Foreign Ministry briefing: Syria, Deir ez-Zor, the White Helmets, and what democratization means to the West

If our Western colleagues continue to talk about the democratisation of the Middle East and North Africa, knowing that they cannot retrace their steps, maybe we should choose a simpler solution, that is, change the definition of democratisation?

Maybe we should write an article for Wikipedia saying that democratisation as understood in the West amounts to total destruction of states, and provide the numerous examples? 

From the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation
April 27, 2017
Spokesperson Maria Zakharova

Excerpts:

The situation in Syria

The situation in Syria is still a focus of our attention. We anxiously monitor reports about the situation in Syria. Unfortunately, there is still plenty of cause for concern.

On April 25, it was reported that Turkish jets carried out a series of strikes on the positions of Kurdish self-defence detachments near Mount Karachok in northeastern Syria and near Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq. I would like to remind you that Kurdish detachments are the most effective fighting force in the war against ISIS terrorists in northeastern Syria. We were greatly disturbed by reports of Ankara’s operations. There is reason to believe that if it was not for the hasty US attack on Syria’s Shayrat Airbase, which was outside the bounds of international law, Turkey would not have carried out the recent strikes. It is necessary to put an end to arbitrariness on Syrian soil. We urge all international and regional partners to respect the sovereignty and independence of Syria and Iraq, as well as of other countries.

I would like to draw your attention to another issue. The targets that the Turkish Air Force hit in Syria included media facilities: a local TV and radio broadcasting station. Reports say some of your colleagues from the media centre of Kurdish self-defence forces were killed, among others. I would like to see the reaction of the relevant organisations and the journalistic community.

Syria’s government forces are successfully advancing on the positions of ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists. The offensive in the north of Hama Province is moving forward. Despite the fierce resistance put up by Nusra and its allies, the large towns of Halfaya and Taybat al-Imam have been liberated. At present, the army is exploiting its strategic success, advancing toward the border of Hama and Idlib Provinces.

On April 19 and 21, Russian Aerospace Forces aircraft destroyed Jabhat al-Nusra’s large training camps in Idlib Province. The strikes were carried out with coordinates received from the so-called competing group, Jaysh al-Izzah.

The dynamic of events in Syria underscores the pressing need for an international meeting on Syria in Astana. The next meeting is scheduled for May 3-4. We hope that the Astana process will help record positive trends in the development of the situation in Syria, prevent the deterioration of the military-political situation and help the Syrian parties in search of compromise solutions, which would put an end to the protracted intra-Syrian confrontation and prevent terrorists from gaining full control of Syria and the entire Middle East region.

 

The humanitarian situation in Deir ez-Zor

Improving the humanitarian situation in Syria and providing aid to those in need is one of Russia’s priorities in Syria.

We have often talked about the Russian military’s contribution to achieving this goal. They deliver food, water and basic necessities to the Syrian people, often at the risk of their lives.

The situation in Deir ez-Zor, where about 200,000 people have been under ISIS siege for over three years now, is also the focus of our attention. Russian airplanes regularly deliver humanitarian aid to the besieged people by using parachute platforms, including aid that the Syrian authorities receive from the UN. The most recent aid delivery – 21tonnes of food – was made on April 24-25.

According to the UN, more than a half of Syria’s population – 13.5 million people, including 6.5 million children – need humanitarian aid; 11.5 million people need medical care and 12.1 million have no access to drinking water.

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U.S. Syria strike could hit Donbass and Europe, too, to “bring democracy” – Popov

