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Will HA get dragged in the war on Iran?

Abou Sandal

Legendary Member
Orange Room Supporter
The war on Iran



"War with Iran is already here,” wrote a leading Israeli commentator recently, describing “the combination of covert warfare and international pressure” being applied to Iran.

Although not mentioned, the “strategic prize” of the first stage of this war on Iran is Syria; the first campaign in a much wider sectarian power-bid. “Other than the collapse of the Islamic Republic itself,” Saudi King Abdullah was reported to have said last summer, “nothing would weaken Iran more than losing Syria.”



The plan


The NeoCon Propaganda Machine Pushing “Regime Change” in Syria

WEEKEND EDITION JANUARY 6-8, 2012

A Torrent of Disinformation
by AISLING BYRNE


“War with Iran is already here,” wrote a leading Israeli commentator recently, describing “the combination of covert warfare and international pressure” being applied to Iran.

Although not mentioned, the “strategic prize” of the first stage of this war on Iran is Syria; the first campaign in a much wider sectarian power-bid. “Other than the collapse of the Islamic Republic itself,” Saudi King Abdullah was reported to have said last summer, “nothing would weaken Iran more than losing Syria.”

By December, senior United States officials were explicit about their regime change agenda for Syria: Tom Donilon, the US National Security Adviser, explained that the “end of the [President Bashar al-] Assad regime would constitute Iran’s greatest setback in the region yet – a strategic blow that will further shift the balance of power in the region against Iran.”

Shortly before, a key official in terms of operationalizing this policy, Under Secretary of State for the Near East Jeffrey Feltman, had stated at a congressional hearing that the US would “relentlessly pursue our two-track strategy of supporting the opposition and diplomatically and financially strangling the [Syrian] regime until that outcome is achieved”.

What we are seeing in Syria is a deliberate and calculated campaign to bring down the Assad government so as to replace it with a regime “more compatible” with US interests in the region.


The blueprint for this project is essentially a report produced by the neo-conservative Brookings Institute for regime change in Iran in 2009. The report – “Which Path to Persia?” - continues to be the generic strategic approach for US-led regime change in the region.

A rereading of it, together with the more recent “Towards a Post-Assad Syria” (which adopts the same language and perspective, but focuses on Syria, and was recently produced by two US neo-conservative think-tanks) illustrates how developments in Syria have been shaped according to the step-by-step approach detailed in the “Paths to Persia” report with the same key objective: regime change.

The authors of these reports include, among others, John Hannah and Martin Indyk, both former senior neo-conservative officials from the George W Bush/**** Cheney administration, and both advocates for regime change in Syria. Not for the first time are we seeing a close alliance between US/British neo-cons with Islamists (including, reports show, some with links to al-Qaeda) working together to bring about regime change in an “enemy” state.

Arguably, the most important component in this struggle for the “strategic prize” has been the deliberate construction of a largely false narrative that pits unarmed democracy demonstrators being killed in their hundreds and thousands as they protest peacefully against an oppressive, violent regime, a “killing machine” led by the “monster” Assad.

Whereas in Libya, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) claimed it had “no confirmed reports of civilian casualties” because, as the New York Times wrote recently, “the alliance had created its own definition for ‘confirmed’: only a death that NATO itself investigated and corroborated could be called confirmed”.


“But because the alliance declined to investigate allegations,” the Times wrote, “its casualty tally by definition could not budge – from zero”.

In Syria, we see the exact opposite: the majority of Western mainstream media outlets, along with the media of the US’s allies in the region, particularly al-Jazeera and the Saudi-owned al-Arabiya TV channels, are effectively collaborating with the “regime change” narrative and agenda with a near-complete lack of questioning or investigation of statistics and information put out by organizations and media outlets that are either funded or owned by the US/European/Gulf alliance – the very same countries instigating the regime change project in the first place.

Claims of “massacres”, “campaigns of rape targeting women and girls in predominantly Sunni towns” ”torture” and even “child-rape” are reported by the international press based largely on two sources – the British-based Syrian Observatory of Human Rights and the Local Co-ordination Committees (LCCs) – with minimal additional checking or verification.

Hiding behind the rubric – “we are not able to verify these statistics” – the lack of integrity in reporting by the Western mainstream media has been starkly apparent since the onset of events in Syria. A decade after the Iraq war, it would seem that no lessons from 2003 – from the demonization of Saddam Hussein and his purported weapons of mass destruction – have been learnt.

Of the three main sources for all data on numbers of protesters killed and numbers of people attending demonstrations – the pillars of the narrative – all are part of the “regime change” alliance.


The Syrian Observatory of Human Rights, in particular, is reportedly funded through a Dubai-based fund with pooled (and therefore deniable) Western-Gulf money (Saudi Arabia alone has, according to Elliot Abrams allocated US$130 billion to “palliate the masses” of the Arab Spring).

What appears to be a nondescript British-based organization, the Observatory has been pivotal in sustaining the claims of the mass killing of thousands of peaceful protesters using inflated figures, “facts”, and often exaggerated claims of “massacres” and even recently “genocide”.

Although it claims to be based in its director’s house, the Observatory has been described as the “front office” of a large media propaganda set-up run by the Syrian opposition and its backers. The Russian Foreign Ministry stated starkly:

The agenda of the [Syrian] transitional council [is] composed in London by the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights … It is also there where pictures of ‘horror’ in Syria are made to stir up hatred towards Assad’s regime.

The Observatory is not legally registered either as a company or charity in the United Kingdom, but operates informally; it has no office, no staff and its director is reportedly awash with funding.

It receives its information, it says, from a network of “activists” inside Syria; its English-language website is a single page with al-Jazeera instead hosting a minute-by-minute live blog page for it since the outset of protests.


The second, the LCCs, are a more overt part of the opposition’s media infrastructure, and their figures and reporting is similarly encompassed only [16] within the context of this main narrative: in an analysis of their daily reports, I couldn’t find a single reference to any armed insurgents being killed: reported deaths are of “martyrs”, “defector soldiers”, people killed in “peaceful demonstrations” and similar descriptions.

The third is al-Jazeera, whose biased role in “reporting” the Awakenings has been well documented. Described by one seasoned media analyst as the “sophisticated mouthpiece of the state of Qatar and its ambitious emir”, al-Jazeera is integral to Qatar’s “foreign-policy aspirations”.

Al-Jazeera has, and continues, to provide technical support, equipment, hosting and “credibility” to Syrian opposition activists and organizations. Reports show that as early as March 2011, al-Jazeera was providing messaging and technical support to exiled Syrian opposition activists , who even by January 2010 were co-ordinating their messaging activities from Doha.

Nearly 10 months on, however, and despite the daily international media onslaught, the project isn’t exactly going to plan: a YouGov poll commissioned by the Qatar Foundation showed last week that 55 per cent of Syrians do not want Assad to resign and 68 per cent of Syrians disapprove of the Arab League sanctions imposed on their country.

According to the poll, Assad’s support has effectively increased since the onset of current events – 46 per cent of Syrians felt Assad was a “good” president for Syria prior to current events in the country – something that certainly doesn’t fit with the false narrative being peddled.


Read more in here....

CPR for the Antiwar Movement Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names




Covering Syria: The Information War

By Aisling Byrne


July 14, 2012 "Information Clearing House" -- The narrative that has been constructed by the Western mainstream media on Syria may seem to be self-evident from the scenes presented on television, but it is a narrative duplicitously promoted and coordinated so as to conceal and facilitate the regime-change project that is part of the war on Iran.

What we are seeing is a new stage of information war intentionally constructed and cast as a simplistic narrative of a struggle for human rights and democracy so as deliberately to exclude other interpretations and any geo-strategic motivation.

The narrative, as CNN puts it, is in essence this: "The vast majority of reports from the ground indicate that government forces are killing citizens in an attempt to wipe out civilians seeking [President Bashar] al-Assad's ouster" - the aim being precisely to elicit a heart-wrenching emotional response in Western audiences that trumps all other considerations and makes the call for Western/Gulf intervention to effect regime change.

But it is a narrative based on distortion, manipulation, lies and videotape.

In the first months, the narrative was of unarmed protesters being shot by Syrian forces. This then evolved into one of armed insurgents reluctantly "being provoked into taking up arms", as US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton explained, to defend peaceful protesters.

It was also a narrative that from the outset, according to a recent report in Time magazine, that the US has facilitated by providing training, support and equipment to Syrian opposition "cyber-warriors".

Reports confirmed by leading Syrian opposition leaders in April 2011 reveal that in addition to cyber-training, weapons and money from Syrian exiles, as well as from a "major Arab Gulf country" and a Lebanese political party, were being distributed to "young demonstrators". The former head of Russian intelligence, Yevgeny Primakov, similarly noted that the Syrian conflict "started with armed revolts against the authorities, not peaceful demonstrations".

Ironically, one of the most accurate descriptions of the sectarian conflict we are witnessing in Syria comes from an assessment by the neoconservative Brookings Institute in its March 2012 report "Assessing Options for Regime Change in Syria", one option being for "the United States [to] fight a "clean" war ... and leave the dirty work on the ground to the FSA [Free Syrian Army], perhaps even obviating a massive commitment to Iraq-style nation-building".


"Let the Arabs do it," echoed Israeli President Shimon Peres. "Do it yourself and the UN will support you." This point was not lost on one leading Turkish commentator, who noted that US Senator John McCain "said that there would be no American boots on the ground in Syria. That means we Turks will have to spill our precious blood to get what McCain and others want in the States."

In the wake of the failures at state-building in Afghanistan and Iraq, direct intervention, with all the responsibilities this would entail, would not go down well in cash-strapped Western nations. Better to get others to do the "dirty work" - pursue "regime change by civil war".

