Saturday, 28 July 2012

Syria: Countering misinformation


In the 'fog of war' it is extremely difficult to determine where the truth lies.

What I can say is that anyone who chooses to believe the BBC and CNN needs their head read. Since we are inundated, day on day, with propaganda from the mass media I am presenting the other side of the story and leave it up to you to make up your own mine

Syrians: NATO-backed Militants Seen Donning Gas Masks
Reports of Libyan chemical weapons brought in through Turkey, caches discovered in Damascus point to possible false flag.

by Tony Cartalucci

27 July, 2012


Images: (Top) FSA fighters, one on the left wearing a "Jihadist" headband, another on the right trying on a military-grade gas mask, were reportedly photographed in Aleppo, Syria. (Bottom) Chemical weapons and equipment from Libya have been reportedly discovered as troops search areas of Damascus after quelling last week's militant attack. 
....

Many Syrians and outside observers alike, fear that militants may deploy chemical weapons in one or more locations around Syria, creating a mass-casualty event to subsequently be blamed on the government by a coordinated Western media disinformation campaign. The so-called "Free Syrian Army" (FSA) has already been conducting strings of devastating, indiscriminate mass-casualty bombings across the country, as reported by Reuters', "
Outgunned Syria rebels make shift to bombs."

Libyan weapons, cash, and fighters have also all been confirmed to have made it into Syria in an effort to undermine, divide and destroy Syria.

The London Telegraph reported in its article, "
Libya’s new rulers offer weapons to Syrian rebels:"
"There is something being planned to send weapons and even Libyan fighters to Syria," said a Libyan source, speaking on condition of anonymity. "There is a military intervention on the way. Within a few weeks you will see."
The Telegraph has also learned that preliminary discussions about arms supplies took place when members of the Syrian National Council [SNC] – the country's main opposition movement – visited Libya earlier this month.
 Albawaba reported in its article, "Libyan fighters join "free Syrian army" forces," that: 
Libyan sources conveyed in recent days that 600 rebel fighters have already gone from Libya to Syria in order to support the Syrian opposition.
Albawaba's report would later be confirmed by multiple Western media representatives now on the ground in Aleppo, Syria, including CNN which reported:
Meanwhile, residents of the village where the Syrian Falcons were headquartered said there were fighters of several North African nationalities also serving with the brigade's ranks.
A volunteer Libyan fighter has also told CNN he intends to travel from Turkey to Syria within days to add a "platoon" of Libyan fighters to armed movement.
 CNN also added:
On Wednesday, CNN’s crew met a Libyan fighter who had crossed into Syria from Turkey with four other Libyans. The fighter wore full camouflage and was carrying a Kalashnikov rifle. He said more Libyan fighters were on the way.

The foreign fighters, some of them are clearly drawn because they see this as … a jihad. So this is a magnet for jihadists who see this as a fight for Sunni Muslims.
Clearly Libyan terrorists and their weapons have made it into Syria with the explicit backing of NATO's recently installed client Libyan regime.  The London Guardian had reported that Libya possessed some "25 metric tonnes of bulk mustard agent and 1,400 metric tonnes of precursor chemical used to make chemical weapons." The Guardian also reported: 
The abandonment or disappearance of some Gaddafi-era weapons has prompted concerns that such firepower could erode regional security if it falls into the hands of Islamist militants or rebels active in north Africa.
Clearly those "Islamist militants" as well as "rebels active in north Africa" are now on the ground in Syria. These militants bringing pilfered chemical weapons with them is entirely plausible, as is the possibility that these weapons were purposefully placed into their hands by either NATO or Libya's current ruling regime. This very scenario was warned against last month in an article published by Russia Today titled, "Syrian rebels aim to use chemical weapons, blame Damascus – report." 

Why Isn't the Western Media Investigating These Claims? 

