Western Leaders Feign Sympathy for a Crisis They Instigated & Intensified
In 2014, Obama stated “we must … [pursue] the political solution necessary to solve Syria’s crisis once and for all.”
Senator McCain as well recently said “But what haunts me even more than the horror unfolding before our eyes in Syria is the thought that we will continue to do nothing meaningful about it.”
However it is helpful to ask, are our leaders at all serious in their remarks?
Since at least as far back as 2005, the US has been financing and training anti-government opposition in Syria with a view toward regime-change. When members of these US-funded groups complain about their connections to America, concerned over serving foreign interests rather than the national cause, evidence from Egypt shows that they are quickly ousted from membership. 
The ostensible justification for this funding is ‘democracy promotion,’ however we should remember what International Relations scholar John J. Mearsheimer said about Washington’s democracy promotion activities abroad.
Referring to the crisis in Ukraine, he stated, “and when you talk about promoting democracy, what you’re really talking about is putting in power leaders who are pro-Western and anti-Russian … promoting democracy, which was all about putting in power pro-Western leaders.”
However, Syria was in the crosshairs of the empire long before 2005. In a 2007 speech, General Wesley Clark recounts a conversation he had with then Undersecretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz in 1991 regarding Operation Desert Storm.
He quotes Wolfowitz as saying “one thing that we learned is that we can use our military in the Middle East and the Soviets won’t stop us, and we got about 5 or 10 years to clean up those old Soviet client regimes, Syria, Iran, Iraq, before the next great superpower comes on to challenge us.”
In the same speech, Clark recounts another conversation he had 6 weeks after 9/11 with an officer of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The officer he quoted refered to a classified memo received from the Secretary of Defense’s office which stated that it was US policy to attack and destroy the governments of 7 different countries in the next 5 years, starting with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and finishing off with Iran.
Long before any outrage was generated at Assad’s crackdown of protesters, and long before any pretexts or justifications were concocted, it was already decided that the US would attack and topple the Syrian government, going at least as far back as 1991. The intention of regime change came first, propaganda and pretexts came later.
Further adding to this evidence is the testimony of former French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas, who stated on television that, roughly 2 years before hostilities began in Syria, British officials admitted to him that they were ‘preparing something’ in the country.
“England was preparing the invasion of the rebels in Syria,” he said, stating that the officials had asked him to participate, to which he refused. “This is to say that this operation comes from far away. It was prepared, conceived, and organized … in the simple purpose of removing the Syrian government, because, in the region, it is important to know that this Syrian regime has anti-Israel remarks … I’m judging the confidence of the Israeli Prime Minister who had told me a while ago: ‘We will try to get along with the neighboring states, and those who don’t get along, we will take them down.’ It is a policy. It is a conception of history.”
Eventually this policy, this conception of history, coupled with the financing of regime-change opposition groups, deteriorating social conditions, and the legitimate need for reforms, culminated in very minor, small-scale and sporadic anti-government demonstrations in Syria in early 2011. The real unrest began in mid-March when clashes between protesters and police occurred in the southern city of Daraa.
From that point, the conflict began to escalate. Media reports in the West became flooded with news of Assad’s violent crackdown of protesters. The Syrian government is in no way justified for violent suppression of peaceful demonstrations with brutal military crackdowns, however little attention was paid to the fact that at this time the protesters had as well been armed, and had been attacking the security forces, or the fact that significant pro-government demonstrations also occurred.
In Daraa, the unrest began when demonstrators destroyed governmental buildings which prompted a response from the government.  It should be noted however that those protesting in Daraa were largely motivated by genuine desire for change and in opposition to abuse of power, much like our own Occupy and Black Lives Matter movements in the West, and the courage shown by these individuals to demonstrate in a state where doing so meant harsh and brutal repressions deserves to be honored and commended. However the possibility of foreign involvement threatened to exploit the unrest and usurp the population’s hardships for non-domestic interests, to use the Syrians blood, sweat, and tears to achieve their own self-interested geopolitical goals. Thus while facing government repression another more daunting challenge faced the local demonstrators as well.
