very few exceptions) banned.
In addition to imperialist desires for Kurdish oil and continuing Kurdish oppression, the U.S. has further geo-political stakes in backing the jihadist rebels of Syria as well. These include isolating Iran, strengthening the noose that U.S. imperialism is trying to tighten around the Peoples Republic of China, strengthening the U.S. position in the inter-imperialist conflict between Russia and the United States, and weakening the ability of the people of Lebanon to defend themselves from Israeli attack.
In Lebanon in 2006 it was largely Hezbollah that defeated the Israeli invasion of their country at that time. That Hezbollah led victory helped avoid a repeat of the 1982 Israeli occupation of
 Lebanon which included the Israeli massacre of 3,000 Palestinians at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps. Similarly, Hezbollah are now fighting in Syria in an attempt to defeat the imperialist intervention of the U.S. backed rebels in Syria. While revolutionary socialists have practically nothing in common with the program of Hezbollah, we do hail their heroic defense of Lebanese and Syrian sovereignty from Israeli, Turkish, Saudi Arabian, Qatari, French, and U.S. attack. Part of what made Hezbollah a powerful force against the 2006 invasion of Lebanon was the weapons they receive from Iran that are funneled through Syria. The United States and Israel, in attempting to overthrow Bashar al-Assad, are in part seeking to weaken Lebanese self-defense from Israeli attack by cutting off those arms shipments.
Likewise, as the U.S. attempts to starve and isolate Iran for trying to develop nuclear power (and potentially nuclear weapons), Bashar al-Assad’s regime has maintained friendly relations with Tehran. This is the right of Syria! US economic isolation of Iran only serves to hurt the Iranian people. A year ago, the average wages of an Iranian worker in a big city was $700 a month; that has now dropped to an average of $440. The average in rural areas dropped from $310 to $200 a month. This is largely a result of the economic sanctions being carried out by the United States and the European Union. Basic supplies are also facing shortages, included needed drugs. For example, on November 14th, the Guardian reported that Manouchehr Esmaili-Liousi, a 15-year-old boy, died due to a lack of medicine for hemophilia. This shortage was blamed on the EU and US economic blockade. While those economic sanctions don’t directly forbid the importation of drugs, they greatly impede Iran’s ability to purchase them.
The Syrian people, like the Iranians, have also been the victim of similar imperialist economic sanctions. Ironically, U.S. sanctions against Syria were initiated supposedly to stop Syrian support for al-Qaeda. In reality, US aid to rebels in Syria is actually going directly to factions of al Qaeda.
EU and US economic sanctions are intended to punish Iran for developing a program for nuclear power that the US and EU say will be used to develop nuclear weapons. The Iranian government counters these claims saying that the purpose of this program is to develop nuclear power, not weapons. Either way, revolutionary Trotskyists don’t care. We support the right of Iran to develop any weapons they need to defend themselves from the US and Israel. We held the same position in regards to Iraq. The U.S. invasion of Iraq has devastated the Iraqi economy with privatization and free trade, greatly reduced women’s rights, failed to abolish political oppression and torture, and has left over a million Iraqis dead. If the U.S. invasion of Iraq has shown the world anything, it is the fact that countries in the cross-hairs of U.S. imperialism just may need “weapons of mass destruction” to defend themselves from U.S. imperialism.

The American Pretext of War for “Democracy” -
Countries supporting the armed uprising with weapons include the United States, Turkey, Qatar, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia. Ironically, Hillary Clinton has called these countries the ''friends of democratic Syria'' and asks them to unite and ''support the Syrian people's right to have a better future''. She adds that ''Assad must go.'' Yet who are these countries in Hilary Clinton’s alliance for a “democratic” Syria?
Despite Hilary Clinton’s declarations of this being a coalition for democracy in Syria, it is actually a coalition filled with U.S. backed dictatorships and imperialist powers that have no real history of actually fighting for democracy.
For instance, U.S. friend Saudi Arabia is backing some of the worst Islamists in Syria. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is, in fact, actually the most repressive country in the world with a religious government that denies almost all basic rights to women, denies all rights to religious minorities, denies all rights to labor, and crushes all pro-democracy movements within its own borders and in neighboring Bahrain. Yet, instead of the economic blockade and proxy war as carried against Syria, the Saudi Arabian government gets major arms deals from the United States, including selling $33.4 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia in 2011. This is because the theocratic ruling class of Saudi Arabia conspires with U.S. capitalists to rob the Saudi Arabian people blind of their oil wealth and labor. Saudi Arabia is part of this coalition supposedly fighting for democracy in Syria.
Neighboring Bahrain has been, with US and Saudi Arabian military support, carrying out mass murder and jailings of people standing up for democracy and human rights in that country. Bahrainian repression goes on with U.S. backing and U.S. weapons. Meanwhile, these facts are mentioned very little in the corporate press while similar repression makes constant headlines regarding Syria. Yes, of course, despite having no democracy, Bahrain is part of the coalition supposedly fighting for democracy in Syria. Turkey, with US weapons, brutally represses its Kurdish minority. Of course, Turkey is part of the coalition of “friends of Syria” supposedly fighting for democracy in Syria.
Qatar, a major supplier of weapons and a supplier of troops for the so-called “uprising” in Libya, has also been supplying weapons to the armed uprising in Syria. They are also part of Hilary Clinton’s “democratic coalition”, despite having no semblance of democracy or workers right in their homeland.
Yet, we are fed the lie that the U.S. is supporting the rebels in Syria to help bring democracy. Now this false pretext for supporting those genocidal religious fanatics has now been supplemented with the new lie of supposed proof of a chemical weapons attack by Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian Arab Army.

The U.S. War Against Secularism -
One of the biggest gains of the American Revolution in 1776 was the separation of church and state. Yet, in Syria, by backing the rebel religious fanatics, the U.S. is seeking to destroy those gains of the Syrian Revolution. In terms of separation of Mosque and state, it is the forces opposed by the United States, those of Bashar Al-Assad's Syrian Arab Army and the Kurdish Popular Protection Units (YPG) who are fighting for secular government, not the U.S. and Saudi Arabian backed religious fanatics. Everywhere U.S. backed rebels have taken power in Syria, they have set-up Islamic (sharia) law.
As Kurdish soldier Dijwar Osman pointed out, "Our enemies are those al Qaeda fighters who want to destroy our 4,000-year-old Kurdish culture. These jihadists come from Belgium, Holland, Morocco, Libya, and other countries. Unfortunately, the U.S. and Turkey are on the side of al Qaeda, just like the U.S. was on al Qaeda's side in Afghanistan during the '80's."
According to Aljazeera, Mohammad Kattaa was a young vendor selling coffee in the Shaar neighborhood of the northern city of Aleppo. A customer was trying to get free coffee, to which the boy jokingly responded, "Even if Muhammad comes down, I will not give it as debt." This was overheard by the U.S. backed rebels who, like many of the U.S. backed foreign fighters in Syria today, didn’t speak the Syrian dialect of Arabic because they were recruited from elsewhere in the Middle East. These religious fanatics misunderstood what was said to be blasphemy against their religion, so they kidnapped Kataa, beat him, and then executed Kataa by shooting him. His mother and father were also tracked down, captured, and forced to watch the execution. To those witnessing the execution, a U.S. backed rebel announced: “Generous citizens of Aleppo, disbelieving in God is polytheism and cursing the prophet is a polytheism. Whoever curses even once will be punished like this.”
Likewise, in May, Islamist rebels released grisly video of eleven bound prisoners who were executed by the opposition government in rebel controlled territory. The victims were sentenced to death by a sharia (Islamic) court. Besides being sentenced to death for a possible crime, one of the charges against them used in their death sentence was the accusation that they were "apostates" (i.e, had wondered from the faith).

