Syrian revolt is against tyranny

Submitted by AWL on 13 June, 2012 - 6:59

According to Syria expert Joshua Landis, “Syrians have abandoned the regime in spirit, even if they have yet to defect in body”.

“Sunni Syrians continue to go to work and turn up in their offices in the morning, but they hate the Assad regime in their hearts. Assad’s army is being taken over by shabiha and security forces manned by Alawites. The massacres leave no doubt about that”.

Even in the capital, Damascus, where Assad’s control is strongest, shopkeepers have staged a week-long strike to protest against the massacre, by the army and pro-Assad Alawite sectarian militias, of more than 100 people in the village of Houla on 25 March.

The long rebellion is escalating into a sporadic civil war.

Well over 10,000 have died, and aid agencies say that at least 1.5 million people displaced people in Syria — besides those who have fled over the border to Turkey — need help.

Some people on the left refuse solidarity to the Syrian rebellion, citing two arguments. They say that the rebellion is a catspaw of the USA and allied powers which want to see Assad ousted, or at least that the most important thing is to campaign against big-power intervention, and that solidarity for the rebels could only confuse that primary message.

They also say that the rebels are sectarians, as guilty of atrocities as the regime or more so.

It is true that there are increasing reports of Sunni-sectarian militias in the rebellion. Some element of that is probably inevitable, given the lack of a widely-recognised leadership for the rebellion, and the Assad regime’s long-time manipulation of religious minorities (Alawite Muslims, Christians) to bolster itself.

It cannot be excluded that the Sunni-sectarian elements will eventually dominate. The Financial Times reports that “some ultraconservative Islamist Salafi sheikhs in Saudi Arabia suspected of running their own network of supplies to fighters”.

But an overview of the whole history of the rebellion leaves no doubt that its original driving force was revulsion against Assad’s tyranny, stimulated by the examples of Egypt and Tunisia, and aiming for measures of democracy and freedom. Solidarity from the left and the international labour movement to the rebellion, and to its democratic, secular, and working-class strands, is the best antidote to the danger of Islamist or Sunni-sectarian diversion.

According to most reports, the Free Syria Army, with its base in the border areas in Turkey where many Syrians have fled, is still largely secular in orientation. The rebels’ main military supplier is... the Syrian army, with many Assad-regime officials happy to coin profits from supplying arms to the rebels at high prices.

Although only a friend of the dictatorship could object to measures against the Assad family’s international assets, on many accounts the current sanctions hurt the Syrian poor more than they hurt the regime, which still has no trouble getting arms.

Big powers rule out military intervention less firmly than they used to, but the dominant bourgeois opinion is that intervention would cause them more trouble than benefit. If there is intervention, its character will have to be agreed and coordinated with the Turkish government, which clearly wants the Assad regime to go, but keeps quiet about the plans it must have to influence the opposition and shape a future regime.

To refuse to support military intervention is one thing: to identify the possibility US intervention as the main danger, while Assad is killing thousands, is to betray the Syrian people.

Comments

Submitted by guenter on Thu, 14/06/2012 - 14:43

"to identify the US-intervention as the main danger, whileassad is killing thousands, means to betray the syrian people".

AWL is -once again- going to declare the imperialist interventions for oil and region control as an act 4 supporting people, human rights&democracy, right?

Submitted by Mark on Fri, 15/06/2012 - 15:38

In reply to by guenter

You have a mindset which seems impervious to facts about the real world. Facts get in the way of your framework, don't they. Must give you a headache.
The main imperialist interventions in Syria are from Iran (boots on the ground) and Russia (political support and weapons).
But you don't mean that, do you?
No you mean the REAL imperialism, don't you: America and the Western powers. But they are not intervening, are they? Not directly, or even indirectly by funding or arming (to any great extent) the opposition. In fact the US has put pressure on the Saudis not to send weapons.
Moreover, Syria has very little oil.
And, what little it does have is sold to the EU. Why would they 'intervene for oil' when they can get it by the simple procedure of buying the stuff?
Honestly: no doubt you're not actually stupid, but your framework makes you seem so.

Submitted by guenter on Thu, 14/06/2012 - 14:46

i think, the following article is worth to discuss:

Imperialism and the Houla massacre
14 June 2012
Investigations of the May 25 massacre in Houla, Syria have shattered the lies Washington and its allies are using to justify their escalating military intervention in Syria.

Responsibility for the deaths of 108 people massacred in Houla lies not with the Syrian army, but with the Syrian “rebel” forces the US is arming against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, according to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, a leading German daily. The newspaper reported that the Syrian guerilla groups functioned as Sunni sectarian death squads, wiping out much of Houla’s Shiite Muslim minority. Its sources were not drawn from the Assad regime, but from the Syrian opposition itself, as well as from French religious groups in Syria.

The implications of this revelation go far beyond the atrocity in Houla. They undermine the rotten foundations of the US-led campaign for war with Syria. The media uncritically reports opposition accounts of the killings and Western denunciations of Assad to cynically present arms support for the opposition—or, possibly, a US invasion of Syria—as acts of conscience to halt a humanitarian disaster.

Media outlets carrying such reports are acting as nothing more than propaganda agencies for US intervention. The US and its allies aim to intimidate Russia and China into abandoning their opposition to US-led intervention, then oust Assad and replace him with a pro-US proxy regime.

The Houla massacre was an integral part of this campaign. Less than ten days before, it had been announced that the US was coordinating a surge in weapons supplies delivered to Syrian opposition forces, paid by the Saudi and Qatari monarchies. After initial reports of the massacre, the Western powers broke off relations with Syria. The United States, France, Britain, Germany, Italy, Spain, Australia, and Canada all expelled their Syrian ambassadors in protest at a massacre actually carried out by their own proxies.

These events underscore the hypocrisy of US diplomats’ criticisms of Russia for arming the Assad regime, while Washington’s wealthy Arab allies flood “rebel” guerrillas with weapons.

None of these events can be understood outside the political crisis provoked by last year’s revolutionary upsurge in the Middle East. Mass protests of workers and youth forced out pro-US dictators in Egypt and Tunisia. However, the lack of a politically independent movement of the working class fighting to take power and fight for socialism gave the US and its allies time to regroup and elaborate a counter-revolutionary strategy.

The aim of the imperialist powers has been to further the colonial re-subjugation of the entire Middle East. Protests against pro-US regimes were to be crushed. As for protests in countries without close ties to Washington, like Libya or Syria, they were to be brought under the control of right-wing forces to divert protests along ethnic or sectarian lines. They would then serve as proxies in US-led civil wars—as Washington posed as a friend of the “Arab spring” because it was trying to depose Middle East regimes.

After the Saudi monarchy bloodily suppressed protests in Bahrain, the US promoted Islamist and tribal elements against Libyan Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, who was toppled by NATO and Islamist-rebels in a bloody war costing some 50,000 lives. In Syria, the US relied largely on Sunni elements like the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, financed by the anti-Shiite Saudi monarchy. The massacre in Houla is the predictable outcome of Washington’s promotion of these reactionary forces.

The imperialist strategy relied on the bankruptcy of Middle Eastern bourgeois nationalist regimes and their right-wing evolution after the fall of the USSR. Deprived of a great-power defender and deeply unpopular due to their free-market reforms, they were beset with deep ethnic and sectarian divisions and vulnerable to US intervention. The Assad regime, which has carried out repeated “liberalization” policies and draws its ruling personnel from the Alawite religious minority, was particularly vulnerable.

Working off a playbook developed in the post-Soviet era wars in Yugoslavia and Iraq, the US stoked up sectarian and tribal rivalries, using the outbreak of fighting as a pretext for intervention and vastly exaggerating or manufacturing atrocities blamed on the targeted regime.

Above all, Washington relied on the subservience of the American and European media, and the dishonest parties of the bourgeois “left.” The media, having first cynically parroted the line of Syrian “rebel” forces who carried out the Houla massacre, is now ignoring the FAZ report.

Shortly after the Houla massacre, the New York Times published an editorial titled “Assad, the Butcher” that denounced Assad. The newspaper cynically accused Moscow and Beijing of having blood on their hands for refusing to support a US-led military intervention.

As for the petty-bourgeois ex-left parties who have promoted Syrian “rebel” forces, such as France’s New Anti-capitalist Party or the American International Socialist Organization, they stand exposed as supporters of imperialist killings masquerading in humanitarian guise.

The only way forward in the Middle East is a renewed struggle of the working class against the capitalist regimes and for socialism, taking as its point of departure an uncompromising opposition to imperialism and all its agents in the Middle East. The key allies of the Middle Eastern working class in this struggle is the working class in the imperialist countries, which is reeling from the economic crisis and hostile to a renewed war drive by the US and Europe.

Alex Lantier

Submitted by guenter on Fri, 15/06/2012 - 20:47

You have a mindset which seems impervious to facts about the real world. Facts get in the way of your framework, don't they. Must give you a headache.

...thats a great self-description of yours, mark.
the USA dont have plans 4 interventions?
...and u believe in santa claus, dont you?
i dont wonder that u was 100% unable to argue with the represented article, and that u know nothing else than to abuse other opinions as stupid.
when will u join the tories?

Submitted by Mark on Fri, 15/06/2012 - 23:12

Sorry, you seem to have made a mistake. All your fire seems to be directed at those fighting the Syrian state. Have you deleted a few paragraphs? Is there some editing error?
How can anyone with any moral centre rooted in human solidarity not start by condemning the Syrian state? I’m baffled.
Honestly, even someone on the boneheaded, Stalinoid end of orthodox Trotskyism should be able to see that the blame here lies with the murdering, authoritarian state.
It is the case, is it not, that the state has been responsible for the big majority of the 15000 deaths since last March. The regime has made mass detentions, carried out mass torture. They use helicopters and tanks against their own people. Many towns are outside of their control because the people hate the authorities.
The only 'criticism' I can see of the state in your text ('deeply unpopular due to their free-market reforms') doesn't quite do the job, does it? Because mainly they are 'deeply unpopular' because people want freedom and democracy and they are being murdered in the streets when they demonstrate.
The idea that the local militias and committees are simply proxies of the US is a lie. They are an organic product of the uprising. They are not a creation from the 'outside'. If they look to the US it is because they are desperate. They need help and hope the US can give it. So?

There are plenty of reputable media who report that Houla was carried out by thugs allied to the regime. You've chosen another report (a tiny minority among the international media) for your own political reasons. Even if you're acting with 'honest intentions' (rather than as a direct stooge of the regime), the effect of your stance is to whitewash the Syrian state.

OK then: Imperialist troops out! Hands off Syria!
Indeed, Iran should get its military advisers out and Russia should stop shipping weapons. Wouldn't you agree?
So the US have a campaign for war with Syria? Do they indeed? This is news to me. No doubt news to Obama too.

And it is not true that the US, Saudis etc have organised a 'surge' of weapons deliveries. Most of the rebel weapons in northern Syria - for example - have been taken from the regime or bought from corrupt army officers. They don't have much heavy weaponry.

Submitted by guenter on Sat, 16/06/2012 - 02:21

to label the FAZ and the BBC (see article below) as tiny minority- THATS news, and what funny ones!
u are getting real dirty, when u try to suggest that my critic on u was in support of the syrian regime- thats real rightwing demagoguel. (and it seems to happen quite often within AWL-members!) i thought it wasnt necessary to start my comment with the condeming of the syrian regime, cause that was so self-evident, that nobody who knows me (or only some of my postings here) can ever think i would. alone 4 this dirty rhetoric of yours i shall refuse to talk to u any further.
i only say, its the job of the people in certain countries to get rid off their dictators- not the job 4 foreign interventions, who always have any other aim than a selfishless support 4 people, democracy and freedom. thats exactly the imperialist propaganda. and given ur hysterical nonsense-attack on me, the angryness and agressivity u have in support of foreign interventions, could make u an member of an imperialist party. iam sure, that soon u will defend an israelite attack on iran, isnt it?

BBC world news editor: Houla massacre coverage based on opposition propaganda

15 June 2012
As quietly as possible, BBC world news editor Jon Williams has admitted that the coverage of last month’s Houla massacre in Syria by the world’s media and his own employers was a compendium of lies.

Datelined 16:23, June 7, Williams chose a personal blog to make a series of fairly frank statements explaining that there was no evidence whatsoever to identify either the Syrian Army or Alawite militias as the perpetrators of the May 25 massacre of 100 people.

By implication, Williams also suggests strongly that such allegations are the product of the propaganda department of the Sunni insurgents seeking to overthrow Bashar al-Assad.

After preparatory statements of self-justification noting the “complexity of the situation on the ground in Syria, and the need to try to separate fact from fiction,” and Syria’s long “history of rumours passing for fact,” Williams writes:

“In the aftermath of the massacre at Houla last month, initial reports said some of the 49 children and 34 women killed had their throats cut. In Damascus, Western officials told me the subsequent investigation revealed none of those found dead had been killed in such a brutal manner. Moreover, while Syrian forces had shelled the area shortly before the massacre, the details of exactly who carried out the attacks, how and why were still unclear.”

For this reason, he concludes somewhat belatedly, “In such circumstances, it’s more important than ever that we report what we don’t know, not merely what we do.”

“In Houla, and now in Qubair, the finger has been pointed at the Shabiha, pro-government militia. But tragic death toll aside, the facts are few: it’s not clear who ordered the killings—or why.”

No trace of such a restrained approach can be found at the time on the BBC, or most anywhere else.

Instead the BBC offered itself as a sounding board for the statements of feigned outrage emanating from London, Washington and the United Nations headquarters—all blaming the atrocity on either the Syrian Army or Shabiha militias acting under their protection.

Typical was the May 28 report, “Syria Houla massacre: Survivors recount horror”, in which unidentified “Survivors of the massacre ... have told the BBC of their shock and fear as regime forces entered their homes and killed their families.” Nowhere was the question even posed that in such a conflict these alleged witnesses could be politically aligned with the opposition and acting under its instruction.

Only now does Williams state:

“Given the difficulties of reporting inside Syria, video filed by the opposition on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube may provide some insight into the story on the ground. But stories are never black and white—often shades of grey. Those opposed to President Assad have an agenda. One senior Western official went as far as to describe their YouTube communications strategy as ‘brilliant’. But he also likened it to so-called ‘psy-ops’, brainwashing techniques used by the US and other military to convince people of things that may not necessarily be true.”

Williams is in a position to know of what he speaks.

On May 27, the BBC ran a report on Houla under a photo purporting to show “the bodies of children in Houla awaiting burial.”

In reality this was an example of opposition propaganda that was anything but “brilliant”. The photograph of dozens of shrouded corpses was actually taken by Marco di Lauro in Iraq on March 27, 2003 and was of white body bags containing skeletons found in a desert south of Baghdad.

Di Lauro commented, “What I am really astonished by is that a news organization like the BBC doesn’t check the sources and it’s willing to publish any picture sent it by anyone: activist, citizen journalist or whatever… Someone is using someone else’s picture for propaganda on purpose.”

The BBC again acted as a vehicle for such propaganda, despite knowing that the photo had been supplied by an “activist” and that it could not be independently verified.

Williams concludes with the advice to his colleagues: “A healthy scepticism is one of the essential qualities of any journalist—never more so than in reporting conflict. The stakes are high—all may not always be as it seems.”

Given its track record, the appeal to exercise a healthy skepticism should more correctly be directed towards the BBC’s readers and viewers—and towards the entire official media apparatus.

It may well be the case that Williams’ mea culpa is motivated by a personal concern at the role he and his colleagues are being asked to play as mouthpieces for the campaign for regime change in Syria. But with his comments buried away on his blog, elsewhere on the BBC everything proceeds according to script.

The BBC’s coverage of the alleged June 6 massacre in the village of Qubair once again features uncritical coverage of allegations by the opposition that it was the work of Shabiha militias that were being protected by Syrian troops. BBC correspondent Paul Danahar, accompanying UN monitors, writes of buildings gutted and burnt and states that it is “unclear” what happened to the bodies of dozens of reported victims. He writes of a house “gutted by fire,” the “smell of burnt flesh,” blood and pieces of flesh. He writes that “butchering the people did not satisfy the blood lust of the attackers. They shot the livestock too.”

This is accompanied by a picture of a dead donkey, but aside from this there is absolutely nothing of substance to indicate what happened in the village.

And at one point, Danahar tweets: “A man called Ahmed has come up from the village who says he witnessed the killings. He has says dozens were killed… He has a badly bruised face but his story is conflicted & the UN say they are not sure he’s honest as they think he followed the convoy” (emphasis added).

This does not stop Danahar from concluding, from tracks supposedly made by military vehicles, that “attempts to cover up the details of the atrocity are calculated & clear.”

So much for healthy scepticism!

It must also be pointed out that the BBC has not written a word regarding the June 7 report by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that the Free Syrian Army carried out the Houla massacre, according to interviews with local residents by opposition forces opposed to the Western-backed militia.

