Archive for June, 2012

Remote IED blasts staged and sold to West as government shelling

June 24, 2012

Smoke from army shelling or activist IED?

When the media’s ongoing story about government violence in Syria switched temporarily from Homs to Idleb in March, we saw the usual unconfirmed activist videos featuring multiple plumes of smoke rising up all over the landscape – what looked to be a massive shelling of the town by the army.

However, journalist Sharmine Narwani was learning, to the contrary – through an online messaging group of Syrian civilians whom she trusted – that telephone calls to Idleb were yielding reports that activists were seen “rigging the town with IEDs” before the government troops moved in.

In a March 13 article, Narwani (Huffington Post and Al Akhbar) published the transcript of an informal online exchange in which a man recapped telephone conversations with his family in Idleb during the occupation of the town by the military the weekend before.

Excerpts from the transcript:

“Today the Army went into [the city of] Idleb. There was no random shelling, they were slowly moving into neighborhoods, starting from the east and southern”

[later] Most damages are caused by the IEDs (some up to 50kgs of explosives) and random firing by militants (using PKT/PKC and DUSHKA/DShk machine guns), with the army returning fire when attacked, but no excessive use of force (i.e no artillery barrages as reported by al Jazeera and other channels)”

The man also passed along news that a home blown open by one of these IEDs had been remotely triggered by activists “as the army was approaching” – with the troops in such proximity to the blast that they were forced to fall back momentarily and restart their sweep of the neighborhood with extra caution.

Journalist Narwani refuses to make more of her evidence than the case will admit – she describes her source as “not a reporter, he relies entirely on his family’s accounts and estimates in Idlib, and his claims cannot be verified at this point.”

MY COMMENT: I think Narwani’s second-hand testimonies are important, constituting, as she says – “the anecdotal evidence that provides the basis for further investigation.”

This further investigation might proceed on grounds more scientifically sound than you think.  All that is required is the ability  to distinguish a remotely triggered IED explosion from a shellburst, and anyone who has seen both would be able to tell us if this differentiation is possible – provided he has no motive to favor one side or other of the debate. The images of the Idleb bombardment or of any other scenes of government shelling alleged by the activists might easily be examined to determine how many of the blasts fit the profile of an IED better than that of an artillery shell.

Pending that investigation, MY QUESTION ABOUT THE IDLEB BOMBARDMENT IS THIS: Could activist videos showing smoke from explosions after the army’s entrance into the city be purposely enhanced by the addition of blasts from remotely triggered IEDs which may have been planted by activists before the army arrived?

Smoke rising from government shelling/ activist IED/ (whatever) in Khaldiyeh neighborhood of Homs province (AP Photo/Shaam News Network)

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS HANDOUT PHOTO

I have already posted a warning that tire fires are sometimes ignited in Syrian cities and carefully tended by activists while their comrades film the thick black plumes of smoke from afar as falsified evidence that buildings are being destroyed by merciless government shelling (see “Rebel tire fires packaged and sold to West as government shelling”).

Smoke from tire fires/ terrorist IEDs/ shelling/ (whatever) rising up from buildings in the Khaldiyeh neighborhood of Homs province, central Syria. (AP Photo/Shaam News Network)

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More evidence FSA is not the real opposition in Syria

June 20, 2012

“the reality on the ground is far from the picture imposed by  dis-information in Western media… Peace in Syria could be saved if everyone told the truth.”

– Bishop Philip Tournyol Clos

A competent eyewitness has suggested that the prime agents of change in Syria are not genuine FSA troops and irregulars but “foreign fighters, mercenary Libyans, Lebanese, militants from the Gulf, Afghans, Turks.”

So says one angry French Bishop after a recent visit to three Syrian cities, in an article June 4 in the Vatican’s online journal Agenzia Fides.

The worst violence in Syria is characterized by the Bishop as “the bloody work of adventurers who are not Syrian… armed groups independent of each other, heavily armed and bankrolled by Qatar and Saudi Arabia.”

NOT SYRIAN?  INDEPENDENT OF EACH OTHER?  This could mean two things.