"The United States, Europe and the Gulf states ... are starving the regime in Damascus and feeding the opposition. They have sanctioned Syria ... and are busy shoveling money and helping arms supplied by the Gulf get to the rebels," Joshua Landis, director of the Center of Middle Eastern Studies, wrote in Foreign Policy in June.

With regional allies prepared to do the "dirty work" of providing increasingly sophisticated weapons clearly geared for purposes other than "self-defense", and the FSA and its jihadist allies doing the "dirty work" within Syria (their salaries paid by Saudi Arabia), the US and European nations can proffer their clean hands by limiting support to communications equipment, intelligence and humanitarian aid, and of course to providing the moral posturing required to topple the Syrian system and implant a regime hostile to Iran and friendly to Israel. Having "clean hands" enables the US, France and Britain to pose as abiding by UN standards, while at the same time flouting the UN Charter by promoting an attack on a member state.

Time magazine reported last month that the administration of US President Barack Obama "has tiptoed across an invisible line. [It] said it will not actively support the Syrian opposition in its bid to oust Assad ... [but] as US officials have revealed, the administration has been providing media-technology training and support to Syrian dissidents by way of small non-profits like the Institute for War & Peace Reporting and Freedom House.

"Viral videos of alleged atrocities," noted Time, "have made Assad one of the most reviled men on the planet, helping turn the Arab League against him and embarrassing his few remaining allies almost daily."

It is a position that reeks of hypocrisy: as US columnist Barbara Slavin notes, "Without a UN Security Council mandate, the prospects for US military intervention in Syria are minimal ... the provision of communications gear frees up others to provide weapons."


A US official quoted by Associated Press was more frank: Washington's equipment and medical supplies to the opposition "can now be easily augmented with weapons from other donors. Smuggling lines are smuggling lines. We use the same donkeys," he said, pointing out that routes are in essence the same for bandages as they are for bullets.

And while various Western governments are helping "document crimes" committed by Syrian forces, these same governments have refused to investigate their own killings of civilians in attacks by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Libya. NATO "created its own definition for 'confirmed' deaths: only a death that NATO itself investigated and corroborated could be called confirmed", enabling the alliance to conclude: "We have no confirmed reports of civilian casualties."

Britain was the only country involved in the bombings to conduct its own inquiry. Its report accepted "that coalition forces did their best to prevent and minimize civilian casualties ... We commend them for this approach."

For every tragic story like journalist Marie Colvin's final dispatch before she was killed while embedded for British media with the FSA ("In Babr Amr. Sickening. Cannot understand how the world can stand by. Watched a baby die today. Shrapnel: doctors could do nothing. His little tummy just heaved and heaved until he stopped. Feeling Helpless"), there are other similar tragedies, committed by the insurgents, that are rarely reported in the mainstream Western press.

You won't read in the mainstream press of foreign jihadists increasingly pouring into Syria to fight their holy war; you won't read that some ultraconservative Salafi sheikhs in Saudi Arabia are running their own military network inside Syria; you won't read how Assad's support during the 14-month crisis has if anything increased in light of the insecurity gripping the country; you won't read comments like those of the Lebanese Christian Maronite patriarch who said that while "Syria, like other countries, needs reforms which the people are demanding ... the closest thing to democracy [in the Arab world] is Syria".

You won't read how the head of the opposition in Turkey, a former ambassador to Washington, Faruk Logoglu, has said that what Turkey is doing hosting armed FSA fighters and allowing them to carry out attacks in Syria is "is against all international norms; against all neighborly relations ... It is a basic rule that countries must respect the sovereignty of others."

You won't read how armed insurgents used the Arab League observer mission's ceasefire to "reinforce themselves and bring supplies from Lebanon, knowing the regime would be limited in its ability to obstruct them at that time", or how they have used the Kofi Annan plan to prepare for larger attacks.


While we have seen extensive demonization of Assad, his wife and family, with the president depicted recently in the British press bathing in blood, you won't read articles demonizing the Saudi or Qatari regimes, or highlighting the hundreds of millions of dollars they have poured into political parties and groups, particularly Salafists, across the region in their "counter-revolution" against change; or the recent declaration by the official Saudi Mufti for all churches in the Arabian Peninsula to be demolished (which was not covered by a single Western mainstream news outlet); or as a senior Sunni political figure told me recently, the more than 23,000 detainees in Saudi prisons, a majority of whom (a recent report notes 90%) have degrees (to be fair, Chatham House did comment on this in a recent report that this "is indicative of the prevalence of a university education").

You won't read how Saudi Arabia and Qatar have bullied satellite hosting channels in the region to stop broadcasting "pro-regime" public and private Syrian television channels; or that the Syrian opposition has set up 10 satellite channels, all with an Islamist orientation and which take a strong sectarian line - calling on the FSA to "kill Iran's mice" and "the rats of the Lebanese devil's party" (Hezbollah); or how Russia has been attempting to facilitate a political process of reconciliation with the internal opposition since the onset of the crisis.

There is clear duplicity in the deliberate unwillingness of the Western mainstream media to acknowledge the nature of those who are the West's allies in the regime-change project - particularly Saudi Arabia and Qatar - and the danger they pose in the region through their arming and firing up of jihadist Salafist groups in Syria and across the region. Rare are articles in the mainstream Western press that highlight this hypocrisy.

A critical piece in the British press by Peter Oborne, The Daily Telegraph's chief political correspondent, was an exception: "Washington never ceases to complain about the connection between the Pakistani intelligence services and the Taliban. But we never hear a whisper of concern about the connection between Saudi intelligence and Salafi movements across the Middle East, of which al-Qaeda is the best-known offshoot."

The essential components of what we do see daily in the Western press have changed little during the conflict: in effect, all violence and terror are apportioned to one side only - the Syrian government and its purported "ghostly shadowy" shabiha forces.

Any violence committed by the "peaceful protesters" and the Free Syrian Army is purely for defensive purposes - all of which comes straight out of the color-revolution/regime-change text book; daily figures for those killed are based almost exclusively on "reports by activists and YouTube footage" (unverifiable, it is claimed, because the Syrian government does not allow free movement of journalists) and are described simply as "people" - dead insurgents do not appear; Al-Qaeda-type jihadist groups are played down (reports in leading media outlets like The Guardian continue to question whether they exist at all); and any weapons or equipment supplied to the "opposition" is, according to Saudi leaders, to help Syrians "defend themselves".


Embedding journalists on their side is an asset that the FSA, activists and their Western and regional partners have clearly learned from the experience of the US Army in the wake of its attacks on Fallujah in 2004. A US Army intelligence analysis leaked by WikiLeaks revealed that "in the military's opinion, the Western press are part of the US's propaganda operation. This process was facilitated by the embedding of Western reporters in US military units". In their second attack on Fallujah in November 2004, the US Army "got many reporters ... to embed with US troops, so that they could act, as the intelligence report calls for, as the propaganda arm of US forces".

The fundamental pillar of this Western narrative relies almost exclusively on claims and "evidence" provided by "activists" and opposition-affiliated groups, particularly the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Are we seriously to believe that this outfit, reportedly run from Coventry by a man who, according to Reuters, part-time runs a clothes shop with his wife, then "sits with a laptop and phones and pieces together accounts of conflict and rights abuses before uploading news to the Internet", is the primary source of daily casualty statistics on the 14-month Syrian conflict - the key geo-strategic conflict of the time?

It is clearly the front office of a large-scale (dis)information project - when Russian diplomats asked to meet with the organization, they were refused. Senior political figures in the region have told me, as other reports indicate, that the Observatory is in fact funded from a Dubai-based slush fund and is a key component of the regime-change project.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov noted that it was in the opposition's interest "to provoke a humanitarian catastrophe, to get a pretext to demand external interference", so it is not surprising that analysis of the Observatory's figures, including claims of "massacres", consistently show a significant inflation in numbers of casualties, sometimes wildly so.

As Al-Jazeera journalist Nir Rosen, who spent some months embedded with the Free Syria Army, explained: "Every day the opposition gives a death toll, usually without any explanation of the cause of the deaths. Many ... reported killed are in fact dead opposition fighters, but the cause of their death is hidden and they are described ... as innocent civilians killed by security forces, as if they were all merely protesting or sitting in their homes."

Analysis I did of what was reported to be the "deadliest day of the nine-month uprising" (December 20, 2011), with the "organized massacre" of a "mass defection" of army deserters widely reported by the international press, and opposition Syrian National Council claims of areas "exposed to large-scale genocide", showed that figures differed so significantly (between 10 and 163 armed insurgents, nine to 111 unarmed civilians and zero to 97 government forces), that the "truth" was impossible to establish. Similarly, analysis of The Guardian's data blog on casualties as of December 2011, based solely on press reports largely from opposition sources, contained basic inaccuracies and made no reference to any killings of armed insurgents during the entire 10-month period.


So the Observatory and "activists" provide doctored figures, the Western media report these figures uncritically, and the UN provides reports on the basis of opposition and activist sources alone. The December 2011 UN Human Rights Commissioner's report was based solely on interviews with 233 alleged "army defectors"; similarly, the first UN report to accuse the Syrian government of crimes against humanity was based on 369 interviews with "victims and witnesses". The spokesman for the UN Office of the High Commission for Human Rights explained that while "getting evidence from victims and defectors - some who corroborated specific names", the UN "is not in a position to cross-check names and will never be in a position to do that ... The lists are clear - the question is whether we can fully endorse their accuracy."

British public-service broadcaster Channel 4 has championed the cause of Syrian "video journalists" who it claims are leading a "Syrian media revolution". The channel's foreign-affairs correspondent Jonathan Miller wrote: "Each report is datelined; exact location and date, [which] doesn't in itself necessarily authenticate the report, but combined with other reports from other districts of the same attack filmed from a different location, the reports have the effect of corroborating each other." The channel even made a documentary of activists exaggerating the "truth" - "even if it means embellishing events".

