Sunday 25th of October 2020

a humble summary of russia's intervention in syria versus the US nutcases...

pompeo nutcase

Five years ago Russia became involved in the Syrian civil war, prompting an abrupt U-turn in the situation on the ground and ending the spread of Islamist terrorism in the country. Middle East expert Ghassan Kadi and Syrian journalist Basma Qaddour have taken a look at the Russo-Syrian strategic partnership's achievements and plans.

On 30 September 2015, Russia started an air operation against Daesh* in Syria in response to a request for military help from the Arab Republic's legitimate government headed by President Bashar al-Assad.


"We all know that thousands of people from European countries, Russia, and the post-Soviet region have joined the ranks of the so-called Islamic State, a terrorist organisation that – I want to stress again – has nothing to do with genuine Islam", President Vladimir Putin told a special summit of government members on that day. "There is no need to be an expert to realise that if they succeed in Syria, they will inevitably return to their own countries, and this includes Russia."

Russia's Involvement Became a Game Changer

 

The Russian involvement became a turning point for Syria, which has been engulfed by civil war since 2011. As a declassified document compiled by the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) in 2012 indicated, the major forces driving the insurgency in the Arab Republic were the Salafists, the Muslim Brotherhood*, and al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI)* that "supported the Syrian opposition from the beginning, both ideologically and through media". At that time the US and EU signalled their sympathy with the so-called "moderate" Syrian rebels and urged Assad to step down.

In September 2014, the US intervened in Syria under the pretext of the war against Daesh (ISIS/ISIL)*, a terrorist organisation that emerged out of AQI. The US military led a coalition of several regional and external players – including forces from the UK, France, Jordan, Turkey, Canada, Australia – and provided support to the Syrian rebels and the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on the ground.

Apart from the invasion by the US-led coalition, tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of fighters poured into Syria from Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq, recalls Ghassan Kadi, a Middle East expert and political analyst of Syrian descent.


"They were heavily armed and trained", he stresses. "Without the use of targeted air power, eliminating such forces would have been a very difficult task to perform on the ground."

 

There was a considerable likelihood that the terrorists were going to win, the Middle East expert continues. If the jihadists prevailed, the political, constitutional and demographic nature of Syria would have changed "from that of tolerance, secularism and inclusivity, to that of a Wahhabi Sunni fundamentalist, one that does not even tolerate Sunnis who don’t adhere to this tradition", according to Kadi.

By September 2015, jihadi groups had moved very close to the Syrian capital, Damascus, which was nearly two-three weeks away from falling to foreign-backed terrorist groups, echoes Basma Qaddour, a Syrian journalist and head of the news department at The Syria Times.

Moscow's military move of 30 September 2015 came as a "huge turning point", according to the observers.


"The biggest role that Russia played militarily was in the use of its air power and expertise on how to fight in a dense urban environment", notes Ghassan Kadi. "This tipped the balance of power against the invaders and in favour of the Syrian Army."

What Goals Have the Russo-Syrian Alliance Achieved?

 

By December 2017, the Russo-Syrian coalition eliminated 60,318 jihadists, including 819 terrorist leaders, and liberated 1,024 settlements, most notably the strategic cities of Aleppo, Palmyra, Akerbat, Deir ez-Zor, Meyadin and Abu Kemal.

Backed by the Russian Aerospace Forces, the Syrian Arab Army eliminated Daesh's major strongholds, with Idlib remaining the only jihadi hotbed in the country. Thus the Russian military presence on the ground and successful anti-terrorist aerial campaign made any prospective full-scale NATO offensive irrelevant, according to Ghassan Kadi. 

After the deployment of the military police in the Arab Republic to monitor a cease-fire in new de-escalation zones in July and agreeing with Damascus on the formation of a permanent grouping at the Tartus naval facility and the Hmeimim airbase, President Vladimir Putin announced the withdrawal of the Russian troops to their permanent bases in December 2017. However, Moscow continued to provide support to Syria: in general, the Russo-Syrian coalition has liquidated more than 133,000 jihadi militants.

In parallel with its military effort, Russia, together with Iran and Turkey, arranged peace talks between the Syrian government delegation and opposition forces in Astana in late December 2016. In subsequent years, the Astana format of negotiations led by Moscow, Tehran and Ankara helped to lower the intensity of the clashes on the ground by concluding ceasefire deals and founding four de-escalation zones in the war-torn country.


