United States, Arab League Bless new Syrian Opposition

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | NOVEMBER 13, 2012

The U.S. government expressed support on Monday for the new Syrian opposition alliance, dominated by the Syrian National Council (CNS) and in which there are several important groups, and said it will work with them to continue providing humanitarian aid to the population. The U.S. itself had intervened days ago to question the leadership of the CNS, and called for more Syrian groups to get involved in what seems to be the transition government that will take power after Bashar al-Assad is removed from power.

The deputy spokesman of the State Department, Mark Toner, provided a statement in which he praised the Syrian people for the formation of the so-called National Coalition for the Forces of the Revolution and the Syrian opposition (CNFROS), agreed during a summit held in Doha (Qatar). Besides including representatives from the CNS, this new group also opened its doors to radical Islamist members of organizations linked to American made al-Qaeda.

The statement gives U.S. support for the new coalition to “trace a path to end the bloody government of Assad and the beginning of the future peaceful, democratic and fair to all the people of Syria deserve.” “We will work with the National Coalition to ensure that our non-lethal humanitarian aid and assistance serves the needs of the Syrian people,” Toner said. The spokesperson also said that the U.S. congratulated the Government of Qatar for his “strong leadership” and support of the Doha summit from which the new opposition alliance emerged over the last few days. This new coalition will remain dominated by the CNS but will have as one its main aims to end the division among opposition groups.

One of the key groups that did not even participate in the Doha talks is the National Coordination Council (NCC), which has a strong presence in the Syrian territory and are more likely to negotiate with the regime. According to the draft of the final agreement, the CNFROS will under no circumstance negotiate or talk with the regime led by Assad. It also provides for the formation of a transitional government after it gets international recognition.

More blessings from the Middle East

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) was the first group of countries to recognize the new Syrian opposition coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people. This is the typical modus operandi used by opposition groups who gain the support from western aggressors to disavow democratically elected governments. Hours later, the Arab League, which suspended Syria’s membership for months, also decided to hold a meeting to recognize the newly created alliance.

Arab foreign ministers called on the rest of the current opposition to join the newly formed National Coalition formed by the forces of revolution and the Syrian opposition, and urged them to work to solve all the needs of the Syrian society “without exception or discrimination. ” Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman, among others, confirmed their support for the move to change leadership in Damascus.

“The GCC Member States declare their recognition of the National Coalition of Syrian opposition forces and the revolution (…) as the legitimate representative of the Syrian brotherly people,” said a statement released by the GCC Secretary General, to Abdellatif Zayani.

The text explains that the Arab League will aid the opposition and its western supporters by providing all necessary so the alliance carries out the aspirations of the Syrian people, with the hope that [the group] is a step towards a speedy transfer of power”. The complete support given to the Syrian opposition means that the combination of terrorist groups already operating on Syrian territory will now have economic and military aid from Syrian neighbors such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Both countries had already recognized the rebels and expressed their desire to have the international community recognize the coalition.

The speed with which the GCC has responded to the formation of the opposition coalition, just a day before in Doha meeting is no surprise. Since the beginning of the western orchestrated Syrian revolt back in March 2011, this group has been very critical of the regime of Bashar al-Assad and has not hidden its preference to have him ousted. The nation of Qatar even offered to give Assad political asylum should he want to simply flee the country. Assad was very clear that as a Syrian man, he would live and die in his country.

Most Middle Eastern regimes, democratically elected or not prefer a weakened Syria because of Assad’s alliance with Iran. The move to supposedly help Assad flee the country are far from being good will gestures. Since Hafez al-Assad, Bashar’s father was the Syrian leader the rest of the Arab Peninsula have seen Syria as a potential powder keg but it wasn’t until now, after the West decided that it was time to take another country over, that the rest of the Arab nations threw their full support behind the opposition. Both the Arab countries and their western allies are looking forward to weakening Syrian and destroying the Assad regime to that it can be taken over by Islamic radicals. Once Syria falls, if it does, the West and the rest of the Arab countries will then focus their attention of the last bastion of opposition: Iran.

What the Arab League members do not seem to envision, is that provided that both Syria and Iran fall, they might just be the next ones in line.

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Assad warns about attack on Syria

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | NOVEMBER 12, 2012

Syrian President Bashar Assad, has expressed opposition to foreign intervention in the Syrian conflict and warned that such intervention would have “global implications”.

The Syrian president spoke in an interview to Russian TV channel RT, where he added that Syria is “the last bastion of secularism, stability and coexistence in the region.” Therefore, he said, foreign intervention would have “ripple effects” that will affect all countries, “from the Atlantic to the Pacific and the rest of the world.”

“So I do not think that the West will choose this path. Yet, if this were to happen, no one can predict what will happen next,” he added.

