Nov 26th 2011
War and the Cradle of Civilization: Spinning “Humanitarian Invasions”, from The Nile to The Euphrates and Beyond
by Felicity Arbuthnot
“If a man seeks to understand Rome’s casus reason for each foreign conquest, he needs only look into the Treasury.” (Tacitus, AD 56 – AD 117.)
As the US and UK lead towards more illegal overthrows, invasions and destruction in Iran and Syria, a political pattern of manipulation and disinformation has become an art form.
Libya, under Colonel Quaddafi, with highest (UN) Human Development Index in Africa, and living standard which drew immigrants from across the region, has been air brushed out and replaced with a “mad dog” – and a liberating lynching. Oil, spoils and reconstruction contracts, though, are being divvied out apace.
Iraq, formerly described in UN Reports as approaching “First World” standards, also much in ruins, shattered infrastructure trumpeted as due to “thirty years of neglect.” No mention of over fifteen years of decimating embargo and bombings, culminating in “Shock and Awe.” Pretty glaring omissions.
Now President Assad of Syria is being subject to the same build up – or taking down – with calls for a Libya-style “no fly zone.” Being an independent-minded Arab leader certainly comes with a health warning.
On 20th November, Israel’s Defence Minister, Ehud Barak commented: “And it’s clear to me that what happened a few weeks ago to Qaddafi… and what happened ultimately to Saddam Hussein, now might await him.” (i)
Another day, another “despot”, more chilling alarm calls. Ehud Barak is surely in line for the Nobel Peace Prize.
But a decade or so is a long time in politics, especially with Western allies emboldened by a lynching or two.
Consider this, from political analyst Sami Moubayid, author of:” Steel and Silk, Men and Women who have Shaped Syria”(ii) and other scholarly literary over-views of the country’s modern history.
In December 2000, six months into Bashar Al-Assad’s tenure, he wrote of a “cultural revolution” the new President was implementing, entitling the piece: “A Modern-Day Attaturk.” (iii)
“Overnight the thousands of pictures of Hafez Al-Assad … disappeared”, following a statement committing to a “realistic” policy that did not immortalize and over-exaggerate leaders. “A relief … from the ever increasing photo-mania” of Syria (and the region’s) political culture.
Decades old bureaucratic laws were scrapped, a 25% wage increase was instituted – not universally welcomed, as rumors had been circulating that it would be far higher, but quite a start. Compulsory military service was “somewhat” reformed – a service instituted to counter the perceived “ever present” Israeli military threat.
Freedom of speech was “marginally” restored and the Muslim Brotherhood leaders, jailed since 1982, also perceived a threat to the regime’s existence, were released. A conciliatory hand extended. An Ex-chief of staff to his father, with close links to Washington, who had fled the country after allegations of corruption, was welcomed back and received as a guest in the Presidential palace. Another returnee was an “outspoken” newspaper Editor, formerly critical of the regime – who resumed his criticisms.
Before becoming President, Bashar had opened the country up to internet and mobile ‘phone use.
When his father had traveled : “… roads were sealed (and) his entourage comprised ten cars, a mine detector and an ambulance.” Bashar began driving himself, with two car security, eating in public restaurants and attending prayers in various mosques.
He was, concluded Moubayed: “ … revolutionizing Syrian society at a slow and delicate pace”, warning of the: ”the challenge of living up to his people’s very high expectations.”
Given the subsequent turmoil in the region and Syria’s hosting of nearly two million post-invasion Iraqi refugees, he has walked a challenging political and financial tight rope.
Media, politicians and rights groups citing human rights abuses as excuse for regime change, seemingly forget Guantanamo, Bagram, Abu Ghraib, Camp Bucca, and uncounted renditions to unknown detention dungeons across the world; torture, water boarding, and simply disappearing.
In an imperfect world, threatened Syria is fighting an enemy within, but the US, UK and allies most recent marauding, is uncounted horrifying deaths, acres of communities turned to rubble, culminating in the second lynching of a sovereign leader.
The remodeling of the Middle East, however, has been long on the cards .”9/11”, it is increasingly clear, provided the perfect excuse.
“In the Perle-Feith-Wurmser strategy, Israel’s enemy remains Syria, but the road to Damascus runs through Baghdad”, wrote Patrick Buchanan in 2003, reminds Maidhc Ó Cathail.(iv)
The road to Baghdad, of course, had been planned since 1998, when the Iraq Liberation Act (v) declared: “ .. that it should be the policy of the United States to seek to remove the Saddam Hussein regime from power in Iraq and to replace it with a democratic government.
