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Has the U.S. Government Been Lying About Syria & About Ukraine?

Eric Zuesse

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From the moment it took power in the U.S. in 2009, the Barack Obama Administration was angling to overthrow Syria’s President, Bashar al-Assad. And then, by the time of December of 2012, Obama’s team were relying mainly on Al Qaeda’s Syrian branch to lead the tens of thousands of the U.S.-Saudi alliance’s boots-on-the ground ‘moderate rebels’ in this overthrow-Assad war, fighters who have actually been fundamentalist Sunnis recruited from all over the world to come to Syria in order to replace the secular President of Syria, the Alawite Shiite, Assad. Propaganda in the U.S. portrays U.S. Government policy as being driven by a concern for the welfare of the Syrian people: to ‘protect their human rights’ — not to overthrow a government that refuses to cooperate with U.S. oil companies and other corporate interests in the U.S.

But even with the anti-Obama Donald Trump in the White House, there has been nothing really new about any of this U.S. Government scam, any of this attempted-but-never-publicly-acknowledged conquest against the Syrian people. The U.S. Government — along with the U.S.-aristocracy-allied fundamentalist Sunni Saud family, the world’s wealthiest family, who own Saudi Arabia, and who finance the fundamentalist-Sunni Al Qaeda and similar Sunni jihadist organizations — has been trying ever since 1949 to control Syria, and still tries. The main difference between now and 1949 is that the Saud family have become more brazen about conquest than they were, back in 1949, when they had wanted merely that the Syrian Government approve an American-built pipeline for their oil to go into Europe. In the present day, the Sauds are openly at war against Shiites everywhere, even inside Saudi Arabia itself, and are bombing the hell out of the Shiite (Houthi) areas of Yemen, basically trying to take over the entire Middle East, and to destroy Iran, which is the leading Shiite country. The U.S. is allied with the Sauds in all of this.

On 30 March 1949, the CIA, in a coup planned by James Hugh Keeley Jr. and Miles Copeland Jr., replaced the democratically elected Syrian President Shukri al-Quwatli, replaced him with France’s stooge, General Husni al-Za’im, who displeased King Saud of Saudi Arabia, and so got overthrown and killed on 14 August 1949, by a different France-stooge General, Sami al-Hinnawi. Za’im had left his mark on Syria, however: “The pro-Western Za’im remained in power for three months — long enough to grant [the Saudi-American] Aramco’s Tapline concession to pipe Saudi oil to the Mediterranean.”

But Hinnawi pleased the CIA and Sauds even more than Za’im did, so got the Presidency, and Za’im simply got killed. (The CIA and the Saud family are very demanding of their stooges.)

In December 1949, the CIA, in a coup planned by Miles Copeland (Syria’s third and final coup that year), carried out the desire of King Saud, and installed as Syria’s leader, Adib Shishakli. “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia implemented a new policy towards Syria by giving financial support amounting to six million dollars.”

Shishakli’s barbarism was so great that four years later, Syria’s generals formed the secular Ba’ath Party and on 6 September 1955, restored to power Syria’s democratically elected President, Quwatli, who in 1958 joined Syria into the United Arab Republic, which lasted till 1971. However, while Quwatli was still Syria’s President, the CIA, yet again, in 1957, tried to oust him via a coup, but that coup-attempt had to be called-off.

A permanent result of that brazen attempt in 1957 was to cause Syria to sever relations with the U.S.; so, from that time forward, the U.S. regime works in Syria mainly by its agents and allies, such as King Saud who owns Saudi Arabia, and Emir Thani who owns Qatar. Both families are fundamentalist Sunni Arabs — the Saud family being Al Qaeda’s main financial backer, and the Thani family being the Muslim Brotherhood’s main financial backer. (Both Al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood are fundamentalist Sunni organizations, whereas Syria, at least after 1957, is strongly secular, anti-sectarian.) But now that King Saud wants to overthrow Emir Thani and take Qatar, and is trying to blockade Qatar, the U.S. regime has stayed with King Saud, but not to such an extent as to jeopardize Emir Thani’s willingness to host in Qatar America’s biggest Middle Eastern military base, Al Udeid Air Base, which the Thanis see as essential to their staying in power. So: the U.S., under Donald Trump, is mildly supportive of King Saud’s aggressions against Qatar, but not to such an extent as to withdraw from Al Udeid.

