Fight for an Antiwar Government
Hands Off Syria and Iran
The U.S. is stepping up its plans for war against Syria and Iran, working feverishly to convince the U.S. people that yet more aggressive war will provide “aid” to the peoples. Given the long experience and on-going reality in Iraq and Afghanistan, many people here and abroad are rejecting these efforts and standing with the peoples in saying Hands Off Syria and Iran! Aggressive War is a Crime! All U.S. Troops Home Now!
The U.S. together with its NATO military arm has been fomenting strife in Syria and Iran including the crime of sending in Special Forces. In Syria the U.S. is arming and assisting known terrorist and mercenary forces, while promoting them as “rebels.” However their months-long covert operations in Syria failed to achieve regime change. And their models of “successful” regime change, Iraq and Libya, have shown that U.S. intervention solves no problem and indeed imposes conditions of war and chaos, death and destruction, year after year after year.
Far from accepting the lessons of its criminal aggressive wars, which are everywhere resisted by the peoples, the U.S. seems determined now to launch open aggression against Syria. The big powers of Western Europe are also calling for intervention, colluding and contending with the U.S.
The U.S is increasing its disinformation, including efforts to use the chauvinism of the U.S. ruling circles, which dictates that any interference for purposes of installing U.S.-style democracy is acceptable. Every effort is made to demonize Syria and its government, which is blamed for human rights violations. The U.S. claims its funding of terrorists, inciting strife, use of drones and sanctions all upholds human rights. And they make this claim while prisoners across the U.S., subjected to the torture of solitary confinement, waged hunger strikes demanding respect for their human rights! Further, like with the prisons, where the horrendous conditions are denied, U.S. disinformation concerning Syria serves to divert from U.S. crimes while blocking a serious investigation to determine who is committing human rights violations in Syria.
The U.S. is also claiming that external powers, like Russia, are the ones fuelling the internal conflict in Syria. This was done right while the U.S. admitted that it is arming various forces and organizing foreign mercenaries, many from Libya, to now go into Syria to do the U.S. dirty work. Russia is not to defend its diplomatic and economic relations with Syria and oppose U.S. intervention – that is “despicable” interference as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton put it. She went on to claim Russia was supplying Syria with helicopters, a claim revealed as false within days. Then it was Russia was sending warships, also false. All this is to divert from U.S. wars and aggression and to provide the basis for now demonizing Russia.
The U.S. does not like the fact that the relations between Russia and Syria are outside of U.S. imperialist control. It does not like that Russia and China are not submitting to its dictate concerning Syria. Its response is that of a bully, taunting and striving to put others off balance while preparing to impose “might makes right.”
The U.S. is intensifying its preparations for aggressive war, including the disinformation necessary to divert and divide resistance. And it is doing this not only in relation to Syria, but also on the Asian front. Massive U.S. war drills with South Korea were conducted in the Yellow Sea, right on China’s borders. The war drills were blatant provocations against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. China opposed the drills. Russia has said it considers an attack on Syria as an attack on its national interests. Yet the U.S. continues its taunts and shows of military might.
U.S. brinkmanship with Russia and China and war plans against Syria and Korea could trigger regional or world wars and must be firmly opposed. It is U.S. aggression that is the crime and source of tensions and the solution is All U.S. Troops Home Now! The peoples have the right to determine their own affairs!
U.S. Arming Syrian Opposition
The latest developments come in the wake of the May 25 massacre of more than 100 civilians — including as many as 49 children under the age of 10 — in the Syrian village of Houla outside the oil-refining center of Homs. While it remains unclear who is responsible, evidence has emerged which vindicates the claim that the Syrian government did not in fact perpetrate that massacre as the U.S. claimed.
Most reports indicate that, on the contrary, the massacre may have been a "false flag" operation conducted by sectarian gangs armed by the U.S., through Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and the usual NATO suspects. In the wake of the monopoly media's din surrounding Houla, Clinton openly admitted that the U.S. is arming the opposition to Syrian President Assad and does not care whether he leaves power "voluntarily or in a box." This shows once again that assassinations, use of mercenaries and drones, and outright intervention are acceptable when the U.S. is the one doing it. And that the U.S will use any tragedy, including carrying out “false flag” massacres, to justify its crimes of aggression.