“Trump’s willingness to take such drastic actions means for us a whole new spectrum of opportunities and responsibility.”
Dmitry Kuleba, Ukraine’s permanent representative to the Council of Europe
April 8, 2017 – Fort Russ –
By Eduard Popov – translated by J. Arnoldski –
The missile strike on a Syrian airbase on April 7th by US ships in the Mediterranean Sea buried hopes for a warming of relations between the US and Russia with the ascent of Donald Trump’s White House. The prevailing opinion among Russian experts is that Trump was forced to pursue the previous administration’s foreign policy program in the Middle East. Others argue that Trump’s hardened actions and rhetoric towards Russia are the new US President’s bargaining for giving him a free hand in implementing his domestic program. Yet perhaps these explanations are marked by a degree of confusion and self-deception on our part.
People in Russia see Trump like they want to see him. But Trump the Republican is merely trying to regain America’s role as the main cowboy which it lost after two terms of a Democratic President. Therefore, the clash of US and Russian interests in Syria (and not only Syria) was probably predetermined. And our attempts to explain this as the insidious influence of the Democrats is another self-deception.
The US really did behave in the spirit of a cowboy in bombarding a sovereign state with 59 cruise missiles which hit a base where Russian troops were present. This was probably done even with a view towards them possibly being killed. Fortunately, this did not happen, but Syrian troops were killed. But who can guarantee that Russian or American troops won’t be killed next time?
The situation in Syria’s skies was very disturbing in the last several months of Barack Obama’s presidency. Military experts repeatedly warned of the danger of a high-speed collision of Russian and American aircraft in Syria’s airspace. Yesterday, Russia suspended the memorandum on preventing air incidents over Syria, which means that the probability of a collision, even accidental, only increases. Yet Russia was compelled to take this step, just as it was forced to send the Admiral Grigorovich frigate to the Syrian coast. Russia is responding to US actions with a show of force. These non-allies could at any moment become enemies in not a cold, but hot war.
Frightening news is coming from Europe as well. Western countries and their satellites are being locked in place against Russia. French President Hollande and German Chancellor Merkel expressed solidarity with President Trump’s actions which are an obvious violation of international law. From the point of view of Western countries, political expediency (the desire to “punish” countries deemed “wrong”, such as Syria, Russia, etc.) overrides respect for international law and the basic principle of national sovereignty. 
This gives the US’ European allies justification to intensify NATO encroachment on Russia’s borders as well as close their eyes to the failure of their domestic policies, first and foremost the crisis of migration from Muslim countries. The worsening situation in Syria and strengthening of anti-Russian rhetoric undoubtedly increase the electoral chances of pro-government candidates such as Macron in France and Merkel and the CDU/CSU in Germany. As follows, they avoid the need to explain to the peoples of European the feasibility of building up NATO infrastructure near Russia’s borders and intensifying military exercises in the Baltic states and Poland.
Ukraine, a satellite of the West, rapidly responded to the changing situation. Reports are coming in from Donbass on a supposedly impending UAF attack on the People’s Republics. These concerns are partially confirmed by the statements of Ukrainian diplomats. Ukraine’s’ permanent representative to the Council of Europe, Dmitry Kuleba, stated that the US’ nighttime missile attack on Syria strengthens Kiev’s position “in the war with Russia.” He believes that “Trump’s willingness to take such drastic actions means for us a whole new spectrum of opportunities and responsibility.” This is a more than transparent hint that Ukraine will announce an  offensive on the Donbass republics and hope for the US’ political and military assistance. This Ukrainian diplomat should not have made such a statement which contradicts Minsk-2 and reveals Kiev’s plans, but, as always, emotions triumph over cold calculation in the mind of young Ukrainian diplomacy.
There is every reason to believe that not only will the Middle East, but also the European theater of rivalry between the West and Russia will be aggravated. One does not want to say aloud just how far this confrontation could go. And one really does not want to think that the Old World could turn into a continent on fire in the likes of the Middle East to which US’ cruise missiles will bring democracy. 

Next after Ukraine — Belarus: US trains activists to promote “reforms”

From Rusvesna.su

March 21, 2017

The US government, through USAID, is looking for a contractor to implement its Community Connections exchange program in Belarus. In particular, the Americans plan to train Belarusians to carry out “economic and social transformations” by encouraging active participation by citizens in democratic processes.

As part of the program, the Americans want to train activists who will go on a three-week internship in the US to exchange experiences, visit American organizations, and communicate with experts.

“CC is a comprehensive exchange program that supports the priorities of the US government in providing assistance to foreign states by familiarizing the civil society of Belarus, individuals, and public sector representatives, with democratic practices and the values of the free market, and encouraging them to implement economic and social transformations in Belarus,” — from the announcement posted on the website.

