Keeping the Syrian Pot Boiling
by Stephen Lendman
The ink’s barely dry on the March 21 Security Council Presidential Statement. It called on both sides “to bring an immediate end to all violence” and engage in conflict resolution diplomacy.
Nonetheless, Western-backed killer gangs keep attacking civilians and Syrian forces. According to Reuters:
Clashes continue. At least 40 died. The Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (SOHR) isn’t sure who’s responsible but implies Assad. A pro-Western front group, its spurious accounts lack credibility.
Independent observers called past reports propaganda, not truth and full disclosure. Critics denounce its pro-Western anti-Assad bias. In fact, two SOHR sites each claim to be the original.
The initial one’s in Arabic with a Facebook English version. The splinter group’s in English. Each calls the other an impostor. Information they report differs. Featuring falsified claims and bogus casualty counts, both lack credibility.
Their agenda entails blaming Assad for killer gang violence and condemning his efforts to stop it. According to Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich:
“As far as we know, this organization employs only two people (its head and secretary-translator).” The original’s “headed by Rami Abdulrahman, who has no training either in journalism or law or even a complete secondary education.”
“The fact that representatives of the ‘observatory’ have been avoiding contact with our diplomats speaks for itself. We think that these facts allow one to judge how trustworthy the information provided by this structure is.”
According to Reuters on March 23, “(d)ozens of civilians were killed in other parts of the northern province of Idlib, in Homs, Hama and Deraa in the south of the country. Five rebel gunmen and seven soldiers were killed in clashes in Homs province.”
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon claims Damascus ignored calls to stop violence instead of pointing fingers the right way and denouncing Syrian National Council (SNC) head Burhan Ghalioun for dismissing the SC statement, saying:
It “has the merit of representing the common position of the international community against the policies of Bashar al-Assad. But it obviously does not meet the real needs of the Syrian people.”
In other words, he’ll ignore it and continue daily killings and other forms of violence. Assad will be blamed for confronting what he’s obliged to do. Syrians expect it and, of course, need protection.
On Thursday, opposition forces, in fact, admitted killing at least 12 soldiers in attacks on checkpoints and convoys. They continue ravaging parts of the country daily.
Meanwhile, Syrian authorities reported seizing large caches of foreign-supplied weapons, ammunition, drugs, and explosives in Deir Ezzor, the nation’s largest northeastern city. They found more in Hama.
Security forces also “clashed with an armed terrorist group that was attacking families at Dir Sunbul, Kuhof and the surrounding areas in Jabal al-Zawya, Idleb, killing and injuring a number of criminals.”
In addition, fighting rages near Damascus. Insurgents attacked an al-Qaboon checkpoint. Security forces confronted them. Assad again was blamed for doing his job.
He also engaged killer gangs near Aleppo and Hama. They continue raging because Washington won’t call them off. Obama officials need violence to blame Assad. Their regime change plans depend on it. They’re on track by any means, including war looking increasingly likely.
UN Human Rights Council Backs Pro-Western Version of Events in Syria
On March 23, voting in lockstep with Washington, rogue NATO partners, and regional Arab League allies, the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) blamed Assad for killer gang violence, saying it:
“expresses profound concern about the commission’s findings that Government forces have committed widespread, systematic and gross human rights violations that may amount to crimes against humanity with the apparent knowledge and consent of the highest levels of the State;”
“condemns in the strongest terms the sharply escalating widespread, systematic and gross violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms perpetrated by the Syrian authorities, such as arbitrary executions, excessive use of force and the killing and persecution of protesters, refugees, human rights defenders and journalists, including recent deaths of Syrian and foreign journalists, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, torture and ill-treatment, including of adolescents and children;”
“also condemns the attacks against civilians in cities and villages across the country, including the artillery bombardments of residential areas;” and
“demands that the Syrian authorities meet their responsibility to protect their population.”
It also urged UN main bodies to demand “Syrian authorities meet their responsibility to protect their population.”
Pointing fingers the wrong way, killer gang violence was largely ignored as it was in HRC’s February Commission of Inquiry. Using spurious testimony from externally based opposition elements, it accused Assad of “manifestly fail(ing) in (his) duty to protect the people.” It also claimed his government “committed gross human rights violations.”
While also admitting anti-Assad abuses, it said they’re “non comparable in scale and organization to those carried out by the State.”
Unable to assess the credibility of its allegations, HRC pointed fingers mostly one way, and did again on March 23.
It strayed far from its September 2010 report on Israel’s May 2010 Mavi Marmara massacre. Based on credible eye witness testimonies, forensic evidence, legitimate video footage, and other photographic material, it:
“concluded that a series of violations of international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law, were committed by the Israeli forces during the interception of the flotilla and during the detention of passengers in Israel prior to deportation.”
“The preponderance of evidence from impeccable sources is far too overwhelming to come to a contrary opinion,” it said.
Saying Israel’s “obligated” to respect international law, it called its attack “unnecessary, disproportionate, excessive, inappropriate and resulted in the wholly avoidable killing and maiming of a large number of civilian passengers.”
In addition, Israel made “a deliberate attempt….to suppress or destroy evidence.” It also accused its government of fabricating its own version of events, including fake videos and other falsified materials.
HRC stood tall, pointing fingers the right way.
It’s now complicit in Washington’s regime change plans and likely war to achieve them.
Israel massacred nine human rights activists and injured dozens more. Imagine the carnage if Syria replicates Libya’s model. Months of bombing last year killed over 100,000 (mostly civilians), ravaged the country, and unleashed a firestorm of unending violence, slaughter, torture, and torment.
HRC has blood on its hands for not denouncing it. It’s also guilty of letting Washington and rogue NATO partners suppress its January 2011 “Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Libya Arab Jamahiriya.”
It said Gaddafi’s government protected “not only political rights, but also economic, educational, social and cultural rights.” It also lauded his treatment of religious minorities, and “human rights training” of its security forces.
It then stood aside and let NATO turn Libya into a charnel house. It risks Syria becoming a greater one by outrageously pointing fingers the wrong way. It’s going along with longstanding US plans to replace Assad with a pro-Western regime by any means, including war. It looks increasingly likely. Then on to the next target – Iran.
Syria’s toll may be multiple times greater than Libya. Iran will be far worse, especially if nuclear weapons are used against underground facilities. Potentially millions of lives are at risk.
Silence and false accusations equal complicity. How much blood will HRC tolerate? How much can Ban Ki-moon for violating his own Charter’s mandate “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war,” support fundamental human rights, uphold inviolable rule of law principles, and above all pursue peace.
Washington deplores it. So do rogue NATO partners and Israel. Their imperial agenda depends on violence. Expect more, perhaps an out-of-control firestorm ravaging the entire Middle East and beyond. It’s likely given the way things are now heading.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.