Amid reports of violent crackdowns, Israeli National News reported March 21st that “Seven policeand at least four demonstrators in Syria have been killed in continuing violent clashes that erupted in the southern town of Daraa last Thursday.” [Emphasis mine] The report indicates that although the government’s response had been brutal, the opposition was not altogether peaceful, but instead were armed and firing at police. There were more police killed than protesters in this incident.
Pro-Assad Syrians demonstrate outside the meeting hall as foreign ministers from dozens of countries gather to set conditions for a new Syria, pushing for tighter sanctions and diplomatic pressure to further isolate President Bashar Assad, in Istanbul, Turkey, Sunday, April 1, 2012. Syrian support for the opposition fell in the wake of Western imperialism and the dramatic increase in violence from rebels. (AP Photo)
On March 29th, Reuters would report that tens of thousands of Syrians gathered for a pro-government rally, signifying that many in the country continued to support the government, corroborating later polls organized by Qatar which found that the majority of Syrians (55%) wanted Assad to stay in power.
By August 1st, Israel’s Debkafile intelligence news source, awarded Forbe’s “Best of the Web” award, would report that “[Syrian forces] are now running into heavy resistance: Awaiting them are anti-tank traps and fortified barriers manned by protesters armed with heavy machine guns … Syrian troops encountered armed resistance … there is no shortage of arms.” [Emphasis mine]
These were no typical protests, armed with anti-tank machinery and heavy machine guns. How did they accomplish this without significant foreign assistance?
Debkafile reported on August 15th, “NATO headquarters in Brussels and the Turkish high command are meanwhile drawing up plans for their first military step in Syria, which is to arm the rebels with weapons for combating the tanks and helicopters spearheading the Assad regime’s crackdown on dissent. Instead of repeating the Libyan model of air strikes, NATO strategists are thinking more in terms of pouring large quantities of anti-tank and anti-air rockets, mortars and heavy machine guns into the protest centers for beating back the government armored forces … the arms would be trucked into Syria under Turkish military guard and transferred to rebel leaders at pre-arranged rendezvous.” [Emphasis mine]
Given Debka’s previous report, these heavy machine guns and anti-tank equipment seem to already have entered Syria. This report would go on to state “Also discussed in Brussels and Ankara, our sources report, is a campaign to enlist thousands of Muslim volunteers in Middle East countries and the Muslim world to fight alongside the Syrian rebels. The Turkish army would house these volunteers, train them and secure their passage into Syria.” [Emphasis mine]
This has since been verified.
It has been an open secret that there has been a steady supply line of arms and fighters from Turkey into Syria, with Vice President Joe Biden even admitting as much. Recently Turkish Intelligence Agency (MIT) veteran Önder Sığırcıkoğlu stated that all weapons supplies and militant incursions into Syria from Turkey were organized by MIT.
Estimates as well attest to the fact that not only thousands, but tens of thousands of foreign fighters hailing from over 80 different countries have made their way into Syria to fight for the opposition. Reports that surfaced later detail the kinds of ‘Muslim volunteers’ that were being recruited and supported: Christian rights groups documented attacks on Christians amid chants of “Alawites to the grave and Christians to Beirut!” The New York Times reported that the flow of arms was going “largely to hard-line Islamists,” and other reports detailed how the rebels recruited and trained by the US were largely going on to join extremist elements like ISIS.
This all tells us that from the beginning of clashes in March the protesters were armed, and that by August they bore the resemblance of a full-on insurgency incorporated with extremist elements, yet how could this be possible without foreign sponsorship?
The reports also demonstrate that, at least by August, the West was drawing plans for an insurgency, however further evidence attests to the fact that this foreign intervention actually began much sooner.
In a series of reports in November and December, former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds, described ascredible by the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General, would break the story that US and NATO, accompanied by hundreds of soldiers, were operating a secret training camp in Turkey to “organize and expand the dissident base in Syria,” since April-May of 2011. Operations were conducted to smuggle US weapons into Syria, conduct psychological and information warfare, and to help funnel intelligence and military operators across the border. Sibel quotes high-level, insider governmental sources from both the US and Turkey, as well as journalists and eye-witnesses on the ground who had first contacted main-stream news outlets that had refused to cover the story. One BBC reporter was even detained and barred from reporting on the matter. It would instead be picked up by Turkish and Iranian media. 