According to the document, among the main tasks of the program are familiarizing the participants with the advantages and challenges of a democratic society, as well as creating a professional environment for the realization of economic and social transformations in Belarus.

The amount of funds that will be allocated to the contractor for the CC program is not specified.

In the name of democracy

The US government is not the first to provide financial support for the formation of democratic values in Belarus through the agency for international development. But the financial assistance of the US State Department to the Belarusians, aimed at supporting democratic and fair governance in the country, is on the rise: in 2016 was $ 8.3 million, in 2015 this figure equaled $ 7 million. For 2017, $9 million is allocated for this purpose.

It is noteworthy that in December 2016 a grant for funding independent Belarusian media also appeared on the US government portal. As reported by RT, the US State Department will allocate $ 520,000 to non-profit organizations for training independent journalists in Belarus.

One of the recipients of the grant from the US State Department is the American National Endowment for Democracy (NED). As previously noted by the media, the same fund was also involved in financing of Ukrainian NGOs.

In Belarus, NED also provided financial support for election observers in 2014, and also supported human rights organizations and activists. In 2016, NED allocated more than $ 2 million for the development of civil society and support for free and independent media in the country.

Protests of the unemployed

American money came in handy: on March 15, in Minsk, a protest rally was held under the name of “March of the parasites” against State Decree No. 3 “On the Prevention of Social Dependence.” The protesters demanded not only the cancellation of the tax on parasitism, but also the resignation of the president. After the protests, President Lukashenko suspended tax collection for a year, although he did not cancel the decree.

Currently, the opposition — in the person of the BNK bloc Nikolay Statkevich and the Right-of-center coalition of Lebedko, Rimashevsky, and Gubarevich — is actively participating in the protest movement. Previously, the Belarusian media reported that Statkevich would lead the “March of Angry Belarusians,” which is scheduled for March 25 in Minsk. Without “orange revolutions”

Grants for Community

Connections exchange programs represents nothing so much as the desire of the US to create centers of influence in countries that are of interest to American special services, believes political analyst and Americanist Alexander Asafov.

“The goal is to influence civil society. Support local activists, educate and educate them, and create their own opinion leaders,” said the political scientist.

Asafov noted that the United States will have to spend heavily to implement this program in Belarus.

“The scenario of the Orange Revolution is old enough and worked out, but it will not work directly in Belarus, as it worked in Ukraine, without significant financial resources,” the expert said.

However, the situation in Ukraine is a significant help for the work of the US in Belarus. President Alexander Lukashenko knows this very well, Asafov underscores.

“Lukashenko understands that the import of the revolution from Ukraine is real, because those oppositionists who got street experience there are much more dangerous than those who are merely trained according to American programs,” the expert said. [On this subject, see also armed provocateurs.]

Note that earlier in an interview with Bloomberg, Alexander Lukashenko said that he was satisfied with the Belarusian opposition. “I do not need another opposition, I have to look to the one I have, keep it in today’s form,” said the President of Belarus.

Источник: http://rusvesna.su/english/1490168287

Syrian ambassador’s excellent speech to the UN Security Council, April 7 — transcript (VIDEO)

UN Security Council meeting
April 7, 2017

Video from C-SPAN

https://www.c-span.org/video/?426668-1/un-security-council-holds-emergency-meeting-us-airstrikes-syria

1:45:50 – 1:57:26

Syrian Ambassador to the UN Bashar al Ja’Afari

At the outset, my delegation wishes to thank both the Russian Federation and Bolivia that joined us in calling for the convening of this urgent meeting.

I have a question at the very outset to the under-Secretary General who stated that Syrian Arab Republic perpetrated an act of aggression without defining that act by the terms of the Charter of the United Nations.

The United States at 3:42 at dawn today, April 7, 2017, waged a barbaric, flagrant act of aggression against a base of the Syrian Arab Air Force in the central area of the country using a number of missiles which led to a number of martyrs, many injured, including women and children, and wide-ranging material damage.

This treacherous act of aggression is a grave violation of the Charter of the United Nations as well as all international norms and laws.

