Four years of Syrian resistance to imperialist takeover; delegation led by Ramsey Clark listens to Syrians

Organizations mentioned in this article:
International Action Center

http://www.iacenter.org
Fight Imperialism, Stand Together
http://fightimperialism.org/
Syrian Solidarity Movement http://www.syriasolidaritymovement.org/

Posted on Global Research, March 28, 2015
By Sara Flounders and Lamont Lilly
Workers.org

U.S. efforts to overturn the government of Syria have now extended into a fifth year. It is increasingly clear that thousands of predictions reported in the corporate media by Western politicians, think tanks, diplomats and generals of a quick overturn and easy destruction of Syrian sovereignty have been overly optimistic, imperialist dreams. But four years of sabotage, bombings, assassinations and a mercenary invasion of more than 20,000 fighters recruited from over 60 countries have spread great ruin and loss of life.

The U.S. State Department has once again made its arrogant demand that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must step down. This demand confirms U.S. imperialism’s determination to overthrow the elected Syrian government. Washington intends to impose the chaos of feuding mercenaries and fanatical militias as seen today in Libya and Iraq.

A delegation from the International Action Center headed by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark traveled to Syria in late February to present a different message.

Visits to hospitals, centers for displaced families and meetings with religious leaders, community organizations and government officials conveyed the IAC’s determination to resist the orchestrated efforts of U.S. imperialism acting through its proxies in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan and Israel.

The IAC’s opportunity to again visit Syria came following its participation in a packed and well-organized meeting of the International Forum for Justice in Palestine, held in Beirut on Feb. 22 and 23. The conference was initiated by Ma’an Bashour and the Arab International Centre for Communication and Solidarity and again confirmed the centrality of the burning, unresolved issue of Palestine in the region.

The solidarity delegation to Syria included Cynthia McKinney, former six-term member of the U.S Congress; Lamont Lilly, of the youth organization FIST – Fight Imperialism, Stand Together; Eva Bartlett, from the Syrian Solidarity Movement; and Sara Flounders, IAC co-director.

The delegation traveled the rutted, mountainous, blacktop road from Beirut to Damascus to the Lebanon-Syria border. On the Syrian side, this road was a modern, 6-lane highway, a reminder of Syria’s high level of infrastructure development. Even after four years of war, this is still a well-maintained highway. Due to sanctions against Syria, hundreds of trucks attempting deliveries stretched for miles on both sides of the border.

Compared to two years ago, when the IAC visited Damascus, this year we didn’t hear the constant thud of incoming rockets from mercenary forces shelling the city. These military forces have been pushed back from their encirclement of the capital. Syrian military units, checkpoints, sandbags, blast walls and concrete blocks were now less pervasive. Markets were full of people and held more produce.

A visit to Damascus’ largest hospital showed the cumulative impact of four years of devastation. At the University Hospital, where children with amputated limbs receive treatments in the ICU, many children had been brought in maimed from explosives and with shrapnel wounds from mortars and rockets fired on Damascus by terrorist forces.

At a visit to a center for displaced families at a former school, we met with university students, who provide sports, crafts, tutoring and mentoring programs. Medical care, free food and education programs are provided by the centers. But conditions are desperately overcrowded. Each homeless family, often of 6 to 10 people, is allocated a single classroom as housing. Almost half the population has been displaced by the terror tactics of mercenary forces.

A Mosaic of cultures

A theme in almost every discussion was Syria’s heritage as a diverse, rich mosaic of religious and cultural traditions. Sectarian divisions and intolerance are consciously opposed. One can see the determination to oppose the rule of foreign-funded forces.

A visit with Syria’s Grand Mufti Ahmad Badr Al-Din Hassoun and Syrian Greek Orthodox Bishop Luca al-Khoury reflected the centuries of religious harmony that previously existed in Syria.

Mufti Hassoun stressed the need for reconciliation. He described to the visitors the assassination three years ago of his 22-year-old son, Saria, who “had never carried a weapon in his life.” Saria was gunned down after leaving his university. At the funeral, Mufti Hassoun declared he forgave the gunmen and called on them to lay down their weapons and rejoin Syria. He described his Greek Orthodox counterpart, Bishop Luca al-Khoury, as his cousin and brother.

