You are hereSyria

Syria


Syria News - Oct 10

 

Chemical weapons inspectors say they can meet tough deadline in Syria - The Washington Post


Inspectors in Syria may need cease-fires to reach chemical weapons - latimes.com


VIDEO: OPCW Press Conference on Syria - YouTube


VIDEO: OPCW's Syria inspectors: Footage and interviews - BelfastTelegraph.co.uk


VIDEO: Syria chemical weapons plant during UN inspection - YouTube

 

UN Chief Proposes Establishing Joint Mission with OPCW in Syria which Would Comprise some 100 Personnel - RIA Novosti

 

Russia, U.S. agree on how Syria should eliminate chemical arms: Putin - Yahoo News

 

Pentagon's role in Syria poison gas destruction likely - AP

 

On Syria, Questions About UN Trust Fund & Plans, on Cyprus; Ban Ki-moon Said to "See From One Eye" - Inner City Press

 

The Syrian Regime Secures a Critical Chemical Weapons Site near Aleppo - Instituto de Seguridad, Defensa y Estudios Internacionales (ISDEI)

 

Syrian regime's capture of al-Safira base near Aleppo aids U.N. chemical cleanup - UPI.com

 

Syrian opposition leader speaks on U.S.-Russian deal on chemical weapons - Alarabiya.net English - Front Page

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Charbel Denies Imminent Release of Lebanese Pilgrims held captive by rebels in Syria, Talks About Ongoing Negotiations - Naharnet


“Fr. Dall’Oglio is alive and is being treated well by his kidnappers” - Vatican Insider


France reveals two more journalists held in Syria - Yahoo News


Al-Qaeda affiliate detains Aleppo residents for protesting its presence in Syria - Al-Shorfa


Syria: Lone Protester Takes Stand on Raqqa Abductions - Institute for War and Peace Reporting 


ISIS after controlling Azaz, opens new Shariah court and Police station - ZAMAN 

 

Analyzing Events in Azaz - A Detailed Look At ISIS' Takeover - Brown Moses Blog

 

Kurdistan: ISIS attack on security base in Erbil was attempted prison break - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT

 

Syria rebels 'seize guard post on Jordan border' in Daraa region - Yahoo News Maktoob

 

VIDEO: Syrian Rebels Forces Advance Across Daraa Region - YouTube

 

Syria rebel shelling sparks oil refinery fire in Homs - FRANCE 24

 

Syria: Army of Islam Continues to Expand - Israel National News

 

VIDEO: Harakat Ahrar al-Sham release their first English language weekly news report - LiveLeak.com

 

Hezbollah, Iraqi militia capture Damascus suburb: opposition - Reuters

 

VIDEO: Video claiming to show Hezbollah fighters in Syria executing injured opposition fighters - YouTube

 

VIDEO: Over 30 insurgents surrender to the Syrian Army in Damascus - LiveLeak.com

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Turkey says not aiding Qaeda-linked Syrian rebels - hurriyetdailynews.com


Syrian Kurdish Leader Urges Turkey to End Support for Salafists - Al-Monitor


Growing Unease Over Turkish Jihadists in Syria - VOA


Turkey denies building wall on Syrian border despite locals' claim - Today's Zaman


Turkey reopens border checkpoints which allows the flow of support to rebel groups fighting in Syria - dailyhy.net


Saudi Arabia funds Syrian Islamist rebels, splits with U.S. - UPI.com

 

Saudi may fire Bandar over Syria: Report - irib.ir

 

Charity millions ‘going to Syrian terror groups, People giving money to help Syrian refugees are inadvertently supporting terrorism, the charity watchdog warns - Money Jihad

 

Iran rejects U.S. condition for joining Syria peace conference - Reuters

 

The Coalition Rejects Iran’s Participation in Geneva and Considers It an Occupier With Whom It Is Impossible to Negotiate - etilaf.org

 

Putin suggests large Muslim nations join Syria peace talks - Al Jazeera America

 

VIDEO: Syria trending toward radical jihadists, not moderate rebels' - Lavrov (EXCLUSIVE) - YouTube

 

VIDEO: Libyan PM: Libya is used to smuggle arms abroad - YouTube

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Syria’s Kurds Divided Over Geneva II Conference - Al-Monitor


US Wants Kurds to attend in Geneva meeting under Syria opposition council: official - Mesopotamische Gesellschaft 

 

Kurdish Groups Take Control In Northeast Syria - AINA

 

Son of Syrian Kurdish leader Saleh Muslim killed in fighting: Report - hurriyetdailynews.com

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Syria News - Oct 8

 

Kerry praises Assad for acting on Syria's chemical weapons in 'record time' (VIDEO) - CSMonitor.com

OPCW weapons inspectors say "Syrian authorities were cooperative", disabling warheads, aerial bombs and mixing equipment  - UPI.com


US State Dept Downplays ‘Praise’ for Assad Over Weapons Removal,  He cannot be part of a future government in Syria - RIA Novosti


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan slams Kerry's praise of Assad - TheHill

 

Russia calls for pressuring "Armed Opposition" to guarantee security of chemical investigators - Syrian Arab news agency

 

Who Attacked Ghouta?: Analysis Of Prior Alleged Chemical Attacks - whoghouta.blogspot.com

 

Lavrov, Kerry Hope to Hold Syria Geneva II Conference in Mid-November - RIA Novosti

 

Ban firmly "determined" to make Geneva II Syria Conf. happen - KUNA

 

Syrian opposition sets conditions for Geneva II: “no dialogue with criminal Assad regime” and Iran must not participate as “mediator” - Alarabiya.net

 

U.S. opens door to Iran taking part in Syria peace conference - Reuters

 

Syrian Officials Sound a Conciliatory Note Toward the Opposition - NYTimes.com

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

ISIS claims responsibility for attack in Iraqi Kurdistan's capital, says was in response to Barzani's support to Kurdish forces battling jihadists in Syria - ekurd


Explosions across Baghdad kill at least 38 people, Eight of the 10 blasts were in mainly Shi'ite districts - Yahoo News


Interview: Maliki Says Terrorism in Iraq 'Directly Related' to Syria - Al-Monitor


Turkey Builds Wall On Syria Border To Stop Illegal Crossings, Smugglers and rebel fighters cross the border undetected in many remote areas - AP

 

Kurdish National Council to hold talks with Turkish officials - hurriyetdailynews.com

 

Gunmen Gain Ground Among Lebanon Sunnis Emboldened by Syria War - Bloomberg

 

Syria: Golan Village Under Nusra’s Thumb - Al Akhbar English

 

Syrian Radical Islamist Forces Gain in Aleppo, “It is unlikely the FSA will hold its ground against the ISIS for long" - Al-Monitor

 

After heavy fighting, Syrian troops reopen key road to embattled northern city of Aleppo - The Washington Post

 

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria: al-Baghdadi Triumphant, Today ISIS persists in a state of outright disobedience to Al Qaeda leader Zawahiri - jihadica

 

Indictment: Saudi-American financed jihad in Somalia and Syria - Money Jihad

 

Syrian Army Kills Former Saudi Officer Linked to al-Nusra Front - Prensa Latina News Agency

 

Banksy Parodies Syrian Rebel in a Video Satire (VIDEO) - News.com.au

 

VIDEO: Kurdish YPG fighters protect Kurdish village, attacked by jihadi terrorists - LiveLeak.com

 

VIDEO: Syrian rebels beheading another citizen - LiveLeak.com

 

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

On the Side of Terror

  “Congressman, you have a noon meeting with a group of peace activists who want to talk with you about your position on Syria.  And I should warn you that there are some TV vans down in the parking lot.”

 

Syria News - Oct 7

 

Syria: FSA demand ISIS withdraw from Azaz and Homs - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT


VIDEO: General Strike, Protests Staged against Continued Military Presence in Aazaz by Militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant - Al-Ayyam


VIDEO: Azaz Rally Supports FSA and Northern Storm Militia - Demand ISIS Leave Town - YouTube


VIDEO: ISIS Arrest Dozen FSA Supporters at Azaz Freedom Rally - YouTube


More Border-Region Clashes Between ISIS, FSA & Kurdish YPG - EA WorldView

 

Jihadist Sources Describe Border-Region Fighting Between Kurds, ISIS Near Atmeh Village - EA WorldView

 

Human Rights Association IHD delegation to Syrian Kurdistan - ekurd

 

ISIS or al-Nusra? Lebanese Jihadis Waiting For a Victor - Al Akhbar English

 

VIDEO: Fissures grow among rebel ranks as hard-line Islamists expand Syrian war role - PBS NewsHour

 

Christians under threat in Syria as Islamist extremists gain influence - The Washington Post

 

Few Tunisian women waging Syria 'sex jihad': Official - Ahram Online

 

Polish photographer kidnapped in Syria `alive`: Ministry - zee news

 

VIDEO: Young Kurd being slaughtered by Al Nusra - LiveLeak.com

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Syria: SNC, FSA resolve disagreement over Geneva II - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT


FSA Announces Support for the Coalition as a Civilian and Political Leadership And Sole Legitimate Representative of the Syrian People - etilaf.org


Statement by Supreme Military Council in the Presence of the Coalition's President - etilaf.org


FSA urges unity after several prominent rebel brigades rejected the opposition National Coalition - Sarawak


FSA Chief Idris Discusses Developments with Military Battalion Leaders, Lays Future Plans for Freeing Cities and Protecting Civilians - etilaf.org

 

VIDEO: The future of the Free Syrian Army, with Free Syrian Army spokesman, professor Fawaz Gerges and Robert Fisk - Al Jazeera

 

Syria: On the frontline with the Free Syrian Army in Aleppo (VIDEO) - FRANCE 24

 

FSA founder probably killed in Syria - irib.ir

 

Life & Death Of Abo Gamal, "Media Mujahid" - EA WorldView

 

Syrian government forces reach agreement to end shelling of Syrian village in exchange for the surrender of dozens of opposition fighters - NPR

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Chemical experts begin destroying Syria's weapons arsenal - Reuters


Syria Disarmament Mission to Involve Up to 100 Experts - RIA Novosti


Lavrov: UN Team Did Not Visit Khan al-Assal Chemical Attack Site - almanar.com


UN's Failure to Go to Khan Al Asal Unexplained (VIDEO) - Inner City Press

 

Saudi black op team behind Damascus chem weapons attack – diplomatic sources (VIDEO) - RT News

 

Making Sense Of Russia's Evolving Narrative For The August 21st Sarin Attacks - Brown Moses Blog

 

VIDEO (Part 1): Mother Agnes Discusses Evidence of Chemical Attack Videos Fabrication with al-Jadeed TV - LiveLeak.com

 

VIDEO: Part 2: Mother Agnes Discusses Evidence of Chemical Attack Videos Fabrication with al-Jadeed TV - LiveLeak.com

 

BBC Media Fabrications on Alleged Incendiary Bomb Attack in Aleppo, Syria - Global Research

 

Turkey Aiding Flow of Islamist Fighters Into Syria, Will "Pay Dearly" for Rebel Support: Assad - Bloomberg

 

VIDEO: German Report: Erdogan supporting jihadists in Syria - Syrian Truth | English

 

VIDEO: Turkish Students Confront SNC Ex-Presidents Sieda and Sabra at Istanbul Bilgi University - YouTube

 

German intelligence says Syrian jets parked in Iran - AFP

 

Saudis fear tide of Syria war turning against their interests - FT.com

 

VIDEO: Interview With The Syrian Electronic Army - LiveLeak.com

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Nonviolent Progress in Syria Despite the Violent "Opposition"

By Ken Meyercord

One thing about the ongoing crisis in Syria almost never mentioned in our media - even the alternative media - is the role of the nonviolent opposition to the Baathist regime. After the uprising began in the spring of  2011, the government engaged this opposition in discussions about reform of the Syrian political system. Out of these discussions came a new constitution, approved in February 2012 by 90% of the electorate in a popular referendum with a 57% turnout rate.