“(Authorizing) the President … to provide to the Iraqi democratic opposition organizations: (1) grant assistance for radio and television broadcasting to Iraq; (2) Department of Defense (DOD) defense articles and services and military education and training …
“Directs the President to designate: (1) one or more Iraqi democratic opposition organizations that meet specified criteria as eligible to receive assistance under this Act; and (2) additional such organizations which satisfy the President’s criteria.
“Expresses the sense of the Congress that once the Saddam Hussein regime is removed from power in Iraq, the United States should support Iraq’s transition to democracy….”
By July 2002 when a bunch of US funded Iraqi opposition were welcomed by the British government and hosted in Kensington Town Hall, in a pattern now depressingly familiar in countries doomed to “democratization”: “US officials have reported that SAS troops and MI6 agents are already in Iraq working with opposition groups in the northern Kurdish areas of the country.”(vi)
In 1946 a US State Department Report had described Iraq as:”… a stupendous source of strategic power and the greatest material prize in world history”.
Compared to that, Syria does not have vast natural resources (comparatively limited petroleum, with phosphates, chrome and manganese ores, asphalt, iron ore, rock salt, marble, gypsum, hydropower.) However, it is geographically: “The doorway to Asia and the Middle East.”
Iraq had its “Liberation Act”, in May 2004, the United States imposed the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act, imposing, in all too familiar words: “ …a series of sanctions against Syria for its support of terrorism … weapons of mass destruction programs and the destabilizing role it is playing in Iraq.” Jaw dropping stuff from a country which illegally attacked Iraq, having worked tirelessly on its destabilization for years. (Emphasis mine.)
In 2006, the US Department of the Treasury imposed “special measures” against the Commercial Bank of Syria. As ever, Judge, jury and executioner.
In 2007, Israel bombed an undeclared “nuclear facility” – except it wasn’t. Another weapons of mass destruction myth. It was a textile factory. A German journalist tracked down machine suppliers, and the designing engineer.(vii)
A re-run of the Iraq baby milk factory , declared a chemical weapons factory and flattened – transpiring to be a British engineered baby milk factory. The Al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum, Sudan, suffered a similar fate under US bombs in August 1998, also accused of making chemical weapons.
It manufactured mainly veterinary medicines and malarial drugs, anti-biotics, at prices which undercut the Western multinationals. The suppliers for construction had included the US, Sweden, Italy, Switzerland, and Germany.
Beware of Western governments making assertions.
Meanwhile, British Foreign Minister and Conservative Friend of Israel, William Hague, met “Syrian opposition representatives” (insurgents?) on Monday declaring: “…we will do what we can to support democracy in Syria in the future.” He appointed former Ambassador to Lebanon and Yemen, Frances Guy, to lead London’s co-ordination with them.
Iraq and Libya revisited.
In the myriad political games, arm twisting, manipulation and propaganda, it should be remembered that President Assad is Regional Secretary of the Arab Ba’ath Party. With Saddam Hussein gone and the concept of a Pan-Arab state now outlawed in Iraq, Syria is the remaining symbol of America’s nemesis, but a concept close to many Arab hearts.
The fathers of the vision of Pan-Arab national ideals, combined with socialism, were, of course, Damascus born Michel Aflaq and Salah al-Din al-Bitar, who formed the Ba’ath Party in the early 1940’s.
The commitment included freeing the Arab world of Western colonialism.
Arguably, the overthrow of the last bastion of this ideal on the road through Damascus, would be a powerful Crusaders “victory.”
Echoing Foreign Minister Hague, President Genghis Obama has vowed that the US will: “continue to work with out friends and allies to pressure the Al Assad regime and support the Syrian people as they pursue the dignity and transition to democracy they deserve.” He omitted the “delivered by tens of thousands of air strikes.”
Assad’s hand of conciliation to the Muslim Brotherhood has been badly bitten as they push for a “no fly zone”, implemented by NATO Member, neighbouring Turkey.
Further, Tony Cartalucci argues that: “The ‘Free Syria Army’ is literally an army of militant extremists, many drawn not from Syria’s military ranks, but from the Muslim Brotherhood, carrying heavy weapons back and forth over the Turkish and Lebanese borders, funded, supported, and armed by the United States, Israel, and Turkey.”(viii)
Pepe Escobar (ix) concurs, citing: “A report by a Qatar-based researcher for the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) even comes close to admitting that the self-described ‘Free Syria Army’ is basically a bunch of hardcore Islamists, plus a few genuine army defectors, but mostly radicalized Muslim Brotherhood bought, paid for and weaponized by the US, Israel, the Gulf monarchies and Turkey.”
