Hollande Blesses Attack on Syria

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | AUGUST 28, 2012

French President François Hollande has said that if the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, resorted to chemical weapons, it would be enough to justify an intervention by the international community.

In early August, rumors of Assad moving chemical weapons to undisclosed locations surged on the main stream media, but no facts to support such assertion were provided. This is the same kind of rhetoric presented on the media before the United States attacked Iraq. Back then, the US government and the intelligence community assured the world that Saddam Hussein was hiding and was prepared to use chemical weapons, which he transported continuously in mobile truck labs. Expect some western intelligence agency or supposed Syrian defector to “show proof” that Assad is using chemical weapons on the Syrian population, a move that will most likely mean an attack on that country.

“We remain very vigilant with our allies to prevent the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime, which for the international community would be a legitimate cause for a direct intervention,” said Hollande in his opening speech of the twentieth annual conference of French ambassadors.

Hollande said he is aware of “the difficulty of the work” and the risks involved, but felt that the situation is beyond the scope Syrian security concerns in the Middle East, and “in particular the independence and stability of Lebanon”. While the US supported militias are going around Syria causing mayhem and death, Mr. Hollande has publicly given his support for war against Syria, but said nothing about the US and Turkey stirring conflict against the people of Syria.

“Assad must go. Continues with unusual violence massacring the population, destroying cities, killing women and children. It’s intolerable and unacceptable and against all human consciousness for the security and stability in the region,” he said in that speech.

Hollande also considered to be a recourse of the International Criminal Tribunal to try the perpetrators of crimes in Syria. Needless to say he wasn’t referring to the United States or its terrorist organization Al-Qaeda. He then said that Syrian people must overcome obstacles within the Security Council of the UN, whose capacity is weakened in its view blocking by Russia and China. Both countries have opposed every single unjustified attempt to approve an attack on both Syria and Iran.

“We will press as long as necessary at the Council to reach a consensus in the international community. But immediately, we must act,” he added.

Hollande went on to say that France called on the Syrian opposition to constitute a provisional and representative government, that could eventually become the legitimate government of the new Syria. He urged France’s Arab partners to help them in that way. Hollande said that France would recognize when that government was formed. Mr. Hollande again shows his lack of respect for the will of the Syrian people, even though he says the goal of a military intervention would be their benefit. As we have reported, most of the Syrians are in favor of the current government, and not the other way around. But even if that wasn’t the case, the logical way to take Assad out of office would not include the intervention of foreign invaders.

Hollande said his country also supports those who work on the field for a Free, democratic Syria, which is respectful of human rights and that guarantees the safety of all communities. Unfortunately, that is exactly what he is trying to destroy by supporting the western-led rebel groups who are killing hundreds of Syrians in the name of the country’s liberation.

Mossad, CIA and Blackwater operate in Syria

Russia Today
March 7, 2012

security operation in Homs reveals Mossad, CIA and Blackwater are involved in the military violence in this part of Syria, as over 700 Arab and Western gunmen and Israeli, American and European-made weapons were detained in Baba Amr district.

Members of the Free Syrian Army patrol an area in Qusayr, 15 kms (nine miles) from Homs.

­Syrian security forces got yet further proof of Western powers’ military involvement in Syria’s internal conflict, reports Al-Manar, a news agency, affiliated with Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based militant group and political party.

Around 700 gunmen were recently arrested in the former rebel stronghold of Babar Amr.

“The captured gunmen held Arab nationalities, including Gulf, Iraqi, and Lebanese. Among them were also Qatari intelligence agents and non-Arab fighters from Afghanistan, Turkey, and some European countries like France,” the agency quotes Syrian expert in strategic affairs Salim Harba as saying.

Harba also confirmed to the agency that “a coordination office was established in Qatar under American-Gulf sponsorship. The office includes American, French, and Gulf – specifically from Qatar and Saudi Arabia – intelligence agents, as well as CIA, Mossad, and Blackwater agents and members of the Syrian Transitional Council.”

The Syrian expert also added the security forces have also seized Israeli-, European- and American-made weapons.

“The Syrian army also uncovered tunnels and equipments there,” he told to the agency, “advanced Israeli, European, and American arms that have not yet been tested in the countries of manufacture, in addition to Israeli grenades, night binoculars, and communication systems were confiscated by the security forces.”

Salim Harba however said the Syrian authorities are not planning to reveal all the obtained information now, but assured all the evidence is of high value.

“The Syrian security forces have documents and confessions that could harm everyone who conspired against Syria, and could make a security and political change, not just on the internal Syrian level, but also on the regional level,” he said.

