• "Humanitarian Aid" Means More U.S. Crimes Against People of Syria
Threatening and planning aggression against a sovereign country is a crime. Foreign interference, especially use of force, in the affairs of a country that has not threatened or attacked another country is also a crime. Arming and training mercenaries, called “rebels” to bring about regime change is a crime. The U.S. has been carrying out such crimes against Syria for almost a year now and is preparing yet more, now under the guise of providing “humanitarian aid.” It is hoping that turning the issue into one of “humanitarian aid” will prevent growing resistance at home and abroad to U.S. crimes and wars. We say the most humanitarian action for the poeple of Syria and the world is to bring All U.S. Troops Home Now!
At the February 24 U.S.-organized “Friends of Syria” conference Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said “emergency relief” is desperately needed. She said, “I want to underscore that the people who bear responsibility for this humanitarian catastrophe are [Syrian President] Assad and his security forces.” Clinton added “The United States is providing $10 million to quickly scale up humanitarian efforts, including support for the thousands of refugees who are being displaced from their homes.”
It is not clear who will be receiving these funds, but it is likely the same U.S. backed “rebels” responsible for armed violence against civilians will be involved. This is true despite confirmed reports, from UN and Arab observes and U.S. intelligence forces themselves that the very “rebels” and “Free Syrian Army” the U.S. organized are carrying out terrorist attacks and violently attacking civilians. In such a situation where violence against civilinas is occurring, why ot call for an immedaite ceasefire by all? Instead, the U.S. is further arming the rebels, directing all blame at the Assad government and now using "humanitarian aid," as its justificatoin for further interference.
Clinton also mentioned what she called “trusted humanitarian organizations, who have prepositioned supplies at hubs in the region, and they are already on the ground poised to distribute this aid if safe access can be arranged.” Clearly these are U.S. backed organizations, “prepositioned” and prepared to act on U.S. say so. Already, in the U.S., so-called human rights organizations are promoting a “humanitarian catastrophe,” requiring foreign intervention. Many of these groups, while claiming to be Syrian, are based in the U.S. or Britain, with their spokespeople having lived for years outside of Syria.
It should be remembered that such "humanitarian" organizations have been responsible for some of the most outrageous lies about Iraq, Libya and now Syria, all serving to justify U.S. interfention. They are widely promoted by the government and monopoly media. Like the government itself, their role is also to divert resistance and rejection of U.S. crimes as the main source of conflict and crisis in Syria and the region as a whole.
A political solution of, by and for the Syrian people without foreign interference is to being blocked. If the U.S. had a serious plan to actually assist the people of Syria and provide humanitarian aid Clinton would have condemned all violence, called for a ceasefire by all, stopped arming and training the "rebels" and removed U.S. drones and Special Forces who are operating against the Syrian people. A humanitarian plan requires the end to use of force and a political solution to the current conflict. Instead, the Syrian government, necessary for a political solution, was excluded from the "Friends" conference.
The U.S. and NATO are continuing to arm and train the “rebels,” some known to be terrorists. They are increasing sanctions, which, like in Iraq, are responsible for undermining the well-being of Syrians. The freezing of assets and blocking the sale of Syrian oil further intensifies the difficulties of the people, as seen by the skyrocketing cost of food. How are sanctions humanitarian?!
Intervention Under the Guise of "No-Kill Zones"
The U.S. used "no-fly" zones against Iraq and Libya as means to wipe out their military forces and weaken resistance so as to facilitar regime change and U.S. occupation. For Syria, the U.S. is planning to establish what are called “no-kill zones,” along Syria’s borders with Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. The aim of weakening resistance and facilitating regime change and occupation, by the U.S. Isarael or NATO forces, is the same.
The plan for "no-kill" zones was presented in a New York Times editorial February 24 by Anne-Marie Slaughter – Clinton’s former policy planning director. It calls for the U.S. and other “Friends of Syria” to help the “Free Syrian Army” establish these “no-kill zones” where supposedly “all Syrians could find refuge from Assad’s assault and access to international humanitarian aid.”
Establishing the zones, Slaughter said, would require neighboring countries like Turkey to increase arming of “rebel” forces – with heavier arms than the rifles they currently operate with, including antitank and portable anti-aircraft weapons. Thus the “safe havens” created are safe for the “rebels” and Special Forces to train and organize to secure regime change under the guise of providing “humanitarian aid.” They are also a means to further interfere not only in Syria but Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon as well. All of these countries are being embroiled in U.S. war plans aimed at world domination.
People here and worldwide have long experience with with “humanitarian aid” delivered by the U.S. government, such as in Haiti and in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina. Such “humanitarian aid” is brought by armed forces, which then remain, all with the aim of suppressing the peoples’ resistance. It is an effort to play on people’s sympathies and desire to assist those in need, turning this sentiment against the people and in favor of the rich.
The people of Syria and those worldwide are demanding that the U.S. get out and that political solutions be found to the current crisis. It is up to the people of Syria, free from U.S. and all foreign interference, to find solutions. A humanitarian stand is one that defends their right to decide and defends the peace, which means ending all U.S. interference, including the sanctions and bringing all U.S. forces home now.
The Syrian Foreign Ministry sent a message to the United Nations, the Islamic Cooperation Organization and the Arab League, concerning the terror acts in Aleppo committed on February 10, news agencies report.
As a result of several terror acts, 30 people were killed and 235 were wounded in Aleppo. Responsibility for the act of terror was taken by the so-called Free Syrian Army. Several blasts occurred, including in the central areas of Marja and Sahhur, news agencies reported. The so-called Free Syrian Army also attacked the headquarters of military intelligence and the barracks of interior troops in the district of Dummar-el-Basil causing the greatest number of casualties, the agencies report. Aleppo is located about 200 miles north of Damascus and some 30 miles south of the Turkish border.
"The above terror acts are in line with the anti-Syrian campaign, backed and funded by some countries in the region and provoked by well-known mass media, nudging armed gangs to murders of civilians," says the statement of the Syrian Foreign Ministry as quoted by the SANA news agency.
"These crimes were committed by terrorists, backed by Western and Arab countries which do not fulfill their international obligations and seek to undermine the security of Syria and its citizens."
The Foreign Ministry emphasized that Syria had the full right to protect its citizens from terror and violence and demanded that the UN Security Council fulfill earlier resolutions on the fight against terrorism.
"We demand that countries, sheltering gunmen in their territories, should extradite them to Syrian authorities in compliance with international laws on the struggle against terrorism as well as stop their support and funding in conformity with resolutions of the UN Security Council on the struggle against terrorism," the document says.
In related news, on February 13, Syria reiterated its rejection of a new Arab proposal to send a joint contingent of Arab-UN forces to Syria. Syria sees the move as "blatant interference and an encroachment upon its national sovereignty," the SANA news agency quoted an official saying.
A day earlier, the 22-member Arab League announced it had formally ended its observer mission to Syria, which was suspended last month. In addition to opening communication channels with the Syrian opposition, The Arab League members also decided to ask the UN Security Council to discuss its proposal for a joint UN-Arab peacekeeping force to oversee the implementation of a ceasefire.
The Syrian official quoted by SANA said the Arab League decision contained "slanders and fallacies" that are totally irrelevant to what is happening on the ground. He called the decision a move aimed at renewing the conspiracy by some Arab countries to attempt to pre-empt the role of the Arab League in resolving the Syrian crisis and to internationalize the Syrian issue.
The official went on to say this decision, however, "Will not dissuade Syria from bearing its responsibilities of protecting civilians and maintaining security and stability."
Syrians have been expecting the Arab League chief and other Arab ministers to declare a clear-cut denunciation of the terrorist acts in the capital Damascus and Aleppo as well as to halt their media provocation and all kinds of support to those terrorists, the official said.
A day earlier, Syria's ambassador to Cairo echoed his country's rejection of the Arab League decision, saying it reflected "hysteria" among some of the League's members after they failed to secure the UN Security Council's intervention.
Meanwhile, Xinhua reports that Syria's official papers "launched vitriolic criticism February 13 against the calls of the Arab League for a joint UN force." The Tishrin newspaper said in an editorial that the Arab League has clearly called on all Arab countries to support the opposition "to cling fast to its stand of rejecting dialogue and expanding areas of field escalation," Xinhua reports.
Meanwhile, on February 10, the U.S. chain McClatchy newspapers quotes U.S. officials saying that American intelligence confirms that "the Iraqi branch of al Qaida, seeking to exploit the bloody turmoil in Syria to reassert its potency, carried out two recent bombings in the Syrian capital, Damascus, and likely was behind suicide bombings Friday that killed at least 28 people in the largest city, Aleppo."