As a result of the Sunni Sauds’ attacks against the Sunni Thanis, the Thanis have turned away from the Sauds, who hate Iran and all Shiites. Thus, the Thanis now are non-partisan in the Sauds’ longstanding efforts to conquer Iran and other Shiite-majority areas; the Thanis have become more pan-Arabic than when they were allied with the Sauds; they’re no longer dedicated to war against Shia. They are no longer allies of the Sauds against Shia.

The U.N. ‘peace’ talks on Syria are between Syria’s Government and Saudi Arabia’s Government, not between Syria’s Government and any authentically representative native Syrians versus the Syrian Government. The Saud family selected the “High Negotiations Committee” who are negotiating against Syria’s Government there, as  ‘representatives’ of ‘the opposition’.

Even the U.S. subscription-only GlobalSecurity.org site admits “The High Negotiations Committee is a Saudi-backed coalition of Syrian opposition groups. The High Negotiations Committee (HNC) was created in Saudi Arabia in December 2015.”

Non-sectarian — even secular — Syria is the odd-man-out, insisting on its own national sovereignty, and secularism, no matter what, and willing to do whatever they must in order to maintain their independence. And the majority of the Syrian people thus support Assad (55% did, even at the very height of the ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings throughout the Arab world), and 82% of Syrians blame the U.S. Government for the presence of ISIS and other jihadists in their country.

This is history. What can the U.S. regime credibly present to the world as being justification for continuing its decades-long effort to conquer Syria? The U.S. regime condemns Syria’s non-sectarian Government for ‘humanitaian violations’ fighting against the U.S.-Saudi imported terrorists who are trying to overthrow and replace Syria’s Government. The U.S. has thousands of its own troops in their invasion and military occupation of Syria, and condemns Assad for leading the fight against that invasion-occupation.

As regards Ukraine, you can either see this terrific video-compilation documenting how Obama perpetrated a bloody coup which in February 2014 overthrew and replaced Ukraine’s democratically elected Government

, or you can read my “Are Michael Isikoff And David Corn CIA Agents?” which documents the lies by those two ‘investigative journalists’, who spread the falsehoods about Ukraine that the U.S. aristocracy want to be spread against Russia, and which lies go against the realities that that video shows.

Incidentally, on 10 February 2017, in the video shown here, Isikoff interviewed Bashar al-Assad, who took his stenographed transmission of quite possibly fabricated ‘evidence’ against Assad, and turned it instead against the regime whose agent Isikoff so clearly does represent.

Obama’s coup destroyed Ukraine. The World Happiness Reports, from the U.N. and Columbia University, have been published for 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Each year’s report covers, generally speaking, the surveys that were done worldwide during the preceding year. The American coup in Ukraine occurred in February 2014. So, the only pre-coup survey done was the 2013 publication, which covered the year 2012. As internationally ranked for happiness by the World Happiness Report, Ukraine went from #87 out of 156 nations, or 87/156 (the bottom 45%) in 2013, to 111/138 (the bottom 20%) in 2015, to 123/157 (the bottom 22%) in 2016, to 132/155 (the bottom 15%) in 2017, to 138/155 (the bottom 12%) in 2018. So: before the coup, Ukraine was in the worst 45%, but by 2018 it reached the worst 12%. That’s an enormous plunge. Barack Obama wanted the coup, he got it, and it destroyed Ukraine. The U.S. claims to be trying to save Ukraine from Russia, but the reality is the exact opposite: that the U.S. destroyed Ukraine in order to become enabled to bring Ukraine into NATO and position U.S. nuclear missiles less than ten minutes flight-time from Moscow. Ukrainians have every reason to hate the U.S. Government, for what it did to them. Like what it did to Afghans, and Iraqis, and Yemenese, and Hondurans — and Chileans, and Guatemalans, and so forth. And like what it’s doing to anyone who wants to avoid World War III — including the American people, who nominally (but not really) are represented by this rapacious Government, controlled by this rapacious aristocracy.

