By Tony Cartalucci
Nov 2, 2012
An egregious war crime was reported on by the Washington Post, but deceitfully and purposefully spun and shrugged off.
In the Post’s article, “Syrian rebels execute unarmed government soldiers; dozens killed in fighting,” it is first reported:
Syrian rebels executed at least a half-dozen unarmed government soldiers Thursday after attacks on checkpoints near the town of Saraqeb in northwest Syria.
The execution of the soldiers, which was documented in a graphic video [GRAPHIC] posted online Thursday, is not the first time that rebel fighters appear to have committed war crimes.
U.N. representatives and human rights organizations have repeatedly criticized the Syrian opposition in recent months for carrying out summary executions and for abusing detainees.
The video clearly shows unarmed men, none of whom are wearing uniforms or equipment typical of “government soldiers.” The Washington Post then links to another video while reporting:
A second video posted online Thursday [GRAPHIC], which appears to have been filmed shortly after the execution, shows at least three other bodies spread out around the checkpoint. The man filming approaches two of the bodies and says, “The shabiha of Assad, the dogs.”
“Shabiha,” of course refers to alleged civilian militias organized locally to resist terrorists entering into and attempting to overrun neighborhoods.
The term “shabiha” has been used by the Western media as a catch-all to spin any massacre committed against civilians by US-backed terrorists operating in Syria.
That the murderers themselves, filming their own crime, refer to the victims as “shabiha” – indicates that civilians, not Syrian government forces, were murdered – contrary to what the Washington Post reported.
The term suspected “shabiha” has become analogous of the Western media’s use of the term “African mercenaries” in Libya during NATO destabilization and regime change operations there in 2011.
These “African mercenaries” were lynched, beheaded, shot, burned, and hacked to pieces, just as terrorists are now doing to suspected “shabiha” across Syria.
It would later turn out these black Africans were not mercenaries, but citizens who had lived in Libya for generations fighting desperately for their lives against sectarian extremists intolerant of their complexion and creed.
Racially motivated attacks by NATO-backed terrorists in Libya would culminate in the extermination of the entire city of Tawarga where an estimated 10,000-35,000 inhabitants were either exterminated, imprisoned, or exiled to refugee camps and then beyond Libya’s borders.
Earlier, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the US no longer sees Syria’s foreign-based National Council as a leading opposition force, due to its lack of support on the ground.
The Syrian opposition consists of various rebel militias, many of which have been infiltrated by radical Islamists linked to Al-Qaeda.
A new 51 member “National Initiative Council” is due to be unveiled in Doha next week, and will include only 15 seats for the SNC.
Meanwhile, the SNC is planning to base itself inside Syria, in an attempt to prove its relevance to skeptical international backers. But as Eric Draitser told RT, these efforts may be too little too late to fit into US plans for the region.
RT:Washington’s already suggesting names to represent a new opposition leadership, with the Syrian National Council to have just a few seats – why this shift now?
Eric Draitser: First and foremost I think it represents the manufactured nature of the opposition or at least the political opposition that we see in the public sphere. The Syrian national council and other leadership there, they never had any legitimacy among the Syrian people. They merely had legitimacy within the ruling class circles of the west. But what’s happened in recent months as the offensive from the Syrian military has developed, is that they have no real backing on the ground – that is to say the manufactured opposition. And so the United States, in their imperialist project to destroy the independent nation of Syria, has to find another way. And so a shakeup of the opposition with new “leaders” emerging…this is the US strategy. One that is doomed to fail.
RT:Doesn’t Washington risk being accused of controlling events from the outside, rather than Syrians deciding things for themselves?
ED: Certainly it does run that risk. However I think the United States, the Obama Administration, Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, and the other major players, I think they’ve taken the calculated decision that it is worth the risk if it means they can salvage the Syria operation. We have to remember the US adventure in Syria ending in defeat would be the end of US hegemony in the Middle East. If they’re unable to continue their march from Syria, that means their attempt to destroy Iran is unlikely to evolve. That means that their stranglehold over the Persian Gulf and the oil resources is weakening so they’re putting all their cards on the table and all their chips in the pot when it comes to Syria.
RT:In an attempt to prove its relevance, the exiled opposition group has said it will move to Syria. But that might not be enough to save its credibility – could the major western-backed shift in the opposition help change anything on the ground?