During the early months of the Syrian conflict, activists like the now-notorious Danny and Khaled Abou Salah were regularly interviewed in the Western media - that is until footage found by the Syrian army in Homs after the attack on insurgents showed them, among other things, preparing child "victims" for interviews and until their "witness statements" lost all credibility. The New York Times' Neil MacFarquhar, reporting from Beirut, almost exclusively bases his reports on "activists speaking by Skype" and "video posted on YouTube".

Described as "the most horrific video" yet by Britain's Daily Mail, a YouTube clip of an opposition member being "buried alive" was found most likely to be fake. Perhaps more telling than the use of the actual photo by the British Broadcasting Corp of hundreds of body bags from Iraq in 2003 that was used for the story of the al-Houla massacre three weeks ago was the caption beneath the photo: "Photo from Activist. This image - which cannot be independently verified - is believed to show bodies of children in Houla awaiting funeral."

Nevertheless, activist-supplied videos and statements continue to provide the basis for unquestioned reports in the mainstream press: in the wake of the Houla massacre, for example, The Guardian ran a front-page story - "among the most important of the testimonies" from an army defector reportedly on leave at the time. From his house 300 meters away, the man saw and heard the massacre, despite there being persistent shelling at the time. He claimed to have seen men "he knew to be shabiha "riding into Taldous village in cars, motorbikes and army trucks, shouting: 'Shabiha forever, for your eyes, Assad.'"


This is not to argue that Syrian security forces and some supporters of the Syrian government have not committed abuses and killings; they have admitted this to be the case. "Don't put me in a position of defending brutality and knifing people," former US national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski said about Syria recently. "Frankly that is not the issue. We do know these things happened, and they are horrible. They also happened on a much larger scale in many other countries in which we have not intervened."

What we are witnessing is a new generation of warfare - an information war where, by using what is in effect propaganda, the aim is to construct a consensual consciousness to provide overwhelming public support for regime change.

Not to be outdone by Senator McCain (described by a leading US foreign-policy magazine as one of the "three amigos ... who have rarely found a country they didn't want to bomb or invade"), The Guardian itself noted in March: "If you think Guardian readers are a peace-loving bunch, think again. In an online poll, more than 83% [13,200 votes] have so far backed John McCain's call to launch air strikes against Syria."

While The Guardian describes the so-called shabihain what appears to be a piece of pure propaganda - "according to demonstrators" it interviewed - as "large lines of plain-clothed or khaki-clad men and boys armed with submachine-guns" who appear "awaiting an excuse to intervene" and who fire on protesters, a senior European diplomat based in the region told me that it is not in fact clear who the shabiha are, or whether they actually exist.

The diplomat told me of an instance when the UN monitors were filmed by activists as they were inspecting an insurgent-blocked subsidiary road; they later saw footage of themselves at the same ditch on the international news spliced in such a way as to make it appear that there had been bodies in an excavated area and that the UN monitors were watching bodies being removed, whereas in fact it was no more than a ditch across a road that they had been filming.

Human rights are a fundamental component of this information war that is a cover for regime change. By in effect taking a one-sided approach to events in Syria, leading human-rights groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are, willingly or unwillingly, being used as an integral part of this information war on Syria.

Despite publishing the odd report on abuses, torture and killings perpetrated by the insurgents, they cast the conflict in Syria as a simple one-sided case of aggressors and victims, lamenting, along the lines of John Bolton and McCain, "Why is the world doing nothing?" Amnesty International's Eyes on Syria site, for example, exclusively documents "the scale of torture and ill-treatment by security forces, army and pro-government armed gangs", harassment of "pro-reform" Syrians, and deaths in government custody.


A notable exception has been the International Committee of the Red Cross, which has continually criticized the militarization of humanitarian assistance. When former French president Nicolas Sarkozy and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for the creation of "humanitarian corridors", the ICRC publicly criticized a move that would inevitably involve the deployment of armed forces to enforce the zones.

The use of propaganda as a tool in war is an old one. During World War I, in the wake of British propaganda of "babies [with] their hands cut off ... impaled on bayonets ... loudly spoken of in buses and public places ... paraded, not as an isolated instance of an atrocity, but as ... a common practice", a member of Parliament wrote: "In Parliament there was the usual evasion ... the only evidence given was 'seen by witnesses'."

What we see now in coverage of Syria has echoes of 2003 - Western governments and the Western media accept at face value the claims of exiles living in the West. Paul Pillar, a former official of the US Central Intelligence Agency now at Georgetown University in Washington, notes that the neocon case for arming the Syrian opposition "is a continuation of the same patterns of neoconservative thinking that led to [president George W] Bush's war [on Iraq]. There is the same wishful thinking substituting for careful analysis about consequences."

Charged with defining the future of warfare, the US deputy chief of staff for intelligence in 1997 defined this "conflict between information masters and information victims ... We are already masters of information warfare ... we write the script," he wrote. "Societies that ... cannot manage the flow of information simply will not be competitive ... Emotions, rather than strategy, will set the terms of struggles." Against such an onslaught, there is little the Syrian government can do to defend itself - Assad has already said that Syria cannot win the media war with the West.

As Syria tips into the next more violent stage of sectarian war, with the SNC/FSA and their foreign backers increasing the ante with possible supplies if heavy weapons by the US, leading to more violent attacks, and the Syrian government (with its Republican Guard and the Syrian Army's powerful 4th Division still held in reserve) cracking down on "all armed groups", we should expect to see the "crusaders" in the mainstream media follow suit with their onslaught on Syrian government "atrocities" - massacres, use of children as human shields, claims of the imminent collapse of the Syrian government, etc.


But we would do well to acknowledge that there are two competing narratives out there. The BBC acknowledged recently that while "video filed by the opposition ... may provide some insight into the story on the ground ... stories are never black and white - [they are] often shades of grey", and Channel 4's Alex Thomson's near escape after being set up by the Free Syria Army prompted him to say: "Do not for one moment believe that my experience with the rebels in al-Qusair was a one-off." It makes you wonder, he wrote, "who else has had this experience when attempting to find out what is going on in rebel-held Syria". The narrative, however, complete with myths, has established a virtual reality that is now set in stone.

Sixteen months into the conflict, it is too little, too late to acknowledge that there are "shades of grey" at play in the Syrian context: for 16 months, The Guardian, Channel 4, the BBC and others have presented the conflict, using largely spurious "evidence", in exactly the black-and-white terms that increasingly people are now questioning. Peter Oborne, writing some months ago in The Daily Telegraph, warned that by presenting the conflict as a struggle between the regime and "the people", British Prime Minister David Cameron is either "poorly briefed or he is coming dangerously close to a calculated deception of the British public".
The Takfiri jihadists and their backers have been allowed to define and dominate the crisis. The crisis is now symbolized by car bombings, assassinations, mutilations and atrocities. This empowering of the extreme end of the opposition spectrum - albeit a minority - has in effect silenced and pushed to the sidelines the middle ground - that is, most of the internal opposition. One key internal opposition leader recently told Conflicts Forum that, like other leaders, he has had close relatives assassinated by the Salafists. The internal opposition has acknowledged the stark choice between two undesirables - either a dialogue that currently is not realizable, or the downfall of Syria, as Al-Akhbar, one of the leading independent newspapers in the region, recently reported.

With weapons of war, words and ideology, the self-appointed "Friends of Syria" have done everything they can to tiptoe around the UNSC and to undercut all attempts at an intra-Syrian political dialogue and a negotiated end to the conflict, of which the Annan mission is the latest attempt. The West/Saudi/Qatari "dirty war" on Syria applies as much to its (dis)information campaign as it does to getting others to fight and kill for them.

As was no doubt the intention, Clinton's "spin" that Russia was supplying attack helicopters to Syria went a long way - the US Congress, the British government and the mainstream media all fell into line calling for action. A member of the Senate Armed Services Committee wrote to the US defense secretary calling the Russian state arms firm "an enabler of mass murder in Syria", and Cobra, the British government's emergency security committee, met several times.


It turned out, however, that what the New York Times described as "the Obama administration's sharpest criticism yet of Russia's support for the Syrian government" was, according to a senior Defense Department official, "a little spin" put on the story by Clinton so as "to put the Russians in a difficult position". It was three helicopters of "marginal use militarily", explained the Times, returning from routine servicing in Russia.

For their part, the mainstream media bear some responsibility for the slide toward sectarian war in Syria, the victims of which, as always, are civilians. The media's conceptualization of victims and oppressors has in effect eliminated the space for negotiation. Lavrov has warned: "Either we gather everyone with influence at the negotiating table or once again we depart into ideology, where it is declared shamelessly that everything is the fault of the regime, while everyone else are angels and therefore the regime should be changed.

"The way the Syrian crisis is resolved", he advised, "will play an important role in the world tomorrow; whether the world will be based on the UN Charter, or a place where might makes right."

Aisling Byrne is projects coordinator with Conflicts Forum and is based in Beirut.

This article was originally published at Asia Times

Copyright 2012 Asia Times Online (Holdings) Ltd.


Covering Syria: The Information War


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The information war that has been slowly and gradually conducted against HA with the aim of dragging it into the Syrian muds. Starting from the kidnapping of Shiite pilgrims and to the late intense media campaign.

In it's war on Iran, the US/Zionist camp needs to weaken the Iranian network of allies. Hamas is over and split, Syria is weakened and all efforts are made to keep it busy and self-destructing itself...But HA is still intact, and even growing stronger.

But recently, the information war on the Lebanese resistance reached its peak.

Its narrative is the following: HA is a Shiite terrorist militia backed by Syria and Iran and is fighting along Assad Alawi forces, killing and oppressing the Syrian Sunni population that seeks freedom and democracy.


And although HA always denied its involvement in the conflict in Syria, the narrative kept growing and widening, no matter what, and people's brains are being daily bombarded with it, so to make them perceive it as a reality.