In targeting Syria, the U.S. camp is also aiming at Iran, which it could attack once Syria is out of the way. While claiming nuclear weapons are the issue, as was done with Iraq and its non-existent "weapons of mass destruction," the real issue for the U.S. is the U.S. ambition to eliminate Iran's political independence. This includes its independent development and management of current and future oil production on its territory, its relations with Russia, China and the DPRK and so forth.
The Obama administration has made clear that it is pro-war and pro-aggression. It is occupying Iraq and Afghanistan while threatening new wars against Syria, Iran and the DPRK. This is occurring when the vast majority of the people in the U.S. are opposed to war and standing as one with the peoples worldwide in demanding an end to U.S. aggression, occupations and interference.
Emergency demonstrations are being organized across the country for the week of June 23-July 1. Already more than 25 cities have organized actions calling for Hands Off Syria and Iran! We urge our readers to join in these actions and raise the call All U.S. Troops Home Now
This election year is a time to reject the existing political set up as one that does not represent the people and their anti-war stand. It is time to step up resistance, including organizing our own collectives, of workers, women, youth, and choose our own worker politicians to represent us. Organizing together as collectives to create our own people’s empowerment councils, where we together debate and decide and work as collectives, opens the path to what is needed — an anti-war government where our own worker politicians representing our own agenda for the rights of all can be created. Let us not get embroiled in the dogfight among the politicians of the rich and their elections. Let us organize to create a democracy of our own making. Taking steps to build decision-making collectives and raise the need for an anti-war government are tasks of the present that can be done!
Hands Off Syria! Hands Off Iran! [TOP]
The New York Times in their article, "C.I.A. Said to Aid in Steering Arms to Syrian Opposition," confirms what many have already long known — that the West, led by the U.S. and its Gulf State proxies, have been arming terrorists, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood, while berating the Syrian government for "violating" a UN mandated ceasefire and for "failing to protect" its population.
The Muslim Brotherhood has been combated by nations across the Arab World to stem the tide of their sectarian extremism, violence, and their targeted erosion of secular nation-states. Ironically, the U.S. which has claimed to have been fighting the forces of sectarian extremism and "terrorism" for over a decade now, have been revealed as the primary enabler of the most violent and extreme terrorist organizations in the world. […]
The New York Times claims that, "the C.I.A. officers have been in southern Turkey for several weeks, in part to help keep weapons out of the hands of fighters allied with Al Qaeda or other terrorist groups, one senior American official said," a unsubstantiated claim that was similarly made in Libya before Al Qaeda flags were run up poles in Benghazi by “rebels” flush with NATO cash and arms used to collapse the government of Muammar Qaddafi. In fact, it is confirmed that Libyan LIFG rebels, led by Al Qaeda commander Abdul Hakim Belhaj, have now made their way by the hundreds to Syria.
Despite months of the U.S. claiming the "international community" sought to end the violence and protect the population of Syria, the New York Times now admits that the U.S. is engaged in supporting a "military campaign" against the Syrian government aimed at increasing "pressure" on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Efforts to impose an arms embargo on Syria are now revealed to be one-sided, aimed at giving rebels an advantage in the prolonged bloodbath with the intent on tipping the balance in favor of Western proxy-forces — not end the violence as soon as possible as claimed by the UN.
The Times also reported that Turkey has been directly delivering weapons to terrorists operating in Syria — Turkey being a NATO member and implicating NATO as now being directly involved in perpetuating bloodshed in the Middle Eastern nation. For months, Turkey has been allowing terrorists to use its border region as a refuge from which to stage attacks against Syria.
Despite this, however, the so-called "Free Syrian Army," according to the New York Times, consists of only 100 or so small formations made up of "a handful of fighters to a couple of hundred combatants," betraying the narrative that the Syrian government faces a large popular uprising, and revealing that the "Free Syrian Army" is in fact a small collection of mercenaries, foreign fighters, and sectarian extremists, armed, funded, and directed by foreign interests solely to wreak havoc within Syria. It should be noted that these terrorist proxies were organized as early as 2007 by the U.S., Israel, and Saudi Arabia, specifically to enact regime change and transform Syria into a Western client regime. […]
For the United States to claim Syria has "failed" to protect it population while simultaneously fueling the very armed conflict it claims it is seeking to end is not only hypocrisy of the highest order, but a crime against world peace — punishable under the Nuremberg precedent.
