Syria: Rogue Elements Rampant

by Felicity Arbuthnot
Global Research
February 29, 2012

“The individual is handicapped by coming face to face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists.” (J.EdgarHoover, 1895-1972.)

Smelt any proverbial rats, lately? If not, you have not been paying attention, there are plenty about.

Consider for instance this: “Assad must halt his campaign of killing and crimes against his own people now” and “must step aside …” Hilary Clinton (Asia Times, 9th February 2012.)

“I strongly condemn the Syrian government’s unspeakable assault … and I offer my deepest sympathy to those who have lost loved ones. Assad must halt his campaign of killing and crimes against his own people now. He must step aside …” said President Barack Hussein Obama. (i)

Yet responsibility for US victims, in their hundreds of thousands, spanning Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, in Guantanamo, Bagram, Abu Ghraib and elsewhere, are wholly unaccountable – and uncounted..

Responsibility for tyrannicide (including the horrific, state sponsored assassinations of Osama bin Laden and others, Libya’s Head of State, Colonel Quaddafi, have, seemingly entered a Presidential memory hole.)

“This (Syria’s) is a doomed regime as well as a murdering regime. There is no way it can get its credibility back either internationally or with its own people”, Britain’s little Foreign Secretary, William Hague, chimed in obediently, from the Washington script, on Sky News.

“Because the regime is so intransigent, because it is conducting ten months unmitigated violence and repression – more than 6,000 killed, with 12,000 or 14,000 in detention and subject to every kind of torture and abuse – it is driving some opponents to violent action themselves”, concluded Hague.

Hypocrisy reigns supreme. Walking distance from Hague’s office: “living in style and protection”, is Bashar Al Assad’s Uncle Rifaat, under whose Defence Brigades onslaught killed up to perhaps thirty thousand people in the city of Hama, which was also partially destroyed, Falluja style. The thirtieth anniversary of a truly terrible event is commemorated today, 25th February. (See Robert Fisk, Independent, 25th February 2012.)

Of Libya, in March 2011, Obama stated: “Going forward, we will continue to send a clear message: The violence must stop. Muammar Gaddafi has lost legitimacy to lead, and he must leave. Those who perpetrate violence against the Libyan people will be held accountable. And the aspirations of the Libyan people for freedom, democracy and dignity must be met.”(ii.)

An anomaly (apart from the script similarity): In Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, deaths resultant from US-UK and “allied” actions are: “impossible to verify”, by Washington and Whitehall.

Indeed, this month, the (UK) Parliamentary Select Committee on Defence, issued a Report, after an Inquiry in to operations in Libya, stating that: “Britain has no way of knowing how many civilians died in the Libyan conflict as a result of Nato bombing.” (iii)

Back in March 2011, however, the exact figure of Quaddafi’s victims was “known.” Coincidentally, it was also exactly 6,000, stated a “political analyst” – using remarkably State Department-similar phraseology.(iv)

As under Saddam Hussein in Iraq (with no diplomatic presence) in Libya and now little in Syria – with no point of contact bar, seemingly, a satellite dish fitter, in Coventry, England, alleged to be the “Syrian Observatory for Human Rights” – exact death and casualty figures are always miraculously available.

A new nemesis appears on the horizon – or “Arab street”- and precise numbers are trumpeted. Yet when Western forces, “Viceroys”, “Intelligence” services, “mentors” and myriad, general meddlers, mercenaries and marauders pitch up, murder and occupy, none are available.

Of course no proposed invasion (sorry, “humanitarian intervention”) regime change and accompanying mass slayings would be complete without forces of a wicked tyrant switching off electricity to babies incubators.

For anyone who has forgotten the details, the (1990-1991) Iraq model went like this: vast US government employed PR agency, Hill and Knowlton (“we create value by shaping conversations: we start them, we amplify them, we change them. We can connect seamlessly with all of your audiences…”)produced a fifteen year old girl called “Nayirah”, a “Kuwaiti with first hand knowledge of … her tortured land.”

