Brief thoughts: Syrians’ rejection of the so-called “Syrian Democratic Forces” sends a clear message to the US – We define our revolution, not you

Syrians today in Aleppo hosting a banner reading “The people want the fall of the regime” and “the revolution continues”, and singing an iconic song of the Syrian revolution: “Heaven heaven heaven, our homeland is heaven, even its hell is heaven”.
 
Notice also the banner rejecting the US-created “Syrian Democratic Forces”, which has been advancing in Aleppo under the cover of Russian airstrikes (and advancing in the East aided by US special ground forces – something our “anti-imperialist” friends have missed). When it created the “SDF” the US was trying to essentially reframe the “legitimate” opposition in Syria, and of course like the US the SDF was a “rebel” group in name/rhetoric only, and far from it in deed. It consisted of the regime-collaborating YPG, the outright regime-supporting Sanadaeed (something a lot of people don’t know – the US is arming two sets of declared Assad loyalists in Syria: the Sanadeed SDF as well as the various Iraq militias), and the fighting remnants allied with the notorious rebel warlord, Jamal Maarouf, grouped in the so-called “Jaish al-Thuwar”. Maarouf was known for his corruption (including reportedly hoarding weapons and preventing their use against the regime) and yet unsurprisingly was practically the only real US ally amongst rebels on the ground before US support of the YPG began (he was eventually exiled by a rebel coalition in 2014). It should be noted also that the SDF’s political programme makes no mention of Assad whatsoever, and a SDF spokesman recently declared that the regime’s presence in their areas “did not constitute a burden on us or the Syrian people”.
 
The rejection of the SDF sends a clear message to the US: Syrians define their revolution, not them.
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SDF attack on Marea is US policy – and Syria’s attempted end-game

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The SDF attacking Marea, the (2-year long) rebel FRONTLINE against ISIS, is again proof that what is happening in Aleppo is far, far more cynical than is being generally understood/covered, AND is internationally decided (the SDF would never do this if they didn’t have American acquiescence), AND represents the most clear-cut example of the fatal attempt to end the revolution through the gateway of Aleppo. We are used to the regime attacking the rebels simultaneously with ISIS, but for the YPG/SDF to do so as well should send a signal that there is a clear decision to get rid of the rebels first, before ISIS.

The SDF it should be remembered was an organisation set up by the US specifically as an alternative “rebel” force (having failed to turn the FSA into purely anti-ISIS “sahwas”) that it could sponsor. Its function was to replace any rebellious alternative to Assad (i.e. the Syrian revolutionary forces led by the FSA) with a force/face that is not Assad, officially criticises Assad, but also does not fight Assad and coordinates with his forces (in short exactly mirroring US policy). This force also accepts the retention of the Syrian regime/state institutions (declared US policy) – the SDF political programme doesn’t even make a mention of the Assad regime. In short, the US is sponsoring a “rebel” force that does not take part in the rebellion.

The YPG/SDF it should be noted said a few months ago that they would attack rebel factions that do not accept a US-Russian imposed “political solution” – this is essentially what is happening now even before any political solution has been proposed, probably because it appears clearer and clearer that Assad will simply not agree to resign, and so the only way the US could save face is if Aleppo falls beforehand, sparing them the embarrassment. If Free Aleppo falls, the rebellion likely falls with it. That *directly* US-armed (Iraqi Shia and Kurdish YPG) militias are playing the *leading* role in this AND that this knowledge is completely unreported is horrific.

This is because the US, in case it still isn’t clear 5 years later, prefers the regime remaining – *even* with the figure of Assad at its helm – to a successful rebellion. Amongst everything else this was clear by the complete lack of US support for the Syrian revolutionary forces (the first in Syria to fight ISIS) in their fight *even against ISIS*, especially in the same city of Marea – where Aleppo’s revolutionaries have kept the city out of the hands of ISIS for the past 2 years without any American support (despite requests ignored by the Americans), simply because they have the popular base.