These accounts, verified by high-level sources and foreign media outlets, further corroborate Debkafile’s reports of NATO arming and facilitating fighters to the opposition, though revealing that this had already begun long before Debka learned of it. It helps to explain the violent nature of the conflict’s beginnings, at a time when Western media was only reporting on the violence of government crackdowns, refusing to cover this story, and refusing to cover the violence of the protesters. All of this further suggests that the violent nature of the opposition was largely a product of foreign involvement and that the Western press would not cover this fact.
A month before these revelations in September, WikiLeaks release of Stratfor communications would attest to the violent nature of the protests: “The opposition remains largely nonviolent,” and would go on to verify that the protests movements were incapable of large armed resistance, the kind that Debkafile had reported was already present. The emails note that “the opposition is very unlikely to overwhelm and topple the regime without substantial foreign military and financial backing … Without foreign backing, the opposition movement is unlikely to acquire enough money or gain enough traction to acquire large quantities of weaponry, let alone achieve regime change. The movement is simply too small and too ill equipped.” [Emphasis mine]
In this citizen journalism image taken on Monday March 26, 2012 and provided by Edlib News Network ENN, an anti-Syrian regime protester carries a boy on his shoulder with the Syrian revolution flag painted on his face, gesture during a demonstration in Binish town in Idlib province, northern Syria. Reports suggest that protests might have remained largely peaceful without the intervention of foreign governments intent on creating a Syrian civil war. (AP Photo/Edlib News Network ENN)
Sibel’s revelations of foreign aid beginning in April, corroborated by reports of armed protesters beginning at the end of March, along with Stratfor’s assessment that that a viable armed resistance was only possible through substantial foreign backing, and Debkafile’s reports of a heavily armed opposition by August, further verify the foreign hand in instigating and facilitating the beginning of the crisis. Without substantial foreign backing the relatively small-scale protests would never have been able to spawn into the armed resistance that they did; the ‘civil war’ was a product of foreign intervention.
Further corroborating these assertions is a PressTV article quoted by Sibel in her reports, which cites Syrian state media detailing confessions made by captured rebels about receiving foreign aid:
“Confessions by a number of Syrian rebels about foreign-sponsored plans to carry out armed operations and killing ordinary people as well as security forces prove that recent developments in the country are part of an attempt to incite a revolt in the strategic country neighboring the Israeli regime, aiming to overthrow the current government and replace it with a US-backed regime … Damascus blames the violence on foreign-sponsored terrorist groups, with the Syrian state TV broadcasting reports showing seized weapons caches and confessions by terrorists describing how they obtained arms from foreign sources.”
A month after these reports in December another WikiLeaks cable would prove this foreign involvement.
The cable accounts a December 2011 meeting at the Pentagon between Stratfor personnel and United States Air Force (USAF) officers at the Lieutenant Colonel level, who would detail how Special Operations Forces, presumably from the US, UK, France, Jordan, and Turkey, were “already on the ground focused on recce [reconnaissance] missions and training opposition forces.” The USAF officials would state that “there isn’t much of a Free Syrian Army to train right now,” further validating the claim that the armed resistance was not domestic but instead was a product of foreign intervention.
The officials would detail the nature of their mission:
“The idea ‘hypothetically’ is to commit guerrilla attacks, assassination campaigns, try to break the back of the Alawite forces, elicit collapse from within.” [Emphasis mine]
No mention of freedom or democracy, mind you — the goal was regime-change, the same goal behind the financing of opposition since 2005, and they were willing to use violence to do it.