Submitted by guenter on Sat, 16/06/2012 - 14:02

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung confirms: Houla massacre committed by Syrian “rebels”
By Clara Weiss
16 June 2012
On June 13 journalist Rainer Hermann confirmed his earlier report in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung refuting the official version of the Houla massacre in Syria.

The media have almost unanimously described the May 5 events in Houla as an atrocity committed by the Syrian government, relying almost exclusively on reports from the so-called rebels. Western powers have used the massacre as a pretext to whip up pro-war sentiment and intensify their pressure on the Assad regime. The US and UK reacted to the massacre by withdrawing diplomats from Syria.

In his June 7 report, Hermann asserted that the victims of the massacre in Taldou, a village in the Houla region, were members of the Alawite und Shi’ite minorities and that the killers were not troops loyal to the Assad regime, but forces aligned with the Sunni-based, sectarian Free Syrian Army (FSA).

Although the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung is one of the most prominent German-language newspapers and Hermann a well-known journalist, the report has largely been ignored by the German and international media and criticized in a few reports.

In his new article June 13 Hermann defends his reporting and adds further details about the massacre. This report has also been met largely with silence.

The Houla plains region, Hermann writes, “is burdened by a long history of sectarian tensions. ... Of the names of the civilians killed, 84 are known. These are the fathers, mothers and 49 children of the Al Sayyid family and two branches of the Abdarrazzaq family. … Additionally killed in Taldou were relatives of the … member of parliament Abdalmuti Mashlab.”

Hermann goes on to describe what happened: “The family members were targeted and killed with only one exception. No neighbour was injured. One had to have knowledge of the place to carry out these well-planned executions”.

Hermann then quotes 11-year-old Ali, the only member of the Al Sayyid family to survive the bloodbath: “Those responsible had shaved heads and long beards”. In Hermann’s opinion, this points to “fanatical jihadists” and not the “Shabiha militia”.

The version of the event advanced in the global media, in particularly lurid fashion by Britain’s Observer and Der Spiegel, the German news magazine, blames the Shabiha militias, regarded as assault detachments of the Assad regime. These articles rely on the testimony of a Major Jihad Raslan said to have first served in Assad’s army, who then deserted because he was so appalled by the “events in Houla”. Hermann’s article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung exposes these reports as a bunch of lies.

Hermann reconstructs the sequence of events as follows: “After the Friday prayers on May 25 more than 700 armed people led by Abdurrazzaq Tlass and Yahya Yusuf, forming three groups from Rastan, Kafr Laha and Akraba, attacked three army checkpoints around Taldou. The numerically superior rebels and the (mostly also Sunni) soldiers fought bloody battles in which two dozen soldiers, mostly conscripts, were killed. During and after the fighting the rebels, supported by residents of Taldou, wiped out the Al Sayyid and Abdarrazzaq families. They had refused to join the opposition”.

In his article, Hermann refers to earlier reports by other journalists and nuns from the Jacob Monastery in Qara. Nuns had described to Dutch journalist Martin Jannsen how the rebels piled the bodies of dead soldiers and civilians in front of the mosque and told UN observers their version of the alleged massacre in front of cameras from rebel-friendly television channels.

The nun Agnès-Maryam had already described the escalation of sectarian violence around Homs in an open letter toward the end of April. She warned of a step-by-step liquidation of all minorities by the Sunni rebels and described the displacement of Christians and Alawites from their homes and the rape of young girls who had been given to the rebels as spoils of war.

Herman also refers to Russian journalist Marat Musin who works for the Anna news agency and was in Houla on May 25 and 26, thus becoming an eyewitness of the events as well as a reporter. So far Musin seems to have given the most detailed description of what took place. His version coincides with Hermann’s and that of the nuns on all decisive points.

These reports and the latest article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung confirm that Syria is being ravaged by a civil war deliberately promoted by Western powers to destabilize the country and prepare it for regime change. The rebels do not speak for the majority of the population. They are made up of former members of the regime, soldiers, mercenaries, terrorists and secret agents pursuing a reactionary political agenda, many of them using the support by the West to settle old scores and carry out sectarian conflicts.

International news media are supporting the war preparations of US imperialism and its allies in an unprecedented campaign of agitation and propaganda. That is why Hermann’s article and the well-documented reports of other journalists and eyewitnesses are mostly being hushed up.

Submitted by guenter on Sat, 16/06/2012 - 14:12

i myself once worked 4 the FAZ, (no, not as a journalist) and so had a little insight view. they are not only 1 of the worlds biggest conservative mags, but one of the most serious ones. nothing like "bild" (="sun") or so. they sometimes really write the truth, that their bourgeois readers know whats really goin´on, and dont need to read in-between-the-lines in those mags, which function is only, to keep the masses stupid. they also have better and more extended reports from other countries than the leftliberal mags in germany; they simply can afford a bigger staff anywhere.

Submitted by Clive on Sun, 17/06/2012 - 12:27

See, for example:

http://syriafreedomforever.wordpress.com/2012/05/24/open-letter-to-the-…

Guenter quotes:

"... confirm that Syria is being ravaged by a civil war deliberately promoted by Western powers to destabilize the country and prepare it for regime change."

This would be slightly easier to accept if what was happening in Syria a) wasn't part of a wider pattern in the Arab world, and b) if the Syrian regime was benevolent and lovely and the Syrian people had nothing to protest about.

I think there's also c) 'regime change' - to what? Destabilising Syria surely runs the risk, from the point of view of the Western powers, of ending up with the Muslim Brotherhood. If Asad was a real thorn in their side (from whatever angle), I suppose it might be worth the risk. But why risk it now? (Of course, things have got so bad they reckon Asad needs to go, and they'd rather have some control over who replaces him. But that's not at all the same as 'deliberately promoting' the crisis in the first place).

Submitted by guenter on Sun, 17/06/2012 - 14:51

clive bradley, the master of demagogy, does always rush in when 1of his comrades is in argumentative need. i was waiting 4 him.
of course he didnt leave a word about the houla massacre, whete AWL was again proofed to fall 4 imperialist propaganda,
and he just picks on one sentence.
while i had already clarified, that i see assad same as much as a dictator as they do, but that the people of such countries shall get rid off their dictators without allowing/welcoming foreign interventions.
now we need only randall here, and their rap is complete.

Submitted by Mark on Sun, 17/06/2012 - 16:20

Other stuff you might consider:
The Falklands war: despite appearances - actually a provocation by McDonalds, using the British government as a proxy, to grab control of the Argentinian beef industry. Those who deny this obvious fact are Thatcherites.

Euro 2012: in fact a complex plot by imperialism to provoke Ukrainian racism, allowing the US to intervene. Expect cruise missile attacks against Kiev. Those who deny this are excusing US genocide.

Tourism to Egypt? On the surface it seems that US tourists are going to see the pyramids. But are they really? No, they are casing the country. Why? Two reasons - first imperialism intends to grab control of the falafel trade; second they intend to turn Egypt into an enormous weapons dump as part of their war drive against Iran. The only people who don't believe this are pro-American bastards.

Pepsi Cola. On the surface Pepsi is a tasty, refreshing fizzy drink. But is it really? Oh no. The sugar content has been increased, deliberately, by imperialism - BUT ONLY IN CANS SOLD IN THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES! This has been proved conclusively by some journal published in Bulgaria, who’s name escapes me momentarily. Why? Obviously imperialism intends the local populations to be so zonked on Pepsi they will be unable to fight off US led attempts to recolonise them. The only people who can't see this are stooges for Randall and Bradley, who make me sick.

Submitted by Clive on Sun, 17/06/2012 - 19:26

Guenter

I don't know about the Houla massacre. My point was that the argument of the article you posted is unimpressive, for the reasons I gave. Perhaps you could respond to those reasons.

You don't have to. You can respond or not respond to whatever you like. As can I.

In the meantime, I am more inclined to believe Syrian revolutionaries, like the one who wrote the article I linked to.

By the way, by 'argumentative need' I think you mean that you thought Mark was losing the argument. Well, no.

Submitted by guenter on Sun, 17/06/2012 - 20:58

clive "dont know about the houla massacre", as he says -and does same as mark ignore all the posted articles from FAZ and BBC, who proofed the claim that the syrian govtm did this (the main argument 4 those, who want foreign interventions) as imperialist propaganda.
the "answer" of mark was the coming out of a childish nonsense clown.
with such members, AWL will be reduced to an sect, which nobody does take serious anymore- if this isnt already the case (the postings in the past 2 months or so, the number of participants did rapidly went down.)
i rest my case,cause this above is only of provocational character now.
AWL members get wild and agressive and slanderous in support of upcoming imperialist interventions and wars. hats off.

Submitted by Barry Finger on Sun, 17/06/2012 - 21:07

Reconsidering the Houla massacre
Posted By Paul Woodward On June 10, 2012 @ 9:03 pm In Syria | 6 Comments

(Update below)

A new report [1] in Germany’s leading daily, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), is gathering attention among those who view with suspicion most other reports on Syria being published in the Western media.

The report claims that the Houla massacre [2] in which 108 people died on May 25 was not committed by members of the pro-Assad Shabiha [3] but was in fact carried out by anti-Assad Sunni militants and that nearly all the victims were members of the Alawi and Shia minorities.

Moon of Alabama [4] writes:

While I do not agree with the FAZ’s general editorial positions, I have followed Rainer Hermann reports for years. In my view he is an very reliable and knowledgeable reporter who would not have written the above if he had doubts or no additional confirmation about what he was told by the opposition members he talked to.

In a translation appearing at National Review [5], Hermann refers to eyewitness accounts, saying:

Those killed were almost exclusively from families belonging to Houla’s Alawi and Shia minorities. Over 90% of Houla’s population are Sunnis. Several dozen members of a family were slaughtered, which had converted from Sunni to Shia Islam.

Earlier reports, including one from Human Rights Watch [6] which interviewed surviving relatives of the families, said that 62 of the dead belonged to Abdel Razzak family with Reuters [7] reporting that this was a Sunni family. Hermann’s report provides no family names but asserts that almost none of those killed were Sunnis.

In the absence of any additional information, I’m inclined to still believe the original reports.

Who’s running with the Hermann report? Antiwar.com, National Review, Global Research, Moon of Alabama, DEBKA File, American Thinker, and Lew Rockwell — a curious amalgam of the left, right, and libertarian.

Update: Human Rights Watch confirmed to me that the Abdel Razzak family are indeed Sunnis and that after the massacre those members of the family who survived sought the protection of the Free Syrian Army.

Even before the FAZ report appeared, rumors had started circulating that the victims of the massacre were converts to Shiism and thus HRW asked residents of Houla (including survivors from the Abdel Razzak family) about these allegations but they all denied them and said that all those killed from that family were Sunnis. The majority of the victims of the massacre were from the Abdel Razzak family.

Share [8]
Article printed from War in Context: http://warincontext.org

URL to article: http://warincontext.org/2012/06/10/reconsidering-the-houla-massacre/

URLs in this post:

[1] new report: http://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/neue-erkenntnisse-zu-getoeteten-von-…
[2] Houla massacre: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Houla_massacre
[3] Shabiha: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shabiha
[4] Moon of Alabama: http://www.moonofalabama.org/2012/06/prime-german-paper-syrian-rebels-c…
[5] National Review: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/302261/report-rebels-responsible-h…
[6] Human Rights Watch: http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/05/27/syria-un-inquiry-should-investigate-…
[7] Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/30/us-syria-crisis-houla-idUSBRE…
[8] Share: http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php
Click here to print.

Submitted by Dr Paul on Sun, 17/06/2012 - 22:13

Certainly the Syrian revolt against Assad started as a democratic response to a nasty dictatorship, and nobody should be fooled by the Syrian Ba'athists' threadbare 'anti-imperialist' image. However, the longer reactionary forces such as Saudi Arabia bankroll and supply the opposition, the more this looks like going the way of Libya, where any democratic impulses become submerged under sectarianism, and the opposition movements become puppets of imperialist states and their proxies and reactionary religious forces. This looks like what is happening in Syria, and I reckon that sectarian 'opposition' forces were as likely to have committed the massacre in Hula as pro-regime militias.

With Libya having disintegrated into local fiefdoms under sundry unaccountable and often Islamist militias, with the Egyptian electorate having to choose between the Muslim Brotherhood and the military, and now with Syria seemingly sliding into sectarian slaughter, might one say that the Arab Spring is now becoming summertime for the reactionaries?

Submitted by Clive on Sun, 17/06/2012 - 22:58

Thanks, Barry, useful.

Guenter, by "I don't know" I mean I don't know which account of it is right. You, apparently, do know. This might be omniscience on your part, or it might be jumping to conclusions too early.

I am sceptical of the account you quoted, for the reasons I gave, and Barry's post suggests scepticism is in order.

Why this makes me the master of demagogy and what have you, I'm not sure. But have it your way.

Submitted by guenter on Mon, 18/06/2012 - 01:10

the human rights watch organisation is a very small group, compared to the numbers of reporters, the FAZ can afford. i DONT mean to say , so they must be wrong or non-serious, but i still have my doubts, knowing the FAZ from insight. as rightwing reactionists, they are lightyears from whitewashing the "anti-imperialist" posing assad-regime. they had neither reason nor intention 4 false reports, and often have been much more exactly than any other bourgeois paper.

when i said u guys are getting wild, i mainly considered mark´s nonsense-remarks, where he tried to suggest in satirical manner positions i never hed and never expressed. to label me as the stalinoid end of trotskyism and whatever.
so, even if we where to expect or agree, that the hula-masacree was done by assad´s fellows,that wont change a yota of my basic argumentation, where neither u,clive, nor mark argued with. this basic argumentation was
-its the job of each nation, to get rid off his dictators without the "help" of foreign interventions
-cause any of this interventions are alwas for any other reason than selfishless help, protection, freedom &democracy.
u guys tend to forget, that capitalist countries arent democratic either and no lesser evil too.
given AWL´s position
-in supporting the foreign interventions in lybya
-in agreeing with the NATO on war with yugoslawia
-in agreeing with drunkard yeltsin(!) on banning the russian CP (considering an act out of anti-communism as an antistalinist one, and sometimes mixing both)
and many more things like this,i have any reason to keep sceptical, if u guys present to ur readers only those mags, who says hula masacree was done by assad, and keep them from all those who says otherwise. sayin´so, that still dont make me an friend of such regimes, as mark madly tried to paint me. on the other hand, guys from the german militant-tendency once labeled me as anticommunist, when i heavyly attacked an old article of them, where they described syria as an "degenerated workers-state"(!) so this is exactly the childish behaviour in all sects. no reason to take this back.

Submitted by guenter on Mon, 18/06/2012 - 01:31

The United Nations and the Houla Massacre: The Information Battlefield

by Ronda Hauben

Global Research, June 12, 2012

Email this article to a friend
Print this article

8diggsdigg 246
Share

At a press conference held on June 4 marking the beginning of China’s presidency of the UN Security Council for the month of June, Li Baodong, China’s Ambassador to the UN, observed that there are different versions of the facts of the Houla Massacre. “Now we have different stories from different angles,” he noted. “Now we have the story from the Syrian government, and from the opposition parties, and from different sources.”

Since the Security Council has “ a team….on the ground,” he said, “We want to see first-hand information from our own people.” He hoped this would make it possible to put the different pieces of information together and to come “to our own conclusion with our own judgment.”(1)

The expectation was that Joint UN-Arab League Envoy Kofi Annan would be able to provide further information from the UNSMIS Observer mission when he came to speak with the Security Council on Thursday, June 7. It was anticipated that Annan’s presentation would help to clarify the facts of the massacre. (2)

On June 7, however, instead of providing new information from such an investigation, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and several of the other speakers at the Informal General Assembly (GA) meeting put the responsibility for the Houla Massacre on the Assad government. This was also the dominant response of the nations that spoke at the Informal GA meeting even though there had not yet been any adequate investigation into facts of the situation. (3) Also, there were claims of a new massacre.

Some of the member nations that spoke at the Informal GA meeting, however, objected to coming to such a conclusion, especially, in the absence of an adequate investigation.

In his comments referring to the massacres in Houla and on the outskirts of Hama, the Russian Ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, said, “Clearly these are the most serious crimes that require a reliable detailed investigation.”

Other nations including Venezuela, India, Cuba and Nicaragua expressed similar views. The Venezuelan Representative told the Informal GA meeting, “We suspect the fact that these criminal acts happen to coincide with these debates at the UN. We have to wonder to whom does this benefit at this time?” He urged that, “an independent and transparent investigation into these massacres must take place and we must find convincing clarity.”