The US knows full well that if the rebels lose Aleppo there will be no one who fills the (very angry Sunni) void other than ISIS, the various foreign Shia militias and the YPG may come in and hold these areas for the very short term after taking them from the rebels but they will never be able to stop ISIS eventually storming in (to a place where tens of thousands who have lost people to the regime will prefer the devil themselves coming in before surrendering to the regime). If Aleppo’s revolutionary resistance falls ISIS will come in, this is almost a certainty. So why is the US agreeing to this? It is agreeing to this in order to eventually have the total war option that it has been using in Iraq (where it was not burdened by a reluctant mandated support of an uprising) of enforcing the regime’s remaining (in light of the then failed rebellion).

US policy in Iraq can be seen as deeply cynical or highly ignorant. Yet the fact that the US is supporting the precise forces whose abuses (now multiple-fold) Iraqi Sunnis rose up against in 2011 (the forgotten Iraqi Spring), knowing full well that ISIS will never be defeated except by Iraqi Sunnis (having had this experience already with ISIS’s precursor, ISI, when the entire might of the US Army could not defeat it – only when Sunni support was requested was it driven underground within a few months) – means that to think that the US does not know that ISIS cannot be defeated without Sunni support is probably naive to unreasonable limits. It means that the US is using the War on Terror again not to defeat terror, but to ensure subjugation of peoples by another set of people who they don’t want subjugating them (even if US occupation forces are not on the ground). Why else would the US be supporting the sort of militias in Iraq that are committing the current sectarian cleansing (the biggest fuel for ISIS) instead of recruiting Sunni support to deal with this, the only policy established to have worked? But its not about defeating ISIS, its about *defeating the people who showed resistance*. In this case, defeating them through allying them with their biggest enemies, their biggest nightmares, the militias which go into their areas and burn them down to the ground. This is imperialism. Imperialism is torture. If you dare reject our authority, we will send you your biggest nightmare to punish you. To give in to the logical option would be the defeat of imperialism, which is defined by generally doing the *opposite* of what the people under control want. And this is one of the biggest mistakes in analyses of Iraq and Syria – the assumption that the US just wants ISIS defeated – no, the US wants ISIS defeated in the most humiliating, brutal of ways – and the people of those areas completely subjugated and humiliated.

Why Aleppo is still not free from ISIS and remains its only northern host

– Why Aleppo is still not free from ISIS and remains its only Northern host
[originally posted on January 5]

There’s a reason ISIS has not been kicked out of Aleppo (province) yet, even though its been kicked out of most of North East Syria (Hasaka and large parts of Deir el-Zor). Whilst the US has pummeled ISIS into submission and replaced them with the SDF, the SDF is not present on the frontlines with ISIS around Aleppo – rather it is mainly the FSA. This has to be strongly reiterated: the US is refusing to bomb ISIS around Aleppo because the people who would advance are non-secularist FSA groups (Levant Front, Safwa Movement, etc.). It should be noted that the excuse of Jabhat al-Nusra was taken away a few months ago when they agreed to evacuate these areas to lay the ground for the so-called Turkish safe-zone (which never came). Yet nonetheless the US does not see a difference between these groups, even though they are expressly FSA (i.e. not Islamic Front) and ISIS – it does not matter to them whether ISIS essentially takes Aleppo’s Free Army down and advances on the city.

Meanwhile the YPG is on the offensive in West Aleppo against the FSA (whilst claiming they are Nusra terrorists), resulting in FSA groups such as the Safwa movement coming out and calling them liars and that it was they who were attacked by the YPG following Russian airstrikes on their bases.
Meanwhile the secularist FSA groups of the SDF, notably a mixed Kurdish-Arab group called Jaish al-Thuwar (these have put on hold the fight against the regime whilst working with the Russian-allied YPG, and it is also notable no longer use the term FSA in their statements, instead subsuming themselves under the SDF banner) are also not strong in the areas of Aleppo on the frontline with ISIS.

It should be noted that the “anti-imperialists” of the YPG are coordinating with Russian airstrikes in North West Syria, and US airstrikes in North East Syria. Amazingly they are still never referred to as proxies by those who cited Arab-provided American weaponry to the rebels (and forgot American airstrikes against some of their strongest components) as proof of their puppetism.

