Beno Klee

Yes we can, indeed…

Syrië en de Youtube hype van de toespraak van Eva Barlett van 09 december 2016

In de gebouwen van de Verenigde Naties, New-York, werd op 09 december 2016. door het Assad-regime een persconferentie gegeven.

Een van de spreeksters op deze persconferentie was Eva Bartlett, Canadese schrijfster en pro-Assad activiste.  Haar toespraak heeft via Youtube heel wat aandacht getrokken.

U vindt de volledige persconferentie hier :

http://webtv.un.org/watch/permanent-mission-of-the-syrian-arab-republic-to-the-united-nations-press-conference-9-december-2016/5241732190001#full-text

Bij deze een analyse van de toespraak van Eva Barlett :

Zoals een professionele demagoge mixt zij waarheden en onwaarheden.

Uitspraken die juist zijn :

* er zijn  geen grote organisaties op de grond in East-Aleppo actief

* de White Helmets zijn gecompromitteerd, en het is niet uitgesloten dat zij propagandafilmpjes gemaakt hebben.  In het begin van de revolutie gebeurde dit ook, en werd dit gedocumenteerd door o.a. de ARD, het eerste Duitse net.  De directeur van de White Helmets kreeg  recentelijk geen visum voor de VS omdat hem banden met radicale islamitische groeperingen verweten werden.   Naar hetgeen ik heb kunnen vaststellen, waren ook white helmets aanwezig bij executies, om daarna de lijken af te transporteren, en wisselden sommigen onder hen blijkbaar even gemakkelijk een helm voor een geweer…  Uit die compromitterende filmpjes die opgedoken zijn, te besluiten dat alle Witte Helmen even gemakkelijk helm voor geweer wisselen, lijkt me net iets te ver gegrepen.  Daarvoor hebben wij te weinig informatie.

*  het Syrian Obsercatory for Human Rights (SOHR) wordt ook niet bepaald als betrouwbare cijferbron beschouwd.

* dat mensen die trachtten te vluchten onder beschot kwamen van rebellen is inderdaad mogelijk

Waar de dame fout in gaat, is

* te beweren dat de White Helmets en de SOHR de enige of belangrijkste informatiebronnen zijn.  Zij heeft er de twee zwakste schakels uitgezocht, maar verder zijn er geen.

* te beweren dat unnamed activists onbetrouwbaar zouden zijn :

1, het noemen van de naam van die activisten zou  hun doodsvonnis betekenen (schrijnend dat die dame zo doet alsof je in Syrië zomaar eventjes je naam kunt doorgeven wanneer je net bezig bent de oorlogsmisdaden te documenteren)

2. serieuze organisaties zoals Human Rights Watch of Amnesty International gaan niet over een dag ijs.  Zij bouwen relaties op met informanten, controlleren de informaties die doorgespeeld worden met satellietbeelden en de informaties van andere bronnen.   Zij leren hun informanten heel goed kennen en naar waarde inschatten…

3. specifiek voor Oost Aleppo waren er nog tot +/- september 8 ziekenhuizen of wat ervoor moest doorgaan, actief, met dokters en verzorgers…die stonden vaak in contact met o.a. Franse dokters die  de installaties mee hadden helpen uitbouwen en mensen opgeleid hadden….via deze kanalen kwam er ook heel veel informatie naar buiten…het is niet voor niets dat Putin en Assad bij voorkeur ziekenhuizen aanvallen en dokters en verplegend personeel als lastige getuigen uit de weg ruimen

4.  Verschillende  activisten waren op hun eentje naar Aleppo getrokken, of waren reeds ter plaatse, en berichten. Zij documenteren vaak in moilijke omstandigheden, zonder echt aan propaganda (vervalste berichten) te doen, en riskeren hun leven

5.  Hadden ook de Verenigde Naties hun netwerken opgebouwd.  En wanneer ziekenhuizen, scholen, hulpconvoys, waterwerken, electriciteitswerken gebombardeerd werden, allemaal oorlogsmisdaden, zijn de informaties die wij bekomen, ook via satelliet, heel betrouwbaar…

6.  Veel informatie sijpelt naar buiten via vluchtelingen die nog contact hebben met familie ter plaatse

* Agenda of regime change :  de journaliste noemt The New York Times en Democracy Now in één adem, omdat ze spreken van een burgeroorlog in plaats van ???? Waarschijnlijk wil ze zeggen een proxy-oorlog.  Een oorlog waarin buitenlandse machten via al dan niet lokale strijders een oorlog onder elkaar uitvoeren.

1. Democracy Now is nu echt een anti-pode van The New York Times. Klein en alternatief gefinancierd.  Deze nieuwszender te willen beschuldigen achter een agenda te staan van regime-change is echt te belachelijk…

2.  Burgeroorlog of proxy-oorlog : het één sluit het ander niet uit.  Hier hebben we een burgeroorlog die tot een proxy-oorlog geevolueerd is.  Het is een conflict dat nog altijd van beiden iets heeft.  Uit het gebruik van de term “burgeroorlog” te willen besluiten dat de MSM (Main Stream Media) achter een agenda van Regime Change zouden staan is een drogredenering…

* in haar poging om de Syrische revolutie als een samenzwering voor te stellen met als doel regime-change via een proxy war :

1. noemt zij het een groffe leugen de revolutie “unarmed and non-violant “till 2012” te noemen : niemand doet dat.  Volgens de Syrische regering zelf waren er tot april 2012 meer dan 7000 slachtoffers gevallen.  Volgens oppositiekringen waren dat er veel meer.  De vraag is, van wie het grootste geweld vandaan kwam, en wie het grootste geweldpotentiëel had : en dat was eenduidig het regime zelf. De Cesar-bestanden alleen al, documenteren +6700 in gevangenschap, in nazi-concentratiekamp achtige omstandigheden vermoorde oppositieleden tussen 2011 en 2013.  De groepen die de wapens opgenomen hadden, waren daarentegen slecht bewapend en klein in aantal.

2. de dame negeert compleet alle diplomatieke inspanningen die er tussen 2011 en 2012 ondernomen werden om een vreedzame oplossing te vinden.  Iedere keer opnieuw werden de beloftes door Assad gebroken, en protest in bloed gesmoord.  Van enige intentie tot regime-change kon er toen geen sprake zijn, tenzij je het houden van  vrije verkiezingen, iets waar ieder volk recht op heeft,  een poging tot regime-change kunt noemen…

3.  het heeft geduurd tot de zomer van 2012 alvorens, hoofdzakelijk door gedeserteerde soldaten, het FSA (Free Syrian Armee) werd opgericht.