It should be remembered 
a single "tweet" from BBC's Ian Pannell in Aleppo claiming "fighter jets have bombed eastern Aleppo," triggered media hysteria. Pannell would expand on his earlier, unconfirmed, unsubstantiated claim by declaring, "what appeared to be Russian-made MiG planes arced through the sky. We watched as they dropped in, bombing and strafing rebel positions."
It would later turn out that the planes Pannell observed were not "MiG planes," where not "Russian-made," and were not even "bombing" rebel positions. They were trainer planes carrying out reconnaissance and at most, deploying gun-fire on rebel trucks mounted with heavy weapons.  
Image: A sole"tweet" from BBC's Ian Pannell, now a confirmed fabrication, immediately made headlines across the Western media. 
....

If one "tweet" is worth 3 news cycles, even when the report was both difficult to believe at face-value, and quickly turned out to be a fabrication - why isn't the Western media covering pictures and witness accounts of FSA militants apparently preparing to deploy chemical weapons inside and around Syria's major cities? 

The answer is simple, reporting bombers that don't exist allowed the White House to claim, "the Syrian government's assault on the city of Aleppo with tanks and airplanes illustrates "the depth of depravity" by the regime of President Bashar Assad." 

Similarly, by allowing claims of FSA militants preparing to deploy chemical weapons to go unreported, affords the West an opportunity to then blame the mass-casualty event that may follow on the Syrian government, thus providing an attractive opportunity for militarily intervene. That the media and governments of the West have not publicly looked into recent claims that the FSA is contemplating a false flag, weapons of mass destruction attack, makes them complicit should such an attack unfold. It will also make it all but impossible for the US to attempt to blame Libya and "Al Qaeda" alone if their dark deed is carried out, but subsequently exposed. 

Assad Grants Autonomy to Kurdish Region, Prompting Threats From Turkey
Syrian President Bashar Assad, amid growing unrest, has granted control of parts of northern Syria over to militant Kurds, long branded as terrorists by Turkey, in a provocation that could lead the conflict to break out internationally.



26 July, 2012

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had earlier said that Turkey would not accept an autonomous Kurdish area in Syria, fearing separatist Kurds in Turkey would use it as a safe-haven to launch cross-border attacks.

Late on Thursday Turkey mobilized and deployed tanks and missile batteries on the Syrian border near the Kurdish region, with Erdogan commenting if the Kurds control these areas, “then intervening would be our most natural right.”

Kurdish control of these border areas are an apparent consequence of the chaos of Syria’s internal conflict, in which the US and its allies are sending aid, intelligence, and weapons to the Syrian rebels, despite numerous crimes and ties to terrorist groups.

Turkish military intervention against the Assad regime came close to being a reality back a few months ago when Syria downed a Turkish fighter jet that went into Syrian airspace. Turkey has shown little hesitation to attack its neighbors if they feel their Kurdish threat demands it, as cross-border attacks into Iraq’s Kurdish region in recent months has shown.

If Turkey, a NATO member, involves itself in the Syrian conflict in a direct and belligerent way, it could have far reaching consequences, with possible implications of a US intervention.



From Michel Chossudovsky:
It is essential that people in the UK, France and the US prevent "the late Summer" naval WMD deployment to the Eastern Mediterraean from occurring.

The British
 Ministry of Defense has announced that several British warships are required "to ensure the security" of the Olympic Games. HMS Bulwark is stationed in Weymouth Bay for the duration of the games. HMS Illustrious is "currently sitting on the Thames in central London". The deployment of British warships including HMS Bulwark and HMS Illustrious to the Middle East is envisaged  "after" the Olympic Games.

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The US-NATO War on Syria: Western Naval Forces Confront Russia Off the Syrian Coastline?
by Michel Chossudovsky

26 July, 2012

"As I went back through the Pentagon in November 2001, one of the senior military staff officers had time for a chat. Yes, we were still on track for going against Iraq, he said. But there was more. This was being discussed as part of a five-year campaign plan, he said, and there were a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia, and Sudan." 