For the Defense of Syrian Sovereignty from Imperialist Attack -
From the beginning of this conflict, the leadership of the protests in the Arab regions of Syria was led by the Sunni religious fanatics of the Muslim Brotherhood. They could be heard hatefully chanting in the streets, “Al-Alawi ala taboot, wa al-Mashila ala Beirut!” which in English means, “Alawites in the coffin, and the Christians to Beirut!” As their “peaceful” protests (which included armed provocations from the beginning) turned into the armed struggle of the U.S. backed “Free Syria Army” and affiliates, this program of genocide, and worse, has been the harsh reality.
For those on the left who were quick to support the so-called “Free Syria Army”, what they failed to do was look at those who were leading this so-called “revolution”, who was financing it, and what their program was.
As weapons are pouring into Syria from the United States, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey, so too are foreign jihadist fighters from countries friendly to U.S. imperialism around the world, from Egypt to Australia.
For the Kurdish people, Bashar al-Assad’s long imposed dictatorial regime even opposed the Kurdish right to their own language. This does not differ from the U.S. backed regime in Turkey which to this day bans the Kurdish language and Kurdish politics. U.S. weapons and military intelligence have also helped the Turkish government murder tens of thousands of Kurds in Turkey as well. Likewise, U.S. backed forces in Syria today are opposed to Kurdish self-determination and are also slaughtering Kurdish men, women, and children.
In terms of the national rights of the Syrian and Kurdish people to determine their own destiny, obviously the current U.S., French, British, Turkish, Qatari, Israeli and Saudi Arabian backed rebels, filled with foreign fighters, are not the way forward. In this situation, the defense of Syrian and Kurdish national sovereignty is the priority over needed settling of scores with Bashar al-Assad and his system.
Without giving political support to Assad, our defense of Syria is a defense of the semi-secular government of Assad and the defense of the secular Kurdish government from imperialist attack. Likewise, it is the defense from imperialist attack of the limited socialist nationalizations of the Syrian revolution. We also stand in defense of Syria from U.S. backed genocide against Syria’s religious and national minorities. In addition, we defend the right of the Syrian and Kurdish people to decide their own government without military attacks and other imperialist intervention.
This defense includes opposition to economic sanctions, opposition to the imperialist arming of the rebels, opposition to impending direct U.S. military attacks, and a call for the military defeat of the entire imperialist intervention in Syria.
Let us not mince words. Our pickets in the United States alone will not stop the war. Nor will voting for one or the other capitalist imperialist party. Our call for the military defeat of U.S. imperialism, France, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, the FSA, and al Qaida in Syria is a call to support all forces defending the national sovereignty of the people of Syria including the Committees for the Protection of the Kurdish People (YPG), Hezbollah internationalist fighters, the Syrian Arab Army, and the National Defense Forces. Likewise, it is a call to U.S. soldiers to refuse orders to fight in Syria, and a call for U.S. workers to refuse to build and ship the armaments necessary for war.
Problems with Assad and Hezbollah are secondary to the need to defeat the imperialist backed genocidal Islamists of the FSA. An imperialist victory in Syria will be a horrifying and bloody set back for the national and religious minorities of Syria as well as for Syria’s women. A victory against U.S. imperialism in Syria will also help defend the national sovereignty of Lebanon from Israel and defend the sovereignty of Iran from further U.S. imperialist attack. It will also be an important ingredient in helping propel the anti-imperialist, secular, and anti-capitalist revolutions needed across the Middle East.
A defeat of U.S. imperialism in Syria and Syrian Kurdistan would also be a powerful impetus in the building of a political party in the United States that fights to end U.S. imperialism once and for all through socialist revolution in the United States.

For Socialist Revolution in Syria -
The Ba’athist Assad dynasty’s oppression and opposition to the national rights of Kurds is in direct contradiction to the program of Lenin and Trotsky who, upon taking power in the October 1917 Russian Revolution, ended discrimination and oppression of national minorities. Language rights of traditionally oppressed nationalities were encouraged rather than outlawed. For instance, the Kurdish minority of the young Soviet Union under Lenin and Trotsky’s leadership created a Kurdish republic where the Kurdish language was legalized and children learned the Kurdish language in school. After Stalin’s conservative wing of the bureaucracy crushed those who agreed with Lenin and Trotsky’s ideas, some of the original gains of the Russian Revolution were lost. For instance, in 1930 Stalin crushed the Red Kurdistani Republic of the USSR. Yet, not even Stalin could destroy all of the gains of the Russian Revolution, and most of the language rights and republics that were created under the leadership of Lenin and Trotsky remained. In fact, the socialist planned economy was used to create preferential investment in the historically less advanced republics, helping raise-up the economies of those republics with the rest of the USSR.
In addition to helping liberate oppressed nationalities, the USSR’s planned socialist economy was used to turn one of the poorest countries in the world into an industrial powerhouse, capable of defeating two major imperialist invasions (including smashing Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich) and then rebuilding to provide everyone with a guaranteed job, health care, and education.
After Stalin’s conservative clique took power, Trotskyists fought to defend the remaining gains of the October 1917 Russian Revolution, including the planned socialist economy, while at the same time fighting to overthrow Stalin’s conservative privileged bureaucracy, ending its brutal repression, creating a workers democracy, and standing up internationally against capitalism and imperialism on the program of Lenin and Trotsky.
While parts of the Syrian economy were nationalized under the Ba’athist Revolution in the 1960’s in Syria, in contrast to a socialist economy, much of Syria’s economy is owned by capitalists. This is in part due to the pro-capitalist reforms carried out since the Assad dynasty took power in 1970, overturning a number of gains first made when the Ba’athists took power in 1963. For instance, there are several privately owned banks. In contrast, in a socialist society there would be a fully state run banking system that, instead of making private profit, reinvests in the economy where needed to meet human needs. This is a critical ingredient to building a socialist planned economy. That ingredient is missing under Bashir al-Assad’s capitalist regime.
While many claim that Syria has a socialist economy, not enough of the economy is planned to sufficiently meet human needs as is possible with a planned socialist economy. For instance, Syria has had both a public and a private sector that builds housing. In a truly socialist economy, proper investment by the state in building housing would better meet housing needs while providing jobs. The continuation of a capitalist sector in the Syrian economy, on the other hand, produces a corrupting wealthy capitalist class that prefers little to no investment in the state run economy. These kinds of problems under Syria’s mixed economy are reasons why Syria hasn’t adequately dealt with housing problems or meeting other human needs. This is also why Syria hasn’t eliminated unemployment, unlike what was done with a number of socialist economies after fully overthrowing the capitalist system.
Of course, the destruction of homes and massive refugee crisis produced by the genocide carried out by the U.S. backed rebels is creating a far worse housing crisis today. Likewise, the imperialist economic sanctions against Syria in support of the rebels have also hurt the civilian population greatly.
Similar to housing, Syria’s state run health care system has been on the decline since even before the war. While Syria’s population increased by 18% between 1995 and 2001, the number of hospital beds in state run hospitals declined. Meanwhile, there was a big increase during that same period of capitalist healthcare provided to those who can afford it. While life expectancy increased dramatically after the Ba’athist revolution, the growth of capitalist health care, decline in public investment in socialized health care, and the return of a two tier system of health care, one for the wealthy and another for the rest, represents a capitalist attack by the Assad regime on the people’s health care no different than what has occurred under the neo-liberal policies of any pro-imperialist capitalist government in the world. Life expectancy for Syrians in 2006 was only 72 years, far better than many countries that are completely under the thumb of U.S. imperialism, but far worse than what has been achieved under Cuba’s socialist health care system.
Also, unlike Cuba, Syria under the Ba’athists has not brought the gains to education found in “communist” deformed workers states in terms of women’s liberation and literacy either. For instance, Cuba and China have provided their entire populations with good universal education which has brought literacy rates for the entire population, including women, to nearly 100%. In contrast, under the Assad dynasty, big improvements have been made in education, but illiteracy has remained a problem. Women’s literacy in Syria in 2004 was 78%. While far worse than the deformed workers states, this does reflect a 200% increase in female literacy since 1970, and is far better than what has been produced by the U.S. imposed mjahideen, Taliban, and Karzai dictatorships of Afghanistan. Those U.S. imposed governments have produced a female literacy rate of 12% in 2012 after destroying the pro-woman and pro-literacy PDPA government of the 1980’s.
Leadership must be built to overthrow Assad's capitalist government in a proletarian revolution, not in an imperialist sponsored capitalist counter-revolution led by chauvinistic religious extremists. Revolutionary leadership in Syria must distance itself completely from U.S. backed rebels. Unfortunately, the fighters of the fake “Trotskyist” Leon Sedov Brigade of the Free Syria Army are giving their lives to bring these Islamists to power. This reflects a tendency among those types of fake Trotskyists to support any uprising in an opportunistic manner, no matter its program, to avoid the hard work of fighting for an authentic revolutionary socialist program and party. Instead of fighting for revolution, the Leon Sedov Brigade is fighting on the side of counter-revolution.
Whatever may be said of the deficiencies of the Syrian Revolution, U.S. imperialist backed counter-revolutions are always far worse than what is overthrown. The genocidal U.S. backed counter-revolutions in Libya and Afghanistan are prime examples. Both the Assad and Kurdish government should be defended from imperialist attack and sectarian Islamic counter-revolution, while at the same time giving no political support to Assad’s capitalist dictatorship.

US, France, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Israel Out of Syria Now!
Down With the U.S. Backed Anti-Kurd, Anti-Woman, Anti-Secular, Sectarian Religious Fanatics Fighting in Syria!
For the Defense of Kurdish Liberated Territory!
For A United Kurdistan as Part of a Federation of Socialist Republics of the Middle East!
For the Overthrow of U.S. Imperialism through Socialist Revolution in the United States!

Addition to the article from 4th International ("Trotskyist") adherent Gerald Joseph Downing in England:
Without giving political support to Assad, our defense of Syria is a defense of the semi-secular government of Assad and the defense of the secular Kurdish government from imperialist attack. Likewise, it is the defense from imperialist attack of the limited socialist nationalizations of the Syrian revolution. We also stand in defense of Syria from U.S. backed genocide against Syria’s religious and national minorities. In addition, we defend the right of the Syrian and Kurdish people to decide their own government without military attacks and other imperialist intervention.
This defense includes opposition to economic sanctions, opposition to the imperialist arming of the rebels, opposition to impending direct U.S. military attacks, and a call for the military defeat of the entire imperialist intervention in Syria.

Let us not mince words. Our pickets in the United States alone will not stop the war. Nor will voting for one or the other capitalist imperialist party. Our call for the military defeat of U.S. imperialism, France, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, the FSA, and al Qaida in Syria is a call to support all forces defending the national sovereignty of the people of Syria including the Committees for the Protection of the Kurdish People (YPG), Hezbollah internationalist fighters, the Syrian Arab Army, and the National Defense Forces. Likewise, it is a call to U.S. soldiers to refuse orders to fight in Syria, and a call for U.S. workers to refuse to build and ship the armaments necessary for war.

Problems with Assad and Hezbollah are secondary to the need to defeat the imperialist backed genocidal Islamists of the FSA. An imperialist victory in Syria will be a horrifying and bloody setback for the national and religious minorities of Syria as well as for Syria’s women. A victory against U.S. imperialism in Syria will also help defend the national sovereignty of Lebanon from Israel and defend the sovereignty of Iran from further U.S. imperialist attack. It will also be an important ingredient in helping propel the anti-imperialist, secular, and anti-capitalist revolutions needed across the Middle East.

A defeat of U.S. imperialism in Syria and Syrian Kurdistan would also be a powerful impetus in the building of a political party in the United States that fights to end U.S. imperialism once and for all through socialist revolution in the United States. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

"Manning supporters arrested at L.A. federal building"

2013-08-28 from "Nuke Resister" []:
On August 28, the Los Angeles Catholic Worker had a solidarity arrest action for Pvt. Chelsea Manning at the downtown federal building. Community members David Omondi, Barbara Robinson and Jeff Dietrich chained and handcuffed themselves together and attempted to block the main entrance. They were arrested and charged with two misdemeanors: Failure to disperse and Blocking an entrance.  They were released an hour later, and have a court date on October 2.
photo by Mike Wisniewski

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Peace Pact Day: War is Outlawed (according to USA Federal Law)

August 27, 2013, Kellogg-Briand Peace Pact Day to Celebrate World Peace 

2013-08-15 "A New Holiday Is Being Created for Peace"
by David Swanson []
When I wrote When the World Outlawed War, I was struck by the significance of a forgotten day, a day matching the description in the 1950 folk song that begins "Last night I had the strangest dream . . . "  On this day, August 27, 1928, the major nations of the world sent representatives to a room in Paris, France, in which they signed a treaty banning war and committing to the peaceful settlement of all disputes [].
The treaty they signed, which is still on the books, has been used over the decades to prevent wars, end wars, and prosecute war makers. The Peace Pact is listed as in force on the U.S. State Department website (open the document, scroll to page 454 []). But, unlike a corporate trade agreement, the Kellogg-Briand Pact is, shall we say, less than strictly adhered to -- or even remembered.
Few people strolling down Kellogg Boulevard in St. Paul, Minnesota, have any idea that it's named for Frank Kellogg or who he was.
They're about to find out.
At 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 21, a resolution will be introduced and voted on by the St. Paul City Council.  This resolution is being brought forward by Council member David Thune for the purpose of proclaiming August 27, 2013, to be "Kellogg-Briand Peace Pact Day" in celebration of the 85th anniversary of the signing.
Council member Dave Thune's ward includes Kellogg's former house.  Thune will be introducing the proclamation at the request of St. Paul residents, including members of the Minneapolis-St. Paul chapter of Veterans For Peace. The Kellogg-Briand Pact  "renounces war as an instrument of National Policy" which is the exact wording found in the (more recently created) Statement of Purpose of Veterans For Peace.