India’s Ambassador to the UN, Hardeep Singh Puri, noted that the attacks against civilians and security forces in Syria “have intensified over the last few weeks and have taken a significant toll.” Also he drew attention to the sharp increase in the number of terrorist attacks in different parts of the country.” He “condemned all violence, irrespective of who the perpetrators are,” and called for the “cessation of all outside support for armed groups and serious action against the terrorist groups in Syria.” And he asked that the crimes, “including the recent incident in El Houleh, are fully investigated and their perpetrators brought to justice.”

After comparing what has happened in Syria with what had happened in Libya, the Nicaraguan Representative called for “an exhaustive investigation of these crimes and to bring the guilty to justice.”

The Cuban Ambassador noted that the “information is fragmented, imprecise and the object of frequent manipulation.” He denounced what he saw as the “complicity of the major broadcast media which are used to confusing reality and not accepting the responsibility for their acts.”

During his comments, which were twice cut off by the UN video transmission system, Ambassador Bashir Ja’afari, the Syrian Ambassador, asked how the Secretary General of the League of Arab States could render a judgment about who is responsible for the Houla massacre when such a judgment contradicts the report of the United Nations observers on the ground, and investigations of that atrocious massacre have not yet been completed. The massacre, he emphasized, had been condemned by the Syrian government.

Ambassador Ja’afari announced that, “Syria is ready to receive a commission of inquiry of states known for their independence and for their respect for the UN charter and for their refusal to interfere in Syrian internal affairs.”

Later in the afternoon, after the Security Council’s informal briefing with Kofi Annan, there was a media stakeout at the Security Council. One journalist asked Ban Ki moon, “Mr. Secretary General, what steps have you taken to comply with the request of the Security Council on 27th of May through the press statement to investigate fully, independently and transparently the killing in El Houleh?” The UN Secretary General did not answer the question. (4)

It is notable that as Ambassador Li Baodong had recognized during his press conference on June 4, several different narratives have been used to describe the Houla massacre. These offer different explanations of the circumstances under which it happened and therefore what the implications are for the future of the Kofi Annan 6 point peace plan.

Those nations encouraging an investigation into the details of the Houla massacre want to determine the lessons from it toward solving the crisis in Syria. Those who were quick to jump to conclusions based on superficial information are helping to fan the flames of the conflict.

What are these major competing narratives?

Western and Arab Media Narrative

The narrative that is being spread by much of the mainstream western and Arab satellite media is a narrative that blames the Assad government for the Houla massacre. At first that media claimed that the people killed, including the women and children, had been killed by shelling from Syrian troops attacking the town.

In examining the videos and photos put online or provided by the opposition making these claims, however, it became evident that many of the victims, particularly the women and children, had been killed at close range by bullets and knives and not by the shelling of heavy weapons by the Syrian military.

It soon became obvious that only 20 of the 108 who were killed may have been killed in combat fighting over the checkpoint and that the circumstances of these deaths were not yet determined.

The opposition and the western and Arab media supporting the opposition, like BBC and Aljazeera, etc. had to quickly change their narrative. They invented a new force allegedly used by the Syrian government, the shabbiya, which they claimed is a pro government militia. (5) The shabbiya allegedly came into the homes of people and killed them at close range.

Russian News Team Narrative

A Russian news team interviewed people after the massacre. The explanation compiled from these interviews represents a very different narrative.

Their account noted that Houla is an administrative area, made up of three villages. It is not the name of a town. Some of this area had been under control of armed insurgents for a number of weeks. The Syrian army maintained certain checkpoints. This account explains that on the evening of May 24, the Free Syrian Army launched an operation to take control of the checkpoints, bringing 600-800 armed insurgents from different areas.

At the same time that there was the fight over the checkpoints, several armed insurgents went into certain homes and massacred the members of several families. Among the families targeted was a family related to a recently elected People’s Assembly representative. This family and another family that were killed were said to be families that supported the Syrian government. “Other victims included the family of two journalists for Top News and New Orient Express, press agencies associated with Voltaire Network,” reports the news and analysis site Voltairenet.(6)

Template for Media Warfare

At a press conference held in Damascus shortly after the Houla massacre by Joint UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, a question was asked which provides an important context to keep in mind when trying to determine what happened in Houla.

The journalist asked: I am a Russian living in Syria and reporting for various Russian online sites. What is happening in Syria reminds me of what happened in Yugoslavia that led to its division. We have sources that tell us that the Pentagon is preparing for war. If that happens, what do we do? What do Syrians do and what does the Government do? (7)

Annan’s response was that he had no information of the Pentagon “preparing for war.” Nor did he have any indication that what was happening in Syria would be a repeat of “what happened in Yugoslavia.” Despite the fact that Annan dismissed the journalist’s question, the question provides an important perspective toward understanding what is happening in Syria.

Looking back at the form of media warfare used to prepare public opinion for the NATO aggression against the former Yugoslavia, a template emerges that reflects a pattern in these events.

In this media warfare, the mainstream western media was used to spread stories about the alleged “responsibility for” massacres in order to demonize certain forces. This demonization served to justify the NATO bombing of their country. Hence the Russian journalist’s question to Kofi Annan raised an important and serious concern.

In his book “Liar’s Poker”, which analyzes the role of the media in the Yugoslav war, Michel Collon writes “Information is already a battlefield, which is part of war.” He writes that in 1991 the Slovenian government created a “media center which unleashed a flood of disinformation to international correspondents.” (8) This disinformation created a false narrative about what was happening and about who was responsible for the violent acts that killed many innocent people. The false narrative was then used to provide the justification for foreign intervention on one side of the conflict.

Also Collon documents the use of US public relations agencies to help mold public opinion in favor of the Croatian and Muslim nationalists and as media warfare against the Serbs. In a striking way, Collon shows how “a massacre happens unexpectedly each time certain Western powers plan to escalate measures against the Serbs.”(9) He proposes what could be considered as the template used to create the climate of public opinion justifying the escalation of the attack on Yugoslavia.

Here are the components of the template he presents(10):

Step 1: Preparation of a more or less hidden agenda
Step 2: Images that shock Public Opinion
Step 3: Groundless and Wild Media Accusations Without Investigation
Step 4: Western Objectives are Achieved
Step 5: Corrections to Erroneous News Reporting: Too Late and No Impact

Collon argues that shocking events were “staged” for the international media so as to make possible a planned escalation of the attack on Serbia. The Houla massacre bears a striking resemblance to the incidents that Collon refers to in the 1990s that set a basis for the escalation of the aggression against the Serbian government.

Is this current rush to judgment, both at the UN, and in the mainstream western and Arab media but another example of support and encouragement for armed aggression against a sovereign nation, as in the Yugoslavian situation? Is it but a signal to the armed insurgents willing to carry out horrific deeds to achieve their goal of foreign intervention, that they should go ahead with their cruel agenda? These are questions that need to be asked as they may help to explain the underlying motives of one of the narratives.

The failure of mainstream western and Arab satellite media and of a number of nations at the UN to acknowledge that there are different views of the underlying cause and implementation of the Houla massacre impedes the urgency with which the needed investigation and analysis are to be organized.(11) Such an investigation is critical to identify the actual problems and to understand what is needed to solve them.

It is important to acknowledge that there are two major narratives about the events of the Houla massacre. Such an acknowledgment recognizes, as Ambassador Li Baodong did, the need for evidence to determine what is an accurate narrative of the Houla Massacre. There are a number of blogs and news sites on the Internet where netizens contribute articles and comments that are helpful toward analyzing what is happening in Syria and at the UN and whether the actions at the UN are helpful or harmful for resolving the crisis in a way that is in line with the principles of the UN charter. There are examples of a substantial new netizen journalism developing on the Internet which is taking up the needed work to investigate the facts of the Syrian conflict so as to understand what is needed to contribute to a peaceful resolution.(12)

Notes

(1)Video of Press Conference marking the beginning of the Chinese presidency of the Security Council for the month of June.

http://webtv.un.org/meetings-events/security-council/watch/li-baodong-c…

(2)The press statement issued by the UN Security Council on May 27 called for the Secretary General and UNSMIS “to continue to investigate these attacks and report the findings to the Security Council.”

(3)See for example the summary by Moon of Alabama, http://www.moonofalabama.org/2012/06/the-syria-discussion-at-the-un-gen…

(4) “Joint press encounter with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Kofi A. Annan, Joint UN-Arab League Special Envoy on Syria and Nabil El-Araby, Secretary General of the League of Arab States.”

(5)See for example the account by AP: “The assault came nearly a week after 108 people, many of them women and children, were killed in the area. Activists said government forces first shelled the area on Friday, then pro-regime fighters known as shabiha stormed the villages. The Syrian government denied its troops were behind the killings and blamed ‘armed terrorists’.”

http://calgary.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20120531/UN-chief-warns-…

(6)See for example: Thierry Meyssan, “The Houla Affair Highlights Western Intelligence Gap in Syria”,

http://www.voltairenet.org/The-Houla-affair-highlights

See also: Wassim Raad, “The Set Up Massacre and the American Fingerprint”

http://www.voltairenet.org/The-set-up-massacre-and-the

In German see for example Mathias Broeckers, “Der Hula-Hoax”

http://www.broeckers.com/2012/06/05/der-hula-hoax/

and Rainer Hermann,“Abermals Massaker in Syrien” in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, June 7, 2012.

http://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/neue-erkenntnisse-zu-getoeteten-von-…

(An English translation FAZ is available at Moon of Alabama blog:
http://www.moonofalabama.org/2012/06/prime-german-paper-syrian-rebels-c… )

(7)Transcript of JSE Press Conference in Damascus, 29 May 2012, p. 4. For video see: http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/missions/unsmis/

(8) Michel Collon, Liar’s Poker, International Action Center, New York, 2002 p. 45.(This is an English translation of the book which was originally published in French.)

(9)Ibid., p. 28

(10)Ibid., p. 26.

(11) The Human Rights Council has passed a resolution calling for an investigation into the Houla Massacre. Several sources, however, document that the Human Rights Council only considers information supplied by activists in support of the armed opposition. See for example “UN Commissions report on Houla? But they only talk to Syrian opposition – by phone”, May 31, 2012
“Anti-war campaigner Marinella Corregia worries the HR commissioner talks only to its sources: the opposition.”

http://www.rt.com/news/houla-massacre-un-syria-635/

(12) A few of the English language web sites providing news and analysis of the Syrian conflict toward a directed peaceful resolution include:

Moon of Alabama

http://www.moonofalabama.org/

Centre for Research on Globalization

http://www.globalresearch.ca/

VoltaireNet

http://www.voltairenet.org/en

Syria News

http://www.syrianews.cc/

Syria360

http://syria360.wordpress.com/

The 4th Media

http://www.4thmedia.org/

A version of this article appears on my netizenblog: http://blogs.taz.de/netizenblog/2012/06/12/un-and-houla-massacre/

Ronda Hauben is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Ronda Hauben

Subscribe to the Global Research E-Newsletter

Submitted by Barry Finger on Mon, 18/06/2012 - 05:06

By AL ARABIYA

A senior Syrian military officer decided to defect and join opposition forces after witnessing hundreds of pro-regime militiamen massacring more than 100 civilians in the town of Houla one week ago, a newspaper reported on Saturday.

The Houla massacre, which has been singled out as the worst single atrocity of the Syrian uprising, heightened the international community’s anger against the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. The killings occurred despite a ceasefire agreement between the Syrian regime, opposition forces and the United Nations.

Syria’s envoy to the United Nations, Bashar al-Jaafari, however, blamed terrorist groups as responsible for the massacre in which 49 children and at least 20 women were among the dead.

Jaafari said the Assad regime was undergoing an investigation to find the culprits behind the massacre, urging the international community to mitigate and not “escalate” what is happening in Syria.

However, the witness account of Major Jihad Raslan to the UK-based Observer online newspaper, defied the Syrian government’s propaganda and “made-up” scenarios.

Raslan’s account is considered to be the most important of the testimonies to have emerged since the massacre.

An officer’s account of Houla violence
 We used to be told that armed groups killed people and the Free Syria Army burned down houses 
Defected Major Jihad Raslan
Raslan, who served until last Saturday in the Syrian Air Force in the strategic port city of Tartous, said he had been in Houla on leave when the town was shelled just after 1 p.m. last Friday. It was then invaded by a civilian and gang-like militia, known as the Shabiha, he said.

Raslan said he was in his house, around 300 meters from the site of the first massacre in the village of Taldous, when several hundred men, whom he knew to be Shabiha members, rode into town in cars and army trucks and on motorbikes.

“A lot of them were bald and many had beards,” he told The Observer. “Many wore white sports shoes and army pants. They were shouting: ‘Shabiha forever, for your eyes, Assad.’ It was very obvious who they were.

“We used to be told that armed groups killed people and the Free Syria Army burned down houses,” he said. “They lied to us. Now I saw what they did with my own eyes.”

He said the killings in his area were over in around 15 minutes. However, the rampage in other parts of Houla continued until the early hours of Saturday, according to eye-witnesses and survivors.

 These children I knew well, personally. I ate with their families. I had social ties with them. The regime cannot lie about these people, who they were and what they did to them. It was a brutal act by the regime against people who were with the revolution 
Defected Major Jihad Raslan
“Those victims who were slaughtered are people that I knew well,” Raslan said. “These children I knew well, personally. I ate with their families. I had social ties with them. The regime cannot lie about these people, who they were and what they did to them. It was a brutal act by the regime against people who were with the revolution.”

Raslan said that he served on a missile base in Tartous, removed from the grinding everyday savagery of Syria’s uprising. “I knew they had been lying, but I had not been exposed to the effects of it. This was the first time I had seen anything like this.”

He said defections had increased sharply in the days following the massacre and he claimed to know of five defectors who were shot dead as they tried to flee through olive groves not far from Houla the day after the killings.

In late May, Syria’s Consul General in California, Hazem Chehabi, resigned from his post in protest of the massacre. The Syrian American Council (SAC) dubbed his political defection to be the first from Assad regime.

“Many more want to leave,” he said, “but they can’t. All holidays have been cancelled by the military. It is a very serious risk if anyone tries to flee now. I was only allowed to go on leave because of exceptional family circumstances.”

A second defector from Houla, a first lieutenant who was serving in nearby Homs city last weekend, told the British newspaper that Houla had changed the thinking of soldiers and officers like him who did not support the regime crackdown on dissent but had been too afraid to leave.

Allawites vs. Sunnis
Syria is a 70 percent Sunni country ruled by a minority called the Alawite, an offshoot Shiite sect.

The divide can be seen in Syria’s army, as the lower ranks are largely made up of Sunnis while high-ranking officers in the loyalist military are Alawites.

“There were no Sunni soldiers around Houla itself [when the massacre took place],” the former officer said. “They are all Alawites there, the officers and the soldiers.” [Houla] is a very sensitive area. Many of the Shabiha in Syria come from here. They won’t defect from here.”

The officer said he had regularly seen Shabiha groups work alongside regime forces, but said they appeared to take orders from intelligence officers, particularly the Air Force Intelligence Directorate, which has played a frontline role in the regime crackdown. “The military give them weapons and cover, and escort them in tanks,” he said. “But they sometimes work independently.”

“In other places away from Houla, it is not impossible that the Alawites might defect,” he added.

“They are starting to be worried now, starting to fear that Bashar [al-Assad] might leave.”

President Assad who has support from key allies, Russia and China, said Sunday that Syria is faced with a foreign plot to destroy the country and that the latest events have exposed them.

Russia and China continuously vetoed any foreign military intervention plan in Syria.

i

Submitted by guenter on Mon, 18/06/2012 - 14:13

so, after mark and clive, also barry finger was unable or unwilling to argue with the presentesd material.
the article from global research had shown (see footnotes) how the human rights group had their information only from the opposition- by phone.
the article also made clear, how the imperialist propagandas did work in the yugoslawian war, wherte AWL did fall 4 all of the propaganda:

He proposes what could be considered as the template used to create the climate of public opinion justifying the escalation of the attack on Yugoslavia.

Here are the components of the template he presents(10):

Step 1: Preparation of a more or less hidden agenda
Step 2: Images that shock Public Opinion
Step 3: Groundless and Wild Media Accusations Without Investigation
Step 4: Western Objectives are Achieved
Step 5: Corrections to Erroneous News Reporting: Too Late and No Impact

Collon argues that shocking events were “staged” for the international media so as to make possible a planned escalation of the attack on Serbia. The Houla massacre bears a striking resemblance to the incidents that Collon refers to in the 1990s that set a basis for the escalation of the aggression against the Serbian government.

Submitted by Barry Finger on Mon, 18/06/2012 - 15:09

I think the political mindset the blogger below exposes also fits you perfectly. You have transferred intact all the distortions you applied to Libya onto Syria. Where is the balance sheet on your own politics? Where have your predictions been realized? You cite an FZA report based on no firsthand interviews whatsoever, but cast aspertions on Human Rights Watch which carried out extensive debriefings. You insist that the western press has vastly greater investigative resources than does HRW, but ignore the fact that direct press coverage is virtually impossible due to the Assad regime. When convenient the corporate media is invoked by you to discredit the opposition. When reports don't serve that purpose, you condemn them as imperialist propaganda.

