It’s become a tried and tested formula: find some wealthy foreign exiles with absolutely nothing in common with the people of the country they have left, build them into opposition heroes, then impose them on the country...
NATO is targeting Iran through its ally Syria. Sir John Sawers, head of MI6, is preparing to “fix” intelligence on Iran, as his predecessor Sir John Scarlett did by creating “dodgy dossiers” hyping the threat of Iraq’s non-existent “weapons of mass destruction”. On 4 July, Sawers told British senior civil servants that Iran is “two years away” from becoming a nuclear weapons state. Even the CIA does not believe this.
Since March 2011, al-Qaeda groups, covertly backed by NATO and Israel, have carried out terrorist attacks in Syria, just as they did in Bosnia in 1992-95, Azerbaijan in 1993 and Kosovo in 1997-98. These mercenaries have targeted the police, armed forces and innocent civilians, as the Arab League Observer Mission reported.
The USA and Britain are planning a “humanitarian” military intervention like the one on Libya. Special forces from Britain, France, Qatar and Turkey are already on the ground inside Syria in blatant violation of international law.
NATO and Israel are backing Kurdish separatists in northern Syria, who are linked to the Israeli-backed Kurdish Regional Government in northern Iraq. The aim, as the Jerusalem Post said, is to ‘Break Syria into Pieces’.
Syrians demonstrate for Syria and Assad in the centre of The Hague, Holland, on 19 May.
Photo: Jan Kranendonk/Shutterstock.com
NATO countries and their new Islamist allies have deliberately undermined any solution to the unfolding tragedy in Syria, frustrating all efforts by Kofi Annan and the United Nations. Consider the 30 June Geneva meeting of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and its aftermath. Despite Russia earlier suspending Syrian arms deliveries, Qatar and Saudi Arabia had flooded the opposition with weapons, making sure that the best, including anti-tank missiles, went to their Salafist and Islamist protégés.
Meanwhile US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for regime change. With Kofi Annan’s ceasefire plan in tatters, he organised the conference in Geneva and managed to achieve a common agreement between the five to call for the formation of a Government of National Unity in Syria, a timetable for elections in a fair environment and the maintenance of government institutions.
Later in the UN Security Council, Russia proposed a resolution to endorse the Geneva Agreement, only to find Britain, the US and former colonial power France proposing a resolution that reasserted their position of regime change and more sanctions. This is what led Kofi Annan to resign as UN/Arab League Envoy to Syria. While the British media falsely declared that Annan had blamed Russia for his resignation, the US, Britain, France, Qatar and Saudi Arabia rejoiced that they were now free to continue supporting the “opposition” with arms (hinting at anti-aircraft missiles), money, communications and special forces.
Any opposition will do
The most quoted opposition group is the Syrian National Council that British Foreign Secretary Hague recognises as the “legitimate representatives of the people of Syria”. Its main spokesperson is Paris-based Bassma Kodmani. The SNC is effectively made up of a plethora of Syrian exile factions and is currently based in Turkey. Kodmani has been vociferous in calling for foreign armed intervention in Syria. Interestingly, she attended her second Bilderberg Conference in Chantilly, Virginia. Bilderberg Conferences are a gathering of the world’s capitalist elite. At the 2008 conference she listed herself as French.
In September 2005, after the collapse of Syrian/US relations, Kodmani was made Executive Director of the Arab Reform Initiative, the brainchild of US neo-conservative think-tank the Council on Foreign Relations, which includes Peter Sutherland, the chairman of Goldman Sachs International, Brent Scowcroft, a former US National Security Advisor and Zbigniew Brzezinski, who succeeded him, among its board members. Financial oversight of ARI was transferred to the Centre for European Reform overseen by Lord Kerr, who is chairman of Royal Dutch Shell, and by Charles Grant, a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations, which lists as one of its members Bassma Kodmani, along with financier George Soros.
So here we have a coming together of intelligence, industry, banking and foreign policy with Kodmani, the “pro-democracy activist”, as she is hailed by the British media, at its centre. She is not the only one with links to the US and EU elites. Radwan Ziadeh, another oft-quoted spokesman for the SNC, is closely tied in with US neo-conservatives. Another is Najib Ghadbian, a political scientist at the University of Arkansas – and so it goes on.
Many of the exile opposition groups declare funding from the US “Democracy Council”, which is in turn funded by the US State Department, headed of course by Hillary Clinton. Then there is the US Syria Democracy Program, which offers grants to “accelerate the work of reformers in Syria”, and then the Syrian Business Forum thought to have assets of $300 million launched in Qatar to “support all components of the revolution in Syria”. There are around 200 disagreeing Syrian opposition factions, with now three “governments in exile” competing for these funds.
So these are the people that our Foreign Secretary, the US State Department and President Hollande want to take over in Syria, effectively the re-colonising of the country. Hollande’s first declaration after being elected as president of former colonial power France was to call for military intervention in Syria. So NATO is following the example of what the US and Britain did in Iraq: build up wealthy foreign exiles who have nothing in common with the people living in Syria and impose them on the Syrian nation.
But what about those fighting inside Syria? Two British news photographers were recently captured in Northern Syria by a brigade claiming to be al-Qaeda. Interviewed after their release they described their al-Qaeda captors as Chechens, Pakistanis and British. It’s known that Jihadists and Salafists from Tunisia, Libya, Morocco and Iraq are among the fighters as well as some Syrians who fought for al-Qaeda in Iraq.
But the real factor determining who fights who is the clan system, fatally misunderstood by the US in Iraq. After US planes notoriously bombed a wedding party in northern Iraq close to the Syrian border in 2003, US forces were surprised that Syrian members of the same clan crossed the border into Iraq to avenge those deaths by killing Americans. Many of the groups in the “Free Syria Army” are clan based. The US and Britain should note that clans can also change sides. ■