Bishop Khoury described the ease with which he received a visa to the U.S., while Mufti Hassoun was denied a visa, although both are religious leaders. “Why do they differentiate between us?” said Khoury. “It’s part of the project to separate Christians and Muslims here. It’s over gas pipelines which are supposed to run through Syrian territory. This will only happen if there is a weak Syrian state.

“If the Syrian government would agree to give a monopoly to France to extract gas from Syria, then you would find [President François] Hollande visiting Syria the next day. If the Syrian government would give the monopoly to [the United States of] America, [President Barack] Obama would declare President al-Assad as the legitimate ruler of the Syrian people.”

“Turkey is warring on us,” Khoury continued, “with financial support from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and political support from America, Europe and Britain. Drones cross our borders daily, providing coordinates for the terrorists as to where to strike.”

Both religious leaders declared, as did many others in Syria, that the only solution is an international effort to stop the flow of arms: “If the American government would like to find a solution for the Syrian crisis, they could go to the Security Council and issue a resolution under Chapter 7 for a total ban of weapons from Turkey to terrorists in Syria. In one week this would be over.”

Syria’s accomplishments

Political and media adviser to President al-Assad, Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban, described the problem of stopping the weapons and mercenaries flooding into the country: “With external support and financing, and an over 800-kilometer border with Turkey, it’s very difficult to stop the flow of terrorists.

“Syria was formerly one of the fastest developing countries in the world,” Shaaban continued, “and one of the safest. We have free education and health care. We did not know poverty; we grew our food and produced our own clothing. At universities, 55 percent of the students were women. In whose interest is it to destroy this heritage? Who is the beneficiary of this?”

Shaaban described her time as a Fulbright scholar at Duke University in Durham, N.C., and later as professor at Eastern Michigan University: “I always wanted to be a bridge between Syria and Western cultures. At the beginning of the crisis, they tried to buy me. They urged me to ‘come to a civilized place,’” she said. “We have baths which are over 1,000 years old and still functioning. I studied Shelley: They didn’t have baths 800 years ago in England. We did. We were having baths and coffee.”

Meeting with PFLP Leaders

The delegation headed by Ramsey Clark also had an important opportunity to meet with Abu Ahmad Fuad, deputy general secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and Abu Sami Marwan, of the Political Bureau of the PFLP, and hear of the ongoing developments in Palestine and the region.

According to a Feb. 25 statement released by the PFLP after the meeting, “The PFLP leaders discussed the nature of the U.S./Zionist aggression against the people of the region, their intervention in Syria and the attempts of colonial powers to impose their hegemony by force and military aggression, through division of the land and people, and by pushing the region into sectarian or religious conflict.

“This U.S. policy is nothing new.” The Front noted that the colonial powers have waged an ongoing war against the Arab people to prevent any real progress for the region on the road to liberation, self-determination and an end to Zionist occupation.

“The U.S. delegation discussed the urgent need for building ongoing solidarity with Palestine in the United States and internationally,” continued the release, “in particular to confront the deep involvement of the United States — militarily, politically and financially — in the crimes of the occupier, and to end its attacks on Syria, Iraq and the people of the entire region.

“The solidarity delegates noted that there is a colonial scheme to divide and repartition the region according to the interests of major corporations and imperial powers, targeting the resources of the people, sometimes through blatant political interference in the affairs of the region and other times through wars and military attacks on states and peoples.

“The two sides emphasized the importance of communication between the Palestinian Arab left and progressive and democratic forces in the United States to confront Zionism and imperialism in the U.S. and in Palestine alike.”

Ramsey Clark described the aim of the visit: “To find more opportunities for dialogue and coordination among the Syrian and American people.  We saw culture and credibility in Syria and we appreciate the struggle of this people. We will disallow them to shift Syria into Iraq or Libya.”