Here is the resolution that is being introduced:
[begin text]
Whereas Frank Billings Kellogg has rightly been honored around the world, including with a Nobel Peace Prize presented to him in 1930,
Whereas Frank Kellogg is honored in the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., where his ashes lie, and where the Kellogg window in the Kellogg Bay bears these words: "In grateful memory of Frank Billings Kellogg, LL.D., 1856-1937, Senator of the United States from Minnesota, Ambassador to the Court of St. James, Secretary of State, a Judge of the Permanent Court of International Justice, Joint Author of the Kellogg-Briand Pact, in Fidelity to American Ideals he served his nation with conspicuous ability and sought equity and peace among the nations of the world, his body rests in this cathedral,"
Whereas Frank Kellogg's family moved to Minnesota in 1865 and Kellogg moved to St. Paul in 1886, and Kellogg's home from 1899 to 1937 was the house at 633 Fairmont Avenue in St. Paul, Minnesota, which is now a National Historic Landmark,
Whereas Frank Kellogg's name is remembered in St. Paul as the name of Kellogg Boulevard, but memory of what Kellogg did to merit such honors is fading,
Whereas Frank Kellogg as U.S. Secretary of State heeded the passionate and almost universal desire of the people of this and other nations for peace, and in particular the proposal of the Outlawry Movement to legally ban war,
Whereas Frank Kellogg surprised his State Department staff and many others in 1927 by working carefully and diligently to bring many of the world's nations together to ban war,
Whereas war had not previously been a crime, and the Kellogg-Briand Pact made it one, resulting in a nearly complete end to the legal recognition of territorial gains made through war, and resulting in the prosecution following World War II of the new crime of making war,
Whereas the wealthy well-armed nations of the world have not gone to war with each other since those prosecutions -- the elimination of war upon and among the world's poorer nations remaining an important goal toward which greater recognition of the Kellogg-Briand Pact might contribute,
Whereas the Kellogg-Briand Pact is recognized as in force by the U.S. State Department with 84 nations currently parties to it, and the pact open to any other nations that choose to join,
Whereas the Pact, excluding formalities and procedural matters, reads in full, "The High Contracting Parties solemly [sic] declare in the names of their respective peoples that they condemn recourse to war for the solution of international controversies, and renounce it, as an instrument of national policy in their relations with one another.  The High Contracting Parties agree that settlement or solution of all disputes or conflicts of whatever nature or whatever origin they may be, which may arise among them, shall never be sought except by pacific means,"
Whereas compliance with the law is more likely to occur if we remember what the law is,
Whereas then French Foreign Minister Aristide Briand remarked at the signing of the Kellogg-Briand Pact on August 27, 1928: "For the first time, on a scale as absolute as it is vast, a treaty has been truly devoted to the very establishment of peace, and has laid down laws that are new and free from all political considerations.  Such a treaty means a beginning and not an end. . . . [S]elfish and willful war which has been regarded from of old as springing from divine right, and has remained in international ethics as an attribute of sovereignty, has been at last deprived by law of what constituted its most serious danger, its legitimacy.  For the future, branded with illegality, it is by mutual accord truly and regularly outlawed so that a culprit must indur the unconditional condemnation and probably the hostility of all his co-signatories,"
Therefore, in hopes of encouraging awareness of the work of Frank Kellogg and of the peace movement of the 1920s that moved him to action, the City of St. Paul, Minnesota, proclaims August 27th to be Kellogg-Briand Peace Pact Day.
[end text]

On August 27th a celebration is planned at the Kellogg house.  Meanwhile, in Illinois, an award ceremony is planned for the winners of the first annual essay contest dedicated to the question "How Can We Obey the Law Against War?" []. But why shouldn't there be celebrations everywhere?  Why not recognition for Salmon Oliver Levinson of Chicago, whose movement persuaded Kellogg to act?  Why not remembrance of Kellogg in Washington, D.C., where he's buried?  Why not celebration of the activists of the 1920s who made up the Outlawry Movement, and who were from every part of the United States and many other nations?  Why not a day of celebrating peace and advancing the cause of the abolition of war, including by collectively urging new nations to sign onto the Peace Pact?
Here's a petition that can be signed, and the signatures from any town or state printed out to be used in local lobbying [].  St. Paul is leading the way, but it need not do so alone.  The petition reads: "We support local, state, national, and international legislation that would make August 27th a holiday in honor of the Kellogg-Briand Pact, also known as the Peace Pact, that was signed on this date in 1928. The International Pact which renounced war as an instrument of national policy and committed nations to settling disputes exclusively by peaceful means was passed into U.S. law in 1929 with only one Senator in opposition. The co-authors were Republican Secretary of State Frank Kellogg from Minnesota and French foreign minister Aristide Briand. Kellogg won the Nobel Peace Prize, and the Pact is still U.S. and International Law."

2011-11-23 "When the World Outlawed War: David Swanson discusses his book about the 1928 Kellogg-Briand Pact and how it makes current wars illegal"

[Begin Transcript]
PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay in Washington. David Swanson is a prolific author and activist and organizer, and his latest book is When the World Outlawed War. So you will say to yourself, when did the world outlaw war? I know of no such moment. Well, actually, apparently there is. So now joining us is David Swanson, the author of the book When the World Outlawed War. Thanks for joining us.

JAY: So when did the world outlaw war?
SWANSON: In 1928, in a treaty signed by dozens of nations around the world, 60-some nations, ratified by the US Senate in January 1929 by a vote of 85 to 1--and the one poor individual who voted the wrong way was censured by the state legislature up in Wisconsin. There was a universal understanding in early 1929 that war had been made a crime.

JAY: So give us the context. How does this come about, and who's behind it, and what's the wording of this?
SWANSON: Between 1918 and 1928, from the end of World War I until the creation of this treaty, called the Kellogg-Briand Pact, which is on the books on the State Department's website, the law of the land in this country, and adhered to by countries around the world--including Iran, by the way, which originally signed it as Persia. This happened after a decade of relentless peace activism, peace activism that was absolutely mainstream, funded by robber barons like Andrew Carnegie, peace movement organizations that had profited from World War I from the manufacture of steel, led by university professors and lawyers and Republican senators. It was a movement that was an uncomfortably large coalition that brought together people who disagreed on everything else except peace, and it was a movement that suffered defeat after defeat after defeat for ten years--arms negotiations that resulted in more arms, the League of Nations defeated, the World Court membership defeated in this country, and just relentlessly people pressed on, including, notably, women, who could now vote and were a factor in this country.

JAY: And what did the agreement say?
SWANSON: It said that these--the parties signing this treaty, the Kellogg-Briand pact, which was signed in a huge ceremony in August 28 in Paris, France, will renounce war as an instrument of national policy and will settle disputes only by pacific means. And this was very intentionally worded to eliminate war as a tool in any instance. So this--they very carefully did not say, we are banning aggressive war or the bad wars or the nonhumanitarian wars. This was not an alliance of nations to use war to prevent war, which is how many saw the League of Nations, which was blocked not just by ignorant isolationists but by people who didn't want to use war to prevent war, didn't want a treaty that said, we'll go to war with you if you start a war. They wanted to avoid the course we've gone down with NATO and the United Nations. They wanted to eliminate war, set up a body of laws, set up a World Court, and deal with war as a crime.

JAY: So this is is passed, signed by United States and all of the European countries?
SWANSON: Absolutely, and countries around the world.

JAY: And ratified in the United States.

JAY: Which makes it American law.
SWANSON: Yes, under Article 6.

JAY: And then we--then what is it? Twelve years later we're in World War II. And not too many years before that is the Spanish Civil War. So what happens to this agreement?
SWANSON: Well, the agreement is put on the books in 1929 and some wars are prevented. Russia is told, what are you doing going into Manchuria? Don't you know about the Kellogg-Briand Pact? And they back out. And the same thing happens again with Japan. But eventually wars start, despite the existence of this treaty, which--you know, Italy goes into Ethiopia, Germany and Russia going into Poland, and so forth. War comes. Much more was done in the '20s and '30s and '40s to provoke war and to prepare for war. At the same time that they were banning war, they were building more weaponry for war.

JAY: Was there ever a formal pronouncing? For example, when Hitler backs Franco in Spain, which is not too many years after this is signed, or even more directly when Hitler invades Poland, does Germany ever actually formally renounce this? Or everyone just ignores the agreement?
SWANSON: No one renounces the treaty. No one repeals it, withdraws from it. It remains on the books to this day. You can find it on the US State Department's website with the list of adhering nations, some of them relatively recently adhering nations. But the vast majority of the world is party to this treaty, which under Article 6 of the US Constitution is the supreme law of the land.