“I volunteered (tears) at the Al Addan Hospital .. I saw the Iraqi soldiers ..with guns, they took fifteen babies out of incubators, left them on the cold floor and took the incubators.”

Strangely, no one asked why she didn’t pick them up and wrap and tend to them, or checked who she really was.

She was the daughter of Saud al Sabar, the Kuwaiti Ambassador to US. The incubators story of course, was a complete fabrication.

October 10th 1990, Amnesty presented evidence against Iraq with Hill and Knowlton at the Congressional Human Rights Caucus on Capitol Hill. Amnesty International trustingly endorsed the incubator story. Apparently never investigating who “Nayirah” was, and in a charged situation, whether propaganda might not be rampant.

“Amnesty US Executive Director, John Healey, compounded the incubator baby story in testimony to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on 8th.January 1991. The carpet-bombing of Iraq began nine days later.”(v)

Amnesty, enjoined by Human Rights Watch, are amongst the most enthusiastic champions of Syrian intervention and onward to Armageddon. Glen Ford writes all you ever need to know.(vi)

The first Syria incubator baby story surfaced last August. “Syrian government troops”, had cut the electricity. It was quickly exposed as beyond questionable.(vii)

Another one came up on 8th February (viii) with numbers varying from eighteen poor mites, to a subsequent eighty. With both tales, as the Iraq version, no distraught parents, extended family, were found, no funeral gatherings, then the stories, too, quietly vanished.

Coincidentally, the current Speaker of the eighty eight Member Arab Inter-Parliamentary union, which backs intervention in Syria, is Kuwaiti, Ali Al-Salem Al-Dekbas, calling for all Syria’s Ambassadors to be expelled, confrontation with Russia over her stance – and in remarkable US-speak, for swift intervention, to stop the Syrian government “killing (their own) people.” (Reuters, 4th February 2012.)

The new Executive Director of Amnesty International USA, is Suzanne Nossel, formerly Hillary Clinton’s Deputy Assistant for International Organization Affairs, at the State Department. She has also previously worked for Human Rights Watch.

She: “… has launched several campaigns against Iran, Libya and Syria.”(viii)

The allegation that Kuwait gave Amnesty $500,000 for backing the Iraq incubator baby story has never gone away. But the little island, famously once called:”An oil company posing as a state”, with population just 2,595,628 (July 2011) which includes 1,291,354 non-nationals, also has powerful American-proxy clout.

In 1999, an agreement was signed between the USA and Kuwait for a permanent US force to be stationed there, in twelve facilities (there are a further eight “spares”, seemingly not currently in use.)

The agreement for the bases, incidentally, was named: “Operation Desert Spring.”(x)

Here is a further coincidence. In March 2010, Libya was voted, near unanimously, on to the UN Human Rights Committee, after a glowing Report on human rights progress. After a ferocious campaign by Geneva based UN Watch(xi) not only were they expelled from it, but nineteen months later, their country lay in ruins, their leader lynched and most of his family dead.

Last November, Syria was elected to the Committee and the fifty eight Member Arab board added their votes to the country’s place on UNESCO panels.

UN Watch railed that: “Western democracies, unanimously elected Syria to a pair of Committees – one dealing directly with human rights issues – even as the Bashar al-Assad regime maintains its campaign of violence against its own citizens.“ Syria’s Committee places, as Libya before it, died a death.

Amnesty’s Ms Nossel, unsurprisingly, has spoken at a number of events with UN Watch Director, Hillel Neuer, a Montreal born attorney, whose career has included serving as a judicial law clerk for Justice Itzhak Zamir, at the Supreme Court of Israel.

In March last year, there seemed a glimmer of hope that the US and “allies”, would back away from repeating the tragic disaster that was unfolding in Libya – and had already struck Afghanistan and Iraq.

Secretary of State Clinton committed on CBS (27th March 2011) that the US would not intervene in the way it had in Libya.