* De dame beweert dat het regime door de verkiezingen van 2014 legitimiteit geniet en dat de meerderheid van de bevolking achter het regime staat.  Zij negeert compleet het feit dat we in Syrië te maken hebben met een totalitaire staat, en dat dus verkiezingen in zo’n staat generlij legitimiteit geven.

Het resultaat van 88 % ten voordele van Assad, wijst heel duidelijk op zware manipulaties.   Een participatiegraad van 74 % ?   Een totalitair regime vult uiteindelijk de stembriefjes zelf in.

Het was haar duidelijk pijnlijk, en ze is hier vlug overgegaan….

Verder negeert ze compleet dat zowat de helft van de bevolking, 10 miljoen mensen, voor Assad op de vlucht geslagen is.  Zij zijn inderdaad niet voor ISIS gaan lopen, maar voornamelijk voor de luchtbombardementen door Assad en Putin’s luchtmacht uitgevoerd op scholen, ziekenhuizen, waterwerken, marktplaatsen, bakkerijen, enz…

*Wie uit Oost-Aleppo vlucht  en in regeringshanden valt, gaat uiteraard niet zeggen dat de rebellen de goedzakken zijn…wie dat doet, riskeert zijn leven…van onbetrouwbare bronnen gesproken…

* De dame vertekent constant de situatie zelf : zij spreekt enkel van proxy-war, wanneer ze het heeft over de oppositie, en wanneer ze het heeft over Assad’s troepen, verzwijgt ze compleet het proxy-karakter van deze,  spreekt ze van “the Syrian armee”, terwijl de hoofdmacht bestaat uit strijders van Iran, Libanon, Irak en Rusland

* De dame citeert Russische, door de staat gecontroleerde, nieuwskanalen als betrouwbare bronnen (Russische satellietbeelden die zouden bewijzen dat een ziekenhuis niet zou vernietigd zijn) terwijl het juist die zijn waarvan bewezen is dat zij systematisch zowat alles vervalsen wat er maar te vervalsen is (vergelijk de bewezen, massive en door de staat gestuurde Russische doping-vervalsing in de sport)

* Zij verwijst naar Fox-news, terwijl Fox-News er inderdaad voor bekend staat niet altijd correcte informatie te geven, en niet representatief is voor Westerse kwaliteitsmedia…

* Dat Russische regeringsvertegenwoordigers in de VN eveneens foto’s gebruiken van andere conflicten, dus van hetzelfde bedje ziek zijn…hier zwijgt de journaliste in alle toonaarden over…

* Het is een feit dat sommige rebellenfracties het vluchten van inwoners gestopt hebben : was het om de vluchtenden voor gevaar te behoeden of om zichzelf te beschermen : het vluchten van de bevolking, uitgelokt door de massieve Russische bombardementen op ziekenhuizen, waterinstallaties, marktplaatsen enz…en het blokkeren van de humanitaire hulptransporten, zou voor de rebellenfracties inderdaad gelijk staan aan een doodsoordeel voor hunzelf…

* Is het een feit dat ook rebellenfracties niet-discriminerende wapens gebruiken, hetgeen eveneens aangeklaagd wordt door organisaties zoals Human Rights Watch en Amnesty International, maar alle observatoren zijn het erover eens dat het overgrote deel van deze aanvallen uitgevoerd worden door Assad’s en Putin’s troepen : het volstaat de vernietiging van Homms of Oost-Aleppo te vergelijken met deze van West-Aleppo

* verzwijgt de journaliste compleet dat het het Assad-regime was dat hulpconvoys voor Oost-Aleppo tegenhield, belemmerde…

* doet de journaliste alsof de aanval op Assad’s troepen door de VS-luchtmacht op 17 september 2016 met opzet gebeurde…terwijl het fenomeen van “friendly fire” in oorlogsvoering een bekend fenomeen is (zie ook : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_friendly_fire_incidents) , en de Amerikanen onmiddelijk hun aanval stopzetten, toen de Russen hen geïnformeerd hadden.

* de aanval op een hulpconvoy door Russische bommenwerpers op maandag 19 september 2016  kon echter geen vergissing zijn, en was duidelijk een oorlogsmisdaad, compleet verzwegen door de journaliste…

* zij beweert dat de Westerse media proberen de oorlog voor te stellen als een sectarische oorlog (hoofdzakelijk sunni moslims tegen shia moslims), terwijl het net Assad was die de sectarische kant van de oorlog probeerde te versterken, door de gematigde krachten te vermoorden, te vedrijven, of te bombarderen, terwijl hij de extremistische krachten zoals Isis netjes met rust liet…

Besluit :

In Syrië zijn de laatste jaren, rechtstreeks of onrechtstreeks door de Totale Oorlog die het regime voert   (Totale Oorlog = het systematische vernietigen van civiele structuren zoals scholen, ziekenhuizen, waterinstallaties, electriciteitswerken, het bombarderen van plaatsen waar mensen hun voedsel halen : marktplaatsen en bakkerijen) en die een oorlogsmisdaad voorstellen en door hun systematische karakter een misdaad tegen de mensheid,  volgens schattingen van Franse artsen tot 1 miljoen burgers omgekomen.

De Cesar-documenten bewijzen eveneens het vermoorden door het regime in de eerste 2 jaren van de Syrische revolutie van minstens 6700 oppositieleden in nazi-concentratiekamp-achtige omstandigheden.  De echte cijfers na 5 jaar oorlog zullen veel hoger liggen.

De 10 miljoen vluchtelingen zijn er vooral gekomen door de bombardementen en luchtaanvallan van Assad en Putin, niet door Isis.

De bewijslast van systematische oorlogsmisdaden en misdaden tegen de mensheid, begaan door Assad en Putin, is  overweldigend en overschaduwt massief deze begaan door sommige rebellengroepen, zoals Isis.

Mevrouw Bartlett echter, net zoals andere extreem-linkse en extreemr rechtse propagandisten in de Verenigde Staten, Europa en elders, gebruikt methodes en argumenten die juist hieromtrent twijfels pogen te zaaiën.

De bedoeling is  onzekerheid bij de bevolking te scheppen over de informatie die ons bereikt en hierdoor de politieke steun voor een mogelijk internationaal ingrijpen maximaal te ondermijnen.

