Monday, January 4

When does CNN intend to explain that the people they sold to the public were fiends? The Reckoning, Part 2

December 2015:
In summer 2013, the [American] Joint Chiefs discovered that Turkey had co-opted the CIA's program to arm so-called moderate Syrian rebels. Ankara had decided to redirect US aid to extremists, including [Islamic State] and al-Qaeda affiliate Nusra Front, Hersh writes.
The Joint Chiefs also discovered that viable moderate Syrian rebels did not exist and that the opposition consisted nearly uniformly of extremists.
So, in the fall of 2013, the Joint Chiefs decided to start secretly "providing US intelligence to the militaries of other nations, on the understanding that it would be passed on to the Syrian army," Hersh writes. They sent US intelligence to Germany, Russia, and Israel, which sent it to Assad.
March 2012:
Member States of NATO and the GCC were unable to launch a conventional attack against Syria. However, for ten months they have been laying the groundwork by waging a low intensity war coupled with an economic and media assault. The city of Homs became the symbol of the conflict. The Free "Syrian" Army seized the neighborhoods of Baba Amr and Inchaat and proclaimed an Islamic Emirate that heralds its political program.
With the backing of Russia - still traumatized by her experience with the Islamic Emirate of Ichkeria - and China, eager to see the Syrian government protect its citizens, the Syrian [Arab] Army stormed the stronghold on 9 February after all mediation attempts had failed. 
Defeated, the Free "Syrian" Army soon entrenched itself in an area of approximately 40 hectares, which was immediately sealed off by loyalist forces; it steadily withered and eventually fell on 1 March. 
In retaliation, the remaining armed elements of the Emirate massacred the Christians in the two villages they ripped through on their way to exile in Lebanon.
Throughout this period, major media have served to veil the sordid and cruel reality of this Emirate, and to replace it with a made-up story of revolution and repression. A special effort was made to create the impression that thousands of civilians were being shelled by the Syrian military artillery or the air force. 
At the heart of this propaganda construct, we find a press center used by the satellite channels of the Coalition: Al-Jazeera (Qatar), Al-Arabiya (Saudi Arabia), France24 (France), BBC (UK) and CNN (USA) under the coordination of Israeli journalists.
That must have been a dizzy bunch of Israeli journalists, or ones so far outside the loop they had no idea what was going on in Israel's war cabinet. What was going on, with regard to Syria, is that the Israelis knew Assad must not fall

"The devil you know" as Malcolm Hoenlein explained to John Batchelor's audience one night a couple years ago.

The Americans had no plan for replacing Bashar al-Assad, or the plan was so asinine it had no chance of succeeding. If Assad's government fell -- the Israelis didn't like Assad but they didn't want him replaced by fiends.

Did Thierry Meyssan know any of this when he wrote The journalist-combatants of Baba Amr in March 2012 for Voltaire Network? Meyssan doesn't like Israel and he might not like Jews, so he could have inserted the remark about Israeli journalists even if he'd known the real story.

Meyssan is a tin foil-hat conspiracy theorist, so why would I listen to anything he reported about Baba Amr and the roots of the Syrian war? Firstly because Meyssan was there:
The Western journalists trapped inside the Emirate posted distress call videos on the Internet. Two of them seem to be wounded, while the third one appears to be in good health. Their respective governments made of their retrieval a matter of principle. France dispatched an official to negotiate with the rebels. Several other states, including Russia, keen to cool tensions in the Levant, offered their good offices.
I took part in this collective effort. In actual fact, a French journalist declined the first opportunity to get out with the help of the International Red Cross and the Syrian Red Crescent. Suspecting a trap, she refused to accept the extended hand.
My mission was two-fold. In the first place, to establish contact with my compatriots, brief them about the political and military context, and facilitate their handover to a French official to be placed under diplomatic protection. Secondly, I had to report to those who are working for peace in this region regarding the exact sequence of events and assess the good will of the actors.
As we know, the negotiations failed. The intelligence service agents, representing the various states involved, were in a position to observe that the Syrian authorities and aid agencies had done their utmost and that the hindrance was solely attributable to the Free "Syrian" Army.
Here you might observe that Meyssan must be something in addition to a conspiracy theorist to have been involved in such high-level and critical negotiations. Well, it says in the Wikipedia article I am pretty sure he wrote himself that he's also a journalist and political activist. But he's gotten into the darndest situations

There was the time he was stuck in the Rixos Hotel in Tripoli during the Libyan war in 2011, and reporting live to RT (Russia Today) that CNN reporters at the hotel were actually CIA agents and that MI6 agents were posing as BBC reporters, and that they were all there to kill him.