"Here we can point out to the fact that the Astana peace talks aimed at a post-war Syrian order as an effective alternative to similar efforts within the United Nations", Basma Qaddour underscores, referring to the Geneva peace talks on Syria held since June 2012 under the auspices of the UN.

Obstacles in the Path to Restore Peace & Order

 

Still, the reconciliation process is largely hampered by the US and Turkish military presence in the region, argues Qaddour, stressing that these foreign players must pull out of the Arab Republic. Touching upon the issue of the US-SDF military bases in the region, the journalist suggests that the Syrian popular resistance is likely to squeeze them out from these areas. In August 2020, Syrian tribal leaders in Deir ez-Zor and Aleppo called upon the US and their Kurdish proxies to leave the region.


"The problem is that US-backed 'Syrian Democratic Forces' (SDF) militia in eastern Syria are currently in control of approximately 70% of Syria's national oil resources and a number of valuable gas facilities. The eastern Euphrates is under the control of US occupation forces and SDF militia," says Qaddour.

 

In addition to this, Idlib is still controlled by terrorist groups, she points out, stressing that as many as 85% of terrorists in Idlib are affiliated with Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS)*. Kadi echoes the journalist's concerns: "Apart from non-Syrian fighters who were either killed or fled, the remaining actual Syrian fighters are all in the Idlib region, hence any reconciliation talks will have to wait until the region is fully back under the control of the Syrian Government", he notes.

Turkey, which supervises the Idlib de-escalation zone, has vowed to separate the moderate opposition from terrorists, liberate the M4 highway and form a security corridor around this highway. According to Moscow and Ankara, these agreements are being gradually implemented.



Russia to Help Syria Revive Post-War Economy

 

However, at the present moment, reconciliation seems to have taken a step back from centre court, as the major issue to deal with at the moment is the economy, Kadi points out, citing the Syrian oil issue and Washington's Caesar Act strangulating the country.


"The Western-centric order has made it almost impossible for nations to trade and interact without reliance on the greenback, the Internet and the SWIFT banking system", the Middle Eastern expert says. "Any nation that finds itself under Western sanctions risks being isolated and falling under the mercy of even further sanctions such as the Caesar Act."

 

Under these circumstances, Damascus is expanding business ties with Russia to facilitate economic recovery. During the Russian delegation's September visit to Syria, Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov told the press that Moscow had presented a package of economic proposals to the Arab Republic in July in order to tackle the post-war crisis and US sanctions. It is expected that these proposals will be sealed in December 2020.

The economic difficulties and the pressure exerted by the West have prompted regional players, most notably Syria and Iran, to form new alliances and economic partnerships, notes Kadi.

According to him, the US sanctions policy is doomed as "the West is no longer the centre of manufacturing even of advanced commodities". The political analyst suggests that in the foreseeable future nations such as Russia, China, Iran, Syria, in theory, will be "capable of supplying each other with all of their basic needs without having to resort to Western imports".

The Syrian civil war and subsequent events on the ground have once again proven that the days of the post-Cold war Western-centric world order are over, echoes Basma Qaddour.


"The US pushes an anti-world agenda in order not to face the difficult reality that it is no longer the world’s only superpower and it has to adapt to an increasingly multipolar world", she concludes.

 

 

*Al-Qaeda, Daesh (ISIS/ISIL), the Muslim Brotherhood, and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) are terrorist groups banned in Russia. 

 

Read more:

 

https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/202010051080664275-how-russias-five-year-long-involvement-in-syria-war-changed-balance-of-power-in-mid-east--beyond/

 

 

 

idlib blues...

Syria: Idlib fears new offensive by Assad's forces

An increasing number of airstrikes on the rebel-controlled Idlib province have left people fearing a new offensive by President Bashar al-Assad's forces. The battered province is also bracing for the onset of winter.

 

See videos: https://www.dw.com/en/syria-idlib-fears-new-offensive-by-assads-forces/av-55207278

 

Time for the rebels (terrorists for the Salafists, the Muslim Brotherhood*, DAESH, and al-Qaeda in Iraq) controlling the town to down arms and stop fighting. Most of the people in Idlib are not supporters of the Salafists, the Muslim Brotherhood*, and al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI)* ... 

 

you know some awful shit is coming down...

Shhhh, don’t tell Americans about the Blue Leaks and the Syria PR Leaks. The mainstream media’s virtual blackout must mean they aren’t supposed to know. 