McClatchy says that the Syrian opposition "has claimed that Assad's regime, which has responded with massive force against the uprising, staged the bombings to discredit the pro-democracy movement calling for his ouster."
"The international terrorist network's presence in Syria also raises the possibility that Islamic extremists will try to hijack the uprising, which would seriously complicate efforts by the United States and its European and Arab partners to force Assad's regime from power," McClatchy says.
Despite the evidence of terrorist actions in Syria, U.S. President Barack Obama repeated his call for Assad to step down, accusing his forces of "outrageous bloodshed," McClatchy reports.
According to recent reports, the CIA and Israel’s Mossad continue to be main forces in training “rebels” to carry out terrorist acts in Syria as part of U.S efforts to being about regime change. Turkey, which borders Syria, is also being used as a staging ground and has forces participating in the U.S., British and Israeli Special Forces operations being used to violently bring about regime change.
According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, "40 Turkish intelligence officers were captured by the Syrian army. " Turkey has been conducting intensive negotiations with Syria in order to secure their freedom [...](Zvi Bar'el and DPA, Report: U.S. drones flying over Syria to monitor crackdown, Haaretz, February 18, 2012)
Haaretz notes that their release would depend on the extradition of Syrian defectors now living in Turkey. Syria is also willing to continue negotiating only if Turkey prevents “weapon transfers and passage of soldiers from the rebels' Free Syria Army through its territory.”
The Turkish officers allegedly confessed to the Syrian authorities that they were trained by the Israeli Mossad and were instructed, “to carry out bombings to undermine the country's security.” (Ibid.) One officer purportedly admitted that the “Mossad also trains soldiers from the Free Syria Army” as well as al-Qaeda officials on Jordanian soil with a view to send them to Syria to conduct attacks.
These testimonies corroborate information, including from Israeli intelligence sources, confirming the use of U.S. and British spies and trainers.
In January, it was reported that the CIA and British MI6 are in Syria working with the Free Syrian Army and the Syrian National Council to overthrow the al-Assad regime. Former FBI interpreter and whistle blower Sibel Edmunds, former CIA officer Philip Giraldi and others have reported on the U.S.-NATO-CIA campaign to install a government to U.S. liking and serving its interests.
The Free Syrian Army is widely recognized as a creation of NATO. It is comprised largely of militants from the Muslim Brotherhood – itself reportedly an asset of British intelligence – and is funded, supported, and armed by the United States, Israel, and Turkey.
In addition the Tunisian Magazine Al-Musawar reported that the CIA and the Mossad are revitalizing their spying networks in Tunisia since the fall of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. YNet News reported:
“The journal cited a report compiled by the Egyptian Yafa Research Center, which found that the Mossad's intelligence net is spread across several Tunisian metropolises – each branch with its own specialty.
“The branch stationed in Tunis, for example, tracks targets in Algeria. The one placed in Djerba, an island located 500 kilometers southeast of the capital, traces Libyan targets. The Sousse office deals with Tunisian internal affairs, the report claimed.” (Roi Kais, Report: Mossad bolsters activity in Tunisia, YNet News, February 14. 2012)
The spy rings, established in collaboration with the CIA, would be used for “sabotage and incitement purposes, to follow the development of events in neighboring Algeria and Libya, and to track what is left of the Palestinian groups in Tunisia as well as Islamic and Salafi movements that are active there.” (Ibid.)
The Mossad will allegedly follow Tunisian opposition groups “especially those who oppose the peace process with Israel,” YNet News stated.
(Global Research and Agencies)
Christian Science Monitor, February 24, 2012
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stopped short of recognizing the Syrian opposition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people at the February 24 international gathering on Syria – but that move is likely to come soon. When it does, it will reflect a shift of the international community to the side of the still-developing Syrian National Council and Syrian Free Army and, probably, fatal isolation of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
It will also bear the imprint of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who, more hawkish and interventionist than the president she serves, will have carried the day as she did less than a year ago in the case of Libya.
At Friday’s "Friends of Syria" meeting in Tunisia, more than 60 countries and international humanitarian organizations developed plans for getting humanitarian aid to Syria’s besieged population. The gathering also sought to ramp up pressure on Mr. Assad to allow safe access to humanitarian organizations to get aid into the country.