On the Left, Ghadafi’s Lies Live On
by CLAYCLAI OF OCCUPY LA on JUNE 11, 2012
in ANALYSIS

While no one deserves to die in a war, of the estimated 30,000 Libyans to die in the struggle to overthrow Mummar Ghadafi, no one else can be said to have had it coming more than Mummar Ghadafi. Not only did he rule for more than 40 years by using terror (he had tens of thousands murdered), he conducted his 10-month campaign to stay in power with the utmost brutality. Most of those 30,000 souls were Libyan civilians killed by Ghadafi with artillery, tanks, snipers and cluster bombs. He targeted civilians to the end and so made the U.N. mission to protect them synonymous with ending his rule. So I find it odd that many on the left single out the killing of Mummar Ghadafi to demand investigation and justice for.

"If you're not ready to die for it, put the word 'freedom' out of your vocabulary." – Malcolm X
During the 10-month revolutionary struggle the goal of the vast majority of Libyans was to overthrow Ghadafi but the cynical left developed its own narrative for what they referred to as “regime change,” a regime change they opposed.

They had no opinion on the struggle in Libya until NATO got involved, then “as they saw it” it was just another “War for Oil”, just another Iraq. As spectators to history, they declared “we’ve been through this movie before.” Usually that meant the rebels and the National Transitional Council (NTC) were seen as agents of imperialism, and the depth and breath of the Libyan opposition was denied.

This was all done in the name of “opposing our own bourgeois” but its central foundation has been a cynical appreciation of the revolutionary movement of the Libyan people.

A year ago, this whole crowd was sure that NATO intervention would lead to a NATO occupation of Libya a la Iraq or Afghanistan. Clearly that hasn’t happened. Those that predicted such NATO “boots on the ground” – and that’s what they meant at the time – were wrong. That did not happen.

That is just one thing, on top of many, many things they got wrong about the Libyan revolution, but rather that admit they were wrong about that and maybe some other things and being so bold as to make a reappraisal of their views on Libya, they cling to those views.

They welcome any bad news from Libya and use it to support their view that the revolution in Libya is a bad thing and shouldn’t have happened. They find themselves quoting favorably from the mainstream media that has it’s own reasons for pouring cold water on post-Ghadafi Libya. They take every outbreak of violence and every injustice still happening in revolutionary Libya, blow it all out of proportion, and talk of “chaos” in Libya.

The post war violence in Libya is nothing like it was in Iraq, and for that matter still is eight years latter. The electricity is still on in Libya. Schools are back in session, mail is being delivered, oil production is back up, Internet is back up, and people are getting back to work. But these anti-interventionists-turned-counter-revolutionaries only look for signs of “chaos.”

Over 2.7 million people have registered all over Libya for national elections on June 19th or early July [there is talk of a short delay as I write this].  Misrata and Benghazi already had local elections. Libyans all over the world are registering at their still functioning embassies and all these people can talk about is “no functioning government” in Libya.

They still promote the view that the Libyan Revolution is a fake one ginned up by western imperialism and the NTC NATO puppets. I have some questions for these folks. If the Libyan revolution was orchestrated by U.S. imperialism and the NTC, a NATO “puppet regime”:

1.) Why are there no NATO bases in Libya?

2.) Why are there no NATO troops in Libya?

3.) Why did they refuse to turn over the so-called Lockerbie Bomber as demanded by the West?

4.) Why did they stop and expose the CIA’s special rendition program in Libya?

5.) Why is the revolutionary commander of Tripoli Head of the Military Council of Tripoli, Abdel Hakim Belhaj suing former British foreign minister Jack Straw?

During the Libyan Revolution, the pro-Ghadafi forces, with help from Russia and Iran, developed this fantastic network of Internet websites and blogs that spread Ghadafi’s war stories far and wide so that they would be replicated so many times that they would be the first thing found by the search engines.

Now that the real facts of the situation in Libya last year are coming to light, we are in a position to compare the Ghadafi lies, and those of his parrots with the reality on the ground. Let’s take just one example – the March 19 NATO bombing of Libya. From the AJE tapes released last month of phone calls between Qaddafi and his cronies we have this.

A crowd of hundreds, many wearing green to show their support for Muammar Gaddafi, gathered in Tripoli on March 20 for a mass funeral. They were burying dozens of civilians – some of them children – killed overnight in NATO airstrikes.

Or so they were told. Among the thousands of wiretapped conversations obtained by Al Jazeera are several which show this “funeral” was actually a bit of stage-managed propaganda, organized by Tayeb El Safi, one of Gaddafi’s most trusted henchmen.

The day before the funeral, El Safi and an unknown caller can be heard joking about a NATO airstrike which destroyed an office used by Gaddafi’s aides.

El Safi: They hit our location [laughter].

Caller: The office?

El Safi: Yes, the office. The office where we used to meet, the High Commission for Children.

Caller: No! [laughter] When?

El Safi: We need to put children there and take the media there in the evening. Tomorrow, let’s organize a huge funeral in Green Square [Martyrs’ Square]. We need to get some coffins. From here and there, you know what I mean. We need revolutionary youth with green flags and pictures of the leader.

El Safi and his aides moved ahead with the plan, but they encountered a problem: The cemetery they planned to use couldn’t accommodate the huge number of “martyrs” the government planned to bury.

Caller: The cemetery of Al Hani only has three available places.

El Safi: Okay, move them to Al Hansheer [cemetery]. Get ready, I’ll tell you now.

Caller: How many?

El Safi: 48 martyrs.

Witnesses would recall later that the funeral did seem a bit odd – that no family members showed up to mourn their dead relatives. “We didn’t know who they were. There were no death certificates. There were no relatives who later came for them,” Faraj Al Ghyriani, a Tripoli resident who attended the funeral, told Al Jazeera. “I know that inside the coffins were just people who died of old age, or mercenaries. They were so stupid that they had the same name on two different coffins.”

Global Research was one website that was quick to promote Qaddafi’s BS on this attack. Here is what Global Research had to say about this:

The Bombing of Civilian Targets

The objective is not to come to the rescue of civilians.

Quite the opposite. Both military as well as civilian targets have been pre-selected.

Civilian casualties are intentional. They are not the result of “collateral damage”.

Early reports confirm that hospitals, civilian airports and government buildings have been bombed.

Within hours of the air attacks, a Libyan government health official “said the death toll from the Western air strikes had risen to 64 on Sunday after some of the wounded died.” The number of wounded was of the order of 150. (Montreal Gazette, Gadhafi hurls defiance as allied forces strike Libya, March 19, 2011).

These deaths resulting from US-NATO missiles and aerial bombings are either denied or casually dismissed as “collateral damage.”

Workers World Party organized protests against this attack, completely buying the Ghadhafi story and so did the ANSWER Coalition:

On March 20, thousands demonstrated in Los Angeles to say no to war and occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan. The demonstration was called by the Answer Coalition. Libya was clearly on the minds of everyone there and news of the criminal attack electrified the demonstration. The announcement of yet another imperialist war was booed and jeered as the words crawled across an electronic sign on CNN’s L.A. office.

The International Action Center distributed a statement denouncing the attack on Libya. The next day the IAC held an emergency demonstration at the Westwood Federal Building to demand an end to U.S., French and British bombing of Libya. Members of BAYAN-USA, the All African Peoples Revolutionary Party — GC, Unión del Barrio and Anti-Racist Action also participated. The action was covered by ABC, Fox, Telemundo and Univisión.

The Western left abandoned the revolution and embraced Ghadafi.
Now they are organizing protests against U.S. intervention in Syria. I received a call just yesterday from the International Action Center calling on me to support Assad at their upcoming pro-Assad Rally – No US/NATO War Against the Syrian People! Apparently the war that the Assad regime is currently waging against the Syrian people is not to be protested, only an extremely unlikely one by the U.S. and NATO.

Assad is current slaughtering thousands of Syrians, so naturally they are opposed to “regime change” just as they were when Ghadafi was killing Libyans. They wish he was still at it.

Some Ghadafi supporters insist things really are the way they saw them and there is a U.S. occupation of Libya. Cynthia McKinney claims that U.S. troops are about to land in Libya any minute, if they aren’t already there. She posted this explosive story on her blog on January 13, 2012:

Why is President Obama sending 12, 000 U.S. troops to Libya?

Hello fellow activists for peace,

It is with great disappointment that I receive the news from foreign media publications and Libyan sources that our President now has 12,000 U.S. troops stationed in Malta and they are about to make their descent into Libya.

This claim was immediately disputed by both Malta and the US embassy:

The US Embassy in a single line statement this morning reiterated the Maltese government’s statement categorically denying claims that there are US troops in Malta.

The government’s statement was issued two days ago after former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney said in a blog that “12,000 U.S. troops (are) stationed in Malta and they are about to make their descent into Libya”.

And ridiculed by a local Maltese blogger:

As a resident of Malta, I can guarantee her – and you – that this is untrue. There are no 12,000 US soldiers stationed on Malta. And trust me, this island is so small, I would have seen them. There isn’t enough space for 12,000 troops to hide, especially not if they have the typical soldiers’ equipment of tanks, artillery, helicopters et cetera with them. – To put things into perspective: the whole military of Malta is 2,140 troops strong. Even at the height of World War II, when Malta was hotly fought over as the central location in the Mediterranean, no more than 26,000 troops stationed on Malta.

Granted, I did see the USS Whidbey Island in port in Valletta last Friday, but this ship only has a crew of about 400 sailors.

Also, I can’t see why U.S. forces would go to Libya now. Gaddafi is dead, Libya is liberated, the job is done.

Ms. McKinney either has no idea about international politics and the state of the world, or she is one of these conspiracy gurus, or she doesn’t know where Malta is and confused it with something else. Either way, it’s very embarrassing for a former U.S. Congresswoman to make these ridiculous statements.

Its been six months since Cynthia McKinney made her prediction and we are still waiting for those US troops to make themselves known.

Submitted by Clive on Mon, 18/06/2012 - 20:35

Guenter

It is not controversial (ie I agree) that the workers' and popular movements should be independent of whatever - big power or otherwise - ruling classes. We are not, as you seem to think, calling for Western intervention in Syria.

What appears to be at issue here is whether, if the account you believe of Houla is true, it fundamentally alters our assessment of the Syrian revolution.

Of course opposition forces, especially those fighting brutal dictatorships, often do terrible things. If, for argument's sake, it turns out to be true that it was oppositionists, not the Syrian state, which carried out that massacre, then that is to be criticised, even condemned.

It would remain the case that the overwhelming majority of deaths in Syria have been caused by the dictatorship.

I think you should consider the possibility that Barry's sources are correct, too. In that case, what you have been doing in this debate is, in effect (and I am not saying deliberately) acting as a propagandist for Asad.

As far as I can judge, it seems at the moment a) that any Western intervention is unlikely to even be on the scale of Libya, never mind Iraq, never mind old-fashioned colonialism; b) Western intervention would not change the character of the popular movement against Asad; and c) that Western imperialism has not created or stoked up this movement, it has its own sources and dynamic.

Submitted by guenter on Mon, 18/06/2012 - 20:59

clive,
again u are getting dirty by labelling me as an propagandist 4 assad. duh! u wanna be taken serious?
let me repeat what i wrote about my basic principles:

so, even if we where to expect or agree, that the hula-masacree was done by assad´s fellows,that wont change a yota of my basic argumentation, where neither u,clive, nor mark argued with. this basic argumentation was
-its the job of each nation, to get rid off his dictators without the "help" of foreign interventions
-cause any of this interventions are alwas for any other reason than selfishless help, protection, freedom &democracy.
u guys tend to forget, that capitalist countries arent democratic either and no lesser evil too.
given AWL´s position
-in supporting the foreign interventions in lybya
-in agreeing with the NATO on war with yugoslawia
-in agreeing with drunkard yeltsin(!) on banning the russian CP (considering an act out of anti-communism as an antistalinist one, and sometimes mixing both)
and many more things like this,i have any reason to keep sceptical, if u guys present to ur readers only those mags, who says hula masacree was done by assad, and keep them from all those who says otherwise. sayin´so, that still dont make me an friend of such regimes, as mark madly tried to paint me. on the other hand, guys from the german militant-tendency once labeled me as anticommunist, when i heavyly attacked an old article of them, where they described syria as an "degenerated workers-state"(!) so this is exactly the childish behaviour in all sects. no reason to take this back
-------------------------------------------------------------------so, as u can see, clive, i considered the possibilities that houla masacree might be done by the assad-regime.
but that dont change the point, how foreign powers want to use that in their imperialist worlstrategy. but when i said, that USA plans something, mark did loudly mock about me. where is he now? today, james p. rubin, who worked 4 bill clinton, argued for an airstrike against syria. what say?

and, barry, if u remain unwilling or inable to argue with what i presented (the scenario for yugoslawia was very well described), than we can stop any discussion here. of course, the US-scenario was the same 4 yugoslawia, libya and syria! if sayin this, makes me an proppagandist 4 assad, then u guys are the propagandists 4 US-imperialism.

Submitted by Clive on Mon, 18/06/2012 - 22:02

Guenter, you don't make the slightest attempt - not even the slghtest- to fairly represent the AWL view on any of these issues. Your account of them is, at best, unreasonable exaggeration, and at worst just simple, bare-faced and repeated lying.

We did not, for instance, 'support foreign intervention in Libya'; nor do we support it in Syria - and your point that people should struggle for themselves without foreign assistance is, as I said, uncontroversial. You may think that this was the logic of our view. But it was not our actual view. We thought it was wrong to *oppose* intervention - ie try to stop it - in the actual conditions. You are entitled to disagree, but not to misrepresent our view.

I did not say you *are* a propagandist for Asad. I asked you to consider the implications if you are wrong about the Houla massacre.

I argued that if you are right about it, it wouldn't change the basic character of things. If *you* expect to be taken seriously, you need to engage with *that* point.

Submitted by guenter on Tue, 19/06/2012 - 01:03

if u write, that iam "in effect a propagandist for asad", then it is the same for me, than if u write "u are a propagandist of asad".
if i was really wrong in understanding this, than u missused, that my english is not perfect, u know this very well.
again u did not argue with what was presented- james p. rubin (a politician from the democrats and a friend of bill clinton) calling for an airstrike on syria- where mark wrote, that i must be mad, to expect something like this, and now neither he nor u had the guts to say "sorry".
so, better worry who will take u guys serious; i had hundreds of thousands of readers in some mags i used to write for, who took me very serious.
i think, i do only revalorize u, by writing here, and shall stop it.
as u see, since some time there are almost no more readers writing on this website. i dont wonder now. maybe everybody "missunderstood" ur politics. do u understand urself?

Submitted by Clive on Tue, 19/06/2012 - 11:41

A debate with Guenter:

“You support imperialism!”
No, we don’t.
“Yes you do! You’re the running dogs of imperialism!”
No, we’re not. But we think the logic of your position is to support, or at best half-heartedly oppose, dictators like Asad or Gaddafi.
“Twising my words! Demagogues! Clowns! You’re sick horrible people and nobody likes you! And you do support imperialism!”
No, we think you’ve misunderstood us.
“How dare you! You know I can’t speak English! And anyway I’m far too important and famous to be talking to you!”

Submitted by guenter on Tue, 19/06/2012 - 14:59

as anyone casn read it itself -so 4 the bad luck of clive &co.- the original debate was -in short- rather like this:

guenter: here is a well-researched example from --------, how the media got missinformed during the yugoslawia war, and how the scenarios have been similar for libya and syria

clive: -------------- (silence)

guenter: here are a dozen articles of serious investigatin´mags, who claim that the houla-masacree was done by the opposition, not by the assad-regime.

clive (hysterical): u propagandist of assad, gaddafi and so on! we have 2 articles, who knows it better than anyone else. we dont even need to argue with what u presented! (barry rushes in and supports this position.)

guenter: shall i also remind u, that u ("we never support foreign interventions") did also support the nato-war on yugoslawia, the fascist UCLA and anticommunist yeltsin?

clive: --------------

guenter: after marks heavy mockery, that iam so mad, saying that the USA plans something, it was in the news in the meantime, that clintons friend rubin, a politician of the "democrats", called for an airstrike against syria.

clive: --------------------

(sticks to his usual demagoguel nonsense-attacks on a modest person, who never called himself important or famous, and with his hints to his readers in bigger magazines only tried to say, that not all those who know him, can always be wrong, and only clive does see it right. whether this was 2 difficult 4 him 2 understand it in the right way, or he once again ressorts 2 his wellknown intended slander.)

byebye nonsense-clowns; this was the best description i ever found for you.
some tried to beat me out of here since long, and i will do them the favour soon, and then they can continue 2 babble 2 themselves only.