 

LEE CAMP: Two Massive New Leaks Show Dirty Underbelly of Empire

 

 


Most Americans don’t know reality.

They know their personal reality, but unfortunately their reality is thoroughly detached from real pure, uncut reality. For example, do they know that police across the country work with corporations to criminalize journalism? Do they know that large PR companies created a false reality to justify U.S. intervention in Syria? Do they know the word “intervention” acts as a euphemism for “cold-blooded murder under false pretenses”?

Americans don’t know these aspects of reality. You and I wouldn’t know either if it weren’t for leaks and whistleblowers.

Two recent massive leaks have received a near blackout in the mainstream media , and yet again only leaks allow us to glimpse the dirty underbelly of the empire. The Blue Leaks revealed the corruption and incompetence behind police departments across the country, and the Syria PR Leaks revealed that large U.S. & U.K.-funded PR companies helped sell regime change efforts in Syria.


The Blue Leaks


Let’s start with the Blue Leaks — thousands of documents revealing corruption, wrongdoing and incompetence by American police departments and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  As the Intercept reported, some documents “show police agencies including DHS share thinly-sourced conspiracy theories as if they are truth. …For example, Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis circulated a tweet to law enforcement agencies across the country reporting that Antifa was stashing bricks to ‘fuel protests.’ As Mainer magazine reported, the original source of the information was a pro-Trump biker who called himself ‘The Wolfman’ and previously spread conspiracy theories online.”

So, the Wolfman can just tweet that protesters are preparing to hit cops with bricks and that’s all it takes? I’ve been tweeting true shit for years, yet it never results in a national police bulletin. What do I have to do to have an over-inflated impact on society? Dress up like a biker and start going by “Squirrel Boy?” I’ll do it. I have no shame. (I haven’t had any dignity since the middle school mooning incident of 1993.)

But the leaks don’t just reveal our little boys in blue chase lies around the country; they’ve also been illegally surveilling people.  “DHS officials in San Diego oversaw a sweeping, binational intelligence gathering operation targeting lawyers, journalists, and asylum-advocates associated with the migrant caravans…”

In a normal universe, this type of behavior would be exceedingly illegal. In a rational dimension, the whole country would be up in arms as much as following the unveiling of New Coke. In a logical and free country, no one would stand for this level of government overreach and injustice. But alas, we don’t live there. We live here — a nation where the media hardly even reports on the DHS spying on lawyers, activists and journalists.

Well, at least they weren’t accusing peaceful protesters of being terrorists — riiiight?

Back to the Intercept, “…a substantial portion of the intelligence on Black Lives Matter protests flowed through the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center’s Terrorism Liaison Officer program… The terror info program became a clearinghouse for information on upcoming demonstrations.”


Yeah, we’re not calling you terrorists — we’re just putting all the information about your peaceful demonstrations in the Terror Info Program. But in their defense, to the overwhelmingly white police officers across this country, it is terrifying that black people could actually gain equality — like being able to stand in line at a fast food place without fearing they’ll be tackled and arrested, sending Chalupa sauce all over their children. White cops probably do view equality as a form of terrorism.

One more from the myriad Blue Leaks —“Amid terror warnings, a Railroad Industry Group passed intel on environmental journalists to the cops” and made the cops think that the journalists were linked to terrorism. … And there was extensive communication between private industry and public law enforcement —allowing the industry to influence law enforcement and national security policy.”

Basically, corporations are not only guiding law enforcement, they’re also tricking them into thinking a standard environmental journalist is a terrorist. Yes, the 24-year-old blogger with the acne problem — he’s the true terrorist. Not the corporate CEO who mourns as much for the people he blew up in Wheeling, West Virginia, with a bomb train as a race car driver mourns the flies splattered across his windshield during a race.

The Blue Leaks consist of thousands more documents I can’t go into here, but seeing as the mainstream media and big tech social media platforms are scared to death you’ll read the leaked documents, you should totally NOT read them. Do not look up the Blue Leaks and find out what they say. Definitely don’t. 



PR Wars


Next up in this Showcase Showdown of “Leaks That Expose the Empire,” you might recall that throughout the U.S. attacks on Syria, the mainstream media told Americans that a bunch of awesome rebels were fighting for a free Syria and the U.S. government was helping them. When those stories were in full force, I don’t know about you, but I thought, “Everything the corporate media is telling us must be absolutely true. They would never lie to us about this. Sure, they’d lie about everything else. But THIS – they are totally telling the truth because they just want to help the poor people in Syria. All the other times the corporate media has lied us into war (Iraq, Libya, Vietnam, the Spanish American War, the Great Wet T-Shirt Contest of 1872) notwithstanding, when it comes to Syria, our military media industrial complex are basically Oscar Schindler. No doubt.”