Former Nato Commander General Wesley Clark
"Let me say to the soldiers and officials still supporting the Syrian regime -- the Syrian people will remember the choices you make in the coming days...."

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
, Friends of Syria conference in Paris' July 7, 2012 

While confrontation between Russia and the West was, until recently, confined to the polite ambit of international diplomacy, within the confines of the UN Nations Security Council, an uncertain and perilous situation is now unfolding in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Allied forces including intelligence operatives and special forces have reinforced their presence on the ground in Syria following the UN stalemate. Meanwhile, coinciding with the UN Security Council deadlock, Moscow has dispatched to the Mediterranean a flotilla of ten Russian warships and escort vessels led by the Admiral Chabanenko anti-submarine destroyer. Russia's flotilla is currently stationed off the Southern Syrian coastline.
 

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in St. Petersburg on June 29, 2012, on the eve of international talks in Geneva to find a political solution to the Syria crisis
"Polite Diplomacy" (without smiles). Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L)  and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov meet in St. Petersbourg, June 29, 2012 

Back in August of last year, Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin warned that "NATO is planning a military campaign against Syria to help overthrow the regime of President Bashar al-Assad with a long-reaching goal of preparing a beachhead for an attack on Iran,..."  In relation to the current naval deployment, Russia’s navy chief, Vice Admiral Viktor Chirkov, confirmed, however, that while the [Russian] flotilla was carrying marines, the warships would "not be engaged in Syria Tasks". "The ships will perform "planned military manoeuvres", said the [Russian Defense] ministry" 

The US-NATO alliance has retorted to Russia's naval initiative, with a much larger naval deployment, a formidable Western armada, consisting of British, French and American warships, slated to be deployed later this Summer in the Eastern Mediterranean, leading to a potential "Cold War style confrontation" between Russian and Western naval forces.

Meanwhile, US-NATO military planners have announced that various "military options" and "intervention scenarios" are being contemplated in the wake of the Russian-Chinese veto in the UN Security Council. 


The planned naval deployment is coordinated with allied ground operations in support of the US-NATO sponsored "Free Syrian Army"(FSA). In this regard, US-NATO has speeded up the recruitment of foreign fighters trained in Turkey, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

 

Russian warship in the Syrian port of Tartus
Franco-British War Games: "Warship Diplomacy"
France and Britain will be participating later this Summer in war games codenamed Exercise Cougar 12 [2012]. The games will be conducted in the Eastern Mediterranean as part of a Franco-British  "Response Force Task Group" involving  Britain's HMS Bulwark and France's Charles De Gaulle carrier battle group. The focus of these naval exercises will be on amphibious operations involving the (planned simulated) landing ashore of troops on "enemy territory". 

File:HMS Bulwark midships.jpg
Britain's HMS Bulwark
Fichier:Charles De Gaulle (R91) underway 2009.jpg
France's Charles De Gaulle aircraft carrier

Smokescreen: The Proposed Evacuation of Western
 Nationals "Using a Humanitarian Naval Fleet of WMDs"

Barely mentioned by the mainstream media, the warships involved in the Cougar 12 naval exercise will also participate in the planned evacuation of  "British nationals from the Middle East, should the ongoing conflict in Syria further spill across borders into neighboring Lebanon and Jordan.":

The British would likely send the HMS Illustrious, a helicopter carrier, along with the HMS Bulwark, an amphibious ship, as well as an advanced destroyer to provide defenses for the task force. On board will be several hundred Royal Marine commandos, as well as a complement of AH-64 attack helicopters (the same ones used in Libya last year). A fleet of French ships, including the Charles De Gaulle aircraft carrier, carrying a complement of Rafale fighter aircraft, are expected to join them. 


Those forces are expected stay offshore and could escort specially chartered civilian ships meant to pick up foreign nationals fleeing Syria and surrounding countries.  (
ibtimes.com, 24 July 2012). 