The recent Stratfor leak and hacked email of the company’s director of analysis also suggest undercover NATO troops are already on the ground in Syria.

There have been previous allegations of a Western presence on the side of the rebels as 13 French officers were reportedly captured by the loyalist forces earlier in March.

President Bashar al-Assad has repeatedly claimed his regime is fighting not with peaceful protesters as claimed by the West, but with the military gangs supported by the West.

Western powers however have categorically denied any military involvement in Syrian internal conflict.

Canada tells Canadians to leave Syria now

The Associated Press
December. 15, 2011

Canada on Thursday urged its citizens to leave Syria immediately, saying President Bashar Assad’s authoritarian regime “has lost all legitimacy, and its abhorrent behavior will not be tolerated.”

The United Nations sharply raised its death toll this week for the nine-month uprising against the regime, saying more than 5,000 people have been killed.

The statement by Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird came the day new sanctions the Arab League imposed took effect, reducing commercial flights to and from Damascus by about 50 percent.

Baird said Canadians should leave Syria as soon as possible while flights are still available. The ministry said there are about 5,000 Canadians in the country.

“Our best advice is to leave Syria immediately, by any available means and while options exist,” Baird said in a statement.

Canada has been advising its citizens to leave for some time, but the new call for a voluntary evacuation is more urgent.

Assad’s regime is growing more isolated with the mounting international sanctions to punish his regime for its bloody crackdown that has mostly targeted unarmed, peaceful protesters.

Baird told a press conference Thursday that Assad’s regime “has lost all legitimacy and its abhorrent behavior will not be tolerated.”

He said it is becoming increasingly difficult for Canadian diplomats and consular officials to do their jobs under travel restrictions imposed by Syria.

“Canadians who remain in the country despite this warning should be aware that the government of Canada’s ability to provide consular assistance may be extremely limited” because of the restrictions, his statement said.

Baird said the evacuation call will open an “express lane” across government departments to help Canadians obtain the documents they need to leave Syria immediately.

Switching Focus from Iraq to Iran

Ray McGovern
Consortium News
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

President Barack Obama’s withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq is a blow to the neocons who had long dreamt of permanent military bases. But the neocons are now trying to spin the Iraq disaster into another excuse to confront Iran.

You might think that by now I would be so used to infuriating neocon drivel that, to preserve my own sanity, I would avoid looking at the Washington Post or at least its editorial pages.

I have tried. But it seems that after almost a half century in Washington, and particularly after the recent rash of “wars of choice,” it is simply not possible. One has to keep an eye on what bloody mischief the neocons are devising.

The Post’s lead editorial on Sunday is ostensibly about Iraq and blaming President Barack Obama if things get worse after U.S. troops leave in December. But these days Iran is the main concern of the neocons who infect that editorial page.

In the wake of Obama’s withdrawal announcement on Friday, the Post’s neocon editors are worried that:

“Mr. Obama’s decision to carry out a complete withdrawal [of troops from Iraq] sharply increases the risk that … Iran will be handed a crucial strategic advantage in its regional cold war with the United States; and that a potentially invaluable U.S. alliance with an emerging Iraqi democracy will wither.”

The bugaboo of Iran is raised no less than six times in the five-paragraph editorial. One is prompted to ask an innocent question: Which country did the neocons think would profit if Saddam Hussein, Iran’s archrival, were removed and his army destroyed?

America’s neocons apparently hoped that Israel would be the beneficiary, with a U.S.-occupied Iraq serving as a land-based aircraft carrier for applying military pressure on neighboring Iran and Syria. But you don’t start a war on hope.

That Iran would almost surely benefit the most from the U.S. invasion of Iraq was a no-brainer. And that is precisely why, before the attack on Iraq, Israeli leaders were insisting “we do Iran first.”

But the U.S. neocons thought they knew better and that sequencing Iraq before Iran would be an easier sell with the American people. After all, they had already been trained to hate Iraq’s Saddam Hussein because of the first Persian Gulf War in 1990-91. In the early part of the last decade, Iran’s leaders were a much more amorphous target.

The neocons also thought the conquest of Iraq would be easy with American military might crushing not only the Iraqi military but the country’s will to fight. “Shock and awe” would pave the way to a “cakewalk.”

In 2003, the joke circulating in neocon-dominated Washington was whether the next U.S. target should be Iran or Syria with the punch-line: “Real men go to Tehran.”

Also, the neocons’ top allies in the Bush administration – Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld – understood Bush’s personal animus toward Hussein. Bush once called Hussein “the guy that tried to kill my dad.” Cheney and Rumsfeld knew an open door when they saw one. Bush, an impressionable fundamentalist Christian-Zionist, was bereft of strategic understanding.