So: the documentation is unequivocally clear, that the U.S. Government lies shamelessly about both Syria and Ukraine — and Russia, and Iran, and much else.

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010

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Americans fear punishment for Afghan war crimes

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Lo and behold! Looks like the “great and terrible” United States can be scared to the point of hysteria. Another myth about American omnipotence is being debunked before our very eyes now that the big shots in Washington are dreading the prospect of being held accountable for the crimes their soldiers have committed in Afghanistan.

Well, it’s been a long time since the Yankees have last been scared of anyone anywhere, save, perhaps, for Soviet missiles. Still, the challenge they now have thrown out to the International Criminal Court (ICC) has laid bare their cowardice for the whole world to see. And all this under the guise of threats and warlike rhetoric, of course.

Washington saw red when, in November 2016, Foreign Policy journal wrote that “the prosecutor’s office of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is ready to initiate a full investigation of a range of possible war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan, including some by US personnel.” Washington was incensed even more after the very same publication wrote that “the chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, will seek to initiate an investigation,” and that “the prosecutor’s office repeatedly called attention to alleged abuses of detainees by US personnel between 2003 and 2005 that it believes have not been adequately addressed by the United States.”

The ICC report noted that “crimes were allegedly committed with particular cruelty and in a manner that debased the basic human dignity of the victims.” 

Shortly afterwards, US officials visited The Hague where the ICC was meeting to discuss the potential investigation and to express concerns about its scope in what was seen as their first attempt to intimidate the court.

A report by the UN mission in Afghanistan added fuel to the flames of the ICC probe. According to the report, in 2016 alone, 11,418 civilians died there at the hands of all the warring sides, including the Taliban (banned in Russia). Still, the main culprits are US invaders and their NATO allies.

Despite the mounting pressure, the ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda of Gambia persisted with the investigation. Washington then ramped up the pressure by simply revoking her entry visa to the United States. Simple as that.

Bensouda’s office said she had an “independent and impartial mandate” under the Rome statute governing the ICC, and described Washington’s move as an attempted attack on the ICC by the US Administration bringing a sigh of relief from “law-abiding” Americans. And no one in the “free and independent” US media raised his voice against this arbitrary practice.

Such voices of disagreement came from the European Union and the United Nations though, with the UN Secretary General’s official spokesperson Stephane Dujarric expressing the hope that “the United States government will continue to comply with its obligations… and that the prosecutor, when she needs to come to the United Nations, will be afforded a visa for work done at the United Nations,” where Fatou Bensouda was to present a report to the Security Council on the progress of ongoing investigations into the events in Libya.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini likewise backed the ICC: “We will continue to fully and strongly support the ICC and its work,” she said.

It has also been said that Washington’s disregard for the ICC, which comprises 123 countries (excluding Russia and the US), is fraught with an international scandal. However, President Trump will hardly bother to worry about trifles like this. Responding to the start of the investigation into the crimes committed by the Americans in Afghanistan, the US State Department vowed to revoke or deny visas to ICC staff “seeking to investigate alleged war crimes and other abuses committed by US forces in Afghanistan or elsewhere.” 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threatened “to take additional steps, including economic sanctions, if the ICC does not change its course.”

Washington reserves the same treatment also for the ICC staff investigating alleged crimes by the Israelis in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and President Trump has confirmed this. Paraphrasing George Orwell, all people are equal before the ICC, but some people are more equal than others.

However, here the Americans’ strength turns into weakness and uncertainty. President Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton threatened prosecutions and financial sanctions against ICC staff, as well as against countries and companies assisting in ICC investigations of US nationals. If this is not a sign of panic, then what is?

However, the mere fact that an official investigation has been launched against the United States is unprecedented in modern-day politics. When even a Gambian national can see that a global superpower is losing strength and is vulnerable, one can only imagine what will happen if everyone else in the world realizes this too.

Fully aware of this prospect, the Americans have applied all levers of political and economic pressure available to them and showed everyone that they are still a power to be reckoned with. On April 12, the ICC  unanimously (sic!) rejected prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s request to investigate criminal offenses allegedly committed by NATO coalition forces against civilians in Afghanistan on the very dubious grounds that such an investigation at the present time “would not serve the interests of justice.”