[Just to note however I am not versed enough to understand exactly what’s happening in the clashes between the rebels and the SDF. I do not know who the initial aggressor is in these clashes, as there are a lot of claims and counter-claims and it is not clear where the entire truth is. On the one hand the SDF are clearly not telling the full story when they say they’re just attacking Nusra, and a paranoid reading may be that their recent campaigns in Aleppo are not a mere spontaneous defensive reaction to attacks by Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham, but rather an attempt to encircle Aleppo’s rebels and start laying the ground for the recent US-Russian understanding of the “political solution” (the SDF’s main “Syrian rebel” component it should be remembered said that they will attack any other rebels who do not accept the “political solution”; and lets also remember that John Kerry subtly praised the Syrian Army a few weeks ago saying that it should be preserved as it contained “good guys” – indeed going further and declaring that the rebels should unite with the Syrian Army against ISIS even before an Assad departure). That being said 3 days ago Jaish al-Thuwar, that is the main opposition component of the otherwise YPG-dominated SDF (composed of a mixture of non-YPG Kurds and Arabs, though still heavily dependent on the YPG for survival) declared a unilateral ceasefire with other rebels as a “gesture of good faith”, sueing for peace, arbitration and an end to the “bloodletting” and declaring that it will only use violence in self-defence. They also made a point of releasing the statement under their name only and “not under any other” (i.e. the SDF, as their statements usually were). Reading the statements they generally put out it is difficult to think that all of what they say represent empty claims.

On the other hand there is an undeniable problem with Arab chauvanism in the Syrian opposition (at least, i.e. leaving aside the potential dynamic of animosity by conservative Islamists to the secularists of the SDF). Furthermore it is noteworthy that the SDF seems to have a large Kurdish component who can argue (not correctly but nonetheless) that it is fair game for them to ally with Russia if the rebels ally so strongly with Turkey. And while the YPG may be widely seen as regime collaborators, I think this goes beyond them, as the SDF also includes non-YPG Kurds who once fought for the Free Syrian Army (as well as some anti-Assad Arabs, all grouped in Jaish al-Thuwar). Whilst these might have put the fight against the regime on hold (a condition undoubtedly to gain ascension into the US-designed SDF) they do have history fighting the regime. Meanwhile that the FSA (even with all its Islamic influence and components) STILL uses the name of the “Syrian Arab Republic” in their letterheads does not particularly inspire confidence amongst Kurds (it is noteworthy that by contrast the use the name “Syrian Republic”). The fact that Arab nationalism still plays such a strong role in the Syrian opposition has not been a good thing.

But in short I cannot be sure of what exactly is going on, safe to say that there are many, many variables at play. Ultimately from my genuinely limited reading what’s happening may be a conflict of coalitions: Nusra backed up by Ahar al-Sham backed up by FSA vs Jaish al-Thuwar (because they are backed up by US and YPG). Generally speaking there are perhaps two big problems in these rebel-YPG clashes: Arab chavanism on the rebel side and secularist chauvanism on the YPG side (though this is not to put equal weighting/responsibility between the two)]

Meanwhile since its supposed anti-ISIS intervention that was meant to relieve the besieged rebels of Aleppo began, Turkey has essentially done nothing whatsoever of the sort. It has ostensibly used the excuse of the US refusing to sanction a northern “safe zone”, when Turkey’s mere presence in Syria’s northern airspace would probably have served enough of a deterrent to ground the regime’s aircraft (as it did for two days or so when it “launched” the operation) – but even if a no-fly zone was not established it would’ve been sufficient and of great help for Aleppo’s squeezed rebels (now squeezed by ISIS, pro-regime militias and the SDF) for Turkey to merely launch airstrikes against ISIS targets in coordination with the rebels on the ground. Merely taking out ISIS in Aleppo’s countryside would’ve provided invaluable breathing space for the rebels, who for the last two years have routinely had to mobilise and demobilise on the ISIS front, dragging rebels from all over the provinces of Aleppo and Idlib away from the regime’s frontlines. There would be no excuse for Turkey not to do so – even if there was a Turkish claim of “US pressure” not to help the rebels in Aleppo this would not have served as a sufficient excuse for anyone, since no one could seriously condemn Turkey launching a serious aerial campaign against ISIS on the global scene (of course, it should also be noted that regardless of US opinion Turkey attacked the Kurds in the midst of their battle with ISIS).