That same month Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, would corroborate this information citing CIA sources:
NATO is already clandestinely engaged in the Syrian conflict, with Turkey taking the lead as U.S. proxy … The intervention would be based on humanitarian principles, to defend the civilian population based on the “responsibility to protect” doctrine that was invoked to justify Libya …
Unmarked NATO warplanes are arriving at Turkish military bases close to Iskenderum [sic] on the Syrian border, delivering weapons from the late Muammar Gaddafi’s arsenals as well as volunteers from the Libyan Transitional National Council … French and British special forces trainers are on the ground, assisting the Syrian rebels while the CIA and U.S. Spec Ops are providing communications equipment and intelligence to assist the rebel cause …
“CIA analysts are skeptical regarding the march to war. The frequently cited United Nations report that more than 3,500 civilians have been killed by Assad’s soldiers is based largely on rebel sources and is uncorroborated. The [Central Intelligence] Agency has refused to sign off on the claims. Likewise, accounts of mass defections from the Syrian Army and pitched battles between deserters and loyal soldiers appear to be a fabrication, with few defections being confirmed independently. Syrian government claims that it is being assaulted by rebels who are armed, trained, and financed by foreign governments are more true than false.” [Emphasis mine]
Another enlightening revelation may be gleaned from the previous WikiLeaks cable, especially in light of the pretexts used to justify the US bombing campaigns. USAF officials were acutely aware that bombing was only possible if there was enough media attention on a massacre committed by Assad (the false claims that, now debunked, that Assad had used chemical weapons in 2013). “They dont [sic] believe air intervention would happen unless there was enough media attention on a massacre, like the Ghadafi move against Benghazi. They think the US would have a high tolerance for killings as long as it doesn’t reach that very public stage.” [Emphasis mine]
Thus we see that there was an intention to bomb long before any ‘red-lines’ were crossed, long before ISIS was present, and they needed perceived massacres by Assad to do it. One need only look at Western media headlines to see this playing out in the supreme, laser-like focus that is given to Assad’s bombings, with nowhere near comparable attention given to massacres committed by US-backed rebels, even though death-toll figures indicate that the rebels are responsible for the majorityof the deaths overall, and not Assad’s forces.
This intention of utilizing mass killings to justify military intervention is well known. In 1997, Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Advisor to Jimmy Carter, co-founder of the Trilateral Commission, and current unofficial aid and mentor to President Obama, wrote that “[America] may find it more difficult to fashion a consensus on foreign policy issues, except in the circumstances of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat … It [a consensus on foreign policy issues during WWII] was rooted, however, not only in deeply shared democratic values, which the public sensed were being threatened, but also in a cultural and ethnic affinity for the predominantly Europeanvictims of hostile totalitarianism.”  [Emphasis mine]
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Tuesday that it has documented 150,344 deaths in the conflict that started in March 2011. The figure includes civilians, rebels, and members of the Syrian military. It also includes militiamen, fighting alongside President Bashar Assads forces and foreign fighters battling for Assads ouster on the rebels side. (AP/Shaam News Network)
The consensus fashioned from perceived victims of Assad’s government is not the product of a shared affinity with other Europeans. However, we can see how the same kind of consensus against hostile totalitarianism has been formed in the case of the Syrian crisis and, further, how a US bombing campaign and overt US military involvement more generally necessitated this kind of perception among the public, something that is well known to high-level policy planners.
Without the hyper-focus on Assad’s crimes, and the complete media black-out of the nature of the armed insurgency, their presence as well as their aggressive actions, a foreign policy consensus for overt foreign involvement in the Syrian crisis would not have been possible.
Following these developments, reports started to openly admit the foreign nature of the conflict, while still portraying it as a domestic ‘civil war’ and not a proxy insurgency. Yet we can see that this representation is not at all the reality, and that this conflict was instigated and started by the very same Western leaders who claim to want to see it end, erroneously blaming Assad for starting a conflict that their actions actually facilitated.
Remember that a violent and armed opposition was not possible without foreign intervention, that there was not “much of a Free Syrian Army” present until NATO arrived. Syria was in the crosshairs of the empire long before any ‘red-lines’ were crossed and as soon as Western involvement began throwing money, guns, and foreign fighters into the mix, the clashes between an armed opposition and the Syrian security forces began, and all blame was placed upon Assad because an affinity for “victims of hostile totalitarianism” was needed to “fashion a consensus on foreign policy issues” to justify Western involvement in the eyes of the public.