In an initial sign that Assad might be listening, the Syrian Red Crescent reported Friday that it was being allowed to evacuate wounded women and children from the most devastated neighborhoods of Homs, a city under relentless bombardment by government forces over recent weeks.
The “Friends” meeting also endorsed the concept of a joint Arab League-United Nations peacekeeping force that would enter Syria, presumably once Assad left power, and secure the country during a democratic transition process.
The meeting suffered from the glaring absence of Russia and China. Their joint veto of UN Security Council action on Syria earlier this month continues to limit the possibilities and effectiveness of international intervention. Some countries lay responsibility for Syria’s mounting violence and death toll at Russia’s feet, with France in particular declaring that Assad has interpreted the veto as “a license to kill.”
What happened on the margins of the "Friends" meeting was, in some ways, as important to Syria’s future as what in the general sessions. British Foreign Minister William Hague announced his country’s recognition of the Syrian National Council, the opposition umbrella group, before he met with the council’s president, Burhan Ghalioun. Secretary Clinton also met with Mr. Ghalioun.
Saying Britain’s intent is to “intensify our links with the opposition,” Mr. Hague said a number of countries “will now treat them and recognize them as a legitimate representative of the Syrian people.”
In her comments to the meeting, Clinton described the Syrian National Council (SNC) as “a leading legitimate representative of Syrians seeking peaceful democratic change” and as an “effective representative for the Syrian people with governments and international organizations.”
But she also hinted at U.S. frustration with the inability of Syria’s disparate opposition forces to unite under one representative transitional coalition, as the opposition in Libya did. Clinton praised the SNC for “articulating a plan for the future” but added that the U.S. is looking for “the full range of opposition groups and individuals in Syria, including representatives of all ethnic and religious minorities, to come together around that common vision” for Syria’s political transition.
American and other Western officials, as well as Arab League diplomats, have expressed exasperation at the Syrian opposition’s inability to overcome deep political, sectarian, and ethnic divisions to forge a common future course. “What we are expecting is unity of the opposition, but we have been expecting this for months,” a senior European diplomat told a group of journalists in Washington February 23. A year into the Syrian crisis the divisions remain frustratingly deep, he added. “In the case of Libya “it was done in a matter of a few weeks.”
The opposition’s lack of unity is one reason the "Friends" meeting did not take up arming the rebels of the Syrian Free Army, made up largely of soldiers who have deserted the Syrian military. The SFA, based in Turkey, does not coordinate with the Syrian National Council, let alone consider itself its armed wing. Still, some countries, including Saudi Arabia, spoke enthusiastically about the idea of sending arms to opposition forces.
Clinton steered clear of the issue in her formal remarks, but in informal comments she did reiterate the administration’s softening on arming the rebels, which the State Department and White House had unveiled earlier in the week.
On February 23 while in London, Clinton said, “There will be increasingly capable opposition forces. They will – from somewhere, somehow – find the means to defend themselves as well as begin offensive measures.” She added, “World opinion is not going to stand idly by.”
Some foreign policy analysts, noting Clinton’s role in persuading President Obama to engage the U.S. militarily on the side of Libya’s rebels, speculate that Clinton could return from the Tunis meeting determined not to see the U.S. “stand idly by” regarding Syria either.
While no one expects the U.S. to enter the Syria crisis militarily, the U.S. could join other Western powers and Arab League countries in pressing for a more aggressive international stance to confront Assad. Anne-Marie Slaughter – Clinton’s former policy planning director at the State Department – has called for the establishment of “no-kill zones" inside Syria.
In an opinion piece in The New York Times February 24, Dr. Slaughter said the “Friends of Syria,” including the U.S., should help the Free Syrian Army establish “no-kill zones” along Syria’s border with Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey, where all Syrians could find refuge from Assad’s assault and access to international humanitarian aid.
Slaughter says a plan to “create zones of peace in what are now zones of death” should come from the region – the Arab league and Turkey – just as regional powers took the lead in the Libya crisis.
Establishing the zones, she says, would require neighboring countries such as Turkey and Syria to arm rebel forces – and with heavier arms than the rifles they currently operate with, including antitank and portable anti-aircraft weapons.
The plan’s intent is to create safe havens. But a byproduct would seem to be development of the “increasingly capable opposition forces” Clinton talked about.