Now, it seems, a miracle is needed, as it emerges Saudi Arabia and Quatar are among those subsidizing insurgents with vast sums – as French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe announced that the EU is about to further tie the government’s hands, by freezing the assets of the Syrian Central Bank, from 27th February. Syria is already under a crippling raft of sanctions.(xii) France was, of course, one of the leading and most enthusiastic cheerleaders for the destruction of Libya.

At the same “Friends of Syria” Conference in Tunis (24th February 2012) UK Foreign Minister William Hague declared that the UK recognized the insurgents and Hilary “We came, we saw, he died” Clinton called Russia and China:”despicable”, for their veto at the UN, which may well have blocked further “intervention.”

The US said it will consider military assistance to the insurgents – a representative of them said they were already receiving “western aid.”

With “friends” like these, Syria certainly needs no enemies.

The US has, of course, “despicably”, vetoed thirty five UN peace Resolutions relating to the Middle East(xiii) including on“Operation Cast Lead”, the 2008-2009 Israeli Christmas-New Year onslaught on Gaza, and Israel’s 2006 blitzkrieg of Lebanon.

A “new world map.”

Chillingly, no outrage, or cries of “despicable” has been given to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s statement, in Switzerland, the day before the Tunisia conference, that there: “would be no Lebanon in the new world map.”(xiv)

He stated, further, that an Israeli strike against Lebanon would be supported by the United States and Gulf States countries.

There surely is a wildlife park of elephants in the room. Given George W. Bush’s “Crusade”; the belief by extreme right Israeli circles in their control of the Middle East: “from the Nile to the Euphrates” and General Wesley Clark’s revelations of 2007, that the Pentagon planned:“(taking) out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran”, there is an obvious question, sparked by Prime Minister Netanyahu’s confidence over a Lebanon attack:

Are these AIPAC and Israel’s wars?

Notes

i. http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2012/02/04/obama-condemns-unspeakable-assault-in-syria/?hpt=hp_t2

ii. http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2057191,00.html

iii. http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/295199/20120208/nato-libya-civilian-death-toll-mps.htm#ixzz1lzVEfpgS

iv. http://www.presstv.ir/detail/168203.html

v. http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/search?index=books&linkCode=qs&keywords=0520083989 (For timely reminder that propaganda sells wars, well worth revisiting. A crash course.)

vi. http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=29422

vii. http://electronicintifada.net/blog/ali-abunimah/how-cnn-helped-spread-hoax-about-syrian-babies-dying-incubators

viii. http://bikyamasr.com/56287/18-babies-killed-in-syrias-homs-as-power-cut/

ix. http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2012/01/us-state-departmentfake-ngo-conflict-of.html

x. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_of_Kuwait

xi. http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=24151

xii. http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/factbox-sanctions-imposed-on-syria

xiii. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/UN/usvetoes.html

xiv. http://www.presstv.ir/detail/228277.html

US War Crimes: Cancer Rate in Fallujah Worse than Hiroshima

By Tom Eley

The Iraqi city of Fallujah continues to suffer the ghastly consequences of a US military onslaught in late 2004.

According to the authors of a new study, “Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth Sex-Ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 2005–2009,” the people of Fallujah are experiencing higher rates of cancer, leukemia, infant mortality, and sexual mutations than those recorded among survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the years after those Japanese cities were incinerated by US atomic bomb strikes in 1945.

The epidemiological study, published in the International Journal of Environmental Studies and Public Health (IJERPH), also finds the prevalence of these conditions in Fallujah to be many times greater than in nearby nations.

The assault on Fallujah, a city located 43 miles west of Baghdad, was one of the most horrific war crimes of our time. After the population resisted the US-led occupation of Iraq—a war of neo-colonial plunder launched on the basis of lies—Washington determined to make an example of the largely Sunni city. This is called “exemplary” or “collective” punishment and is, according to the laws of war, illegal.

The new public health study of the city now all but proves what has long been suspected: that a high proportion of the weaponry used in the assault contained depleted uranium, a radioactive substance used in shells to increase their effectiveness.