He adds: “As Tehran sees it, what’s really going on regarding Syria is a ‘humanitarian’ cover for a complex anti-Shi’ite and anti-Iran operation.
“The road map is already clear … And psy-ops abound …”
In context, one Washington allegation last week, accused Syria of aggression towards Lebanon by mining their common border. Lebanese de-mining teams combed the border and found none. (Jordan Times, 18th November 2011.)
This week both Iran and Lebanon have claimed to have arrested alleged CIA spy rings. The Lebanese Cabinet is to summon the US Ambassador, Maura Connelly to question her on the issue. They have also submitted a complaint to the UN on alleged Israeli covert activities.
Baghdad, so extensively destroyed in 2003, was the “Paris of the 9th Century.” Damascus ,“City of Jasmin”, is widely thought to be the oldest continually inhabited city on earth. The Old City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The superb Umayyad Mosque,built in the 7th century, is a monument to inspirational wonders of that millennium.
Inside a shrine to John the Baptist, believed by Christian scholars to have baptized Jesus, is perhaps a reminder across the millenia of the secular nature of Syrian society – as, broadly, Iraq and Libya before Western intervention.
Saint Paul was sent to what is now Syria, to destroy the Christians, believers are taught. His conversion on the road to Damascus changed all that. It can only be fervently hoped that today’s marauders also have a Damascene conversion, for the sake of Syria’s population of today, and most ancient of nations.
Felicity Arbuthnot is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Felicity Arbuthnot
FRIENDS OF ISRAEL- YOU MEAN SLAVES!!
that any Middle East war in which the West engaged would be waged for the primary purpose of enlarging the territory of the Zionist state, to accommodate this larger population; and that the two wars would effectively merge into one, in the course of which this dominant purpose would remain hidden from the embroiled masses until it was achieved, and confirmed by some new “world instrument”, at the fighting’s end.
The new president many have thought to utter simple platitudes when he said, “The state of Israel is democracy’s outpost in the Middle East and every American who loves liberty must join in an effort to make secure forever the future of this newest member of the family of nations”. In fact, this was a commitment, or so held by those to whom it was addressed, like similar words of Mr. Roosevelt and Mr. Woodrow Wilson. Eight years after Hitler’s death the new state, where
Hitler’s very laws held and whence the native people had been driven by massacre and terror, was “democracy’s outpost” and all who “1oved liberty” must (the imperative) join to preserve it.
If the new president thought he was free to form state policy, after he uttered such words, he was taught better within nine months of his inauguration. In October, 1953 the commitment was called, and imperiously. An effort to act independently, and in the American national interest, in an issue affecting “the newest member of the family of nations” was crushed, and the American President made to perform public penance, in much the same way that “Rockland” (Woodrow Wilson) was brought to heel in Mr. House’s novel in 1912.
This humiliation of the head of what mankind saw as the most powerful government in the world is the most significant incident in the present story, which has recounted many episodes, similar in nature but less open to public audit. The series of Zionist attacks on the Arab neighbour-states (listed in the preceding section) began on Oct. 14, 1953, when every living soul in the Arab village of Qibya, in Jordan was massacred. This was a repetition of the Deir Yasin massacre of 1948, with the difference that it was done outside Palestine, and thus deliberately intimated to the entire body of Arab peoples that they all in time would suffer “utter destruction”, again with the connivance of “the West”.
The facts were reported to the United nations by the Danish General Vagn Bennike, chief of the U.N. Truce Observation Organization (who received threats against his life) and his immediately, responsible subordinate, Commander E.D. Hutchison of the U.S. Navy, who described the attack as “cold blooded murder” (and was later removed). At the subsequent discussion before the U.N. Security Council, the French delegate said “the massacre” had aroused “horror and reprobation” in France and reproached Israel, the state founded on the claim of “persecution”, with “wreaking vengeance on the innocent”. The Greek delegate spoke of “the horrible massacre” and the British and American delegates joined in the chorus of “condemnation” (Nov. 9, 1953). In England the Archbishop of York denounced this “horrible act of terrorism” and a Conservative M.P., Major H. Legge-Bourke, called it “the culminating atrocity in a long chain of incursions into non-Israeli territory, made as part of a concerted plan of vengeance”.