Sources in the British Ministry of Defense, while confirming the Royal Navy's "humanitarian mandate" in the planned evacuation program, have categorically denied "any intention of a combat role for British forces [against Syria]". 


The evacuation plan using the most advanced military hardware including the HMS Bulwark, the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier is an obvious smokescreen. The not so hidden agenda is military threat and intimidation directed against a sovereign nation located in the historical cradle of civilization in Mespotamia: 

"The Charles De Gaulle alone is a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier with an entire squadron of jets more advanced than anything the Syrians have -- is sparking speculation that those forces could become involved in a NATO operation against Syrian forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad... 

This impressive deployment of Franco-British  naval power could also include the USS John C. Stennis aircraft carrier, which is to be sent back to the Middle East:  
[On July 16, 2912], the Pentagon also confirmed that it would be redeploying the USS John C. Stennis, a nuclear-powered supercarrier capable of carrying 90 aircraft, to the Middle East... The Stennis would be arriving in the region with an advanced missile-launching cruiser, .... The carrier USS Eisenhower is already expected to be in the Middle East by that time (two carriers currently in the region are to be relieved and sent back to the U.S.).

Amid unpredictable situations in both Syria and Iran, that would have left U.S. forces stretched and overly burdened if a firm military response were needed in either circumstance. (Ibid, emphasis added)

The USS Stennis, at left, and the HMS Illustrious, at right, together in the Persian Gulf in April 1998. The two ships may be sailing together again sooner than expected. Photo: Wikipedia Commons
USS Stennis aircraft carrier

The USS Stennis strike group is to be sent back to the Middle East "by an unspecified date in the late summer" to be deployed to the Central Command area of responsibility:  

"The Defense Department said that the early deployment had come from a request made by Marine Corps General James N. Mattis, the commander for Central Command (the U.S. military authority area that covers the Middle East), partly out of concern that there would be a short period where only one carrier would be located in the region." ((Strike group headed to Central Command early - Stripes Central - Stripes, July 16, 2012)

 Marine Gen. James Mattis, commander of U.S. Central Command, "asked to move up the strike group’s deployment based on “a range of factors,” and  Defense Secretary Leon Panetta approved it"... (Ibid)
 
A Pentagon spokesman stated that the deployment shift of the USS Stennis strike group pertained to "a wide range of U.S. security interests in the region". "We’re always mindful of the challenges posed by Iran. Let me be very clear: This is not a decision that is based solely on the challenges posed by Iran, ... " This is not about any one particular country or one particular threat.” intimating that Syria was also part of planned deployment. (Ibid, emphasis added) 

"Intervention Scenarios" 

This massive deployment of naval power is an act of coercion with a view to terrorizing the Syrian people. The threat of military intervention purports to destabilize Syria as a nation state as well as confront and weaken Russia's role in brokering the Syrian crisis. 

The UN diplomatic game is at an impasse. The UN Security Council is defunct. The transition is towards Twenty-first Century "Warship Diplomacy".  

While an all out allied military operation directed against Syria is not "officially" contemplated, military planners are currently involved in preparing various "intervention scenarios": 

Western political leaders may have no appetite for deeper intervention. But as history has shown, we do not always choose which wars to fight - sometimes wars choose us. ‘Military planners have a responsibility to prepare for intervention options in Syria for their political masters in case this conflict chooses them. ‘Preparation will be proceeding today in several Western capitals and on the ground in Syria and in Turkey. ‘Up to the point of Assad’s collapse, we are most likely to see a continuation or intensification of the under-the-radar options of financial support, arming and advising the rebels, clandestine operations and perhaps cyber warfare from the West. ‘After any collapse, however, the military options will be seen in a different light.’ (Daily Mail, July 24, 2012, emphasis added)

Concluding Remarks

The World is at a dangerous crossroads. 


The shape of this planned naval deployment in the Eastern Mediterranean with US-NATO warships contiguous to those of Russia is unprecedented in recent history.  