How are we then to believe that our leaders are honestly seeking an end to the hostilities, when those very same leaders are the ones who began them? When they also continually insist on escalating the violence and bloodshed by pouring more money and weaponry into the country?
The truth is they never want it to end until Assad is ousted and they themselves gain power over Syrian policy-making. The recent calls by John Kerry for a negotiated settlement, if serious, represent a concession from the West that they have failed in their military goals, and are resorting to a political solution as a final resort. Their real intent from the very beginning was always to foment unrest with a view toward regime-change, and then to highlight Assad’s inevitable crackdowns while supporting an armed insurgency against him, obfuscating the fact that there was an armed insurgency of their own making directed against government forces — to use the violence of the government as justification for further attacks, thus making their attacks appear defensive rather than an offensive, which of course they were not.
Therefore, what occurred in Daraa was not simply an authoritarian regime violently cracking down on peaceful protesters but instead was a situation whereby the violent clashes involved significant foreign involvement. The protest movement was hijacked by foreign powers sought to exploit the unrest for their own ends. Therefore the ‘revolution’ was actually anything but, and was instead the result of a proxy insurrection and attack upon the Syrian state by foreign powers which displaced the sincere protest base and eliminated any prospects for actual reforms, reforms which might have been possible had the Syrian people been left free from foreign intervention to determine their own affairs.
This is corroborated by the Syrian opposition activist Dr. Haytham Manna, who was involved in the uprising since its inception:
“The first negative result of the use of arms was to undermine the broad popular support necessary to transform the uprising into a democratic revolution … the pumping of arms to Syria, supported by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the phenomenon of the Free Syrian Army, and the entry of more than 200 jihadi foreigners into Syria in the past six months have all led to a decline in the mobilisation of large segments of the population … and in the activists’ peaceful civil movement. The political discourse has become sectarian; there has been a Salafisation of religiously conservative sectors.”
The media walked in lock-step with the narrative that suited the US establishment’s interests, even going so far as to detain journalists and block reporting when credible insider information came to light, thus obscuring the true nature of the situation in the eyes of the Western public, which made it possible to fashion a consensus for this specific foreign policy issue.
Surely the small scale and sporadic protests that began before March 2011 were met with violent repression from the Syrian state, and none of these findings absolve the Assad government from blame for this, however it is also true that these opposition movements were financed, trained, and advised by the US through ‘democracy promotion’ endeavors. Evidence shows that when members of these groups complain about their connections to Washington they are subsequently ousted from membership.
The goal of financing these groups is regime-change, intended in Syria for 2 decades, and from the very beginning the US was arming and training the opposition to attack the state. Money, weaponry, and foreign fighters flowed in and were facilitated by the US special forces from the onset with a view towards targeted assassinations and eliciting a collapse from within. The government needed justification for this which was accomplished by the media’s refusal to report on information that ran counter to the official narrative.
Open-source information detailed in this report demonstrates that what is commonly referred to as the Syrian ‘civil war’ is more accurately described as a proxy insurgency that exploited the social unrest in the country to go about achieving a long-standing policy goal of regime-change in Damascus. This further belies the stated claims of Western officials that they are at all serious about ending a crisis which they themselves instigated and escalated, and suggests that the only way the crisis will end is if the West achieves its stated goal of regime-change or if they are forced to accept a political settlement in the face of a military defeat or stalemate.
Recent developments suggest that they have failed in their attempts to oust Assad; the pro-government forces are too well equipped and the government maintains too large of a domestic support base. Still, the West seeks to further inflame the conflict as a means to keep Syria weak and unstable, using that as leverage to force concessions from Damascus and weaken the resistance bloc of Syria, Iran, and Russia. US allies fear that the jihadis they have been backing for years will turn against their own regimes in light of a cessation of hostilities in Syria.