De onzekerheid over de informatie die ons bereikt wordt gecreëerd door te focussen op soms foute berichtgeving, die inderdaad kan voorkomen, en te doen alsof dit al de rest ook discrediteert, hetgeen evenwel niet het geval is.

Verder probeert men die onzekerheid te versterken, door compleet alle informatie te negeren, die hun eigen standpunt tegenspreekt (bijvoorbeeld door de wereld simpelweg op zijn kop te stellen, en te doen alsof het de rebellengroepen zijn die het overgrote deel van de oorlogsmisdaden plegen), en soms door flagrant de onwaarheid te vertellen (in het geval van mevrouw Bartlett bijvoorbeeld, dat de verkiezingen van 2014 Assad legitimiteit zouden verlenen).

Persconferenties zijn hiertoe het ideale forum (men kan zeggen wat men wil, want men wordt niet tegengesproken), net als het schrijven van pseudo-wetenschappelijke boeken (cfr. Ludo De Brabander en zijn boek “Oorlog zonder grenzen), blogs en artikelen.

Een verdere fout die de Assad- en Putin propagandisten systematisch maken, is het toepassen van normale juridische procedures, onschuldig tenzij duidelijk bewijs, op totalitaire regimes.

Totalitaire regimes hebben met name de mogelijkheid om net die onzekerheid te creëren, die bij normale rechtspraak tot vrijspraak leidt.  Zij doen dit door een onafhankelijke berichtgeving onmogelijk te maken, getuigen te vermoorden, bewijzen te vervalsen, of simpelweg tegen te spreken, zonder dat er de mogelijkheid bestaat dit te verifiëren.

Bij totalitaire regimes (Assad, Putin) moet men de bewijslast dus omdraaien : schuldig, tenzij anders bewezen.

Totalitaire regimes kunnen enkel vrijgesproken worden van hun verantwoordelijkheid voor misdaden tegen de mensheid wanneer onafhankelijke media, observatoren en onderzoeksrechters  vrijelijk hun werk hebben kunnen doen.

In het licht van 1 miljoen doden en nazi-concentratiekampachtige misdaden, kunnen wij niet wachten totdat die regimes een onafhankelijk onderzoek toelaten.  Want dit zal er nooit komen.

Het is een schande dat journalisten, schrijvers en activisten het sinistere spel van totalitaire dictators meespelen.

Syria : The Bitter Truth About Focusing on Accountability

This is the first part of an essay that I’m writing as reaction to the op-ed “Europe can stop Syria’s suffering” by Shiyar Khaleal, as published on the EUObserver website Nov. 21, 2016 here : https://euobserver.com/opinion/135980 . His main argument is that accountability and bringing to justice of the perpetrators of the crimes against humanity committed in Syria, will not only help victims for justice, but it will help preventing these things from happening again in the future. And that’s why he calls upon Europe “to stand up and ensure those responsible for abuses and tortures inside Syrian’s prisons will be brought to justice”. I understand for 100 % the author’s yearning for justice and that for most people it might seem inconceivable to leave crimes against humanity unpunished. I’m afraid though that trying to bring justice about will be impossible to achieve and might be counterproductive. In this first part I will argue that focusing on accountability and justice might not be the right thing to do. In the second part (1) I will explain why the chances are very dim that Europe will stand up for Syria.

When one studies the history of the last thirty, forty years, and those dictatorships that were turned peacefully into democracies, two aspects are sticking out : the amnesty laws and the reconciliation commissions.

When dictatorships turned themselves into democracies, most of the rulers established laws granting themselves amnesty. Depending on the strength or the weakness of the dictatorship, the amnesty laws were more or less encompassing.

The new democracies were all too aware of the delicacy of the transition.

They understood that it would take years if not decades before the grip the old networks that supported the dictatorships had on their power base : police and army, would loose. And any attempt to bring to justice those responsible for the crimes committed during the dictatorship, might have triggered a reaction that would have ended the democratic experiment or launched a bloody civil war with possible thousands of dead and massive destructions in its trail.

As a result, especially in the first decades after transition, most amnesty laws were not challenged.

This was for nobody something easy to swallow, especially for the victims of the injustices. How can you leave crimes unpunished ? The victims were very often supported in their opinion by NGO’s working around human rights and some international legal organizations (International Criminal Court, United Nations).

Still, in almost all cases, the new democracies prioritized national interest (trying to prevent a coup d’etat or a bloody civil war) and a healing process that emphasized on finding out the truth about the crimes and disappearances and trying to compensate the victims of the injustices.

This approach proved to be successful.

Thanks to amnesty laws, Spain, South-Africa, many countries of South-America, turned a page in their history and started developing along the road of democracy and respect of human rights.

Those success stories contradict completely Mr Khaleal’s assertion, that if justice would not be done, things would happen again. Let’s make it clear here : even if justice would be done, the way democracies are organized worldwide for the moment, nothing guarantees that things would not happen again, seen the dictatorial tendencies that are on the rise again in Europe itself and worldwide.

During the Arab Spring, contrary to Spain, South-Africa and South-America, the overthrow of the dictators was triggered by a mass popular unrest.

Probably driven by the dynamics unleashed by these powerful revolts, the leaders that were putting themselves at the head of those waves of contestation, somehow lost the sense of the delicacy of the situation, and made bringing to justice one of their priorities, with devastating consequences.

The Egyptian revolution of 2011 is a good example of how pursuing justice and accountability at all price can turn into a reverse gun.

I was one of the few ones who called for solidarity with the demonstrators on the Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, back in 2011. But later on I was shocked the way Mubarak was treated : within a very short time arrested, brought to court, sitting in a cage in front of cameras and millions of spectators.

I was shocked not because he didn’t deserve it, but because I realized that for all the other nations that had not overthrown their dictators yet, this was a very bad omen. This was only going to strengthen the left over dictator’s resolve to fight ’till the bitter end if necessary. On top of that, it helped trigger a counter-revolution in Egypt, which simply turned back time to 2010, just with another general as head of state.

Mubarak’s case was more or less a test case. And the yearning for justice and accountability spoiled it completely. Not only for the Egyptians themselves, but also for those in the other Arab countries who had not yet overthrown their dictators, like Syria.

After what had happened to Mubarak and Gaddafi, the chances that Assad was going to simply give up his grip on power were reduced to rubble.

And the same way the yearning for justice, and the ensuing treatment of the destituted dictators, reduced the chances for other countries to embrace the road to democracy, the same way it is dimming the chances to stop the civil war in Syria.

The more we cry for justice and accountability, the more Europe and the International Criminal Court threaten with prosecution, the more Assad’s and his supporters’ resolve to fight will increase.