What is the reason for this Turkish inaction? Well at least a big part of it to my mind undoubtedly has to do with the nature of Erdogan and AKP in general, who while big on populist foreign policy rhetoric are relatively spineless in foreign policy action. Indeed after the downing of the Russian pilot, little reported was the military funeral and honours lavished by Turkey on the fallen pilot (who was then returned to Russia) and the accompanied grovelling that went with it, the complete opposite of Turkey’s supposed defiance in public. A more cynical reading would perhaps look at this inaction in another way and find other uncomplimentary reasons.

Turkey’s attitude to Syria thus reflects by and large its attitude to Palestine – strong words and timid action (in military terms – its humanitarian support has of course been unmatched). Whilst serving mainly as a conduit for Arab supplies to the rebels and a (generally) safe shelter and resting base for thousands of rebels and activists, its military backing for the rebels has hardly matched anything like that of Qatar or Saudi, or Iraq and Lebanon on the other side (all four being American allies – meanwhile no one of course has matched Iran’s level of aid). Indeed the closest corollary to Turkey’s rebel support that comes to mind is that of Assad’s Syria’s support for groups such as Hamas: it’s main role was as a conduit rather than procurer of weaponry, the amount of weaponry that was allowed through was controlled and fluctuated (in accordance with US pressures at any specific time), and it allowed refuge for Hamas operatives and political figures (albeit under close surveillance).

Conclusion: The US does not support anyone who fights ISIS, it supports those who *fit its wider regional policy* which fight ISIS – these include the Iraqi government, Iraqi Shia militias (including incidentally ones who fight across the border in Syria for Assad), the YPG and pro-Assad tribal forces (al-Sanadeed). What this means is that despite the complete absence of this reality in the reporting of the media, the *only* regional forces who are fighting ISIS without US help are Syria’s anti-Assad rebels (“anti-Assad” distinction placed here to seperate the overwhelming totality of rebels who have refused to give up the fight against Assad from the handful of proclaimed “Arab rebels” who signed up to programmes demanding so, such as the 54 etc. of the “Train and Equip” programme or its effective successor, the SDF).

ISIS continues to exist and threaten the Syrian rebellion with the complicity of its long-time facilitators (if not necessarily backers), not only the regime and Russia (which emulated the regime and bombed rebels whilst they were fighting ISIS) but also Turkey and the US. ISIS has served a purpose for everyone it seems (Iran, Turkey, US, Russia and Assad) except the Syrian rebellion – the only discernible positive vis a vis the latter was to unify and moderate rebels.

Stop the War Coalition, Counterpunch, Jacobin and the rest of the ‘War on Terror Left’ are not to blame for the Syrian war – they are to blame for this

A few months ago Stop the War coalition released an article in response to the attacks it had been sustaining from the UK-based Syria Solidarity Movement and community, titled: “Now we know who is responsible for the war in Syria. It’s Stop the War Coalition”. The piece was a complete strawman’s fallacy, attempting to transform the criticism towards them as due to their “opposition to British airstrikes” (which they didn’t all even share, with George Galloway declaring support for current UK airstrikes in Iraq, as well as prospectively in Syria “if coordinated with the Syrian regime” – and Diane Abbot calling the undertaking of airstrikes in Iraq as “legal”, and “right”  if part of a wider strategy) – which the Syrian solidarity movement and Community in the UK shared – rather than because of their continuous demonisation of the Syrian people and the extremely dangerous portrayal of their uprising as a terrorist threat.

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Stop the War Coalition’s very own Counter-insurgency document (not a single Arab signatory it should be noted)

The likes of Stop the War may not be blamed for the Syrian War, however they can be blamed for perceptions of it. They can be blamed for things like this, something I came across earlier today: the highest-rated comments underneath this video (open link in Facebook):

There are literally hundreds of such examples, hundreds of times of that heart-wrenching feeling takes place when you read the Zionist-emulating rhetoric of “kill the terrorists/rebels, wipe them out”. What’s even worse though is that its put in an “alternative” frame, a true wolf in sheep’s clothing (well, as much of a sheep as you can be whilst saying kill). What do Syrians feel when they read things like this, to add insult to all their already existing woes? That heart-wrenching feeling to read coming not only from the “right” but also from the “left”. Who else remains?