Submitted by guenter on Wed, 20/06/2012 - 13:51

If i dont have tomatoes on my eyes..............
..........it seems that this important article was taken away from the frontpage and got sitemapped. the last act to help those AWL-guys who didnt look so good in the debate. almost a little bit of censorship. i dont wonder....

Submitted by Clive on Wed, 20/06/2012 - 19:16

Damn it, Guenter, we were hoping you wouldn't notice. As a matter of fact, someone is employed full time at the AWL office to make sure unsuspecting members of the public never get to read your devastating critiques. Only yours, mind you. Nobody else is quite as devastating as you are.

Submitted by guenter on Wed, 20/06/2012 - 20:35

LOLZ,
nonsense-boy:
so much satirical theatre, only for not arguing with rubin, who called for an airstrike against syria?
sure, somehow u must escape. i can understand.
unpleasant facts really seem to be "devastating" for you. no doubt about!

Submitted by guenter on Sat, 23/06/2012 - 13:44

a week ago or so, the US-military said, that it would like an intervention in syria
mark did hysterical bark and mock against me for saing so, and said, russia was the only interventioning force. here´s an article dealin´with that:

Washington’s hypocrisy over Russian arms in Syria

23 June 2012
Western denunciations of Russia for sending back refurbished helicopters to Syria recall nothing so much as the old adage, “Do as I say, not as I do.”

Earlier this month, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched a propaganda barrage aimed at intimidating Russia, claiming that Moscow was sending advanced Russian attack helicopters to Syria for use against the country’s civilian population. Breathlessly announcing that, according to “the latest information” available to the US government, the helicopters were on their way, Clinton condemned Moscow for behavior that “will escalate the conflict quite dramatically.”

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland rhetorically demanded: “How can the Russians conscience [sic] their continued military sales to Syria?”

Washington’s ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, while acknowledging that arms sales to Syria were not “technically obviously a violation of international law”—the United Nations has approved no arms embargo against the country—asserted that Russia’s actions were nonetheless “reprehensible.”

Washington was forced to back off at least partially from this line of attack when Russia explained that the only helicopters being sent to Syria were nine aircraft purchased from the former Soviet Union in the 1980s that had been sent back to Russia some time ago for repairs and were now being returned. The bulk of these helicopters are designed for transport, and reassembling them once they reach Syria will take months.

Clinton’s claim that the return of the aging helicopters was serving to “escalate the conflict quite dramatically” was quite simply a lie.

What has radically intensified the civil war in Syria is the massive flow of arms across the Turkish border to Syria’s so-called rebels, who are backed by Washington and its allies. A series of reports in the US press, citing high level American officials, have made it clear that CIA personnel are on the ground in Turkey—and almost certainly in Syria itself—directing this operation. Meanwhile, the Obama administration maintains the fiction that it is not sending arms into Syria based on the fact that the money for the weapons is being provided by its client states in the region, particularly Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

As for the charge of sending advanced helicopter gunships into the region to be used in a state crackdown against a popular revolt, Obama, Clinton and company have no need to look so far afield as Russia to find a culprit.

On Wednesday, the Turkish military announced that it had sent US-supplied warplanes and attack helicopters into Iraq to strike purported camps of the Kurdish nationalist group, the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party). It was only the latest in a series of bloody cross-border raids. What was the response of the State Department’s human rights brigade? Silence and approval.

Washington has provided unconditional support to the Turkish government in its anti-Kurdish operations in a conflict that has claimed some 40,000 lives over the past 28 years. It has branded the PKK, which has a mass base of support among an oppressed and largely impoverished Kurdish population, a “foreign terrorist organization,” thereby giving a green light for the murder of its members and supporters.

While the US government brands Kurds taking up arms against the Turkish government as “terrorists,” it provides covert support for the PJAK, a similar armed Kurdish group operating against Iran. At the same time, CIA operatives are working energetically to convince the Kurds in Syria to take up arms against the Assad government.

Such machinations have a long and tragic history, in which the US, the former dictatorship of the Shah in Iran and Israel have sought to manipulate the Kurdish question to further counterrevolutionary aims in the region. Which armed Kurdish groups Washington condemns as terrorists and which ones it embraces as “freedom fighters” is entirely dependent upon US imperialist interests

Submitted by guenter on Mon, 25/06/2012 - 14:11

the following article has more facts about the "non excisting US-interventions" as mark said in his satirical nonsense-attack on me.
at the same time, the opposition was blamed by many eye-witnesses for another masacree in aleppo.
again shame on all, who intentionally do hide that from their readers, where surely is a strategy behind.

US escalates war threats against Syria in response to downed plane

25 June 2012
The United States has sharply escalated its campaign against Syria over the weekend, in response to Syria’s shooting down of at Turkish fighter Friday.

After speaking to Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu, US secretary of state Hillary Clinton said on Sunday: “The United States condemns this brazen and unacceptable act in the strongest possible terms. It is yet another reflection of Syrian authorities’ callous disregard for international norms, human life and peace and security.”

UK foreign secretary William Hague echoed these threats, denouncing the incident as “outrageous.” He added, “The Assad regime should not make the mistake of believing that it can act with impunity. It will be held to account for its behavior.”

The Syrian government has said that the Turkish warplane had violated its airspace, with the SANA news agency releasing a chart of the plane’s fight path over Syrian waters and the coastal city of Latakia.

A Syrian foreign military spokesman has said that the incident was “not an attack.” The statement read, “An unidentified object entered our airspace and unfortunately was brought down. It was understood only later that it was a Turkish plane. There was no hostile act against Turkey whatsoever. It was just an act of defense of our sovereignty.”

The Turkish government initially acknowledged that it was possible the jet had “accidentally” flown over Syrian airspace during a routine reconnaissance operation. However, by Sunday, apparently after discussions with the US, Ankara had shifted its position to insist that the warplane had been shot down over international waters.

“Our plane briefly violated Syrian airspace, but not during the time it was shot down,” Davutoglu said. The Turkish government now claims that the plane only “momentarily” entered Syrian airspace but was shot down 15 minutes later.

Turkey announced that it was calling an emergency meeting under Article 4 of the NATO treaty, which provides for consultations.

A decision could be made after the meeting to invoke Article 5, which provides for mutual military response of all NATO members to an attack on one. Such an action would provide the pretext for a full-scale military intervention.

Clinton’s denunciation of Syria for “callous disregard for international norms,” comes as the Obama administration is working deliberately to stoke a civil war in Syria in order to undermine the regime of Bashar al-Assad, a key ally of Iran and Russia. In doing so, Washington is working closely with Turkey. As well as providing a base for the opposition militants, Turkey has moved large numbers of its armed forces close to the Syrian border.

Washington is playing an increasingly open role in organizing the opposition militants. Speaking on the Charlie Rose program on PBS television, Clinton said that the administration was seeking to forge a more “unified force” from the roughly 100 disparate opposition groups.

“We’re also working very hard to try to prop up and better organize the opposition,” Clinton said Friday. “We’ve spent a lot of time on that. It’s still a work in progress.”

Fighting by opposition groups in Syria has increased in recent weeks, with militants apparently able to carry out more effective attacks on government forces thanks to the increasing flow of sophisticated weaponry and other supplies provided under the aegis of the CIA.

In Aleppo, Syria’s main commercial center, which has until recently seen relatively little fighting, militants and government forces engaged in a gun battle Saturday. There have also been several suicide bombings in and around Aleppo targeting government soldiers and civilian institutions, tactics that bear the hallmarks of the Sunni Islamist insurgents who waged a sectarian civil war in Iraq during the US occupation of that country.

“Rebel” fighters are carrying out increasingly coordinated attacks in the northeastern city of Deir al-Zor, close to the border with Iraq. Free Syrian Army forces battled government troops in the al-Hamidya district of the city on Saturday, while other opposition fighters launched attacks on army bases and checkpoints around the city.

As well as threatening the outbreak of full-scale sectarian civil war and a wider regional conflagration, the US-backed military intervention into Syria is causing a humanitarian crisis in the already impoverished country. Millions of Syrians go without food, medicines and other essentials on a daily basis. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported last week that 1.5 million Syrians are in urgent need of aid, up by 500,000 in just three months, as fighting in the country has intensified.

Submitted by guenter on Tue, 26/06/2012 - 00:33

(by the way: the arranged agreement, not to argue with my postings, is only highly laughable and over-ridicoulous. any revolutionary socialist will despise such a behaviour. moreover, cause AWL claims to be so anti-islamic (what definitive cant be said about other trotskyte groups) but here, suddenly they dont care much, that the syrian opposition seems to be dominated by islamists. if hillary says, she likes them...)

.Anti-regime “rebels” accused of massacre in northern Syria

25 June 2012
“Rebel” fighters allegedly carried out a massacre in the village of Daret Azzeh, close to the Syrian border with Turkey. The killings are the latest in a series of atrocities attributed to opposition fighters engaged in the protracted conflict with the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Anti-Assad forces, including the main armed opposition group, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), control the area around Daret Azzeh. There have been reports of heavy fighting in the area, which is in the vicinity of the city of Aleppo, over the past two weeks.

Video footage released Friday, apparently by individuals close to the opposition, shows around a dozen bloodied bodies strewn around the village, some piled on top of each other, others dumped in a shallow grave. At least two of the corpses wear military-style uniforms. The unidentified narrator of the video claims that the victims were members of the shabiha, a pro-government militia.

The Syrian state news agency, SANA, said that opposition fighters had kidnapped and then killed at least 25 men in the village. SANA also reported that several of the bodies had been mutilated, a possible sign that the victims had been tortured before their execution. Dozens of other people from the area reportedly went missing around the time of the massacre, and their whereabouts remain unknown.

The British-based pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights recorded that at least 26 people were killed in the Daret Azzeh massacre and confirmed that many people were still missing from the village.

The opposition militias in Syria are mainly made up of defectors from the Syrian armed forces and Islamists from neighboring Arab countries. They are financed and armed by foreign powers, including Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and based in Jordan and Turkey.

Behind these regional proxies stands the United States, which is actively fanning the flames of sectarian civil war in Syria in order to depose the Assad regime and replace it with one entirely subordinate to Washington’s plans to isolate Iran and dominate the entire oil-rich region.

The reported atrocity in Daret Azzeh is just the latest in a string of brutal attacks attributed to the US-backed opposition. FSA and other Islamist fighters routinely carry out kidnappings, torture, and executions against captured Syrian army troops and members of religious minorities that have traditionally been offered a degree of protection by the Assad regime, such as Christians and Alawites.

One former member of an FSA “burial brigade”—i.e., death squad—interviewed by Spiegel Online earlier this year reported that it was common practice for the opposition to torture and slit the throats of Syrian conscript soldiers and local civilians who support the government.

Last month, leading German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported that the massacre of over 100 people in the Syrian town of Houla, initially and without substantiation attributed by Washington and its allies to pro-Assad forces, was in fact carried out by the FSA. Local eyewitnesses, including people within the opposition, reported that the mass slaying in Houla targeted Alawite and Shiite families.

Such atrocities by the “rebels” are of no concern to the Obama administration. Rather, Washington is playing the leading role in stoking the sectarian conflict. The New York Times reported this week that the Central Intelligence Agency is coordinating the supply of arms, largely provided by the pro-US Gulf sheikdoms, to opposition fighters from bases inside Turkey.

Submitted by guenter on Wed, 27/06/2012 - 20:24

more news which AWL dont wanna provide to its readers:

Fighting breaks out in Syrian capital as Turkey, NATO threaten war

27 June 2012
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad declared Tuesday that the country was in a state of war as intense fighting erupted in the capital Damascus between the government and opposition forces that are backed by the US. There were also reports of British special operations forces entering the country from neighboring Turkey.

The fighting came the same day as a belligerent speech by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan before the Turkish parliament, threatening a military response to any Syrian troop movements near the border of the two countries. This followed a meeting of NATO members, including Turkey and the US, to discuss a coordinated response to the downing of a Turkish jet by Syria late last week.

“We will not fall into the trap of warmongers,” Erdogan said, “but we will not stay silent in the face of an attack made against our plane in international airspace.” Turkey’s “wrath is fierce and intense when it needs to be,” he added.

Erdogan also said that Turkey would provide “all possible support to liberate the Syrians from dictatorship,” i.e., to assist opposition forces in overthrowing the Assad government.

The United States, in particular, is leading a campaign to seize on the downing of the plane—the details of which are still unclear—to escalate attacks on the Assad government that could pave the way for direct military intervention.

Syrian opposition forces, which have a base of operations in Turkey and are being coordinated and armed by the US and its allies, were clearly emboldened by these developments. The coordinated attack on Syrian troops in Damascus was the most significant violence in the capital since the conflict began more than a year ago. Attacks targeted the presidential palace and the Republican Guard.

The right-wing Israeli intelligence web site DebkaFile reported that British special operations forces had crossed into Syria on Tuesday. “Our military sources estimate that the British military drive into Syria, if confirmed, is designed to establish the first safe zone along the Syrian-Turkish border, to be followed by more Western military incursions,” it reported.

The actions of Turkey and NATO are aimed at bolstering the opposition forces and ensuring that they have greater freedom of movement along the 500-mile-long Syria-Turkey border.

In his speech before parliament, Erdogan said that Turkey was modifying its military rules of engagement. “Every military element approaching Turkey from the Syrian border and representing a security risk and danger will be assessed as a military threat and will be treated as a military target,” he said. At the same time, he ordered Turkish military units to deploy along the border.

This effectively prevents Syria from taking any military action against Free Syrian Army forces near the border, or if it does take such measures, they can be used as justification for a military response from Turkey.

This will give the US and Turkey a freer hand to prosecute their campaign of destabilization. The New York Times reported on Tuesday that the opposition militias “are developing into a more effective fighting force with the help of an increasingly sophisticated network of activists here in southern Turkey that is smuggling crucial supplies across the border, including weapons, communications gear, field hospitals and even salaries for soldiers who defect.”

The CIA is already directing arms to the opposition forces while seeking to organize them into an effective fighting force. The Syrian “rebels” are in fact a proxy force for US imperialism and its allies.

While threatening war, NATO and Turkey have provided no new evidence to support their account of the shooting down of the Turkish warplane, which Syria maintains was inside Syrian airspace. Turkey claims that the plane did briefly enter Syrian airspace, but was two kilometers outside at the time it was shot down.

At a press conference Tuesday, NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen called the shooting down of the plane “unacceptable” and said the NATO countries stood together “in the spirit of strong solidarity” with Turkey. The shooting down of the jet, he claimed, “is another example of the Syrian authorities’ disregard for international norms, peace and security, and human life.”

However, Rasmussen refused to answer any questions from journalists about the details of the incident itself.

While Turkey claims the plane was on a mission to test Turkish radar, several commentators have speculated that it may have been seeking to determine the location of Syrian air defense systems. Any attempt to provide greater coverage for oppositional forces or carry out a direct military attack would have to take out these systems.

There are many inconsistencies in the Turkish-NATO account of the incident, including the fact that the plane wreckage landed in Syrian waters.

Syrian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Jihad Makdissi said on Tuesday that Syria had given the Turkish government wreckage from the fighter, including the tail, where “you can see clearly the holes and traces of the machine gun” bullets that took down the plane. The maximum range of these guns is 2.5 kilometers, which would not allow them to shoot down a plane outside of Syrian airspace (which extends 22 kilometers from the coastline).

An account published on the Syrian state media web site stated that the plane was traveling at a very low altitude towards Syria, below the reach of radar. It was shot down when it appeared “one to two kilometers from the beach and Syrian land, and became suddenly visible to the naked eye.”

Regardless of the specific circumstances, the United States has clearly decided to use the incident to shift its campaign against the Assad government to a new stage. The basic aim of the Obama administration is the overthrow of the Syrian government, which it is determined to achieve in one form or another. Its broader aim is to establish more direct control over the Middle East and Central Asia, an agenda that has already produced wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.

Any military conflict with Syria could quickly involve its principal allies—Iran, Russia and China. American imperialism is creating the conditions for a global catastrophe.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I again wanna make clear agsinst some demagoguels here
-yes, there is tyranny among the assad-regime and a right to revolt against it,
but we also should see who is revolting and what for. an islamist govtm. instead would even be more tyranny and even less religious tolerance than now. same sa in egypt the muslim brothers shouldnt be supported by socialists, the syrian opposition cant be blindly supported.
also the global aspects cant be simply ignored: USA wants to controll syria, to have the whole region under its control. this is no socialist revolution, and not any type of revolution can be supported (remember the islamic revolution in iran)

Submitted by guenter on Thu, 28/06/2012 - 19:43

US-backed gunmen stage massacre at Syrian TV station
28 June 2012
Gunmen stormed a pro-government television station in Syria Wednesday, slaughtering seven employees, wounding others and taking several people hostage. The attack came a day after President Bashar al-Assad declared Syria to be in “a real state of war.”