Prior to the new constitution, Syria was officially a one-party state: the Baathist party, to which the current and former president belonged, being that party. In 2007 the nomination by the Syrian parliament of Bashar al-Assad as President of Syria was approved by 98% of the electorate with a 96% turnout rate - just the sort of mandate you would expect of an authoritarian regime. Under the new constitution Syria became a multiparty state; elections to parliament were open to any political party.

In May of last year parliamentary elections under the new constitution were held. There were two blocs contending for the vote: the pro-government National Progressive Front, comprised of 6 parties, and the oppositional Popular Front for Change and Liberation, which included two parties. Of the 250 seats in the assembly, the Baathists won 134 seats with 34 seats distributed among the other parties in the National Front, including 6 seats for the two factions of the Communist Party. The opposition shared 5 seats. Seventy-seven members of the new parliament were not affiliated with any party. The constitution stipulates that at least half of the members of the assembly must be workers or farmers.

In other words, the Syrian parliament encompasses a diversity of opinion we can only dream of seeing in our own Congress - quite a coup for the nonviolent opposition. An election for President is scheduled for next May, quite a concession for a man our media labels a "thug", "dictator", "tyrant", especially as most governments, including our own, when facing a stressful situation become more authoritarian (e.g., Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus, Palmer Raids of the 1920s, the Patriot Act, etc.) . It can be argued that the Syrian peaceful revolution is the most successful transition to democracy of the Arab Spring. What more does the violent opposition want? No wonder they have to rely on foreign Jihadists to do their fighting!

Critics of the Syrian regime will claim the elections were fraudulent, or, as the Obama administration put it, "ludicrous". I have no idea whether this is the case and would welcome the views of those better informed than me. I suspect critics of the elections seldom offer any supporting evidence for their claims. Every country grapples with seeing that their elections are fair (cf. Voter ID laws). Before we dismiss the newfound democracy in Syria as a sham, maybe we should give it a chance, especially as the lives of thousands of people - mostly Syrian but perhaps some of our own - are at risk. If the administration's goal in Syria is regime change, maybe it should wait and see whether the Syrian people effect it in a peaceful manner next spring or, if the incumbent is re-elected, accept the fact that democracy doesn't always work out the way we would like.

Postscript: If you didn't know about recent political developments in Syria, don't feel bad. I attended an event the other day where none of the speakers - neither Cole Bockenfeld and Stephen McInerney of the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) nor Shadi Hamid, Fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution - were aware of the elections held under the new Syrian constitution.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ken Meyercord produces a public access TV show called Worlddocs which "brings the world to the people of the Washington, DC area through documentaries you won't see broadcast on corporate TV." He has a Master's in Middle East History from the American University of Beirut.

Syria News - Oct 4

 

UN Urges Immediate Humanitarian Access to Syria - ABC News


Encouraging' progress in dismantling Syrian chemical arsenal -U.N. - Reuters


Saudi Arabia scrapped U.N. speech in protest over Syria and Israel - Reuters


U.S. Moves on Syria, Iran Anger Saudi Arabia - WSJ.com

 

US-Israel rift widening over Syria, Iran: Analyst - PressTV

 

With Syria, Iran, has Obama broken the mold in US foreign policy? Is it the first glimmer of wisdom in the dark tunnel of past disastrous interventions? - CSMonitor.com

 

Turkey Renews Permit to Send Troops to Syria - ABC News

 

Syria Kurdish delegation visits Turkey - Kurdpress News Aganecy

 

Hezbollah Withdraws 1,200 Troops from Syria - Israel National News

 

Tunisian president admits hundreds of Tunisians travelling to fight in Syria - SANA

 

HRW Report: Tens of thousands of political prisoners in Syria - AFP

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Syria rebels try to end infighting near Turkish border - Reuters


ISIS Maps Emirate Borders In Syria - Al-Monitor


Watching Rebels Fight Among Themselves for the City of Raqqa - Syria News


Special arms for Syria rebels fall into Nusra hands - THE DAILY STAR


Syria: “The Army of Islam”; Saudi Arabia’s Greatest Export - Global Research


Syrian Sufis Divided As Salafist Influence Grows - Al-Monitor

 

Syrian army regains control of areas near Aleppo - Times of Oman

 

Aleppo Stalemate Exhausts Syrian Rebels - huffingtonpost.com

 

Al-Qaeda-linked ISIS leader, deputy killed in Latakia west Syria - PressTV

 

VIDEO: Takfiri militants in Syria admit to suffering heavy losses near Latakia - YouTube

 

PHOTO: Qaeda terrorists destroy statue of Harun al-Rashid caliph in al-Raqqa - SANA

 

VIDEO: ISIS Van Travels Around Raqqa Streets To Preach To The Public - YouTube

 

VIDEO: Syrian Rebels announce the formation of two new fighting units - LiveLeak.com

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Who Attacked Ghouta?: Sarin and the Syrian Opposition - whoghouta.blogspot.com


Who Attacked Ghouta?: Liwa Al Islam Videos - Improved Quality - whoghouta.blogspot.com


Who Attacked Ghouta?: Evidence Contradicting a Regime Attack - whoghouta.blogspot.com

 

Who Attacked Ghouta?: Chemical Analysis - whoghouta.blogspot.com

 

Who Attacked Ghouta?: Reliability of Using Munitions to Determine Culpability - whoghouta.blogspot.com

 

Who Attacked Ghouta?: What Happened in Moadamiyah? - whoghouta.blogspot.com

 

Who Attacked Ghouta?: Summary of Conclusions - whoghouta.blogspot.com

 

Kurdish Sources Deny Any Knowledge Of Videos Showing Liwa al-Islam Launching The August 21st Sarin Attack - Brown Moses Blog

 

VIDEO: Two phone calls affirm the use of chemical weapons in Homs by terrorists - LiveLeak.com

 

VIDEO: UN official: No sarin gas detected in West Ghouta environment, not a single dead body - LiveLeak.com

 

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Syria News - Oct 3

 

Syria: Reports emerge of massacres of Alawites by rebels, tales of horrible atrocities against mostly women, children and the elderly - theguardian.com


Syrian Islamists raid Aramaic-speaking Christian town of Sednaya: report - Washington Times


Syria: Christian bludgeoned to death by Islamist rebels; Muslim friends spared - BARNABUS FUND


Assyrian Church Head: Italian Priest Dall' Oglio Missing In Syria ‘Still Alive' - Christian News Agency


Al Qaeda's affiliates ISIS and Al Nusra continue joint operations in Syria - The Long War Journal

 

Jabhat al-Nusra elements wanted in Iraq on terrorism charges: official - Al-Shorfa

 

Syria chemical weapons: used by terrorists, smuggled into Iraq for possible provocations – Russian FM - The Voice of Russia

 

Syria’s Top Five Insurgent Leaders and Other Powerful Commanders - AConservativeEdge

 

VIDEO: Liwa al-Islam’s honcho explaining why they had to try a different approach from FSA and the SNC - YouTube

 

VIDEO: Leader of Liwa Al Islam and the Army of Islam: Let's Bring Back Caliphate in Syria & Crush the Shiite Heads - LiveLeak.com

 

Mother Agnes: Syrian opposition activists fabricated the videos showing victims of the Damascus chemical attack - BBC News

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Al-Qaeda-linked group advances on FSA rebels near Turkey - THE DAILY STAR


Clashes Between Insurgents, Kurds In Idlib - EA WorldView


CIA ramping up covert training program for moderate Syrian rebels - The Washington Post


Al-Nusra assassinated Mohmmad Morsi Al-Zubi , the secular FSA  leader of Al-Yarmouk Battalion - Syrian Truth | English

 

Free Syrian Army denies secret negotiations with Assad regime - middleeastmonitor.com

 

Syria's FSA Claims Assad Will Hide Chemical Weapons - albanytribune.com

 

Kurdish Leader Denies Syrian Kurds Seek Secession - Al-Monitor

 

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Syria News - Oct 2

 

ISIS fights back against claims on many fronts - THE DAILY STAR


Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Lashes out at Critics - Syria Comment


Rift Between Islamist Rebels, Syrian National Coalition Deepens - Al-Monitor


Foreign extremists dominate Syria fight - The Washington Post


Syria: Al-Qaeda Branch Battles Kurds, Threatens Ankara - Al Akhbar English

 

Azaz: War to escalate between FSA rebels and al-Qaeda affiliate ISIS - ZAMAN

 

Sunnis in N. Syria protest Al Qaida’s Taliban-like repression - World Tribune

 

ISIS: Insult Muhammad and be Executed- Israel National News

 

Al-Qaeda closer to declare its rule in Aleppo: report - alalam.ir

 

Al Qaida ISIS takes responsibility for Reyhanli bombings in Turkey last May- defence.pk

 

Al Nusra Front, an al Qaeda branch, and the FSA Yarmouk Brigade jointly seize Jordan border crossing - Washington Times

 

Lost in the Pipeline: Tracking Jihadists From Turkey to Syria - Al-Monitor

 

Al Qaida militias recruiting Sunnis in Jordan to fight Syria’s Assad - World Tribune

 

Syrian jihadists wreak havoc as violence spreads into Iraq - theguardian.com

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Syrian opposition may try to use chemical weapons again - Lavrov - The Voice of Russia


Russia conducts its own investigation of chemical weapons attack in Syria to identify those responsible – Lavrov - The Voice of Russia


Turkish Court Investigates Syrian Jihadist Use of Chemicals, The first trial session will be in Adana on Oct. 30 - Al-Monitor


Syrian official at UN accuses US, Britain, France of blocking info on chemical weapons attack - Fox News


Is Liwaa al-Islam under leader Zahran Alloush the jihadist force most likely to have conducted the Aug 21 chemical attack? - Global Research

 

VIDEO: Liwa Al Islam Rebels Confirming to Have Sarin Gas (English Subtitles) - YouTube

 

Saudi Arabia helped engineer the Army of Islam, a consolidation of 50 rebel groups under Liwa Al Islam leader Zahran Alloush - Reuters

 

Head of Army of Islam Zahran Alloush: "Islam can't come to rule through democracy" - Syria 24 English

 

FaceBook blocks Islam Army page, 24 thousand followers within 24 hours: Army Leader says - ZAMAN

 

VIDEO: Total of 43 Islamist Groups Unite under Newly Formed "Army of Islam" in Syria - YouTube

 

VIDEO: Al-Jazeera Interview with Liwa al-Islam Brigade Commander Zahran Alloush Last June - YouTube

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Syria's National Coalition agrees to participate in Geneva 2 on certain terms - The Voice of Russia


West may fail to bring Syrian opposition to Geneva talks in time - Lavrov - RT News


'Reasonable' Armed Syrian Rebels Could Join Peace Talks, Russia Says - AP


Lavrov: "Our Relationship With The U.S. Is Far Greater Than Any Grievances" - EA WorldView


Syria: Iran may attend Geneva II, say sources - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT

 

Turkey obstacle to Syria peace conference, says Syrian FM- hurriyetdailynews.com

 

Turkey parliament to debate a government motion authorising military strikes against Syria - Fox News

 

PYD Leader Skeptical of Kurdish Agreement With Syrian Opposition - Rudaw

 

Majority of Syria oppositions against Kurds’ rights: analyst - Kurdpress News Aganecy

 

Energy independence is the best response to Syria crisis - star-telegram.com

 

VIDEO: Website shows fake videos produced by Syria militants - LiveLeak.com

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Using Women Fighters to Win in Syria - aina.org

 

VIDEO: German Report: How Wealthy Saudi Sheikhs are Exploiting Syria's Girls [English Subtitles] - YouTube

 

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Time for Proof on Syrian CW Attack

Memorandum to: Secretary of State John Kerry and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

From: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

We applaud your moves toward a peaceful resolution of the Syria crisis that will lead to the destruction of all chemical stockpiles possessed by the Syrian Government.