French Bishop: Syrian Soldiers Face Foreign Fighters, Mercenaries, and Terrorists
"The enemies of Syria have enlisted some of the Muslim Brotherhood in order to destroy the brotherly relations that traditionally existed between Muslims and Christians."
The U.S., NATO, Israeli, and Gulf State-backed Free Syrian Army has been accused by Syria's Christian community and its foreign affiliates of waging a sectarian, not "pro-democratic" war on the Syrian people. French Bishop Philip Tournyol Clos stated, "the picture for us is utter desolation: the church of Mar Elian is half destroyed and that of Our Lady of Peace is still occupied by the rebels. Christian homes are severely damaged due to the fighting and completely emptied of their inhabitants, who fled without taking anything. The area of Hamidieh is still shelter to armed groups independent of each other, heavily armed and bankrolled by Qatar and Saudi Arabia. All Christians (138,000) have fled to Damascus and Lebanon, while others took refuge in the surrounding countryside."
Bishop Philip Tournyol Clos continued by stating, "the enemies of Syria have enlisted some of the Muslim Brotherhood in order to destroy the brotherly relations that traditionally existed between Muslims and Christians: Yet, to date, they are not able to: they have provoked a contrary reaction and the two communities are more united than before. The Syrian soldiers in fact, continue to face foreign fighters…”
The Bishop's comments are corroborated by over a year of evidence trickling out of the Western media itself — with admissions that Libya has been sending cash, arms, and fighters to join the so-called "Free Syrian Army," and that the Muslim Brotherhood is indeed heavily involved in the fighting, as they were in the 1980's when last they were defeated in Syria. In regards to sectarian violence directed specifically at Christians, the Bishop's narrative is confirmed by LA Times' "Church fears 'ethnic cleansing' of Christians in Homs, Syria." The LA Times has also been quietly reporting on the tragedy of Syria's minorities at the hands of the Syrian rebels for months — and indicates that wider genocide will take place, just as it is now in Libya, should Syria's government collapse under foreign pressure. […]
The Russian warship, which was reported as moving towards Syria with a unit of commando troops, is at its homeport on the Black Sea, the Ukraine’s Sevastopol.
The U.S. media cited intelligence sources as saying that the landing ship Nikolay Filchenkov was traveling to the Russian naval base in Tartus, Syria. The vessel was said to be carrying arms and a unit of amphibious commando troops, who would be used to secure the Russian base in the troubled country from a possible attack.
The vessel, however, is still in Sevastopol, the home of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, as a journalist from the Russian news agency RIA Novosti witnessed. The ship is not even loaded, as apparent by its draft, the report says.
The agency cites a naval officer familiar with the situation as saying that Nikolay Filchenkov has remained in this position since June 8.
" The ship is ready for deployment just as any warship of the Navy on duty. There are no marines on board and we received no orders to set sail to Syria. The crews are engaged in their normal routines," the officer said.
Earlier this week Washington and Moscow clashed over Russian arms in Syria. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lashed out at Russia over a shipment of combat helicopters, which she said the Syrian government could use in a crackdown on the opposition forces.
It was later revealed [and confirmed by the U.S.—VOR ed] that the aircraft in question were not new machines, but rather Syrian-owned helicopters, which Russian engineers had overhauled under a standing contract. Russia was obliged to return the helicopters to their proper owner.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed that Russia does not sell to the Syrian government any arms, which could be used against the opposition, unlike the US, which sells anti-riot equipment to the governments of its Gulf region allies. The minister was referring to the U.S. supplying crowd control arms to Bahrain and other controversial allies, who are known to suppress domestic dissent with force.
Syria's Permanent Representative to the United Nations indicated that the Syrian government has offered all necessary facilitations for Kofi Annan's plan and the UN observer mission.