And this has only one goal: Create a "legitimate" and "justified" pretext for engaging HA and dragging it into the war.


But we're not there yet, and I fear the worst is yet to come.

HA, well aware of the intentions and schemes of its enemies, is still acting cautiously. And therefore, is taking all possible measures not to fall in the trap.

But could it avoid it?

what if the information war simply creates a new reality, since it can make from an illusion a fact, by simply injecting it gradually and relentlessly, therefore winning the heart and minds of those who fall for it?

In such case, HA will be deemed guilty as charged no matter what it does, or does not do for that matter, and "revenge" will reach it ultimately, then it will be put in a position where it will have no other option but to defend itself.

Another ugly scenario to push HA into the war, might be a massacre in Syria, blamed not on the regime this time, but on HA itself. Followed by another massacre targeting either Lebanese Shite in Syria, or worse, some kind of Lebanese Shiite village next to the Syrian borders.


So all options might be on the table this time, and we are left to wonder about one simple single question: Will HA get dragged into the Syrian muds, within the war on Iran?
 

Robin Hood

Legendary Member
Orange Room Supporter
Hard to say. They can ask the Wahhabis to launch terrorist attacks against Shias, but that may not necessarly translate into HA responding. The only way to drag HA would probably be an Israeli war. HA wouldn't want to get dragged into a war with the Wahhabis, but if the Wahhabis put explosives in malls in Shia areas, it would be hard for HA to respond. As I said, hard to tell.

The war on Iran



"War with Iran is already here,” wrote a leading Israeli commentator recently, describing “the combination of covert warfare and international pressure” being applied to Iran.

Although not mentioned, the “strategic prize” of the first stage of this war on Iran is Syria; the first campaign in a much wider sectarian power-bid. “Other than the collapse of the Islamic Republic itself,” Saudi King Abdullah was reported to have said last summer, “nothing would weaken Iran more than losing Syria.”



The plan


The NeoCon Propaganda Machine Pushing “Regime Change” in Syria

WEEKEND EDITION JANUARY 6-8, 2012

A Torrent of Disinformation
by AISLING BYRNE


“War with Iran is already here,” wrote a leading Israeli commentator recently, describing “the combination of covert warfare and international pressure” being applied to Iran.

Although not mentioned, the “strategic prize” of the first stage of this war on Iran is Syria; the first campaign in a much wider sectarian power-bid. “Other than the collapse of the Islamic Republic itself,” Saudi King Abdullah was reported to have said last summer, “nothing would weaken Iran more than losing Syria.”

By December, senior United States officials were explicit about their regime change agenda for Syria: Tom Donilon, the US National Security Adviser, explained that the “end of the [President Bashar al-] Assad regime would constitute Iran’s greatest setback in the region yet – a strategic blow that will further shift the balance of power in the region against Iran.”

Shortly before, a key official in terms of operationalizing this policy, Under Secretary of State for the Near East Jeffrey Feltman, had stated at a congressional hearing that the US would “relentlessly pursue our two-track strategy of supporting the opposition and diplomatically and financially strangling the [Syrian] regime until that outcome is achieved”.

What we are seeing in Syria is a deliberate and calculated campaign to bring down the Assad government so as to replace it with a regime “more compatible” with US interests in the region.


The blueprint for this project is essentially a report produced by the neo-conservative Brookings Institute for regime change in Iran in 2009. The report – “Which Path to Persia?” - continues to be the generic strategic approach for US-led regime change in the region.

A rereading of it, together with the more recent “Towards a Post-Assad Syria” (which adopts the same language and perspective, but focuses on Syria, and was recently produced by two US neo-conservative think-tanks) illustrates how developments in Syria have been shaped according to the step-by-step approach detailed in the “Paths to Persia” report with the same key objective: regime change.

The authors of these reports include, among others, John Hannah and Martin Indyk, both former senior neo-conservative officials from the George W Bush/**** Cheney administration, and both advocates for regime change in Syria. Not for the first time are we seeing a close alliance between US/British neo-cons with Islamists (including, reports show, some with links to al-Qaeda) working together to bring about regime change in an “enemy” state.

Arguably, the most important component in this struggle for the “strategic prize” has been the deliberate construction of a largely false narrative that pits unarmed democracy demonstrators being killed in their hundreds and thousands as they protest peacefully against an oppressive, violent regime, a “killing machine” led by the “monster” Assad.

Whereas in Libya, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) claimed it had “no confirmed reports of civilian casualties” because, as the New York Times wrote recently, “the alliance had created its own definition for ‘confirmed’: only a death that NATO itself investigated and corroborated could be called confirmed”.


“But because the alliance declined to investigate allegations,” the Times wrote, “its casualty tally by definition could not budge – from zero”.

In Syria, we see the exact opposite: the majority of Western mainstream media outlets, along with the media of the US’s allies in the region, particularly al-Jazeera and the Saudi-owned al-Arabiya TV channels, are effectively collaborating with the “regime change” narrative and agenda with a near-complete lack of questioning or investigation of statistics and information put out by organizations and media outlets that are either funded or owned by the US/European/Gulf alliance – the very same countries instigating the regime change project in the first place.

Claims of “massacres”, “campaigns of rape targeting women and girls in predominantly Sunni towns” ”torture” and even “child-rape” are reported by the international press based largely on two sources – the British-based Syrian Observatory of Human Rights and the Local Co-ordination Committees (LCCs) – with minimal additional checking or verification.

Hiding behind the rubric – “we are not able to verify these statistics” – the lack of integrity in reporting by the Western mainstream media has been starkly apparent since the onset of events in Syria. A decade after the Iraq war, it would seem that no lessons from 2003 – from the demonization of Saddam Hussein and his purported weapons of mass destruction – have been learnt.

Of the three main sources for all data on numbers of protesters killed and numbers of people attending demonstrations – the pillars of the narrative – all are part of the “regime change” alliance.


The Syrian Observatory of Human Rights, in particular, is reportedly funded through a Dubai-based fund with pooled (and therefore deniable) Western-Gulf money (Saudi Arabia alone has, according to Elliot Abrams allocated US$130 billion to “palliate the masses” of the Arab Spring).

What appears to be a nondescript British-based organization, the Observatory has been pivotal in sustaining the claims of the mass killing of thousands of peaceful protesters using inflated figures, “facts”, and often exaggerated claims of “massacres” and even recently “genocide”.

Although it claims to be based in its director’s house, the Observatory has been described as the “front office” of a large media propaganda set-up run by the Syrian opposition and its backers. The Russian Foreign Ministry stated starkly:

The agenda of the [Syrian] transitional council [is] composed in London by the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights … It is also there where pictures of ‘horror’ in Syria are made to stir up hatred towards Assad’s regime.

The Observatory is not legally registered either as a company or charity in the United Kingdom, but operates informally; it has no office, no staff and its director is reportedly awash with funding.

It receives its information, it says, from a network of “activists” inside Syria; its English-language website is a single page with al-Jazeera instead hosting a minute-by-minute live blog page for it since the outset of protests.


The second, the LCCs, are a more overt part of the opposition’s media infrastructure, and their figures and reporting is similarly encompassed only [16] within the context of this main narrative: in an analysis of their daily reports, I couldn’t find a single reference to any armed insurgents being killed: reported deaths are of “martyrs”, “defector soldiers”, people killed in “peaceful demonstrations” and similar descriptions.

The third is al-Jazeera, whose biased role in “reporting” the Awakenings has been well documented. Described by one seasoned media analyst as the “sophisticated mouthpiece of the state of Qatar and its ambitious emir”, al-Jazeera is integral to Qatar’s “foreign-policy aspirations”.

Al-Jazeera has, and continues, to provide technical support, equipment, hosting and “credibility” to Syrian opposition activists and organizations. Reports show that as early as March 2011, al-Jazeera was providing messaging and technical support to exiled Syrian opposition activists , who even by January 2010 were co-ordinating their messaging activities from Doha.

Nearly 10 months on, however, and despite the daily international media onslaught, the project isn’t exactly going to plan: a YouGov poll commissioned by the Qatar Foundation showed last week that 55 per cent of Syrians do not want Assad to resign and 68 per cent of Syrians disapprove of the Arab League sanctions imposed on their country.

According to the poll, Assad’s support has effectively increased since the onset of current events – 46 per cent of Syrians felt Assad was a “good” president for Syria prior to current events in the country – something that certainly doesn’t fit with the false narrative being peddled.


Read more in here....

CPR for the Antiwar Movement Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names




Covering Syria: The Information War

By Aisling Byrne


July 14, 2012 "Information Clearing House" -- The narrative that has been constructed by the Western mainstream media on Syria may seem to be self-evident from the scenes presented on television, but it is a narrative duplicitously promoted and coordinated so as to conceal and facilitate the regime-change project that is part of the war on Iran.

What we are seeing is a new stage of information war intentionally constructed and cast as a simplistic narrative of a struggle for human rights and democracy so as deliberately to exclude other interpretations and any geo-strategic motivation.

The narrative, as CNN puts it, is in essence this: "The vast majority of reports from the ground indicate that government forces are killing citizens in an attempt to wipe out civilians seeking [President Bashar] al-Assad's ouster" - the aim being precisely to elicit a heart-wrenching emotional response in Western audiences that trumps all other considerations and makes the call for Western/Gulf intervention to effect regime change.

But it is a narrative based on distortion, manipulation, lies and videotape.

In the first months, the narrative was of unarmed protesters being shot by Syrian forces. This then evolved into one of armed insurgents reluctantly "being provoked into taking up arms", as US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton explained, to defend peaceful protesters.

It was also a narrative that from the outset, according to a recent report in Time magazine, that the US has facilitated by providing training, support and equipment to Syrian opposition "cyber-warriors".