And who are we to sacrifice the lives of thousands of women, children, men, just to achieve justice ? Isn’t the live of any woman, child or man more worth than bringing to justice those bastards ?

The bitter truth is : if we want to stand a chance to stop the carnage and destruction that is going on now in Syria, and find out what has happened with our loved ones, instead of going for justice and accountability, we should rather offer Assad and his inner circle some kind of diplomatic immunity, amnesty and protection for the rest of their lives, enshrined in a new to be written constitution.

Beno Klee

November 25, 2016

(1) The second part, Europe Will Not Stop Syria’s Suffering, you can find here : http://wp.me/p1vpou-65

Europe Will Not Stop Syria’s Suffering

This is the second part of a reaction that I have written to the op-ed “Europe can stop Syria’s suffering” by Shiyar Khaleal, as published on the EUObserver website Nov. 21, 2016 here : https://euobserver.com/opinion/135980 . His main argument is that accountability and bringing to justice of the perpetrators of the crimes against humanity committed in Syria, will not only help victims for justice, but it will help preventing these things from happening again in the future. And that’s why he calls upon Europe “to stand up and ensure those responsible for abuses and tortures inside Syrian’s prisons will be brought to justice”. In the first part , Syria : The Bitter Truth About Focusing on Accountability (1), I explained that it might not be desirable for Europe to stand up for justice and accountability in Syria.  In this second and last part, I will explain why Europe will not stand up for Syria.

Imagine Europe would stand up and would honestly go after the war and human rights criminals in Syria. At this stage, any prosecution of Syrian criminals depends largely on the cooperation of Putin. Putin gives the Assad regime military and diplomatic protection to the extend that it becomes virtually untouchable.

The question we have to ask ourselves is : does Europe have enough leverage on Putin to let him cooperate or compromise, and is it willing to use that ?

Let’s first shed some light on a mostly forgotten aspect of Europe’s role in the Syrian and Ukrainian war.

As a matter of fact, an aspect most analysts neglect completely is, that Europe largely finances Putin’s, and as a consequence, Assad’s war machine.

Through the oil and gas trade, Europe finances 35 % of the Russian federal budget. Taking into consideration that Russia spends approximately 20 % of its federal budget on the army, it is hard to conceive how Putin could continue with his aggressive war policies without Europe’s financial “contribution”.

So Europe, potentially, might have an enormous leverage on Putin and the wars in Ukraine and Syria.

Unfortunately, until now, nothing indicates that Europe is willing to use this leverage.

The economic sanctions taken by Europe against Russia, in the wake of the invasion and conquest of Ukraine’s Crimea by Russian special forces, are largely symbolic, and did not touch the core of Russian-European business : the oil and gas business and the the financial transfers from Europe to Russia linked to that.

On the contrary, since Putin’s conquest of Crimea, Europe’s Russian gas and oil imports have grown considerably, and even peaked in the first six months of 2016. (2)

And Germany, in June 2016, together with some other European countries, even lobbied publicly to alleviate sanctions against Russia. Which at the long end did not happen, but which was not a good omen for Syria.

When war crimes, committed by or supported by Putin’s air force, spiked in the second half of 2016, described by UN observers as butchery, spit in the face of the international community, etc…, one got the impression that Europe was divided between countries calling for tougher sanctions against Russia (UK, France, Sweden) and countries who were rather reluctant (Germany, Portugal, Italy, Romania, …).

But it soon became obvious that there was a huge difference between public declarations and actual behavior on the diplomatic scene.

As Federica Mogherini, Europe’s Foreign Affairs Representative, pointed out right at the beginning of the European Foreign Affairs Council of October 17,2016, there was not one member state that officially introduced a demand for sanctions against Russia for its devastating role in Syria.

When Putin’s air bombardments were a spit in the face of the international community, the Council conclusions of October 17, 2016 (3) were undoubtedly also a spit in the face of everybody who hoped that finally some pressure would be put on Putin to change his role in the suppression of the Syrian revolution.

How can we understand why Europe, given that the situation in Syria hardly can get any worse, still doesn’t want to use his unquestionable leverage it has on Putin through its oil and gas trade with Russia ?

Some argue that Europe could not sanction the oil and gas trade, because it depends on Russia for its energy supply. But this argument doesn’t hold water. There is enough world supply of oil and gas. For the case Russia would cut off the oil and gas deliveries, it might only trigger short term shortages, which would rather be nuisances than life threatening situations.

So we have to dig a bit deeper.

Putin, when he took power in 2000, made sure that he gained control of his country’s oil and gas companies. Even those companies who stayed officially privately owned (e.g. Lukoil) owe him allegiance.

Furthermore, through multiple, mutual profitable joint-ventures, he made sure that all major European energy companies got tied up in his energy web.

Like this, Germany’s E-ON and BASF, UK’s BP and SHELL, Italy’s Eni, Austria’s OMV, France’s ENGIE, all companies with close ties to their governments, representing together a sales volume of almost 800 billion $, turned into zealous Russian lobbyists in order to prevent, alleviate or even lift sanctions on Russia.

On top of that, many high ranking politicians, especially German socialists, got well paid positions within these joint-ventures. Former twice German chancellor Gerhard Schröder being one of the most prominent ones.

The terrible truth is, that the impact of this combined political and business lobbying force on the European Union and its member states, in absence of any pressure from public opinion, has proven itself to be so strong, that it could shield itself from economic sanctions even in the wake of the worst breach of international law on European soil since the Second World War (Putin’s conquest of Crimea) and by its extent the worst humanitarian crisis since the Second World War in the Eurasian region (the civil war in Syria).

To put it simple : Europe choses the profitability of its energy companies over breaches of international law and crimes against humanity.

And this leads us to the conclusion that, as long as there is no sufficient pressure from public opinion, Europe will never stand up for justice in Syria.

Europe and our democracy are very sick.

Beno Klee

November26, 2016

(1) For the first part, see http://wp.me/p1vpou-6b

(2) See also : How Europe Fuels Putin’s Wars in Syria and Ukraine at http://wp.me/p1vpou-5e

(3) http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/meetings/fac/2016/10/st13309_en16_pdf

External dynamics of the Syrian revolution

As a result of a discussion of the The Nation article “The debate over Syria has reached a dead end” from Bassam Haddad (1) , a friend of mine asked me the following question :

How would you describe the motives behind the intervention in Syria of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, and the United States ?