At the same time, we strongly believe the world has the right to know the truth about the chemical attack near Damascus. We note that both sides continue to claim possession of compelling evidence regarding the true perpetrators of this crime.

Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

We therefore call upon Russia and the United States to release all the intelligence and corroborative information related to the 21 August chemical attack so that the international community can make a judgment regarding what is actually known and not known.

We the undersigned — former intelligence, military and federal law enforcement officers who have collectively dedicated, cumulatively, hundreds of years to making the American people more secure — hereby register our dismay at the continued withholding of this vital evidence.

The issue is one of great importance, as the United States has within recent memory gone to war based on allegations of a threat that proved to be groundless. The indictment of Syria on possibly unsubstantiated claims of war crimes could easily lead to another unnecessary armed conflict that would produce disastrous results for the entire region, and indeed the entire world.

We recognize that when it comes to intelligence, there are many gray areas, as well as evidence that can be subject to interpretation. We further believe, based on our own experience and knowledge of how intelligence collection and analysis actually works, that if there is a clear case to be made – either way – to identify the perpetrators of the attack it has not yet been publicly revealed.

If there is not a credible case, neither the United States nor Russia should be claiming that they know who carried out the attack. We note, for example, the specific claim made by you, Secretary Kerry, that 1,429 civilians had died in the chemical attack. Yet the politically impartial non-governmental organization Medecins Sans Frontieres, which was on the ground in Syria, provided a much smaller figure.

Foreign Minister Lavrov, you have questioned the sources of the chemicals and possible delivery systems, describing the alleged Sarin agent as “homemade.” You have suggested that the chemicals used in the attack were likely in the hands of the insurgents but have cited little hard evidence, and an intelligence assessment you provided to Secretary Kerry has not been made public.

We recognize that protection of intelligence sources and methods requires that some information will be off limits or must be sanitized, but if there is a genuine case to be made, we believe you owe it to the world to make that case now.

If Washington actually has evidence to demonstrate indisputably that August 21st was carried out by the government in Damascus, let us see it. If Moscow can demonstrate otherwise, let us see it.

Respectfully submitted for the Steering Group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity:

Philip Giraldi, CIA, Operations Officer (ret.)

Larry Johnson, CIA & State Department (ret.)

W. Patrick Lang, Senior Executive and Defense Intelligence Officer, DIA (ret.)

Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA analyst (ret.)

Elizabeth Murray, former Deputy NIO for the Near East, National Intelligence Council (ret.)

Todd Pierce, US Army Judge Advocate General (ret.)

Coleen Rowley, former Chief Division Counsel & FBI Special Agent (ret.)

Ann Wright, Col., US Army (ret); Foreign Service Officer (ret.)

This memorandum appeared first at consortiumnews.com.

Tuesday, Oct. 8th - National Teach-In on Syria and U.S. Policy in the Region

6:30 to 7:30 pm (east coast)
Live Streaming at http://www.busboysandpoets.com/videos/live-streaming

With developments unfolding rapidly, it is still uncertain how things will play out in Syria.

A few weeks ago our nation was on the brink of yet another deadly military mistake. At the last moment, a threat of a U.S. missile attack against Syria was averted as the justifiable concern about chemical weapons moved away from a military incursion into a diplomatic process. The raging civil war has not yet stopped, but the massive outpouring of anti-war sentiment from people in every corner of the country and around the world prevented this new attack, and is helping to slow the flow of arms into Syria. Our victory was clear, but our work is far from over.

Will there be a negotiated resolution to the armed conflict inside Syria, or will the fighting escalate into an even broader regional war?
How did the peace movement in the U.S. and world-wide stop Washington from proceeding with military action in Syria, and how can we build on our success to change U.S. policy in the region?
What's happening now, on the ground in Syria and on the diplomatic front? What is the U.S. interest in Syria and how does this connect to U.S. policy in the Middle East more generally?
 
These are some of the important issues that a dynamic panel of people will address in the National Teach-In on Syria. You are invited to watch the teach-in on line as we dig deeper into the issues and learn the lessons.

We are happy to join with other national groups to sponsor this live streamed panel on Tuesday, October 8th:
Phyllis Bennis - Director, New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies
Stephen Miles - Coordinator, Win Without War
Nick Berning - Communications Director, MoveOn.org
Rep. Barbara Lee (invited) - 13th Cong. District, CA
moderated by Judith LeBlanc - Field Director, Peace Action

Watch this important discussion with others! This is a moment to bring people together, to take our organizing to a new level.
- Invite people to your home to watch the teach-in together.
- If you are at a school or college get a room and organize a screening.
- Ask your local library or religious institution to set up a public viewing.
- Ask you local community cable station to run the program live or taped.
- Use this teach-in as an opportunity to talk with others about how to strengthen the work of the anti-war movement.

We realize the time of this event might make it hard for some folks on the West Coast to see the broadcast, but we'll be sending out information about how you can access this event after October 8th.

This teach-in is organized and sponsored by the following groups that have been working together on Syria:
Peace Action
Win Without War
Institute for Policy Studies
CodePink
Just Foreign Policy
Progressive Democrats of America
American Friends Service Committee
Peace and Justice Resource Center
U.S. Labor Against the War
United for Peace and Justice
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Women's Action for New Directions

French were 'hours' from military strikes on Syria before phone call from Obama

From The Independent:

French President Francois Hollande called off military strikes against Syria on 31 August following a phone call from the US President only hours before fighter jets were set to take off, a French weekly magazine has revealed.

The report in the Nouvel Observateur shows how close the West came to launching a war on Syria over the Syrian regime’s presumed use of chemical weapons in a Damascus suburb, before Washington backed down. President Obama announced in a televised speech on 31 August, after informing a “stunned” Mr Hollande, that he would seek a Congressional vote, effectively lifting the military threat.

Rafale aircraft were readied that Saturday for take-off and official statements prepared in anticipation of the strikes, according to the Nouvel Observateur. “Everything made us think that D-Day had arrived,” a French official is quoted as saying. The magazine said that “this incredible misunderstanding lasted until the end of the afternoon,” at 6.15pm, when President Obama telephoned Mr Hollande, who was expecting to confirm the military orders just after the phone call. The strikes had been intended to start at 3am later that night, targeting missile batteries and command centres of the 4th Armoured Division in charge of chemical weapons.

Welcome to the New Syria Reprise

syriaflagThe destruction of Syria, in many forms, is proceeding according to plan and on time.  When the Western powers and their pals, the oil oligarchs, target your country, it's time to run just as fast as you can.

I wrote Welcome to the New Syria on August 27, 2012.  Based on known events and outcomes from the UN-NATO military action against Libya, I offered a number of predictions about the governance of the New Syria presuming a victory by Syrian rebels.  At that time, the United States, Turkey, the United Kingdom, France and Gulf oligarchies, Qatar in particular, were full of themselves for their destruction of Libya in the name of democracy and progress.  Given the Libya template, it seemed obvious the following would occur in Syria.

Syria News - Sep 30

 

VIDEO: Unverified enhanced clearer video showing Liwa al-Islam rebels with gas masks firing missiles allegedly on the night of Aug 21 (Part 1) - YouTube


VIDEO: Unverified enhanced clearer video showing Liwa al-Islam rebels with gas masks firing missiles allegedly on the night of Aug 21 (Part 2) - YouTube


VIDEO: Unverified enhanced clearer video showing Liwa al-Islam rebels with gas masks firing missiles allegedly on the night of Aug 21 (Part 3) - YouTube

 

VIDEO: Liwa Al Islam promo video - YouTube

 

Lavrov says Syrias rebels have chemical arms, proof mounting - The Voice of Russia

 

Chemical weapons officials say coordination with Syrian government has been ‘efficient’ - The Washington Post

 

French president Hollande was 'hours' from military strikes on Syria before phone call from Obama telling him to hold fire - The Independent

 

U.S. Moves on Syria, Iran Anger Saudi Arabia - WSJ.com

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Assad says he is willing to hold a dialogue with the political opposition but not with armed groups trying to overthrow his government - ABC News


VIDEO: President Al Assad's interview with Italian Rai News - YouTube


Syria govt ‘ready to go to Geneva for dialogue, not to hand over power to anyone’ – Syrian FM - RT News


Jarba: Our participation in Geneva depends on the implementation of Geneva and the Arab League reviewing the negotiations - etilaf.org


The Free Syrian Army is holding talks with Assad's senior staff - The Independent


‘Army of Islam’ Coalition Established in Syria, Forty-three Islamist groups unite to create Army of Islam - Israel National News

 

Syrian militants fight al-Qaeda-linked group, FSA Storm of the North Brigade declares war on the ISIS terrorists - PressTV

 

ISIS arrests FSA supporters in Azaz, near Turkey - ZAMAN

 

Kurds defeated by ISIS Islamists near Syria's Afrin - aranews.org

 

Report: Radicals from Islamic state of Iraq, Sham responsible for terrorist attacks of Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan - ekurd

 

Turkish youths joining war in Syria, report says - Today's Zaman

 

Islamist Syrian rebels claim to capture crossing on Jordanian border - latimes.com

 

At least 12 allegedly dead as Syrian regime hits school in air strike: activists - Reuters

 

VIDEO: ISIS Terrorists Vandalizing the Church of the Lady of the Annunciation in al-Raqqa - LiveLeak.com

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

It is not an hoax: Muslim Women Forced to have Sex with Syria Rebels in the Name of Islam - TheBlaze.com


Report: Kidnapped women forced to make fake ‘sexual jihad’ claims on Syrian state TV - Alarabiya.net 


VIDEO: Kidnapped women forced to make fake 'sexual jihad' claims on Syrian state TV - LiveLeak.com

 

Qaeda tells Syria schoolgirls to wear Islamic clothes: NGO - Fox News

 

Syrian Woman Torches Herself After Being Raped in Turkey Camp (VIDEO) - Press TV

 

Syrian refugees in Turkish camps ask 'are we wild animals?' - JPost

 

Western Female Furies for Jihad - Israel National News

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Syria News - Sep 28

 

Obama and Iran's Rouhani hold historic phone call, US President says nuclear deal possible - Yahoo News


VIDEO: Barack Obama Reveals Phone Call with Iranian President Rouhani, Hails ‘Huge Victory’ by on Syria Chemical Weapons - YouTube


TRANSCRIPT: President Obama’s Sept. 27 remarks on Iran - The Washington Post


Rouhani tweets details of Obama phone call - NBC World News


Iranian president calls US a ‘great’ nation and says Obama struck new tone on Iran - The Washington Post