Syrian rebel fighter Tawfiq Hassan, 23, a former butcher. An increasing amount o evidence suggests Western governments have armed rebels while simultaneously claiming to oppose the unrest caused by the Syrian civil war. (AP Photo)
The US and its allies insist on molding Syrian policy-making to conform to their own interests, as seen in their persistent demands that Assad must step down. Until these impediments are overcome, or until domestic populations force their leaders to stop committing these crimes, atrocities, and aggressions, the best we can hope for is to watch Syria’s secular society deteriorate until it falls victim to the fate of countless other recipients of Western ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy.’
We must hope that the domestic population overcomes the propaganda narrative propagated by the mainstream media and the ideological supporters of state terror. We must expose the Syrian crisis for what it really is and demand to hold those guilty accountable for their crimes.
The Syrian population is strong and resilient in the face of imperial aggression. We in the West who are privileged enough to not suffer a similar fate thus have a great responsibility to use all of our resources and democratic freedoms to reverse the tide of the unjust policies committed in our names by our governments, which constitute nothing less than crimes against humanity. This is by no means impossible, and we in the West have the unique ability to oppose state policy with a great degree of freedom. We should use this opportunity to combat imperialism, to give the Syrians back the sovereignty they deserve, and to restore back to America the values and ideals that are actually worthy of the people who inhabit it, those that we were taught our country represented in school, yet that since we have learned were mere ideological cover for something much worse.
But we can change that.
We should be as strong as the Syrians who face with courage untold terror committed against them on a daily basis by our governments, and never let ourselves forget that “It does not take a majority to prevail … but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.”
And perhaps most absent from analysis on Syria are the voices of the Syrian people themselves, their thoughts, desires, feelings, and pronouncements. Their experiences, the ones aggressor nations claim to represent, unfortunately fall upon deaf ears in the West.
To counter this, here I have quoted a lost voice from Lattakia. Afrona, a Syrian born architect, recounts her experience under the ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ that Washington had brought to her country, and the foreign involvement they have attempted to hide from the prying eyes of their domestic civilian populations:
It was 2011 , the year of the color revolution , Arab Spring. The real color was black, and the real season was without features. Obama and the global society never feel shy to announce it as it is a freedom revolution! Syrian people was worried of what was going on in Egypt at that time, total mess, also was sad for Libya and the war crime against people there by the NATO. We recognized there is something planned for us, it is our turn, as in domino game.
Here it is they started in my city, savage groups was rushing in streets with shameful slogan repeating it non stop (Christian should displace to Beirut, Alawiet will be in cemetery) , they trained them to look like civil war. And the mainstream media started to talk about peaceful protests in Syria one of their first victims was a person in his way to his work, those gangs caught him gathered as wolves around him and slaughtered him, his guilt was his religion.
They want it to be real civil war, they want people to take revenge and kill each other by the name of religion. At that time our government issued, that it is allowed to everyone to join demonstration, and it is not allowed to any police man to bother them. The result was those gangs killed young police man they shot him. They were armed gangs. We realized more and more that we are under dirty war, not revolution at all.
Then that scene we used to see in Afghanistan and those countries under terror groups as Al-Qaeda which is CIA made, that scene of suicide bombers, car bombs, took place in Syria. Not important for the world if the victims were kids students and innocent civilians. The western media turned blind eyes , and instead of reporting the truth, they were spreading lies.
Later, the horrible crimes started by cannibals’ Free Syrian Army, Al-Nusra front, start to beheaded, eat livers, rape women, burn people alive … that was by FSA under the slogan Allaho Akbar, not by what they call now ISIS or Daes. Countries which were under FSA control suddenly ended up to ISIS. USA now invades my country to fight ISIS! But they still arming financing and funding FSA. Who is ISIS, who is FSA, who is Moderate Rebels? They are their doll here to invade Syria, clever plan.
Don’t forget the Creative Chaos of Condoleezza Rice, and her preaching of new middle east! Please keep Syria safe.”
Given the fact that polls consistently show that the majority of Syrians support the government, this is not an isolated viewpoint.
For more on Afrona’s story, watch interviews here and here. For further accounts of voices from Syria that the main-stream-media won’t report upon, follow Eva Bartlett at www.ingaza.wordpress.com, who regularly travels to Syria to account the voices of the voiceless.
Please, keep Syria safe …