by Stephen Lendman
Since early 2011, ongoing blame game strategy holds Syria responsible for Western-enlisted death squad crimes.
In August 2011, the Human Rights Council (HRC) appointed a so-called Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria (COI). Paulo Pinheiro heads it.
His mandate is pro-Western propaganda. Credibility isn’t his long suit. His reports bear testimony to his bias. He wrongfully blames Assad for insurgent crimes. He’s done so throughout his tenure.
Washington calls the shots. Pinheiro and other COI members salute and obey. So do HRC officials. Truth is verboten. False reports up the stakes for full-blown US-led NATO intervention.
On June 4, 1,000 US marines arrived in Jordan. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel approved them along with deployment of F-16s, Patriot missiles and other weapons.
Operation Eager Lion 2013 is pretext. Eighteen countries will participate. Exercises begin later in June. They’ll last two months. According to US Central Command spokesman Lt. Col. TG Taylor:
“In order to enhance the defensive posture and capacity of Jordan, some of these assets may remain beyond the exercise at the request of the government of Jordan.”
Jordan needs no enhanced defensive posture. Deploying US troops and weapons near Syria’s border is provocative. Perhaps COI timed its new report release with their arrival. More on that below.
Pinheiro admits anti-Assad forces commit violations and abuses. They pale, he says, compared to government wrongdoing. He lies saying so. He’s paid to lie.
On June 4, COI issued its latest report. It covers the period January 15 – May 15, 2013. Three others preceded it.
The UN News Centre headlined “Independent UN panel calls for diplomatic surge to end ‘daily reality’ of war crimes in Syria.”
Syria was invaded. There’s nothing civil about ongoing conflict. COI persists in characterizing it that way. Doing so distorts reality on the ground. COI’s report states:
“War crimes and crimes against humanity have become a daily reality in Syria where the harrowing accounts of victims have seared themselves on our conscience. Referral to justice remains paramount.”
COI discussed “systematic imposition of sieges, the use of chemical agents and forcible displacement.”
According to Pinheiro, “Syria is in free-fall. No one is winning and will not win the war. More weapons will only lead to more civilians dead and wounded.”
He stops short of truth and full disclosure. It’s not his mandate. Syria was invaded. It’s victimized by Washington-initiated aggression. Obama bears full responsibility.
Pinheiro urges dialogue to end conflict. How can it when Obama prioritizes war? So far, proxy foot soldiers wage it.
Ending hostilities requires calling them off, halting all funding, arming, training and directing, as well as telling complicit allies to cease and desist all anti-Syrian activities.
Pinheiro’s a willing co-conspirator. “We ask that States exert influence over the parties to the conflict to compel them to protect civilians,” he urges.
Only one state matters. Washington calls the shots. What it says goes. As long as Obama prioritizes regime change, expect conflict to continue.
COI ignores the grim reality. It was formed to do so. It’s a pro-Western tool. So-called findings were based on 430 interviews and “other collected evidence.”
Who was interviewed wasn’t explained. Clearly anti-Assad elements were featured at the expense of government loyalists. More on Pinheiro’s report below.
On June 2, Al Manar reported a recent NATO study. Western organizations conducted it. The World Tribune said it shows Syrian forces winning decisively.
On June 4, Western media reported Syria in full control of Qusair. It’s a strategic town bordering Lebanon. It’s part of an insurgent supply route. According to General Yahya Suleiman:
“Whoever controls Qusair control the center of the country, and whoever controls the center of the country controls all of Syria.”
Syrian state television said “Our heroic armed forces have returned security and stability to all of the town of Qusair.”
NATO said 70% of Syrians support Assad. They do so for good reason. They’re alarmed about Al Qaeda, Al Nusra, and other extremist elements waging war, committing atrocities and other crimes.
According to an unnamed Western source, “Assad is winning the war mostly because the people are cooperating with him against the rebels.”
He omitted explaining why. They want no part of foreign invaders. They reject US-led belligerent intervention. They want Syrian sovereignty respected. They want no outside force deciding who’ll rule their country. Above all, they want peace and stability restored.
According to COI, government forces and affiliated militia committed “murder, torture, rape, forcible displacement, enforced disappearances and other inhumane acts.”
Pinheiro calls ongoing conflict part of Assad’s systematic attack on civilians. He lied saying so. Assad’s doing his job. He’s battling foreign invaders. He’s obligated to do so. Syrians express gratitude.
Pinheiro admits anti-government forces commit crimes of war and against humanity. According to COI’s report:
“The violations and abuses committed by anti-Government armed groups did not, however, reach the intensity and scale of those committed by Government forces and affiliated militia.”
At the same time it says:
“Anti-Government armed groups have committed war crimes, including murder, sentencing and execution without due process, torture, hostage-taking and pillage.”
“They continue to endanger the civilian population by positioning military objectives in civilian areas.” Government soldiers and noncombatant civilians were executed in cold blood “without due process.”
Gruesome videos revealed brutal anti-Assad atrocities. Western media largely ignore them. Big Lies substitute. Syrian forces are blamed for insurgent crimes.
Pinheiro suggests Assad’s forces target internally displaced Syrians. Chemical weapons have been used by both sides, he said. Assad bears most responsibility, he claims.
COI’s report cites four attacks. They include March 19 on Khan Al-Asal, Aleppo, March 19 on Uteibah, Damascus, April 13 on Aleppo’s Sheikh Maqsood’s neighborhood, and April 29 on Saraqib, Idlib.
“There are reasonable grounds to believe that limited quantities of toxic chemicals were used” in these incidents, said COI.
Precise chemical agents used, their delivery systems or perpetrators aren’t clear, it said. Other incidents remain under investigation.
No evidence whatever links Syrian forces to toxic chemical attacks. Plenty shows insurgents used them. In late May, Turkish forces arrested 12 suspected Al Nusra fighters.
They were seized in southern Turkey. They were caught red-handed with a two gm cylinder of sarin nerve gas.
Initial Turkish media reports said four and a half pounds of sarin were seized. US media scoundrels said nothing. They largely support aggressive war on Syria.
Along with sarin, Turkish police found handguns, grenades, bullets and various documents. A planned Al-Nusra bomb attack in Adana was foiled. Many Alawites live there. They’re Assad loyalists.
On May 5, COI said testimonial evidence indicates “rebel forces” used sarin. A day later, it suggested “no conclusive findings.”
Other reports confirmed anti-Assad elements using chemical weapons. Syrian forces confiscated two cylinders of sarin used by insurgents in Hama.
It bears repeating. No evidence whatever shows Syria’s military or other pro-government elements used sarin or other toxic agents.
False reports claim otherwise. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius accused Assad of using them. He did so based on alleged tests France conducted. Results were sent to the UN, he said.
On June 5, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) headlined “Syria: UNHCR Committee Insists on Exaggeration, Ignores Crucial Events,” saying:
Syria’s permanent HCR representative Fayssal al-Hamwi addressed the body. He accused it of premeditated exaggerations. It paid little attention to vital information too important to ignore.
“In spite of our warnings against using sectarian expressions,” he said, “basically rejected by the Syrian society, the committee used such terms and ignored in its conclusions and recommendations the causes of deteriorating the social and economic situation, including the unjust unilateral sanctions imposed by some Arab and western countries on the Syrian people.”
Russia’s permanent Geneva-based UN representative Alexei Borodavkin said COI’s report stopped short of “honest positions.”
It downplayed or ignored insurgent “terrorist acts.” It omitted explaining the harmful effects of unilateral economic sanctions. It’s “politically biased.”
False anti-Assad accusations persist. Repeatedly he’s been accused of foreign death squad atrocities. Eye witnesses point fingers the right way. Western media ignore them.
Recent White House and State Department comments suggest Obama appears heading for full-scale intervention.
With marines, other US forces and heavy weapons on Syria’s border, anything may happen any time. If Libya 2.0 is launched, expect Israel to be involved. Israeli air attacks may initiate it.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
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Contributed by Luis Miranda of The Real Agenda.
Luis R. Miranda is the Founder and Editor of The Real Agenda. His 16 years of experience in Journalism include television, radio, print and Internet news. Luis obtained his Journalism degree from Universidad Latina de Costa Rica, where he graduated in Mass Media Communication in 1998. He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcasting from Montclair State University in New Jersey. Among his most distinguished interviews are: Costa Rican President Jose Maria Figueres and James Hansen from NASA Space Goddard Institute.