by Stephen Lendman
On January 6, Assad called for "comprehensive national dialogue in the near future." He rules out negotiating "with a puppet made by the West."
He advocates responsibly engaging opposition elements and other political parties.
"Syria wants peace and reconciliation," he stressed.
"(A)rmed groups must halt terrorist acts."
Since early 2011, Washington waged war on Syria. Proxy deaths squads are used. They're recruited abroad. They're heavily armed, funded, trained and directed. They infiltrate across borders.
Syria was invaded. Nothing civil reflects protracted conflict. Syrians depend on Assad for protection. He's vilified for doing his job. He's blamed for death squad crimes.
Propaganda wars target him. Media scoundrels are merciless. They march in lockstep with imperial US policy. They turn truth on its head. Doing so violates fundamental journalistic ethics.
They do it anyway. They're paid liars. They mock legitimate journalism. Their reports and commentaries don't rise to the level of bad fiction. They embarrass themselves shamelessly. More on their comments below.
Assad's speech was comprehensive, thoughtful, and responsible. He addressed what needs to be said. He correctly called foreign death squads "armed criminals, terrorists, enemies of God, and puppets of the West."
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland lied. She turned truth on its head. She ignored Washington's responsibility for nearly two years of conflict.
She accused Assad of "yet another attempt by the regime to cling to power and does nothing to advance the Syrian people's goal of a political transition."
"His initiative is detached from reality, undermines the efforts of Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi, and would only allow the regime to further perpetuate its bloody oppression of the Syrian people."
She called legitimate self-defense "brutaliz(ing) his own people." He "lost all legitimacy," she claimed. He "must step aside to enable a political solution and a democratic transition that meets the aspirations of the Syrian people."
She ignored rule of law principles. No nation may interfere in the internal affairs of others. America's Constitution prohibits it.
She denied reality. Most Syrians support Assad. They condemn foreign invaders. They deplore Western meddling. They alone should decide who'll govern.
The Syrian National Coalition for the Forces of the Opposition and the Revolution (SNC 2.0) said Assad's speech:
"confirms his incompetence as a head of state who realizes the grave responsibilities he carries during this critical time in Syria's history."
"Furthermore, it demonstrates that he is incapable of initiating a political solution that puts forward a resolution for the country's struggle and an exit for his regime with minimum losses because he cannot see himself and his narrow based rule except as remaining in power despite being rejected by his people and his traditional allies."
Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu called his speech "just repetitions of what he's said all along."
He "no longer has the representative authority over the Syrian people."
Davutoglu and likeminded Turkish officials are imperial tools. They're lead Washington attack dogs. They shamelessly betray their own people. They violate international law in the process.
EU foreign affairs head Catherine Ashton is no better. She insists that "Assad has to step aside and allow for a political transition."
UK Foreign Minister William Hague called Assad's speech "hypocritical. Deaths, violence and oppression engulfing Syria are his own making. Empty promises of reform fool no one."
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle claimed Assad's speech contained "no new insights."
Robert Fisk called Assad's speech his "most important" one. He addressed his people, Syria's army, and fallen martyrs. He praised supportive nations.
He stressed Syrian unity. "I will go one day, but the country stays," he said. He wants independence from foreign control. It matters most.
Conflict nonetheless continues. Syria may end up entirely ravaged when it ends. Body count totals may rise exponentially. Washington takes no prisoners.
Patrick Seale told Al Jazeera:
"If the fighting continues - and it shows no sign of stopping - then I fear my predictions are very, very gloomy."
"Syria, a major Arab country after all, faces the possibility of dismemberment, fragmentation, (and) partition."
The possibility is very real. Syria may replicate Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. It may be entirely destroyed. Hundreds of thousands may die. Washington bears full responsibility.
Ahead of Assad's speech, the Washington Post condemned Obama's failure to intervene. It's "one of his greatest failures," it said.
Post writer David Ignatius is a reliable imperial ally. On January 4, he proposed a "way out of" aggressive war he called "civil." Aggression is aggression is aggression. Nothing "civil" reflects it.
He wants Assad ousted. He supports foreign death squads. He equates them with freedom fighters. Doing so betrayed his readers.
"As with everything affecting Syria, time is running out before the country collapses into an anarchic failed state."
"What Syria needs urgently is a path to a new government based on the rule of law."
Syrians alone should choose their government. Outside interference is illegal. Washington prioritizes it. So does Ignatius. He supports imperial lawlessness. He, like America, spurns rule of law principles at home and abroad.
Assad prioritizes peaceful conflict resolution. He wants all nonviolent parties engaged responsibly. Media scoundrels claim otherwise.
On January 6, The New York Times headlined "Defiant Speech by Assad Is New Block to Peace in Syria," saying:
He sounded "defiant, confident and, to critics, out of touch with his people's grievances."