Bashar al-Jaafari said that the door is always open for those who want a serious dialogue and real change and there is no problem with the opposition, which rejects foreign interference, according to SANA news agency.
Concerning the latest massacre in Al-Qubeir, Al-Jaafari said that killing innocent civilians in al-Qubeir took place 5 hours before any clashes happened, adding that the images broadcast by al-Jazeera and al-Arabia are not those of the massacre victims.
''The Syrian TVs will air the true images of the massacre The instigative media channels have taken to airing such fabrications before the UN Security Council meetings,'' added al-Jaafari.
He said that the locals affirmed that the gunmen who committed the crime came from another village called ''Jreijes'' which led the locals to call for the help of the law-enforcement members.
''What is taking place in some parts of Syria is an unjustifiable heinous massacre, but some statements made during this session are part of the butchery, since the diagnosis of the situation is incorrect as it is based on political and media operation rooms that are detached from the situation on the ground,'' al-Jaafari added.
''The Syrian government extends a hand of reconciliation with all political powers whose hands are clear of the Syrian blood to reach the shores of safety we all spire to,'' al-Jaafari said.
Al-Jaafari said that some powers have persisted in casting doubts on Annan's plan even before it started, while others called for foreign intervention and instigated Syrians to carry weapons to kill each other and reject dialogue, and supported armed terrorist groups.
''I'd like to cite one example, Lutfallah 2 ship, which was carrying weapons from Libya to the armed groups in Syria via Lebanon. Also three days ago, a new salafi gathering named 'Syrian Rebels Front' was announced in Istanbul with the declared goal of unifying the armed factions in Syria, saying that what they called the 'battle for liberating Syria has started' It is clear that such a motto goes against Annan's plan,'' al-Jaafari said.
Al-Jaafari said that the countries that are supporting terrorists and facilitating their crimes in Syria are complicit in the bloodshed in Syria, adding that Syria is ready to receive an investigation committee from objective countries who are opposed to foreign meddling in Syrian affairs.
Of Strategic Interest To NATO: The Militarization of Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf
On June 18 Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen met with Saudi Arabia's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Nizar Madani at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.
The head of the Western military alliance extended an invitation to the Persian Gulf kingdom to join NATO's partnership program in the region, stating, "Saudi Arabia is a key player in the region and NATO would welcome the opportunity to engage the Kingdom's government as a partner in the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative."
The latter was launched in 2004 during the NATO summit in the Turkish city which gave the partnership its name, part of a series of sweeping measures that also saw the largest-ever one-time expansion of NATO membership - the absorption of seven new nations in Eastern Europe, including the first former Yugoslav and first three former Soviet republics - as well as committing the bloc to upgrading its other Middle Eastern military partnership program, the Mediterranean Dialogue (whose members are Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia), to that of the Partnership for Peace, which was used to elevate NATO's 12 new post-Cold War members to their current status.
The Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI) is aimed at the West's political and military partners in the Persian Gulf, the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. All but Oman and Saudi Arabia have joined the ICI.
Over the past six years NATO naval groups have visited Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Leading NATO officials have paid visits to and the bloc has held conferences in ICI member states.
Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have troops serving under NATO command in Afghanistan, and Qatar and the United Arab Emirates supplied warplanes for NATO's six-month air campaign against Libya last year.
Now, with the U.S. and its Western allies refocusing on the Persian Gulf and the threat of Western military action against Syria and Iran mounting, it is clearly NATO's intention to recruit Saudi Arabia for the Persian Gulf partnership.
The Saudi diplomat, in addition to meeting with NATO chief Rasmussen, also met with the bloc's deputy secretary general, the Atlantic Council (which consists of the permanent representatives - ambassadors - of its 28 member states) and other alliance officials "who provided him with an overview of NATO's outreach and cooperation programs with partner countries in the Mediterranean and in the Gulf region." That is, with the seven Mediterranean Dialogue and four Istanbul Cooperation Initiative members. (To date. Libya will be the next member of the first, with Syria and Lebanon to follow if the West succeeds in overthrowing the government of Syria. Iraq and Yemen are prospective members of the second.)
