Thursday, September 12, 2013

The good, the bad, and the lawful

The fallout from Kerry's accident has been very interesting to observe but lost in the black and white good and bad comparisons of historical Russian and U.S. action has been the rule of law. One country is respecting international norms, and one isn't. One country is respecting the sovereign recognition of the Syrian Presidency and Parliament as the government of Syria and one is not.

Putin has put out a plea to the Americans which was promptly rebutted by the pro-opposition "Human Rights Watch" (though it seems only select pro-American humans apply). With all of the speeches put out by Kerry, Obama, Putin, the Syrians, I could spend all day every day rebutting every single one as I did with Obama's U.N. speech. It seems relatively pointless now but I feel I must rebut "the rebuttal" as it is blameful and plainly misleading.

What Vladimir Putin didn't tell the American people about Syria
Russia's leader poses as a champion of the rule of law in a New York Times op-ed, but his record as Assad's backer is shameful

It's not what
Vladimir Putin's New York Times op-ed says that's so worrisome; it's what it doesn't say. As a Russian and as someone who has been to Syria multiple times since the beginning of the conflict to investigate war crimes and other violations, I would like to mention a few things Putin overlooked …

There is not a single mention in Putin's article, addressed to the American people, of the egregious crimes committed by the Syrian government and extensively documented by the
UN Commission of Inquiry, local and international human rights groups, and numerous journalists: deliberate and indiscriminate killings of tens of thousands of civilians, executions, torture, enforced disappearances and arbitrary arrests. His op-ed also makes no mention of Russia's ongoing transfer of arms to Assad throughout the past two and a half years.
Supplying arms to a sovereign nation and supplying arms to rebel opposition of a sovereign nation are two completely different things. Russia is perfectly within international law to fulfill weapons contracts. Saudi Arabia and Qatar however (backed by the U.S.) are not within their right to supply arms to the rebel opposition. The fact that Russia is supplying arms to Assad does not automatically justify backing the al-Qaeda rebels. Using this logic, all eyes should again be on the U.S. who has the largest "defense contractor" industry in the world and has supplied arms to countless brutal regimes while talking "peace".
The Russian president strategically emphasizes the role of Islamic extremists in the Syrian conflict. Yes, many rebel groups have committed abuses and atrocities. Yet Putin fails to mention that it is the Syrian government that is responsible for shooting peaceful protesters (before the conflict even started) and detaining and torturing their leaders – many of whom remain detained – and that the continued failure of the international community to respond to atrocities in Syria allows crimes on all sides to continue unaddressed.
There is also a prevailing opinion that the "civil war" didn't turn into a "civil war" until Assad brutally repressed the peaceful protestors. This is true, to a point, but remember that the Syrian "revolution" started right after the Libyan "revolution" of which al-Qaeda were also involved. Remember that the U.S. has been actively working to overthrow Assad since 2006. So here you have a leader, who was allied with Libya which was destroyed by terrorists posing as rebels, and then the same thing starts happening in Syria too. If you were in his position would you assume that the well-timed revolution against your government was spontaneous and peaceful, or having just watched your ally fall to terrorist gangs would you assume this is also a foreign backed terrorist force with the intent of overthrowing the government? How would you respond? Actually a better question might be how would a western government respond when faced with the same threat of an armed opposition attempting to overthrow them or their allies? Based on the U.S. "war on terror" I'm pretty sure it would be something along the lines of "release the drones".

Is it the continued failure of the international community which has allowed crimes to be committed on both sides, or is it the ongoing funding of terrorists by the international community who we will not allow to lose which provides ample reason for Assad to respond with force which is causing the ever escalating atrocities?