Iran's Rouhani says he wants quick results from nuclear talks, would like to see a deal with world powers in three to six months - Reuters


VIDEO: Iran committed to nuclear talks in good faith: Rouhani - PressTV


Iran, U.N. nuclear agency to meet again after "constructive" talks - Yahoo News

 

Iran wants active role in Syria peace talks: Rouhani - Yahoo News

 

U.S. in touch with Israel about Obama talk with Iranian leader - Reuters

 

Netanyahu seeks to thwart love affair between Iran and West, but remains handcuffed by 'allies' at home - Haaretz

 

Israel warns US over Iran’s ‘charm offensive’ - FRANCE 24

 

Israeli Media: Iranian President Rouhani's "Charm Offensive" Can't Be Trusted - EA WorldView

 

Israel TV: Iran will have enough uranium for a bomb in 2 months - The Times of Israel

 

'Iran already has a nuclear bomb,' Israeli paper claims - The Times of Israel

 

Israel’s Notorious Spymaster Becomes a Dissident - The New Yorker

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

UN Security Council Votes to Eliminate Syria's Chemical Weapons - ABC News


Text of the UN Security Council resolution on SyriaVoices - Voices


U.S. and Russia Say Majority of Syrian Chemical Arsenal Is “Unweaponized” - TIME.com


UN experts probing 7 alleged Syria chemical attacks, including new ones after Aug 21 - AFP


Syrian National Coalition chief Jarba says extremists “stealing revolution,” blames the regime for supporting them - AFP


Jarba: Extremism is a Creation of the Regime, International Positions Towards the Chemical Weapons Massacres Are Illogical - etilaf.org


Summary of  Al-Jarba speech delivered to the expanded Friends of Syria at the United Nations - etilaf.org

 

VIDEO: Syrian National Coalition chief Jarba Press Conference in DC - YouTube


Syria rebels struggle to rally practical backing on U.N. stage - Reuters

 

Car bomb kills 30 in town north of Syrian capital - Yahoo News

 

In Raqqa, largest city held by Syrian rebels, Islamists provide electricity, bread, and order - McClatchy

 

VIDEO: ISIS Terrorists Raise al-Qaeda's Flag Over al-Raqqa's Churches after Vandalizing them - YouTube

 

Qaeda Affiliate in Syria ISIS Grants FSA 48 Hours to Disarm - almanar.com

 

Specter of sectarianism rears up as Syrian rebels gang up on Kurds - InterAksyon.com

 

Al-Nusra Front forging al-Qaida base in Syria - JPost

 

Saudi Kingdom demands all-out support for Syria fighters - Arab News

 

Saudi Arabia and the Syrian Brotherhood - Middle East Institute

 

What is Turkey’s Role In Syria’s Islamic Opposition? - Al-Monitor

 

Turkey denies accusations of providing assistance to Jabhat al-Nusra organisation - Trend.Az

 

Qatar ‘loses clout in Arab politics’ - GulfNews.com

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Report: Arab men marrying female Syrian refugees, including girls aged 12-16 - MEMRI

 

Syria: Tunisian sex slave 'married 152 jihadists' - ANSAMed.it

 

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

College Protests Against Absence of War Led by Professors

Come gather round people wherever you roam.  And admit that the bullshit around you has grown.

Students used to get out of tests and assignments by explaining to sympathetic professors that they had been busy protesting the war on Vietnam.  The times they are a changin.

Today college professors lead teach-ins to protest the absence of an all-out U.S. war on Syria.  Back then, the public and the government trailed behind the activists.  Now the public has grown enlightened, and in a significant but limited way won over the government, blocking the missile strikes, but it's not just the U.S. President who looks mad enough to spit over the casus belli interruptus.  Professors are pissed.

The University of Virginia's law school has another law school next door belonging to the U.S. Army.  The University has built a research "park" next door to the Army's "Ground Intelligence Center."  State funds are drying up, and the Pentagon's tap has been left all the way open.  This Central Virginian military industrial academic complex is where Washington finally had to turn to find anyone willing to pretend the famous aluminum tubes in Iraq might be for scary, scary nukes. In defense of that record, this week is Iraq War Beautification Week at the University of Virginia's Miller Center, always a gung-ho proponent of militarism.

Much of this is expected and typical of U.S. academia these days.  But the promotions of attacks on Syria have become slicker and more insidious.  Here's an announcement of an event held on Thursday:

Teach-In on Syria & Fundraiser for Refugees
Thursday, Sept 26, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
University of Virginia: Nau 101
Moderator: Joshua M. White, History
Panelists: Ahmed H. al-Rahim, Religious Studies, "Islamist Ideologies in Syria"
Hanadi al-Samman, MESALC, "The Syrian Revolution and the Plight of Refugees Today"
Jonah Schulhofer-Wohl, Politics, "Civil War in Syria"
Elizabeth Thompson, History, "Religion and War since 1913"
David Waldner, Politics, "Syria, Before: Dictatorship and the Growth of Public Opposition to the Regime"
And a film presentation on the refugee experience
Co-sponsored by the Arab Student Organization

This announcement doesn't advertise a pro-war event aimed at promoting the deaths of large numbers of people.  Peace groups sent around this announcement.  I sent it around.  I attended.  And here's what happened:

Thompson spoke well about World War I and sat silently as her colleagues promoted a new war as barbaric as what she described from a hundred years earlier.

Waldner described the early, non-violent Arab Spring in Syria, breaking into tears, and then sat silently as his colleagues pushed for greater violence, using his stories of early nonviolence to justify it.  (Somehow the opposite never happens: we never have to justify nonviolent activism on the grounds that its participants once killed a lot of people.)

The other panelists demanded more weapons for Syrian rebels, more U.S. military involvement, more war, and the violent overthrow of the government.

Students sat there silently.  Professors in the audience who say they oppose war sat there silently and told each other afterwards that their complaints about what just happened should remain confidential.  It wouldn't be polite to speak up. 

I spoke up at the event.  I questioned the panelists' fantasies about the glory of violence, their willingness to see many more people die in order to overthrow a government that would not thereby be replaced with something better. 

Schulhofer-Wohl said that U.S. weapons would overwhelm the government of Syria and its Russian backers.  I pointed out that the Russians have more weapons too, but this professor clearly thinks this is another Cold War and that this time Russia will give in easily and cheaply, there will be no blowback, and the pawns in the game will all benefit.

Or, rather, the evil of one side of the war justifies the other side, and the consequences be damned.

Students sat there silently.

We can laugh at academia marginalizing itself.  We can celebrate the greater wisdom of the masses.  But these professors, speaking in a building where a former CIA "historian" now works, are having their way.  The CIA is arming the war in Syria and escalating it, against the will of the U.S. public.  Students are being subtly indoctrinated with acceptance of war and with contempt for democracy at one stroke.

UVA founder Thomas Jefferson would be outraged, unless someone told the old slavery profiteer how much money wars make for a certain little group of special people.  Then he'd understand perfectly.  When UVA's Dean of Arts and Sciences was promoting war on Libya, she held up Jefferson's own war on Libya as a model.

This is our heritage, boys and girls.  And its days are numbered.  People are not going to stand for it much longer.  Academia is going to have to accept it that soon they'll be drenched to the bone.

Some of those silent sitting students have brains in their heads.  Their professors forget that sometimes.

 

##

 

Dear David Swanson,

Thanks for coming to the Syria Teach-In and for challenging the pro-war views of two panelists.  Although they voiced their support for a military strike, I did not read the event as a pro-war rally.  Most of the hour was spent describing the suffering of the people.  It was an event for the refugees, and for paying attention to their plight, and for collecting humanitarian aid for them.   I agree with you that the silence of the crowd was puzzling.  I'd expected them to have more questions about the needs and status of the people themselves.
 
I am disappointed that you have chosen to distort the event to your list and to readers of War Is A Crime.   I got the idea for the teach-in as a response to the blatant hypocrisy of our own President Obama who responded to deaths of children in the Ghouta with a pledge to kill more people.   He appealed to Americans who are not even aware of the suffering, of the humanity of Syrians.  The Teach-In succeeded, I think, in redressing that.  If we care about Syrians, we must respond to their suffering, not divert it into a proxy for battle with other Powers.  And yet you have done just that.   I am very sorry that you decided to sabotage the effort of people who share your views.   I personally remain unconvinced by the logic of a military strike, but at this event-- intended to focus attention on the Syrian people--  I didn't want to divert the conversation into one about Americans.  I cannot speak for the other panelists, but I feel you unfairly cast me as a collaborator in the war effort you fantasize.
 
I welcome your peacemaker series and I believe we should mount another event on Grounds to debate American militarism and proposals for intervention in the Middle East.  It is too bad that you have turned the opportunity for  an ongoing public conversation into acrimony.  You are not practicing the peaceful methods that you preach.
 
If you wish to redress your unfairness, you may post this note to your blog.
 
Elizabeth F. Thompson
Associate Professor of History
University of Virginia
 
##
 
Be happy to post this and would love to see a better event
Am also delighted to hear that you hold beliefs that your silence did not reveal to anyone
I hope you will speak up and I would love to help in any way
I don't think you can accept a war that will produce more refugees while claiming to be focused on the refugees
I think you need a consistent position
Peace

David

##

here's your post
http://davidswanson.org/node/4165
http://warisacrime.org/content/college-protests-against-absence-war-led-professors
 

i am sincerely sorry that good intentions aren't visible in a bad event

your comments were quite good, but your ensuing silence just persuaded the students watching you that a smart person would find no reason to speak out against warmongering

Syria News - Sep 27

 

 

US, Russia Agree To U.N. Resolution On Syria's Chemical Weapons - NPR


VIDEO: No ‘Chapter 7 measures’ in Syria draft resolution – Lavrov - RT News


Most of Syria’s toxins can be destroyed more easily than officials initially thought - The Washington Post


Russia: Syria’s chemical weapons must be destroyed inside country, ready to help guard stockpiles and factories - RT News


Lavrov: Homemade sarin was used in near Damascus, We have evidence that the type of sarin was same than in an Aleppo but of higher concentration - RT News


Assad Says Syria Gave Russia Evidence Rebels Possess Chemical Weapons, His government has confessions from rebels who brought them - huffingtonpost

 

TRANSCRIPT: President al-Assad interview with TeleSUR TV- SANA

 

Russian government’s insistence that chemical weapons were used by rebel forces places it on the fringes of a serious debate - Human Rights Watch

 

The Syria Chemical Weapons Attack: Human Rights Watch is Manipulating the Facts - Global Research

 

A Chemical Weapons Expert Responds To The Article "Questions Plague UN Report on Syria"  Brown Moses Blog

 

Launchers For Munitions Linked To The August 21st Sarin Attack Filmed At Mezzeh Airbase (VIDEO) - Brown Moses Blog

 

Rockets Used in Damascus CW Attack Fired from Rebel Makeshift Flatbeds, Not Syrian Military Vehicles ( VIDEO) -Land Destroyer

 

Things That Are Not True - Only Rebels Use Weapons Mounted On Trucks With Non-Military Colours - Brown Moses Blog

 

‘Staged and scripted’: Mother Agnes finalizes chronology of Damascus chemical attack - RT Op-Edge

 

VIDEO: Interview by the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to The Washington Post, Syria [ENG] - YouTube

 

TRANSCRIPT: Full text of Sergei Lavrov's interview to the Washington Post - The Voice of Russia