As the NATO website wrote concerning the visit of the Saudi official, "For NATO, the security of its partners in the Gulf is a key strategic interest to the Alliance."
Precisely how strategically important the Persian Gulf is to NATO and its leading member, the U.S., and in part why it is so was indicated on June 14 when Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Andrew Shapiro gave a briefing via teleconference on Global Economic Statecraft Day in which he demonstrated what the State Department in large measure exists for: To drum up business for American arms manufacturers.
His comments included:
"Global Economic Statecraft Day is a global event that we’re holding to highlight America’s commitment to put strengthening American jobs at the center of our foreign policy...Our work in the Political-Military Bureau, to expand security cooperation with our allies and partners, is critical to America’s national security and economic prosperity. And it is also an important part of the State Department’s economic statecraft efforts...[It is] the Secretary of State that is given the authority to oversee and authorize all arms sales in order to ensure they advance U.S. foreign policy."
He also boasted:
"Today, I can confirm that this is already a record-breaking year for foreign military sales, which are government-to- government sales. We have already surpassed $50 billion in sales in Fiscal Year 2012. This represents at least a $20 billion increase over Fiscal Year 2011, and we still have more than a quarter of the fiscal year left.
"To put this in context, Fiscal Year 2011 was a record-setting year at just over 30 billion. This fiscal year will be at least 70 percent greater than Fiscal Year 2011..."
Sixty percent of the arms sales abroad so far this fiscal year resulted from a $30 billion weapons contract with Saudi Arabia signed last December for 84 F-15 fighter jets and assorted weaponry. Which is part of a $67 billion deal struck with the Saudis in 2010 for the multi-role warplanes, 2,000-pound bunker-busting bombs, 72 Black Hawk and 70 Apache Longbow attack helicopters, Patriot Advanced Capability-2 and other missiles, and warships. The largest bilateral arms transaction in history.
And that in turn is part of a $123 billion arms package with Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates announced in the same year. The "Iranian threat" may be the most lucrative public relations scheme ever devised.
Last December 25 the U.S. signed a deal to sell 96 Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor missiles to the United Arab Emirates, the first THAAD missiles to be deployed outside the U.S. It was also announced last year that the United Arab Emirates will become the first Arab state to open an embassy at NATO Headquarters.
On June 11 the U.S. and Turkey began the second round of this year's Anatolian Eagle air combat exercises in the second country, whose purpose is, in the words of the Pentagon's press service, "to conduct a variety of air missions to include interdiction, attack, air superiority, defense suppression, airlift, air refueling and reconnaissance. "
The joint U.S.-Turkey Anatolian Eagle-2012/1 was held in March. The ongoing Anatolian Eagle-2012/2 also includes the participation of NATO and warplanes from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Pakistan and Italy.
A U.S. Air Force report, not mentioning Saudi Arabia's involvement, offered this description of the exercise:
"The Blue Force, consisting of the United States, Italy, the United Arab Emirates, Spain, Turkey and NATO, will perfect their large force employment skills against the Red Force of F-16s, F-4s and F-5s piloted by Turkish pilots."
The same source quoted a U.S. Air Force official as contending, "If there's ever another (Operation) Allied Force, these are the people we're going to fight with side by side."
There can be little doubt about who the victims of the next Allied Force, the name of NATO's 78-day air war against Yugoslavia 13 years ago, would be in the current geopolitical context. Turkey borders Syria and Iran, which are the two main impediments to Turkey and Saudi Arabia further expanding their influence in the Middle East
Late last month the two nations, both invested in overthrowing secular, republican Arab governments from Libya to Syria and beyond, signed a military training agreement in Riyadh. The pact provides for training Saudi soldiers in Turkish (NATO standard) military schools for participation in joint military operations.
In initiating her campaign against Russia and China over Syria in February, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton invoked the Arab Spring and the Arab Awakening (the capital letters are hers): "They must understand they are setting themselves against the aspirations not only of the Syrian people but of the entire Arab Spring, the Arab Awakening."
What in fact she and her Western counterparts are promoting in the Arab world from the Atlantic Ocean to the Persian Gulf is a lethal mixture of militarism, monarchism and theocracy.