Let me first tell you that I find it very tricky to search for “the” motive, which often leads to conspiracy theories like the one from Bassam Haddad ( “That consensus centered around the notion that Syria and its allies needed to be cut down to size because they impede domination of the region by those players along with their allies”).

International politics is multi-layered, organic as it were, where different dynamics interact and/or collide, and where one has to take into consideration historical, economical, sociological, natural aspects, but also, often forgotten, individual psychological drives.

The big error made by most analysts-conspiracy theorists is that they simply extrapolate historical events, whilst the world is all the time changing : different personalities with their own driving ideologies appear as main actors on the world scene (e.g. Bush versus Obama : Obama would have never invaded Afghanistan or Iraq, Putin versus Jeltsin : unlike Putin Jeltsin did not have a fascist “Great Russia” ideology and did not turn the media into a regime propaganda machine, and under Jeltsin Russia showed real tendencies towards a true democracy, Erdogan with ottomanic aspirations ), power shifts due to e.g. natural factors (e.g. European multinationals’ involvement in the Russian energy sector) (2) , political power shifts and dynamics within countries (e.g. the silent coup d’etat by Putin and former KGB men in Russia ,…), all this leads to the fact that what was true yesterday, not necessary is true today.

Most of the fallacies in the Arab Spring conspiracy theories originate here. You cannot explain today’s and recent events in the Mid-East and North-Africa with documents stemming from the Cold War, or the diplomatic war with Gaddafi in the 80’s and 90’s, or with papers stemming from the supporters of the Bush administration, or with the energy situation in 1999. But that is exactly what conspiracy theorists are doing.

Back to the Arab Spring, which through it’s extend, took everybody by surprise. Obama stunned Europe and the rest of the world by urging quite un-diplomaticly the dictators to step down. Ben Ali (Tunesia) and Mubarak (Egypt) gave in to the pressure . The Saudi Peninsula was under shock as were Obama’s European partners. Europe usually showed much more restraint and Germany even ostensively voted with Putin on the UN Security Council resolution S/Res/1973 (2011), abstaining themselves from approving the implementation of a no-fly zone above Libya. (3)

A very bad omen for the Arab Spring was the way Mubarak was treated : as a criminal, locked up in a cage like an animal. The revolutionaries had really nothing learned from the democratization of South-America or South-Africa, where a peaceful transition was accomplished with almost no blood-shed. It is hard to say, if that really was a game changer, but I can imagine, that none of the dictators left wanted to suffer a similar fate, and only strengthened their determination to fight ’till the bitter end.

The main dynamics playing now in the Mid-East and North-Africa are, without claiming to sum up all of them :

1) dictatorship vs democracy and human rights : dictators like Putin, and thus also the dictatorships of the Saudi peninsula, see any successful democracy, and in the case of the Mid-East and North-Africa, successful Arab democracy, as a threat to their own existence. That’s why the Saudi dictatorships started meddling in Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and now Syria, undermining any democratization processes or democracy movements.

2) Shia versus Sunni (Iran versus Saudi Arabia) : this contradiction was used by the Saudi peninsula dictatorships to destabilize the Iraqi democratic experiment, largely orchestrating the Sunni revolt in Iraq (which ran out of control with Daesh). Iran on its turn plays along. Difficult to say who started it.

3) Muslim Brotherhood (Qatar) versus Wahhabism (Saudi Arabia) “competition”: it is not clear in the case of Egypt where the Muslim Brotherhood President was ousted from power, if it was out of fear for the democratic experiment that Saudi Arabia intervened (though Morsi was clearly preparing another dictatorship) or out of fear for the Muslim Brotherhood competition.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s democratic and human-rights aspirations saw their credibility shattered with the seize of power by Hamas on the Gaza strip, installing a true dictatorship, the Egypt Morsi presidency that increasingly evolved towards a dictatorship, and now Erdogan (who’s AKP is also close to the Muslim Brotherhood) who is destroying the little democratic tissue that had developed in Turkey since the military dictatorship took an end.

4) Turkey – Erdogan vs Kurdish : Erdogan : anti-democratic, old-ottoman empire aspirations (according to Belgian news outlets, Turkish television nowadays use old Ottoman charts, showing parts of Syria and Iraq as being parts of Turkey) , supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood.

5) USA – Obama vs Putin (and to a lesser extent Xi) : Obama was torn between budget deficit, democratic and human rights aspirations, from US’ history inherited old dictatorial partnerships, resource security.

Putin is driven by “Great-Russia” and dictatorial aspirations, wants to prove himself as a more thrust wordy partner to the regional dictatorships, hoping to overthrow completely the Mid-East order : Russia as preferred partner instead of Europe and the US

Put this in one pot, and you get the not all too wrong impression, that everybody is fighting everybody.

In this light the motives for the Saudi and Qatar involvement in Syria were opportunistic : they were not the driving force of the Syrian uprising (which was created by the dynamic of the Arab Spring, it’s successes in the beginning and the clear talk of Obama, which gave the uprising hope ), but once on it’s way they jumped on the car with as main objectives : keeping the West (Europe and America) out of their backyard by taking the burden of military support on their back (and the West was very grateful, since they just came out of the biggest economic crisis since 1929 and battled with large budget deficits), destabilizing a probable democratic experiment, settle some old account with a Ba’athist leader, who at the same instance happens to be a Shia.

Motives of Obama : Everything indicates that Obama was quite honest with his strive for democracy and human rights. Obama was throughout the Arab Spring very consistent by emphasizing time and again that he wanted by all means to stay within the framework of the UN and not involve the US militarily. A stance which became very problematic the moment the uprising turned into a military conflict, and the partners within the UN followed different objectives than democracy and human rights. At the same time Obama applied a double strategy, by keeping supporting those dictatorships who seemed rather stable or who were too important/mighty to fail. (4)

Taking all this together, and given that nor the US nor Europe have the will to engage themselves more in the Mid-East and North-African democratization, the prospects for a democratic, human rights respecting Syria, are very dim for the moment.

But since history can be very dynamic, nobody really knows what the end result will be.

Beno Klee

November 03,2016

(1) https://www.thenation.com/article/the-debate-over-syria-has-reached-a-dead-end/

(2) contrary to what many believe there is no “energy dependency” from Europe to Russia. There is rather a “multinational’s gold diggers mentality dependency” which is dictating Europe’s approach of Putin. Russia is an important energy supplier, no two ways about it, but it is rather a choice of Europe, driven by the entanglement of politics and big business, than a necessity.

