Tag Archives: Syria

Manchester Bomber Was Product of West’s Libya/Syria Intervention, by Daniel McAdams

It’s called blowback: you make war on their territory, they make war on yours. From Daniel McAdams at antiwar.com:

Here’s what the media and politicians don’t want you to know about the Manchester, UK, suicide attack: Salman Abedi, the 22-year-old who killed nearly two dozen concert-goers in Manchester, UK, was the product of the US and UK overthrow of Gaddafi in Libya and “regime change” policy in Syria. He was a radicalized Libyan whose family fled Gaddafi’s secular Libya, and later he trained to be an armed “rebel” in Syria, fighting for the US and UK “regime change” policy toward the secular Assad government.

The suicide attacker was the direct product of US and UK interventions in the greater Middle East.

According to the London Telegraph, Abedi, a son of Libyan immigrants living in a radicalized Muslim neighborhood in Manchester had returned to Libya several times after the overthrow of Muamar Gaddafi, most recently just weeks ago. After the US/UK and allied “liberation” of Libya, all manner of previously outlawed and fiercely suppressed radical jihadist groups suddenly found they had free rein to operate in Libya. This is the Libya that Abedi returned to and where he likely prepared for his suicide attack on pop concert attendees. Before the US-led attack on Libya in 2011, there was no al-Qaeda, ISIS, or any other related terrorist organization operating (at least with impunity) on Libyan soil.

Gaddafi himself warned Europe in January 2011 that if they overthrew his government the result would be radical Islamist attacks on Europe, but European governments paid no heed to the warnings. Post-Gaddafi Libya became an incubator of Islamist terrorists and terrorism, including prime recruiting ground for extremists to fight jihad in Syria against the also-secular Bashar Assad.

In Salman Abedi we have the convergence of both these disastrous US/UK and allied interventions, however: it turns out that not only did Abedi make trips to Libya to radicalize and train for terror, but he also traveled to Syria to become one of the “Syria rebels” fighting on the same side as the US and UK to overthrow the Assad government. Was he perhaps even trained in a CIA program? We don’t know, but it certainly is possible.

To continue reading: Manchester Bomber Was Product of West’s Libya/Syria Intervention

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Can Trump Salvage His Presidency in Syria’s War? by Shamus Cooke

Shamus Cooke is overly dramatic with the phrase, “The political noose is tightening around Trump’s neck,” but he gives a good summary of the situation in Syria. (For a great fictional treatment of Syria, see Prime Deceit.) From Cooke at antiwar.com:

The political noose is tightening around Trump’s neck, and he’s got only one way out: war. The U.S. involvement in the Syrian war is accelerating as Trump’s talons dig deeper into the conflict. If he successfully clutches his prey he stands a chance of clinging to the presidency.

The Democrats, now circling a wounded Trump, will happily feast instead on a rotting Syria: the only thing that can keep the Democrats from destroying Trump is if Trump destroys Syria.

Trump’s strategy is based on how Democrats reacted after his first attack on the Syrian government on April 6th: they paused their toothless “resistance” to celebrate his bombing. Trump, at his most dangerous, exposed the Democrats at their weakest.

Now Trump has struck the Syrian government again: on May 18th US fighter jets attacked the Syrian military in Eastern Syria, from a new US military base functioning inside Syrian territory controlled by the Syrian Kurds, where there are at least 1,000 US active troops.

Although the US media underplayed Trump’s recent attack – or ignored it completely – legendary U.K. Middle East journalist Robert Fisk explained the significance:

“…what was described by the Americans as a minor action was part of a far more important struggle between the US and the Syrian regime for control of the southeastern frontier of Syria…”

Yes, the US is already at war with the Syrian government for control of Syrian territory. The US war on ISIS in Syria was never about ISIS, but about gaining a foothold directly inside Syria. Many pundits dismissed Trump’s initial attack on the Syrian government as “symbolic,” when in fact it began a new war. The New York Times confirms the motive of Trump’s war:

“Two competing coalitions that aim to defeat the Islamic State – one [Kurdish and US fighters] backed by American air power, the other [the Syrian government] by Russian warplanes – are racing to the same goal.”

What is this goal?

To continue reading: Can Trump Salvage His Presidency in Syria’s War?

US Thinking on Arming the Kurds: Complex, Intricate, Nuanced, or Just Plain Stupid? by Michael Scheuer

Not to spoil it, but because this is SLL, and SLL is generally anti-interventionist you can probably guess that the correct answer is the last choice: just plain stupid. From Michael Scheuer at theburningplatform.com:

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We are halfway through May, 2017, and it seems to be a month that again highlights the dearth of commonsense in the minds of most of those who are responsible for conducting the republic’s foreign and domestic affairs. On this score, one event merits special notice, namely, the arming of the Kurds.
This decision will eventually have such a widespread and disastrous impact on the Middle East region that the interventionist diplomats, media, generals, and academics who advised President Trump to arm the Kurds will have to fall back on a paraphrase of that old Iraq-War, Bush lie, “We did our best and the calamity that resulted from our decision to arm the Kurds is a case of unintended consequences.” When the worst occurs, anyone with a bit of commonsense will recognize that the failure, destabilization, and additional war that has resulted from arming the Kurds was something that (a) was perfectly and easily predictable and (b) another long step into a fatal swamp in which America has nothing at stake save the feelings, sensitivities, and ardor for lucre of the already rich American governing elite. But first, take a quick look at these two maps.

