Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. A generous donor is matching all donations of $100 or more! So please donate now to double your punch!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Oh, Horrors, It’s Syria!

I first visited Syria in 2002, returned in 2003 to make a film there and followed with subsequent visits in 2004 and 2006. Since the conflict started there last year I followed the situation in the US media, but could not recognize the reality I had witnessed. Much of the reporting, backed by pronouncements from Washington, sounded like a public relations campaign for the “rebels,” or the Free Syrian Army.

One can read the reports or watch TV news and not get a clue that beneath the usual accolades for democracy in Syria and the bashing of the Assad regime, lies the unstated and strategic truth. Washington, London, Paris and the lesser Western capitals, along with Saudi Arabia and Qatar have Iran in their gun sights, not Bashar al Assad’s dictatorial regime.

Iran, has a nuclear program that might produce weapons with which their voice would resonate louder in the region. One does not read that Washington had previously relied on Assad to torture certain prisoners – after sending those men to Syria along with the questions for Assad’s nail pullers to ask them. Washington also accepted Syrian intelligence information relating to various plots against US facilities in the region.

Thousands have died in Syria’s conflict, but the West and its regional allies don’t care about that or about democracy. If anyone thinks of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, regimes that excel in autocracy and human rights abuses, while arming and bankrolling the rebels of Syria to overthrow Bashar al- Baathist dictatorship as trying to free the Syrian people, I suggest they get a grip on reality.” Robert Fisk, “Syrian Wars of Lies and Hypocrisy Hypocrasy,” The Independent  July 29, 2012.

Fisk continues to point out that Washington mutes its criticism of the Saudi caliphates as they export extremist religion and keep women tightly controlled. In the royal kingdoms power comes through birthright, not elections – similar to Syria in that way. The Saudis want to spread their pernicious poison of Islamist ideology through the Salafi-Wahabi rebels in Syria. One should also recall how Saudi royalty poured many millions into the Taliban coffers in the 1990s.

9/11 addicts will also recall that, 15 of the 19 hijacking, murderers of 11 September, 2001, came from Saudi Arabia. Instead of bombing Ryadh, we bombed Afghanistan. The Saudis repress their own Shia minority just as they now wish to destroy the Alawite-Shia minority of Syria. Does anyone outside of Alice in Wonderland believe Saudi Arabia wants democracy in Syria? (Fisk)

US leaders have issued a “stern warning” to Assad and warned hat Syria is out of control. But did not the United States learn anything from their Iraq experience?

Last week, Iraq suffered 29 bombing attacks in 19 cities, killing 111 civilian and wounding another 235. The same day, Fisk notes, Syria’s bloodbath consumed about the same number of innocents. But Iraq was “down the page” from Syria, buried “below the fold”, as we journalists say; because, “of course, we gave freedom to Iraq.” (Fisk) Do we want another Iraq war in the region?

The “big” truth, as Fisk well illustrates, about the West’s response to Syria is that it is not about Syria. The attempt to remove Assad has little to do with concern for Syrians. Instead, the anti Syria campaign relates to the US and Israeli obective of weakening the Iranian Islamic Republic and its nuclear plans – if they exist. Human rights is not something Washington cares about except as public relations for its hidden objectives.

Saul Landau’s WILL THE REAL TERRORIST PLEASE STAND UP screens Aug 14 at Washington DC’s Avalon Theater, 5612 Connecticut Avenue at 8 pm.

More articles by:

SAUL LANDAU’s A BUSH AND BOTOX WORLD was published by CounterPunch / AK Press.

Weekend Edition
October 19, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jason Hirthler
The Pieties of the Liberal Class
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Day in My Life at CounterPunch
Paul Street
“Male Energy,” Authoritarian Whiteness and Creeping Fascism in the Age of Trump
Nick Pemberton
Reflections on Chomsky’s Voting Strategy: Why The Democratic Party Can’t Be Saved
John Davis
The Last History of the United States
Yigal Bronner
The Road to Khan al-Akhmar
Robert Hunziker
The Negan Syndrome
Andrew Levine
Democrats Ahead: Progressives Beware
Rannie Amiri
There is No “Proxy War” in Yemen
David Rosen
America’s Lost Souls: the 21st Century Lumpen-Proletariat?
Joseph Natoli
The Age of Misrepresentations
Ron Jacobs
History Is Not Kind
John Laforge
White House Radiation: Weakened Regulations Would Save Industry Billions
Ramzy Baroud
The UN ‘Sheriff’: Nikki Haley Elevated Israel, Damaged US Standing
Robert Fantina
Trump, Human Rights and the Middle East
Anthony Pahnke – Jim Goodman
NAFTA 2.0 Will Help Corporations More Than Farmers
Jill Richardson
Identity Crisis: Elizabeth Warren’s Claims Cherokee Heritage
Sam Husseini
The Most Strategic Midterm Race: Elder Challenges Hoyer
Maria Foscarinis – John Tharp
The Criminalization of Homelessness
Robert Fisk
The Story of the Armenian Legion: a Dark Tale of Anger and Revenge
Jacques R. Pauwels
Dinner With Marx in the House of the Swan
Dave Lindorff
US ‘Outrage’ over Slaying of US Residents Depends on the Nation Responsible
Ricardo Vaz
How Many Yemenis is a DC Pundit Worth?
Elliot Sperber
Build More Gardens, Phase out Cars
Chris Gilbert
In the Wake of Nepal’s Incomplete Revolution: Dispatch by a Far-Flung Bolivarian 
Muhammad Othman
Let Us Bray
Gerry Brown
Are Chinese Municipal $6 Trillion (40 Trillion Yuan) Hidden Debts Posing Titanic Risks?
Rev. William Alberts
Judge Kavanaugh’s Defenders Doth Protest Too Much
Ralph Nader
Unmasking Phony Values Campaigns by the Corporatists
Victor Grossman
A Big Rally and a Bavarian Vote
James Bovard
Groped at the Airport: Congress Must End TSA’s Sexual Assaults on Women
Jeff Roby
Florida After Hurricane Michael: the Sad State of the Unheeded Planner
Wim Laven
Intentional or Incompetence—Voter Suppression Where We Live
Bradley Kaye
The Policy of Policing
Wim Laven
The Catholic Church Fails Sexual Abuse Victims
Kevin Cashman
One Year After Hurricane Maria: Employment in Puerto Rico is Down by 26,000
Dr. Hakim Young
Nonviolent Afghans Bring a Breath of Fresh Air
Karl Grossman
Irving Like vs. Big Nuke
Dan Corjescu
The New Politics of Climate Change
John Carter
The Plight of the Pyrenees: the Abandoned Guard Dogs of the West
Ted Rall
Brett Kavanaugh and the Politics of Emotion-Shaming
Graham Peebles
Sharing is Key to a New Economic and Democratic Order
Ed Rampell
The Advocates
Louis Proyect
The Education Business
David Yearsley
Shock-and-Awe Inside Oracle Arena
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail