by Stephen Lendman
Syrians struggle valiantly to defeat Western-recruited invaders. Islamofasists infest their ranks. They're cold-blooded killers.
Assad is falsely blamed for their crimes. They include horrific atrocities. On December 23, Hama province residents were slaughtered. Reports said up to 100 in Halfaya. Headlines claimed a government air strike hit a bakery.
Suspect videos showed bloodstained corpses amid rubble and shrapnel. On December 24, Voice of Russia headlined "Syria: Halfaya residents massacred," saying:
The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) said "Militants have massacred the residents of Halfaya in Hama (Syria)." Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, and Western media falsely blamed Assad.
"The terrorists photographed them in a way enabling them to accuse the local residents of an attack on the government forces at the moment when the UN-Arab League envoy to Syria Lahdar Brahimi arrived in Damascus."
Russia Today quoted Syrian TV. Insurgents were blamed. They were accused of "filming the aftermath to 'frame the army.' "
Videos are easy to fake. An amateur YouTube one "has not been independently verified." Why would Syrian forces target civilians lined up to buy bread?
Dubious sources don't explain. Predictable reports point fingers the wrong way. It happens every time.
In early December, media scoundrels reported an Agrab, Hama village massacre. Opposition sources were cited. Fake videos were broadcast.
Pro-government militiamen were accused of killing up to 300 civilians. Reports said they were held hostage inside a blown up building.
A house reportedly bombed by Syrian forces still stands. The entire account emitted a familiar odor. It lacked credibility like numerous previous ones.
Britain's Channel 4 interviewed three independent witnesses. They told the same story. Anti-Assad "rebels" were responsible. They targeted Alawites. A dozen or more others fled Aqrab. They reported the same thing.
One witness said responsible fighters "had long beards. It was hard to understand what they said. They weren't dressed like normal Syrians."
On December 24, Haaretz and AP headlined "Syrian rebels claim Assad regime uses chemical weapons," saying:
Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, and opposition elements said Syrian forces used them "for the first time." No evidence whatever suggests it.
Throughout the conflict, Al Jazeera waged war on Syria. Qatar's government controls content. It's part of the anti-Assad coalition. Propaganda substitutes for real news and information.
Prominent journalists resigned in protest. In April 2011, Beirut chief/Hiwar Muftuh (open dialogue) host, Ghassan Ben Jeddo, left. He said Al Jazeera "abandoned professionalism and objectivity."
It's now "an operation room that incites and mobilizes." Its reports lack credibility. It latest claimed unnamed Al-Bayada neighborhood "activists" accused government forces of targeting them with gas.
A separate statement said Syrian jets bombed Homs with "poisonous material." Another suspect video was aired. Al Jazeera specializes in doing it. It showed a man on a respirator. Allegedly he was wounded by "nerve gas."
An unidentified "rebel" called the situation "very bad. We don't have enough gas masks," he said. "We do not know what gas this is, but doctors say it resembles sarin."
Last week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Mossad-connected DEBKAfile said Syria "consolidated its chemical weapons in one or two locations amid a rebel onslaught, and they are under control for the time being."
Russia has military advisors on the ground. They keep "close watch" over Syria's chemical arsenal.
On December 23, Press TV headlined "Syria militants use chemical weapons against Syrian forces," saying:
Military sources said they used them in Daraya near Damascus. On Saturday, toxic yellow gas killed at least seven Syrian soldiers.
They died within an hour after inhaling it. Foreign-backed insurgents threatened chemical weapons use. They also said they'd poison Syrian water.
"The militants' use of chemical weapons come as the US and its allies have alleged that the Syrian government possesses the deadly weapons and is prepared to use them against militants."
A December 20 UN report said insurgents invaded. They're from 29 countries. Most are extremist Salafists. Syrian officials and independent accounts repeatedly stressed Western-recruited death squads ravaged the country since last year.
UN investigators said conflict shifted from battling for political change to "overtly sectarian" warfare. It claimed civil war ravages Syria.
Nothing civil reflects what's going on. Western-recruited death squads are responsible. Syria was invaded. Army forces, Alawite civilians, and other Assad loyalists struggle to defeat them.
Self-defense groups protect neighborhoods. Entire communities are threatened. The UN's Independent International Commission of Inquiry (CIO) partly admitted what earlier it suppressed.
It stopped short of blaming Washington, key NATO allies and regional partners. Earlier reports pointed fingers the wrong way. Propaganda substituted for truth and full disclosure.
It claimed "violations were committed pursuant to State policy pointing to the involvement at the highest levels of the armed and security forces of the Government."
