If You Only Read the Mainstream Press
Daniel McAdams, Information Clearing House, 22 July 2012
1) The current events are not some new phenomenon, are not directly tied to the phony "Arab Spring" democratization movement (Saudi Arabia promoting democracy? Are you joking?). In fact this is a flare up of longstanding attempts to overthrow the Syrian government dating back at least to the 1970s. The rebels' modus operandi -- using civilians as human shields, bombing civilian areas, mutilating bodies, cutting arms and legs off of their war prisoners -- is nothing new. What is new is the intensity of US/UK/GCC aid to the rebels which is allowing them to flex their violent instincts more effectively.
2) The Muslim Brotherhood presented as radical Islam's rush to fill the void left by the fall of dictators is likewise a load of propaganda. As Seymour Hersh wrote back in 2007, the Muslim Brotherhood is far from a radical Islamic threat to the US and Israel -- they have been on the payroll of the US and Israel for years!
As Hersh wrote back then:
"A former high-ranking C.I.A. officer told me, 'The Americans have provided both political and financial support (to the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood). The Saudis are taking the lead with financial support, but there is American involvement.'”
Now we have an excellent article by Robert Dreyfuss, a well-known and respected contributing editor for The Nation, explaining in detail the above two points -- the two things that you will not know if you only follow Syria in the mainstream (or even some alternative) media outlets.
"No one outside Syria knows who the rebels are. The outside groups, such as the Syrian National Council and other self-styled spokesmen, have unclear ties to the forces on the ground. The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood is a major player, both inside and out. And the Muslim Brotherhood has been battling Assad at least since the 1970s, when it carried out a series of assassinations and bombings against the government of Hafez Assad, Bashar Assad's late father. Many quick-study Syria experts point to the brutal put-down of the Brotherhood-led rebellion in Hama in 1982. But the Muslim Brotherhood's war against Assad had long been raging even before that, including a horrific incident in June 1979, when the Muslim Brotherhood gang attacked a military school in Aleppo, Syria, and butchered eighty-three cadets, In November 1981, a massive car bomb linked to Islamist rebels killed 200 people in Damascus. During this period, the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria had covert support from Israel and from Israel's agents in Lebanon, including the infamous Major Saad Haddad, a Lebanese military officer recruited as an Israeli pawn in south Lebanon."
To understand the present, it is wise to look to the recent past. Things are not always what they seem. Look for ties, who pays the bills, who pulls the strings. Therein is a clue to the real agenda.
Planning for Post-Assad Syria Has Roots in 2008 "Democracy Promotion" Conference
Maidhc Ó Cathail, Information Clearing House, 22 July2012
The latest exclusive by Foreign Policy’s Josh Rogin is entitled “Inside the quiet effort to plan for a post-Assad Syria.” Two days ago, reliable conduit for all the latest “democracy promotion” news blogged on The Cable:
For the last six months, 40 senior representatives of various Syrian opposition groups have been meeting quietly in Germany under the tutelage of the U.S. Institute for Peace (USIP) to plan for how to set up a post-Assad Syrian government.
The project, which has not directly involved U.S. government officials but was partially funded by the State Department, is gaining increased relevance this month as the violence in Syria spirals out of control and hopes for a peaceful transition of power fade away. The leader of the project, USIP’s Steven Heydemann, an academic expert on Syria, has briefed administration officials on the plan, as well as foreign officials, including on the sidelines of the Friends of Syria meeting in Istanbul last month.
The project is called “The day after: Supporting a democratic transition in Syria.” Heydemann spoke about the project in depth for the first time in an interview with The Cable. He described USIP’s efforts as “working in a support role with a large group of opposition groups to define a transition process for a post-Assad Syria.”
Explaining the lack of direct government involvement, the USIP project leader —whose efforts to undermine Arab authoritarianism date at least from his previous employment at the pro-Israel Saban Center for Middle East Policy — told Rogin:
The absence of Obama administration officials at these meetings, even as observers, was deliberate.
“This is a situation where too visible a U.S. role would have been deeply counterproductive. It would have given the Assad regime and elements of the opposition an excuse to delegitimize the process,” Heydemann said.
The calculated decision to obscure Washington’s involvement in the regime change project is interesting in light of a report of a conference held at Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) in May 2008. Entitled “Reorganizing U.S. Government Democracy Promotion Efforts,”(.PDF) the report states:
The more democracy promotion is tied to the U.S. government, the more we are tying our own hands. We now have many U.S. government entities handling NGOs and it is increasingly becoming a more state centered democracy promotion scheme. It is important to create distance between U.S. foreign policy and democratic transitions in foreign countries because it does not look right to have the U.S. government telling civil society groups in foreign countries to rebel against or question their own governments. (emphasis added)
Among the 31 “leading scholars and policymakers” brought together “to consider what could be done to improve the United States government’s efforts to promote democracy abroad” (i.e., thinking up better ways to get foreigners to rebel against their governments), Heydemann’s USIP was represented by J. Alexander Thier.
Those who believe that Tel Aviv would be adverse to Washington’s democracy promotion efforts in the Middle East might be surprised to learn that those with a passionate attachment to the self-defined Jewish state were very well represented at the CDDRL conference, including, most notably, National Endowment for Democracy President Carl Gershman , who formerly worked in the “research department” of the Anti-Defamation League; National Democratic Institute for International Affairs President Ken Wollack , who from 1973 to 1980 served as legislative director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC); and J. Scott Carpenter, a fellow at the AIPAC-created Washington Institute for Near East Policy and director of its Project Fikra, which describes itself as an “online community that aims to generate ideas to support Arab democrats in their struggle with authoritarians and extremists.”
However, despite the substantial presence of Israel partisans in such revolutionary circles, Tel Aviv has been far more successful than Washington in creating distance between itself and its destabilization agenda for the region, obscured as it is behind the façade of American democracy promotion.