(3) At the end Obama was internationally very isolated, which one can conclude from his September 24, 2013 UN-speech (see also http://wp.me/p1vpou-5j )

(4) The Mid-East dictatorships didn’t thank him for that. For Egyptian and Saudi leaders he is now the most hated man.

Obama blames anti-imperialist propaganda and lack of international support for his Mid-East policy

Like I explained in the analysis I made in 2012, which I reiterated in 2015 (http://wp.me/p1vpou-4S), going against the popular generalized Obama bashing, Obama’s policy in the Mid-East was quite bold and consistent in the way it broke with the rules of traditional diplomacy by urging openly dictators known as US allies to step down.

At the time I wrote this analysis, I had not read his speech he had held before the UN General Assembly on September 24, 2013 (1).

Flashing-back, reading through this very interesting speech just today, I find my analysis largely confirmed, but with two or three surprises.

The first surprise comes from the fact that Obama largely blames anti-imperialistic conspiracy theories for the lack of internal support, even for a small scale military operation (page 4 :”even limited military strikes to deter the further use of chemical weapons (2) ).

On page 4 he explained that “the United States is chastised for meddling in the region, accused of having a hand in all manner of conspiracy; at the same time, the United States is blamed for failing to do enough to solve the region’s problems and for showing indifference toward suffering Muslim populations.”

And he continues stating that : “these contradictory attitudes have a practical impact on the American people’s support for our involvement in the region, and allow leaders in the region — as well as the international community sometimes — to avoid addressing difficult problems themselves”.

Actually Obama makes, perhaps on purpose, a mistake here.

Dwindling support for US involvement in the region did not originate in “contradictory attitudes”. After all, those who supported a more daring approach, where in favor of a stronger involvement. It is those who were open for all kinds of conspiracy theories, mainly propagated by anti-imperialists, fundamentalist pacifists and friends of the non-democratic leaders Putin and Assad, that were responsible for any lack of sufficient support…

What struck me secondly was Obama’s diplomatic but still for analysts quite open criticism of Europe’s lack of support for his policy to promote democracy and human rights.

During his speech, he pointed this out at several occasions.

On page 5 he said :

“But I also believe that we can rarely achieve these objectives through unilateral American action”

The word “unilateral” points to the isolated position Obama was in at that time.

And a little bit later (page 8) he repeated that :

” we stand ready to do our part to prevent mass atrocities and protect basic human rights. But we cannot and should not bear that burden alone.”

Again indirectly criticizing Europe (3) for it’s lack of support.

When Obama said that (page 5)

“Rather, these objectives are best achieved when we partner with the international community and with the countries and peoples of the region.”

flashing back, it becomes clear that he never got those partners.

Thirdly, Obama raised a very paramount point, questioning the United Nations and his European allies, by asking (page 10) :

“But sovereignty cannot be a shield for tyrants to commit wanton murder, or an excuse for the international community to turn a blind eye. While we need to be modest in our belief that we can remedy every evil, while we need to be mindful that the world is full of unintended consequences, should we really accept the notion that the world is powerless in the face of a Rwanda or Srebrenica? )

Without using the words, Obama asks what has happened to the “Responsibility to Protect” (4) doctrine ?

He was so right to raise that point but it was met with chilling silence.

Beno Klee

October 28, 2016

Sources :

(1) https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/68/US_en_0.pdf accessible 10/28/16

(2) as we remember, when Obama wanted to take military action as a response to Assad’s use of chemical weapons, France and UK withdrew their support. Not only did the US end up internationally isolated, but Obama faced also strong opposition within the US Congress and Senate

(3) as became clear during the Libyan uprising, in Europe it was especially Germany that was reluctant to engage in a more pro-democracy diplomatic approach of the Arab Spring, siting on more than one occasion with Putin in the UN Security Council

(4) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Responsibility_to_protect

How Europe fuels Putin’s (*) wars in Syria and Ukraine ?

In the wake of the occupation  of the Crimean peninsula in 2014 by Putin’s(*) mercenaries, the European Union imposed economic sanctions upon Russia, which affected some businessmen, some technology transfer, and froze some parts of the Russian-European cooperation. The main business between Russia and the European Union though, the oil and gas trade, was never affected by the economic sanctions.(1)

To understand the implications of this, one needs to take a closer look to the importance for Russia of the gas and oil trade with the European Union.

The Russian federal budget depends for 50 % (!) on the export of gas and oil. (2)

20 % of the Russian federal budget is spent on the army and according to official statements, the Ukrainian and Syrian war expenditures are financed through the normal military budget.(3)

So knowing that Russia’s federal budget depends for 50 % on gas and oil export, what is Europe’s share in this ?

Official figures show that  in 2013  66 % of Russia’s  oil  and 70 % of it’s gas exports were bought by the European Union.  (4)  To make calculations easier, let’s set it to 70 % (since 50% of Russia’s coal-export to the European Union is not included in the oil- and gas figures and also contributes to the Russian federal budget).

That means  that 35 % of the Russian federal budget (70 % of 50 %), is financed by the oil, gas and coal export to the European Union, or, one might also say that the European Union finances the complete military budget (20 %) of the Russian federation, plus some 15 % more.

This 35 %, so essential to Putin’s war machine, was never affected by the economic sanctions implemented by the European Union. On the contrary. After a dip in 2014, which was not due to European or US trade sanctions, Russia’s gas and oil exports towards Europe soared again in  2015 and 2016.

Some say that Europe did not have any other choice, since we depend for our energy supply on Russia ?  Does Europe really need Russia’s oil and gas ?

No. In September 2015, meaning after the illegal occupation of Ukraine’s Crimea by Putin and with the real threat that Putin might one day shut down Europe’s gas supply, Germany still refused to establish a strategic gas reserve since there is enough world supply (5).

The conclusion is strait forward :

Since you cannot rage wars without financing them, the European Union, by buying most of Russia’s oil and gas export, is the main fund provider for Russia’s military build-up and Putin’s (*) wars in Ukraine and Syria.  By refusing to implement economic sanctions that would truly affect Putin’s capacity to finance his wars, the European Union bears a huge part of the responsibility of the ongoing carnage perpetrated against the Syrian and Ukrainian people.

Beno Klee, October 19, 2016

Adapted November 23,2016

Adapted April 10, 2017

*We intentionally speak of Putin’s wars and not of Russia’s wars since experts in human rights from all over the world agree that Putin’s and the Duma’s  elections were rigged, and thus that Putin, the Duma (lower house) and the Federal Council (senate)  are not the legal representatives of the Russian people and the wars raged by Putin are not the Russian people’s wars

(1) http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/policies/sanctions/ukraine-crisis/ , last accessed 1102,16.