Assad's repeatedly blamed for death squad crimes.
On December 23, Voice of Russia headlined "Syrian opposition surrenders," saying:
Local media reports say "Swarms of Syrian militants are surrendering to the government troops around Damascus. Over the last 72 hours, regular army units delivered powerful blows."
Insurgents were routed. Syria's Information Ministry and independent Al-Watan news reported army successes. In areas east of Damascus, "scattered groups of 15 to 50 armed rebels are desperately trying to evade entrapment."
Army forces are determined to crush them. On December 23, SANA headlined "Information Minister: Syria is Moving Towards Overcoming Crisis and Defeating Aggression," saying:
Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi said Syria and its people made considerable progress. Propaganda reports are "baseless and untrue."
Syria will defeat its enemies, he stressed. Al Qaeda, Al Nusra, and other terrorists "are trained and prepared by well-known sides that financed, instigated, established training camps, and put various tools at" their disposal.
Russia respects Syrian sovereignty. It wants conflict resolved diplomatically. It's pursuing dialogue. It seeks "a purely Syrian democratic and national political process."
Syria's army represents the nation and people. It's confronting Western-backed terrorism. On September 28, 2001, Security Council Resolution 1373 passed unanimously.
It called for "suppressing, financing, (and) improving international cooperation." It considers anyone involved with conspiring, facilitating, or harboring terrorists subject to counterterrorism laws.
Al-Zoubi added that Syria, its government, its army and people stand resolutely against foreign terrorists. Contrary reports are untrue.
On December 24, Russia Today reported more on Sergey Lavrov's exclusive interview. He diplomatically condemned how Western officials divide terrorists between "bad and acceptable" ones.
Doing so assures lasting adverse consequences. He again stressed that Syria's chemical arsenal is secure.
"Every time we hear rumors, or pieces of information come to the surface that the Syrians are doing something with the chemical weapons, we double-check. We triple-check," he said.
At the same time, "strange (Western) logic holds Syria's government entirely responsible "even if the rebels take hold of it."
At the same time, Western governments escalate conflict by arming and funding terrorists.
Wars don't last forever, he said. They all end the same way. Both sides negotiate. It should happen in Syria as soon as possible.
Syria won't use chemical weapons, he stressed. Doing so "would be political suicide." Russia's main goal isn't "somebody's head. It's the cessation of violence and bloodshed."
Syrians alone must choose their government. Foreign ones and opposition elements have no right to decide. Russia isn't in "the business of regime change."
Syrians must decide without foreign interference. External forces can play stabilizing roles. They can encourage dialogue and conflict resolution. They can prioritize peace over war.
Syrian National Council 2.0 goals are "unachievable." They endorse "ruinous" principles. They want to dismantle or topple Assad's government forcefully.
They spurn negotiations. Doing so violates last June's Geneva Agreement principles. They call for respecting international law provisions, peaceful conflict resolution, and backing a Syrian-led political transition serving everyone equitably.
Washington, key NATO partners, and regional allies bear full responsibility. They prioritize conflict over peace. Lavrov worries about involving Iran. Doing so could escalate things out of control.
On December 20, Vladimir Putin held his first press conference since reelected Russia's president. It was his eighth wide-ranging one with journalists. Many topics were covered. He answered 80 questions in four and a half hours.
Geopolitical ones were included. He hopes for constructive dialogue with Japan. He seeks normalization with Georgia. He praised an unprecedented level of Russo-Chinese trust. He commented thoughtfully on Syria.
"We are worried about what will come next," he said. "We don't want the opposition, (if) it comes to power, to go into war with the current authorities, which will become the opposition, and so on."
"Russia is more concerned about finding a solution that would save the region from collapse and civil war than about pursuing its interests in the region, which aren't that many anyway."
Last February, former Russian Joint Chiefs of Staff member Colonel-General Leonid Ivashov said said Moscow is prepared to defend Syria or Iran if attacked.
Striking either country indirectly targets Russia and its interests, he said. "Russia would love important positions and allies in the Arab world. Therefore, by defending (these countries), Russia is defending its own interests."
He called what Washington and NATO partners did to Libya "nearly identical" to what Hitler did to Poland and Russia.
Moscow is protecting the world from fascism, he stressed. It's unknown if Putin, other top Kremlin officials, and military ones hold similar views.
Putin downplayed the stakes. He knows regional conflict threatens Russian interests. How far he'll go to defend them remains to be seen.
Lavrov said diplomatic conflict resolution is prioritized. It's always the best way to resolve things equitably.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.