In a study of 711 houses and 4,843 individuals carried out in January and February 2010, authors Chris Busby, Malak Hamdan, Entesar Ariabi and a team of researchers found that the cancer rate had increased fourfold since before the US attack five years ago, and that the forms of cancer in Fallujah are similar to those found among the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb survivors, who were exposed to intense fallout radiation.

In Fallujah the rate of leukemia is 38 times higher, the childhood cancer rate is 12 times higher, and breast cancer is 10 times more common than in populations in Egypt, Jordan, and Kuwait. Heightened levels of adult lymphoma and brain tumors were also reported. At 80 deaths out of every 1,000 births, the infant mortality rate in Fallujah is more than five times higher than in Egypt and Jordan, and eight times higher than in Kuwait.

Strikingly, after 2005 the proportion of girls born in Fallujah has increased sharply. In normal populations, 1050 boys are born for every 1000 girls. But among those born in Fallujah in the four years after the US assault, the ratio was reduced to 860 boys for every 1000 female births. This alteration is similar to gender ratios found in Hiroshima after the US atomic attack of 1945.

The most likely reason for the change in the sex ratio, according to the researchers, is the impact of a major mutagenic event—likely the use of depleted uranium in US weapons. While boys have one X-chromosome, girls have a redundant X-chromosome and can therefore absorb the loss of one chromosome through genetic damage.

“This is an extraordinary and alarming result,” said Busby, a professor of molecular biosciences at the University of Ulster and director of scientific research for Green Audit, an independent environmental research group. “To produce an effect like this, some very major mutagenic exposure must have occurred in 2004 when the attacks happened. We need urgently to find out what the agent was. Although many suspect uranium, we cannot be certain without further research and independent analysis of samples from the area.”

Busby told an Italian television news station, RAI 24, that the “extraordinary” increase in radiation-related maladies in Fallujah is higher than that found in the populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki after the US atomic strikes of 1945. “My guess is that this was caused by depleted uranium,” he said. “They must be connected.”

The US military uses depleted uranium, also known as spent nuclear fuel, in armor-piercing shells and bullets because it is twice as dense as lead. Once these shells hit their target, however, as much as 40 percent of the uranium is released in the form of tiny particles in the area of the explosion. It can remain there for years, easily entering the human bloodstream, where it lodges itself in lymph glands and attacks the DNA produced in the sperm and eggs of affected adults, causing, in turn, serious birth defects in the next generation.

The research is the first systematic scientific substantiation of a body of evidence showing a sharp increase in infant mortality, birth defects, and cancer in Fallujah.

In October of 2009, several Iraqi and British doctors wrote a letter to the United Nations demanding an inquiry into the proliferation of radiation-related sickness in the city:

“Young women in Fallujah in Iraq are terrified of having children because of the increasing number of babies born grotesquely deformed, with no heads, two heads, a single eye in their foreheads, scaly bodies or missing limbs. In addition, young children in Fallujah are now experiencing hideous cancers and leukemias…

“In September 2009, Fallujah General Hospital had 170 newborn babies, 24 percent of whom were dead within the first seven days, a staggering 75 percent of the dead babies were classified as deformed…

“Doctors in Fallujah have specifically pointed out that not only are they witnessing unprecedented numbers of birth defects, but premature births have also considerably increased after 2003. But what is more alarming is that doctors in Fallujah have said, ‘a significant number of babies that do survive begin to develop severe disabilities at a later stage.’” (See: “Sharp rise in birth defects in Iraqi city destroyed by US military”)

The Pentagon responded to this report by asserting that there were no studies to prove any proliferation of deformities or other maladies associated with US military actions. “No studies to date have indicated environmental issues resulting in specific health issues,” a Defense Department spokesman told the BBC in March. There have been no studies, however, in large part because Washington and its puppet Baghdad regime have blocked them.

According to the authors of “Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth Sex-Ratio in Fallujah,” the Iraqi authorities attempted to scuttle their survey. “[S]hortly after the questionnaire survey was completed, Iraqi TV reportedly broadcast that a questionnaire survey was being carried out by terrorists and that anyone who was answering or administering the questionnaire could be arrested,” the study reports.