The United States attempted to justify it with empty pretexts, fabricated arguments, claiming that the Syrian Arab Army had used the chemical weapons in Khan Sheikhoun, without genuine knowledge of what happened, without identifying who was responsible, the very same pretexts shouted out by terrorist organizations as well as their handlers in Washington and in ___Riyadh, ____Tex Aviv, London, and Paris, as well as their media.

The Syrian Arab Republic has stressed that the Syrian Arab Army does not have chemical weapons in the first place, and that it would never use such weapons in any of its operations against armed terrorist groups, that it condemns the use of such weapons as being unjustified under any conditions.

Let me stress that it is well-known that those weapons had been used and stockpiled in many parts of Syria by terrorist armed organizations in cooperation, or rather with a wink and a nudge, by some ruling regimes in the region and outside, including Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and some European states.

They completely ignore all the facts and documented information on the use of chemical weapons by terrorists in many parts of the Syrian Arab Republic.

This aggression would surely send erroneous messages to these terrorist groups, emboldening them to use chemical weapons in the future and to continue perpetrating terrorist acts against the Syrian civilians. Jabhat al Nusra and ISIL, both terrorist organizations, and associated terrorist organizations, following this aggression, did wage many attacks on many parts of Syria. The Syrian Arab Army and its allies in the war against terrorism are confronting them, despite attempts to support them. The American aggression is under this umbrella.

This condemnable aggression is a grave extrapolation of the same erroneous American strategy that began six years ago: one of providing all forms of assistance to what the United States called moderate armed opposition groups. This strategy harms counterterrorism by the Syrian Arab Army and its partners. It makes the United States of America a partner of ISIL and Jabhat al Nusra and other terrorist groups that since day one of the unjust war against Syria have attacked army positions and military bases as well as the infrastructure.

Let me recall in this Council that the United States of America leads a purported alliance against ISIL. However, the real achievements of that coalition is to kill civilians and to strike at infrastructure in Syria. Its real objective is to weaken the Syrian Arab Army and its allies when confronting terrorist groups. In this regard, we see the air strike by the aircraft of this coalition illegally against the Syrian Arab Army in the Jabal Tharda in the city of Deir Ezzor on 17 September 2016 in an attempt to protect ISIL elements falling between Syrian and Iraqi territory and opening a corridor for them.

Today’s aggression aimed at saving the Jabhat al Nusra following the grave damage that was done to them by the Syrian Arab Army and its allies in the center of the country following their attack on cities and peaceful villages in the region.

Let me also stress that media reports tell us that the U.S. Congress some time ago approved a law allowing the U.S. administration to send manpads to armed terrorist groups in Syria.

We have warned only two days ago in this very Council that these colonialists, permanent member states in the Security Council, the three colonialists have a renewed appetite to renew their lies and their stories that have been spread by the United States and the United Kingdom 14 years ago in this very hall to justify the destruction and occupation of Iraq using a major lie – being WMDs. Perhaps history has come full circle now in a regrettable scenario when we saw Secretary of State Colin Powell at the time trying to delude the international community and the United Nations to justify the aggression of his country against Iraq by talking about highly credible information.

Today the United States of America in its policy, in an attempt to justify its aggression against Syria, is using fabricated information provided by the Jabhat al Nusra terrorists.

This aggression incontrovertibly proves that Syria has been correct: that successive American administrations will not change their sterile policies, which is to target states to make peoples kneel to their will and spread hegemony around the world.

International public opinion, the people of the free world, have no doubt that the successive United States, UK, and French administrations for decades have not cared for democracy or freedom or human rights, indeed, let alone the welfare of people or their security and stability. These are just pretexts to wage war, to occupy other states, to divide them, to control their wealth and energy resources.

What is truly disgusting today is that these governments that supported the Wahhabi thinking, the terrorist extremist ideology of the House of Saud since its creation, is today orchestrating terrorism and investing in it without any care for the lives of people, even their own peoples when terrorism reaches their own threshold because of these wrong and hypocritical policies.