Cynthia McKinney, former member at the U.S. Congress, said that she appreciated “Syria’s heroic stance, as people and leadership, in its war against the U.S. imperialism. The Syrian people are exceptional in their capability of resistance as the acts during four years have failed to achieve their goals.”

http://www.globalresearch.ca/four-years-of-syrian-resistance-to-imperialist-takeover/5439230

The war on Yugoslavia and the U.S. regime change model — the real face of American “diplomacy”

“The lethality of American ‘diplomacy’ and the uncountable costs that can be incurred from resisting Washington’s will.”

From Sputnik, March 25, 2014
By Andrew Korybko

The 16th anniversary of NATO’s War on Yugoslavia gives cause to reflect on what American ‘diplomacy’ is really all about.

The US has long trumpeted itself as the only paragon of virtue and ‘defender of freedom’ in the world, going into overdrive with this message in the years following the Cold War. Millions of people were duped during this time, but their illusions were quickly dispelled after the 1999 War on Yugoslavia.

This tragedy exposed the true face of American ‘diplomacy’ as a duplicitous front for pursuing predetermined geopolitical ends. The war wasn’t so much about a ‘humanitarian intervention’ (the reality surrounding which was grossly exaggerated by the Western media) as it was the establishment of a pro-Western proxy state in the heart of the Southern Balkans.

The War on Yugoslavia also marked a turning point where the US began ramping up its aggression all across Eurasia and perfecting the first actual version of Hybrid Warfare.

Uncle Sam’s Sins

The US did a lot of horrible things during its War on Yugoslavia, but here’s three of the most audacious:

Supporting Terrorism:

The so-called ‘Kosovo Liberation Army’ (KLA), the armed wing of Albanian nationalists fighting in the Serbian province of Kosovo, was deemed a terrorist organization by the Yugoslav authorities. UNSC Resolution 1160, which was supported by the US, even condemned the group for its terrorist activity and urged it to immediately halt such actions. Be that as it may, the KLA served an decisive role in destabilizing Serbia, and was thus not only supported by the US throughout the conflict, but its leader Hashim Thaci was even recognized by Washington as the province’s ‘Prime Minister’ afterwards.

Lying to the World:

The US tried to convince the world that the Albanians in Kosovo were experiencing genocide at the hands of the Serbs, but this was nowhere near the reality on the ground. Although some Albanians were certainly killed during their violent uprising against the federal government, Serbs were too, and neither demographic experienced the ‘tens of thousands’ of deaths that the State Department evoked as the US’ excuse for bombing Yugoslavia.

Tens of thousands of more people have died during Mexico’s drug war in recent years, for example, but America’s southern neighbor has yet to experience a ‘humanitarian intervention’.

Bombing Civilian Infrastructure:

The US-led NATO bombing campaign killed hundreds of civilians and destroyed apartment buildings, farms, schools, hospitals, churches, and bridges. The Pentagon’s explanation for such horrors (when it chose to address them) was that its ‘precision-targeted munitions’ malfunctioned, but the surviving victims refused to believe this.

BONUS: Bombing China And Getting Away With It:

The US hit the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade (officially recognized as the sovereign territory of the country, as is any state’s embassy abroad) on 7 May, 1999, killing 3 people and injuring about 20 others. One need only imagine the militant response from the Pentagon if the shoe was on the other foot.

The Foreign Policy Toolkit

The War on Yugoslavia represented the first testing ground for the application of the US’ integrated regime change strategy, however sloppily applied. It combined the following characteristics that would later be developed and perfected in forthcoming conflicts:

Unconventional War:

In order to stir up chaos and create a pretext for an ultimatum and eventual military intervention, the US supported the KLA during its terrorist war in the Serbian Province of Kosovo.

Ultimatum:

The US gave President Milosevic the ultimatum to pull all Yugoslavian police and army forces out of Kosovo Province or face the pulverizing consequences.

Conventional Intervention:

The destabilization came to a dramatic climax when NATO launched its ‘humanitarian intervention’ against Yugoslavia, which ultimately led to its fragmentation and destruction.