The ruling states that the prosecutor’s request “establishes a reasonable basis to consider that crimes within the ICC jurisdiction have been committed in Afghanistan and that potential cases would be admissible before the Court.” However, the Chamber noted “the time elapsed since the opening of the preliminary examination in 2006 and the political changing scene in Afghanistan since then, the lack of cooperation that the Prosecutor has received and which is likely to go scarcer should an investigation be authorized hampering the chances of successful investigation and prosecution, as well as the need for the Court to use its resources prioritizing activities that would have better chances to succeed.”

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is happy: “I am very pleased that the ICC made this decision today. It is the right one. When Americans misbehave, whether it’s our military, intelligence officers, we have a robust democratic process that holds them accountable. You’ve seen us do that for those that misbehaved. There is in no way or any need for the ICC to intervene,” he said.

This is a striking example of national legislation taking precedence over international law – especially in critical situations.

President Trump was equally pleased hailing the ICC’s refusal to consider the actions of the US military in Afghanistan as “a major international victory not only for these patriots, but for the rule of law (?)”. He reiterated US reservations about the Hague-based ICC, saying that its “broad, unaccountable prosecutorial powers” present a threat to US sovereignty. Which means that Yankees are immune from prosecution – something we should all keep very much in mind.

The whole situation turned out to be pretty ambiguous: the Americans got scared, but the ICC ended up bending under Washington’s pressure. It still looks like the days of America’s complete domination are over, just as the current scandal proved beyond any reasonable doubt.

First published in our partner International Affairs

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Russia in Venezuela

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Russia´s interests and presence in Latin America is not new. We should remember Russian activities in Cuba during the Cold War, which almost generated a nuclear war between Moscow and Washington. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, it was quite clear that Central and South America were not among the top priorities of the Russian Federation.

Anyway, at the beginning of the 21st century Russia returned to that region and Venezuela and other Chavist anti-imperialist (mainly understood as anti-American) populist governments were eager to deep their diplomatic, economic and military relations with Moscow.

From the Russian side we can identify a general objective, which is to gain influence in Latin America at the expense of the United States and a particular one: to secure lucrative economic opportunities in the oil and gas sectors.

A marriage of convenience between Venezuela and Russia was born at that time. Moreover, it lasts until today.

In the case of Venezuela, after the death of Hugo Chavez in 2013, his successor, Nicolás Maduro, the reduction of the international oil prizes and the mismanagement of the national economy generated a crisis that began as economic, then social and finally political.

In this situation of institutional weakness, foreign powers as Russia, China, and the United States intended to gain influence and to get benefits for their companies. However, since Maduro continued its anti-American rhetoric were mainly Russian and Chinese companies those that obtained the lion´s share. It is important to note that according to international studies Venezuela has larger oil proven resources than Saudi Arabia, which helps to understand the interest of those extra regional powers in that south American country.

The regional and international pressure on Maduro´s government and the growing domestic opposition lead to a political and economic isolation of Venezuela. As a consequence of that the government increased its dependence on Russia and China.

Russian oil and gas companies are very active in Venezuela and the main interest of Putin´s administration is to secure their interests and protect their investments. More than investments, Venezuela is highly indebted to Moscow and Beijing since during the last five years those two countries were the only external creditors to Maduro´s government.

Behind the so-called strategic partnership, there is pure economic and geopolitical interest.

The main problem that face Russia (and China) is how to convince to the Venezuelan opposition, headed by Juan Guaidó, to recognize their position in the case of changes on the government. Due to the determined support received from Washington it is not clear that Moscow and Beijing will get what they want. Washington want a new beginning, to begin from scratch and not any kind of compensation or share with Russia and China. From our perspective, those are extreme positions (Russia and China from one side and United States on the other side) and diplomatic channels could open the ground for negotiations and compensations.

Russia´s deployment of troops has to do with media more than with a military need. We can argue that those forces are there to protect Russian interests (Russian infrastructure and investments) not Maduro´s government.

Any military clash would be hard to sustain for Russia due to the impossibility to maintain a logistic chain and the financial costs involved. It is more rational to consider the deployment of troops as an insurance for its interests and a leverage for any potential negotiation.