Thierry Meyssan reminds me of the Afghan intelligence operatives who see Pakistan's ISI behind every rock, only he sees the CIA behind every rock and MI6 behind every tree. 

If some wit observes, 'But the ISI is behind every rock in Afghanistan'  -- yes, well, you can write Meyssan and ask him to tell you who and what he really is. He lives now in Damascus, Syria or so it says in Wikipedia. I don't know the street address but just send the letter care of the Syrian Embassy in Moscow and it'll probably get to him. Moving along --

Secondly, because while Meyssan was wading into the crisis in Syria I was sitting in front of my television in Washington, DC, studying CNN's coverage of the Arab Spring. When I say 'studying' I mean that I slept only when CNN slept -- when it aired re-runs of shows earlier in the day. Even then I slept little because I was reviewing 'rush' transcripts that CNN published of the day's broadcasts, which were wall-to-wall about the Arab Spring.   

I had missed CNN's coverage of the 'color' revolutions in Eastern Europe, very little of which aired in the USA, and which had been staged for TV cameras with the help of George Soros. But CNN bumped all other news reporting for American audiences to cover the Tahrir Square protests. So this time I was determined to catch CNN in the act.    

After Hosni Mubarak stepped down, CNN moved briefly to the Arab Spring in Bahrain, where Arwa Damon and Anderson Cooper wept together over a video of security forces shooting unarmed protestors in cold blood. 

Then it was on to Syria. There were disembodied voices of civilians under fire from the Syrian Army, pleading to Anderson via cell phone for the Americans to please help them.

But there was something odd about CNN's wrenching coverage of the pleas and Anderson's anguished reporting about them. Never once was there mention of a Free Syrian Army made up of extremists whose views were the same as al Qaeda's, never mention that it had set up an 'emirate.'

CNN's coverage of Syria ended abruptly and the station returned to regular broadcasting, and I was left to ponder all I'd learned. The Tahrir Square protests were staged for the TV cameras -- Cecil B. DeMille on the Nile I termed the event. But the show in the square was designed to be peaceful; what was happening in Syria was not. No more color revolution. No more stage show.

My throat suddenly went dry. I whispered, "They're escalating. With no one to stop them, they're escalating."

December 18, 2015

Barack Obama’s Syrian Lies Continue Hiding from Reality
By Larry Johnson 
No Quarter

[See website for video of the press conference]

Barack Obama’s description in today’s end of the year press conference about how the current mess in Syria came about sounded plausible but was beyond disingenuous. It was a bald-faced, manipulative lie.  The heart of the lie is this–that Bashar Assad is such an evil, brutal son of a bitch that the majority of Syrians rose up spontaneously to oust him and that the United States was a mere by-stander and Obama did nothing in terms of his Presidential powers to move the needle. There are lies and then there are damned lies. Barack Obama is a damned liar.
Let’s review the timeline. George W. Bush started funding Syrian opposition groups in 2005, according to U.S. State Department cables obtained by Wikileaks:
The State Department has secretly financed Syrian political opposition groups and related projects, including a satellite TV channel that beams anti-government programming into the country, according to previously undisclosed diplomatic cables.
The London-based satellite channel, Barada TV, began broadcasting in April 2009 but has ramped up operations to cover the mass protests in Syria as part of a long-standing campaign to overthrow the country’s autocratic leader, Bashar al-Assad. . . .The U.S. money for Syrian opposition figures began flowing under President George W. Bush after he effectively froze political ties with Damascus in 2005. The financial backing has continued under President Obama. . .
Syria became more of a target for destabilization as the Arab Spring gained momentum. Obama, with the full support of Hillary Clinton, turned not only his attention but directed covert intelligence resources to step up the campaign against Syria’s Assad in early 2011.
The protests started on 15 March 2011, when protesters marched in the capital of Damascus, demanding democratic reforms and the release of political prisoners. The security forces retaliated by opening fire on the protesters,[146] and according to witnesses who spoke to the BBC, the government forces detained six of them.[147] The protest was triggered by the arrest of a boy and his friends by the government for writing the graffiti, “The people want the fall of the regime”, in the city of Daraa.[146][148] Louai al-Hussein, an analyst and writer wrote that “Syria is now on the map of countries in the region with an uprising”.[148] On the 20th, the protesters burned down a Ba’ath Party headquarters and “other buildings”. The ensuing clashes claimed the lives of seven police officers[149] and 15 protesters.[150] Ten days later in a speech, President Bashar al-Assad blamed “foreign conspirators” pushing Israeli propaganda for the protests.[151]
Syria’s al-Assad was not paranoid nor hallucinating. A deliberate campaign, with the assistance of the United States, to destabilize Syria was launched, which included funneling money to opposition leaders in Syria. Part of this was cynical campaign to force the Syrian Government to fight back, create casualties and, in the process, further enrage the Syrian population. But the target was not Syria. Syria was merely a stepping stone for the broader campaign to block the spread of Iranian influence in the region. By August of 2011, Saudi Arabia took the lead, along with Turkey, of demanding the ouster of Assad:
Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has spoken out against the Syrian regime. But as Babak Dehghanpisheh reports, the move was also a shot at Syria’s ally: Iran.

