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February 15, 2012

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It seems that every editor of a Western media enterprise has got a new entry on his or her morning checklist consisting of making sure that the obligatory daily report about atrocities of the Syrian government is already in the works.

While most media outlets (Fox, CNN, USA Today, Dallas News) are forceful, blunt, and unconcerned about plausibility or coherence, others (NY Times, Guardian) are more sophisticated and subtle. Which approach ultimately is chosen depends on the assumed intelligence of the audience.

We will see a barrage of horrifying witness reports about atrocities committed by the murderous Assad regime, becoming more and more intense and culminating in the unified outcry of all decent and caring people to end the bloodbath and stop the genocide and call the good samaritans from NATO or the Gulf states to bomb the monstrous thugs into pieces and liberate Syria.

We (the media consumers) will be furious and horrified about the reported monstrosities and we will feel glad and blessed that we can live in free, equal, and just societies where the governments protect and benefit all citizens and are spending taxpayers money wisely.

Some of us will be critical and skeptical though, some will notice contradictions and paradoxes, some will remember similar media campaigns with unexpected and unexplainable outcomes (Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya). If you belong to this category of media consumers, I invite you respectfully to continue reading.


The Syrian government was criticized for it’s poor human rights record in the past, and it seems likely that the Syrian security services commit human rights violations. As stated in a preceding blog post, police and security forces are corrupt as well as incompetent. Prison conditions are reportedly harsh and do not meet international standards for health and sanitation.

In 2001/2002 the CIA was deporting at least nine terrorist suspects to Syria, where they were held in Far Falastin prison near Damaskus. Maher Arar, a man with Canadian/Syrian citizenship was detained and reportedly tortured for almost a year but then released by the Syrian government which stated, that he is completely innocent. German officials were also involved in interrogations at Far Falastin, it is not known, if they took part in torture.

Syria was not the only destination for terror suspects, the USA deported detainees also to Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan, all countries with a poor human rights record and a reputation for mistreating prisoners.

It seems likely that there are human rights violations and it also seems likely that inexcusable acts of violence are committed against the opposition. The Shabiha militia, integrated in the fourth division of the army but largely independent, is comprised of uneducated, unemployed youths, released criminals, and former members of Rifaat al Assads defunct Defense Companies. The Shabiha has a reputation of drug smuggling, racketeering, and other criminal activities, brutality and lack of discipline. It is reported, that even Iran is concerned about the Shabiha and has advised Syria to restrain and pull back Shabiha fighters.

Shabiha fighters were sent to Homs, because the clashes in this town became a sectarian struggle between Sunnis and Alawites. Armed insurgence of the FSA (Free Syrian Army), which is clearly a Sunni militia with Salafists from Iraq and northern Lebanon and members of the LIFG (Libyan Islamic Fighting Group) got a stronghold in the Sunni neighborhoods of Homs.The Syrian government initially didn’t want to involve the military which is comprised of mainly Sunni conscripts and Alawite officers (80 percent), fearing defections and a negative impact on moral and loyalty.

The Alawite domination of Syria is the major weakness in the present political structure. The government tried to appease critics by promoting Sunnis to high ranking positions: General Ali Mamluk commander of the General Security Directorate and part of Bashar al-Assad’s inner circle, is a Sunni, Deeb Zaitoun, head of the Political Security Directorate, is a Sunni. But these are only first steps and have not changed the public perception of Alawite domination at the highest levels of power.

The danger of a Sunni uprising seems to be subsiding for now and the fall of the Inshaat district in Homs rendered the position of rebel forces in their central hub, the district Bab Amr untenable. Regular army troops have moved in and are conducting house to house searches. The Red Crescent and Red Cross announced that volunteers are “distributing food, medical supplies, blankets and hygiene consumables to thousands of people” in Homs.

The insurgence are reportedly regrouping in the district Rastan, west of Bab Amr.

I’ve discussed the outlines of the Syrian conflict in two previous posts, I only want to mention some news bits from mainstream media, that could give food for thought :

A BBC reporter who was invited by the FSA, got to know that captured members of the Shabiha militia and Hezbollah are customarily beheaded. The captives lay face down on the ground, hands tied behind their backs and one-by-one, their heads are cut off.

Mohamed Ahmad Al-Dabi, the Sudanese general who lead the Arab League’s team of observers resigned in protest. He told Reuters: “I performed my job with full integrity and transparency but I won’t work here again as the situation is skewed.” He was heavily criticized after he reported that the level of violence in the country had diminished since the arrival of the observers. He also said his mission had only observed 136 death cases, contradicting much bigger figures from opposition activists. The report noted general cooperation by the Syrian government and stated, that the media has greatly exaggerated the amount of violence in Syria.

The report was subsequently suppressed but has leaked now. http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NB04Ak01.html

The Israeli news site Debkafile reported:

British and Qatari special operations units are operating with rebel forces under cover in the Syrian city of Homs just 162 kilometers from Damascus, according to debkafile’s exclusive military and intelligence sources. The foreign troops are not engaged in direct combat with the Syrian forces bombarding different parts of Syria’s third largest city of 1.2 million. They are tactical advisers, manage rebel communications lines and relay their requests for arms, ammo, fighters and logistical aid to outside suppliers, mostly in Turkey.

Our sources report the two foreign contingents have set up four centers of operation — in the northern Homs district of Khaldiya, Bab Amr in the east, and Bab Derib and Rastan in the north. Each district is home to about a quarter of a million people.

The presence of the British and Qatari troops was seized on by Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan for the new plan he unveiled to parliament in Ankara on February 7. Treating the British-Qatari contingents as the first foreign foot wedged through the Syrian door, his plan hinges on consigning a new Turkish-Arab force to Homs through that door and under the protection of those contingents. Later, they would go to additional flashpoint cities.