Reports confirmed by leading Syrian opposition leaders in April 2011 reveal that in addition to cyber-training, weapons and money from Syrian exiles, as well as from a "major Arab Gulf country" and a Lebanese political party, were being distributed to "young demonstrators". The former head of Russian intelligence, Yevgeny Primakov, similarly noted that the Syrian conflict "started with armed revolts against the authorities, not peaceful demonstrations".

Ironically, one of the most accurate descriptions of the sectarian conflict we are witnessing in Syria comes from an assessment by the neoconservative Brookings Institute in its March 2012 report "Assessing Options for Regime Change in Syria", one option being for "the United States [to] fight a "clean" war ... and leave the dirty work on the ground to the FSA [Free Syrian Army], perhaps even obviating a massive commitment to Iraq-style nation-building".


"Let the Arabs do it," echoed Israeli President Shimon Peres. "Do it yourself and the UN will support you." This point was not lost on one leading Turkish commentator, who noted that US Senator John McCain "said that there would be no American boots on the ground in Syria. That means we Turks will have to spill our precious blood to get what McCain and others want in the States."

In the wake of the failures at state-building in Afghanistan and Iraq, direct intervention, with all the responsibilities this would entail, would not go down well in cash-strapped Western nations. Better to get others to do the "dirty work" - pursue "regime change by civil war".

"The United States, Europe and the Gulf states ... are starving the regime in Damascus and feeding the opposition. They have sanctioned Syria ... and are busy shoveling money and helping arms supplied by the Gulf get to the rebels," Joshua Landis, director of the Center of Middle Eastern Studies, wrote in Foreign Policy in June.

With regional allies prepared to do the "dirty work" of providing increasingly sophisticated weapons clearly geared for purposes other than "self-defense", and the FSA and its jihadist allies doing the "dirty work" within Syria (their salaries paid by Saudi Arabia), the US and European nations can proffer their clean hands by limiting support to communications equipment, intelligence and humanitarian aid, and of course to providing the moral posturing required to topple the Syrian system and implant a regime hostile to Iran and friendly to Israel. Having "clean hands" enables the US, France and Britain to pose as abiding by UN standards, while at the same time flouting the UN Charter by promoting an attack on a member state.

Time magazine reported last month that the administration of US President Barack Obama "has tiptoed across an invisible line. [It] said it will not actively support the Syrian opposition in its bid to oust Assad ... [but] as US officials have revealed, the administration has been providing media-technology training and support to Syrian dissidents by way of small non-profits like the Institute for War & Peace Reporting and Freedom House.

"Viral videos of alleged atrocities," noted Time, "have made Assad one of the most reviled men on the planet, helping turn the Arab League against him and embarrassing his few remaining allies almost daily."

It is a position that reeks of hypocrisy: as US columnist Barbara Slavin notes, "Without a UN Security Council mandate, the prospects for US military intervention in Syria are minimal ... the provision of communications gear frees up others to provide weapons."


A US official quoted by Associated Press was more frank: Washington's equipment and medical supplies to the opposition "can now be easily augmented with weapons from other donors. Smuggling lines are smuggling lines. We use the same donkeys," he said, pointing out that routes are in essence the same for bandages as they are for bullets.

And while various Western governments are helping "document crimes" committed by Syrian forces, these same governments have refused to investigate their own killings of civilians in attacks by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Libya. NATO "created its own definition for 'confirmed' deaths: only a death that NATO itself investigated and corroborated could be called confirmed", enabling the alliance to conclude: "We have no confirmed reports of civilian casualties."

Britain was the only country involved in the bombings to conduct its own inquiry. Its report accepted "that coalition forces did their best to prevent and minimize civilian casualties ... We commend them for this approach."

For every tragic story like journalist Marie Colvin's final dispatch before she was killed while embedded for British media with the FSA ("In Babr Amr. Sickening. Cannot understand how the world can stand by. Watched a baby die today. Shrapnel: doctors could do nothing. His little tummy just heaved and heaved until he stopped. Feeling Helpless"), there are other similar tragedies, committed by the insurgents, that are rarely reported in the mainstream Western press.

You won't read in the mainstream press of foreign jihadists increasingly pouring into Syria to fight their holy war; you won't read that some ultraconservative Salafi sheikhs in Saudi Arabia are running their own military network inside Syria; you won't read how Assad's support during the 14-month crisis has if anything increased in light of the insecurity gripping the country; you won't read comments like those of the Lebanese Christian Maronite patriarch who said that while "Syria, like other countries, needs reforms which the people are demanding ... the closest thing to democracy [in the Arab world] is Syria".

You won't read how the head of the opposition in Turkey, a former ambassador to Washington, Faruk Logoglu, has said that what Turkey is doing hosting armed FSA fighters and allowing them to carry out attacks in Syria is "is against all international norms; against all neighborly relations ... It is a basic rule that countries must respect the sovereignty of others."

You won't read how armed insurgents used the Arab League observer mission's ceasefire to "reinforce themselves and bring supplies from Lebanon, knowing the regime would be limited in its ability to obstruct them at that time", or how they have used the Kofi Annan plan to prepare for larger attacks.


While we have seen extensive demonization of Assad, his wife and family, with the president depicted recently in the British press bathing in blood, you won't read articles demonizing the Saudi or Qatari regimes, or highlighting the hundreds of millions of dollars they have poured into political parties and groups, particularly Salafists, across the region in their "counter-revolution" against change; or the recent declaration by the official Saudi Mufti for all churches in the Arabian Peninsula to be demolished (which was not covered by a single Western mainstream news outlet); or as a senior Sunni political figure told me recently, the more than 23,000 detainees in Saudi prisons, a majority of whom (a recent report notes 90%) have degrees (to be fair, Chatham House did comment on this in a recent report that this "is indicative of the prevalence of a university education").

You won't read how Saudi Arabia and Qatar have bullied satellite hosting channels in the region to stop broadcasting "pro-regime" public and private Syrian television channels; or that the Syrian opposition has set up 10 satellite channels, all with an Islamist orientation and which take a strong sectarian line - calling on the FSA to "kill Iran's mice" and "the rats of the Lebanese devil's party" (Hezbollah); or how Russia has been attempting to facilitate a political process of reconciliation with the internal opposition since the onset of the crisis.

There is clear duplicity in the deliberate unwillingness of the Western mainstream media to acknowledge the nature of those who are the West's allies in the regime-change project - particularly Saudi Arabia and Qatar - and the danger they pose in the region through their arming and firing up of jihadist Salafist groups in Syria and across the region. Rare are articles in the mainstream Western press that highlight this hypocrisy.

A critical piece in the British press by Peter Oborne, The Daily Telegraph's chief political correspondent, was an exception: "Washington never ceases to complain about the connection between the Pakistani intelligence services and the Taliban. But we never hear a whisper of concern about the connection between Saudi intelligence and Salafi movements across the Middle East, of which al-Qaeda is the best-known offshoot."

The essential components of what we do see daily in the Western press have changed little during the conflict: in effect, all violence and terror are apportioned to one side only - the Syrian government and its purported "ghostly shadowy" shabiha forces.

Any violence committed by the "peaceful protesters" and the Free Syrian Army is purely for defensive purposes - all of which comes straight out of the color-revolution/regime-change text book; daily figures for those killed are based almost exclusively on "reports by activists and YouTube footage" (unverifiable, it is claimed, because the Syrian government does not allow free movement of journalists) and are described simply as "people" - dead insurgents do not appear; Al-Qaeda-type jihadist groups are played down (reports in leading media outlets like The Guardian continue to question whether they exist at all); and any weapons or equipment supplied to the "opposition" is, according to Saudi leaders, to help Syrians "defend themselves".


Embedding journalists on their side is an asset that the FSA, activists and their Western and regional partners have clearly learned from the experience of the US Army in the wake of its attacks on Fallujah in 2004. A US Army intelligence analysis leaked by WikiLeaks revealed that "in the military's opinion, the Western press are part of the US's propaganda operation. This process was facilitated by the embedding of Western reporters in US military units". In their second attack on Fallujah in November 2004, the US Army "got many reporters ... to embed with US troops, so that they could act, as the intelligence report calls for, as the propaganda arm of US forces".

The fundamental pillar of this Western narrative relies almost exclusively on claims and "evidence" provided by "activists" and opposition-affiliated groups, particularly the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Are we seriously to believe that this outfit, reportedly run from Coventry by a man who, according to Reuters, part-time runs a clothes shop with his wife, then "sits with a laptop and phones and pieces together accounts of conflict and rights abuses before uploading news to the Internet", is the primary source of daily casualty statistics on the 14-month Syrian conflict - the key geo-strategic conflict of the time?

It is clearly the front office of a large-scale (dis)information project - when Russian diplomats asked to meet with the organization, they were refused. Senior political figures in the region have told me, as other reports indicate, that the Observatory is in fact funded from a Dubai-based slush fund and is a key component of the regime-change project.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov noted that it was in the opposition's interest "to provoke a humanitarian catastrophe, to get a pretext to demand external interference", so it is not surprising that analysis of the Observatory's figures, including claims of "massacres", consistently show a significant inflation in numbers of casualties, sometimes wildly so.

As Al-Jazeera journalist Nir Rosen, who spent some months embedded with the Free Syria Army, explained: "Every day the opposition gives a death toll, usually without any explanation of the cause of the deaths. Many ... reported killed are in fact dead opposition fighters, but the cause of their death is hidden and they are described ... as innocent civilians killed by security forces, as if they were all merely protesting or sitting in their homes."

Analysis I did of what was reported to be the "deadliest day of the nine-month uprising" (December 20, 2011), with the "organized massacre" of a "mass defection" of army deserters widely reported by the international press, and opposition Syrian National Council claims of areas "exposed to large-scale genocide", showed that figures differed so significantly (between 10 and 163 armed insurgents, nine to 111 unarmed civilians and zero to 97 government forces), that the "truth" was impossible to establish. Similarly, analysis of The Guardian's data blog on casualties as of December 2011, based solely on press reports largely from opposition sources, contained basic inaccuracies and made no reference to any killings of armed insurgents during the entire 10-month period.