(2) http://blog.ihs.com/q21-wheres-russia-heading , last accessed 1102,2016.

(3) https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/calculating-the-cost-of-russias-war-in-syria-50382, last accessed 1101,2016.

(4) http://energypost.eu/russias-grand-gas-strategy-power-dominate-europe/, last accessed 1101,2016.

(5) https://www.welt.de/wirtschaft/energie/article146029254/BASF-verkauft-alle-deutschen-Gasspeicher-an-Russen.html, last accessed 1101,16.

Putin in “Vlaanderen”

Eventjes pissed-off omdat het nieuws over de nationale betoging vandaag op de VRT-website pas op blz 4 na te lezen was. VTM deed nauwelijks beter, door eerst een verhaal te posten over een ziekenwagen die door de betoging zou geblokkeerd geweest zijn (kan met iedere karnevalstoet, grote voetbalwedstrijd, etc… gebeuren ;-( ). Achteraf bleek het zich zelfs om een compleet non-nieuws-item te handelen, nergens sprake van een leven dat bedreigd zou geweest zijn…
Vandaar deze korte beschouwing :
De kranten en tijdschriften van nederlandstalig België zijn grotendeels in handen van 2 ideologisch verwante bedrijven : Het Mediahuis NV (Gazet van Antwerpen/Limburg, Het Nieuwsblad, De Standaard) en de Persgroep NV (Het Laatste Nieuws/De Nieuwe Gazet, De Morgen, De tijd, Knack, Trends, Humo, Story, VTM, 2BE). Deze (ideologische) concentratie vertaalt zich in een ideologisch en vooral economisch eenzijdige berichtgeving.
De manier waarop enkele jaren geleden de hele nederlandstalige pers, unisono, Wallonië plots tot een soort “buitenland” verklaarde, is een indicatie van hoe hard de media-berichtgeving in nederlandstalig België van bovenuit gestroomlijnd wordt.
Hetzelfde kan men vaststellen met betrekking tot de berichtgeving over het “vrijhandelsverdrag” TTIP, of de manier waarop premier Michel 1 maand voor de verkiezingen, toen de MR in opiniepeilingen op een dieptepunt zat, plots unisono tot vijand nr 1 van de NVA werd uitgeroepen (hij zou nooit een regering vormen met de NVA), en….de verkiezingen won, waardoor een rechtste regering met de NVA tot stand kon gebracht worden. Een rechtse regering, die de nederlandstalige media trouwens hardnekkig , unisono (wat had je anders gedacht ?) centrum-rechts blijven noemen (klinkt sympathieker waarschijnlijk).
Daar waar in andere landen de openbare omroepen door de hoge redactionele onafhankelijkheid vaak voor een tegengewicht zorgen voor te eenzijdige berichtgeving, ontbreekt dit in Noord-België totaal.
Dit leidt tot een slecht geïnformeerde bevolking, een gedesinformeerde bevolking (vooral wat economische vragen betreft) en zo tot vertekende verkiezingsuitslagen.
Europa maakte zich druk over een “Putinisering” van de Poolse media ? Deze heeft in nederlandstalig België reeds lang plaatsgevonden !
160929

Europe keeps on financing Putin’s military aggression in Ukraine and Syria

Though some deals were put on ice for some time, on September 4th 2015 the Russian junta controlled Gazprom concluded a mega deal with Europe’s most important energy producers. 1

Without the consent of UK, France and German governments, this deal wouldn’t have been possible.

It reflects the lack of seriousness of European Union sanctions in the aftermath of Putin’s military aggression in Ukraine. Have yourself a look at those sanctions. 2

You will realize that the core business, the oil and gas trade between the Russian state mafia and Europe, stayed untouched.

This way, Europe insures that enormous financial means keep on flowing into the hands of the Russian junta.

This way, Europe insures that Putin can keep on financing its military and political aggression, not only in Ukraine, but also in Syria, and elsewhere on this world.

This way, Europe insures that Putin and its junta can keep on destroying Russia’s democratization process.

Energy dependency was brought forward as an argument for Europe’s weak stand towards the Russian junta. But the German government itself debunked this argument by refusing to establish a strategic gas reserve referring to enough world supply.3

The consequences of this Europe’s, by a pure gold rush mentality 4 and transnational companies’ interests driven, foreign policy are disastrous for democracy, human rights and peace. It reflects the enormous influence of transnational companies on politics and the moral decay of top-politicians and business-leaders.

Europe to be forced to reabsorb Palestine’s Jews….

I posted this article for the first time August 04, 2006 on http://beirut.indymedia.org/ar/2006/08/5052.txt .  In it I expressed my opinion about Palestine, which till this day hasn’t changed. Seen the massive influx of refugees these days, there is absalutely no doubt that this opinion is feasable.

The original title was :

GERMAN TOP-JOURNALIST DOUBTS LONG TERM SURVIVAL OF ISRAEL

It is quite rare to hear a conservative liberal doubt long-term survival chances of Israel.  So happened last Sunday (July 30, 2006) on the nationwide broadcasted news program Presseclub from Germany’s most popular TV-Channel Das Erste.  In that program journalists discuss recent news items.

Last Sunday it was about the situation in the Mid-East (Lebanon-Israel war).

The program’s moderator Peter Voss, one of Germany’s best known top-journalists and a conservative liberal, ousted himself as a pessimist, to use his own words, expressing his doubts about the possibilities of changing internal processes inside the Arabic countries, or any change in mentality, which, according to him, in the long run would force Europe to reabsorb Israel’s Jews.  If You understand German you can listen to the program at http://www.wdr.de/radio/radiohome/aktionen7/wdr_5-podcasting.phtml till August 05, 2006.  Peter Voss speaks out his words around the 34:10 minute.

Though I find his argumentation quite fuzzy, its conclusion goes much further than most alternative or progressive thinkers in the West and the East dear to think.

Personally I find it the only possible conclusion.

When you study the historical founding of the State of Israel, you can only define it as some kind of land-robbery, in end-19th, beginning 20th century colonial style, with one of the most craziest ideologies human mind ever produced as motivation : Zionism.

It is very sad for the United Nations that it tried to give this land robbery legitimation.  But no instance in the world, not even the United Nations, has the right to legitimate one of the biggest injustices of the 20th century.

As long as the West, together with Russia and China, continues to try to legitimate this injustice, they must understand that they loose their credibility throughout the world.