ED: Well what’s interesting about the development of the SNC moving into Syria is that the propaganda line from CNN and the western corporate media is that this is to prove their relevance and legitimacy. But what I’m hearing from my sources and from independent sourcse around the world, this is because Turkey has grown tired of basing the FSA and so theyre pushing them and prodding and encouraging them to enter into Syria because it seems that turkey is looking for any way to disengage from this conflict once they’ve seen the writing on the wall that this would be the end of modern Turkey.
RT:Washington has revealed plans to hand more political power to major figures fighting on the frontline, but says extremists should NOT ’hijack’ the Syrian revolution. Doesn’t its latest policy make that more likely?
ED: Sure! And we shouldn’t be taken in by the rhetoric of the Syrian opposition. The manufactured opposition has been riddled with Al Qaeda and other forms of extremists, many of them imported from the imperialist war against Libya directly into Syria. So when they say on one hand that they don’t want to arm the extremist elements, on the other hand it is the same extremist elements that were imported by the US and Qatar and Saudi Arabia. So they’re talking out of both sides of their mouth. But the reality is they’re arming the opposition, arming extremists, because they want chaos in Syria. That is the only way to get military intervention and move forward with the imperialist project.
RT:Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has warned that the violence in Syria could spread terror throughout the Middle East, and that ousting Assad’s government would lead to more bloodshed. Why do you think some western states don’t share his views?
ED: It’s not that they don’t share the view. I think it’s an objective fact that Alawites and Shias and Armenians and Jews and Christians, would all be slaughtered under an al qaeda regime. This is an objective fact. What’s not being recognized by the west is that the attempt to destroy Syria has stalled and ended. The rhetoric from Moscow has always been the same – defend human rights, defend territorial sovereignty and the norms of international relations. But what we see time and time again is that the United States is not interested in that. The us is interested in the singular goal of the destruction of Syria with the longterm project of destroying Iran so it makes sense that any attempt to reconstitute the opposition would be in the interest in the US and the Obama administration, which is going to be the one that suffers politically from all of this.
By Tony Cartalucci
November 1, 2012
The Washington Post in its recent article, “U.S. looks to build alternative Syrian opposition leadership,” claims:
The Obama administration has spent the past several months in secret diplomatic negotiations aimed at building a new Syrian opposition leadership structure that it hopes can win the support of minority groups still backing President Bashar al-Assad.
The strategy, to be unveiled at a Syrian opposition meeting next week in Qatar, amounts to a last-ditch effort to prevent extremists from gaining the upper hand within the opposition and to stop the Syrian crisis from boiling over into the greater Middle East.
The Post also indicates that de facto “administrative zones” are being set up along the Turkish-Syrian border with “nonlethal” assistance provided by the United States, France and “other like-minded governments.”
The so-called “Syrian National Council” is being discarded, as it is wholly seen as illegitimate by both Syrians and the world at large.
Image: Will the West’s new “resistance front” in Syria officially include Libyan Mahdi al-Harati of the US State Department, United Nations, and the UK Home Office (page 5, .pdf)-listed terrorist organization, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG)?
Here he is addressing fellow terrorists in Syria. Harati is now commanding a Libyan brigade operating inside of Syria attempting to destroy the Syrian government and subjugate the Syrian population.
Traditionally, this is known as “foreign invasion,” not rebellion.
The Washington Post would also quote Secretary Clinton:
The SNC, Clinton said, should no longer be considered the ‘visible leader’ of the opposition.
‘There has to be a representation of those who are on the front lines, fighting and dying today to obtain their freedom,’ she said during an unrelated visit to the Balkan states. ‘. . . And we also need an opposition that will be on record strongly resisting the efforts by extremists to hijack the Syrian revolution.’
It is clear that both the West’s political proxies, and its armed militant proxies have been compromised and the narrative that tentatively worked against Libya, is now unraveling and failing against Syria.
While the US attempts to portray this latest move as an attempt to “prevent extremist elements from gaining the upper hand within the opposition,” it must be remembered that as early as 2007, US officials had admitted that efforts to overthrow the governments of Syria and Iran would include primarily US, Israeli, and Saudi armed extremists drawn from across the Arab World, and sent into Syria to create the very sectarian bloodbath now unfolding. Rhetoric of “freedom” and “democracy” serve merely as cover within which foreign military aggression is couched.