As can be seen, there are substantial Kurdish populations in Syria, Turkey, Iraq, and Iran, and, at least in Iraq, Kurdish territories sit upon enormous oil and natural gas reserves. Each of those four nations has long feared the Kurds’ strident demands for an independent Kurdish state, their fighting abilities, and their fiery nationalism. As fear always does, the nations’ fear of the Kurds has led to their economic, social, linguistic, and – at times — military oppression by each government. In short, Syria, Iraq, Turkey, and Iran have long seen their Kurdish populations as malcontents bent on independence and so a threat to their territorial integrity.

To continue reading: US Thinking on Arming the Kurds: Complex, Intricate, Nuanced, or Just Plain Stupid?

President Trump: Toss Your Generals’ War Escalation Plans In the Trash, by Ron Paul

The Trump generals’ war escalation plans will work no better than those of the Bush and Obama generals. Not only will they edge the US closer to bankruptcy, they’ll create more terrorists and get the US further stuck on Middle Eastern tar baby. From Ron Paul at the ronpaulinstitute.org:

By the end of this month, Defense Secretary James Mattis and National Security Advisor HR McMaster will deliver to President Trump their plans for military escalations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. President Trump would be wise to rip the plans up and send his national security team back to the drawing board – or replace them. There is no way another “surge” in Afghanistan and Iraq (plus a new one in Syria) puts America first. There is no way doing the same thing over again will succeed any better than it did the last time.

Near the tenth anniversary of the US war on Afghanistan – seven years ago – I went to the Floor of Congress to point out that the war makes no sense. The original authorization had little to do with eliminating the Taliban. It was a resolution to retaliate against those who attacked the United States on September 11, 2001. From what we know now, the government of Saudi Arabia had far more to do with the financing and planning of 9/11 than did the Taliban. But we’re still pumping money into that lost cause. We are still killing Afghanis and in so doing creating the next generation of terrorists.

The war against ISIS will not end with its defeat in Mosul and Raqqa. We will not pack up and go home. Instead, the Pentagon and State Department have both said that US troops would remain in Iraq after ISIS is defeated. The continued presence of US troops in Iraq will provide all the recruiting needed for more ISIS or ISIS-like resistance groups to arise, which will in turn lead to a permanent US occupation of Iraq. The US “experts” have completely misdiagnosed the problem so it no surprise that their solutions will not work. They have claimed that al-Qaeda and ISIS arose in Iraq because we left, when actually they arose because we invaded in the first place.

The Silent Slaughter of the US Air War, by Nicolas J. S. Davies

Unless you live in someplace like Iraq or Syria, you probably have no idea how many tons of bombs the US is dropping. The numbers are astounding. From Nicolas J. S. Davies at antiwar.com:

April 2017 was another month of mass slaughter and unimaginable terror for the people of Mosul in Iraq and the areas around Raqqa and Tabqa in Syria, as the heaviest, most sustained U.S.-led bombing campaign since the American War in Vietnam entered its 33rd month.

The Airwars monitoring group has compiled reports of 1,280 to 1,744 civilians killed by at least 2,237 bombs and missiles that rained down from U.S. and allied warplanes in April (1,609 on Iraq and 628 on Syria). The heaviest casualties were in and around Old Mosul and West Mosul, where 784 to 1,074 civilians were reported killed, but the area around Tabqa in Syria also suffered heavy civilian casualties.

In other war zones, as I have explained in previous articles (here and here), the kind of “passive” reports of civilian deaths compiled by Airwars have only ever captured between 5 percent and 20 percent of the actual civilian war deaths revealed by comprehensive mortality studies. Iraqbodycount, which used a similar methodology to Airwars, had only counted 8 percent of the deaths discovered by a mortality study in occupied Iraq in 2006.

Airwars appears to be collecting reports of civilian deaths more thoroughly than Iraqbodycount 11 years ago, but it classifies large numbers of them as “contested” or “weakly reported,” and is deliberately conservative in its counting. For instance, in some cases, it has counted local media reports of “many deaths” as a minimum of one death, with no maximum figure. This is not to fault Airwars’ methods, but to recognize its limitations in contributing to an actual estimate of civilian deaths.