Alas, much to my shock, I was wrong.

The Grayzone has reported on a new leak of hundreds of documents that show “Western government-funded intelligence cutouts trained and funded Syrian opposition leaders, planted stories in media outlets from BBC to Al Jazeera, and ran a cadre of journalists. …UK government contractors developed an advanced infrastructure of propaganda to stimulate support in the West for Syria’s political and armed opposition.”

That’s right — government contractors — meaning we taxpayers in the U.S. and U.K. funded the propaganda that manufactured consent for destroying Syria. (Quick note for the oligarchs: If you’re going to lie to us and enlist our consent in nearly collapsing a country of 20 million people, the least you can do is not make us pay for it ourselves. That’s just poor sportsmanship.)

But how much impact could these few planted news stories possibly have? I mean, I’m sure this false crap wasn’t that prevalent.

Well, according to the leaked documents — “These UK-funded firms functioned as full-time PR flacks for the extremist dominated Syrian armed opposition. One contractor, called InCoStrat, said it was in constant contact with a network of more than 1,600 international journalists and influencers, and used them to push pro-opposition talking points.”

Sixteen hundred media people, many calling themselves “journalists,” were simply printing hack stories by pro-war government cut-outs?! Compare that number to those of us reporting the truth. …I count, um, seven. …Nine if you include the two who only do their “reporting” on the telephone to telemarketers who are unlucky enough to accidentally call them. A single PR company used 1,600 people and millions of dollars pouring in from the U.S. and U.K. With that kind of money, they should’ve won a goddamn Oscar — like Schindler’s List.

…Wait. I now remember. They DID win an Oscar. A documentary about the White Helmets in Syria won an Oscar!

You recall the White Helmets — the amazing people in Syria who just rescue children from rubble. And America — who bombs children all over the world —happens to care about these particular children. Nothing to see here. Nothing unusual. We Americans just really care about Syrian children. Don’t give a tip of a turd about any other children crushed by our wars (hot, cold or lukewarm) around the world. Only Syrians caught in rubble rescued by the White Helmets pull at heartstrings.

Perhaps this next part won’t shock you. The new leaks confirm earlier reporting by The Grayzone and others showing the White Helmets were funded by Western governments and claimed to be saving innocent civilians while also trying to get America to bomb more. They literally called for more air strikes. It’s not so dissimilar from all those emergency room doctors who spend their days trying desperately to save lives and then run around at night trying to start gang wars by making fun of Li’l Boom-Boom’s swastika tattoo before yelling “WEST SIDE!” and running away. That’s super common among doctors.

The White Helmets were founded in collaboration with USAID’s Office of Transitional Initiatives — the wing that has promoted regime change around the world — and have been provided with $23 million in funding from the department.”

So, the U.S. helped create the war, helped create the destruction, created the so-called heroes (who want more destruction), created the award-winning documentary about the “heroes,” and created the news reports about the documentary about the “heroes.” That isn’t just wag the dog; that’s wag the whole fuckin’ kennel and the buildings next to the kennel and everything down the street and the whole city.

Putting further flesh on the (dog) bone — the leaked documents also show another Western contractor called “ARK admitted that it sought to whitewash Syria’s armed opposition, which had been largely dominated by Salafi-jihadists, by ‘Softening the FSA Image.’”

One should not be shocked that taking terrorists who sometimes behead innocent people and making them look like “moderate rebels” does indeed require a great deal of “softening.” In my experience terrorists often need just a bit of smoothing over before you bring them home to meet your parents. (It’s useful to remind them just before you walk in the door, “If my dad asks what you do, rather than say ‘I yank the infidels out of their beds and execute them,’ say ‘I’m a door-to-door knife salesman.’ It’s sort of true.”)

But these PR companies didn’t stop at creating false stories. Ben Norton at The Grayzone reports, “U.S. and European contractors trained and advised Syrian opposition leaders at all levels, from young media activists to the heads of the parallel government-in-exile.”

