“Black Propaganda” and Moral Dualism in Sarajevo and Syria

The invisible Syrian Arab Army.

The invisible Syrian Arab Army.

In her book Fools’ Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO and Western Delusions, Diana Johnstone discusses the use of “black propaganda”, which refers to the act of staging an attack on your own side; an element of psychological warfare. Johnstone writes:

Black propaganda does exist. A relatively harmless but fully acknowledged instance occurred in Croatia on 6 February 1993, when the Croatian army staged a fake “Serbian” artillery attack on the Croatian Adriatic port city of Šibenik in front of television cameras, which relayed the “Serbian atrocity” to credulous viewers. The deception was later exposed and even admitted. The officer credited with ordering the feigned attack, Davor Škugor, Chief of General Staff of the 113th Brigade of the Croatian Army, scornfully shrugged off the uproar with this observation: “There is no city in Croatia in which such tactical tricks were not used. After all, they are an integral part of strategic plans. They are only one in a series of stratagems we have resorted to during the war.”

While the general public in the West is unaware of this sort of thing, their governments are not so naive. But neither governments nor media would care to suggest the possibility of such cynical behavior, least of all on the part of the side already designated as “the victim of aggression”. Moral dualism is necessary to keep the public from awareness of a more troubling reality.

Johnstone also describes a number of atrocities that took place in Muslim held areas of Sarajevo, Bosnia – none of which were ever officially blamed on the Serbian side due to a lack of evidence, and all of which occurred immediately prior to UN meetings, peace talks etc. The writer notes:

It may be hard to imagine that the Muslims would kill “their own people”. However, in Bosnia there were several thousand mujahidin from Muslim countries, including veterans of the war in Afghanistan and Algerian Islamic terrorists, for whom Sarajevo’s fun-loving, often hard-drinking inhabitants were not exactly “their own people”. For the sake of the cause, such foreign fighters might have few qualms about killing a number of Sarajevo civilians, few of whom were likely to be devout Muslims.

There are striking similarities here to the 2013 sarin gas attack in Syria, which almost resulted in NATO bombing the Syrian armed forces until public opinion, the Labour Party, and Vladimir Putin’s intervention led to Cameron and Obama backing down.

Although already quite sure that the Ghouta chemical attack was an attempt to frame the Syrian government, Johnstone’s writing on “black propaganda” has made me certain. You don’t need to have read Seymour Hersh’s investigative work on the subject to see how preposterous the notion that President Assad’s forces carried out the attack is, having been committed at the same time the UN were visiting the country to investigate earlier allegations of chemical weapons use. It is painfully obvious that it would be detrimental to Assad and his country’s survival to use chemical weapons, after Obama had publicly stated that such usage was his ‘red line’ that would result in him ordering air strikes. The Syrian state had everything to lose from doing so, and the rebels – firmly established as Assad’s “victims of aggression” – had everything to gain. Johnstone’s point about killing Sarajevo/Syrian citizens is equally applicable: the al Qaeda and foreign-dominated opposition – likely with the help of sponsors Turkey and Saudi Arabia – would not be troubled by sacrificing civilians to trigger a “humanitarian intervention”. It is highly likely that there have been several instances of the opposition in Syria using black propaganda for this reason.

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This image, supposedly depicting victims in Ghouta, was used by the BBC; it was actually taken in Iraq, 2003.

There are many other similarities between the wars in the Balkans and that in Syria, particularly the ‘moral dualism’ employed by the media and entities like the State Department and United Nations. The Serbs were the new Nazis; Milošević the new Hitler. Now in Syria Assad is the new Milošević, as well as also sometimes being the latest ‘new Hitler’. Of course Gaddafi was demonized in the same way. Johnstone notes that all the deaths publicised in Bosnia were of Muslims, in vastly inflated numbers. Pictures of dead Serbs were presented as Muslim Bosniaks, and Serb suffering was completely erased from the narrative. In media reports on Syria, the Syrian army are non-existent; there’s just evil Assad and occasionally his Alawite inner circle. Only the Kurds are fighting ISIS we are told, despite the videos and images that circulate on social media showing the mass-executions of Syrian soldiers. Every dead terrorist is a civilian butchered by Assad.

Maximilian Forte says in his Slouching Towards Sirte: NATO’s War on Libya and Africa that “morality has been weaponized”: our governments preach about the responsibility to protect, while simultaneously facilitating genocide. Insisting that “Assad must go” because he’s “killing his own people,” when the reality is that NATO and its GCC allies have been transferring foreign mercenaries to Syria in order to kill its inhabitants.

For how much longer can these predators continue to destroy independent nations with no opposition or consequences?

Russell Brand Summarises the Dishonesty of David Cameron’s Tunisia Response

Tunisia Minute Of Silence – Total Bullshit: Russell Brand The Trews (E350)

I don’t usually pay much attention to Russel Brand, but it is good to see someone in the public eye speaking out about power structures in society and challenging the status quo; something the British press is loathe to do.

He really nails David Cameron’s response to the Tunisia attack; asking why, if the various incidents from London 7/7 to Mumbai to Charlie Hebdo are all connected to one another, then why are our invasions and drone attacks etc not part of the picture?

