Tag Archives: Syria

Ukraine: Somewhere between Afghanization and Syrianization, by Pepe Escobar

The U.S. is well on its way to sponsoring yet another fiasco that will end up killing a lot of innocent people. From Pepe Escobar at thesaker.is:

Ukraine is finished as a nation – neither side will rest in this war. The only question is whether it will be an Afghan or Syrian style finale.

One year after the astounding US humiliation in Kabul – and on the verge of another serious comeuppance in Donbass – there is reason to believe Moscow is wary of Washington seeking vengeance: in the form of the ‘Afghanization’ of Ukraine.

With no end in sight to western weapons and finance flowing into Kiev, it must be recognized that the Ukrainian battle is likely to disintegrate into yet another endless war. Like the Afghan jihad in the 1980s which employed US-armed and funded guerrillas to drag Russia into its depths, Ukraine’s backers will employ those war-tested methods to run a protracted battle that can spill into bordering Russian lands.

Yet this US attempt at crypto-Afghanization will at best accelerate the completion of what Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu describes as the “tasks” of its Special Military Operation (SMO) in Ukraine. For Moscow right now, that road leads all the way to Odessa.

It didn’t have to be this way. Until the recent assassination of Darya Dugina at Moscow’s gates, the battlefield in Ukraine was in fact under a ‘Syrianization’ process.

Like the foreign proxy war in Syria this past decade, frontlines around significant Ukrainian cities had roughly stabilized. Losing on the larger battlefields, Kiev had increasingly moved to employ terrorist tactics. Neither side could completely master the immense war theater at hand. So the Russian military opted to keep minimal forces in battle – contrary to the strategy it employed in 1980s Afghanistan.

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Whose war is the US fighting in Syria, and why? By Daniel Larison

The U.S. is fighting Israel and the Gulf States’ war in Syria. From Daniel Larison at responsiblestatecraft.org:

American troops have been exchanging fire with alleged Iran-backed militas all week. The timing is curious, and dangerous.

U.S. forces in Syria have been carrying out strikes against “Iran-backed” militias this week in response to a recent drone attack on the American base at Tanf and rocket attacks at two other bases in northeastern Syria.

The first U.S. strike this week came in response to an August 15 attack, and that was quickly followed up by another hit. These airstrikes reportedly targeted bunkers used by the militias and killed between six and 10 people.

A later militia strike at bases in Deir al-Zour resulted in three U.S. troops suffering minor injuries, and the U.S. responded to that with Apache attack helicopters on Wednesday, reportedly resulting in casualties. It remains to be seen if the clashes will continue, but there has already been considerable escalation in just a few days.

Keeping American troops in Syria has been a serious mistake that multiple administrations have failed to correct. The longer that U.S. forces illegally remain in that country, the more likely it is that one of these clashes will result in casualties that could have been avoided. The Biden administration may be reluctant to withdraw troops from another country after what happened during the Afghanistan withdrawal, but their continued presence in Syria makes them targets and does nothing to make the United States more secure.

Bottom line: The risk to U.S. forces in Syria is increasing, and there are no discernible benefits from keeping them where they are that justify taking that risk. Contrary to what Biden has said, the U.S. is still at war in Syria, but it shouldn’t be and it doesn’t have to be.

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Biden Rocks the Middle East, by Philip Giraldi

You’ve got to keep an eye on these bastards. With everyone focused on the current disaster in Ukraine, the Biden administration is quietly creating more disasters in the Middle East and Africa. From Philip Giraldi at unz.com:

That dwindling band of observers that continues to express concern over the catastrophe that constitutes United States foreign policy under President Joe Biden have come to realize how the Ukraine situation is being used as cover for interventions and other similar mischief in other parts of the world. Recent reporting, for example, reveals that the Biden Administration has decided “to reestablish a persistent US military presence in Somalia to enable a more effective fight against al-Shabaab” in spite of the fact that “there is absolutely no constitutional authority for President Biden to send troops into Somalia or drop bombs on Somalia.” Nor does al-Shabaab represent a threat to Americans or American interests.

To be sure, the emphasis on Ukraine has a certain cogency as it is particularly dangerous and could lead to nuclear devastation in a situation where intervention by the United States was not only unwarranted but also unresponsive to any actual national interest of threat. And escalate it will if the White House continues on its current path. Ukrainian government sources are now stating that the United States is preparing to destroy the Russian Black Sea fleet to end the blockade of Ukraine’s ports. The commander of US forces in Europe General Christopher Cavoli seems to be confirming that report when he refers to the preparation of “military options” to help export Ukrainian grain.

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‘Al Qaeda Is on Our Side’: How Obama/Biden Team Empowered Terrorist Networks in Syria, by Aaron Maté

The U.S. government is not picky when finding allies to fight its regime change wars. From Aaron Maté at realclearinvestigations.com:

Hours after the Feb. 3 U.S. military raid in northern Syria that left the leader of ISIS and multiple family members dead, President Biden delivered a triumphant White House address.