The Syrian Arab Republic strongly condemns the active aggression by the United States of America which is counter to the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, indeed with the status of the United States as a permanent member of the Security Council which is responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security. Let alone that these aggressions really promise total chaos in many parts of the world and will make the law of the jungle the only way to deal with the regional and economic crises without any heed to the Charter of the United Nations.

When you kill millions of innocents starting in South Asia all the way through Latin America, what was your position? A member from France spoke on the issue and spoke about exceptions.

You should not be the exception.

You should be made accountable for the killings in July of 2017 [2016?] of hundreds by your war planes.

You in the international coalition must be held accountable for the killing of 800 civilians in Syria at the beginning of 2017.

You must be made accountable for your support of armed terrorist groups and their political cover there, too, as they continue their terrorist acts.

The government of the Syrian Arab Republic, proceeding from its belief that all efforts must be mobilized to counteract terrorism, as it respects the rules of international law, the Charter of the United Nations, calls on the Security Council to shoulder its responsibilities according to the Charter to condemn this act of aggression and to ensure that it shall not be repeated.

It is an act that threatens peace and security in the region and the world.”

Syrian analyst, Afraa Dagher, to U.S.: “Is It normal to kill kids, women? Is this normal for you?”

Global Research, May 30, 2016
Activist Post 25 May 2016
isis_rebels

After a series of coordinated suicide bombings rocked the Syrian coast, killing over one hundred innocent civilians, Syrians are becoming even more frustrated with the hypocrisy of the West, not only in terms of the faux solidarity expressed when Belgium and France were attacked and the subsequent silence when it comes to Syria, but also in the constant Western whining about a “war on terror” that is made up of supporting and directing the very terror organizations it tells its own population it is trying to defeat.

Nowhere outside of its own borders does anyone truly believe that the United States represents freedom and democracy. That lie is reserved for hundreds of millions residing in the U.S., constantly plugged in to American media and the constant barrage of pro-war propaganda. It is thus highly ironic that it is the American people who are the key to stopping the American war machine from its continued march across the rest of the world before finally running out of steam and coming back home to march upon its own population.

Still, Syrians, over 6,000 miles away from the United States, besieged by five years of intense warfare, are fully aware of who has brought this destruction to their doorsteps even if Americans are still unaware that the destruction is even taking place.

In an interview with Aimee Anderson of ED TV, Afraa Dagher, a Syrian political analyst currently residing in Syria, expressed much of that frustration. After reporting the facts of the recent bombings, Dagher stated what many Syrians feel and what any informed observed can easily see for himself. She said,

There is a mastermind behind this. Such [an] attack is well-organized and is planned. . . . . It is an organized plan to destroy our infrastructure, battle stations, hospitals, electricity directorate, many of our important and sensitive sides, killing our people. So called Ahrar al-Sham announced their responsibility but the U.S. refuses to designate it or to classify it as a terrorist group in [at] the U.N. Later, the so-called ISIS declared its responsibility. As I said, [there is] no presence for those [ISIS] in our cities in the coastal line. They are just a cover. At the time, Israel[i] media was so happy to announce that this is a great attempt to kill those [who support] Assad and who support their government. Al Jazeera also reported it as ISIS. It is not ISIS. It is the “moderate rebels.” The “moderate rebels” of the West bombing Assad’s stronghold.

Afraa then moves on to address the perpetrators of the attacks – the root of the problem – the United States, NATO, the GCC, and Israel. Most notably, she addresses the West, who is always harping on about the need for “democracy” in countries other than their own. Afraa asks,

Is this your democracy, to kill who is against you and your views and who is believing what I believe, in my government, so you must kill me? Is this your democracy? I think you are slaughtering every Syrian. Every day. Aleppo, Deir al-Zour, Raqqa, Latakia, Jobleh, Tartus. And I see it also as a message to Russia. Because Russia has its airbase in Tartus. They say “We are here. We can hit any point we want.” Please watch the video about this. Is it a crime? A war crime? Or is it normal to kill kids, women, innocent people? Is this normal for you?

Unfortunately, the answer to that question is “yes.”

VIDEO on original article.

Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is the author of seven books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom7 Real ConspiraciesFive Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 650 articles on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s radio show Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. His website is BrandonTurbeville.com He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.