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Obama runs Syria war out of Incirlik air base in Turkey

8:41 am in Uncategorized by fairleft

The Syria headline today is Kofi Annan resigns as Special Envoy to Syria. But I think yesterday’s headline was much more enlightening: Obama authorized secret support for Syrian rebels. If you have even minimal understanding of real world power politics, you can learn exactly what imperialism looks like from that mainstream media source. The key information begins in paragraphs six and seven:

Precisely when Obama signed the secret intelligence authorization, an action not previously reported, could not be determined.

The full extent of clandestine support that agencies like the CIA might be providing also is unclear.

I’d guess “a long time ago” and “anything goes,” based on the U.S. imperial track record. But the key paragraphs are nine to eleven:

A U.S. government source acknowledged that under provisions of the presidential finding, the United States was collaborating with a secret command center operated by Turkey and its allies.

Last week, Reuters reported that, along with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Turkey had established a secret base near the Syrian border to help direct vital military and communications support to Assad’s opponents.

This “nerve center” is in Adana, a city in southern Turkey about 60 miles from the Syrian border, which is also home to Incirlik, a U.S. air base where U.S. military and intelligence agencies maintain a substantial presence.

“Turkey and its allies” means Turkey and the two Gulf dictatorships, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Knowing the real relationship between the U.S. and those powers, translate “the United States was collaborating with” into “the United States was commanding.” And confirm that by noting the ‘secret’ base is essentially at a longstanding U.S. military and intelligence base.

Which leads to the following headline from Lebanon, NOT something allowed into the U.S. mainstream: Damascus says U.S., Turkey, Israel, Gulf states directing ‘terrorists’ in Syria. Obviously true, but misleading if it directs us away from the fact that the boss of bosses is the U.S. and its puppets and underlings better not forget that.

Which takes us to the next true headline, also, of course, not allowed into the U.S. mainstream: No happy outcome in Syria as conflict turns into proxy war, which begins:

Regional powers are pouring in money and guns, jihadists are joining rebels battling to overthrow Bashar al-Assad, while his own well-armed but hard-pressed forces are fighting back ruthlessly with combat aircraft and artillery.

Gruesome scenes of slaughtered civilians or executed rebel fighters provide daily snapshots of the worsening conflict in Syria. Video [Syrian rebels execute pro-Assad militiamen in Aleppo] apparently showing rebels gunning down Assad militiamen in cold blood suggests the insurgents are capable of brutality to match their enemies.

Brought to you by the Nobel Peace Prize winner himself.

Finally, to really get at what is going on inside Syria, I strongly recommend the short article Syria & blanket thinkers. I agree with all four of his main points, but will blockquote just one of them:

It is correct to deny the broad label of ‘sectarian gangs’ to describe armed opposition groups operating in Syria. Nevertheless, evidence exists that these groups are not uniform and there is no united leadership or central command. A sectarian dynamic exists in the current conflict and some of these groups have been galvanised by anti-Shi’a hatred preached by Saudi aligned Salafi preachers (Sheikh ‘Adnan al-’Arour being one prominent example). Human Rights Watch and United Nations reports agree on violence committed by some opposition armed groups (Human Rights Watch makes salient the sectarian dimension of some of these abuses).

The kidnapping of Iranian engineers and Lebanese pilgrims, for example, are examples of this sectarian dimension. Leading Syrian opposition figures (e.g. Burhan Ghalioun and Haitham al-Maleh) justified the kidnapping of Lebanese civilians, perpetuating the narrative of leading Hezbollah officers being captured. Further, documents and news are frequently fabricated from an array of opposition factions (armed and civilian) to establish, on sectarian terms, the armed presence of thousands of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, Sadr Brigades and Hezbollah fighters (a propaganda industry in coordination with the different Saudi monarchy owned media stations). It is not coincidental that this orchestrated scheme of fabrication is largely run on sectarian lines. In other words, it is not only the regime and its backers that may operate along communal lines but also opposition groups.