Color Revolution:

American intelligence services and Gene Sharp’s teachings organized and directed the Bulldozer Revolution of October 2000, which has since been acknowledged as the first Color Revolution.

Nowadays, the methods above have been perfected and patterned in the following order:

1. Ultimatum:

The US gives an explicit/public or implicit/behind-the-scenes ultimatum to a targeted country or leader. If they refuse and a ‘palace coup’ can’t be pulled off, then the next step is initiated.

2. Color Revolution:

This ‘street coup’ attempt seeks to oust the targeted country’s leadership through the carefully constructed façade of ‘people’s power’, whereby the international media is fed the misleading impression that the majority of a country’s citizens are revolting against their government. Other than the ultimatum or conventional coup, it’s the most cost-effective tool for regime change.

3. Unconventional War:

The third step can be evoked in the midst of the second one before turning into its own full-fledged destabilization when the Color Revolution fails. It capitalizes off of some of the social infrastructure built during the street coup attempt, and then arms the participants and encourages them to commit to terrorism and insurgency in overthrowing their government. Foreign mercenaries can also be involved.

4. Conventional Intervention:

While the previous two steps typically involve a deep level of covert commitment, the final step purposely brings the external destabilizer’s actions into the open by initiating an open war. This is the most expensive form of regime change, but is always clothed in grand ‘humanitarian’ or ‘democratic’ rhetoric to hide its true intent.

Where Are They Now?

Let’s take a look at the most notable example of each stage of the US’ regime change template and see how these countries have since coped with the Hybrid War waged against them:

Steps 1-2: Ukraine

The implicit ultimatum against President Yanukovych was that he had to sign the EU Association Agreement, and when he delayed doing so at the last minute, a Color Revolution was unleashed against him. In some ways, the urban terrorism of EuroMaidan even fulfills the requirements for Step 3.

Nowadays, the country lies in ruin and bankruptcy, and the oligarchs (Poroshenko and Kolomoiskyi) are poised to fight a fratricidal war amongst themselves at the expense of more Ukrainian lives.

Steps 1-3: Syria

President Assad refused to allow a gas pipeline from pro-American Qatar to transit Syrian territory en route to the Mediterranean, preferring instead to opt for the Friendship Pipeline with Iraq and Iran. As a punishment, Syria was thus dragged into the theater-wide ‘Arab Spring’ Color Revolutions spearheaded by the US, but when the people resolutely stood by their democratically elected leadership and secular authorities and refused to allow the street coup to succeed, an Unconventional War was unleashed on the country.

As it stands, the most notorious terrorists from every corner of the world have infested the country, slaughtering tens of thousands of innocent people and turning entire cities to rubble in their four-year-long rampage.

Steps 1-4: Libya

Muammar Gaddafi refused to fully integrate his country into the EU-led ‘Union For the Mediterranean’, instead choosing to remain an observer member. Despite having surrendered Libya’s weapons of mass destruction during an earlier ultimatum in 2007, Gaddafi’s reluctance to move forward with Euro-Mediterranean integration made him a marked man.

The US-organized ‘Arab Spring’ Color Revolutions subsequently targeted him in 2011, and events in the country quickly spiraled into Unconventional Warfare as terrorists surged into the main cities and started killing civilians and government representatives.

NATO decided to commence a bombing campaign against the country shortly thereafter under a false ‘humanitarian intervention’ pretext, which consequently destroyed the state’s social and physical infrastructure and turned it into the fearsome terrorist battleground that it is today.

Remember, these above-cited tragedies would not have been possible had it not been for the US’ War on Yugoslavia and the ‘perfection’ of the regime change techniques that were first applied there. It is for this reason that the memory of 24 March should serve as a somber reminder each year of the lethality of American ‘diplomacy’ and the uncountable costs that can be incurred from resisting Washington’s will.

http://sputniknews.com/columnists/20150324/1019950056.html

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-war-on-yugoslavia-the-real-face-of-american-diplomacy/5438961

Nemtsov’s role in the plunder of Russia in the 1990’s: links to Berezovsky, Khodorkovsky and Soros

From Fort Russ

Boris Nemtsov and Boris Berezovsky

March 9, 2015
Elena KREMENCOVA
Translated by Kristina Rus

Certainly, the performers of the savage murder should be caught and severely punished. However, we will likely not find the true customers. Well, except with nuclear missiles. However, listening last week to the praise for Boris Nemtsov, people in the know were puzzled: Oh my God, is this all really about Nemtsov?!

“Russia is rapidly becoming a colony of China. Russia is losing sovereignty. This is the main point of modern foreign policy of the Kremlin” – accused Vladimir Putin the opposition leader Nemtsov.

Apparently, he forgot that back in 1997 as Deputy Prime Minister himself he initiated this process and arrived in Beijing the day before President Yeltsin to finalize the agreement on the gas pipeline from the Kovyktinskij gas field in Irkutsk region and from Western Siberia to China.

His signature is under the agreement between the governments of Russia and China about the pipeline for transportation to the Chinese of crude oil from Eastern Siberia. Nemtsov participated in the negotiations on the demarcation of the Russian-Chinese border, which ended with the signing of a disadvantageous for us treaty. After which many Russians, to their astonishment, ended up on the Chinese territory.

And what about the agreement with Japan “About some of the types of cooperation in the field of harvesting of marine living resources”? Only business publications briefly reported that the Japanese were allowed to fish in our waters without compliance with the Russian legislation. And after seven years we saw terrible videos about how this is done. The damage to Russia was then estimated at $10 billion.

The Deputy Prime Minister also aided the Chechen terrorists. Personally signed an agreement on the transit of oil through Chechnya, through which the militants received from the federal budget about $10 million in excess fees for oil transit. This instrument of financial support for terrorism from the state worked properly prior to coming of Putin. At the first problems the press howled about human rights violations in Chechnya. And Boris Efimovich got the reputation of an irreconcilable opposition activist.

In one interview he admitted that he agreed to become first Deputy Prime Minister under pressure from Tatyana Dyachenko, who came to Nizhny Novgorod and “begged all night that the President always helped you and now the hour had come when you must help him”. But did not mention that Dyachenko begged him together with Boris Berezovsky, the corrupt alliance with whom by the time of the interview Nemtsov called an absolute lie. However, the jury in the High Court of England came to a different conclusion.

Boris and Boris quarreled about a blocking stake in Svyazinvest. Berezovsky wanted to buy it, but Nemtsov sold it to Soros!

In 1998 Nemtsov founded “The National Fund for Regional Policy” for the transfer of money from offshore companies, including TNK and YUKOS of Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Part of the funds went to Nemtsov, “The Union of Right Forces (SPS) and “the human rights defenders”, but most of the money was cashed and disappeared. The loss to the state was estimated at 370 billion rubles. But everything was on the fringes of law, since after the shelling of the White House [in Moscow] in October 1993, the laws were written by scoundrels for scoundrels. And were approved by the cohort of senators whom Nemtsov had joined in December.

His election to the Council of Federation [Russian Senate] was financed by a businessman with a criminal background,  Andrey Klimentyev.

But that’s not all. Two weeks before the default of 1998, Nemtsov announced that he had found $30 million for the Russian Space Agency, which was behind on the production timeline of the Russian segment of the International Space Station. Say, the amount needed for the construction of the ISS was found by VimpelCom for the right to operate at frequencies of GSM 900 in Moscow and the Moscow region. But ISS had received only $7 million. The promise to save “Mir” station has remained only on paper, and experts wondered how much Nemtsov received for assisting the project on ridding the state for the promised $30 million of what is worth $200 million. Financial analysts estimated the commission for the service at 15 percent of projected annual profits of $4.5 million per year.

That is, the story of this gentleman is clear. All the corrupt deals of Boris Nemtsov apparently we will never be discovered. But many still remember the story of the bankruptcy of Navashinsky shipyard and the credit affair with “Nizhegorodets” bank.