These Western-funded PR firms actually helped create the Syrian government-in-exile. It’s clear that at every level the catastrophic events in Syria have been stage-managed by the U.S., U.K. and Western-backed PR firms trying to create regime change, trying to manifest a failed state thousands of miles away from your average Americans or Brits who don’t know about the crimes perpetrated in their names. And sadly, even many in the somewhat-independent media — who are often adversarial to U.S. imperial aims — still fall hook-line-and-sinker for this garbage propaganda.

Here’s an easy rule of thumb to follow in the future — any time the U.S. government says they care about human beings, you know some awful shit is going down.


If you find this column important, please share it. Lee Camp is the host of the hit comedy news show Redacted Tonight. His new book Bullet Points and Punch Lines is available at LeeCampBook.com and his stand-up comedy special can be streamed for free at LeeCampAmerican.com.


 

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

 

 

 

Read more:

 

https://consortiumnews.com/2020/10/12/lee-camp-two-massive-new-leaks-show-dirty-underbelly-of-empire/

 

 

 

Read from top.

combatting terrorism...


The world has been rightly shocked by the sickening murder of a French schoolteacher by a self-styled jihadist incensed that the educator allegedly displayed cartoon images of the Prophet Mohammed in classes about freedom of speech.

Samuel Paty was ambushed on his way home near Paris and decapitated by his knife-wielding attacker who was then shot dead by police officers. The jihadist was a Russian-born teenager of Chechen heritage.

French President reportedly held an urgent phone call this week with Russian leader Vladimir Putin urging Russia to redouble cooperative efforts to fight terrorism. Macron’s appeal is besides the point, as the 18-year-old killer grew up most of his life residing in France. So what is Macron implying? That Russia somehow bears responsibility for the atrocity because the man was of Russian origin? That’s ridiculous reasoning but, one surmises, it plays to the irrational Russophobia among Western governments and media.

Would Macron have made the same kind of phone call to Donald Trump if the assailant were American-born, or to Angela Merkel if he were German-born?

Furthermore, Macron’s insinuation that Russia needs to do more to combat terrorism is also absurdly misplaced. No country has done more to curb jihadist terrorism than Russia. The clearest achievement in that regard was Russia’s military intervention in Syria to aid that allied state towards defeating a veritable proxy army of hardcore terrorists who went by all sorts of myriad organizational names.

 

If it wasn’t for Russia’s principled intervention in Syria five years ago, at the request of the Syrian government, the Levantine country would most likely be overrun by now with head-chopping militia. As it turned out, however, Syria’s victory has largely been assured against these mercenary gangs who today huddle in much-reduced redoubts in northern Syria.

The mercenaries that ransacked Syria were recruited from dozens of countries around the world, descending on the Arab country to wage a covert war for regime change on behalf of the United States and its European NATO allies, primarily Britain and France. The militants were fueled by a death-cult ideology and weaponized by the American CIA and their British and French military intelligence counterparts working in cahoots with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Many of these so-called jihadists came from European states and there is evidence that the state intelligence agencies permitted these radicals to travel clandestinely to Syria in order to do the dirty work of regime change against the Syrian government. That regime-change objective involved unleashing a campaign of unspeakable terrorism against civilians with the deliberate intention of terrorizing Syria into submission.

Countless numbers of these Islamist terrorists are believed to have snook back into their European countries of origin where they have helped radicalize elements within resident communities with their death-cult ideology. Others are believed to have entered European states under the cover of refugees.

 

Issues of freedom of speech, blasphemy and multiculturalism are part of the mix in the uptick of terrorism by jihadists across Europe, from the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris in 2015, to the bomb attack on a concert hall in Manchester in 2017, to the latest gruesome murder of the French schoolteacher.

But the main issue missing from the grieving and anguish is the criminal role that Western states played in weaponizing these terrorist networks in the first place for their regime-change machinations in Syria and elsewhere.

That’s why Emmanuel Macron’s appeal to Russia to do more to fight terrorism is deserving of contempt. For the French state, among other NATO powers, was a sponsor of the very kind of jihadist terror that now haunts it. France is reaping a bitter harvest from seeds of terror that it and its NATO allies sowed in Syria.

When asked about the assassination of US President John F Kennedy in November 1963, the black civil rights leader Malcolm X retorted it was a case of “chickens coming to roost” – referring to nefarious intrigues and murderous skulduggery in foreign policy of American leaders coming back with domestic havoc. The problems facing Europe from jihadist terrorism are of the same bad karma engendered by criminal governments waging covert wars of regime change against sovereign nations.

The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/columnists/202010211080840321-nato-chickens-home-to-roost/

 

Read from top...