However, eight-plus years later – with nearly 4,500 U.S. soldiers dead and about $1 trillion spent, with Iraq torn by sectarian and political violence and with the Iraqi government essentially ushering the U.S. forces out by refusing to extend immunity from Iraqi laws for any U.S. troops who would remain – the neocons must finally face the hard truth: their grandiose scheme was a flop.

Chicken Hawks

It is not only American soldiers who will be coming home from an immoral, illegal and ill-thought-out war. The chickens, too, are coming home to roost. And, without admitting they were really dumb, the neocon chicken hawks are inadvertently admitting soto voce, that they didn’t have a strategic clue.

And they still don’t. It is a safe bet that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud associates are admonishing the neocons who still hold great sway in Official Washington: “See? We told you we should have done Iran first. But it’s not too late.

“Now we have another compelling reason to put the ‘military option’ on Iran right in the middle of the table — and, finally, exercise that option. Or you can go down in history as a bunch of wimps.”

The new compelling reason for war is that Iran’s influence in the region has zoomed in this zero-sum game between “evil” Tehran and the Tel Aviv-Washington “axis of good.” In the words of this Sunday’s Post, “Iran will be handed a crucial strategic advantage,” ironically, because of the disaster in Iraq.

So, there’s no time to waste. To warn still-gullible Americans about the dangers of Iran’s new strategic advantage, it’s imperative to enlist the neocons in the U.S. news media, those running the foreign policy shops for the leading Republican candidates, and the neocon holdovers inside the Obama administration.

Time, also, to revive the specter of Iran getting a nuclear weapon. Let’s see if neocon favorite CIA Director David Petraeus can twist enough arms of his subordinates to reverse the unanimous judgment of the U.S. intelligence community that Iran stopped work on a nuclear weapon in 2003.

Petraeus has always risen to the occasion when the neocons have wanted to accuse Iran of meddling in Iraq — evidence or no evidence. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Petraeus’s CIA Steers Obama on Policy.”]

Let’s have him issue warnings about the possibility that Iran will take potshots at U.S. troops as they leave.

And, oh yeah, let’s get him to provide the kind of “intelligence” that will turn a cockamamie plot about Iran supporting an assassination attempt on the Saudi ambassador from admittedly “implausible” status to that of plausible — well, plausible enough for the neocons who dominate the Fawning Corporate Media (FCM). [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Petraeus’s CIA Fuels Iran Murder Plot.”]

Chalabi Made Us Do It

Speaking of which: One of the Post’smost prominent neocon columnists, David Ignatius, sought out the neocons’ beloved charlatan Iraq War propagandist Ahmed Chalabi, whom Ignatius describes as “the most effective lobbyist in favor of the 2003 U.S. invasion.”

“You will not be surprised,” wrote Ignatius, “that Chalabi offered no apologies for a war that cost many thousands of American and Iraqi lives and more than a trillion dollars.  Quite the contrary, he lauded the United States for its role in overthrowing Saddam Hussein,” though he criticized the follow-through of the occupation.

Ignatius, too, raised the obligatory specter of Iran, asking Chalabi about reports that he has become “an overly enthusiastic supporter of Iran.” The slippery Chalabi replied that he favored good relations with Iran and “wanted Iraq and Iran to be ‘a meeting ground rather than a battle ground.’”

Is Ignatius, at this late stage in the U.S. history with Chalabi, not yet aware that he tends to play both ends … and then goes with the side that appears to be winning?

Ignatius wants us to believe that the mess in Iraq was pretty much all Chalabi’s fault, ignoring the painful reality that Chalabi could have accomplished zilch if not for the neocon-dominated FCM that eagerly promoted his self-serving lies.

Many of the Iraqi “walk-ins” who lied to U.S. intelligence and the FCM about Saddam Hussein’s supposed WMD and alleged ties to al-Qaeda had been scripted beforehand by Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress.

Knowing Chalabi (all too well), Ignatius says it should come as no surprise that Chalabi remains adamantly unapologetic for the war on Iraq. But why should Chalabi be subjected to any accountability when almost none of his willing collaborators in the press have been?

Chalabi may have been, as Ignatius claims, “the secret instigator of the Iraq war.” Even so, he would have accomplished little without a mountain of intentional gullibility at the Washington Post and other top U.S. news outlets, a pattern that continues to this day.

Ray McGovern works for Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He served as an Army infantry/intelligence officer and then a CIA analyst for a total of 30 years and is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).