This was first exposed by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh in his 2007 New Yorkerreport titled, “”The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?”
In the report it specifically stated:
To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East.
In Lebanon, the Administration has cooperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran.
The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria.
A byproduct of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda. –The Redirection, Seymour Hersh (2007)
Hersh’s report would continue by stating:
the Saudi government, with Washington’s approval, would provide funds and logistical aid to weaken the government of President Bashir Assad, of Syria.
The Israelis believe that putting such pressure on the Assad government will make it more conciliatory and open to negotiations. –The Redirection, Seymour Hersh (2007)
The link between extremist groups and Saudi funding was also mentioned in the report, and reflects evidence regarding the origin and backers of similar extremists who flooded Iraq during the US occupation, sowing sectarian strife and killing Western troops alike:
…[Saudi Arabia’s] Bandar and other Saudis have assured the White House that they will keep a very close eye on the religious fundamentalists.
Their message to us was ‘We’ve created this movement, and we can control it.’ It’s not that we don’t want the Salafis to throw bombs; it’s who they throw them at—Hezbollah, Moqtada al-Sadr, Iran, and at the Syrians, if they continue to work with Hezbollah and Iran.-
Image: (Right) West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center’s 2007 report, “Al-Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq” indicated which areas in Syria Al Qaeda fighters filtering into Iraq came from.
The overwhelming majority of them came from Dayr Al-Zawr in Syria’s southeast, Idlib in the north near the Turkish-Syrian border, and Dar’a in the south near the Jordanian-Syrian border. (Right)
A map indicating the epicenters of violence in Syria indicate that the exact same hotbeds for Al Qaeda in 2007, now serve as the epicenters of so-called “pro-democracy fighters.”
It was exposed in “NATO Using Al Qaeda Rat Lines to Flood Syria With Foreign Terrorists,” that indeed, the very networks used by Al Qaeda to flood Iraq with foreign fighters is now being used by the United States, NATO and the Persian Gulf States of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to violently overthrow Syria.
The narrative that recent US efforts aim at heading off “extremists” from “hijacking” the armed violence in Syria, is exposed as a blatant lie.
Extremists have constituted the so-called “opposition” from the very beginning, by design, with explicit US, NATO, Saudi and Qatari funding, weapons, and support.
Image: The most prominent routes into Syria for foreign fighters is depicted, with the inset graph describing the most widely used routes by foreign fighters on their way to Iraq, as determined by West Point’s 2007 Combating Terrorism Center report “Al-Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq” (page 20).
These same networks are now being used, with the addition of a more prominent role for Turkey, to target Syria directly. (Click to enlarge)
Members of the Syrian opposition have given an icy response to Washington’s calls to revamp the movement’s leadership, slamming it for attempting to dictate its will on Syrians.
On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for a re-shaping of the Syrian opposition’s leadership adding that the Obama administration was suggesting names and organizations that should be included in the new leadership that may emerge in the talks held next week in Qatar.
“This direct tutelage and these dictates are not acceptable to the Syrian people anymore,” said Zuhair Salem, the London-based spokesman for Syria’s banned Muslim Brotherhood opposition group, which is a part of the Syrian National Council, AP reports.
Clinton was also dismissive of the Syrian National Council (SNC) holding a leading role, saying that the Paris-based group of exiled regime opponents does not represent those fighting on the ground in Syria.
Syria has various militias fighting Assad, many of which have reportedly been infiltrated by radical Islamists linked to Al-Qaeda.
According to Salem, Clinton’s remarks show that Washington wishes to “tailor the Syrian opposition to specific demands.”
American criticism of the SNC reflects a growing sense that Washington has grown disillusioned with the group, for failing to gain support from numerous rebel factions. But despite US efforts to forge a new united opposition, one ready to cooperate with the West, many remain skeptical.
A defected Syrian army general, Faiz Amru, told AP that any transitional government or body created abroad, cannot possibly represent those dying in Syria. “Everyone is trying to push their own agendas,” he said. “The big powers have hijacked the Syrian revolution.”
Amru claimed that none of the opposition groups really care about fighters on the ground.
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