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Syria crisis: Coalition of powerful rebel groups rejects Western-backed opposition, It includes Qaeda's affiliate Nusra Front - Independent


Islamist Groups Declare Opposition to National Coalition and US Strategy, Who are these people? - Syria Comment


VIDEO (Arabic): Leading Insurgent Groups Reject Opposition Coalition - YouTube


Syrian National Coalition Reaction to Formation of an Islamic Alliance - swsyria.blogspot.co.uk


Jarba Heads to Syria After the Meeting to Secure Free Syrian Army Support - etilaf.org


FSA general returns to reconcile Islamist fighters - Blouin News

 

FSA Officials Complain of Weak Financing, Defections to Well-Financed Islamist Brigades - Informed Comment

 

Syrian National Coalition Member: The Timing of the Brigades' Statement Is Not Appropriate, But We Should Understand Their Concerns - etilaf.org

 

More than 100 senior officers of the Free Syrian Army urge boycott of any conference involving Iran - AFP

 

VIDEO: Inside the brutal Islamic Court Of Aleppo Syria - LiveLeak.com

 

VIDEO: Confusion in the political opposition as Jihadism strengthen - YouTube

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Islamist rebels battle Syrian Kurds as Assad's foes fragment - Reuters


Second Al-Qaida Commander Killed by Kurdish Militia - ABC News


Jihadists torch statues, crosses in Syria churches - Fox News


VIDEO: Protesters rally against ISIS take-over in northern Aleppo - BelfastTelegraph.co.uk


Syria crisis: In sacred Maaloula, where they speak the language of Christ, war leads neighbours into betrayal - The Independent

 

VIDEO: Tanks burn, bodies lie in Syrian town of Maaloula: amateur video - Reuters.com

 

Foreign weapons sent to Syrian rebels worry Iraq, foreign military aid could end up in hands of jihadists - Yahoo News

 

Qatar Haunted by Its Decision to Back the Arab Spring’s Islamists - TIME.com

 

In Libya, Muslim Brotherhood and Other Jihadists Grab 'Massive Amounts' of U.S. Weapons - National Review Online

 

Algeria Battles Recruiters From Jabhat Al-Nusra - Al-Monitor

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

AIDS and pregnant: Tunisian girl recounts her sex jihad in Syria - Jihad Watch

 

Are Young Women Really Racing to Syria's Front Lines to Wage Sex Jihad? There's no evidence it's true - FP Passport

 

Some clerics allow sexual slavery in the name of religion - The National

 

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Syria News - Sep 25

 

Obama Says He Will Pursue Diplomacy on Iran and Syria, Pledges an Additional $340 Million in Humanitarian Aid - NYTimes.com


VIDEO: Full Obama speech at the United Nations General Assembly - YouTube


Text of Obama’s Speech at the U.N. - NYTimes.com


Syria Report: starving children forced to survive on fruit, leaves and nuts - The Guardian

 

Iran President: Chemical Weapons in Hands of Extremists in Syria Is Greatest Danger to Mideast - ABC News

 

U.N. chemical weapons investigators to return to Syria Wednesday - The Washington Post

 

U.N. sarin investigation ‘amateurish' - wnd.com

 

Evidence Of The Syrian Army Using Munitions Linked To The August 21st Sarin Attack - Brown Moses Blog

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Car bomb in Damascus kills seven civilians, wounds 15: monitoring group - Reuters


Dozens of nuns, orphans trapped in Syria's Maalula, church says - AFP


Al-Qaeda's Latest Target: Syria's Civilian Activists - Al-Monitor


Gunmen Kidnap Passenger Buses in Northern Syria, FSA Declares War on ISIL - almanar.com


FSA-ISIS clash in Idlib - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT

 

Clashes Raging among Armed Rebels in Syria in Southern Syria - abna.ir

 

Islamic State of Iraq v. The Rest of the Insurgency - EA WorldView

 

Analysts: No way to keep U.S. arms out of enemy hands in Syria - Washington Times

 

Syrian Kurdish Leader: Ankara Supporting Jihadists - Al-Monitor

 

Qatar loses clout in Arab politics: analysts - Fox News

 

Qatar set to adopt more consensual foreign policy - FT.com

 

VIDEO: ISIS Extremists Capture Free Syria Army Police Station - YouTube

 

VIDEO: Insurgents destroy oldest Jewish mausoleums in Aleppo - LiveLeak.com

 

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Syria News - Sep 24

 

Syria's Assad vows compliance with chemical weapons deal, blasts U.S. over threat of force - latimes.com


VIDEO: Syria's Bashar al-Assad condemns US over 'war' threat - YouTube


Lavrov: US pressuring Russia into passing UN resolution on Syria allowing military force - RT News


Russia Ready to Send Observers to Syria - ABC News

 

Assad ordered me three times to gas my people, says former Syrian military chief, Also claims the regime is secretly sending chemical weapons to Hezbollah - Mail Online

 

Hezbollah leader denies group received chemical weapons from Syria - Reuters

 

Gas missiles 'were not sold to Syria' - The Independent

 

Source: Kerry’s claim about Assad’s sarin challenged - wnd.com

 

Questions Plague UN Report on Syria - Al Akhbar English

 

The Weekend's Developments In The Mint Press Saga - Brown Moses

 

Syria's pro-government militias a major boost for Assad's army - latimes.com

 

Aymenn al-Tamimi Speaks to Ali Kayali and Profiles "The Syrian Resistance," a Pro-Assad Militia Force - Syria Comment

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Syrian opposition group says it willing to attend Geneva talks - Reuters


FSA Rebel leader vows no cease-fire with Assad - FOX News


Al-Qaida branch announces leader's death in Syria, Says he was ambushed by members of the Free Syrian Army - Yahoo News


Al Qaeda in Syria: We Fought FSA Because It Conspired With John McCain Against Us - hhassan.com


Senior Al Qaeda-Linked Group Commander Killed in Syria – But Will That Slow the Struggle for Sharia? - TheBlaze.com

 

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and Al Nusra Front clash in Syria, NGO says - AFP

 

Syrian Rebels Are Killing Each Other for Control - VICE United States

 

Spanish journalist abducted in Syria by jihadists - SBS News

 

VIDEO: Presence of al-Qaeda raises tension in northern Syria - YouTube

 

VIDEO: Syrian Children from the Town of Ras al-Ayn Play Behead the Enemy - YouTube

 

VIDEO: Sex Jihad - Parents sell rape sessions with 16-year old daughter - LiveLeak.com

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Threats to Syrian Christians Heighten Concerns in Congress About Aiding Rebels - NationalJournal.com


If Syrian army leaves Aleppo, faithful will be killed, Chaldean Catholic leader warns - Catholic Online


Christians in Aleppo, Syria Claim Rebel Forces Keeping Them Safe - christianpost.com


"I had five sons, now I have four": Syria's senior cleric pardons the rebels who killed his son - The Independent


Syrian Opposition, Kurdish Agreement Irrelevant Without PYD - Al-Monitor

 

Kurdish Parties Build Alliance To Curb Barzani’s Power in Syria - Al-Monitor

 

First Kurdish Radio Breaks the Sphere of Arabic Hegemony in Syria - Syria Untold 

 

Turkey Stands With al-Qaeda Against the Kurds - Al Akhbar English

 

Syria militants enter Turkey despite tight border security: Turkey pres. - PressTV 

 

Nasrallah Warns Turkey, Gulf on Syria - Al-Monitor

 

Iraq violence 'directly linked' to Syria crisis: Russia FM - PressTV

 

French burger joint robbed to fund Syrian jihad - Money Jihad

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Listen to Marcy Winograd, Guest-Hosting for Lila Garrett on KPFK's CONNECT THE DOTS!

Which Aired Today, Monday, September 23rd, 7:00 AM at KPFK Archives:
http://archive.kpfk.org/mp3/kpfk_130923_070004ctd.MP3
It might take a few minutes to download. - KPFK 90.7 FM Radio - www.kpfk.org

Don't miss Marcy's incredibly right-on opening about the use of chemical
weapons by the United States over the decades.

Then hear Marcy interviewing David Swanson, author of "WAR IS A LIE" and
other books, talking about U.S. wars.
www.davidswanson.org/warisalie

Marcy then talks with Dr. Michael Powelson, who is running for Congress
against Brad Sherman in the Valley as a member of the Green Party.
www.powelsonforcongress.wordpress.com



And finally Marcy talks with Jose Lara: www.votejoselara.com & Dr. Suzie
Abajian: www.suzieabajian.com  - who are both running for local School
Boards.

Marcy is so good she should have her own program on KPFK.


In Peace,

Frank Dorrel
Publisher
Addicted To War

A Tale of Two Congress Members

In 2010 in Virginia's Fifth Congressional District, many people who prioritize peace over war probably voted for Democrat Tom Perriello over Republican Robert Hurt.  I know many who did just that.

Here's what Congressman Hurt said on Tuesday about Syria:

"I have repeatedly stated ... that before the United States should commit any of its precious American lives or military resources to an attack on the Syrian regime, the President must articulate a compelling American national security interest that requires military action. I have attended classified briefings, and I have concluded that, at this time, the President has not demonstrated that a compelling national security interest is at stake. Because of this, I will not be able to support the Authorization for Use of Military Force resolution should it come to a vote under current circumstances."

Meanwhile, former Congressman Perriello has advocated, with his colleagues at the Center for American Progress for the United States to "increase its assistance to the Syrian opposition with the goal of supporting an alternative opposition government that is better organized than at present."  According to Perriello the U.S. has a "national security interest" in "preparing the groundwork for a political and economic transition to a new regime in Syria in the foreseeable future." 

Perriello told The Atlantic: "Within that context, you have to look at a set of tactics. A lot of people seem to be dismissing the idea that there's any role for a surgical, strategic strike short of regime change. While I have advocated for a more aggressive posture that would potentially include regime transition, there is absolutely an argument for inflicting some cost to the regime for the use of chemical weapons against the civilian population. ... And that I think you can do largely from the air without a lot of involvement on the ground. ... He knows if we intervene, his days are over, so part of what he’s doing, like a petulant child, is seeing how far he can push before we come in. Traditionally, the use of chemical and biological weapons, with very few exceptions, has been something you cannot do without invoking dramatic action. ... One of the reasons I came to the conclusion a year and a half ago that we needed to intervene is that both sides appear just strong enough not to lose."  In the same interview Perriello refused to support the Constitutional requirement to take the question of war to Congress for its authorization.

Would Perriello resist a war if the president were a Republican?  Would Hurt then support war?  We can't know.  But both have expressed their ideologies on war clearly and quite consistently thus far.  Perriello voted for every war dollar that came before him while he was in Congress, including a 2009 "emergency" supplemental that included a bailout for bankers and barely passed.  Perriello has written and spoken publicly hundreds of times of his support for war.  Hurt has spoken and written a number of times now of his opposition.

I was part of groups of residents that met with Perriello to discuss his funding of war in Afghanistan.  It was like talking to a brick wall.  I was part of a group of residents who met with Hurt to discuss authorization for missile strikes or wider war in Syria.  It was like talking to a human being.

Whoever the Democrats put up against Hurt in the next election might possibly be his superior on any number of issues.  But check his or her position on war with a magnifying glass.  Militarism swallows roughly half of federal discretionary spending every year, dwarfing any other expense.  You can't be in favor of a trillion dollar military and in favor of schools or housing or anything else.  The military is the main thing our government does.  It matters whether we get it right, or whether we thoughtlessly get it backwards.