When these expressions of horror were uttered Israel had, in effect, been awarded an American bonus of $60,000,000 for the deed and the American President had publicly submitted to the Zionist “pressure” in New York. This is the chronology of events:
Four days after the massacre (Oct. 18, 1953) the American Government “decided to administer a stern rebuke to its protegé” (The Times, Oct. 19). It announced that “the shocking reports which have reached the Department of State of the loss of lives and property involved in this incident convince us that
those who are responsible should be brought to account and effective measures be taken to prevent such incidents in the future” (these words are worth comparing with what happened within a few days). The Times added that “behind this statement is a growing resentment at the high-handed way in which the Israel Government is inclined to treat the United States – presumably because it believes that it can always count on domestic political pressure in this country”. It was even reported (added The Times, as if with bated breath) “that a grant of several million dollars to the Israel Government may be held up until some guarantee is given that there will be no more border incidents”.
Two days later (Oct. 20) the State Department announced that the grant to Israel would be halted. If President Eisenhower calculated that, with the election a year behind and the next three years ahead, his administration was free to formulate American state policy, he was wrong. The weakness of America, and the strength of the master-key method, is that an election always impends, if not a presidential election, then a Congressional, mayoral, municipal or other one. At that instant three candidates (two Jews and a non-Jew) were contending for the mayoralty of New York, and the campaign was beginning for the 1954 Congressional elections, when all 435 members of the House of Representatives and one third of the Senators were to seek election. Against this background, the screw was applied to the White House.
The three rivals in New York began to outbid each other for the “Jewish vote”. Five hundred Zionists gathered in New York (Oct. 25), announced that they were “shocked” by the cancellation of “aid to Israel”, and demanded that the Government “reconsider and reverse its hasty and unfair action”. The Republican candidate wired to Washington for an immediate interview with the Secretary of State; returning from it he assured the anxious electors that “full U.S. economic aid will be given to Israel” (New York Times, Oct. 26) and said this would amount in all to $63,000,000 (nevertheless, he was not elected).
Meanwhile the Republican party-managers clamoured at the President’s door with warnings of what would happen in the 1954 election if he did not recant. On October 28 he capitulated, an official statement announcing that Israel would receive the amount previously earmarked, and $26,000,000 of it in the first six months of the fiscal year, (out of a total of about $60,000,000).
The Republican candidate for the New York mayoralty welcomed this as “recognition of the fact that Israel is a staunch bastion of free world security in the Near East”, and an act of “world statesmanship” typical of President Eisenhower. The true picture of what had produced the act was given by Mr. John O’ Donnell in the New York Daily News, Oct. 28: “The professional politicians moved in on him with a vengeance. Ike didn’t like it at all. . . but the pressure was so violent that to keep peace in the family he had to reverse himself. And the aboutface, politically and personally, was about the smartest and swiftest seen in this political capital of the world in many a month. . . For a week
the pressure of candidates, seeking the huge Jewish vote in New York City, has been terrific. . . The political education of President Eisenhower has moved with dizzy speed in the last ten days”. (Nevertheless, the Republican Party did lose control of Congress in the 1954 election, this being the familiar and invariable result of these capitulations; and after even greater capitulations it suffered a still greater setback in 1956, when its nominee, again Mr. Eisenhower, was re-elected president).
After this the American Government never again ventured to “rebuke its protegé” during the long series of equally “horrible acts” committed by it, and on the anniversary of Israel’s creation (May 7, 1954) the Israeli Army proudly displayed the arms received by it from the United States and Great Britain; a massive display of American and British tanks, jet aircraft, bombers and fighters was then offered to the view. (The United States had reported Israel “eligible for arms aid” on August 12, 1952, and Great Britain authorized arms exports to Israel by private dealers on January 17, 1952).
Two years of relative quiet followed, but it was merely the hush of preparation; the next series of events was obviously being staged for the next presidential election year, 1956. In May 1955 (the month when Sir Anthony Eden succeeded Sir Winston Churchill as Prime Minister in England), the American Secretary of State, Mr. John Foster Dulles, like Mr. Balfour thirty years before, at last visited the country which was wrecking American foreign policy, as it had wrecked that of England. After his experience with the “rebuke”, so swiftly swallowed, he must have realized that he was dealing with the most powerful force in the world, supreme in his country, of which “Israel” was but the instrument used to divide and rule others.
SLAVES TO ISRAEL ZOG OF THE WESTERN WORLD!