History tells us that wars are often triggered unexpectedly as a result of "political mistakes" and human error. The latter are all the more likely within the realm of a divisive and corrupt political system in the US and Western Europe.

US-NATO military planning is overseen by a centralised military hierarchy. Command and Control operations are in theory "coordinated" but in practice they are often marked by human error. Intelligence operatives often function independently and outside the realm of political accountability.

Military planners are acutely aware of the dangers of escalation. Syria has significant air defense capabilities as well as ground forces. Syria has been building up its air defense system with the delivery of Russian Pantsir S1 air-defense missiles.

Any form of US-NATO direct military intervention against Syria would destabilize the entire region, potentially leading to escalation over a vast geographical area, extending from the Eastern Mediterranean to the Afghanistan-Pakistan border with Tajikistan and China.

Military planning involves intricate scenarios and war games by both sides including military options pertaining to advanced weapons systems. A Third World War scenario has been contemplated by US-NATO-Israeli military planners since early 2000. 

Escalation is an integral part of the military agenda. War preparations to attack Syria and Iran have been in "an advanced state of readiness" for several years.

We are dealing with complex political and strategic decision-making involving the interplay of powerful economic interest groups, the actions of covert intelligence operatives.

The role of war propaganda is paramount not only in moulding public opinion into accepting a war agenda, but also in establishing a consensus within the upper echelons of the decision-making process. A selective form of war propaganda intended for "Top Officials" (TOPOFF) in government agencies, intelligence, the Military, law enforcement, etc. is intended to create an unbending consensus in favor of War and the Police State.

For the war project to go ahead, it is essential that both politicians and military planners are rightfully committed to leading the war "in the name of justice and democracy". For this to occur, they must firmly believe in their own propaganda, namely that war is "an instrument of peace and democracy".

They have no concern for the devastating impacts of advanced weapons systems, routinely categorized as "collateral damage", let alone the meaning and significance of pre-emptive warfare, using nuclear weapons.

Wars are invariably decided upon by civilian leaders and interest groups rather than by the military. War serves dominant economic interests which operate from behind the scenes, behind closed doors in corporate boardrooms, in the Washington think tanks, etc.

Realities are turned upside down. War is peace. The Lie becomes the Truth. 


War propaganda, namely media lies, constitutes the most powerful instrument of warfare.

Without media disinformation, the US-NATO led war agenda would collapse like a deck of cards. The legitimacy of  the war criminals in high office would be broken.

It is therefore essential to disarm not only the mainstream media but also a segment of the self proclaimed "progressive" alternative media, which has provided legitimacy to NATO's "Responsibility to protect" (R2P)  mandate, largely with a view to dismantling the antiwar movement.  

The road to Tehran goes through Damascus. A US-NATO sponsored war on Iran would involve, as a first step, the destabilization of Syria as a nation state. Military planning pertaining to Syria is an integral part of the war on Iran agenda. 

A war on Syria could evolve towards a US-NATO military campaign directed against Iran, in which Turkey and Israel would be directly involved. 


It is crucial to spread the word and break the channels of media disinformation.

A critical and unbiased understanding of what is happening in Syria is of crucial importance in reversing the tide of military escalation towards a broader regional war.

Our objective is ultimately to dismantle the US-NATO-Israeli military arsenal and restore World Peace. 


It is essential that people in the UK, France and the US prevent "the late Summer" naval WMD deployment to the Eastern Mediterraean from occurring.  

It is essential that people in the UK, France and the US prevent "the late Summer" naval WMD deployment to the Eastern Mediterraean from occurring.


The British
 Ministry of Defense has announced that several British warships are required "to ensure the security" of the Olympic Games. HMS Bulwark is stationed in Weymouth Bay for the duration of the games. HMS Illustrious is "currently sitting on the Thames in central London". The deployment of British warships including HMS Bulwark and HMS Illustrious to the Middle East is envisaged  "after" the Olympic Games. 


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