JAY: Now, after World War II, even though everybody more or less ignored the agreement, all of a sudden somebody dusts it off and brings it out to use against Nazi war criminals. And so what's that about?
SWANSON: It was largely forgotten by then. But there was concern about how to prosecute, how to engage in this victor's justice at the end of World War II, to go after the Nazis in particular. And there was a lawyer in New York who communicated with President Roosevelt and said, look, here's the way to do it. The war itself is a crime, and so any of the actions engaged in by participants in the war are automatically crimes under domestic laws in each country. And the way you do that is to pull out the Kellogg-Briand Pact and say this wasn't just a piece of paper. And so Nazis were prosecuted, including diplomats who threatened war on nations that preemptively surrendered, where no war was engaged in, including industrialists who backed war. Germans were prosecuted under the Kellogg-Briand pact for the crime of making war, which at the end of World War I was not a crime.

JAY: Well, if it didn't distinguish between aggressive and other forms of war, wouldn't all the countries involved in World War II be subject to the same thing, then?
SWANSON: Yes. Well, this was a--

JAY: This is victor's justice too.
SWANSON: --this was an ironic and perverted reading of the Kellogg-Briand Pact, as it was revived at the end of World War II, to create the crime of aggressive war--ironically, because the Kellogg-Briand Pact had been written and enacted specifically to avoid creating a crime called aggressive war, by people who wanted to treat all war as a crime.

JAY: So then we get to the UN Charter and the writing of the UN Charter. How much does this agreement influence the writing of the charter, which really creates the more modern codification of what's supposed to be legal and illegal in warfare?
SWANSON: Well, the Kellogg-Briand Pact was the predecessor. This was what had made it possible to say to nations, beginning in 1930, the world will not recognize gains made by war. War was no longer neutral or legal. It was a crime. Even if it was only enforced by victors and enforced selectively, it was newly a crime. And the Kellogg-Briand Pact had a great deal of influence in some of the same individuals who were involved in drafting both that and the UN Charter, but the UN Charter is flawed deeply, is not nearly as strong as the Kellogg-Briand Pact. The UN Charter allows wars authorized by the United Nations, and it allows wars that are defensive. Those are two very big loopholes, as you know, that allow the current practice of attacking impoverished unarmed nations halfway around the globe in defence or under the pretense that the UN authorized that action, even if the UN says, no we didn't.

JAY: If the Kellogg-Briand Pact is now US law, and the invasion of Iraq was not authorized by the United Nations, and Kofi Annan, you know, a year or two after the end of the war, called it an illegal war, that means that there is a law one could charge George Bush and Dick Cheney under, 'cause there's been some question about what could you really charge them with, even if they didn't--. You know, if there was some deception in how the war began, exactly what would you charge them under? But there is an American law they could be charged under, then.
SWANSON: Well, they could be charged with dozens of things, including defrauding the Congress, including lying to the Congress, including all variety of war crimes and atrocities engaged in. And certainly even under the UN Charter that was an illegal war. But under the Kellogg-Briand Pact, which has a much higher standard, any of these wars are illegal wars. All wars are illegal wars. There is no such thing as a legal war.

JAY: But if you're going to try to charge them just under the UN Charter, it's much more difficult than charging them under domestic law in the United States. And you're saying there is a domestic law they could be charged under.
SWANSON: Well, I'm saying that there is a treaty that under Article 6 of our Constitution, like the UN Charter, the Kellogg-Briand Pact is considered the supreme law of the land, and that it is standard practice and is the requirement when you adhere to a treaty that you institute domestic law to enforce that treaty. And that ought to be done. But the people who put this on the books in 1928 expected this to be the work of generations. They expected this to be a movement of changing the culture morally. They didn't think, we're going to put a law on the books and end war the next day. And I don't think that's about to happen next week. I think making people aware of the thinking that put this on the books and the fact that it's there is going to be a step that moves us in the direction of eventually getting a real court--not like the International Criminal Court that's a creature of the UN, just as the World Court back then was a creature of the League of Nations, but a real court and a real standard of treating war as a crime. It's--we have a long way to go. But when people want to give corporations rights, they dig up marginalia on court rulings, they dig up overridden vetoes, they dig up speeches and op-eds. We have actual laws on our side. And just making people aware of that is a step in the right direction.

JAY: Thanks for joining us again. And the book, again, is When the World Outlawed War by David Swanson. And thanks for joining us on The Real News Network.
[End of Transcript]

Monday, August 26, 2013

Stand against War in Syria!

Stand with the People of Syria! [link]
The people within the multi-cultural jurisdiction of Syria are suffering from the terrorists being unleashed upon them by the USA, Great Britain and Israel. Although there are legitimate groups (including leftist of various persuasions) standing up for human rights against the government in power over Syria, the majority of the rebels are actually terrorists do not believe in human rights, and are Arab supremacists who want nothing more than to cleanse the area of non-Arabs and the establishment of an anti-socialist regime which recognizes no protections for women or secular people!
The purpose of this plan is the consolidation by monopolist corporations over petroleum wells and pipelines within Syria, and in order to fulfill this plan, the USA, Great Britain and Israel have been not only subsidizing their terrorist organization with money and weapons, but are also supplying them with illegal chemical weapons, whose use by them against the people of Syria is to be used as a reason to invade and kill, perhaps, millions of civilians within Syria, as seen in the USA, Great Britain and Israel's invasion of Iraq!

Revolutionary analysis of the Syria revolution and liberated Kurdistan [link].
Also visit this [link] for "The Rush to Bomb Syria: Undermining International Law and Risking Wider War", a briefing paper from Western States Legal Foundation ("Working for Peace & Justice in a Nuclear Free World") []

United States Military personnel, tired of endless war and agony, are stirring in dissent. This development is being denied by the monopolist media, calling the dissent "faked" [link].

FACTS on the chemical weapon attacks in Syria
collected by the "IAC Solidarity Center":
* There is absolutely no evidence or confirmation that the Assad government carried out the alleged chemical attack.
* United Nations weapons inspectors are in Syria at the direct REQUEST of the Syrian government to prove that they have not used chemical weapons. The attack took place a mere ten miles away from the inspection team, on the very day they arrived.
* Carla Del Ponte, a United Nations Human Rights investigator, has stated that the Syrian government has not used chemical weapons but the rebels have.
* In May, 12 members of the Syrian rebel forces were arrested in Turkey. The rebels possessed 4.5 pounds of Sarin, the neurotoxin gas alleged to have been used in the recent attack.
* In January, the "Daily Mail", a prominent British newspaper, reported that the Syrian rebels were planning a chemical attack which they would blame on the Syrian government in order to justify U.S. intervention. The report was based on leaked emails from military contractors.
* The Syrian rebels are receiving direct weapons and funding from the United States, despite their record of atrocities including rape, murder, and torture. The U.N. has reported that they are actively recruiting young children, in addition to other violations of international law.
* The Assad government has fully cooperated with the weapons inspection teams.
* Members of the United Nations inspection team have openly stated their doubts about the chemical attack. Dr. Ake Sellstrom, the leader of the team, called the reports of the alleged attack "suspicious".
* Reports on the attack are extremely inconsistent. Some reports said over 1,300 were killed. Other reports have said less than 200. Still other reports say over 350. The numbers are unclear and totally unsubstantiated.
* The report being circulated by "Doctors Without Borders" is not based on their own information, but based on reports they received from a Syrian rebel group by their own admission.
* Videos of the alleged attack were posted on the internet by allies of the Syrian rebels, BEFORE the attack took place.
* The credibility of the video of the alleged chemical attack is being widely questioned by chemical weapons experts. The victims are not displaying the proper symptoms of having been struck by a Sarin nerve gas. The people shown treating them are not wearing proper equipment.
* The U.S. is currently urging the U.N. weapons inspection team to halt its work. The U.N. weapons inspectors insist that they must be allowed to continue their investigations and to determine actual facts.