(1) If civilians are being attacked by outsiders, there is no ‘civil war’ in Syria in the normal sense, which would require that Syrians are fighting fellow Syrians. But somebody’s trying to make it look like civil war.

(2) If the killers are foreigners and “independent of each other” then some or all of them are outside the control of the FSA (in fact, no outside group is likely to be receiving orders or arms or paychecks from the FSA). But if that is true, then there is no real freedom fighting going on in the worst pockets of violence – since we cannot speak of the presence of the FSA in areas where there are no forces they actually control.

The outside fighting groups singled out by the Bishop for greatest condemnation are Sunni Salafists – whose actions have caused him to conclude that this sect is now pursuing a very open and obvious jihad against non-Sunnis in that nation, “especially against the Alawites.”

The Bishop tells how the Salafist fighters administer a kind of trial-by-catechism to a captive citizen suspected of being Alawite:

“They ask him to cite the genealogies dating back to Moses. And they ask to recite a prayer that the Alawites removed. The Alawites have no chance to get out alive.”

While in Homs, the Bishop visited the only two areas in that city which contain Christian churches – Diwan Al Bustan and Hamidieh – and reports that these are among the areas hardest hit by the depredations of the outsiders.

“The picture for us – he continues – is utter desolation: the church of Mar Elian is half destroyed and that of Our Lady of Peace is still occupied by the rebels. Christian homes are severely damaged due to the fighting and completely emptied of their inhabitants, who fled without taking anything.”

The Bishop is defiant and is naming names: “The enemies of Syria have enlisted some of the Muslim Brotherhood in order to destroy the brotherly relations that traditionally existed between Muslims and Christians: Yet, to date, they are not able to: they have provoked a contrary reaction and the two communities are more united than before.”

Read the article in English translation, here

MY COMMENT: The Muslim Brotherhood is a natural pick for this kind of insane proxy war against fellow Muslims, because they are still a little deranged by the thought of revenge for a 30-year old defeat which their group suffered in Hama, Syria, when their violent uprising there was ruthlessly suppressed by troops of the regime of Assad’s father in 1982.

But what about al-Qaeda? There can be no doubt that the black-banner dudes are also there, and that they are also foreigners, and deranged enough to kill fellow Muslims, and that they are not Muslim Brotherhood.  The Brotherhood is propped up by the Gulfies, according to the Bishop’s article, but al-Quaeda is more likely being supported  by our clever/stupid Western intelligence agencies (because they don’t trust the GCC’s proxies to get the job done right).

Caught in the middle, naturally, are the honest citizens of Syria.

June 17, 2012

MY COMMENT:  Above please read another analyst who is connecting the dots and having grave doubts about what we know and do not know about Syria. The world’s humanitarians and liberals would do well to put their self-righteous ‘outrage’ to one side for a day or two and consider that they are at risk of being in contempt of everything they stand for if they continue to place their trust in Big Media and unverified YouTube voice-overs.
Everybody – time to seek the truth … again. If there is a chance that the world conscience is being defrauded by somebody’s international war machine, the facts ought to be investigated very carefully.
In my opinion, huge numbers of literally unsuspecting liberals and humanitarians are being ‘pressed’ into the ignoble ranks of the clever/stupid neocons and their illegal campaign against the sovereignty of perhaps the last secular Muslim society in the world.

Another ‘reality check’ was recently posted over at FAIR.ORG

June 16, 2012

MY COMMENT: A Canadian university professor writes a thoughtful warning, above, to humanitarians who have surrendered their humanitarian impulses to the Western media’s uncritical and complicit atrocity-journalism.

There are good reasons to believe that the World Conscience is being  defrauded by a new Fog of War strategy which has enough ‘wartime’ control over information to co-opt honest humanitarian impulses for support of war aims which real humanitarians would not countenance.

It is increasingly obvious to me that we are looking at a callous international attempt at state-busting operations against Syria that needs very much to be investigated.

The Business of Emotions

‘Set up to be shot in Syria’s no man’s land’

This was the claim on June 8 of Alex Thompson, chief foreign correspondent for Channel 4 News reporting from Qusair, a town close to the Syria/Lebanon border. His story is here.