Killed in the early morning attack on Ikhbariya TV, located in a southern suburb of Damascus, were three journalists and four security guards. The attackers fired automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades at the security guards before ransacking the satellite station’s offices and studios and then setting powerful explosive devices that reduced the buildings to broken and burning rubble.

An outside wall of one of the buildings was splattered with blood, where the station’s employees had been bound, forced to their knees and then executed in cold blood.

The assault on Ikhbariya TV came just one day after the European Union issued new sanctions on sections of Syria’s state-run media, and followed the move earlier this month by the Arab League to force two Pan-Arab satellite companies to black out Syrian channels.

The massacre is part of an escalation of attacks by the so-called Free Syrian Army and other insurgent militias. These groups are backed by the Western powers, which are, together with Turkey and the right-wing monarchical regimes of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, providing them with an increasingly sophisticated arsenal as well as “trainers”, “advisors” and foreign fighters from elsewhere in the Middle East.

Wednesday’s assault on the TV station followed reports Tuesday of an attack on a major Republican Guard compound in Damascus as well as ambushes of government troops elsewhere in the country.

The escalating violence inside the country has been joined by stepped-up external threats, particularly from Turkey, which has ratcheted up tensions in response to Syria’s shooting down of one its military jets over Syrian territory late last week. The Turkish press reported Wednesday that Turkey had deployed 15 battle tanks, armored vehicles and artillery to its southern border with Syria. The Turkish government has vowed to treat any Syrian forces approaching the 550-mile long frontier between the two countries as hostile and respond militarily.

Violence inside Syria has “reached or even surpassed” the levels that existed before the April 12 ceasefire agreement brokered by the UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, Jean-Marie Guehenno, the UN’s deputy envoy, told the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Wednesday. He added that the six-point Annan agreement “is clearly not being implemented.”

The UNHRC received an update from an international commission of inquiry into the Syrian events, which warned that the conflict was rapidly developing into a sectarian civil war.

“Where previously victims were targeted on the basis of their being pro- or anti-Government, the CoI [Commission of Inquiry] has recorded a growing number of incidents where victims appear to have been targeted because of their religious affiliation,” the report states.

A large portion of the document is devoted to the massacre in Houla, northwest of the city of Homs, late last month. The killing of some 100 civilians was seized upon by Washington and the other Western powers and the mass media in the West to demand the immediate ouster of the Assad regime, which they held responsible for the killings.

Subsequent reports have appeared, particularly one written for Germany’s leading daily newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, that have cited eyewitness testimony, including from opponents of the Assad regime, that the real authors of the killing were members of the Free Syrian Army, and that the victims were members of the Shia religious minority as well as perceived supporters of the government.

The report to the UN acknowledged that the investigation could not say with certainty who had carried out the killings. It presented three possibilities: “First, that the perpetrators were Shabbiha or other local militia from neighbouring villages, possibly operating together with, or with the acquiescence of, the Government security forces; second, that the perpetrators were anti-Government forces seeking to escalate the conflict while punishing those that failed to support—or who actively opposed—the rebellion; or third, foreign groups with unknown affiliation.”

The commission of inquiry, the report said, “could not rule out any of these possibilities,” although UN officials suggested that pro-government militias were the most likely suspects.

The report itself, however, cited evidence to the contrary, including information that the victims included one retired and one active member of the Syrian security forces, and that one of the children killed was wearing a bracelet bearing the Syrian national flag. It also cited testimony that the killers had “shaved heads and long beards”, suggesting the Sunni Islamist forces, including foreign fighters, that have been mobilized against the regime.

Russia, which has opposed until now the US-led demand for regime change in Syria, criticized the UN report for failing to reflect the scale of violence unleashed by the Western-backed “rebels.”

The report “does not reflect the scope of violence committed by militants,” said Vassily Nebenzya, the director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s department for humanitarian cooperation and human rights. These forces, he said, “kill or take hostage civilians, renowned Syrian political, state, municipal, public and religious activists, pilgrims”.

He added: “State institutions and infrastructure facilities are attacked practically on a daily basis. A mine war is in full swing. Militants commit bloody terrorist acts in Syrian cities.” This violence, Nebenzya said, “is fed with money and weapons from abroad.”

Submitted by guenter on Mon, 02/07/2012 - 14:35

Against reality it dont help, to declare me as totally mad, trying to mock the facts away (mark), neither to sitemap them:

Bloody fighting in Syria as US pushes for intervention

2 July 2012
Heavy fighting and mass casualties were reported Sunday in the suburbs of Damascus, the Syrian capital, one day after a conference of major powers in Geneva discussed US demands for the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad.

The scale and intensity of the fighting were unprecedented for the capital city, one of the two main strongholds of the Assad government, along with Aleppo, Syria’s largest city and financial and trading hub.

Unconfirmed reports suggested that the suburb of Douma, a focal point of attacks by US-supported “rebels,” had been retaken by Syrian government troops amid large losses on both sides and the virtual exodus of the civilian population of the district, estimated at 500,000 people. Multiple press reports said that the Free Syrian Army, the main US-backed militia, had fled Douma.

Another district on the outskirts of Damascus, Zamalka, was the scene of a bloodbath on Saturday when an estimated 40 people were killed after a mortar bomb struck an anti-Assad funeral procession.

Heavy fighting was also reported around the central city of Homs and in Daraa in southern Syria, near the Israeli and Jordanian borders.

The conference on Syria held in Geneva Saturday ended without any resolution of the differences between the US and European powers, on the one side, and Russia, backed by China, on the other. The conference agreed to call for transitional government in Syria, based on “mutual agreement” among the political forces in the country. Given the civil war raging, such a formulation is absurd.

The language was agreed upon under pressure from Russia and China, which blocked adoption of an explicit call for Assad to be removed from power. The resolution specifically provides for the participation of members of the current regime in any transitional arrangement.

Nonetheless, US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius both declared that the “mutual agreement” language meant the elimination of Assad, since the opposition forces will never agree to the continuation of his regime.

Speaking of the final statement from the conference, Clinton told a press conference, “We agreed to some changes that we did not believe affected the substance, because frankly, we read the results to be the same. Assad will still have to go. He will never pass the mutual consent test, given the blood on his hands.”

Fabius chimed in, telling television station TF1 Sunday, “The opposition will never agree to him, so it signals implicitly that Assad must go and that he is finished.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the language did not imply the removal of Assad, since under terms of the conference resolution Assad too would have to agree to his own departure. He insisted there was “no attempt in the document to impose on the Syrian people any type of transitional process.”

The Geneva meeting was attended by the foreign ministers of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council as well as selected European and Mideast states and organizations, including the Arab League, but excluding Iran, Assad’s main international ally, and Saudi Arabia, the principal financier of the anti-Assad “rebels.”

Addressing the group, UN special envoy Kofi Annan, the former UN secretary-general, warned that the continuation and expansion of the civil war in Syria risked spilling over the country’s boundaries and becoming a wider regional war of “grave severity.”

Western press accounts admitted that the US and its European allies had failed in their aims at Geneva. The Los Angeles Times reported: “The Russians emerged victorious Saturday in a crucial battle of words. At Moscow’s insistence, Washington agreed to the removal of draft language barring anyone from the proposed transitional government ‘whose continued presence and participation would undermine the credibility of the transition and jeopardize stability and reconciliation’ in Syria. The text was clearly tailored to exclude Assad, though he wasn’t mentioned specifically. The Russians balked. The Americans blinked. The controversial wording was excised from the final communique.”

Tensions continue to rise along Syria’s northern border with Turkey, where most of the anti-Assad forces have supply and training bases. After last week’s incident in which a Turkish reconnaissance jet was shot down by Syrian air defenses while it was spying on Syrian positions around the port city of Latakia, the Turkish military said it scrambled fighter jets to its border Saturday in response Syrian helicopter movements.

The Turkish military has threatened that any Syrian movement towards the border, on the ground or in the air, will be treated as a potential attack on Turkish soil and dealt with accordingly, a formula for a direct military clash between the two countries, sooner rather than later.

According to press reports, US intelligence agencies have concluded that Turkey’s claim that its jet was shot down in international air space by missiles is false, and Syria’s assertion that the warplane was shot down in its air space by short-range anti-aircraft guns is true.

A report by the journalist Robert Fisk in the British newspaper The Independent suggested that the US-backed escalation of armed attacks on the Assad regime is being vastly under-reported by the media in the United States and Europe. Fisk cited estimates that 6,000 soldiers and police have been killed since the campaign against Assad began in March 2011, a figure that would place regime casualties nearly on a par with those reported (based mainly on information provided by anti-government groups) among Assad’s opponents, far different from the one-sided slaughter routinely reported as “fact” by the corporate-controlled Western press.

The column in The Independent reported that as many as 1,000 Syrians are being given military training each week by mercenaries at camps in Jordan, then returning to Syria to join the attacks on the Assad regime. Such training is no doubt being conducted by operatives from the US, Britain and other imperialist powers, and is reportedly paid for by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, two oil-rich monarchies closely aligned with US foreign policy.

Fisk also noted that the discussions behind the scenes between the US, Russia and the European powers were focused on access to the oil and gas supplies of the Persian Gulf, particularly under conditions of mounting conflict with Iran, which would make access to pipelines routes westward from the Gulf through Iraq and Syria particularly critical.

There has been almost no discussion in the American and European media about the actual imperialist interests that underlie the reckless and lawless policy of the Obama administration, not only in the eastern Mediterranean, but in North Africa, the Persian Gulf and throughout the world.

Washington has targeted the Assad regime in Syria for overthrow and it is moving towards some variation on the Libyan model, in which a combination of internal subversion and external imperialist military force is used to get rid of a regime now regarded as an obstacle to US foreign policy.

A successful outcome in Syria, as far as US imperialism is concerned, would create more favorable conditions for an aggressive confrontation with Iran, whose strategic position would be considerably weakened by the ouster of its sole Arab ally.

Submitted by guenter on Wed, 04/07/2012 - 20:58

US escalates military threat against Iran
4 July 2012
The Obama administration has ordered a major buildup of American military forces in the Persian Gulf, as punishing economic sanctions imposed by both the US and the European Union within the last week have sharply escalated tensions with Iran. The Pentagon has deployed both a large number of warships in the Gulf itself, as well as advanced warplanes in neighboring countries.

The purpose of this buildup, according to a report published Tuesday in the New York Times, is to send various “signals”—to warn Iran against any attempt to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz, to convince Israel not to carry out its own strike on Iranian nuclear facilities and to deflect Republican criticisms of Obama as “weak” on Iran.

Whether or not these are the real intentions of the US military buildup, the effect is to put a hair trigger on the threat of an armed confrontation that could provoke a devastating and potentially nuclear war with untold consequences in terms of human life, physical destruction and economic disruption throughout the region and internationally.

The US Navy, the Times reports, “has doubled the number of minesweepers assigned to the region to eight vessels,” while the Air Force has, since late spring, deployed “stealthy F-22 and older F-15C warplanes” at US bases in the region. These warplanes are in addition to “combat jets already in the region and the carrier strike groups that are on constant tours of the area.”

According to the Times, “Those additional attack aircraft give the United States military greater capability against coastal missile batteries that could disrupt shipping, as well as the reach to strike other targets deeper inside Iran.”

In addition, the military has sent the USS Ponce, an amphibious transport and docking ship specially converted into an “Afloat Forward Staging Base (AFSB),” into the Persian Gulf. Equipped with a helicopter landing deck, field hospital and a large number of bunks for Special Operations troops, it can be used as a floating staging area for sea, air and land attacks on Iran.

The Times report, which appears to stem from a deliberate attempt by the Obama administration and the Pentagon to intimidate Iran, is laced with highly provocative and bellicose rhetoric from unnamed “senior administration officials.”

“When the president says there are other options on the table besides negotiations, he means it,” said one official, referring to the military buildup in the gulf.

“The message to Iran is, ‘Don’t even think about it’” the Times quoted an unnamed “senior Defense Department” official as saying. “Don’t even think about closing the strait. We’ll clear the mines. Don’t even think about sending your fast boats to harass our vessels or commercial shipping. We’ll put them on the bottom of the gulf.”

The real message is that Washington is treating the Persian Gulf like an American lake under conditions in which the US and its European allies are ratcheting up economic sanctions that more and more resemble a blockade, an act of war.

On Sunday, the European Union, which previously accounted for one fifth of Iran’s oil exports, put into effect a total embargo on Iranian oil. The move followed even more sweeping sanctions imposed by the United States, which penalizes third countries by denying access to the US banking and financial system to banks and corporations that do business with Iran’s central bank.

These measures come on top of a host of previously enacted sanctions that together have reportedly cut Iran’s oil exports by approximately 40 percent since last year. The real impact of this economic warfare is felt by working people in Iran in the form of sharply rising prices of basic necessities and growing unemployment.

The ostensible purpose of these sanctions is to force the Iranian government to bow to Western ultimatums regarding the country’s nuclear program. The US and its allies have repeatedly made unsubstantiated charges that the Iranian government is seeking to develop nuclear weapons. Tehran has denied these allegations, insisting that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

Another round of the stalled talks between Iran and the so-called P5+1 countries—the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany—took place in Istanbul on Tuesday, although on a lower level than previous negotiations. The session was held between nuclear experts from Iran and the major powers to determine whether differing technical interpretations were impeding the talks.

Talks held in Moscow last month stalemated, however, because the US and its allies issued a series of ultimatums to Tehran—that it halt its enrichment of uranium to the 20 percent level, relinquish its stockpile of enriched uranium and shutter its enrichment plant at Fordow. The US and its allies, however, brushed aside Iranian demands that they recognize Iran’s right under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to enrich uranium and lift economic sanctions.

Tehran has questioned Washington’s stated desire to resolve the nuclear issue by means of diplomacy. “Many people are starting to conclude that maybe there are specific goals in dragging out the talks and preventing their success,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told a weekly briefing. “One option is that perhaps there is a link with the US [presidential] election.”

The senior Pentagon official quoted by the New York Times Tuesday openly indicated that the confrontation over Iran’s nuclear program was largely a pretext for using economic and military aggression in pursuit of US strategic interests.

“This is not only about Iranian nuclear ambitions, but about Iran’s regional hegemonic ambitions,” the Defense Department official told the Times. “This is a complex array of American military power that is tangible proof to all our allies and partners and friends that even as the US pivots toward Asia, we remain vigilant across the Middle East.”

In other words, Iran is seen as an obstacle to US “hegemonic ambitions” in the oil-rich regions of the Persian Gulf and Central Asia. Having spent the last decade fighting two wars, in Afghanistan and Iraq, it is now preparing a third and far more dangerous one against the country that lies between them, Iran.

The Iranian parliament, the Majlis, has responded to the escalating Western aggression with a threat to close down the strategic Strait of Hormuz to shipping from the US, the EU and other countries supporting the embargo against Iranian oil. A resolution to that effect was passed by the body’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, with 120 members of parliament signing their support. A government spokesman said that if the measure was approved by the full body, Tehran would be obliged to act upon it.

Meanwhile, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards initiated three days of military exercises Monday, firing medium range ballistic missiles at mock enemy bases in the Iranian desert. One of the missiles, the Shahab-3, has a range of 800 miles, able to reach both Israel and US military bases throughout the region.

“It is a response to the political impoliteness of those who talk about all options being on the table,” Gen. Hossein Salami said in explaining the test firings.

Also on Monday, Iranian officials joined relatives of the 290 people, including 66 children, killed in the shooting down of Iran Air Flight 655 on July 3, 1988. The 24th anniversary commemoration was held just off Bandar Abbas, the Iranian port where the flight was hit by a missile fired by the USS Vincennes just after it took off.

In a statement issued Monday, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said: “This inhumane crime is clear proof of the innocence of the Iranian nation and [provides] clear evidence that the United States is not committed to any international legal and ethical principles and norms, and (it) will remain in the historical memory of the Iranian nation.”

Submitted by guenter on Thu, 05/07/2012 - 10:37

US-Iran confrontation enters dangerous new stage
5 July 2012
The US-led confrontation with Iran over its nuclear programs has reached a dangerous new stage, following the stalling of international talks and the imposition of extra sanctions on Iran, designed to cripple its economy. The Obama administration has repeatedly declared that all options, including the military one, remain on the table if Tehran does not bow to US demands.

Speaking this week to the New York Times, US officials detailed the military build-up already underway in the Persian Gulf under the guise of keeping shipping lanes open. Two aircraft carriers—the USS Lincoln and the USS Enterprise—are in the region, together with their associated battle groups. The US Navy has doubled the number of mine sweepers in the Gulf, and the US Air Force has reinforced its presence with F-22 stealth bombers and F-15C warplanes.