"Obama Misleads the World on Syria"
from "Project Censored" []:
Student Researcher: Brenda Montanez (Sonoma State University)
Faculty Evaluator: Peter Phillips (Sonoma State University)
Source: Seymour Hersh, “Syria: Whose Sarin?” London Review of Books, December 19, 2013, [].
Barack Obama did not tell the whole story when he tried to make the case that Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attack near Damascus on 21 August, 2013. He failed to acknowledge something known to the US intelligence community: that the Syrian army is not the only party in the country’s civil war with access to sarin, the nerve agent that a UN study concluded had been used in the rocket attack. The UN study did not assess responsibility for the attack.
In his nationally televised speech about Syria on 10 September, Obama laid blame for the nerve gas attack firmly on Assad’s government, and made it clear he was prepared to back up his earlier public warnings that any use of chemical weapons would cross a ‘red line’: “Assad’s government gassed to death over a thousand people.”
Seymour Hersh reports that insider intelligence, including military officers and consultants, repeatedly reported deliberate manipulation of intelligence. One high-level intelligence officer, in an email to a colleague, called the administration’s assurances of Assad’s responsibility a “ruse.” The attack “was not the result of the current regime.” A former senior intelligence official said that the Obama administration had altered the available information – in terms of its timing and sequence – to enable the president and his advisers to make intelligence retrieved days after the attack look as if it had been picked up and analyzed in real time, as the attack was happening.
The absence of immediate alarm inside the American intelligence community demonstrates that there was no intelligence about Syrian intentions in the days before the attack. And there are at least two ways the US could have known about it in advance: both were touched on in one of the top secret American intelligence documents that have been made public in recent months. In both its public and private briefings after 21 August, the administration disregarded the available intelligence about the rebel group al-Nusra’s potential access to sarin and continued to claim that the Assad government was in sole possession of chemical weapons.

2013-01-30 "US 'backed plan to launch chemical weapon attack on Syria, blame it on Assad govt': Report"
by ANI, published by "Yahoo!" news []:
London, Jan 30 (ANI): The Obama administration gave green signal to a chemical weapons attack plan in Syria that could be blamed on President Bashar al Assad's regime and in turn, spur international military action in the devastated country, leaked documents have shown.
A new report, that contains an email exchange between two senior officials at British-based contractor Britam Defence, showed a scheme 'approved by Washington'.
As per the scheme 'Qatar would fund rebel forces in Syria to use chemical weapons,' the Daily Mail reports.
Barack Obama made it clear to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad last month that the U.S. would not tolerate Syria using chemical weapons against its own people.
According to, the December 25 email was sent from Britam's Business Development Director David Goulding to company founder Philip Doughty.
The emails were released by a Malaysian hacker who also obtained senior executives resumes and copies of passports via an unprotected company server, according to Cyber War News.
According to the paper, the U.S. State Department has declined to comment on the matter. (ANI)

2013-08-26 “US Backed Plan to Launch Chemical Weapon Attack on Syria and Blame it on Assad Government; ‘Chemical Weapons’ media propaganda in US, UK is designed to hide the truth in Syria”
by Patrick Henningsen from "Global Research" []:
The Mail quickly pulled the story down within 24 hours, offering no formal retraction, but simply wiped it clean from their website, but we have a screen shot (below).

The Mail was later sued by Britam Defense, and forced to publish a retraction. The Guardian reported on June 26th []: “The Daily Mail has apologised and paid £110,000 in libel damages to a London defence firm it wrongly linked with an alleged chemical weapons plot in Syria. Britam Defence Limited complained that an article on the Daily Mail’s website Mail Online falsely accused two of its executives of conspiring in a “nefarious and illegal plot” in the Middle Eastern state “for enormous financial reward”. The article quoted one email supposedly sent between two executives at the company which claimed to show that Britam had agreed to supply chemical weapons to Homs for use in an attack. However, the emails turned out to be forged.”
One of the original leaks which led to this brief, but buried story, was contained in the Britam Leaks, which detailed the alleged plan to be carried out which was said to have received a green light from Washington and was to be financed by Qatar.
Although a libel settlement was reached regarding naming the two Britam executives mentioned in the Mail article, it’s hard to prove that the plot itself did not happen – and herein lies the problem with the secretive shadow state and its array of private contractors in both the US and UK.

2013-08-23 "British MP: Israel gave chemicals to Syria rebels; A British parliamentarian says Israel has been giving out chemical arms to the anti-Syria militants"
George Galloway, Britain’s Respect Party for Bradford West said Israel provided terrorist groups linked with al-Qaeda with chemical weapons.
“If there’s been any use of nerve gas, it’s the rebels that used it...If there has been use of chemical weapons, it was Al Qaeda who used the chemical weapons”, Galloway said.
“Who gave al-Qaeda the chemical weapons? Here’s my theory: Israel gave them the chemical weapons”, Galloway MP added.
Meanwhile, media reports had it that Qatar’s Al Jazeera TV and Reuters news agency published the news of massacre in East Ghouta, Damascus “one day” before the massacre happened.
According to the reports tens of videos were uploaded before foreign-backed terrorists announced and accused the Syrian government of conducting chemical attacks on its own people. Those evidences show the terrorists massacred people, including women and children, then recorded and uploaded the scenes to deceive the world’s public opinion, but they did so hurriedly and gave themselves up.
The question here is why the Syrian government and its army should have committed such a heinous mass murder using chemical weapons when the United Nations inspectors are visiting the country to investigate the use of such weapons?
The foreign-backed terrorists and mercenaries hired by certain regional Arab countries are making up those allegations against the popular government of President Bashar al Assad to invoke a foreign armed intervention in Syria the same as what they did in Libya.
Qatar’s Al Jazeera TV published the news of the alleged chemical weapons attack by the Syrian army, citing unknown activists as its source.
A website funded by foreign-backed terrorists also uploaded videos of the alleged attacks and wrote that “Baath Regime used chemical weapons in East Ghouta, Damascus, Jobar, Ain Tarma, Zamalka, Western Ghouta, Muaddamiyah around 03: 30 am.”
At the same time, one of the well-known pro- terrorists’ Youtube account ‘SHAMSNN’ swiftly uploaded tens of videos between 03: 00 and 04: 00 am, 20 August. The same people behind all these scenarios accused the government of Syria and its army of carrying out chemical attacks on 21 August.
Now, even if the chemical attacks had happened at 03:30 on 20 August, it’s not possible to film the scenes and upload tens of videos of these heinous crimes with the best quality pictures.
Therefore, all the evidence shows is that foreign-backed terrorists perpetrated the crimes, filmed and uploaded the scenes and went to their mouthpieces such as Al Jazeera, al-Arabiya, Sky News and Reuters to accuse the Syrian government of a massacre the terrorists did.
Another best evidence of such brutality by the terrorists, who are regularly coming close to their end of life, is that they had gathered innocent civilians including women and children into certain places, killed them by nerve gas and filmed the brutal murder scenes, then they did what they were ordered to accuse the Syrian government.
Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi highlighted certain countries’ hostile stance towards his country telling the world that a media and political campaign of lies is being circulated by certain Arab and foreign media outlets including al-Jazeera, al-Arabiya, Sky News and others which are involved in the shedding of Syrian blood and supporting terrorism, with the objective of distracting the UN committee of inspectors of its mission to investigate which party to the conflict has used chemical weapons.
“The cries of terrorists and their calls for aid accompany the fact that the Armed Forces are advancing on the ground, and also accompany the fabricated campaign waged by some channels in desperate bid to imbue false morale in the armed terrorist groups,” he said.
Omran al-Zoubi described the support by some Arabs and the so-called Arab League for these allegations as ridiculous, naïve and illogical.