The late-night Special Forces operation in Syria’s Idlib province, Biden proclaimed, was a “testament to America’s reach and capability to take out terrorist threats no matter where they hide around the world.”

U.S. Government Handout/Reuters
Abu Ibrahim al-Qurayshi: Before he was killed by U.S. forces in February the ISIS leader operated from an Al Qaeda safe haven in Syria.

Unmentioned by the president, and virtually all media accounts of the assassination, was the critical role that top members of his administration played during the Obama years in creating the Al Qaeda-controlled hideout where ISIS head Abu Ibrahim al-Qurayshi, as well as his slain predecessor, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, found their final refuge.

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Red Alert: What Seeing The War in Syria Taught Me About US/Western Government and Media Propaganda, by Janice Kortkamp

Syria was one of those U.S. government regime-change operations that didn’t go as planned. Not that you’d find that out form the government or kept media. From Janice Kortkamp at lewrockwell.com:

The Syrian war was the first fully observed conflict on social-media and the ability to connect directly with Syrians real time as they were experiencing the crisis was unprecedented. This created a unique opportunity to get unfiltered information directly from all sides of the conflict to gain insights and understanding. The results have helped shake off the control by conventional news media over foreign events reporting and analysis. While this has created some chaos, valuable lessons have been (or should have been) learned.

I began researching Syria and the war there in late 2012, and have made seven extended journeys traveling around during the war from 2016 through 2019, meeting with hundreds of Syrians from different backgrounds, walks of life, and opinions as a 100 percent non-affiliated, unpaid, and self/crowd-funded, independent citizen-journalist.

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Ukrainian White Helmets, by Good Citizen

Perhaps the White Helmets should be called the Whitewash Helmets. From Good Citizen at thegoodcitizen.substack.com:

Manufacturing war propaganda in Ukraine looks a lot like Syria.

You might recall the infamous “humanitarian” group The White Helmets. There was a Netflix documentary on the organization produced by George Clooney that won the 2017 Oscar for best documentary short.

The group was a USAID (spook) funded operation to manufacture “evidence” of war crimes and atrocities in Syria for western audiences under the guise of a group providing ‘humanitarian assistance’. USAID provided no funding for such groups in Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya because wherever the U.S. invades, there are no war crimes and thereby no need for humanitarian assistance.

Like all war propaganda in zones where no independent journalists are allowed there’s no way to know for sure what was staged by the White Helmets and what was real, though evidence exists that they staged a good number of their performances.

From an article by Consortium News that critically examines the group.

Across the mainstream Western media, the “White Helmets” are hailed as heroic first responders rescuing injured civilians in rebel-controlled parts of Syria. The U.K. Guardian and The Independent urged the Nobel Committee to award this year’s Nobel Peace Prize to the “White Helmets.”

There are claims the group saved 65,000 people on the ground. Each member could also walk on water and pee out perfectly cut diamonds.

The group was mostly a PR and Marketing operation.

The “White Helmets” brand was conceived and directed by a New York-based marketing company named “The Syria Campaign,” which itself was “incubated” by a larger politically oriented marketing company called Purpose.

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White House on Ukraine and Syria: If you don’t trust us, then f–k you, by Jeff Shogol

Government in general and the U.S. government in particular have done everything possibly to destroy trust. From Jeff Shogol at taskandpurpose.com:

Well, okay then.

joe biden
WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 26: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about the situation in Afghanistan in the East Room of the White House on August 26, 2021 in Washington, DC. At least 12 American service members were killed on Thursday by suicide bomb attacks near the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images).

If it’s starting to feel like March 2003, that’s because President Joe Biden’s administration is definitely taking an “either you are with us or with the terrorists” vibe.

Top White House and State Department officials tried to shut down reporters’ questions on Thursday about the veracity of Biden administration claims on Russia and Syria.

To wit: U.S. officials claim that Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi killed himself, his wife, and two children when he detonated an explosive device during a special operations forces raid in Syria. The Pentagon is further claiming that all the civilians killed during the raid died as a result of actions taken by Al-Qurayshi and one of his deputies, who fought U.S. troops along with his wife.

Separately, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters Thursday that the U.S. government has information that Russia may launch a false flag attack and blame it on the Ukrainian military or intelligence forces.

“As part of this fake attack, we believe that Russia would produce a very graphic propaganda video which would include corpses and actors that would be depicting mourners and images of destroyed locations as well as military equipment at the hands of Ukraine or the West – even to the point where some of this equipment would be made to look like it was Western-supplied into Ukraine equipment,” Kirby said during a Pentagon news briefing.

Yet no one from the Biden administration has presented evidence to back up any of its statements absolving the U.S. military of all blame for the civilian casualties in Syria or its accusation that Russia could create a glorified snuff film as a pretext to invade Ukraine.

