I have a much better understanding of what’s going on in the Middle East, and wider region of the ME, thanks to Stephen Gowans. He is the author of “Washington’s Long War On Syria.” (There’s some quibbles I have with the book, which compares policing in the US with the policing in terrible places like Saudi Arabia and Egypt and concludes that the US is not a police state – until it needs to be. And, like other well-meaning journos reporting on Syria, he makes Assad out to be a saint, which can backfire. Also, As often as I ask Stephen and others about Maher Arar, I am met with only crickets. But his book is by no means a poor guide. ) Now, when I read other authors’ and journos’ accounts, I can pretty much know right away whether I’m reading bullcrap or honest reporting. And so, as I read the first part of Sarah Abed and Mark Talianos’ two-part report, I realize that they are the real deal. (I’ve read Mark before and found him to be a straight shooter.)
Again, Here’s genuinely independent journalists who others, like Paul Jay (The Real News Network) are ignoring, at the expense of truth, while they give far, far too much air time to deep state-connected journos like Max Blumenthal, Seymour Hersh and Col. Lawrence Wilkerson. (I don’t think Paul has tapped Hersh that often, Still… Ironically, When I quote Hersh on JFK, I’m ignored or attacked!) Now, If progressive news sites feel that they have to do that, And what can we do about it other than NOT donate to them?, then at least we can examine the content of the reportage of their deep state-conneced guests. (Hersh’s reporting, for example, stands up pretty good, although he’s pathetic – but not the worst – on White Helmets propaganda.) Which requires us to be extra vigilant, which the genuinely independent, honest journos can help us with. And when they – the progressive, not so independent, news sites – start going funny, we will be informed enough that we can point that out, something of benefit to those who we talk to in person and via blogging.
For example, blogger Barbara McKenzie clues us into Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton’s fail, in regard to Syria. (They are ‘now’ saying mostly, but not entirely, true things about Syria, but only because enough of us know enough that if they didn’t, then their cover would be quite blown. And George Soros and his deep state friends wouldn’t want that. Leftwing assets are one of the Right’s most effective weapons in its war on light and God, along with television and corporate-owned media [on tv, radio and in print]). Then there are the out and out, and dangerous, fakers (like Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton, whose organization is George Soros-funded), like Glenn Greenwald et al (Pierre Omidyar-funded), like Canadian Dimension magazine (publishing Jeffrey Sachs’s articles and doing White Helmets propaganda) and Rabble.ca (which carries Rwandan Genocide propagandist Gerald Caplan’s articles). There are some progressive sites that are really far gone, like Democracy Now (White Helmets propaganda), Mother Jones (who disappeared all of my Brexit comments) and Common Dreams. One; You look at their funders. Are they Ford Foundation or Rockefeller Foundation funded?, or Open Society (George Soros) funded?, or Lannan Foundation (attacking John Pilger) funded? or TIDES funded? John Stauber gives us a good overview of this problem in his CounterPunch article titled “The Progressive Movement Is A PR Front For Rich Democrats.” (As far as I can tell, the organization that John co-founded with Lisa Graves, namely the Center for Media and Democracy [CMD], is attempting to disappear him. I’ve emailed them many times about that and have never received a reply. Checking on who founded the Center for Media and Democracy, Lisa is mentioned but not John! “CMD was founded in 1993 in Madison, Wisconsin, and since mid-2009 it has been led by Lisa Graves, former Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice and Chief Counsel for Nominations for the Chair of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.”) Two; You interrogate the content. Common Dreams vacuums up everyone, Right (Jeffrey Sachs, Graham Fuller) and Left. They banned me when they got tired of my pointing it out.
An excerpt from the top of post linked-to article by Mark Taliano and Sarah Abed follows. In this first part, Sarah, who is American-Syrian, interviews a Syrian, living in Syria, named Samir:
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Question: How does the rest of the population feel about Kurdish aspirations for independence from Syria?
Answer: Syrians are not entirely surprised by these recent demands by the Kurds for autonomy. They are however upset by it. Syrians feel that the Kurds were allowed to come in and have lived in Syria for centuries and were treated fairly therefore the need to now take a part of the country and claim it as their own federation is quite frankly an insult to the hospitality they were shown. They feel as though the Kurds are being unappreciative and are only looking out for their own interest and not taking into account the Syrians that live in the area. Kurds are the minority yet their demands for autonomy and to take over the areas that they have alleged are now their property is very unfair to Syrians in the area. Kurds moved into Syria and called it home, but now they are acting like the Syrians in their areas are living in their federation and need to abide by their rules and share their views and follow their commands or else they will be driven out of their homes. This is a very harsh and criminal way to treat others. Lest we forget that Kurds are ultimately nomads and their alliance lies with Israel.
Question: Do all Kurds in the area want independence from Syria?
Answer: In the beginning of the war the Kurds fought alongside the Syrian army, they were paid, armed, and trained by the SAA. When the USA came in and basically created the SDF Syrian Democratic Forces that’s when the Kurds became more adamant about wanting independence and autonomy. This is a very important point that needs to be made clear, The USA’s involvement in Syria led to the Kurds demanding autonomy. Had the US military not given them weapons, training, armed vehicles, and most likely paid them wages as well there is a good chance that the Kurds would not have made these demands. Not all Kurds want independence but those who speak up against it are silenced and told to not say anything or else they will be sent out of the country. They have received threats that saying anything negative about the Kurdish desires for autonomy will have negative consequences.
Question: Why do they want independence? Did Assad government not treat them well? Did the U.S government promise support and democracy and other lies?
Answer: They have always wanted to establish Kurdistan, that has been a life- long desire of theirs stemming from centuries ago. They are originally nomads that moved into countries such as Syria, Iraq, Turkey but their origins are in Iran. It was brought up from time to time but recently it has been discussed more openly and adamantly. It has now become a demand and one they will stop at nothing to achieve. This is quite problematic and many people in the region are waiting to see how this will unfold. It is surely a battle, the end results are unknown. The Kurds were treated well and did not have any issues with the Syrian Government. They had equal rights, free education, free healthcare like the rest of the Syrians. Many do not have a passport which makes traveling legally an issue but it doesn’t seem to be a big concern for them.
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Here are the two online responses I offered to the above interview by Sarah Abed:
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By presenting themselves as democrats and fighters for justice and human rights, the Benefactors (Jesus’s description of those he said we are not to imitate) in power who lie, murder and plunder condemn themselves. They know what they are and they know they are evil. By selling those ‘leaders’ to us as democrats etc, journos, historians, campaign managers condemn themselves for the same reason.
As I’ve pointed out elsewhere, and once it became crystal clear to me (thanks to Stephen Gowans’s recent, indispensable book on Syria), the Kurds are following very much in the footsteps of Nazi Israel. The fascist Israelis (and not all Israelis are fascist, but most are) were put through hell by Germany, and that did absolutely nothing to make them better people who would never do that to others. The Kurds were put through hell by Turkey and have now made a deal with the US, who needed non terrorist forces (for credibility purposes) to help with the destruction of Syria in return for lebensraum, showing that they’ve learned absolutely nothing positive from their treatment at Turkey’s hands. They jumped at the chance to have the promised lebensraum for their service to the world’s biggest terrorist state, turning themselves into terrorists, ironically. Assad should get very tough with the Kurds (and will have to get tough with Kurds who are innocent as well – for now – as he won’t know who is who), kicking them out of Syria and killing those who resist with force. I know that he is reluctant to do that. Score one for lawless, vicious uncle Sam, for the minute Assad acts to protect the national security of Syria, the entire Western corporate owned press will howl that it’s forces need to do humanitarian intervention.
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From Stephen Gowan’s article (on his blog) titled “The Myth Of The Kurdish YPG’s Moral Excellence,” the following:
US planners decided to eliminate Asia’s Arab nationalists by invading their countries…, which, like Syria, was led by the Ba’ath Arab Socialists… However, the Pentagon soon discovered that its resources were strained by resistance to its occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, and that an invasion of Syria was out of the question. As an alternative, Washington immediately initiated a campaign of economic warfare against Syria. That campaign, still in effect 14 years later, would eventually buckle the economy and prevent Damascus from providing education, health care and other essential services in some parts of the country… Beginning in 2006, Washington worked with Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood to rekindle the Brother’s jihad against Assad’s secular government. The Brothers had two meetings at the White House, and met frequently with the State Department and National Security Council.
The outbreak of Islamist violence in March of 2011 was greeted by the PKK as an opportunity. As The Wall Street Journal’s Yaroslav Trofimov recounts, “The PKK, once an ally of… Damascus… had long been present among Kurdish communities in northern Syria. When the revolutionary tide reached Syria, the group’s Syrian affiliate quickly seized control of three Kurdish-majority regions along the Turkish frontier… The “Syrian Kurds,” wrote [Yaroslav] Trofimov’s colleagues, Joe Parkinson and Ayla Albayrak, viewed “the civil war as an opportunity to carve out a self-governing enclave – similar to the one established by their ethnic kin in neighboring Iraq.” That enclave, long backed by the United States and Israel, was seen as a means of weakening the Iraqi state.
Damascus facilitated the PKK take-over by withdrawing its troops from Kurdish-dominated areas. The Middle East specialist Patrick Seale, who wrote that the Kurds had “seized the opportunity” of the chaos engendered by the Islamist uprising “to boost their own political agenda” speculated that the Syrian government’s aims in pulling back from Kurd-majority areas was to redirect “troops for the defence of Damascus and Aleppo;” punish Turkey for its support of Islamist insurgents; and “to conciliate the Kurds, so as to dissuade them from joining the rebels.” The PKK, as it turns out, didn’t join the Islamist insurgents, as Damascus hoped. But they did join a more significant part of the opposition to Arab nationalist Syria: the puppet master itself, the United States.
By 2014, the PKK had “declared three self-rule administrations, or cantons as they call them, in northern Syria: Afreen, in the northwest, near the city of Aleppo; Kobani; and Jazeera in the northeast, which encompasses Ras al-Ain and the city of Qamishli. Their goal [was] to connect all three.” This would mean controlling the intervening spaces occupied by Arabs…
At this point, the PKK decided that its political goals might best be served by striking a deal with Washington.
The State Department had “allowed for the possibility of a form of decentralization in which different groups” — the Kurds, the secular government, and the Islamist insurgents — each received some autonomy within Syria. Notice the implicit assumption in this view that it is within Washington’s purview to grant autonomy within Syria, while the question of whether the country ought to decentralize, properly within the democratic ambit of Syrians themselves, is denied to the people who live and work in Syria. If we are to take seriously Ocalan’s [Murray] Bookchin-inspired ideas about investing decision-making authority in the people, this anti-democratic abomination can hardly be tolerated.”…
The PKK “pressed U.S. officials” to act on the scheme, pledging to act as a ground force against ISIS in return. The group said it was “eager to join the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State in return for recognition and support from Washington and its allies for the Kurdish-dominated self-rule administrations they [had] established in northern Syria.”
The only people pleased with this plan were the PKK, the Israelis and the Americans.
However, There also arose a heated dispute among them over which one of them was considered to be the greatest. But he said to them: “The kings of the nations lord it over them, and those having authority over them are called Benefactors. You, though, are not to be that way.” – Jesus Christ, as recorded at Luke 22:24-26