The message was about as blunt as it gets. Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah issued a statement on Sunday calling for the Syrian regime to “stop the killing machine.”“Large numbers of martyrs have fallen, their blood has been shed, and many others have been wounded,” he said. “This is not in accord with religion, values, and morals.” To drive the point home, King Abdullah recalled the Saudi ambassador in Damascus on Monday; Kuwait and Bahrain quickly followed suit. On the surface, this seems like a strong position taken by one of the region’s most influential Arab governments. After all, at least 2,000 Syrians have been killed since the violent crackdown began in March.But why did it take five months for the Saudis to speak up? “The Saudis have been leading the antidemocratic transformation in the Arab world, trying to push back the Arab Awakening,” says Rami Khouri, director of the Issam Fares Institute at the American University of Beirut. “So it’s kind of out of character for them to suddenly join the chorus of people who are pressuring the Syrians.”
The reality is that the harsh message wasn’t aimed only at Syria. The elderly Saudi king was also taking a straight jab at another country: Iran, Syria’s most prominent regional ally. “[The Saudis] want to destroy the single and only foreign-policy success of the Iranian Islamic Revolution, which is [establishing] links with Syria and Hizbullah,” Khouri says.

The United States and Barack Obama were not idle bystanders as this conflict escalated. Obama made the decision in the February/March 2012 timeframe, with the full backing of Hillary, to use the CIA and other intelligence assets to oust Assad. This included the movement of Libyan arms from Benghazi to Syria via Turkey.
President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing U.S. support for rebels seeking to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government, sources familiar with the matter said.
Obama’s order, approved earlier this year and known as an intelligence “finding,” broadly permits the CIA and other U.S. agencies to provide support that could help the rebels oust Assad.
But Obama’s policy, rather than help bring democracy to Syria, brought death, refugees and empowered the the radical Islamists keen on establishing Sunni predominance in a country that previously had no dominant sectarian influence.
Barack Obama also continues to delude himself into believing that the Russian military support for Syria is a fool’s errand. However, he is the only fool in this situation. Syria, with the support of Russia and Iran, continue to make steady progress in re-taking territory from the rebels and re-establishing government control. ABC News reported earlier this week:
Syrian troops and allied militiamen seized control of a sprawling military air base near Damascus on Monday, bolstering the government’s presence in a key area overwhelmingly controlled by opposition forces.
The Marj al-Sultan air base lies in the eastern suburb of Damascus known as Eastern Ghouta, and had been held by rebels for the past three years.
Bloomberg reported today that Russia’s efforts in Syria have brought some US operations to a halt:
There is a new crisis for the international effort to destroy the Islamic State, created by the Kremlin. The U.S. has stopped flying manned air-support missions for rebels in a key part of northern Syria due to Russia’s expansion of air defense systems there, and the Barack Obama administration is scrambling to figure out what to do about it.
Russia’s military operations inside Syria have been expanding in recent weeks, and the latest Russian deployments, made without any advance notice to the U.S., have disrupted the U.S.-led coalition’s efforts to support Syrian rebel forces fighting against the Islamic State near the Turkey-Syria border, just west of the Euphrates River, several Obama administration and U.S. defense officials told us. This crucial part of the battlefield, known inside the military as Box 4, is where a number of groups have been fighting the Islamic State for control, until recently with overhead support from U.S. fighter jets.
But earlier this month, Moscow deployed an SA-17 advanced air defense system near the area and began “painting” U.S. planes, targeting them with radar in what U.S. officials said was a direct and dangerous provocation. The Pentagon halted all manned flights, although U.S. drones are still flying in the area. Russia then began bombing the rebels the U.S. had been supporting. (U.S. manned airstrikes continue elsewhere in Syria.)
These facts seem to matter little to Barack Obama, the press and the American people. But the realities on the ground in Syria are quite different and no amount of Obama delusion and pretend ignorance will alter those facts

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