So the Observatory and "activists" provide doctored figures, the Western media report these figures uncritically, and the UN provides reports on the basis of opposition and activist sources alone. The December 2011 UN Human Rights Commissioner's report was based solely on interviews with 233 alleged "army defectors"; similarly, the first UN report to accuse the Syrian government of crimes against humanity was based on 369 interviews with "victims and witnesses". The spokesman for the UN Office of the High Commission for Human Rights explained that while "getting evidence from victims and defectors - some who corroborated specific names", the UN "is not in a position to cross-check names and will never be in a position to do that ... The lists are clear - the question is whether we can fully endorse their accuracy."

British public-service broadcaster Channel 4 has championed the cause of Syrian "video journalists" who it claims are leading a "Syrian media revolution". The channel's foreign-affairs correspondent Jonathan Miller wrote: "Each report is datelined; exact location and date, [which] doesn't in itself necessarily authenticate the report, but combined with other reports from other districts of the same attack filmed from a different location, the reports have the effect of corroborating each other." The channel even made a documentary of activists exaggerating the "truth" - "even if it means embellishing events".

During the early months of the Syrian conflict, activists like the now-notorious Danny and Khaled Abou Salah were regularly interviewed in the Western media - that is until footage found by the Syrian army in Homs after the attack on insurgents showed them, among other things, preparing child "victims" for interviews and until their "witness statements" lost all credibility. The New York Times' Neil MacFarquhar, reporting from Beirut, almost exclusively bases his reports on "activists speaking by Skype" and "video posted on YouTube".

Described as "the most horrific video" yet by Britain's Daily Mail, a YouTube clip of an opposition member being "buried alive" was found most likely to be fake. Perhaps more telling than the use of the actual photo by the British Broadcasting Corp of hundreds of body bags from Iraq in 2003 that was used for the story of the al-Houla massacre three weeks ago was the caption beneath the photo: "Photo from Activist. This image - which cannot be independently verified - is believed to show bodies of children in Houla awaiting funeral."

Nevertheless, activist-supplied videos and statements continue to provide the basis for unquestioned reports in the mainstream press: in the wake of the Houla massacre, for example, The Guardian ran a front-page story - "among the most important of the testimonies" from an army defector reportedly on leave at the time. From his house 300 meters away, the man saw and heard the massacre, despite there being persistent shelling at the time. He claimed to have seen men "he knew to be shabiha "riding into Taldous village in cars, motorbikes and army trucks, shouting: 'Shabiha forever, for your eyes, Assad.'"


This is not to argue that Syrian security forces and some supporters of the Syrian government have not committed abuses and killings; they have admitted this to be the case. "Don't put me in a position of defending brutality and knifing people," former US national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski said about Syria recently. "Frankly that is not the issue. We do know these things happened, and they are horrible. They also happened on a much larger scale in many other countries in which we have not intervened."

What we are witnessing is a new generation of warfare - an information war where, by using what is in effect propaganda, the aim is to construct a consensual consciousness to provide overwhelming public support for regime change.

Not to be outdone by Senator McCain (described by a leading US foreign-policy magazine as one of the "three amigos ... who have rarely found a country they didn't want to bomb or invade"), The Guardian itself noted in March: "If you think Guardian readers are a peace-loving bunch, think again. In an online poll, more than 83% [13,200 votes] have so far backed John McCain's call to launch air strikes against Syria."

While The Guardian describes the so-called shabihain what appears to be a piece of pure propaganda - "according to demonstrators" it interviewed - as "large lines of plain-clothed or khaki-clad men and boys armed with submachine-guns" who appear "awaiting an excuse to intervene" and who fire on protesters, a senior European diplomat based in the region told me that it is not in fact clear who the shabiha are, or whether they actually exist.

The diplomat told me of an instance when the UN monitors were filmed by activists as they were inspecting an insurgent-blocked subsidiary road; they later saw footage of themselves at the same ditch on the international news spliced in such a way as to make it appear that there had been bodies in an excavated area and that the UN monitors were watching bodies being removed, whereas in fact it was no more than a ditch across a road that they had been filming.

Human rights are a fundamental component of this information war that is a cover for regime change. By in effect taking a one-sided approach to events in Syria, leading human-rights groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are, willingly or unwillingly, being used as an integral part of this information war on Syria.

Despite publishing the odd report on abuses, torture and killings perpetrated by the insurgents, they cast the conflict in Syria as a simple one-sided case of aggressors and victims, lamenting, along the lines of John Bolton and McCain, "Why is the world doing nothing?" Amnesty International's Eyes on Syria site, for example, exclusively documents "the scale of torture and ill-treatment by security forces, army and pro-government armed gangs", harassment of "pro-reform" Syrians, and deaths in government custody.


A notable exception has been the International Committee of the Red Cross, which has continually criticized the militarization of humanitarian assistance. When former French president Nicolas Sarkozy and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for the creation of "humanitarian corridors", the ICRC publicly criticized a move that would inevitably involve the deployment of armed forces to enforce the zones.

The use of propaganda as a tool in war is an old one. During World War I, in the wake of British propaganda of "babies [with] their hands cut off ... impaled on bayonets ... loudly spoken of in buses and public places ... paraded, not as an isolated instance of an atrocity, but as ... a common practice", a member of Parliament wrote: "In Parliament there was the usual evasion ... the only evidence given was 'seen by witnesses'."

What we see now in coverage of Syria has echoes of 2003 - Western governments and the Western media accept at face value the claims of exiles living in the West. Paul Pillar, a former official of the US Central Intelligence Agency now at Georgetown University in Washington, notes that the neocon case for arming the Syrian opposition "is a continuation of the same patterns of neoconservative thinking that led to [president George W] Bush's war [on Iraq]. There is the same wishful thinking substituting for careful analysis about consequences."

Charged with defining the future of warfare, the US deputy chief of staff for intelligence in 1997 defined this "conflict between information masters and information victims ... We are already masters of information warfare ... we write the script," he wrote. "Societies that ... cannot manage the flow of information simply will not be competitive ... Emotions, rather than strategy, will set the terms of struggles." Against such an onslaught, there is little the Syrian government can do to defend itself - Assad has already said that Syria cannot win the media war with the West.

As Syria tips into the next more violent stage of sectarian war, with the SNC/FSA and their foreign backers increasing the ante with possible supplies if heavy weapons by the US, leading to more violent attacks, and the Syrian government (with its Republican Guard and the Syrian Army's powerful 4th Division still held in reserve) cracking down on "all armed groups", we should expect to see the "crusaders" in the mainstream media follow suit with their onslaught on Syrian government "atrocities" - massacres, use of children as human shields, claims of the imminent collapse of the Syrian government, etc.


But we would do well to acknowledge that there are two competing narratives out there. The BBC acknowledged recently that while "video filed by the opposition ... may provide some insight into the story on the ground ... stories are never black and white - [they are] often shades of grey", and Channel 4's Alex Thomson's near escape after being set up by the Free Syria Army prompted him to say: "Do not for one moment believe that my experience with the rebels in al-Qusair was a one-off." It makes you wonder, he wrote, "who else has had this experience when attempting to find out what is going on in rebel-held Syria". The narrative, however, complete with myths, has established a virtual reality that is now set in stone.

Sixteen months into the conflict, it is too little, too late to acknowledge that there are "shades of grey" at play in the Syrian context: for 16 months, The Guardian, Channel 4, the BBC and others have presented the conflict, using largely spurious "evidence", in exactly the black-and-white terms that increasingly people are now questioning. Peter Oborne, writing some months ago in The Daily Telegraph, warned that by presenting the conflict as a struggle between the regime and "the people", British Prime Minister David Cameron is either "poorly briefed or he is coming dangerously close to a calculated deception of the British public".
The Takfiri jihadists and their backers have been allowed to define and dominate the crisis. The crisis is now symbolized by car bombings, assassinations, mutilations and atrocities. This empowering of the extreme end of the opposition spectrum - albeit a minority - has in effect silenced and pushed to the sidelines the middle ground - that is, most of the internal opposition. One key internal opposition leader recently told Conflicts Forum that, like other leaders, he has had close relatives assassinated by the Salafists. The internal opposition has acknowledged the stark choice between two undesirables - either a dialogue that currently is not realizable, or the downfall of Syria, as Al-Akhbar, one of the leading independent newspapers in the region, recently reported.

With weapons of war, words and ideology, the self-appointed "Friends of Syria" have done everything they can to tiptoe around the UNSC and to undercut all attempts at an intra-Syrian political dialogue and a negotiated end to the conflict, of which the Annan mission is the latest attempt. The West/Saudi/Qatari "dirty war" on Syria applies as much to its (dis)information campaign as it does to getting others to fight and kill for them.

As was no doubt the intention, Clinton's "spin" that Russia was supplying attack helicopters to Syria went a long way - the US Congress, the British government and the mainstream media all fell into line calling for action. A member of the Senate Armed Services Committee wrote to the US defense secretary calling the Russian state arms firm "an enabler of mass murder in Syria", and Cobra, the British government's emergency security committee, met several times.


It turned out, however, that what the New York Times described as "the Obama administration's sharpest criticism yet of Russia's support for the Syrian government" was, according to a senior Defense Department official, "a little spin" put on the story by Clinton so as "to put the Russians in a difficult position". It was three helicopters of "marginal use militarily", explained the Times, returning from routine servicing in Russia.

For their part, the mainstream media bear some responsibility for the slide toward sectarian war in Syria, the victims of which, as always, are civilians. The media's conceptualization of victims and oppressors has in effect eliminated the space for negotiation. Lavrov has warned: "Either we gather everyone with influence at the negotiating table or once again we depart into ideology, where it is declared shamelessly that everything is the fault of the regime, while everyone else are angels and therefore the regime should be changed.