He describes how the anti-Assad rebels maneuvered the vehicle in which Thompson, his crew, translator and an Arab League observer were traveling into an area where they would be shot by the Syrian Army. Their intent, he argues, was to make it appear that the Syrian Army had knowingly killed journalists and thereby stoke feelings against Assad and for those opposing him.

In his words:

I’m quite clear the rebels deliberately set us up to be shot by the Syrian Army. Dead journos are bad for Damascus…. Please, do not for one moment believe that my experience with the rebels in al Qusair was a one-off …. It…

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Rebel tire fires packaged and sold to West as government shelling

June 15, 2012

The so-called rebels fight in the streets, shoot videos and burn tires. If you see black smoke on a video “made by mobile phone”, it’s not the result of artillery fire by the army, it is smoke from burning tires.  – eye-witness resident Anhar Kochneva

Tire fires are a regular urban ‘production’ in Syria, tended by lackeys of the so-called ‘opposition.’

Independent journalist Anhar Kochneva has lived in Syria both under Bashar al-Assad and under his much more repressive and unprogressive father.  She says that the situation in Syria today is not at all similar to how it has been presented in the mass media.

Well-placed cell-phone videos taken at a distance capture scenes of black smoke rising behind buildings, which are then sent by satellite connection to weak, complicit Western media anchors.

The fraudulent media anchors buy the terrorist version of the image without question and then wholesale it to gullible Western liberals and humanitarians as depictions of a government shelling its own cities.

“I came to Syria in the late-90s. To tell the truth, I didn’t like the country. Now I’ve been living in this country for quite a while, the country has changed. Life has changed; people have changed. People have started their own businesses; they have their own property.

“Therefore, people would maybe have supported a protest movement 10 years ago, but now they wouldn’t. Now people want stability. There is unnecessary chaos, some disorders. They used to live in a peaceful country. Syria was one of the safest countries in the region… Now, unfortunately, it’s not like that anymore. People are afraid. Something they were proud of was stolen from them.

“Some weeks ago I was in Homs. I was in the sadly known Baba Amr district of Homs. Most of the residents have left their homes. My friends live 800 meters from Baba Amr. They told me that bandits fired at their houses. Not the Army. The Syrian army does not kill people. They only answer when the situation is extreme.”

NOTE:  I take responsibility for the photo captions.  But credit for locating the Anhar Kochneva interview by  Natalia Mihailova goes to Friends of Syria

 

Peter Hitchens questions Western reporting on Syria

June 14, 2012

Excerpts from Daily Mail online June 9: “The truth seeps out of Syria”

“I have been contacted by a group of Western women who live in Syria and who believe that most of what the world is being told about that country is false.”

One of Hitchens’ Western informants on the ground in Syria calls the activists “weapon-toting killers who snipe, who ambush, who fire upon the army with the sole purpose of inciting riot and mayhem.”

Hitchens reports that one of his contacts had spoken to a man who took part in a march at Hama last summer. He ‘was worried for his safety, but was given a red rose to carry and assured the whole thing would be calm and orderly, and seeing many other men from the mosque joining in with their small sons, he agreed. They walked for a very few minutes, the unarmed police watching them from the wayside, then a man next to him pulled out a gun and shot the nearest policeman dead.’

The riot which resulted from this provocation was, according to Hitchens’ informant, “reported by foreign TV stations as a police attack on peaceful marchers.

“Armed intervention is in fact well under way, uncondemned by the UN, which readily attacks the Syrian government for defending itself…”

Hitchens: “She blames Salafis, ultra-puritan Muslims influenced by Saudi teachings, who loathe and threaten Syria’s minorities of Alawites and Christians. She says many of the ‘activists’ are foreigners, a view shared by all my informants. Many of the ‘activists’ are armed.

Another writes: ‘I have seen reports of opposition rallies which showed pictures of pro-government rallies… The news being accepted as truth by BBC World News is so biased these days that I no longer believe what they say about anything any more, after more than 60 years of crediting them with the truth.’

Hitchens adds: “I urge you to read what follows, because it is important, … and because it is vital that people resist attempts to drag us into Syria, too, by feeding us one-sided atrocity propaganda… I expect to have more to say on this in weeks to come.”