Allowing for various interpretations of Airwars’ data, and assuming that, like such efforts in the past, it is capturing between 5 percent and 20 percent of actual deaths, a serious estimate of the number of civilians killed by the U.S.-led bombing campaign since 2014 would by now have to be somewhere between 25,000 and 190,000.

The Pentagon recently revised its own facetious estimate of the number of civilians it has killed in Iraq and Syria since 2014 to 352. That is less than a quarter of the 1,446 victims whom Airwars has positively identified by name.

Airwars has also collected reports of civilians killed by Russian bombing in Syria, which outnumbered its reports of civilians killed by U.S.-led bombing for most of 2016. However, since the U.S.-led bombing escalated to over 10,918 bombs and missiles dropped in the first three months of 2017, the heaviest bombardment since the campaign began in 2014, Airwars’ reports of civilians killed by U.S.-led bombing have surpassed reports of deaths from Russian bombing.

Because of the fragmentary nature of all Airwars’ reports, this pattern may or may not accurately reflect whether the US or Russia has really killed more civilians in each of these periods. There are many factors that could affect that.

To continue reading: The Silent Slaughter of the US Air War

The Syrian Side of the Story You Never Hear, by Ted Snider

Americans, especially those in the government, think tanks, and universities, are pretty darn good at not listening to the other side of the story. From Ted Snider at antiwar.com:

Like a badly written series of romance novels, the plot template remains fixed while just the names of the characters and places rotate through the template. The story of Syria that Americans and Canadians ingest from the mainstream media is the same simplistic narrative of good and evil told by Washington about each new enemy. Every action committed by the Syrian government is evil and every reaction by Washington is good. Guilt can be assumed and assigned to Syria without investigation because the antagonist in the story is always guilty and can always be blamed. America is always the innocent observer who is shocked by Syrian brutality and feels compelled to respond to protect the innocent victims and defend the world.

But the story of Syria in not so simple, and history shows that the assignation of guilt should be much more judiciously distributed.

Democracy Versus Dictatorship: It Might Have Been a Democracy

Accounts of Syria’s history always include the 1970 coup because it fits the desired narrative. Air force general Hafez al-Assad, Bashar al-Assad’s father, led a military coup that overthrew the civilian Ba’ath party dictator, Salah Jadid.

But, though that was to be the last coup in Syria’s history up to now, it was by no means the first. The first coup in modern Syrian history took place eleven years earlier. But the narrative was very different.

Syrians under French colonial rule had long longed for democracy. The Sykes-Picot Agreement had given Syria to France in 1916. But, prior to implementation of Sykes-Picot, Syrians had had a brief taste of democracy. The taste was over, though, by 1920 when Syria was officially given to France in the Treaty of Sevres.

To continue reading: The Syrian Side of the Story You Never Hear

The Real WMD in Syria – West’s Weapon of Mass Disorientation, by Finian Cunningham

The US must be at war in Syria, because truth is the first casualty of war, and it’s been a long time since we’ve heard anything within field goal range of the truth from the US government about Syria. From Finian Cunningham at strategic-culture.com:

A senior Rand analyst, inadvertently, gave the game away in a recent article inculpating Syrian President Bashar al Assad over the alleged toxic massacre of civilians on April 4. The Rand Corporation, a longtime conduit for CIA propaganda, wrote: «The use of chemical weapons today provokes international condemnation… Those who order their deployment risk being charged with war crimes».

The Western objective, as tacitly admitted above, is therefore to brand the Syrian leader and his government as depraved war criminals, deserving pariah status and excommunication by the «international community».

The alleged use of chemical weapons, a particularly odious weapon of mass destruction (WMD), serves as an effective prop to channel Western public outrage against Assad. Allegedly killing civilians with bullets and bombs just doesn’t have the same psychological power to incite public disgust. Poisoning little children with lethal chemicals is a more effective label with which to demonize the alleged perpetrator.

But the more pertinent WMD issue here is Weapon of Mass Disorientation. And in particular how Western governments, their servile corporate-controlled media, like the Rand Corp, New York Times, CNN, BBC, Guardian and France 24, and so on, and local proxy mercenaries inside Syria are covertly deploying deadly chemicals in a series of propaganda stunts. Not only deploying deadly chemicals against civilians in a most cynical and callous way, but getting away with their crimes of murder through an audacious distortion of reality. All made possible because of the West’s media weapon of mass disorientation.

By massive manipulation of facts and images, the Western public are disorientated to condone the wider criminal agenda that their governments are pushing – that of regime change. Part of that disorientation involves the Western public suspending critical thinking over what are otherwise highly dubious circumstances and claims; it also involves an abject manipulation of perception and emotions, whereby some victims of violence are the focus for Western public trauma, while many other victims in Syria and elsewhere are unseen or overlooked with callous indifference. Those anomalies surely speak of a phenomenal disorientation of Western public intelligence, emotion and morals.

To continue reading: The Real WMD in Syria – West’s Weapon of Mass Disorientation