"The way the Syrian crisis is resolved", he advised, "will play an important role in the world tomorrow; whether the world will be based on the UN Charter, or a place where might makes right."

Aisling Byrne is projects coordinator with Conflicts Forum and is based in Beirut.

This article was originally published at Asia Times

Copyright 2012 Asia Times Online (Holdings) Ltd.


Covering Syria: The Information War


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The information war that has been slowly and gradually conducted against HA with the aim of dragging it into the Syrian muds. Starting from the kidnapping of Shiite pilgrims and to the late intense media campaign.

In it's war on Iran, the US/Zionist camp needs to weaken the Iranian network of allies. Hamas is over and split, Syria is weakened and all efforts are made to keep it busy and self-destructing itself...But HA is still intact, and even growing stronger.

But recently, the information war on the Lebanese resistance reached its peak.

Its narrative is the following: HA is a Shiite terrorist militia backed by Syria and Iran and is fighting along Assad Alawi forces, killing and oppressing the Syrian Sunni population that seeks freedom and democracy.


And although HA always denied its involvement in the conflict in Syria, the narrative kept growing and widening, no matter what, and people's brains are being daily bombarded with it, so to make them perceive it as a reality.

And this has only one goal: Create a "legitimate" and "justified" pretext for engaging HA and dragging it into the war.


But we're not there yet, and I fear the worst is yet to come.

HA, well aware of the intentions and schemes of its enemies, is still acting cautiously. And therefore, is taking all possible measures not to fall in the trap.

But could it avoid it?

what if the information war simply creates a new reality, since it can make from an illusion a fact, by simply injecting it gradually and relentlessly, therefore winning the heart and minds of those who fall for it?

In such case, HA will be deemed guilty as charged no matter what it does, or does not do for that matter, and "revenge" will reach it ultimately, then it will be put in a position where it will have no other option but to defend itself.

Another ugly scenario to push HA into the war, might be a massacre in Syria, blamed not on the regime this time, but on HA itself. Followed by another massacre targeting either Lebanese Shite in Syria, or worse, some kind of Lebanese Shiite village next to the Syrian borders.


So all options might be on the table this time, and we are left to wonder about one simple single question: Will HA get dragged into the Syrian muds, within the war on Iran?
 

HenryK

New Member
It will be suicidal for HA do get drag into another war (internaly and externaly). Syria is at a point of no return: 2 option left Bashar: Create his own state on the Syrian coast or leave the country which means Iran already lost his most important ally. The help needed for Hizballah to wage a war and resist is fading away. I believe Hizballah is slowly slowly replacing its resistance mentality into business mentality. They have hundred of millions that are bieng invested into businesses. They know well that capitalism is the key success in Lebanon :) for once I believe Lebanon wont be dragged into a war! This time, all the other arabs country are a lot more exposed then us. But again i might be completely wrong!! It is just an opinion!!
 

Abufijli

Well-Known Member
This question is irrelevant. The true battle is between HA and Israel, the real question should be will Iran get dragged into a war between HA and Israel.

We all know that the main objective is the head of the Resistance.
 

Fakhr eddine 1618

Legendary Member
This question is irrelevant. The true battle is between HA and Israel, the real question should be will Iran get dragged into a war between HA and Israel.

We all know that the main objective is the head of the Resistance.

First Post on new server (mabrouk to all, feeling like if i moved to new appartment)

Anyway, why HA shouldn't interfere in case of a war between Iran and Israel, I beleive he should, should we sit watching Israel attacking Iran and do nothing. HA is a strong asset in the axis that I may call "Oriental" axis. So we should all get involved on any war on one of us, because if someone from the chain falls, the other would follow. So HA shoudln't be a Caritas to sit and watch on TVs Iran getting bombed like if the issue does not concern him
 

Vision

Well-Known Member
I don't believe Hizbullah will get "dragged" into the war between Iran and Israel but rather impose their entire military might to support their mother regime in Iran. There is no point in debating or discussing it. It's not like the recent stunt they pulled with sending a drone into Israel was done for Lebanon's best interest. It's not like Hizbullah will share the collected footage with the Lebanese Army, for example.
Hizbullah was created by Iran, they are funded by Iran, they are armed by Iran and have been waiting for this war for as long as they have existed.
 

HenryK

New Member
First Post on new server (mabrouk to all, feeling like if i moved to new appartment)

Anyway, why HA shouldn't interfere in case of a war between Iran and Israel, I beleive he should, should we sit watching Israel attacking Iran and do nothing. HA is a strong asset in the axis that I may call "Oriental" axis. So we should all get involved on any war on one of us, because if someone from the chain falls, the other would follow. So HA shoudln't be a Caritas to sit and watch on TVs Iran getting bombed like if the issue does not concern him

Because we might have to think where Lebanon and Lebanese will head after another war?

We are not in the same position as 2006. Syria is not here anymore to support Hizballah. Country goes to war united not divided, and lebanon is pretty divided at this moment. Hizballah i much more clever then that! they know it it is a lost cause to go to war at the moment.
 

elAshtar

Legendary Member
I think the right question would be: The moment 'Israel' decides to hit Iran, would it leave HA out of it?! HA will be included in the war regardless of whether he wants that or not.
 

elAshtar

Legendary Member
I don't believe Hizbullah will get "dragged" into the war between Iran and Israel but rather impose their entire military might to support their mother regime in Iran. There is no point in debating or discussing it. It's not like the recent stunt they pulled with sending a drone into Israel was done for Lebanon's best interest. It's not like Hizbullah will share the collected footage with the Lebanese Army, for example.
Hizbullah was created by Iran, they are funded by Iran, they are armed by Iran and have been waiting for this war for as long as they have existed.

First how do you define 'lebanon best interest'?! Israel is an enemy of Lebanon that is still occupying lebanese land and is violating its airspace over and over. Now tell me, why isnt it in Lebanon's best interest to collect intel about israeli bases?!! Mann, this is really unbelievable.

HA is a lebanese party whether you liked or not! Its members are lebanese, its martyrs were lebanese, and its injured ppl also. What made HA is the Israeli occupation, what made HA is the pride and the dignity that was within some lebanese ppl who refused to be slaves. This is what made HA! Just like any otehr resistance in the world, it was supported by a foreign country. Iran supported HA and did not MAKE HA! Thanks Iran for doing that!!!
 

elias-aj

Legendary Member
The information war that has been slowly and gradually conducted against HA with the aim of dragging it into the Syrian muds. Starting from the kidnapping of Shiite pilgrims and to the late intense media campaign.

In it's war on Iran, the US/Zionist camp needs to weaken the Iranian network of allies. Hamas is over and split, Syria is weakened and all efforts are made to keep it busy and self-destructing itself...But HA is still intact, and even growing stronger.

But recently, the information war on the Lebanese resistance reached its peak.

Its narrative is the following: HA is a Shiite terrorist militia backed by Syria and Iran and is fighting along Assad Alawi forces, killing and oppressing the Syrian Sunni population that seeks freedom and democracy.


And although HA always denied its involvement in the conflict in Syria, the narrative kept growing and widening, no matter what, and people's brains are being daily bombarded with it, so to make them perceive it as a reality.

And this has only one goal: Create a "legitimate" and "justified" pretext for engaging HA and dragging it into the war.


But we're not there yet, and I fear the worst is yet to come.

HA, well aware of the intentions and schemes of its enemies, is still acting cautiously. And therefore, is taking all possible measures not to fall in the trap.

But could it avoid it?

what if the information war simply creates a new reality, since it can make from an illusion a fact, by simply injecting it gradually and relentlessly, therefore winning the heart and minds of those who fall for it?

In such case, HA will be deemed guilty as charged no matter what it does, or does not do for that matter, and "revenge" will reach it ultimately, then it will be put in a position where it will have no other option but to defend itself.

Another ugly scenario to push HA into the war, might be a massacre in Syria, blamed not on the regime this time, but on HA itself. Followed by another massacre targeting either Lebanese Shite in Syria, or worse, some kind of Lebanese Shiite village next to the Syrian borders.

So all options might be on the table this time, and we are left to wonder about one simple single question: Will HA get dragged into the Syrian muds, within the war on Iran?

Honestly, I don't know. HA is first and foremost a Lebanese party so it will have to take into consideration the interest of its Lebanese constituents. In other words, it has no interest in waging a war for Iran unless Lebanon is targeted. On the other hand, the other side, especially the US and Israel, have no interest in dragging HA into a conflict given the damages that Israel would suffer. Objectively, in case of a war against Iran, both the US and Israel would rather try to keep HA out of the war, unless they're stupid - that's the reason why the international community, while keeping the Lebanese Government under pressure (cf., the threats on our banking sector), is still OK with the policy of dissociation.

Anyways, I'm speculating here and trying to be objective whereas objectivity is not always the "rule".

The only thing I'm sure of is that so long as our country stay divided, so long as we don't, together and seriously, engage in the definition of a strong state (not vis à vis the foreign environment, but strong in the sense that all the Lebanese accept it as the Institution enforcing their social contract), any Lebanese faction could become the cause or the vehicle for internal strife, importing foreign wars on our soil.

That's exactly the reason why I'm so disappointed by our Governmen'ts performance and the appaling lack of results, even on the "daily" issues, due to both HA and FPM lack of commitment or fear or whatever.

It may seem simplistic but it is my opinion that we will win our "war" the day we manage to enforce, hell even impose, a normalization in the Lebanese daily life. That's the only way we could succesfully face our extremists, by encouraging the Lebanese to focus on our internal issues, the ones we all share no matter our political affiliations or our religions.
 

Abou Sandal

Legendary Member
Orange Room Supporter
Guys, let me put my thoughts in other terms.

The war on Iran already started, and consists at this stage in:

1-Weakening Iran on the economic level and isolating it.