2013-05-05 "Use of chemical weapons in Syria may be Israeli false flag op: former US official"
from "Press TV" []:
Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as chief of staff of former US Secretary of State Colin Powell

A former senior US official says the use of chemical weapons in Syria might have been a "false flag operation" conducted by Israel to incriminate the Syrian government.
Retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as the chief of staff of former US Secretary of State Colin Powell during the administration of President George W. Bush, said he did not believe the Syrian government has crossed a red line.
“What I’m hearing from the intelligence community is that that evidence is really flakey," Wilkerson said in an interview with Current TV on Thursday.
He also advised the US government not to intervene on the basis of such “flimsy evidence.”
While opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad accuse his government of using chemical weapons on their own country’s citizens, Damascus says the attacks were perpetrated by foreign-backed militants operating in the country.
Commenting on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Wilkerson said he is leading “basically a geo-strategically, geo-political -- if you will -- inept regime.”
“I think we saw really startling evidence of that,” he noted, “in the fact that President Obama had to tell Bibi Netanyahu ‘Pick up the phone, you idiot, call Ankara and get yourself out of this strategic isolation you’re in right now.”
Wilkerson was referring to the fact that US President Barack Obama pushed Netanyahu to formally apologize to Turkey over a 2010 attack that killed eight Turkish civilians aboard the Gaza-bound Freedom Flotilla while the ships were in international waters.
He went on to say that Israel is currently in “a very, very dangerous situation,” given the growing influence of resistance groups, the ouster of pro-Israeli Arab dictators by popular revolutions, and the crisis in Syria.
“The president (Obama) has got to be very circumspect about what he does in exacerbating that situation. Netanyahu is clueless as to this,” Wilkerson stated.
“I hope that President Obama gave him a lecture into geo-strategic realities,” he added.

2013-05-06 "UN accuses Syrian rebels of chemical weapons use; Syrian rebels have made use of the deadly nerve agent sarin in their war-torn country's conflict, UN human rights investigator Carla del Ponte has said"
by Damien McElroy []:
"According to the testimonies we have gathered, the rebels have used chemical weapons, making use of sarin gas," del Ponte, a former war crimes prosecutor, said in an interview with Swiss radio late on Sunday.
"We still have to deepen our investigation, verify and confirm (the findings) through new witness testimony, but according to what we have established so far, it is at the moment opponents of the regime who are using sarin gas," she added.
She stressed that the UN commission of inquiry on Syria, which she is a part of, had far from finished its investigation.
Turkish authorities are carrying out blood tests on Syrians who have fled the fighting at home to determine if they have been victims of chemical weapons, a medical source said Monday.
"Samples have been taken from people wounded in Syria who have been transported to Turkey," the source said on condition of anonymity, adding that the results were not yet known.
Western nations have raised concerns about the use of chemical weapons in the escalating conflict between the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and rebels fighting to oust him.
Top UN rights investigator Carla del Ponte said Sunday that according to testimony, rebels have been using sarin gas.
US President Barack Obama has refused to rule out any options, but has said he did not foresee deploying US troops if Assad's regime is proved to have used chemical weapons.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a one-time Syria ally, on Sunday branded Assad a "butcher" and a "murderer" who would pay a heavy price for the killings in Syria.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appealed Sunday for restraint to avoid an escalation in Syria's civil war, expressing "grave concern" over Israeli air raids.
Israel launched air strikes earlier that hit three military sites near Damascus, the second such reported attack in a 48-hour period targeting the transfer of arms to Lebanon-based Hezbollah, raising fresh concerns of a regional spillover.
"The secretary-general calls on all sides to exercise maximum calm and restraint, and to act with a sense of responsibility to prevent an escalation of what is already a devastating and highly dangerous conflict," Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky said in a statement.
Nesirky said the United Nations was unable to independently verify the raids, and had no details about them, but Ban "expresses grave concern over reports of air strikes in Syria by the Israeli Air Force."
"The secretary-general urges respect for national sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries in the region, and adherence to all relevant Security Council resolutions," Nesirky said.

2013-08-24 "US readies possible missile strike against Syria - report"
Despite President Obama cautioning against intervention in Syria, the Pentagon is making “initial preparations” for a cruise missile attack on Syrian government forces, according to a new report.
Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey is expected to present options for such a strike at a White House meeting on Saturday, CBS News reported on Friday. 
US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel suggested Friday naval forces are moving in position closer to Syria in case Obama chooses action.
"The Defense Department has a responsibility to provide the president with options for contingencies, and that requires positioning our forces, positioning our assets, to be able to carry out different options — whatever options the president might choose," Hagel said, adding a decision must be made quickly given “there may be another (chemical) attack.”
Meanwhile, a defense official, cited by Reuters, said on Friday the US Navy was expanding its Mediterranean presence with a fourth cruise-missile ship, the USS Mahan. Though the source stressed to Reuters the Navy did not have orders to prepare for military operations against Syria.
The ship was due to head back to the United States, but the commander of the US Sixth Fleet decided to maintain the ship in the region. 
All four ships are capable of launching long-range, subsonic cruise missiles to reach land targets.
President Barack Obama is under renewed pressure to take action following the emergence of footage of what appears to be the aftermath of a toxic agent attack in a Damascus suburb on Wednesday. The forces of President Bashar Assad were assaulting a rebel stronghold in the district at the time, but deny responsibility. Moscow, which has maintained close ties with the regime, called the incident a rebel “provocation” possibly designed to derail upcoming Geneva peace talks.  
Though the Pentagon will present plans for potential action on Saturday, as CBS reported, President Obama has final say on any further developments.
Questioned on the continuing upheaval in Syria and Egypt during a CNN interview Friday, Obama said the United States should be wary of “being drawn into very expensive, difficult, costly interventions that actually breed more resentment in the region.”
Obama went on to express reservations for becoming involved in the 30-month Syrian conflict due to a lack of international consensus. 
"If the US goes in and attacks another country without a UN mandate and without clear evidence that can be presented, then there are questions in terms of whether international law supports it, [and] do we have the coalition to make it work?” said Obama. 
Despite his cautious tone, Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice said via Twitter, “What is Bashar al Assad hiding? The world is demanding an independent investigation of Wednesday’s apparent CW attack. Immediately.”
Adding to the rhetoric in Washington, Sen. John McCain said that if the administration was to “let this go on,” it was “writing a blank check to other brutal dictators around the world if they want to use chemical weapons." 
The top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee also spoke out in support of a strike in Syria, writing to Obama of the need to respond to the latest alleged outrage.
"If we, in concert with our allies, do not respond to Assad's murderous uses of weapons of mass destruction, malevolent countries and bad actors around the world will see a green light where one was never intended," Rep. Eliot Engel wrote on Friday.
Engel has been a proponent of a more aggressive approach to Assad’s government.
"And, we can do this with no boots on the ground, from stand-off distances," he added in the letter. "I know that your Administration is wrestling with these very complex issues, but I believe that we, as Americans, have a moral obligation to step in without delay and stop the slaughter."
Obama insisted to CNN that while the United States remains “the one indispensable nation” in international diplomacy, he suggested that perhaps this was one conflict where the world should not look to Washington for a definitive answer.
"The notion that the US can somehow solve what is a sectarian complex problem inside of Syria sometimes is overstated," said the president.
The White House later released a statement confirming Obama’s words, and emphasizing that the US has no plans to put “boots on the ground.”