The Pentagon has stationed a floating operations platform, the USS Ponce, in the Gulf. It can be used for a variety of purposes, including as a base for US special forces. As the platform is stationed in international waters, US troops could conduct operations inside Iran without having to consult regional governments regarding the use of their bases.

A senior US Defense Department official told the Times: “This is not only about Iranian nuclear ambitions, but about Iran’s regional hegemonic ambitions. This is a complex array of American military power that is tangible proof to all of our allies and partners and friends that even as the US pivots toward Asia, we remain vigilant across the Middle East.”

The remarks highlight the fact that unsubstantiated US claims about Iran’s nuclear programs are simply the pretext for a reckless policy aimed at extending the hegemony of American imperialism in the energy-rich regions of the Middle East and Central Asia. Washington regards the Iranian regime as a major obstacle to those ambitions.

The reference to the US “pivot” to Asia—that is, the Obama administration’s escalating diplomatic and military efforts to undercut Chinese influence—points to the underlying strategy. The US aims to control energy supplies to its rivals, especially China, by ensuring its strategic dominance over the Middle East and also over key shipping routes through South East Asia to China’s ports.

The Obama administration has now reached the end game of a confrontational strategy toward Iran that was mapped out from its first days in office. The supposed “carrot and stick” approach was laid out in considerable detail in a September 2008 report by the Bipartisan Policy Center, whose authors included, among others, Dennis Ross, who became Obama’s top adviser on Iran. Limited US inducements for Iran to negotiate were to be backed by escalating sanctions and the threat of military strikes.

Obama’s offer of talks was never aimed at genuine negotiations with the Iranian regime. Rather it was meant to ensure the support of key European allies that had been alienated by the policies of the Bush administration. Washington’s intentions became obvious when, with the backing of Britain, France and Germany, Obama mounted a regime-change campaign in Iran during June 2009 to back the middle-class opposition “Green” movement and overturn the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Talks between Iran and the P5+1 group—the US, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany—all but collapsed in Moscow last month. Iran refused to accept the US-sponsored ultimatum that it end uranium enrichment to the 20 percent level, ship its stockpile of this material out of the country and shut its Fordow enrichment plant. Tehran was well aware that these were just a first instalment in a never-ending series of US demands for intrusive inspections and a halt to all uranium enrichment. Further low-level technical talks took place in Istanbul this week without setting a date for new discussions.

The Obama administration has never negotiated with Iran in good faith, refusing even to countenance a delay or halt to the imposition of new American and European sanctions on July 1. A European Union embargo on Iranian oil imports came into force on Sunday, complementing US legislation penalising foreign corporations for doing business with Iran’s central bank. Iran’s crucial oil exports have already plunged by an estimated 40 percent, creating immense hardships for working people.

Washington has now all but exhausted the “diplomatic option” and imposed what amounts to an economic blockade on Iran—itself an act of warfare. The next step is the military option. As the 2008 Bipartisan Policy Center report outlined: “We believe a military strike is a feasible option and must remain a last resort to retard Iran’s nuclear program.” The report explained that a US military attack “would have to target not only Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, but also its conventional military infrastructure in order to suppress an Iranian response.”

Nearly four years later, the Pentagon’s build-up in the Gulf has established the military capacity to carry out these plans. The Obama administration further ratcheted up regional tensions with the announcement of large joint US-Israeli war games in October or November, designed to test missile defence systems. The New York Times reported that the US would hold a major anti-mine exercise with 19 other countries in the Persian Gulf in September. Washington is also taking other steps to expand military ties with Iran’s regional rival, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf states.

These menacing moves against Iran, even as the US and its allies threaten military intervention against Iran’s ally, the Syrian regime of President Bashir al-Assad, have transformed the Middle East into a dangerous powder keg. Regardless of the Obama administration’s immediate intentions, any military miscalculation or incident could become the starting point for a war that would quickly boil over into a regional conflict that could draw in the major powers.

The only social force capable of putting an end to the danger of war is the international working class, by abolishing the root cause of war—capitalism and its division of the world into rival nation states. Workers throughout the region must unite with their class brothers and sisters in the US, Europe and internationally against the predatory actions of US imperialism and its allies, in a joint struggle for socialist internationalism.

Submitted by Barry Finger on Tue, 10/07/2012 - 02:52

AWLers might find this discussion interesting

Libya and Syria: When Anti-Imperialism Goes Wrong

Much of the discussion on the North Star website mirrors the themes found here.

Submitted by AWL on Tue, 10/07/2012 - 11:40

Guenter,

I'm planning to reply to some of of your political points later today.

But you need to stop cutting and pasting long articles on the site, which clearly violates our comments policy and has the effect of gumming up the website and making it inaccessible. Either select short quotations or include a link to the article as a hyperlink (if you want just post the link and we can make it live). You've been asked several times!

Sacha Ismail

Submitted by guenter on Tue, 10/07/2012 - 19:45

some1 who censored me once again and cancelled an half dozen or dozen postings of mine, dont need to reply me anymore.
just tell me a space -as i requested a week ago in a mail- where i can post an last final statement (otherise, herever i post it, u have another pretext for to censor it, cause "not to the topic".
and then byebye to cowards and liars.
and otherwise all of u know very well, that in subjects as syria, libya, yugoslawia, its impossible to refute an long wrong article with an few sentences, but that this always needs lengthy answers back. you´ve been told this many times b4 and as always are incapable to argue with it. goodbye sacha.
maybe u prefer that i post my final statement ANYWHERE else than here?

Submitted by AWL on Wed, 11/07/2012 - 12:24

Guenter,

1. No one is saying you should limit yourself to a few sentences.

2. In any case, our complaint is not about length, but about cutting and pasting articles from other websites.

If you want to stop posting on this site, fine. Feel free to post your farewell here.

Sacha

Submitted by guenter on Wed, 11/07/2012 - 13:08

before u also complained about lenght. and where is the difference between an selfwritten long statement or an other article of lengt? why should i re-write in my own words, what some1 else already said in an article? i dont have endless time. u are afraid of articles of other websites, cause they often refute what u said.
but anyway, i dont wanna talk to some1 who today cancelled again postings of mine, incapaple 2 argue with what was said in there. und u have the nerve 2 say, u dont censor...........
i deepl despise ur behaviour, which is a sign of weakness.
i´ll post my statement as soon as i solved some probs with my lap, which just dont allow me 2 copypaste the already written, and i dont wanna re-write all over here.

Submitted by AWL on Wed, 11/07/2012 - 13:28

Guenter,

It is partly a question of length. In general your comments, written by yourself, are shorter than the articles you post. In any case, very long articles are alienating; if they exist elsewhere, why not solve the problem by using a hyperlink? I find your refusal to do this bizarre.

If by "censor" you mean do we sometimes delete comments, then yes, we censor. If you use that word as it is commonly used in the English language (and I imagine it's equivalent is used in German), ie do we remove postings in order to get rid of political arguments we don't like, then no - clearly we don't.

No one has prevented you from posting political criticism of and even attacks on the AWL here.

Sacha

Submitted by guenter on Fri, 13/07/2012 - 02:30

i think, most people are too lazy to check all mentioned hyperlinks, but if something is posted about right here, they may -perhaps- read it.

but what is more importatnt, sacha:
u know very well, that the statement of mine which u cancelled, have been anything else than non-political ones.
too bad, that it took me so long to realise, that u are a part of the liars here.
i had warned u, that it is that simple, that what u cancel, might get discussed in other places then.
so i will send my final statement right now to some other groups and persons in UK; may discuss about it, whoever it wants.
i will cancel my account here (if i find how to do it) after my final posting. that means, i might still be able to read the website -if the ban, many members had asked for, dont take place-, but i will no more be able to reply to the slander which may take place.
its in ur hands, if u wanna handle critic more reasonable in the future, or if u wanna censor around and claim u didnt, and keep on shouting "abuse, abuse" like a schoolgirl, while i never ever used any type of word/name calling (as asshole, pig, idiot, dunkey)which ordinary people do consider as abuse. IAM kind and polite, when others are with me. what i wrote down, makes it very clear, that the behaviour in AWL dont carry the innocence u claim aginst others.

Submitted by guenter on Fri, 13/07/2012 - 02:33

hello unknown,

i wrote down my experience with the AWL and now do send it to some groups of the rev. left in UK- those who´s e-mail-adresses i can find in the net.
as iam honest, i dont wanna hide, that i have my political differences with all of these groups. for example, i do also find it intolerable, to support the muslim brotherhood (SWP) or to label syria as an degenerated workers state, as taafe (SP) did long ago (dont know if they still do.)
but despite all this differences, i request those i sent this to, to print it, that people can see, that despite the probs they may have with their own orgs, AWL is no alternative.
greetings,
guenter from germany.

final statement

WHY IAM TOTALLY DONE WITH THE AWL

Two years ago i did come to know sacha ismail in an debate on another trot website. he invited me to check out the lenghty website of the group which he does serve as an payed fulltimer, the alliance for workers liberty (AWL)- an purely british group, without any single branch in another country.
two points caught my attention: their claim for an 2-state solution 4 the israel-palestine conflict (i confess, that i never was 2familar with it, but i just dont like blind solidarity even with such reactionist palestine forces as hamas) and, second (or first of all) awl´s position against islamism, which i do miss amongst most other left groups, who stupidly consider any critic on the reactionist islam as rascist or islamophob. (and then support the candidate of the muslim brotherhood in egypt!)

within a short time, i read almost all of the hundreds of articles there- maybe none of their members did. the rather critical points i studied at last. in the beginning, i saw many interesting stuff (they have a bit about anything) and i mainly posted praises and compliments, &saw myself as an awl-sympathiser. i think, they took this for granted. suddenly, their tune changed quickly, after i had posted my first -rather less important- critique on them. it was on an article about the german RAF (red army faction), the review of an movie about them. i didnt agree, that they have been so positive about that movie, who described RAF as most senseless, brute nonpolitical killers, and i wondered that they praised the german mag. "spiegel" (whose founder and longtime publisher was a member of the rightwing FDP) as rather leftwing and most serious. simply for this critique, one highly anti-sensitive and demagoguel AWL-guy tried very hard to make an raf-sympathiser out of me! i was only astonished and didnt thought, that this might be only the begin of some mobbing against me, which one day may lead to call for my banning from the site.

then i stumbled over an strange article from their leader sean matgamma, titled "the pope and the red army". the article claimed, that the red army in germany did more than some rape, as all armys do in the war, but was allowed and "pushed" from the chiefs to rape around "in conquerror manner". i twice requested matgamma KINDLY to substantiate this and say, where he got his information from, cause as far as i did know, there was an law in the red army, which threatened raping soldiers with the death-penalthy. also, i said, the red army, how stalinist ever, did liberate europe from fascism, and arrived in germany days before the other partis of the anti-hitler-coalition, and so have been the first ones, who opened the concentration camps. on may 8, 1945, their red flag did wave over berlin. the people rather saw them as liberators, not as conquerors.only rightwingers used to talk about capitulation (instead liberation) and russian conquerrors.
this my remark wasnt replied by anyone (as later was their usual reaction)) and matgamma never answered my kind quest (rather weak for an general-secretary, isnt it?), but at least he was clever enough, not to claim that he couldnt reply because he was abused -what is THE tricky trademark of some of his followers (more later).
this article reminded me of another one, where the author -i think it was also matgamma itself- claimed, that the ex- german democratic republik was 100% the same than hitlerfascism! i added, that i also see many similarities between fascism and the highpoint of stalin´s terror in USSR around 1937, but GDR after 1949? sure there was repression, but did they run concentration camps with millions of death? create a worldwar? sacha -with whom i also discussed my critics in private mails- told me, that there have been no independent trade unions in GDR (nothing new for me!).. this was all their "proof" for GDR=hitlerism. thats what german rightwing historians said, and is in my opinion a shameless downplay of the hitler-fascism and all his crimes, who still do stand singular in history. as always, they couldnt give in, when someone had an more convincing argument (in future, they would always simply escape then from discussion. but step by step.) also this does show their superficial, non-materialist approach of what freedom is. is it only the declaration on paper, that people can go anywhere? sure they must be allowed to do so, but does capitalist "freedom" anyone give the money to travel anywhere, or only a few? doesnt freedom has a material base too? isnt it also a piece of freedom, if an country has an good social security for his people? and free medical treatment? GDR had, in nowadays "free" germany, hundreds each year have the freedom to die of hunger or comitt suicide. freedom as they mean it?
(to avoid missunderstandings: lack of freedom and critic cant be substituted by social security. but social security is more worthful, than the pseudo-freedom in capitalism, where u can go to wherever u want, with ur hunger and the unpayed bills of ur doctor in ur pant.)

more and more i discovered the pro-imperialist positions of AWL, being it their support for the NATO-war against yugoslawia, their support for the fascist UCLA in kosovo, or, later, their support for the foreign interventions in libya and -just upcoming- in syria. and they said, the foreign troops in iraq keep the people from islamist terror. iam totally against the islamists, but isnt it that the existence of foreign troops in iraq rather is the base that the islamists do win more support? awl didnt reply me to this remark.
a "good" example where i understood more about awl´s praise of bourgeois "democracy" was their support for yeltsin´s ban of the russian CP. sacha told me something like (all from my memory): "if we are serious with smashing stalinism, then why shall we not support an action against them?" i was astonished, that an marxist (?) did not distinguish between the action as such and the quest, who did it and with what reason and aim? yeltsin was no antistalinist, but an anticommunist (&btw, himself an longtime apparatshik of the the party; he was even responsible 4 the international relationships of the CPUSSR to the worldwide communist parties), what means, that yeltsin didnt fight stalinism (he was one!), but banned them, cause he saw them as communists. that implicates, that he had as well banned any trotskiyte party over there (if they had existed at this time) . confronted with that argument, saccha said 4 the first time, that he had no more time to discuss all my points further (he till then just had replied once to the points i made.)
near this time, i also posted an article about yugoslawia from another website, which dealt with all the reasons, awl gave 4 their war-support, and refuted them in detail. first some1 said, he wanted to argue with it, but then the article got cancelled, "cause the awl-policies dont allow to reply articles with statements or other articles of the same length or even longer".(any1 knows, that an long nonsensical article cant always be refuted with a few sentences, but may need another full/long article back. and if such articles do already excist, why shall i not copypaste it? i dont have the time to re-write it in my own words. and if i post only a link, they wont check it.) i labelled this as censorship and matgamma called me hysterical. daniel randall just recently called me paranoid for having said so. at least i did post excerpts from that article. nobody argued with it.
nowadays i wanna admit 1 argument bout the yeltsin-case: if awl argues, it doesnt matter who attacks stalinists, important is that someone does, than with this logic they could as well have had supported thatcher, fighting the stalinist scargill. isnt it?

another article where i didnt at all expect to clash with them, was "the soundtrack for the movement" by daniell randall. here, he praised rap-music, which i dislike, and i was so "shameless" to raise the quest, if rap can be considered as music. (i gave some reasons 4 it!) beside this, i raised other quests, as,
-is anything authentic revolutionary what does come out of a black ghetto?
-was punk the so-called authentic rebellion or an artificial one, created by the record-industry?
randall replied with 1 sentence, calling me an stalinist (!for not liking his music!) and pissed off. then clive bradley rushed in and wasnt interested either, to discuss the raised quests. (they both are awl´s lecturers for "marxism and arts"!) bradley, very talented in demagogy, always appears when some of his colleagues are stucked and in need of arguments and need someone else for the rest of the dirty work to do. just recently, bradley explained me, that my remark about rap was an personal abuse for randall, cause he IS an hiphop-artist! (following this logic, any poet should feel personal abused, if someone dont like poetry at all. really, some of this awl-comics -i once labelled them as nonsense-clown- are like children, to whom one must explain the abc of socialism as well as the abc of personal behaviour.)
since randall didnt know how to argue with me, he was the first one who posted that i shall be banned from the awl-website. now one does compare this with awl´s selfpraise of being so democratic, and their incredible double-moral gets obvious. and than we may imagine such "democrats" as randall, aka the childish kid (sorry, his artist name is "the ruby kid")in circumstances of personal political power, and we can very well imagine, how this self-declared super-democrats may ban all their critics!
just recently randall appeared again (see thread about "200 at ideas for freedom") to push further for my banning; as sacha told me in an mail, more and more awl-members are asking for it. with pathos randall claimed "his website back" from me. oops, i didnt realise, that i had stolen it? i also cant have occupied it, cause i cant write in hundreds of threads at once; just 2-3 at a time usually. but indeed, in less than 2 years i participated in more than 100 threads- usually with selfwritten comments, while shameless liar randall claimed, that i only would copypaste articles. this was mainly on the syria-thread, where mark wrote a long satirical mockery about me talking -2weeks ago- about an possible US-intervention. this would never happen he said. than i substantiated my opinion with articles who proofed him wrong. in the same week, an leading US-politician of the ex-clinton administration called for an airstrike against syria. i challenged mark and clive (who before had labelled me as an follower of assad!) many times, to argue with that. not necessary any more to mention, that they never did (=self-evident). but since i first requested, as many mags did, if the houla massacree was done by the assad-regime or perhaps by the opposition, their aversion against me did increase. the background is my constant socialist posting and challenging of their pro-imperialist politics.
i just saw barry finger posting an link below my non-discussed syria-postings, where he hints to the discussion "when anti-imperialism goes wrong" on http://www.the/ northstar.info. the persons over there talk more openly about the syrian opposition demanding airstrikes and they agree with that. another article there claims, that libya is much better off now. the simple fact -never posted by awl- is, that under ghadaffi, libyan people had the highest living standard in africa, paid neither taxes nor rent. sayin so, does not mean to agree with the dictatorial governing style of ghadaffi &co. but thats exactly, how awl-members are trained to twist ur words around! be critical about foreign interventions, say that their aim is not to "bring democracy" to libya/syria, and awl will call u the lover of ghadaffi or assad. duh! they are full of trickery.
mark, who said there will be no direct or indirect US-intervention, believes that his following satirical mock at me was hitting the nail on the head, and remeained silent when more proof for intervention-plans got posted:
Mark | 17 June, 2012 - 16:20
Other stuff you might
Other stuff you might consider:
The Falklands war: despite appearances - actually a provocation by McDonalds, using the British government as a proxy, to grab control of the Argentinian beef industry. Those who deny this obvious fact are Thatcherites.
Euro 2012: in fact a complex plot by imperialism to provoke Ukrainian racism, allowing the US to intervene. Expect cruise missile attacks against Kiev. Those who deny this are excusing US genocide.
Tourism to Egypt? On the surface it seems that US tourists are going to see the pyramids. But are they really? No, they are casing the country. Why? Two reasons - first imperialism intends to grab control of the falafel trade; second they intend to turn Egypt into an enormous weapons dump as part of their war drive against Iran. The only people who don't believe this are pro-American bastards.
Pepsi Cola. On the surface Pepsi is a tasty, refreshing fizzy drink. But is it really? Oh no. The sugar content has been increased, deliberately, by imperialism - BUT ONLY IN CANS SOLD IN THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES! This has been proved conclusively by some journal published in Bulgaria, who’s name escapes me momentarily. Why? Obviously imperialism intends the local populations to be so zonked on Pepsi they will be unable to fight off US led attempts to recolonise them. The only people who can't see this are stooges for Randall and Bradley, who make me sick.