After decades US still has huge poison gas stash: Washington Demands Syria Destroy Chemical Weapons Lickety-Split

By Dave Lindorff

 
The US is demanding, in negotiations at the UN, that all Syrian chemical weapons, stocks and production facilities be eliminated by June 30 of next year. This has an element of hypocrisy, because the US itself has been incredibly slow about eliminating its own stocks of chemical weapons.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has referred to Syria as having one of the largest chemical stockpiles in the world. But the US and Russia both still have stocks of chemicals many times as large. Syria’s neighbor Israel, which refuses to admit it has the weapons and has yet to ratify the treaty banning them, is suspected of also having a large arsenal.

The Crisis In and About Syria is Not Over

 

by Debra Sweet          The report from the United Nations seems to indicate a large amount of deadly gas was aimed at Syrian civilians on August 21.  The U.S. has already concluded the gas came from the Assad government, and not the rebels.  If that is true, by what authority does the U.S. claim the right to bomb Syrian civilians in the name of stopping chemical weapons? Or keep arming rebels in Syria or the military in Egypt?

 

Ending One War, Ending All Wars

Remarks on September 21, 2013, at the Nashville Festival for Peace, Prosperity, and Planet.

Thank you to Elizabeth Barger and the Nashville Peace and Justice Center and to all of you, and happy International Day of Peace!

From a certain angle it doesn't look like a happy day of peace.  The U.S. government is engaged in a major war in Afghanistan, dramatically escalated by the current U.S. president, who has been bizarrely given credit for ending it for so long now that a lot of people imagine it is ended.  The same president goes through a list of men, women, and children on Tuesdays, picks which ones to have murdered, and has them murdered, often with missiles shot out of unmanned drones, drones that circle people's villages endlessly threatening immediate annihilation moment after moment for weeks on end, missiles that often miss their targets and often kill random people too close to their targets.  The CIA with war powers.  Secret military operations in dozens of nations.  Expansion of U.S. troop presence in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific.  Some 90 percent of the world's nations with U.S. troops in them.  Prisoners force-fed in Guantanamo.  Black sites.  Iraq ruined without reparations.  Libya thrown into anarchy without apology.  Activists treated as enemies.  Journalists treated as spies.  Whistleblowers locked up in cages.  Our Constitutional rights treated as dispensable.  The United Nations used, abused, and circumvented.  U.S. weapons provided to dictatorships and democracies around the globe.  Tennessee's U.S. Senator Bob Corker going on television repeatedly for weeks to tell us that the United States is covertly aiding one side of a war in Syria.  Does he not know what "covertly" means, or does he not know how television works?

But I believe that, despite all of that and much more, there is huge reason to celebrate a happy international day of peace.  At most events where I speak there is a time for questions, and almost always there is someone whose question is really more of a speech to the effect that war opposition is delusional and hopeless; if the government wants a war, it gets a war -- so this person always tell us.  Well, no more.  From this day forward, that person's comments should be no match for the laughter that greets them, because we just prevented a war. 

Congress members heard from many thousands of us, and what they heard was over 100-to-1 against attacking Syria.  When it became clear that not even the Senate would authorize such an attack, talk shifted immediately from the inevitability of war to the desirability of avoiding war.

Secretary of State John Kerry said that President Bashar al-Assad could avoid a war by handing over all the chemical weapons his government possessed.  Russia quickly called that bluff and Syria agreed to it.  Syria had tried in the past to negotiate a Middle East free of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, but the United States had been opposed, not wanting to stop arming Egypt and Israel.

Secretary Kerry, apparently panicked by the possible delay or prevention of missile strikes, put out a statement that he had only been making a "rhetorical argument," not a real proposal.  But when the White House saw the writing on the wall in Congress, Kerry claimed to have meant his comment seriously after all.  He was for his own idea after he'd been against it.

Of all the many ways in which John Kerry has tied himself in knots before, this is the first time he's had to do so because the people of this country and the world rejected a war.  Remember when Kerry asked how you could ask someone to be the last man to die in the war on Vietnam?  We have it in our power to reject the next war and the next war and the next war and make John Kerry the last man to have tried to sell us a dead idea.

War is a dead idea, an idea whose time has gone.  The abolition of war is an idea whose time has come.  But the government isn't ready to announce that for us.  That's why we need to celebrate this victory.  And not just us at this festival.  This was everybody.  This was the people of Syria who spoke against an attack on their nation.  This was the people of Iraq and Afghanistan who said don't do to others what you've already done to us.  This was the people of the world and of Russia and of China who said you won't paint this crime as legal with our help.  This was the people of Britain who moved their House of Commons to reject a prime minister's request for war for the first time since the surrender to the French and Americans at Yorktown.  This was low and high ranking members of the U.S. military saying "We didn't sign up to fight for al Qaeda."  This was government experts risking their careers and their freedom to say "If President Obama's excuse for a war happened, he's guessed it right, because the evidence doesn't establish it."  This was the majority of the U.S. public telling pollsters, yes, we care about suffering children; send them food and medicine, don't make it worse by sending in missiles."  This was the victory not of a moment but of a decade of cultural enlightenment.  When you've got the Pope and Rush Limbaugh on your side you've built something very broad.  Remember when they called resistance to war "The Vietnam Syndrome" as if it were a disease?  What we've got now is the War on Terror Inoculation.  This is health, not sickness.  War is the health of the state, said a World War I resister.  But war resistance is the health of the people.  The people are the world's other super power.

So, yes, I say celebrate!  Start seeing successes.  Drone attacks are down dramatically.  Environmental groups are beginning to oppose military base constructions.  States are beginning to work on conversion of war industries to peaceful industries.  Larry Summers has been denied a chance to do more economic damage. 

Imagine the euphoria -- or don't imagine it, just remember it -- when this country elects a new president whose main redeeming feature is that he isn't the previous president.  For personality fanatics that's big stuff.  And there are big parties.  For policy fanatics -- for those of us interested in seeing policies change rather than personalities -- that kind of moment is right now.  The first step in overcoming an addiction, whether to war or alcohol, is recognizing that you have a problem.  The second step is believing that you can shake it if you try.  We've just taken the first two steps!  The war addicts said Syria needed an intervention.  We gave the war junkies an intervention instead.  We pointed them toward the path of recovery and showed them a preview of what it will look like.

Now, if you don't want to celebrate because there's too much work to do, because Syria is in greater danger without its weapons (look what happened to Iraq and Libya), and because the pressure for war is still on, I can respect that.  I'll be with you starting tomorrow.  But it's hard to imagine we'll find the most effective strategy, much less motivate all the doom and gloomers to work their hardest, if we refuse to recognize when we've actually made progress, no matter how limited. 

If you don't want to celebrate because you don't think public pressure made any impact and don't think it ever can, I've looked at enough of the recent history and distant history to say, with all due respect: I don't believe you.  And if you believed yourself you wouldn't be here today.

Now, there is endless work to be done when we get back to it in the morning.  Congressman Cooper was pretty noncommittal, I understand, as quite a few Congress members were.  He kept an open mind.  Maybe, just maybe, he must have thought, it makes sense to deescalate a war by escalating it, maybe these magic missiles with Raytheon pixie dust on them will kill only the people who really need killing while empowering fanatic heart-and-liver eaters who execute their prisoners to establish a secular democracy, and perhaps we really can uphold the norm against chemical weapons that our own nation violates with some regularity by blatantly violating the norm against attacking other countries with missiles, and maybe we'll enforce the Chemical Weapons Convention against a nation that never signed it by shredding the UN Charter and the Kellogg-Briand Pact as long as we call ourselves "The International Community" and if we can't get France to help maybe Puerto Rico would count as a Coalition of the Willing, and perhaps, perhaps just maybe Assad really is out to get us and just might be a threat to Nashville, Tennessee, and if not isn't the only thing that really matters President Obama's manhood and the respect he can only maintain if he behaves like a sociopath?  Some part of this must be roughly how undecided members of Congress looked at this thing.  Senator Harry Reid said Syria was the return of the Nazis, and he himself looked just like Elmer Fudd warning of a dangerous wabbit, but maybe he was right, think our elected representatives.  There is work to be done.

Republicans in Congress turned against war more than they might have with a Republican president.  And some Democrats, including a co-chair of the Progressive Caucus, cheered for war.  The Black Caucus told its members to shut their mouths and not speak about Syria.  But they didn't all listen.  The leadership of the two parties pushed for war, and most members of both parties said No Way.  That's something to build on.  Anything that has happened is automatically acceptable and respectable, and in that category now is war rejection, regardless of who is president in the future.

Senator Corker thinks the United States has lost credibility.  I think it's gained it.  The United States claims to use war as a last resort.  When an occasion finally arrives in which it doesn't use war as a first resort, that boosts the credibility of its claim.  The U.S. justifies its wars with the word "democracy."  When it listens to its people for once, it demonstrates democracy by example rather than by dropping cluster bombs or napalm or using those depleted uranium weapons giving the workers who make them cancer over in eastern Tennessee.  The world was skeptical of the U.S. case for war because of past U.S. lies, not because of past U.S. failures to bomb people.

The threat to attack Syria is still on the table.  If you listen to these people enough you really come to hate tables, by the way.  The White House claims Syria has signed the Chemical Weapons Convention under threat of attack, even though any signing of any treaty under threat of attack is illegal and invalid.  Meanwhile, if we wanted to find a stockpile of chemical weapons, there's 524 tons of poison gas at the Blue Grass Army Depot, just up the road toward Lexington, Kentucky, from here.  The United States wants 10 more years to destroy that, although maybe it can go a little faster since John Kerry seems to think a week is more than enough time for Syria to destroy its stockpile.  The Army spokesman in Kentucky says the delays there are a sign of democracy and public input.  Our leading spreaders of democracy to the rest of the world, on the other hand, believe the most important consideration is that nothing ever be credited to diplomacy if it can be credited to violence.  The U.S. has a stash five times the size of Kentucky's out in Colorado, where climate-induced floods and fires pose a danger of combining with the madness of militarism if we don't switch soon from preparing for wars to preparing for a sustainable existence -- If we don't start paying attention to Fukushima and global warming and keep laughing, as we have been, at the idea that Assad is going to kill us.

But, our government also has peculiar views about different types of weapons that I don't claim to understand.  Chemical weapons are good, apparently, when the U.S. uses them on Iraqis, or Iraq uses them on Iranians, or Israel uses them on Palestinians, but they're bad if Iraq uses them on Iraqis or the Syrian government uses them on anyone -- although they aren't so bad if it is Syrian rebels using them.  In cases of bad chemical weapons use, missiles could fix the problem.  But with missiles you have to ask Congress.  So, instead, you can fix the problem of people getting killed with chemicals by making sure that more of them get killed with guns.  With guns, for some reason, you don't have to ask Congress.  Senators can even chat on TV about what they're doing "covertly," and we're supposed to say "Oh, well that's OK then, as long as it's covertly."

Only . . . when people bleed and scream in agony and turn cold do they do it covertly?  Because I think the entire operation needs to be done covertly, not just parts of it.

Maybe the problem is that we just don't think guns are weapons of mass destruction.  Guns must be weapons of minimal destruction, I guess. Guns only kill 30,000 people in the United States each year, ten times the number of people killed on September 11, 2001.  Imagine the size of the war we'd have started if someone had killed 30,000 people with airplanes.  Would we have had to kill 10 million Iraqis instead of 1 million?  But with guns, deaths are OK, and 60% of them don't really count because they're suicides. 