The Western media propaganda blitz, disgusting as it is, has enabled me to sort out the bad apples and discover the hidden gems in the information garbage dump. I was aware since long time, that renowned news organizations like Washington Post, New York Times and New Yorker were only a shadow of themselves and adhering to no other moral standards than the morality of money and wealth. Something similar to a Watergate investigation would be impossible today, investigate journalism is dead (at least in the corporate media domain) and has been replaced by “embedded journalism.”

In the last years Western media outlets have become increasingly “gleichgeschaltet” (brought into line) and in addition to that have refined the process of suppressing, distorting, fabricating news and creating a virtual reality that keeps the masses sedated and the money elites pleased. The motto is not anymore: “All The News That’s Fit To Print” as stated in the upper left hand corner of the front page of the New York Times, it rather is: “All The News We Print To Fit.”

What I did not comprehend fully until now — though I noticed the signs — was the corruption of the liberal and progressive media enterprises. Many of them are not more than news aggregators who are just parroting Reuters or Associated Press. I never believed in the Huffington Post or AlterNet, but I used Guardian, The Independent, Mother Jones, Salon, The Nation, Democracy Now, Common Dreams, among others as news sources.

I’m finished with that now. I still hold Amy Goodman in high regard, she deserved the Right Livelihood Award in 2008 and her achievements are indisputable but it appears that she has lost her sharp analytical mind and judgement. I’m sad about Common Dreams, Lina Newhouser would have deserved a better legacy. Mother Jones was always boring but Salon, though somehow clownish and geekish was worth a visit because of Glenn Greenwald and David Sirota.

I will not waste my time anymore with these sites. It appears that many American intellectuals, who consider themselves as liberal or progressive — whatever that means — until now have not realized or did not come to terms with the realization, that they are still a part of the problem and not a part of the solution. They will remain a part of the problem as long as they don’t change their elitist, supremacist, exceptionalist attitude and their consumer-oriented lifestyle. But that is another issue for another blog post.

I have updated the link list on the right side of my blog, the links in the “Politics” category are the news sources who passed the test. Please have a look!

Back to the Syrian crises:

This conflict is becoming immensely dangerous. The USA has invested so much prestige that a failure to bring down the Syrian government and install a pro-Western puppet regime would be seen as major defeat, would strengthen Americas’s adversaries, and impede the implementation of a new global strategic plan.

Admiral William H. McRaven, who leads the Special Operations Command, is pushing for an increased presence for his elite units in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, he also asks for autonomy to position his elite units and their equipment around the world. At presence more than 80 percent of the units are in the Middle East.

The Special Operations Command employs 66,000 people (including Defense Department civilians) — a doubling since 2001. Its budget has reached 10.6 billion US$, up from 4.2 billion US$ in 2001. The US military is reconfigured and shifting its priorities from military bases, monster embassies, and occupation troops to elite special operations units backed by drones and other high-tech weaponry, which will cross borders as they please and transform the whole planet into a US free-fire zone.

The CIA will bribe, assassinate, stir sectarian and ethnic division wherever possible, and deploy weapons to all parties. US drones and special forces will operate from small bases or from aircraft carriers, the new developed Advanced Hypersonic Weapon or DARPA’s Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 will reach every point on the planet in less than an hour.

No more invasions, no boots on the ground, no more counterinsurgency, but an undeclared, creepy, terrifying war against the world community by the biggest rogue nation on the planet.

Hugo Chávez, a prominent name on the US hit list, said it pointedly: “The saddest thing is that on its quest to rule the world, the US empire and its European allies are actually setting it on fire.”

He could be terribly right and this could be the slow start of World War III. Or more correct the slow progression of the war, because World War III has already started with drone attacks, clandestine operations by special forces of the USA and her allies, hacker intrusions, and economic warfare. Many countries are already destroyed (Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan, Libya), many more will follow.

The only chance to stop the carnage is to counter the propaganda, the media brain washing, the mind control, and tell the truth to anybody who is still able to listen and think independently. Please, please spread the word!


  1. Susan Dey
    my neighborhood periodical ran an document dealing with this last sunday appears everybody is jumping on the bandwagon — ideally it should obtain the acceptance it deserves since it’s becoming far more hip


  2. Greetings,

    How right you are.
    I’ve read that Democracy Now is funded by the same characters who run most of the world, so Amy Goodman is in the same league as any other journalist.
    The only ones telling the truth are not taking a paycheck — people like you, for example.

    Warm regards,


  3. This is frightening stuff, Mato–I don’t want to agree with you, but I have to concede that the whole mainstream news establishment is part and parcel of the larger military-industrial-political complex that is, you are right, taking us inexorably towards a WWIII and an environmental Holocaust. We are actually in the middle of both already, in slow-motion.

    Today’s banner story on Common Dreams (yes, I will still be reading and contributing to CD, at least for now) adds a new layer to the war story you’re reporting on here: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/02/18-0

    The tragedy of the Middle East spreads, like a vortex threatening to pull us all in.

    If we weren’t so dependent on the oil, that region could go back to minding its own business….all those CIA operatives could go home….

    There are no good answers here, no clear ways out.

    On that cheery note, I want to go out and enjoy the sunshine today as best I can, while I can….


  4. tomdispatch has an article of Andrew Bacevich “Uncle Sam, Global Gangster”. The piece is well researched and formulated but it omits two essential facts:

    1. The MIC (Military Industrial Complex) needs permanent war to ensure profits.

    2. Failed states with competing warlords carving out small territories are easy to exploit.

    There will be not only “blood diamonds,” there will be “blood oil,” “blood rare earth minerals,” and “blood water.”

    The USA doesn’t need to wage overt war and occupy, creating failed states is sufficient to guarantee MIC profits and cheap resources.



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