II. the personal behaviour of AWLers towards me
about lies, tricks, abuses, runaways, cowardness, slander, banning, smokescreens and more

when i was new at their site, sacha asked me to write an greeting word for the awl-congress. i did, and beside my -usually selfwritten- participation in several threads, i also wrote some articles about germany for them. (that all didnt stop liar randall, just to post a few days ago, that i would only copypaste other articles in there.)
in my greeting word, i stressed the importance of an exemplary personal behaviour for revolutionarys; saying, that we must be more kind, sensitive and helpful than others, that from our behaviour here and now (and not in the future, once socialism is there) the people around us shall be able to "smell" a bit from the type of society we want. nobody said anything against it, and i was so naive to think, they may agree and try such an orientation for themselves.
the next i experienced, was the above (in part 1) mentioned bullying in the baader-meinhof article.
then i had the incredible behaviour of randal &bradley (as described above), the mentioned censorship, and at least one pseudo-feminist woman blamed me to be an rightwinger "who does downplay rapings" (!), because i simply had mentioned the fact, that there was a whole serial of wrong rape-blamngs against some rich and popular tv-artists in germany (she didnt believe that). so, the woman who blamed ME to downplay rapings, did know, that i myself was badly raped as an young men, did need an operation, and till today, decades later, physically suffer from it (i had mentioned that on the thread we discussed).she was just another thougtless awler- always hypersensitive with themselves, when they earn a critic, but rather insensitive and brute, when they themselve attack others.
after all this experiences with HUMANLY ROTTEN behaviour, i decided to call them on it. that meant, for example, when mark mocked me in length for talking about an possible US-intervention, saying that will never happen, and my following articles proofed him wrong, then i challenged him to argue with that (cause he never did) and asked him, if he dont wanna have the guts to admit that he was wrong. that was simply an paedagogic way, tryin to teach people, to STAND for what they said and did, and not always run away from it. AWL called this my "abusive denouncing of people". in the time that followed, i experienced an endless number of projection ("projezieren" in german- i dont know if i have the right english word here), where a number of awlers endlessly projected their own faults on me. for example, i earned various abuses as mad (mark), paranoid (randall), hysterical (matgamma), "idiot troll" (david black) and so on, and when i called them on it, then always i -who only reacted- was labelled as the always abusive one. while i already informed, that awl saw it as an personal abuse of his popular(?) star-member randall, that i dislike his personal music and the genre as such, here is another example, what the awl considered as my abuses- i only corrected an little provocation started by bradley:

Clive | 19 June, 2012 - 11:41
Debate
A debate with Guenter:
“You support imperialism!”
No, we don’t.
“Yes you do! You’re the running dogs of imperialism!”
No, we’re not. But we think the logic of your position is to support, or at best half-heartedly oppose, dictators like Asad or Gaddafi.
“Twising my words! Demagogues! Clowns! You’re sick horrible people and nobody likes you! And you do support imperialism!”
No, we think you’ve misunderstood us.
“How dare you! You know I can’t speak English! And anyway I’m far too important and famous to be talking to you!”
reply
.guenter | 19 June, 2012 - 14:59
the original debate
as anyone casn read it itself -so 4 the bad luck of clive &co.- the original debate was -in short- rather like this:
guenter: here is a well-researched example from --------, how the media got missinformed during the yugoslawia war, and how the scenarios have been similar for libya and syria
clive: -------------- (silence)
guenter: here are a dozen articles of serious investigatin´mags, who claim that the houla-masacree was done by the opposition, not by the assad-regime.
clive (hysterical): u propagandist of assad, gaddafi and so on! we have 2 articles, who knows it better than anyone else. we dont even need to argue with what u presented! (barry rushes in and supports this position.)
guenter: shall i also remind u, that u ("we never support foreign interventions") did also support the nato-war on yugoslawia, the fascist UCLA and anticommunist yeltsin?
clive: --------------
guenter: after marks heavy mockery, that iam so mad, saying that the USA plans something, it was in the news in the meantime, that clintons friend rubin, a politician of the "democrats", called for an airstrike against syria.
clive: --------------------
------------------------------------------------------------------------------´--------------------------------
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

i wouldnt even had mentioned this less important things (the abuses i earned) if some awlers hadnt always made such an fuss about my so-called abuses- for me its normal, that such things can happen in an heated discussion. and revolutionary socialists shall distinguish between an heated polemic and intended abuse (on another trot-website i once called an article from an leading member as "dumb zynical", what wasnt of course all i said. they posted it, and no membership stood up and shouted to ban me.) thats all so damned HYPOCRITICAL from awl, who greeted my socialist postings with more than abuse, with agression and hate. one shall compare that with the kind and brotherly way, they discussed with the anartchists. (and ther was always time for it).of course they did find it "devastating" that i reminded the anarchists to recently have murdered a worker in greece, who was member of the greek CP. simply by stating the fact, i was -once again- labelled as stalinist. me, an passionated anti-stalinist, who fought for socialism since 43 years. by endlessly slandering me around, they always knew´d, that iam an heartpatient and with many other serious deseases, and already with one foot in the grave. so far to their "nonabusive" and "human" behaviour.
one last example: in an thread about sexworkers, dan rawnsley simply left (the most typical awl-behaviour) when he got stucked with arguments. some time later, when i asked him on another thread why i left, he first said he will continue. when this didnt happen, i asked him again and he also claimed that he couldnt go on, cause he was abused from me. now i argue anybody to go on this thread -however "islamophob" he may find my positions there- and check, if there was the slightest abuse of mine towards rawnsley. i pay i million pounds to anyone who finds one. here its getting TOO OBVIOUS:
awlers only use the so-called abuses of their critics as pretexts and lame excuses, to piss off from debates whenever they run out of arguments- and that happens there more than anywhere else! duh!
(i saw some1 posting, for waggin´his finger, awl had labelled him as violent. that fits in the picture). posting on the awl-website is as senseless as those bourgeois mags, who may print letters, also critical ones, from their readers- but nobody argues with that and in the end that never does change anything.

III: selfpraise and reality

awl has a selfpraise as being such an democratic, openly, unique special group. mark (yes, the one who declared US-interventions as impossible, said that only russia was an imperialist force in syria and was among those who have been 150% incapable to argue with presented facts!) even posted recently to some1 from SWP, that the marxist education in awl is so high, while all the others are stupid and less-democratic!
well, i think i have explored and exposed
-their pro-imperialist politics
-their "democratic" behaviour with critics (reaching from abuse over slander over censorship till banning)
-their personal double-moral (if u dislike the music of ur local awl-popstar, then u are brandmarked as highly abusive, but if awlérs call u idiot throll, paronoid or whatever, then its of course no abuse, and no one of them gets banned.)
pettybourgeois politics and pettybourgeois personal behavior. (wonder, if they ever had an proletarian- i guess, if he (or she) said "shit" or "damn", (s)he was expelled for abusing this catholic schoolgirls.)
the website of awl contains some variants of capitalist ideologies; socialdemocratic, green and anarchist.
its professionel made and carries a bit of anything, but the majority of members are not interested in their own stuff. the numbers of posters become less and less, and there is no real interest in internationalism. it dont interest a single person, if some1 runs an article about the discussion for an "new anticapitalist party" in another country, or if there is an report about "higgs", which does simply challenge marxism (along with some other results of modern physics), real rev. socialists are always eager to discuss that all.
(iam definitive no orthodox marxist and not attacking them from an orthodox trotkyite position. but i think, even some non-marxist radical priests in latinamerica have an clearer anti-imperialist stand than awl.)

IV: summing up, thoughts and conclusions

-due to my daily experience for 2 years, awlérs are unable to engage with arguments and facts, but escape from discussions anytime they get stucked
-in 99% of all cases, an direkt quest dont get an answer
-instead of arguing, they may reply with vagueley accusations, as "dont think urself so important", and if u ask them why they say so, there will again be no answer; or they may endlessly repeat something which was already refuted
-they are lightyears from lenins saying that "the truth is always concret". like a child, they may shout in-between "thats all shit!" and thats it; but an rev. socialist must be able to say what of ur sayings he does find wrong and why, and he shall say how the facts are right (in his opinion) . as i said, teaching them to substantiate their claims and having examples at hand, is like teaching the abc to children.
(btw, clive: i act and live very modest, no, i can say, in poverty.)

awl again talks now about an "wrong anti-imperialism" to prepare their support for the next upcoming wars and interventions. indeed, there was an type of "anti-imperialism" by the CP´s and stalinists, where any fascist regime was supported (as khomeini´s mullah-regime in iran), as long as it only carried an verbal anti-americanism. as if this was enough (nazis are also against USA), as if there could be an real anti-imperialism without anti-capitalism. this critic i support (unfortunately, even some trots once had supported khomeini!) but instead of replacing this simplified oir wrong anti-imperialism with an real anti-imperialism, they give up on it at all and already turned pro-imperialist. moreover, they falled from antistalinism into anticommunism, what is a great gift for the stalinists, the biggest favour one can do them (didnt they always claim, that antistalinism and anticommunism was the same?) if the stalinists didnt had an awl, they might had created one.
so, if we are kind, we can say, that the awl sometimes throws out the baby with the bathwater. but iam afraid that its somehow more than that. one must be more than a little naive, to have such positions out of naivity only. at least they are not THAT dumb, no? well, i met some childish and immatured guys there (they dont seem to have many women), no doubt about, some highly nonserious persons, and i also experienced an good amount of purely nonsensical sayings or behaviour. but then again i really wondered, if some may really believe what they say, or if they play an role -with intention. on their website are -beside some openly pro-imperialist positions- several mistakes also in less important questions. for example, they write about the new pirate party in germany, and dont mention that there is a group of ex-functioners from the neofascist NPD inside the pirates, and that their new chairman was in CDU and still works for the military-ministry, and that we can imagine, how their positions in the next wars will turn out to be. or they post about the occupy/blockupy movement in germany, without saying that a whole week of actvities they had planed, was forbidden by the court! are they really so ill-informed, or do they wanna hide from their readers, what cant witewash bourgeois "democracy"? they could have asked me about this things in germany,.moreover, as the forbidden blockupy-week was in my city(!), but whenever i corrected their informations with a posting, i was whether greeted with aversion or silence, but never with a "thanks".

in short, there are so many strange things within them, that in the worst possible case awl might even be a group of provocateurs. perhaps no agent provocateurs, but there seems to be something provocative in the role they have. if anyone in UK does know more about it, he can let me know. for me its of course difficult, to judge people only after internet-communication: if i ever had met them in person or saw them in action, it was easier to make out what they really are about. but i dont wonder anymore, why they are isolated among the rev. left. and i decided, to write down my experience with them, that it may help others who are politically searching, not to fall into this trap. awl may claim, that iam only personal angry, cause they didnt always reply to me immediately (so sacha in his mail), but thats not "only" highly over-ridicoulous, but indeed this stalinist manner, to denounce a clearly political critic as an personal revenge of an psychopath or so. may believe it who want- i think, , i had better examples 4 the dishonesty and cowardness of the awlérs i dealt with. i doregret it, that i did waste 2 years of my precious running lifetime on net with some seemingly irrational, irrelevant tiny sect.. this error i do correct now.

guenter from germany, july 7, 2012

P.S.: a quest for all non-awl members &sympathisers: did any1 of u adress the awl-meeting where daniell randall and clive bradley did lecture about "marxism &arts"? i imagine it much worse than tony christie or mary hopkin tryin´to sing communist songs. did i guess it right?
even beethoven was more of an revolutionary than awl´s dreamteam, isnt it?

july 10:
cause of problems with my PC i couldnt send this till now.. today i got a mail from sacha ismail, saying, that he cancelled a number of my postings on the awl-website, which had not been political, but abusive personal attacks. as we already clarified, an personal abusive attack for awl is not, if u call some1 an ratass, pig or so. in my case, the censored, so called nonpolitical abuses did include
-a reminder on bradley bout his &randalls behave on the "soundtrack"-thread- exactly (word by word) the same description which i used above in the 1st part of my statement (we recently discussed that again, after bradley had requested me "to forget about the past" and start all over again with awl)
-a reminder for bradley, how he freaked out on that thread, when i mentioned, that the famous afroamerican writer james baldwin -with whom i was in touch till his death- and rather an authority of "black culture" than bradley&randall, also considered rap &hiphop rather as the destroying of old black music, than as its development ("infantile macho-posting substituting the lack of real power" he analysed.)
-and yes, in a little note for mark i said, that i dont think that he is the right person to praise his political education.
most censorship was on that thread, where mark praised hisself and the awl as so much better educated and so much more democratic as any1 else!
well, if critic about awl on their website leads to mobbing, banning &censorship, then this must be discussed on other websites- its that simple. therefore i request the few groups i´ll send that to, to post my statement on their website (and any1 else who wanna pick it up from there).
with red greetings to all unknown,
guenter.

july 11, last remark before sending:
today, also my 2 small, nonabusive protestnotes about the censorship have been cancelled by sacha, who mailed me again, that there is no censorship. cleverly he also cancelled a few remarks of bradley &randall, so that now i cant anymore proof all of i said, when telling the people they should read this and that thread. for example, our whole discussion on "ideas of freedom" was cancelled.
such people will never understand, that critic never can be banned, but will only be discussed in other places then. so lets do it!

Submitted by guenter on Fri, 13/07/2012 - 02:47

unfortunately, all i found was "log out" but nothing like "press button to cancel ur account here". may some1 else do it.

Submitted by Clive on Sun, 29/07/2012 - 20:02

Seems to be the definitive account of the Houla massacre, for now at least.
www.spiegel.de/international/world/a-look-back-at-the-houla-massacre-in-syria-a-845854.html

Submitted by AWL on Wed, 01/08/2012 - 11:48

Guenter,

We can cancel your account, but really all you need to do is stop using it.

I think we should reply to your political criticisms of us, not so much because you have a coherent case to make, as because it will be educational for our comrades. I will propose this.

In terms of your claims of censorship, all we have ever done is ask you to remain with the editorial policy of the website (by not being abusive, not cutting and pasting long articles, not posting comments unconnected to posts). No one has ever tried to prevent you from making any political argument.

Anyway, on one level I'm sorry you've decided to stop engaging with us, though on another level - given your behaviour on the site - I'm honestly relieved.

Sacha Ismail

Add new comment

This website uses cookies, you can find out more and set your preferences here.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.