Category Archives: Syria

Interview with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad

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The Full Paris Match interview of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, granted in Damascus on November 28th.

Paris Match: Mr. President, three years into this war, and considering how things have turned out, do you regret that you haven’t managed things differently at the beginning, with the appearance of the first signs of the revolution in March 2011? Do you feel that you are responsible for what happened?

Bashar el Assad: Even in the first days of the events, there were martyrs from the army and the police; so, since the first days of this crisis we have been facing terrorism. It is true that there were demonstrations, but they were not large in number. In such a case, there is no choice but to defend your people against terrorists. There’s no other choice. We cannot say that we regret fighting terrorism since the early days of this crisis. However, this doesn’t mean that there weren’t mistakes made in practice. There are always mistakes. Let’s be honest: had Qatar not paid money to those terrorists at that time, and had Turkey not supported them logistically, and had not the West supported them politically, things would have been different. If we in Syria had problems and mistakes before the crisis, which is normal, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the events had internal causes.

Paris Match: Your army is blamed for its excessive use of force during this war. Why are civilians shelled?

Bashar el Assad : When a terrorist attacks you with weapons, how do you defend yourself and your people, with dialogue?! The army uses weapons when the other side uses them. For us in Syria, it is impossible to have our objective as shelling civilians. There’s no reason to shell civilians. If we are killing civilians, in other words killing our people, fighting terrorists at the same time, and fighting the states which stand against us and which support terrorists, like the Gulf countries, Turkey, and the West, how could we stand for four years? If we haven’t been defending the people, we wouldn’t have been able to stand all this pressure. Consequently, saying that we are shelling civilians doesn’t make any sense.

Paris Match: Satellite imagery of the cities of Homs and Hama show completely destroyed neighborhoods; and the United Nations, of which your country is a member, talks about 190,000 people having been killed in this war. Were all the people in those neighborhoods terrorists?

Bashar el Assad : First of all, you need to verify the figures provided by the United Nations. What are the sources of these figures? The figures being circulated in the world, particularly in the media, are exaggerated and inaccurate. Second, images of destruction are not only obtained through satellite images, they are there actually on the ground, and they are accurate. When terrorists enter a certain region and occupy it, the army has to liberate it, and there is a battle. So, naturally, there is destruction. But in most cases, when terrorists enter a certain area, civilians flee from it. In fact, the largest number of victims in Syria is among the supporters of the state, not the other way round; and a large number of those were killed in terrorist attacks. Of course, when you have war and terrorism innocent people die. This happens everywhere in the world. But it is impossible for a state to target civilians.

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The Syrian-Russian pact in Sochi: Putin,Lavrov & Mu’allem meet

SYRPER EXCLUSIVE: WHAT LAVROV IS TELLING MU’ALLEM; WHAT MU’ALLEM IS TELLING PUTIN AND LAVROV

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The Foreign Minister and Minister for Expatriates of the Syrian Arab Republic, Mr. Waleed Al-Mu’allim, is in Sochi to meet with Russian President, Vladimir Putin, and Russian F.M., Sergei Lavrov.  The meeting is face-to-face which required the Syrian top diplomat to fly to Russia.  You can assume that the reasons for the trip have to do with secrecy, confidential exchanges of information and the need to prevent Western eavesdropping.  This meeting could be the most important of the entire war in Syria.

Pay no attention to press conferences or summaries offered up by both sides to the talks at the end.  This meeting is not about publicity or orotund denunciations of terrorism.  Both countries have staked out clear positions on ISIS, American meddling and the incessant violations of international law by the West, its troglodyte Arabian allies, and the Zionist Apartheid State.

Russia remains mildly interested in a negotiated end to the fighting in Syria which will see Dr. Assad continue his stewardship for at least another 7 years but which might involve a reconfiguration of the Syrian governmental structure so as to accommodate new elements from the expatriate opposition.  The Russians have to know with whom Damascus would negotiate and whom Damascus fiercely rejects.  Neither the Syrians nor the Russians will brook any surprises.

The Syrian FM is there to give them a list of groups and personalities Damascus finds acceptable in order to have a realistic political framework in which to negotiate.  My readers already appear to sense that Ahmad Mu’aadh Al-Khateeb (Al-Hasani), a former head of NACOSROF, will be on the short list especially in light of recent pronouncements he has made in support of the Assad Administration and its fight against terrorism.  Al-Khateeb is important because of his religious affiliations; he hails from a wealthy clerical Damascene class whose Sunni credentials are impeccable and deeply rooted in the life of the capital.

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Has Washington just shot itself in the oily foot?, by William Engdahl

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(William Engdahl – NEO) – By now even the New York Times is openly talking about the secret Obama Administration strategy of trying to bankrupt Russia by using its oil-bloated Bedouin bosom buddy, Saudi Arabia, to collapse the world price of oil. However, it’s beginning to look like the neo-conservative Russia-haters and Cold war wanna-be hawks around Barack Obama may have just shot themselves in their oily foot. As I referred to it in an earlier article, their oil price strategy is basically stupid. Stupid, as all consequences have not been taken into account. Take now the impact on US oil production as prices plummet.

The collapse in US oil prices since September may very soon collapse the US shale oil bubble and tear away the illusion that the United States will surpass Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world’s largest oil producer. That illusion, fostered by faked resource estimates issued by the US Department of Energy, has been a lynchpin of Obama geopolitical strategy.