Read the whole thing

HT for posting the Hitchens article to Michelle Tan at theloveculture

June 13, 2012

MY COMMENT: I doubt that the Houla massacre was the work of Syrians of any party – more likely to be responsible are the bunch of international pirates who have converged on that Arab secular state – like the 700 imported foreigners trapped by the army in Baba Amr in Feb.

The worst elements in the Syrian mix are not Syrian, in my opinion – they are foreign fighters in the country in contempt of international law and are only nominally allied to the FSA – and are certainly NOT receiving arms or money or orders from the FSA or from any Syrians.

Such desecrating slaughter as the mass-murders in Houla and elsewhere were carried out without thought of civilian suffering and could not possibly have been ordered by the Syrian army or by the Syrian FSA – Again, look for imported fighters taking orders from outside. Orders from who? I say check out the free-wheeling clever/stupid ex-“cold warriors” lurking about our embassies, the jerk-offs who think they saved the free world and who are still embedded in our Western intelligence agencies. I think these murderous clowns are now acting as the international handlers of various groups of these deadly imported fighters. In Syria you are looking at a little window into a callous plan of methodical state-busting and dismemberment of Muslim civilization.

NATO state-busters are defrauding world’s conscience in Syria

June 12, 2012

Every humanitarian who trusts the current commentary associated with the bloody images coming out of Syria could very well be getting played for a fool.

There is not enough public questioning of the motives of Western intelligence agencies and their proxy fighters, who are largely responsible for the images of violence in the media.

Independent observers continue to cast doubt upon this Western misinformation campaign against the government and the loyal citizenry of the last secular Arab state in the world.

There are a lot of soldiers of fortune [in Syria]… Chechens, Romanians, French, Libyans, and Afghans… A few Afghans were caught and asked, ‘What are you doing here?’ They replied, ‘We were told that we came to Israel, and at night we are shooting at Israeli buses. We are fighting with the enemy to liberate Palestine.’ It might be funny, but it is true. The guys were really surprised, ‘Are we in Syria? We thought we were in Israel!’

In 1997-98 village massacres during the Algerian civil war plainly showed that there are some Islamic fighters who think nothing of killing large numbers of Muslim civilians whose only crime was refusal to join their rebellion against a secular Arab government.

Today’s busy liberal humanitarians are not really paying attention if they are allowing the corporate television industry to fuel their outrage.  Big mistake. Look again. Your erstwhile humanitarianism is based on a lie that is playing a wealth of ‘world opinion’ and war-authorization into the wrong hands.

The whole world is watching a movie about something [the myth of a worthy indigenous “opposition” being suppressed by a murderous regime] which does not in fact exist; it is fiction in the guise of real events. This is a manipulation of public opinion.

Unfortunately we have reached a point where the juggernaut of deception will simply not be embarrassed by facts any longer. Because enough outrage has been manufactured already to go forward, and this makes it absolutely mandatory that the truth be ruthlessly stonewalled until the very last falsehood is in place – so that the public relations crime of the new century can at last be perpetrated against the people of Syria.

I’ve been living permanently in Syria for the last seven months, and I saw only three ‘so-called demonstrations.’ So-called, because there were very few people and they were clearly staged as a performance for journalists… The so-called rebels fight in the streets, shoot videos and burn tires. If you see black smoke on a video “made by mobile phone”, it’s not the result of artillery fire by the army, it is smoke from burning tires.

Western humanitarians wake up! Your enemies the Neo-cons have manipulated your sympathies to make you unwilling accomplices in their year-long vicious attack against one of the last stable and secular Muslim states.

Protests were shot on video for five or ten minutes before people quickly dispersed. In some cities, where bandits took control temporarily, they forced people to go to demonstrations… In Zabadani, my colleagues and I were captured by bandits. They showed us a rusty tank and said the tank fired at the town… They gathered a dozen people and organized a demonstration especially for us. At this moment I looked at the people’s faces. I saw only fear and hatred on the faces. They were afraid of the bandits and hated them.

Ten years from now, when the real historians have had a chance to sift the facts, everyone now looking on with approval at this calloused wave of Neo-con state-busting will be exposed for a bunch of hapless and distracted TV spectators who got lied too.