The interview was done during a time when Syria is being destabilize from abroad with Turkey serving as a launch pad for attacks conducted by the opposition. The United States and NATO have been leading efforts to arm and finance groups in Syria, as well as bring in Al-Qaeda fighters to Syria, who have tried to take over large regions of the country. The fighting between revels backed up by the West and government forces has lasted almost 20 months. Despite this, the president did not hesitate to say: “I’m not a puppet of the West. I’m Syrian, and I live and die in Syria.”

Meanwhile, last week the Syrian opposition held a a meeting in Qatar to find common ground and work together as a stronger bloc. As we reported last week, the Doha meeting was meant to elect a new guild integrated by 40 representatives, many of which have been picked by the United States. This new body of Syrian opposition leaders is meat to become the new Syrian government once Assad falls. At least that is the plan being drawn by the opposition and its western supporters.

The meeting at Doha also sought to create harmony between opposition groups, who had been at odds in the last few weeks. The main reason was that the Syrian National Council, created in exile, did not want to abandon its dominant position against activists from Syria. This position was negotiated after the mediation of Qatari personnel.

The results of the meeting haven’t been clearly put forward by the new opposition bloc. Apparently two women were accepted into the group after criticism by the exclusive presence of male members. Circles of activists said that Islamic radicals are also part of the opposition group. The conference included members from the Al Nusra Front, a militia with close ties to the Al Qaeda terrorist network.

Moreover, the British Prime Minister David Cameron is considering arming the Syrian rebels, said Downing Street officials.

Arming the opposition in Syria is not an option currently being considered by the European Union (EU). In theory the EU only provides logistical support for humanitarian purposes. Of course, we all know what humanitarian intervention means as it is defined by the West.

British Prime Minister David Cameron visited a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan last Wednesday to see first hand what the British taxpayer pounds are doing in the region. We now know that London has officially opened diplomatic contacts with Syrian opposition groups.

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U.S. already chosing new Syrian management team

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | NOVEMBER 7, 2012

The United States role in the Syrian conflict has gone from “no boots will be on the ground” to “let’s choose who will be the government after Assad”. While the main stream media reports that Washington ran out of patience regarding the work of the Syrian National Council, the truth is that the opposition to Bashar al-Assad’s led government has been influenced by Western forces all along.

The Syrian National Council, which brings together about 60% of the political opposition to the regime is seen as allegedly having failed in its attempt to bring about ‘real change’ to Syria.

This follows from the shift occurred in the last week by the State Department. “We want to make clear,” said Hillary Clinton on a recent visit to Croatia. She then added that “the CNS can not be considered as the most visible leader of the opposition.” The same kind of outcome suffered by the CNS  today is what former Libyan leader had to go through after his western support ran out of patience. Gaddafi was murdered on the streets of Libya by alleged opposition groups that had been armed by the United States after the West decided it was time for him to go.

Clinton’s statement is seen as a direct attack on the opposition movement led from abroad by Abdulbaset Kurdish Seida, who left Syria and now lives in exile. The opposition movement in Syria has failed to carry out the agenda of the West despite the significant help provided by the United States and Turkey. The Turkish government lent its territory to create a revolution that would bring down Assad, but the Syrian government has been able hold on to power. This week, hundreds of Syrian opposition and rebel leaders meet in Qatar to try to redirect the revolution from the other side of the trench.

The rejection by the US state department of the work performed so far by the Syrian opposition movement has publicly questioned the revolution’s role as an organization in which the Muslim Brotherhood has a prominent place.

Last Thursday, State Department spokesman, Patrick Ventrell said during a press conference that after many months, the CNS had not shown its ability to extend its leadership to larger areas of the country that effectively reached other ethnic groups, or other geographies.” According to Ventrell, the U.S.’s former Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford, contacted several people to submit their names to those attending the Doha meeting so that they can be considered for positions of power within the CNS.

“We have seen some individuals who have shown leadership and they want to be part of the future of Syria,” said Ventrell. Individuals that U.S. diplomacy has known as conference opponents, but who also lead movements such as the Free Syrian Army (SLA). Although formally rebel commanders maintain communication with the CNS, which has come to send delegations to areas seized from the regime, the management of the war and is in the hands of the militias.

The attempt by the U.S. to change directions was not received well inside the CNS. According to Zuhair Salem,  a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, “the direct tutelage and dictates from the United States are unacceptable to the Syrian people.” While talks about the need for a change in direction are heard, the United States is actively seeking support for such change around the world. U.S. diplomats are working on this refocusing with other members of the Friends of the Syrian people.

Among the groups been contacted by western governments is the so-called National Coordinating Committee for Democratic Change of Syria, which supposedly has a close relationship with China and Russia. Its leader, who lives abroad in Paris, is a doctor and writer known as Haytham Manna. Apparently, he held a meeting last week with the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Committee, which claims to have established links with some brigades of fighters in Syria, does not have a good relationship with the CNS. Manna says their plan is to achieve a ceasefire, start comprehensive dialogue as well as to promote negotiations and a transition without the current president in power. “Bashar al-Assad has failed in recent months to solve the country’s problems,” said Manna. “He belongs to the past,” he added.

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