Now the financial Ponzi scheme behind the increase of US domestic oil output the past several years is about to evaporate in a cloud of fictitious smoke. The basic economics of shale oil production are being ravaged by the 23% oil price drop since John Kerry and Saudi King Abdullah had their secret meeting near the Red Sea in early September to agree on the Saudi oil price war against Russia.

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The Caliph fit to join OPEC, by Pepe Escobar

Islamic State leader Caliph Ibrahim – aka Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – never ceases to amaze us – and most of all his powerful petrodollar-stuffed backers. The Caliph is for all practical purposes now an oil major worth of membership of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). His takfiri/mercenary goons – in theory – have for some time been extracting, refining, shipping and/or smuggling and clinching juicy deals involving vast quantities of oil, reaping profits of roughly US$2 million a day.

The Caliph’s oil prices are to die (be beheaded?) for; after all, he’s implementing the same low-price strategy concocted by the people he wants to dethrone in Mecca, the House of Saud. The caliphate’s GDP across “Syraq” has only one way to go: up.

And oh, the irony Top customers for The Caliph’s cheap oil happen to be “Sultan” Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Earthly paradise, aka Turkey – a North Atlantic Treaty Organization ally – and that King “Playstation” Abdullah II ibn al-Hussein’s domain impersonating a country, aka Jordan.

Meanwhile, the awesome, immensely sophisticated military apparatus/intel agency acronym fest deployed by “free” US/NATO somehow is simply unable to register/intercept this racket.

Not surprising, when they somehow had not previously registered/intercepted The Caliph’s goons taking over large swaths of “Syraq” this summer with their cross-desert version of rolling thunder – that gleaming white Toyota promo ad.

As for the Empire of Chaos “solution” to intercept The Caliph’s oil profits, the only decision so far has been to bomb oil pipelines that belong to the Syrian Arab Republic, that is, ultimately, the Syrian people.

Never underestimate the capacity of US President Barack Obama’s “Don’t Do Stupid Stuff” foreign policy doctrine to soar towards unreachable stupidity heights.

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Kobani : An alternative to western neoliberalism

This is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL READING to understand the people power/direct democracy experiment going on in Kobani. It’s Murray Bookchin adapted to Kurdistan. No wonder NO ONE – not to mention the hyper power – want this to succeed. And The Caliph just wants to kill them all.

Kobani – and Rojava as a whole – is pointing the way towards a REAL VIABLE ALTERNATIVE to the current valley of tears: financialization/turbo-capitalism supported by neoliberal ideology.

Scroll down to the “face-to-face democracy” section; that’s approximately what’s goin’ on in Kobani and Rojava as a whole.

Capture

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The Kobani riddle, by Pepe Escobar

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The brave women of Kobani – where Syrian Kurds are desperately fighting ISIS/ISIL/Daesh – are about to be betrayed by the “international community”. These women warriors, apart from Caliph Ibrahim’s goons, are also fighting treacherous agendas by the US, Turkey and the administration of Iraqi Kurdistan. So what’s the real deal in Kobani?

Let’s start by talking about Rojava. The full meaning of Rojava – the three mostly Kurdish provinces of northern Syria – is conveyed in this editorial (in Turkish) published by jailed activist Kenan Kirkaya. He argues that Rojava is the home of a “revolutionary model” that no less than challenges “the hegemony of the capitalist, nation-state system” – way beyond its regional “meaning for Kurds, or for Syrians or Kurdistan.”

Ain al-Arab or Kobané is a city in northern Syria, the Syrian Kurdistan currently located on the Turkish border
Ain al-Arab or Kobané is a city in northern Syria, the Syrian Kurdistan currently located on the Turkish border

Kobani – an agricultural region – happens to be at the epicenter of this non-violent experiment in democracy, made possible by an arrangement early on during the Syrian tragedy between Damascus and Rojava (you don’t go for regime change against us, we leave you alone). Here, for instance, it’s argued that “even if only a single aspect of true socialism were able to survive there, millions of discontented people would be drawn to Kobani.”

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Syria – The Latest Crusade, by André Vltchek

entrance to Incirlik base near Adana copy
Entrance to Incirlik base near Adana.

The West is striking again; it is stabbing the very center, the heart of the Arab World.

This time it is targeting the group – ISIS – which it created itself, and which it had been arming, feeding and pampering until just very recently.

Airplanes and missiles are flying, and bombs are falling. The war has begun.

But is it really a war, or just a brutal game, a gigantic PlayStation operated by thousands of hooked-up maniacs in the Pentagon and all over Washington, Brussels and some servile capitals in the Middle East?

A war is, after all, when two sides are facing each other, when two sides fight, when two sides are risking their lives.

In this surreal and post-modern ‘war’, the only victims will be the people of the Middle East, most likely civilians. Their lives will be risked by those who are sitting, in safety, on their destroyers and in control rooms, hundreds and thousands of miles away, drinking coffee and cracking jokes.

The Übermenschen of the West will not descend from the sky, in order to fight, – man to man – in order to minimize the casualties of a peaceful population. The killing will be done by Tomahawks and F22’s (at least those have real pilots), and by drones.

This is actually not a war but a massacre, a mass murder.

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