Friday, December 19, 2014

A People's History of Syria--Part 28--section 1: January to December 2012 Period

According to a Mar.9, 2012 article, titled “The Bloody Road to Damascus: The Triple Alliance’s War on a Sovereign State,” by The Arab Revolt and the Imperialist Counterattack author and Binghamton University Sociology Professor James Petras, there was “clear and overwhelming evidence” by 2012 in Syria “that the uprising to overthrow President Assad of Syria” was “a violent, power grab led by foreign-supported fighters who have killed and wounded thousands of Syrian soldiers, police and civilians, partisans of the government and its peaceful opposition;" and that “the outrage expressed by politicians in the West and Gulf State and in the mass media, about the killing of peaceful Syrian citizens protesting injustice’” was “cynically designed to cover up the documented reports of violent seizure of neighborhoods, villages and towns by armed bands, brandishing machine guns and planting road-side bombs.” In Professor Petras’s view:

“The assault on Syria is backed by foreign funds, arms and training….An objective analysis of the political and social composition of the principle armed combatants in Syria refutes any claim that the uprising is in pursuit of democracy for the people of that country. Authoritarian fundamentalist fighters form the backbone of the uprising. The Gulf States financing these brutal thugs are themselves absolutist monarchies…The armed groups infiltrate towns and use population centers as shields from which they launch their attacks on government forces. In the process they force thousands of citizens from their homes, stores and offices which they use as military outposts. The destruction of the neighborhood of Baba Amr in Homs is a classic case of armed gangs using civilians as shields and as propaganda fodder in demonizing the government.

"These armed mercenaries have no national credibility with the mass of Syrian people… The kings and emirs of the Gulf States bankroll these fighters. Turkey provides military bases and controls the cross-border flow of arms and the movement of the leaders of the so-called `Free Syrian Army’. The US, France and England provide the arms, training and diplomatic cover. Foreign jihadist-fundamentalists, including Al Qaeda fighters from Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan, have entered the conflict…This is an international conflict pitting an unholy triple alliance of NATO imperialists, Gulf State despots and Muslim fundamentalists against an independent secular nationalist regime. The foreign origin of the weapons, propaganda machinery and mercenary fighters reveals the sinister imperial, `multi-national’ character of the conflict….

“…The Western backed militias have seized neighborhoods by force of arms, destroyed oil pipelines, sabotaged transportation and bombed government buildings. In the course of their attacks they have disrupted basic services critical to the Syrian people including education, access to medical care, security, water, electricity and transportation. As such, they bear most of the responsibility for this `humanitarian disaster’…A majority of Syrians prefer a peaceful, negotiated settlement and reject mercenary violence. The Western-backed Syrian National Council and the Turkish and Gulf States-armed `Free Syrian Army’ flatly rejected Russian and Chinese calls for an open dialogue and negotiations which the Assad regime…accepted. NATO and Gulf State dictatorships are pushing their proxies to pursue violent `regime change’, a policy which already has caused the death of thousands of Syrians. US and European economic sanctions are designed to wreck the Syrian economy, in the expectation that acute deprivation will drive an impoverished population into the arms of their violent proxies…”

According to Thomas Plofchen’s May 14, 2014 timeline on The Cairo Review of Global Affairs website, on Jan. 23, 2012 the Al-Nussra Front (Jabbat Al-Nursa)—a Syrian opposition armed rebel group affiliate of the Al-Qaeda group—announced its formation. And in an article by Eric Schmitt, titled “C.I.A. Said to Aid in Steering Arms to Syrian Opposition,” the New York Times reported the following on June 21, 2012:

“A small number of C.I.A. officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey, helping allies decide which Syrian opposition fighters across the border will receive arms to fight the Syrian government, according to American officials and Arab intelligence officers.
The weapons, including automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons, are being funneled mostly across the Turkish border by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries including Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood and paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the officials said.

“The C.I.A. officers have been in southern Turkey for several weeks…The Obama administration has said it is not providing arms to the rebels, but it has also acknowledged that Syria’s neighbors would do so.

“The clandestine intelligence-gathering effort is the most detailed known instance of the limited American support for the military campaign against the Syrian government. It is also part of Washington’s attempt to increase the pressure on President Bashar al-Assad of Syria…The United States and its allies have…turned to…aiding allied efforts to arm the rebels to force Mr. Assad from power.

“…`C.I.A. officers are there and they are trying to make new sources and recruit people,’ said one Arab intelligence official who is briefed regularly by American counterparts…The struggle inside Syria has the potential to intensify significantly in coming months as powerful new weapons are flowing to both the Syrian government and opposition fighters…Spokesmen for the White House, State Department and C.I.A. would not comment on any intelligence operations supporting the Syrian rebels, some details of which were reported last week by The Wall Street Journal

“The State Department has authorized $15 million in nonlethal aid, like…communications equipment, to civilian opposition groups in Syria…What has changed since March is an influx of weapons and ammunition to the rebels. The increasingly fierce air and artillery assaults by the government are intended to counter improved coordination, tactics and weaponry among the opposition forces, according to members of the Syrian National Council and other activists.

“Last month, these activists said, Turkish Army vehicles delivered antitank weaponry to the border, where it was then smuggled into Syria….The United States, these activists said, was consulted about these weapons transfers….The Syrian National Council, the main opposition group in exile, has recently begun trying to organize the scattered, localized units that all fight under the name of the Free Syrian Army into a more cohesive force…”

(end of part 28--section 1)

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