At that moment, nor the United States nor any other South American country (mainly Colombia and Brazil) is eager to a violent regime change in Venezuela and a military intervention. If Washington (and Guaidó) recognize the interests of Russia and China, Maduro´s government will lose its main political and economic supporters and will be open to a transition. In the meantime, the Venezuelan people is trying to survive. Venezuela has generated more refugees than Syria. Just to note it.

Russia’s deployment of troops in Venezuela has caused a new standoff between the U.S. and Russia with the U.S. accusing Russia of intervening in Venezuela’s internal affairs. But is the U.S. really in the “moral high ground” of such accusation given its history of intervening?

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The Only Way To Solve America’s Immigration Border Crisis Without Losing Its Humanity

Rahul D. Manchanda, Esq.

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The United States of America is under unprecedented turmoil these days over its border crisis problem with Mexico, more with the political forces at work both for, and against, erecting a wall, cracking down and jailing and removing illegal aliens, giving more authority to local law enforcement to work with federal law enforcement in these efforts, as well as more scrutiny and hammering down of immigration applications of all types.

Truly there is a fury of activity within the United States with allegations of “racism” and “xenophobia” being thrown around, responded to with “national security” and “safety” being hurled back.

There doesn’t seem to be an end in sight because the Republicans and the Democrats are locked in a fight to the death, with neither side willing to budge or even negotiate a way out of this mess.

Suffice it to say that one of the main origins of this now boiling over immigration border crisis lay with the people that elected Donald Trump to be President – more commonly known as “Nationalists,” or “America Firsters.”

These people are characterized as being staunchly against Globalism, or Internationalism, and share many commonalities with their cousins across the Atlantic in the United Kingdom, otherwise known as the supporters of “Brexit,” who wanted to pull away from both the European Union and the globe in general.

But the problem lies in the fact that for at least the past 70 years, the United States and Europe have literally operated on an “Ordo Ab Chao” (“Order out of Chaos”) approach, destroying and starving other nations and their sovereignty with outright war, terrorism, election overturning, sanctions or just cutting them off from the global economy.

The “blowback” of these interventionist policies of the past 70 years has resulted in incidents such as September 11 and other terrorist acts in its most violent form, but also in mass illegal immigration as another form of blowback, albeit much less violent but still just as disruptive to the economy, safety, health, and cohesion of the United States.

This is also happening in Europe wherein the people of those countries that they destroyed, are now flowing back into theirs, through the millions of refugees created by the unforgivable, wilful, wanton, and intentional destruction of their infrastructure, waterways, electrical grids, arable land, cities, hospitals, schools, everything.

One of the major reasons that the Establishment in both America and Europe were so vehemently against the Presidency of Donald Trump, or the people behind Brexit, is because they were still not finished with that “Ordo” portion of the phrase, only finished with the “Chao” part, wherein they were still right in the middle of massive project finance, foreign loans through the World Bank and IMF, public and private massive investment and international business, as well as other mechanisms designed to replace foreign nations with leaders, infrastructure, and cultures that were more amenable and in line with this Establishment.

Now that Trump is in office, he has surrounded himself with other like-minded people who simply don’t care about the thousands of private and public international agreements, treaties, loans, funding, relationships, or understandings by and between the U.S. and foreign nations/leaders, and simply thinks that these countries can either “take care of themselves,” “save their own people,” “pay their fair share,” and other isolationist principals – but in reality, after 70 years spent destroying those nations and making them promises, this type of abrupt “cutting off” policy, while disallowing them to enter or do business with the USA, is nothing short of a slow motion genocide of the world’s people.

To that end we as a nation, if we are to begin to solve this endless illegal alien immigration crisis, must bite the bullet and forge/build relationships (and even provide funding) to those nations where the majority of these people are coming from, so that this sieve is turned off, as much as possible.

Merely building a wall, while turning away or denying all immigrants their basic human rights, is simply not enough.

The USA (and Europe) has had a significant role in destroying those nations from where these illegal immigrants have come from, and must do more to assist those nations in controlling their own “emigrant” problem, so that the USA (and Europe) does not have to.

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