Assad Lays Down His Conditions: "US Must Stop Aiding Terrorists", Israel Disposing Of WMDs; Accuses Saudi, Qatar And Turkey
Putin's plea to use the United Nations security council to resolve the conflict sounds great, until you remember that, from the very start of this conflict, Russia has vetoed or blocked any security council action that may bring relief to Syria's civilians or bring perpetrators of abuses in Syria to account.
Of course what the author fails to mention is that all of these security council actions demanded the removal of Assad. None of them have ever attempted to bring those amongst the rebels to account. The author also fails to mention the numerous times Israel has been defended by a U.S. veto even in the face of them crossing the "red line" by using white phosphorus which unlike U.S. accusations has been 100% proven.
While Russia's proposal for international monitoring of Syria's chemical weapons is a welcome step, it will do nothing to bring justice to hundreds of victims of the latest attack, let alone to thousands of others, killed by conventional weapons. And when Putin squarely blames the opposition for the 21 August chemical attack – against all available evidence and without presenting a shred of his own evidence – one can only wonder why Russia remains so vehemently opposed to referring Syria to the International Criminal Court, an action that would be fully in line with international law, which Putin seems so keen to uphold in his op-ed, and would enable an investigation into abuses by both sides of the conflict.
"Without a shred of his own evidence" - this is a plainly false statement. The Russians have just submitted a 100 page report to the U.N. security council on a chemical attack back in March in which they claim their evidence contained within the expert report proves it was the rebels. The U.S. is claiming secret evidence which they are not allowing the U.N. security council (or anyone else) to see and are trying to simply gain public support for an attack of which no one has been able to view their secret evidence. The U.S. has not provided any evidence to back any of their claims, including the death toll of 1500 people. It is the security council which should be reviewing evidence, not the court of public opinion.
Finally, the sincerity of Putin's talk about democratic values and international law is hard to take seriously when back home his own government continues to throw activists in jail, threatens to close NGOs, and rubber-stamps draconian and discriminatory laws.
If we're going to get into this then I guess we better also talk about the systematic coordination amongst police forces in the U.S. in 2011 to shutdown Occupy Wall Street. We better talk about NSA spying. We better talk about the G20 in Pittsburgh, or the W.T.O. in 1999. We should talk about Santa Clause too. The U.S. seems to be interested in everyone's "democratic values" other than their own. HEY! remember when a large body of the U.S. didn't want to go into Iraq so they put the vote to Congress and respected the wishes of the people? Exactly.
President Putin should give more credit to his audience: Russia will be judged by its actions, both on the international arena and domestically. So far, Russia has been a key obstacle to ending the suffering in Syria. A change towards a more constructive role would be welcome. But a compilation of half-truths and accusations is not the right way to signal such a change.
"Half-truths" and "accusations". If only the author had read her own piece while keeping these considerations in mind.

The long and the short of it is both Russia and the U.S. are of course using Syria for their own national interest, readers of this blog should have known that for a long time.

Peak oil, climate change and pipeline geopolitics driving Syria conflict

Of course Russia is serving their own interests, but Russia is serving their own interests within the confinements of international law, while the U.S. is funding terrorists to "pressure Assad" and had their media blitz not fallen flat on it's face bombs would already be flying. There are only two positions to take: you either support international law and the international process and the rules that have been established following World War II, or you support funding unrecognized extremist groups, terrorism, in an effort to wage covert wars of aggression. You were never meant to know about al-Qaeda's presence in Syria, as in Libya, the bombs were supposed to be flying long ago. What the U.S. perhaps was not prepared for was the extreme war-fatigue brought on by repeated lies and continued failed attempts at dominating the Middle East.

To conclude, history is being rewritten right under your noses. Following Kerry's accident Putin has now provided Obama some cover in saying that these diplomatic roads were already in process, but of course they weren't. Go read headlines from 3 weeks ago, 2 weeks ago, and then from this last week. Obama and the rest of the Whitehouse were lobbying hard to convince you all of only one thing: that military strikes are needed. Just imagine if Obama had been relentlessly making televised addresses and other propaganda calling for diplomacy and to pressure Assad to relinquish control of those chemical weapon stocks.

On Syria, Putin runs rings around Obama


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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for eQube gaming systems.

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Kerry accidently talks the U.S. out of war

It's tough being aggressively diplomatic. The propaganda spectre required to convince people that war is necessary for peace definitely isn't easy to pull off. It took the shock and awe of 9/11 to convince the world of the need for an invasion in Iraq which still to this day has never been linked to the attacks of 9/11 officially.

Today was extremely amusing. Kerry, fielding a question he obviously wasn't prepared for, invented what he clearly considered an impossible hypothetical straw man for him to build up and then break down to show that the U.S. simply isn't just pursuing bombs. When asked if there was anything Assad could do to avoid an attack by the U.S. Kerry sarcastically said that Assad could turn his chemical warfare stockpile over to the international community "in under a week".


Of course the timespan chosen off the top of Kerry's head of "a week" is ridiculous, meant to reinforce the 'impossible' in his impossible straw-man scenario. As his spokeswoman said afterwards it was 'rhetorical'. Much to Kerry's surprise, Russia and Assad have accepted the offer, and Obama is now considering it.

Of course the irony in all of this is that now we in the West are pretending as though this is a viable *NEW* option almost forgetting completely that the reason Kerry went on TV in the first place was to sell bombs, not brains. Kerry went on TV to make the case (again) that an "unbelievably limited" (I guess he personally must not even believe it will be so limited?) strike was absolutely needed and yet now people believe not only may strikes not be necessary, but that there is also another option to pursue. An option that I guess intelligence agencies and the numerous commentators on the impossible Syrian situation overlooked? Didn't try? Or never thought of?

It's like the whole world facepalm'd all at once.