Ignored was strong Syrian backing. The longer conflict continues, the greater his internal support. The Times didn't explain.
Assad "sounded" like he did in winter 2011, "dictating which opposition groups were worthy and labeling the rest terrorists and traitors."
He called a spade a spade. A terrorist is a terrorist is a terrorist. Western-recruited death squads ravage the country. Syrians deplore them. They depend on security forces to rout them.
The Times left core issues unaddressed. It ignored reality. It pointed fingers the wrong way. It blamed Assad for death squad crimes. It falsely claimed most Syrians "demand change."
It quoted the usual anti-Assad sources. Propaganda substituted for truth and full disclosure. Times editors prioritize it.
The Washington Post was no better. On January 6, it headlined "Syria's Assad is defiant in rare speech," saying:
Assad "dashed hopes that a negotiated settlement to the nation's civil war would be feasible anytime soon."
His speech "offered no hint that he is prepared to surrender power, negotiate with his opponents or halt his crackdown on armed rebels."
So-called "rebels" are Western-recruited assassins. They're foreign invaders. They're death squad terrorists.
Assad prioritizes peaceful conflict resolution. Claiming otherwise turns truth on its head.
Calling his position "uncompromising" belies reality. Propaganda substitutes for full and accurate disclosure. It's typical Washington Post. Media scoundrels prioritize it.
They march in lockstep with imperial lawlessness. They point fingers the wrong way. The entire Post article was disingenuously duplicitous and hypocritical.
Assad made fair-minded responsible proposals. The Post called them "vague." He "put the onus on Western power." He did what had to be done.
His 50-minute speech was described as "outbursts of noisy acclamation." His "defiant tone cast a shadow (over) diplomatic activity." He "derived the entire opposition as lacking in ideology."
He did no such thing. He supports engaging nonviolent opponents. He correctly refuses to negotiate with Western-recruited foreign invaders.
"(A)t no point did he suggest that his reform package was intended to lead to a more democratic system of government."
His constitutional and parliamentary reform prioritizes it. The vast majority of Syrians support it. The Post stopped short of explaining.
It quoted illegitimate SNC 2.0 officials saying he has to go. He's "incapable of initiating a political solution."
Murdoch's Wall Street Journal echoed similar sentiments. On January 6, it headlined "Defiant Assad Rules Out Talks with Rebels," saying:
He "issued a defiant call to war to defend the country against what he called a foreign-inspired rebellion, ruling out talks with rebels and rejecting international peace efforts for a political plan of his own that keeps him in power."
Murdoch's world features demagoguery, managed news, scandal, sleaze, and warmongering. He represents the worst of right-wing extremism.
Famed Chicago columnist Mike Royko (1932- 1997) once said "no self-respecting fish would (want to) be wrapped in a Murdoch paper...."
He's a malevolent force. He's a leading global villain. He has final say on editorial content. He demands going along with his views or leave.
The Journal regurgitated the usual canards. It falsely said Assad "won't cooperate." He's "determined to fight."
He "ruled out a political settlement except on his own, specific terms. Critics viewed his comments as the harshest declaration of war against the opposition yet."
False! He was conciliatory, responsible and reasonable. He prioritizes peaceful conflict resolution. Journal editors did what they do best.
They turned truth on its head. Anti-Assad sources were quoted. Andrew Tabler is a Washington Institute for Near East fellow. WINEP is a right-wing pro-Israeli front group.
Tabler's a featured AIPAC Annual Policy Conference speaker. He endorses imperial war. He wants Assad ousted. He supports death squad proxies. "Assad must go at all costs," he stresses.
He's "repeating an old, ruthless pattern: escalating defiantly to test exactly where the red line is, and forcing the international community to give concessions in its desire for a political settlement."
Israel is part of the anti-Assad coalition. Mossad-connected DEBKAfile had its say. It headlined "Bolstered by 16 Russian warships, Assad nixes dialogue with 'Western puppets,' " saying:
He "called on Syrians to defend the country against 'a war fought by only a handful of Syrians and many foreigners. He rejected dialogue with" foreign invaders.
He did the right thing. He called for national mobilization against "outside forces."
DF said his strategy reflects "a long-term insurance policy for bolstering his regime's survival." He believes Russian naval forces in Syrian waters "deter the West from deploying ground forces to Syria."
Their presence serves as "counterweight" against offensive Patriot missiles near Syria's border.
He was conciliatory. He urged dialogue with "those who have not betrayed Syria." He offered more constitutional reform, new government representing all Syrians, and amnesty to end conflict.
He rejects Western puppets. He offered conflict resolution hope. He reached out responsibly to nonbelligerent opposition forces.
Washington, key NATO partners, Israel, other regional allies, and illegitimate SNC 2.0 puppets spurn him. Peaceful conflict resolution remains a distant hope.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.