And how can these narratives have been allowed to come so far to dominate?

What a truly terrible time we live in.

[Brief thoughts] Some interesting distinctions between the revolutionary dynamics in Syria and Egypt

1238006_603319596384776_283426154_n-1.jpg[Originally posted in December 2015]

Some interesting distinctions between the revolutionary dynamics in Syria and Egypt:

1) Both points have to do about the nature of the violence, which by the sheer difference in scale had such a different effect on both countries. The first point is that it is interesting to note that for all the tensions which do exist between secular activists and the religious camp in Syria, the secularist camp did not break away and continued in their revolutionary activism and work, and continued campaigning and propagation for a revolution that they knew had become more and more religious. There was largely no such boycotting or refusal to work together as there was in Egypt (and it should be noted that if they were so disposed it was probably easier for reactive secularists to break away in Syria, using the precursor of the visual dominance of their movement by political Islam – in a much less homogenously Muslim country no less); more “secular” civil society continued to coordinate with its more religious armed counterpart (that is not to say of course that civil society was unaffected by the increased religiosity of the revolutionary context, to draw such a division would be silly). Of course it should also be noted that Syrian secularists very possibly came under more duress in Syria than they did in Egypt.

However the sheer closeness of their joint plight meant that they inevitably could not break away from one another, for so long as they remained in the country (and committed to the cause) boths was the same struggle for survival. Hence was founded a (even if slightly uncomfortable) single (new) national fabric. In exchange the suffering caused by ISIS on the mainstream religious opposition (after the suffering was inflicted on the secular activists as well of course, entailing the latter’s eventually vindicated warnings to the opposition of them) and the concept of “ghelew” (religious arrogance/excessiveness) which the religious opposition suffered only too well from ISIS, ultimately brought them closer together, made them better recognise each other’s points and ended up putting in greater focus the Syrian nature of the uprising (bringing a sense of national belonging that drew them closer).

Of course when people go through so much together they tend to draw a bond, whereby attacks on one of them from “abroad” are met with resistance. After such a long time with both squabbling parties still being killed by the same side, unity eventually supersedes the ideological squabbles (and the previously “foreignised” secularists earn respect for standing by the side of the identifying Muslims against the world’s machinations). Hence there is a noticeable overlap of solidarity between the two; “Islamist” martyrs are celebrated by secularists and secular activists are recognised by Islamists. Ultimately all work together within the same sphere and the gap between the two narrows.

(All this was in combination with other factors of course, such as the effective absence of the very specific, regimented and often-found-to-be annoying Muslim Brotherhood school of doing things in Syria and its predominance in Egypt. There was really no varied Islamist movement in Egypt beyond the MB (and the pacified Salafis), whilst there is perhaps every school/tendency of Islamist in Syria. Syria’s revolutionary Islamists were undoubtedly a far-cry from the MB school in terms of methods, tactics and style (i.e. practical mechanisms of attaining/negotiating power, which probably had as much onus in their school as the actual religious substance – the means becoming the ends), a reason the reformist and “pragmatic” MB became so sidelined in their movement – all the way from the liberal to the conservative end of the spectrum. Even Islamists who took the “MB school position” on theological and scholarly matters did not follow their practical guidance (and hence did not follow the MB)).

2) The sheer scale of the counter-revolutionary violence the regime unleashed in Syria as opposed to Egypt meant that an entire population (civilians etc) were revolutionised + politicised in a way that did not occur in Egypt (and which was unescapable). Unlike in Egypt where it was quite common to curse the revolution amongst its once supporters (the nature of the violence in Egypt being much more cloaked, i.e. economic violence, to add of course to how well the military played the game there), the sheer physical (yet alone economic) destruction undertaken by the regime in Syria meant that this was not a cloneable phenomenon, as you really had to be too much of a coward/cad to actively say so.