Kerry has really created a pickle for U.S. 'foreign policy'. Russia and Syria obviously saw this error of judgement instantly. The U.S., playing the good guy, must ultimately have a 'no war' road especially if not directly threatened. By making the 'no war' road more accessible the U.S. has been put into a position where as to adhere to the morals it projects as it's own it must pursue it.

The chance to project it's morals couldn't come at a better time for U.S. public perception and let's hope common sense prevails, but this certainly isn't the result the U.S. wanted or that Syria's "rebels" desired.

Obama's rogue state tramples over every law it demands others uphold

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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for eQube gaming systems.

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

NATO is so flustered it can barely keep it's lies straight

As John Kerry gets called out for his obvious lies regarding the Syrian rebels the 'rebels' have decided to siege a village and make some more lovely P.R. for Kerry to try and lie about. Apparently the rebels situated themselves above the village and setup mortars and just started shelling shit. The western backed 'good guys', right? This is of course after one of the apparently unimportant al-Nursa guys blew himself up at the Assad controlled checkpoint for the rebels to gain entry in the first place. Seems like they're pretty vital to me and not just playing a small part are they?

But the bad P.R. for NATO's 'rebels' doesn't stop there, no no, in spite of insistence from the Obomber administration that "regime change" is not the goal, it's not not the goal either, apparently.
The Virginia Republican said: "Assad's Syria, a state sponsor of terrorism, is the epitome of a rogue state, and it has long posed a direct threat to American interests and to our partners."

Mr Obama said that Mr Assad had to be held accountable for the chemical attack and that he was confident Congress would back him.

He said he was proposing military action that would degrade President Assad's capacity to use chemical weapons "now and in the future".
"What we are envisioning is something limited. It is something proportional," the president said.

"At the same time we have a broader strategy that will allow us to upgrade the capabilities of the opposition."
The hypocrisy is simply sickening. a "state sponsor of terrorism", not like us though right? Our terrorists, for the time being, are not terrorists they're rebels and the few that are terrorists clearly will never ever gain any access to anything we are providing the 'rebels' because they're just so well organized. But not too organized! Certainly not organized enough to pull off a chemical attack under the guidance of the U.S. ally and tyrannical regime Saudi Arabia, just organized enough so that we can paint a picture that attempts to persuade western populaces to support them.

Obama: Libya Mission Is Not Regime Change
Libya at a crossroads as strikes threaten oil supplies

And regime change? Well, no, none of the NATO countries are interested in that, except that we want to degrade Assad's capacity and upgrade the rebels, thus prolonging the fighting longer. Because that's the road to peace, right?! France agrees.
French officials shoring up support for a punitive military response to an alleged chemical attack last month in Syria said it would help shift the balance in a 2½-year-old civil war that was tipping in favour of President Bashar al-Assad.
We're all about this war ending, so long as it's our proxy force that wins. But they're not winning, and NATO is desperate, DESPERATE to turn the tables in their favour. If we can't have an Iraq or an Afghanistan, then by golly gee we're gunna have a Vietnam! If it wasn't for the west's continued and ever increasing support over the last two years the Syrian rebels would have been beaten long ago by Assad. We've kept the violence going, not Assad, it's his country, not ours.

Speaking of Vietnam here's a nice list of all those chemical weapons attacks that have been proven that have gone unpunished to this day. Go on, take a gander. I'll bet you'd never guess who the repeat offender is?

And remember when the U.S. said a few months ago it had evidence of previous Assad chemical weapon attacks but never released or followed up on that? Well Russia has, and not surprisingly their report (yes they actually made a report to be presented to the UNSC) fingers the rebels for the March chemical attack as well. Russia brings up a very valid question, why will the U.S. not present their evidence to the UNSC? Why instead do they talk of all the 'secret' evidence they have in a big media parade while avoiding any official forum for scrutiny?

U.S. dismisses U.N. inspections in Syria of alleged chemical weapons sites

This all isn't to say I don't feel for the Syrian people living under Assad by the way, I do. I wouldn't want to live under his regime or anywhere near Syria for that matter. But the Syrian people will not find salvation or peace by allowing the western nations to run their country just as no country is better off with us at the helm. This is no longer a revolution, it is a covert invasion, and as Canadian Trends has uncovered Syria can expect a direct invasion by Israel should Assad fall (so long as the U.N. has pulled out of the Golan by then - which so far they haven't fully). Naturally any invasion at that point perpetrated by Israel would be backed by the U.S.

The western global empire needs a war on Syria to isolate Iran. This is about oil. This is about domination. None of our actions have anything to do with "helping civilians". Bombs don't help civilians. Imagine the huge number of Syrian refugees the U.S. could help using the funds for the cruise missiles it plans to fire off? Actions speak louder than words, and all actions point to deception.

Brutality of Syrian Rebels Posing Dilemma in West

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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for eQube gaming systems.

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.