Only . . . why are people desperate enough to kill themselves in the wealthiest nation on earth when we have a bigger military and more billionaires than any other society in the history of the world?  Shouldn't that satisfy us?  Anyone too dense to appreciate that great good fortune, well, at least we've made sure there's always a gun or two within easy reach.

I'm being sarcastic, but I'm not joking.  We have a serious problem with acceptance of violence.  This past Sunday night on "60 Minutes" John Miller of CBS News said, "I've spoken with intelligence analysts who have said an uncomfortable thing that has a ring of truth, which is: the longer this war in Syria goes on, in some sense the better off we are."

Now, why would that be uncomfortable, do you suppose?  Could it be because encouraging huge numbers of violent deaths of human beings seems sociopathic?

The discomfort that Miller at least claims to feel is the gauge of our moral progress, I suppose, since June 23, 1941, when Harry Truman said, "If we see that Germany is winning, we ought to help Russia, and if Russia is winning we ought to help Germany, and that way let them kill as many as possible."

On Monday, Time magazine's Aryn Baker published an articleunder the headline "Syria's Rebels Turn on One Another, and That's Not a Bad Thing."  Baker's point wasn't that more would die this way, but that this would allow the U.S. to escalate the war (which of course would mean more dying).

Remember that President Obama's reasonfor wanting to attack Syria is to "confront actions that are violating our common humanity."  How is it that support for mass killing rarely seems to violate our common humanity if it's that other 96 percent of humanity getting killed, and especially if it's this 4 percent doing it?  Why is the excuse to kill more people always that people are being killed, while we never starve people to prevent them from starving or rape people to protect them from rape?

The uncomfortable "60 Minutes" interviewer addressed his remarks to a former CIA officer who replied by disagreeing.  He claimed to want the war to end.  But how would he end it?  By arming and aiding one side, just enough and not too much -- which would supposedly result in peace negotiations, albeit with a risk of major escalation.  While nobody ever extends peace in order to generate war, people are constantly investing in war in the name of peace.

As this man may be very well aware, arming one side in this war will encourage that side's viciousness and encourage the other side to arm itself further as well.  But suppose it were actually true that you could deescalate a war by escalating a war.  Why are the large number of people who would be killed in the process unworthy of consideration?

We've seen lawyers tell Congressional committees that killing people with drones is either murder or perfectly fine, depending on whether Obama's secret memos say the killings are part of a war.  But why is killing people acceptable in a war?  We've just watched public pressure deny Obama missile strikes on Syria.  Those strikes were optional.  Had they happened that would have been a choice, not an inevitability.  What of the immorality involved?

The best news is that we're beginning to feel uncomfortable.  We're even feeling uncomfortable enough to doubt the tales we're told about justifications for wars.  The fact is that, were the White House telling the truth about the need for an attack on Syria, it would be a first in history.  Every other case for war has always been dishonest.

The United States sought out war with Mexico, not the reverse.  There was never any evidence that Spain sank the Maine.  The Philippines didn't benefit from U.S. occupation.  The Lusitania was known to be carrying troops and arms.  The Gulf of Tonkin incident never happened.  Iraq didn't take any babies out of incubators.  The Taliban was willing to turn bin Laden over to be tried in a neutral court.  Libya wasn't about to kill everyone in Benghazi.  And so on. 

Even wars that people like to imagine as justified, such as World War II, were nonetheless packaged in lies; FDR's tales about the Greer and the Kearney and supposed secret Nazi maps and plans were a step on the steady trajectory from Woodrow Wilson to Karl Rove.

The idea that Syria used chemical weapons is more plausible than the idea that Iraq had vast stockpiles of chemical, biological, and (in some versions) nuclear weapons and was working with al Qaeda.  But the evidence offered in the case of Syria was no stronger than that for Iraq.  It was harder to disprove merely because there was nothing to it: no documentation, no sources, and until the UN report came out, no science.  Congress members who have seen the classified version of the White House case say it's no better than the declassified.  Experts within the government and reporters in Syria who have seen more than that say they don't believe the White House's claims. 

The assertions masquerading as a case come packaged in dishonest claims about the make-up of the rebels, and how quickly Syria gave access to inspectors.  And the claims are written in a manner to suggest far greater knowledge and certainty than they actually assert on careful examination.  The latest claims follow a series of failed claims over a period of months and stand to benefit a Syrian opposition that has been found repeatedly to be manufacturing false propaganda aimed at bringing the United States into the war.  It seems, at this point, unlikely that the Assad government used chemical weapons (as opposed to the rebels or someone in the Syrian military defying Assad by using them), but it seems certain that if Assad did it, Obama and Kerry don't know that -- they've only guessed it at best.  It also seems certain that escalating the war makes everyone worse off regardless of who used chemical weapons.  Attacking Iraq would have been immoral, illegal, and catastrophic (and probably more so) if all the weapons stories had been true.

Then there are the depictions of Assad as a threat to the United States, at which moments President Obama has almost begun to sound like his predecessor.  But, as he came on stage second, nobody believed him.  Assad is guilty of horrible crimes, but he's not yet-another new Hitler.  There's a cute story about Assad from 11 years ago this week that some of us may have forgotten.  A Canadian man named Maher Arar had been born in Syria.  U.S. officials nabbed him for the crime of switching planes in New York City.  They interrogated him for weeks, denying him access to a lawyer or to the Canadian government.  They asked Arar to go to Syria, and he refused.  So they stuck him on a CIA plane, flew him to Jordan, beat him for 8 hours, and then delivered him to the Syrian government of Bashar al Assad.  President Assad's government beat and whipped Arar for 18 hours a day for weeks, asking him similar questions to those the Americans had asked.  For 10 months he was kept in a 3 by 6 by 7 foot underground cell, then released with no charges.  Four years later, the Canadian government, which had done nothing, apologized to and compensated Arar.  Former CIA case officer Bob Baer said, "If you want a serious interrogation, you send a prisoner to Jordan. If you want them to be tortured, you send them to Syria. If you want someone to disappear—never to see them again—you send them to Egypt."

The Syrian government is, like any government the United States wants to attack, a brutal government that the United States worked with until recently, situated in a region full of brutal governments the United States still supports.  In this case, the brutal governments still armed and supported by the U.S. government include Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, and Yemen.  If the US. government wanted to reduce violence, it could end its 2001-begun war on Afghanistan, it could end its drone strikes, and it could stop supplying Saudi Arabia with cluster bombs and Egypt with tear gas and Bahrain with ex-police chiefs.  Wars are not driven by generosity, despite what you'll often -- and increasingly -- hear.

Syria needs humanitarian aid, not weapons that threaten the good aid work being done by Americans among others.  The Iraqi Student Project was bringing Iraqis to study in U.S. colleges.  Its office was in Syria, where many Iraqi refugees had fled from the U.S. liberation.  Now that office is closed, and Syria has its own refugee crisis to rival Iraq's.  Our government should be urging both sides to stop providing arms, to agree to a ceasefire, and to open negotiations without preconditions.  Syria has needed help for years, but our government tends to wait until missiles look like a proper solution to get serious about solving a problem. 

Syria's crisis was brought on in part by climate induced drought and water shortage.  The solution of sending in missiles (blocked for now) or of sending in guns (underway as we speak) misses that source of the problem and in fact exacerbates it.  The U.S. military is our greatest consumer of petroleum, which it consumes in the course of fighting wars and occupying countries to control petroleum.  The roughly $1 trillion spent by the United States and roughly $1 trillion spent by the rest of the world on militarism every year could coat the planet with sustainable green energy sources beyond the wildest imaginings of those sources' proponents.

As long as we continue to view war as an acceptable institution, serious reductions in the military will be impeded by the desire to win wars when they happen.  Instead of reduced war making, we need war abolition.  180 million people died in wars in the 20th century.  Enough is enough.  War has not brought security.  War endangers us rather than protecting us.  War has failed as a tool for ending war.  War is draining our economies, eroding our civil liberties, devastating our natural environment, and stealing resources away from critical human and environmental needs. Nonviolent tools have proven themselves more effective and less costly than war.  War's unpredictability and existing weaponry including nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction threaten our very existence, while the reallocation of resources away from war promises a world whose advantages are beyond easy imagination.  We could even stop paying farmers not to farm and start paying weapons makers not to make weapons while they convert their factories to begin making something useful. Cutting $40 billion from food stamps will kill more people than spending it for a few months of occupying Afghanistan will kill.

Anti-war sentiment, at least in some key parts of the world, is at a high point now, relative to other moments in recent decades.  We need to direct that sentiment into a movement for abolition.  Resisting each new war is not enough.  We must be for peace and by peace we must mean, first and foremost, the elimination of the institution of war.  We're all fond of saying that peace is more than just the absence of war.  True enough.  And freedom is more than just the absence of chains.  But first you had to abolish slavery.  Then new possibilities opened up.  So, today I'm not going to say, "No Justice, No Peace."  Today I say, "With No Peace, There Is No Justice."  Stop the wars.  End the slaughter.  Dismantle the weapons.  Abolish the military.  Build a sustainable peaceful prosperous world.  Make this point in time a turning point.  Thank you for being here.  Happy International Day of Peace!

Syria News - Sep 22

 

Syria meets deadline for chemical weapons disclosure - Reuters


U.S. official: Syrian CW list more complete than anticipated - CNN.com


Syrian Facilities Monitored By Satellite (PHOTOS) - Business Insider


Defiant Assad claims government did not use chem weapons, vows to abide by agreement (VIDEO) - Fox News


VIDEO: Interview with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of FOX - 2 hours - LiveLeak.com


TRANSCRIPT: President al-Assad's interview with Fox News- SANA


Grounds to believe Syria chemical attack was smart provocation – Putin - RT News


Kerry belittles Russian suggestion that Syrian rebels used sarin - chicagotribune.com

 

Liwa al-Islam Brigade Issues a Statement in Response to Fabricated Videos - etilaf.org

 

Al-Qaeda may have supplied chemicals to Syrian militants: CBS - Big News Network

 

Court document references al Qaeda-linked chemical weapons program in Somalia (VIDEO) - CBS News

 

The "330mm missile" from Ghouta is a "do-it-yourself" rocket based on an old U.S. military design! - Syrian Perspective 1

 

Syrian "gas rockets" appear homemade and incapable of flying 5-10 miles to target - Democratic Underground

 

I might have found the "non-existent" rebels' BM-14 rocket launcher in action from rebels' unit that calls itself the "Missile Brigade" in the Damascus area - Syrian Perspective 1

 

Syria: Chemical Attack or “Provocation” by Opposition Rebel Forces - The Rebel

 

A Nun Lends a Voice of Deniability to Syria on the Use of Poison Gas - NYTimes.com

 

Look With Your Own Eyes: The Videos of the Chemical Attacks in Syria Show Tampered Scenes (PHOTOS) - Global Research

 

VIDEO: Mother Agnes Mariam : Facts about the chemical attack in Damascus - YouTube

 

The Ghouta chemical attack: Kidnapped by Al Nusrah, Enclosed is the List of Missing Children - The Rebel

 

Story behind the story about Saudi Arabia supposedly providing Syrian rebels with chemical weapons gets weirder and weirder, correspondent Gavlak denies writing article - al-bab.com