Those in rebel held areas could not really pretend that it was anyone other than the warplanes which flew above their heads everyday dropping bombs that was to blame (I say pretend because even in Egypt the accusation is more emotive than objective, people know that the rebellion is not really to blame) – even if they might have yearned for the time before the revolution, even if some might have hoped the revolution did not happen because of what would come out from the regime’s response (though it would be a mistake to underestimate the general resilience and stubbornness people have in such situations, since dignity is often all that is left – thus it is as likely for people to say that they would not change what happened even if they could go back, since it enabled them not to bestow legitimacy or affection upon a regime revealed to be “capable of this”), very few would actively say that it was to blame. Of course there was also the added element of solidarity with those serving on the frontlines; the flippancy of Egypt could not exist in the more grave Syrian situation, whereby sons and daughers of the community had declared an active defensive war against those causing the destruction, whereas no such war was declared in Egypt.

– On a final note: Whilst the hearts of many good people are irrevocably darkened after what they go through, in others and as informed (and consoled) by Islamic precepts (this will sound to some like “preaching” from the Muslim but it is these values of justice not revenge, mercy and war etiquette elaborated upon in the examples of the Prophet, the Islamic “Sharia” (way of life) and jurisprudence which I incidentally believe is the reason rebels have not done the many, many terrible things that they could’ve done) the hatred does not settle for prolonged periods of time, it might rise and temporarily burn the soul but eventually comes out of it (acceptance of fate, not rebellion against it – the core of “belief”), realising that the true victory lies in getting the necessary justice (qasas) but not in the enemy creating a vengeful replica in themselves (and that is not just a cliche) – this is why I believe Syria’s revolutionary future will not be one of sectarian reprisals but one of tolerance. Most of its fighters are the ordinary Muslim youth who once went out in peaceful protest and I have faith that their cores have not been lost.

On the anniversary of Mubarak’s resignation, a reminder of the things Egypt’s revolutionaries would have been called if he refused to resign

On the anniversary of Mubarak’s resignation, this is a reminder for those today supposedly lamenting the “revolution’s loss” of the sort of things they would be saying if Mubarak didn’t resign and the uprising subsequently became armed (as it turns out unfortunately the only thing seemingly possible against these military regimes) – and when (not if) the West subsequently “supported” the Egyptian opposition that emerged, against this regime it had been forced to distance itself from in this new era of bluff-calling Middle-Eastern democracy (indeed people seem to forget that a. Obama did eventually say that Mubarak had to leave, and he left a day after he made that statement, and b. Obama said that Mubarak had to leave after a month of protests, not the 6 months it took for him to say the same about Assad – indeed people at the time were asking “why is the US still not saying that Assad has to leave” [Link 1, Link 2, Link 3]),  these people today would’ve been saying “the revolution shouldn’t have gotten armed” and/or “the revolution was a conspiracy against Mubarak which the US was already planning since 2005 when it demanded multi-candidate elections (as Mubarak himself stated was the “start” of the conspiracy), because he was not completely obedient to the US and was against the US using the Suez Canal as much as they wanted and refused to send troops to Iraq”:

http://tarpley.net/2011/02/18/mubarak-toppled-by-cia-because-he-opposed-us-plans-for-war-with-iran/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/egypt/8289686/Egypt-protests-Americas-secret-backing-for-rebel-leaders-behind-uprising.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/egypt/10310904/Hosni-Mubarak-says-US-plotted-to-overthrow-him-in-Egypt-from-2005.html

http://www.newsmax.com/KenTimmerman/hosni-mubarak-iran-Mahmoud/2011/01/31/id/384496/

http://www.globalresearch.ca/egypt-u-s-knew-about-911-warning-staged-egyptian-revolution-ex-interior-minister-reveals/5396082

http://www.rense.com/general92/uspl.htm

These are the type of articles that would be shared shared today by the likes of Counterpunch, Jacobin, Stop the War Coalition and the rest of the counter-conformist scabbing left. Remember also that Mohammed Morsi was also decried the newest “US proxy” in the lead-up to the counter-revolutionary coup of 2013 which was met by a deafening silence by the “anti-imperialist” left:

Ultimately these people care nothing about actual solidarity with revolting oppressed peoples but care only about appearing “alternative” to whatever rhetoric (even if bullshit and feigning) their leaders are peddling out at that moment in time. They will peddle crap about “imperialist proxyism” by refugees who have the temerity to ask for anything that stops the (colonially-founded and sourced) bombs which have destroyed their homes, speaking from a high horse about complicity with imperialism” – whilst campaigning for larger public spending at home and claiming benefits from the same “imperialist state”:

Meanwhile the revolutionaries dying, faulted for not being the agency-less victims their Western compatriots could then posture with, would be called:
“Terrorist”
“Western-funded”
“Jihadi”
“Islamist Extremists”
“Destabilising Proxies”
“Mercenaries”

The revolutions continue and glory to the martyrs, and shame to all those who betrayed them.