Also, specific wordings and ideas from anti-Shi’a Salafi polemics and tracts, initially mass distributed during the Iran/Iraq war (e.g. the book ‘The Magians (Zoroastrians) turn has come’), has now become common currency across some opposition factions (it is common to find, in this discourse of derision, talk of the dangers of the Shi’ite esoterics [in this context meaning a communal trait of treachery], the Zoroastrian Twelver Shi’ite rejectionists, the expansionist conspiracies of the Safavids etc.). Popular Facebook pages, such as Shaam News Network and the Syrian Revolution, regularly repeat terms initially concocted by Wahabi preachers (whether Saudi aligned or not), though it is not clear if they realise the theological background of the terms used (these terms are used within a Salafi discourse to excommunicate Twelver Shi’ism from Islam and treat their beliefs and practices as both pagan and idolatrous. This de-humanising language is also used to establish communal traits of treachery and expansionist visions as part of this supposed belief system).

So, do we accept that our country, the U.S., is the critical actor in this tragedy? Do we understand that if the U.S. told its forces to accept and respect a ceasefire – i.e., to do the opposite of what the rebels did when there was a ceasefire in May – that that would of course stop the killing and be the key contribution toward a negotiated settlement of this part civil war part foreign intervention?

To most Syrians, I think, this war has lost any point aside from sectarian score settling. Let’s pressure our government to stop the killing. It has the power, and therefore so do the citizens of the U.S. Or do we?


Videos show CNN, Al Jazeera Faking Syria ‘News’

9:15 am in Uncategorized by fairleft

Angry Arab, opposed to both the Salafist-and-U.S.-backed rebels and the sleazy Syrian government, is essential reading these days, if and only if you want a balanced approach to the dangerously sectarian Syrian rebellion and the government’s ferocious reaction. CNN and Al Jazeera, on the other hand, are I think definitely non-essential watching, unless you just like being bamboozled:

Saturday, March 03, 2012

This is rather explosive. You know how low Aljazeera has sunk when Syrian regime TV stations have a field day with the shoddy journalism and fabrication procedures of Aljazeera. It seems that people inside Aljazeera have leaked raw footage and pre-air reports to someone in Syrian regime TV. … The network is has been so bad that the law of diminishing returns apply here: the network has gone too far in its propaganda work that I can’t see any effectiveness in what they do. I mean, when they declare Friday after Friday that demonstrations “have finally reached” Aleppo and Damascus, and then repeat [the same thing] the following Friday, you know what you are dealing with. There have been too many lies and no attempts are even feigning professionalism anymore. … The footage that are being shown show staging of events of calling a civilian an “officer” in the Syrian army, of faking injuries and feeding statements to people before airtime, etc. Aljazeera seems to be writing its own professional obituary.

Regarding CNN’s coverage of Homs, the raw footage in the following video of ‘Danny the Syrian’ before and during a CNN broadcast with Anderson Cooper is hilarious, actually, but not as funny is the horribly bloody civil war being forced on Syria by external powers and their media:

(Have tried pretty hard by haven’t found the place that explains how to embed youtube videos here. Not that it’s a big deal. You know how to click on stuff.)

More from Angry Arab (the first paragraph I believe is referring to the video above):

Flash: Syrian TV and raw propaganda footage from Aljazeera and CNN

It seems that Syrian regime had agents among the rebels; or it seems that the Syrian regime obtained a trove of video footage from Baba Amru. They have been airing them non-stop. They are quite damning. They show the correspondent or witness (for CNN or from Aljazeera) before he is on the air: and the demeanor is drastically different from the demeanor on the air and they even show contrived sounds of explosions timed for broadcast time. …

PS This is really scandalous. It shows the footage prior to Aljazeera reports: they show fake bandages applied on a child and then a person is ordered to carry a camera in his hand to make it look like a mobile footage. It shows a child being fed what to say on Aljazeera.

Lots more over there. Check it out. Okay, just one more, regarding the pathetically submissive (to the all-dominating media narrative) reaction by the left to Syria (link in the original):

The Left on Syria
Let me say this: OK, she is right. It is easy to argue that the Syrian regime is not Left and should not be supported by anyone on the Left. But she conveniently left out the other side of the equation: that the Syrian National Council is NOT Left either, and should not be supported by anyone on the Left.

PS For the life of me, I don’t understand (given what we know now), why anyone on the Left would be reluctant to criticize the Syrian National Council or any vehicle of the Ikhwan [the Muslim Brotherhood] in Syria.

I completely agree. And, of course, this is the same position the left should’ve taken on Libya, and mostly did take back in 2002-2003 on Bush’s Iraq invasion. Obviously no one ‘supported’ Saddam Hussein, but we on the left in unison opposed the U.S. invasion. What happened to that common sense? Faked CNN videos? Different President?