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The US Bombed A Vital Dam In Syria, Lied About It, & Called Anyone Who Reported The Truth “Crazy”

How fake news works. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Many years too late, it appears The New York Times has suddenly discovered that the United States has been committing war crimes in Syria, coming long after it was clear Washington was pursuing regime change in Damascus. With Assad still in control of most of the country, US efforts have turned to far-reach sanctions of late, which have greatly increased the sufferings of common Syrians. Like with Bush’s disastrous invasion of Iraq before, the Times was the foremost cheerleader for that war, laundering Pentagon and admin propaganda, and only many years later admitting the truth that it was all based on lies… so now it seems to be going with Syria.

In its latest reporting, the NY Times has “uncovered” that an elite US military unit intentionally targeted and destroyed a large dam which was vital to the daily life and survival of tens of thousands of people near a vital Euphrates River reservoir. When the 2017 bombing of the Tabqa Dam (or al-Thawra Dam as it’s also called) was first reported, a top American general labeled those accusing the US of being behind it as “crazy”. Like much mainstream media reporting on Syria, those who had it right in real time – many from independent and alternative media – were dismissed as “conspiracy theorists” and loons, but now this…

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‘Stomach-Wrenching’ Report Reveals Secret US Strike Command’s High Civilian Death Toll, by Brett Wilkins

There’s always an excuse or a denial from the military and the government about civilians killed in the U.S.’s War on Terror. The Talon Anvil story will be no different. The truth will emerge slowly and in pieces if it emerges at all, and nobody will be held accountable. From Brett Wilkins at commondreams.org:

The unit, called Talon Anvil, is said to have killed Syrian civilians at 10 times the rate of similar airstrikes elsewhere in the so-called War on Terror.

Peace advocates on Monday responded to a report about a U.S. military unit that killed Syrian civilians at 10 times the rate of similar operations in other theaters of the so-called War on Terror by accusing the United States of hypocritically sanctioning countries while committing atrocities of its own, and by reminding people that there is no such thing as a “humane” war.

“Years later, we hear about all the civilians obliterated but are left with a fait accompli and no accountability.”

On Sunday, The New York Times reported the existence of Talon Anvil, a “shadowy force” that “sidestepped safeguards and repeatedly killed civilians” in aerial bombardments targeting militants in Syria. The unit “worked in three shifts around the clock between 2014 and 2019, pinpointing targets for the United States’ formidable air power to hit: convoys, car bombs, command centers, and squads of enemy fighters.”

“But people who worked with the strike cell say in the rush to destroy enemies, it circumvented rules imposed to protect noncombatants, and alarmed its partners in the military and the CIA by killing people who had no role in the conflict,” the paper reported, including “farmers trying to harvest, children in the street, families fleeing fighting, and villagers sheltering in buildings.”

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The progressive civil war over Syria and Assad exposes an astonishing lack of intellectual curiosity by some on the American Left, by Scott Ritter

The left has accepted without question the government’s narrative on Syria and Assad, notwithstanding it’s gaping holes and contradictions. From Scott Ritter at rt.com:

The progressive civil war over Syria and Assad exposes an astonishing lack of intellectual curiosity by some on the American Left
Truth and politics are often mutually exclusive concepts when dealing with the progressive American Left. This unfortunate fact is being driven home in spades in an ongoing spat between two lefty online personalities.

Anyone following Aaron Maté (149K followers on Twitter); The Young Turks (TYT, with 440K followers as an institution, and as many followers each tracking the activity of co-hosts Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian); the comedian Jimmy Dore (274K followers); or any number of other Twitter personalities whose online paths have crossed with any of the above; knows these left-leaning social media stars have been engaged in a vicious feud. Full disclosure, I have appeared on both Maté’s podcast, Pushback, as well as The Young Turks radio show. At issue is Syria and, more pointedly, the contention by both Uygur and Kasparian that Maté is shilling for President Bashar Assad.

A tale of two narratives

The sheer drama and vitriol which has emerged as a result of this feud has been entertaining for those who get a kick out of leftwing internecine warfare. Maté’s use of Jimmy Dore’s popular online program The Jimmy Dore Show as a platform for promoting his arguments has torn the scab off old wounds created when Dore left The Young Turks and struck out on his own, appears to underpin at least some of Uygur and Kasparian’s anti-Maté invective. However, more interesting is the fact that, as Maté pointed out in a recent interview with The Hill, the progressive wing of the American Left has hit a brick wall over the issue of Syria. Criticism of Assad has run up against the lies used to sustain US military hegemony in the Middle East.

“I think,” Maté noted, “that that meltdown reflects just like a general hostility they [The Young Turks] have towards people who are upholding actual progressive values and upholding actual journalism standards.” While the smear campaign waged by Uygur and Kasparian has been as unconscionable as it has been factually wrong, the fact that there is controversy among the progressive wing of the American political Left should not surprise anyone.As Maté observed, “[t]he reason why they slandered me at that time is because I was in Syria and Syria is a, you know, touchy subject for many people on the Left. It has been divisive.”

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