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John Kerry blames the Syrian rebellion for Assad’s airstrikes

2 months ago John Kerry came out with his ‘admissions’ of long established on the ground US policy in Syria, a gluttony of statements clarifying the 4-year long so-called “muddled” US position (I never believed it has been) sending a signal that the US was essentially declaring “fun’s over, time to wrap up”. Saying that the regime was not the target of “regime-change” (this reality was well-known of course long before Kerry’s statements for those who were not Assad apologists and who closely followed the Syrian conflict, as US actions on the ground spoke for themselves), rebels should fight alongside the fascist colonial Syrian Army against ISIS, declaring that all sides had “bad guys” and there were “good guys” on the Syrian regime’s side as well, and ‘coincidentally’ “revealing for the first time” that he had obtained a signature from (the dove) Assad in 2010 promising normalisation of ties with Israel before all the trouble broke out.

In a recent Syria donors conference held in London, Kerry continued to reveal his true colours:

“US Secretary of State John Kerry told Syrian aid workers, hours after the Geneva peace talks fell apart, that the country should expect another three months of bombing that would “decimate” the opposition.

During a conversation on the sidelines of this week’s Syria donor conference in London, sources say Kerry blamed the Syrian opposition for leaving the talks and paving the way for a joint offensive by the Syrian government and Russia on Aleppo.

“‘He said, ‘Don’t blame me – go and blame your opposition,’” one of the aid workers, who asked to remain anonymous to protect her organisation, told Middle East Eye.

 

The report goes on to state

“A third MEE source who claims to have served as a liaison between the Syrian and American governments over the past six months said Kerry had passed the message on to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in October that the US did not want him to be removed.

Instead, the source claims, Kerry insisted that Assad should stop using barrel bombs, which terrify civilian populations.

The source claimed that Kerry said if Assad stopped the barrel bombs, Kerry could “sell the story” to the public, the source said.”

[Note: the report went on to make mention of the well-known US “Train and Equip” programme /Division 30 “fiasco”. So much has been written on this and yet such a simple fact is so shockingly absent from all reporting about the programme, including by outlets you’d expect better from like Al-Jazeera: the programme stipulated that recruits sign a declaration not to fight Assad and only to fight ISIS – which was why so few recruits joined it, not because of the ridiculous, orientalist and frankly racist notion that all Syrians who don’t represent Assad’s core fighting minorities are “Islamic extremists” (though Tony Blair is the latest to add his voice to the chorus of those who’d have you think so, in a study perhaps as arbitrary and ridiculous (if not more) than his WMD dossier – in which he notably echoed George Galloway in calling the Assad regime a “castle” standing out against dangerous Jihadis, in more and more evidence of the Red-Brown (Left-Right) Western Assadist agreement on Syria – Blair should probably apply for membership of Stop the War Coalition now)]

 

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[From Right to left: “Political control for Russia – The Golan for Israel – The chemicals for America (though apparently there is evidence that the US did not remove all of Assad’s stockpile: in December Sarin was used for the first time since 2013 a week after John Kerry’s statements, and the Obama administration has reportedly blocked FOI requests into the subject) – Military control for Iran – We are a sovereign nationalist country!!”]

 

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[Caricature playing on the marching slogan of Shia miltias -banner reads “O Hussain”, whilst Barack “Hussein” Obama flies overhead stating: “Labaik! [At your service – Arabic phrase responding to an invocation] With you is Hussein Obama from the Family of the White House!?”  (play on Ahl-ul Bayt – Family of the Prophet’s House). Arrow points towards Fallujah]

 

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[US policy in one very painful to read meme]