2- Weakening if not destroying Iran's network of allies, namely Syria and HA specifically.

This is why, at this stage, Syria is being targeted and efforts are put to have it destroyed, if not at least, neutralized.

But there is still HA. And the day the US/Israeli axis might hit Iran directly, they need to make sure that no HA would be there to help. And exactly like Elias put it " in case of a war against Iran, both the US and Israel would rather try to keep HA out of the war, unless they're stupid"

So the idea is to get rid of HA before that day.

But how?

Simply by dragging it into the Syrian conflict and exhausting it and its resources in it. (Which might drag all Lebanon in the Syrian conflict too by the way.)

So no, the question is not whether HA will participate and hit Israel when the war on Iran might be waged.

Israel and the US have already decided that the answer to that question is "yes", and therefore have decided to get rid of HA before that day comes.

And to get rid of HA before that day comes, HA needs to be dragged into the Syrian war. And what makes me say this, is the effort put and the huge information war directed against HA to drag it to the Syrian front.

Therefore the question stands: Will HA get dragged into such trap? Or will it be able to avoid it?

Or maybe HA has an alternate strategy to avoid what's being cooked...Who knows.
 

elias-aj

Legendary Member
Therefore the question stands: Will HA get dragged into such trap? Or will it be able to avoid it?

Or maybe HA has an alternate strategy to avoid what's being cooked...Who knows.

Well, I think that it will greatly depends on the attitude of the different Lebanese factions.

Information war is something but it will never be enough to justify a direct strike or direct sanctions against Lebanon from the international community. For some reasons, we still do have some support in the west - the alliance between HA and FPM being helpful in this regard - as the fact that HA is not listed as a terrorist organization by the UE (thanks to France) reflects it. Moreover, I don't believe that Israel would be stupid enough to wage a war against HA so to weaken it, at least under the current circumstances and given HA's capabilities of retaliation - July war would look like a walk in the park in comparison with any future war.

So, the only option left to weaken HA would be to export the current syrian confessional civil war - let's call a spade a spade - to Lebanon. So long as we're able to contain the situation in Lebanon, HA would be able to avoid the trap. However, if we let things deteriorating in the North and let extremists, salafist and jihadists groups growing bigger, we'd be opening the pandora box. And to be honest, I'm also a little bit afraid of the syrian regime's attitude that is, if things get worse in Syria, it wouldn't hesitate to resort to a scorched earth policy...

Like it has always been the case, our internal divisions are our biggest weakness and do pose a bigger threat than any US/Israeli or Wahhabi/Arab plot...
 

Abou Sandal

Legendary Member
Orange Room Supporter
I agree with what you said Elias and I will elaborate over an important point you just raised when you said: "Well, I think that it will greatly depends on the attitude of the different Lebanese factions."

Indeed it will, and that is what makes things most dangerous and alarming.

If we get back to 2006, it was quite clear that after the July war, that HA needed to be dragged in an internal civil war in order to defeat it.

F14 rhetoric suddenly escalated and Arms were shipped to different factions in it. Attacks and multiple scattered aggressions were conducted against the opposing camp and more particularly, HA's supporters or base.

SHN declared to the F14 camp at one point, that even if you kill hundreds of us, we will not be dragged to a civil war.

Pressure kept mounting as much as the rhetoric, and arms kept pouring. Each faction in the F14 camp posted its vigilantes in the streets and areas it considered under its control.

The other camp didn't fall in the trap.

Therefore, it was decided that if HA wouldn't go to war, then we must bring war to him. And the 5th of May happened and the result was the 7th of may big clean out.

It was quick and swift and perfectly conducted, mainly because HA wanted to avoid being dragged into a long and exhausting urban warfare.

F14 militias failed, but the project remained.


Today, it is quite clear that F14 decided to import its own militia, in order to get its war. While the likes of Mere3bi and Daher are in charge of recruiting and harboring fighters, the likes of Okab Sakr are in charge of coordinating with external powers and providing logistical assistance.

So today, the men are available and ready and the weapons are there. Even better, the Syrian borders have turned from a limitation to a blessing and open area for movement and logistical support.


Now all what is needed is the following:

Stage 1- Either defeat the Syrian government or make sure it is crippled/busy to a point where it cannot properly assist its allies in Lebanon, in case of war.

Stage 2- Create a pretext for the so-called FSA for declaring an open war on HA. (Remember the narrative of the whole information war concerning HA's involvement in Syria). Then drag HA to fight no matter what.

Stage 3- Bring the war on Lebanese soil and blame HA for it.(Usual anti-HA narrative)

Stage 4- Drag other Lebanese factions to fight along FSA and against HA.


Now looking at the escalating rhetoric and the clearer narrative bombarded by the media about HA's alleged involvement in Syria, (Hek...Even the Syrian thread is now partially about HA's so-called involvement) one cannot but ask himself a simple question: Did we reach stage 2 ? And If so, will HA pass it?
 

elias-aj

Legendary Member
I'm not sure we've reached stage 2 yet, for various reasons. Eventhough the civil war is raging in Syria, the Syrian government is more or less standing and could still rely on a strong military. Had the syrian opposition secured a big city or a big area, the situation would of course be different but it hadn't yet. Secondly, the FSA is nowhere near the solid organization one could rely on to both fight against the Syrian government and still have the needed resources to drag HA to the battlefield. Of course, they could make one or two symbolic "coups" against HA or its interests, but nothing that would require a massive and official HA intervention on the field.

So in my opinion, not only the Lebanese Government could quite easily contain the extremists and cells in Lebanon for now - provided it stops the BS - but HA and its allies could also use the time that is still left to strengthen their position.

Now, considering if HA could handle the situation. Once again I may sound naive or seem to have a simplistic approach, but it's crucial to use the time left to divert the Lebanese people attention from the syrian events and to occupy the field with pure lebanese daily life and other important issues (oil & gas for instance) so to stay consistent with the dissociation policy and to reduce as much as we can the audience of those who want to drag us into the conflict : we have the Governement, we have media and we have the required resources to do it.

Another thing that would deserve to be considered : what about considering the option of pulling the rug from under F14/US (etc.) feet ? By declaring through an official statement that HA is willing to hand in its weapons to the Lebanese Army provided some conditions are met : empowering and reforming the LA so it will become a deterrent force against Israel (and we don't need tens of billions of $ to achieve this), declaring Lebanon's neutrality with the principles it implies, strictly forbidding any person outside the ISF/LA to bear weapons (including bodyguards etc.), and so and so forth. I don't have right now a definitive answer but it sure is an option that deserves to be considered seriously.
 

Ashrafieh_LF

Well-Known Member
No they won't get "dragged". They will willingly destroy Lebanon to help their masters in Iran. This is not a guess or speculation. Their leaders have said it themselves numerous times.
 

Vision

Well-Known Member
First how do you define 'lebanon best interest'?! Israel is an enemy of Lebanon that is still occupying lebanese land and is violating its airspace over and over. Now tell me, why isnt it in Lebanon's best interest to collect intel about israeli bases?!! Mann, this is really unbelievable.

HA is a lebanese party whether you liked or not! Its members are lebanese, its martyrs were lebanese, and its injured ppl also. What made HA is the Israeli occupation, what made HA is the pride and the dignity that was within some lebanese ppl who refused to be slaves. This is what made HA! Just like any otehr resistance in the world, it was supported by a foreign country. Iran supported HA and did not MAKE HA! Thanks Iran for doing that!!!

Wrong, wrong and wrong.

Lebanon's best interest is, was and always will be avoiding confrontations and wars. Avoiding need not mean peace, agreements or friendship, it can be as simple as it was for the past 6 years.

Just because Israel has violated resolution 1701 with constantly entering Lebanon's airspace, this does not justify our following suit with sending a drone to provoke them and give them an excuse to pounce.

Two wrongs don't make it right.

It's not like the intel they would likely collect isn't available to Hizbullah already through satellite pictures or third parties etc.

The reality is that the chances of Israel beginning its war with Iran, in bombing Iran are less than likely than their re-attacking of Hizbullah in a very aggressive annihilating manner, thus provoking Iran to retaliate from Iran, and giving Israel a global green light to strike them back under the pretext of "self defence".

Mark my words, if Hizbullah aren't careful, that is the way it will likely go down, and God help Lebanon, in this proxy Iranian-Israeli war.
 

Walidos

Legendary Member
Orange Room Supporter
No they won't get "dragged". They will willingly destroy Lebanon to help their masters in Iran. This is not a guess or speculation. Their leaders have said it themselves numerous times.

Can you please share one of those "numerous" statements released by HA where they say that they will willingly destroy Lebanon to help their masters in Iran?
 

Walidos

Legendary Member
Orange Room Supporter
Wrong, wrong and wrong.

Lebanon's best interest is, was and always will be avoiding confrontations and wars. Avoiding need not mean peace, agreements or friendship, it can be as simple as it was for the past 6 years.

Just because Israel has violated resolution 1701 with constantly entering Lebanon's airspace, this does not justify our following suit with sending a drone to provoke them and give them an excuse to pounce.

Two wrongs don't make it right.

It's not like the intel they would likely collect isn't available to Hizbullah already through satellite pictures or third parties etc.

The reality is that the chances of Israel beginning its war with Iran, in bombing Iran are less than likely than their re-attacking of Hizbullah in a very aggressive annihilating manner, thus provoking Iran to retaliate from Iran, and giving Israel a global green light to strike them back under the pretext of "self defence".

Mark my words, if Hizbullah aren't careful, that is the way it will likely go down, and God help Lebanon, in this proxy Iranian-Israeli war.

So your answer to "2 wrongs don't make a right" is for Lebanon to back off and Israel to keep doing what it wants? 7elo...! I would consider listening to your point of view if you (or the political line you support) did something to stop the "wrong" israel is doing...
 
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