2013-09-01 "Cooked Up Evidence: Trying to Fool the Public over Syria"
by Colin Todhunter from "Global Research" []:
“Attempts to bypass the Security Council, once again to create artificial groundless excuses for a military intervention in the region are fraught with new suffering in Syria and catastrophic consequences for other countries of the Middle East and North Africa.” Russian foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich.
Despite the stance expressed by Lukashevich, Russia has been depicted by various prominent Western politicians as an obstacle to ‘humanitarian’ military intervention in Syria. As hundreds of thousands of deaths and injuries continue to mount as a result of US-led wars in the world, such humanitarian concerns ring hollow.
What these politicians are doing is called trying to take the public for fools. 

‘Their’ politicians -
But this is what ‘their’ politicians do: the taxpayer-salaried ‘public servants’, who do the bidding of the powerful corporations, with the situation over Syria being a case in point (1).
In Britain, ‘public servants’, like PM Cameron and Foreign Secretary Hague, dutifully obey their corporate-financier masters and their political bosses in Washington and were keen to lead Britain into a war, at first seemingly with or without the backing of the UN Security Council, with or without evidence that the Syrian government used chemical weapons.
Cameron said the world should not stand idly by as the Syrian government attacks its own people with chemical weapons. ‘Their’ man in the Labour Party, leader Ed Miliband, seemed to be on board too. That was before MPs began to voice dissent and parliament then put a block on the plans for Britain’s involvement in any military intervention – for the time being at least.
Before any independently verified evidence was available, US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel was already convinced of the Syrian government’s guilt. US State Department spokesperson Marie Haff also parroted this line on the BBC by saying: “Let there be no question about who is responsible for this.”
She also spoke about the Assad ‘regime’ being intent on spreading chaos throughout the region.
Anyone who has been following this conflict (and the one in Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan or Iraq) will note the rank hypocrisy of this Washington propagandist Haff. She should look very close to home if she wants to talk about spreading chaos (and death and destruction).
After interviewing Chuck Hagel on TV, the BBC presented a range of military options and asked what would be the objective. Then we were told of the official line coming out of Washington, that the objective is not about regime change and not about intervening in a civil war, when quite clearly it is about both (2,3). The US and its allies fueled conflict and intervened in Libya and then helped bomb a path into Tripoli for the rebels to bring about regime change. And the US and its client states have been helping to stoke conflict in Syria for many months (4).
What Hagel, Cameron and Hague say about this conflict and how the issue of chemical weapons is being presented by much of the media is all based the same type of lie that has taken Britain to war in the recent past. And it is all being cheered on in the British press by the totally discredited Tony Blair, who urges military intervention in Syria on the basis of his foregone conclusion about the Assad government having used chemical weapons.
We should expect no better from such a man, though. The more naive might ask did Blair learn nothing from leading the country into an illegal war with Iraq? But Blair is not in the habit of learning lessons from actions that ended up in the mass killing of Iraqis – because Blair, as with Cameron and Hague, is ‘their’ man too. And as ‘their’ man, after leaving office, Blair has done very well indeed.
In 2012, The Telegraph newspaper in the UK discussed Tony Blair’s jet set lifestyle and his UK property portfolio of seven homes worth £14 million (5). Blair is paid in the region of £3 million a year to advise both JP Morgan, the US investment bank, and also Zurich International, the global insurer based in Switzerland. On top of that he runs his own consultancy firm, which advises the oil and gas rich governments of Kuwait and Kazakhstan.

Criminality -
If we take what happened in Libya as a starting point for the type of events that may now unfold in Syria, we should turn to University of Johannesburg professor Chris Landsberg. He stated that, regarding Libya, the UN was misused to militarise policy, legalise military action and effect regime change (6). He subsequently challenged the International Criminal Court to investigate NATO for “violating international law.” Little if any talk of such matters, or of the 200 prominent African figures who accused Western nations subverting international law, by the gung ho mainstream media at the time though, which merely peddled with the pious narrative that NATO was essentially a civilising force in a barbaric world. It’s the same narrative that we now witness over Syria.
And this moral tone underpins the rhetoric about ‘protecting civilians’ (by bombing them from afar – they then conveniently become ‘collateral damage’, not civilians; and that’s okay because ‘we’ are doing it, not ‘them’). It also underpins attempts to justify plans that have been in place for years to topple governments, including Assad’s. US Vice-President Joe Biden has said there is “no doubt” that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons and that it must be held accountable. The situation has been prejudged by the world’s self appointed policeman in order to pursue its well-documented wider geo-political agenda (7).
Washington hopes the public will be reeled in by its red-line-in-the-sand ‘look he used them’ ploy. Unfortunately for Washington, the public in the US or Britain has not been yelling for retribution. The public are tired of wars and don’t trust governments or intelligence agencies that cried wolf over Iraq and were found to be liars.
It’s not a case of who will save people from Assad, but who will save us from the lies that fuel the type of terror and instability we have seen in places such as Libya, Iraq or Syria? Who will save us from the depleted uranium or the drones? Who will save us from the aggression and militarism? Who will save us from the suffering brought about by the economic neo-liberalism of the corporate cartels and the financial institutions that dictate policy, whether military or non-military, and salt away profits in tax havens while expecting ordinary people to bear the brunt of their criminality, wars and deceptions?
The arrogance of people like US State Department spokesperson Marie Haff is breathtaking. People like Haff should think very hard before attempting to take the British public for gullible idiots. The public is not ready to accept at face value the deceit from her mouth, or some cooked up PR strategy designed to brow beat people into line. The ghost of Tony Blair’s wrongdoings haunts many British MPs, who have as a result successfully reined in Cameron and Hague, and is a constant reminder to a public that is unwilling to be fooled again.

No public appetite for war -
With polls indicating very little appetite from the British public for military intervention in Syria, politicians and their PR people have their work cut to try to convince people that this is a cause worth backing (8). But at least they have a compliant media.
The BBC’s depiction of NATO’s attack on Libya was woefully one-sided and anti-Gadaffi (9). And thus far its track record on Syria fares little better. Take BBC world news editor Jon Williams over last year’s Houla massacre incident. As noted by Chris Marsden (10), Williams admitted that the coverage of the May 2012 massacre in Syria by the world’s media and the BBC was dodgy to say the least. Early in June, on his personal blog, Williams explained that, despite the claims by the BBC, there was no evidence whatsoever to identify either the Syrian Army or Alawite militias as the perpetrators of the massacre of 100 people. Indeed, leading German newspaper the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) reported that the Houla massacre was in fact committed by anti-Assad Sunni militants, and the bulk of the victims were member of the Alawi and Shia minorities, which had been largely supportive of Assad.
Williams said that the facts turned out to be few and that it was not clear who ordered the killings or why.
But why let facts get in the way of a good story? Kerry, Hagel and Haff certainly don’t. Why let the actual evidence (implicating the rebels) about a chemicals weapons incident (11) or the wider narrative (that disguises deceit and chicanery) about Syria (12) get in the way of a good fairytale? Push ahead regardless. The cooked up evidence will eventually be made to fit the preconceived policy… they hope.
Cheer-leading from the sidelines, Tony Blair knows about that (13).

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