The history of the atrocity committed by American imperialism against the people of Fallujah began on April 28, 2003, when US Army soldiers fired indiscriminately into a crowd of about 200 residents protesting the conversion of a local school into a US military base. Seventeen were killed in the unprovoked attack, and two days later American soldiers fired on a protest against the murders, killing two more.

This intensified popular anger, and Fallujah became a center of the Sunni resistance against the occupation—and US reprisals. On March 31, 2004, an angry crowd stopped a convoy of the private security firm Blackwater USA, responsible for its own share of war crimes. Four Blackwater mercenaries were dragged from their vehicles, beaten, burned, and hung from a bridge over the Euphrates River.

The US military then promised it would pacify the city, with one unnamed officer saying it would be turned into “a killing field,” but Operation Vigilant Resolve, involving thousands of Marines, ended in the abandonment of the siege by the US military in May, 2004. The victory of Fallujah’s residents against overwhelming military superiority was celebrated throughout Iraq and watched all over the world.

The Pentagon delivered its response in November 2004. The city was surrounded, and all those left inside were declared to be enemy combatants and fair game for the most heavily equipped killing machine in world history. The Associated Press reported that men attempting to flee the city with their families were turned back into the slaughterhouse.

In the attack, the US made heavy use of the chemical agent white phosphorus. Ostensibly used only for illuminating battlefields, white phosphorus causes terrible and often fatal wounds, burning its way through building material and clothing before eating away skin and then bone. The chemical was also used to suck the oxygen out of buildings where civilians were hiding.

Washington’s desire for revenge against the population is indicated by the fact that the US military reported about the same number of “gunmen” killed (1,400) as those taken alive as prisoners (1,300-1,500). In one instance, NBC News captured video footage of a US soldier executing a wounded and helpless Iraqi man. A Navy investigation later found the Marine had been acting in self-defense.

Fifty-one US soldiers died in 10 days of combat. The true number of city residents who were killed is not known. The city’s population before the attack was estimated to be between 425,000 and 600,000. The current population is believed to be between 250,000 and 300,000. Tens of thousands, mostly women and children, fled in advance of the attack. Half of the city’s building were destroyed, most of these reduced to rubble.

Like much of Iraq, Fallujah remains in ruins. According to a recent report from IRIN, a project of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Fallujah still has no functioning sewage system six years after the attack. “Waste pours onto the streets and seeps into drinking water supplies,” the report notes. “Abdul-Sattar Kadhum al-Nawaf, director of Fallujah general hospital, said the sewage problem had taken its toll on residents’ health. They were increasingly affected by diarrhea, tuberculosis, typhoid and other communicable diseases.”

The savagery of the US assault shocked the world, and added the name Fallujah to an infamous list that includes My Lai, Sabra-Shatila, Guérnica, Nanking, Lidice, and Wounded Knee.

But unlike those other massacres, the crime against Fallujah did not end when the bullets were no longer fired or the bombs stopped falling.

The US military’s decision to heavily deploy depleted uranium, all but proven by “Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth Sex-Ratio in Fallujah,” was a wanton act of brutality, poisoning an entire generation of children not yet born in 2004.

The Fallujah study is timely, with the US now preparing a major escalation of the violence in Afghanistan. The former head of US Afghanistan operations, General Stanley McChrystal, was replaced last month after a media campaign, assisted by a Rolling Stone magazine feature, accused him, among other things, of tying the hands of US soldiers in their response to Afghan insurgents.

McChrystal was replaced by General David Petraeus, formerly head of the US Central Command. Petraeus has outlined new rules of engagement designed to allow for the use of disproportionate force against suspected militants.

Petraeus, in turn, was replaced at Central Command by General James “Mad Dog” Mattis, who played a key planning role in the US assault on Fallujah in 2004. Mattis revels in killing, telling a public gathering in 2005 “it’s fun to shoot some people…. You know, it’s a hell of a hoot.”