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Hundreds of fighters under Free Syrian Army's command have pledged allegiance to Al Nusrah Front in Raqqa, Reports say - The Long War Journal


VIDEO: Two brigades of the Free Syrian army that operate in Raqqah province have joined the Al Nusrah Front - YouTube  


FSA agrees truce with jihadists in border town Azaz - AFP


Free Syrian Army: We're fighting al Qaeda (VIDEO) - CNN.com Blogs


VIDEO: FSA Liwa Tawhid reinforcements arriving in Azaz - YouTube


Residents of Syria's Azaz enraged over Al-Qaeda takeover - AFP


U.S.-backed Syrian rebels being shoved aside by radical Islamists - MiamiHerald.com

 

The Most Accurate Breakdown Of The Syrian Rebels (GRAPHIC) - Business Insider

 

White House waives arms export rules for Syrian rebels - The Hill's DEFCON Hill

 

Pentagon proposes training moderate Syrian rebels - CNN.com

 

Report: American-supplied arms fell into al Qaeda's hands - Threat Matrix

 

Private donations give edge to Islamists in Syria, officials say - The Washington Post

 

Delegation from Syria’s Maaloula thanks Aoun for support - THE DAILY STAR

 

VIDEO: Maaloula, testimonies of the residents - YouTube

 

VIDEO: The al-Nusra suicide bomber against Maaloula checkpoint - LiveLeak.com

 

VIDEO: al Nusra executing another Syrian citizen - LiveLeak.com

 

Syrian government says war has reached stalemate, It would call for ceasefire at Geneva talks: deputy PM - The Guardian

 

Syria: Opposition interim premier to present government within one month - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT

 

Divisions Emerge Among Syrian Kurdish Groups - Al-Monitor

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

'Sexual Jihad' In Syria Leading To Pregnant Tunisians, Lawmaker Says (VIDEO) - huffingtonpost.com


Tunisia to prevent sex slaves’ trips to Syria - PressTV


VIDEO: Tunisian girls return home pregnant after 'sexual jihad' in Syria - LiveLeak.com


Russian rebels in Syria 'pose threat to Olympics' - Yahoo News

 

Salafi jihadist from Gaza reportedly killed fighting for ISIL in Syria - The Long War Journal

 

Jordan jails 6 for trying to join Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria - Al-Shorfa

 

Lebanon charges 5 Syrians in spread of war across border - MiamiHerald.com

 

Two more arrested in Britain over Syria terror links - AFP

 

France fears backlash from militants fighting in Syria - AFP

 

Freed hostage in Syria: 'I wanted to kill myself' (VIDEO) - BBC News

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

We don’t gas children, we shred them: Obama’s Grotesque Hypocrisy over Cluster Munitions

By Dave Lindorff


Syrian civilians and children should count themselves lucky that mass opposition in the US, the UK and much of the rest of the world to the idea of a US bombing blitz aimed at punishing the Syrian government for allegedly using Sarin gas in an attack on a Damascus neighborhood forced the US to back off and accept a Russian deal to get rid of Syria’s chemical weapons.


Kucinich - Assad Video

Digital Dialogue: No U.S. War on Syria


You're Invited to the Media Action Grassroots Network (MAG-Net)'s September Digital Dialogue Edition

In May, as the civil war began to escalate, the Syrian government blocked Internet and online communication between Syria and the rest of the world.  More recently, the NSA has dominated the news as we learn about the massive spying program that’s collecting phone, email, banking and medical data domestically.  In each instance, the Open Internet is at stake, as Governments and Corporations work (often together) to control or eliminate our online rights.  Whether abroad or at home, these infringements on our first amendment rights are part of a long history of government surveillance and suppression of social justice movements.   

Join us for a digital dialogue that explores the intersections of technology, media justice and democracy. How has the government justified their surveillance of our communications post 9/11?  What is the relationship between the Internet and dissent? What has been the role of the corporate media in times of conflict?  Why and how is the government and corporations collaborating to stifle oppositional voices at home and abroad?

This call will feature organizers, activists and media experts who will tackle these questions, and highlight grassroots organizing efforts, the use of social media/alternative media, cultural responses and ways people can get involved. 

Featured Speakers:

Moderated by Elandria Williams, Highlander Research & Education Center and Betty Yu, Center for Media Justice

Register for the September 25th Digital Dialogue Now!

Anti-Assad Death Squads Responsible for Gas Attack

 

Anti-Assad Death Squads Responsible for Gas Attack

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Assad's wrongfully blamed for Ghouta's gas attack. Evidence shows insurgents bear full responsibility. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was clear and unequivocal, saying:

 

"We have the most serious grounds to believe (Ghouta's attack) was a provocation." Assad had nothing to do with it.

 

Syria News - Sep 19

 

NYT: U.N. Data on Gas Attack Points to Assad’s Top Forces - NYTimes.com


Damascus provides Russia with new info on Syrian opposition's use of chemical weapons: Foreign Ministry - The Voice of Russia


UN had evidence of chem attack from Damascus, but did not pay ‘due attention’ to it : Deputy Foreign Minister - RT News


U.N. says chemical arms report on Syria attack 'indisputable' - Reuters


Russian expert on chemical weapon propulsion units: Syria would not have used this 'ancient junk' when they have far more modern missiles - .dailymail.co.uk

 

Global Security Does Not List Obsolete BM-14 in Syria Army - ninjapundit

 

The Al Islam brigade Behind the Alleged CW Attack Damascus East Ghouta, video of the Al Islam brigade capturing an SA-8, Iranian Falaq-2 type launcher (VIDEO) - ronpaulforums.com

 

Statement On Russia Today's Use Of My Blog's Credibility To Give Credence To Dubious Videos - Brown Moses Blog

 

VIDEO: Unverified videos allegedly show Syria rebels using chemical weapons Aug 21 - Russia Today

 

Russia's Foreign Minister Cites Questions Raised by Nun in Syria on Chemical Attacks - NYTimes.com

 

Nun: Children in Syria chemical attack video 'moved between locations' before 'staged' filming - RT Op-Edge

 

Mother Agnes Study Of The Videos That Speaks About Chemicals (Full Text) - scribd.com

 

Syria: Full Text Of French Declassified Intelligence Report Into Assad's Chemical Weapons Capability - EA WorldView

 

UN Experts to Return to Syria 'Within Weeks' - VOA

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Syria border town 'overrun by al-Qaeda group', Islamic State of Iraq and Levant fighters kill FSA members - Al Jazeera English


Rebel snipers haunt Syrian Christian town of Maalula - AFP

 

Al Qaeda displays spoils of raid on Syrian Army air defense base (PHOTOS) - The Long War Journal

 

Kurds Push Jihadists from Northeastern Syria Village - Naharnet

 

Are the Islamic Courts of Aleppo run by al-Nusra? - Syria Comment

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

The Dead Rhetoric of War

By Chris Hedges, TruthDig

A French-language version of this article was published Monday in the newspaper Le Monde.

The intoxication of war, fueled by the euphoric nationalism that swept through the country like a plague following the attacks of 9/11, is a spent force in the United States. The high-blown rhetoric of patriotism and national destiny, of the sacred duty to reshape the world through violence, to liberate the enslaved and implant democracy in the Middle East, has finally been exposed as empty and meaningless. The war machine has tried all the old tricks. It trotted out the requisite footage of atrocities. It issued the histrionic warnings that the evil dictator will turn his weapons of mass destruction against us if we do not bomb and “degrade” his military. It appealed to the nation’s noble sacrifice in World War II, with the Secretary of State John Kerry calling the present situation a “Munich moment.” But none of it worked. It was only an offhand remark by Kerry that opened the door to a Russian initiative, providing the Obama administration a swift exit from its mindless bellicosity and what would have been a humiliating domestic defeat. Twelve long years of fruitless war in Afghanistan and another 10 in Iraq have left the public wary of the lies of politicians, sick of the endless violence of empire and unwilling to continue to pump trillions of dollars into a war machine that has made a small cabal of defense contractors and arms manufacturers such as Raytheon and Halliburton huge profits while we are economically and politically hollowed out from the inside. The party is over.

The myth of war, as each generation discovers over the corpses of its young and the looting of its national treasury by war profiteers, is a lie. War is no longer able to divert Americans from the economic and political decay that is rapidly turning the nation into a corporate oligarchy, a nation where “the consent of the governed” is a cruel joke. War cannot hide what we have become. War has made us a nation that openly tortures and holds people indefinitely in our archipelago of offshore penal colonies. War has unleashed death squads—known as special operations forces—to assassinate our enemies around the globe, even American citizens. War has seen us terrorize whole populations, including populations with which we are not officially at war, with armed drones that circle night and day above mud-walled villages in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia as well as Iraq and Afghanistan. War has shredded, in the name of national security, our most basic civil liberties. War has turned us into the most spied-upon, monitored, eavesdropped and photographed population in human history. War has seen our most courageous dissidents and whistle-blowers—those who warned us of the crimes of war and empire, from Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning to Edward Snowden—become persecuted political prisoners or the hunted. War has made a few very rich, as it always does, as our schools, libraries and firehouses are closed in the name of fiscal austerity, basic social service programs for children and the elderly are shut down, cities such as Detroit declare bankruptcy, and chronic underemployment and unemployment hover at 15 percent, perhaps 20. No one knows the truth anymore about America. The vast Potemkin village we have become, the monstrous lie that is America, includes the willful manipulation of financial and official statistics from Wall Street and Washington.

We are slowly awakening, after years on a drunken bender, to the awful pain of sobriety and the unpleasant glare of daylight. We are being forced to face grim truths about ourselves and the war machine. We have understood that we cannot impart our “virtues” through violence, that all talk of human rights, once you employ the industrial weapons of the modern battlefield, is absurd. We see through the Orwellian assertions made by Barack Obama and John Kerry, who have assured the world that the United States is considering only an “unbelievably small, limited” strike on Syria that is not a war. We know that the Pentagon’s plan to obliterate the command bunkers, airfields or the artillery batteries and rocket launchers used to fire chemical projectiles is indeed what the politicians insist it is not—a war. We know that the launching of several hundred Tomahawk missiles from destroyers and submarines in the Mediterranean Sea on Syrian military and command installations would be perceived by the Syrians—as we would should such missiles be launched against us—as an act of war. A Tomahawk carries a 1,000-pound bomb or 166 cluster bombs. One Tomahawk has appalling destructive power. Hundreds mean indiscriminate death from the sky. We have heard the careful parsing that does not preclude, should the Pandora’s box of war be opened and chaos envelope Syria, the possible deployment of troops on the ground. We have listened to Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, concede that “there is a probability for collateral damage.” We know this means civilians will be killed to prevent the regime of Bashar Assad from killing civilians. Only the circular logic of war makes such a proposition rational. And this circular logic, no longer obscured by the waving of flags, the bombast of “glory and honor,” the cant of politicians, the self-exaltation that comes with the disease of nationalism, means that Barack Obama and the war machine he serves are going to face a wave of popular revulsion if he starts another war.

Chris Hedges is a former Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times. He is the author, with Joe Sacco, of “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt.”

Support WarIsACrime



Donate.








Tweet your Congress critters here.


Advertise on this site!




Facebook      Twitter





Our Stores:























Movie Memorabilia.



The log-in box below is only for bloggers. Nobody else will be able to log in because we have not figured out how to stop voluminous spam ruining the site. If you would like us to have the resources to figure that out please donate. If you would like to receive occasional emails please sign up. If you would like to be a blogger here please send your resume.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.