Wouldn’t it be so tragic, you might laugh about it when these conservative-liberal intellectuals complain about Arab mentality or the internal processes in the Arab countries.

Is it Western mentality that you cannot see anymore what is right and what is wrong ?  Are the internal processes in the Western countries that keep one of the biggest lies of the 20th century alive, something we have to be proud of  ?

Beno KLee, Belgium, August 03, 2006

Within the twisted brain of an anti-imperialist conspiracy theorist

A friend of mine shared today (Sept 10,15) the following June 03,15 article from The Guardian on his Facebook page : “Now the truth emerges : how the US fueled the rise of Isis in Syria and Iraq”, by Seumas Milne.

It is very sad to see how nowadays some well known left-wing intellectuals, like Seumas Milne, spoil their reputations by weaving anti-imperialist conspiracy theories. In their geopolitical anti-imperialist strive, they are no more interested in objective analysis, but use all tricks of propaganda to make their point.

The tactics applied by conspiracy theorists are always the same. First use some true data to produce a smoke curtain that gives the impression of a very well researched story. When the true data don’t really fit you, twist them or take them out of context. Secondly neglect everything that might contradict your theory. Then, last but not least, add the elements of fantasy that will help you to make your point. To glue everything together use ambiguous language and the whole range of fallacies.

Let’s apply this to Seumas Milne article. I have divided the discussion in two parts. The second part by all means contains the most important manipulations.

First part : introduction + Bherlin Gildo’s trial

Ambiguous language + lots of fantasy: “ Now the truth emerges : how the US fuelled the rise of Isis in Syria and Iraq”. “The US fueled” together with “the truth emerges”, sounds like the US were willingly supporting Isis. Though later in the article he says that the US did not create Isis , “of course” ????, in the last but one paragraph he states that it matches “the classic mould of imperial devide-and-rule”, thus that the whole situation was more or less willingly created.

Questionable resources : mentioning “reports” when talking about a “Secret supply of arms on a massive scale” ,it is just a poorly, without any proof, written article by another famous conspiracy theorist Seymour Hersh. Even the The Guardian’s article discussing Bherlin Gildo’s trial only mentions Hersh’s article when talking about arms supplies.

Neglecting information : one of the biggest problems of revolutionary forces in the first years of the revolution, as extensively documented (e.g. the Mid-East specialist JP Filiu) was the lack of arms, contradicting the “supplies of arms on a massive scale”

Using fantasy : in none of the links he provides, there is talk about a “massive arm’s supply”

Omitting information and mixing up periods : the support talked about in the Bherlin Gildo’s case pertains the pre-Isis period, so has actually no place in this article

Second part : the failing intervention…

…true data twisted and torn out of context…

Wrong context : the contemporary context of the Mid-East is one of three regional major powers apart from Israel: Turkey, Iran and Saudi-Arabia. They each have their own agenda which sometimes is opposed to Western interference, and contrary to the picture anti-imperialists are all the time drawing, the impact of the US and Europe is limited.

Twisting and wrongly citing formerly classified information :

* wrongly citing : nowhere the report effectively welcomes the prospect of an al-Qaida-controlled Islamic state in Syria and Iraq, it rather warns against the re-emergance of a strengthened al-Qaida !

* wrongly mixing and omitting information : he writes “Al-Qaida in Iraq (…) and fellow Salafists” as if it is one group, but the Defence Intelligence Agency’s (DIA) report distinguishes clearly between Salafists, the Muslim Brotherhood and AQI (al-Qaida Iraq)

* wrongly citing : the report nowhere states that ““western countries, the Gulf states and Turkey” were supporting the opposition’s efforts to take control of eastern Syria. » : the report rather developed a probable scenario (“The future assumptions of the crisis”)

* omitting information : when talking about efforts to take control of eastern areas, the DIA-report rather stipulates the possibility of creating safe havens under international sheltering

*omitting information : when talking about “opposition forces” the report is rather talking about the Free Syrian Armee

* wrongly mixing information : the report distinguishes between “supporting powers” and the United States and Europe, a distinction Seumas Milne drops. The DIA-report writes : (…)there is the possibility of creating a declared or undeclared salafist principality in eastern Syria (…)and this is exactly what the supporting powers (…) want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran)”

* the DIA-report distinguishes between the “insurgency” and “the opposition”, which were and are not identical, though Milne behaves as if they were

* wrongly mixing information : “the US and its allies weren’t only supporting and arming an opposition they knew to be dominated by extreme sectarian groups » : no distinction between opposition and insurgency, no distinction between US and its allies : through which the false impression is created that the US was arming and supporting Syrian extremists

*wrong citing : a Sunni buffer to weaken Syria : when you read the linked article, it is rather a Sunni buffer to weaken Iran and it’s support to Hezbollah. Furthermore the link article clearly makes a difference between the “supporting powers” and the US

* use of fantasy : nowhere he makes the following statement hard : “the US has certainly exploited the existence of Isis against other forces in the region as part of a wider drive to maintain western control. » To maintain western control ? The West had never less control than today….

* use of fantasy : « the Gulf states are now backing other groups in the Syrian war, such as the Nusra Front » : that’s what they probably did from in the beginning, there is on the other hand little evidence of substantial support to ISIS

*use of fantasy : “The calculus changed when Isis started beheading westerners », he fails to make this point hard….

* simply rewriting history : “the 1980s war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, which fostered the original al-Qaida under CIA tutelage » : at the time the CIA was supporting the Taliban Al Qaeda didn’t exist, unless you want to say that Taliban equals Al Qaeda, which is also wrong

* rewriting history : “NATO-orchestrated war in Libya” : an intervention that got UNSC-backing…

* omitting information : the US used different tactics to combat Sunni insurgency in Iraq, the dirty war didn’t work out. The most successful one was cooperating with Sunni tribes, with which they were able to drive AQI almost completely out of the country.

*rewriting history : “dirty war reprised in Libya” : he fails to make this accusation hard, that Isis has taken control of Sirte is hardly an argument supporting that statement

* poor sources : the article from “insurge intelligence” is a rant, using the same propaganda tricks like the one we are discussing

What’s clear is that this is a conspiracy theory article that is of no help to understanding what has happened so far in Syria, Iraq or Libya. It’s main theory is that the chaos is more or less intentionally created by the West, led by the US ,in order to keep control of the region. However, the arguments and information brought forward are twisted, taken out of the context, wrongly cited, and stuffed up with a lot of fantasy and fallacies.