According to Cameron, there is no relationship between Britain waging aggressive wars against countries that haven’t done anything to us and the animosity that is felt towards the UK. Since 9/11 Britain has taken part in three wars of choice – Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya – as well as covertly waging a devastating war against Syria, resulting in the deaths of millions of innocent people. The government has also given its full support to Israel and Saudi Arabia to destroy Gaza and Yemen, and provided them with the weapons to do so. No one has been held accountable for any of this, and the public doesn’t seem to care.

Now, as part of the new Anti-Terrorism Act, the Home Office is legislating against the very ‘extremist’ language that the government itself is guilty of:

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In his speech following the Tunisia attack, the PM predictably declared that “they” had declared war on Britain. As Brand points out, who is this “they” Cameron refers to? How is this different to the message he says ‘Islamic extremism’ conveys? Brand notes that the ‘war on terror’ is a self-perpetuating business and until there is recognition that wars and arms deals are part of the problem not the solution then nothing will change.

What exactly is the point of the Chilcot report when Cameron’s government has continued to wage illegal wars and lie about them to the public?

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Benghazi 2015 – who will rebuild Libya?

The British government continue to deny responsibility for chaos in the Middle East

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The murder of up to 30 British tourists on a Tunisian beach last week is yet another consequence of David Cameron’s disastrous ‘humanitarian intervention’ in Libya. This follows the rape and assault of several UK citizens by ‘former revolutionaries’ in Cambridgeshire last year, who were visiting the country as part of a Ministry of Defence programme to train Libyan forces. While it has not yet been verified whether or not the Tunisian shooter had spent time at a training camp in the neighbouring country, it would take a huge amount of cognitive dissonance to view the two events as unrelated. Daesh took responsibility for the attack; there would be no Daesh without the war on Libya then Syria.

Another consequence is the current refugee crisis, which has so far led to over 2000 deaths in the Mediterranean this year. In 2010 the number of refugees/migrants departing from Libya was 5000. In April Ed Miliband caused an uproar by ‘controversially’ stating that Cameron shared responsibility for the deaths at sea; typically this opinion was rubbished by the media and political establishment. The Tories have flat-out refused to take in any refugees, and are currently leading a military campaign to destroy boats used to make the journey.

David Cameron Responds to Ed Miliband’s Libyan Comments

The government and most of the British public may tell themselves that our foreign policy is not at fault for the current violence engulfing the Middle East and the north of Africa, but history will not judge us as kindly. A Guardian commenter noted on a related article that the Treaty of Versailles is largely accepted as the predominant factor that led to the rise of Nazi Germany; the connection between Western foreign policy (and their GCC cronies) and ISIS is a far simpler one to make. It is possible that the PM is increasingly coming to realise this, judging by his recent ill-conceived and irresponsible speech where he accused British Muslims of ‘quietly condoning’ Daesh, without offering any evidence to support this. These kind of statements are only likely to result in more hate crimes being committed against minorities, and further isolation of those who already feel sidelined by British society. For example, a number of Muslim graves were vandalised in a Nottingham cemetery over the weekend.

Meanwhile, the government’s answer to this latest tragedy is more of the same – more training and weapons for supposedly moderate murderers in Syria, more divisive McCarthyism-style ‘counter-extremism’ policies here.

UK Program to Train Libyan Soldiers Ends in ‘Disarray and Scandal’

The White Helmets: not so ‘unarmed and neutral’

The White Helmets, or ‘Syrian Civil Defence’, claim to be a private non-profit company registered in the UK.

They call themselves:

A global advocacy group standing in solidarity with non-violent Syrians and their struggle for a peaceful and dignified future.

They began their campaign 3 years into the Syrian insurgency…just when the Syrian army’s luck seemed to be on the upside…

We started on the 3rd anniversary of the uprising at a time when Syria was slipping off the media and political agendas of countries around the world. The violence has never been as fierce as it is now or the humanitarian needs as great. Now more than ever the world needs to engage on Syria.

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They only seem to operate in areas controlled by the al-Nusra Front (al-Qaeda) such as Idlib…

and can be seen here cleaning up after a Nusra execution in Aleppo…

They were standing right off-camera with a body-bag at the ready.

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…notice the logo?

Watch the video for yourself… (graphic)

https://vid.me/e/uHCh

Here’s the post-execution statement they released:

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However the images below highlight the complicity between the so-called ‘NGO’ and Nusra.

They have huge media access and are behind most claims of ‘Assad’s chlorine barrel bombs’…

From the Guardian:

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Assad regime accused of 35 chlorine attacks since mid-March

Here they can be seen jubilantly waving the Nusra black flag…

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and here (minus a White Helmet uniform) holding a weapon:
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This time in uniform and armed:

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Who are they?

The Syria Campaign’s four listed ‘campaigners’ have worked for companies such as the BBC and Avaaz – both known for their rabid anti-Syria propaganda. The BBC disgraced itself with its ‘Saving Syria’s Children’ episode of Panorama (see Fabrication in BBC Panorama’s ‘Saving Syria’s Children for more details), as well as numerous other outright lies on the conflict,

This image was actually taken by photographer Marco di Lauro in Iraq, 2003.

This image was actually taken by photographer Marco di Lauro in Iraq, 2003.

and Avaaz for its countless petitions calling for a no-fly zone.

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Basically they are what is now par for the course in these imperialistic proxy interventions: a shadowy non-governmental organisation funded by governments and their corporate cronies, and passing themselves off as being motivated solely by altruism. It was a letter signed by dozens of NGOs such as Human Rights Watch that resulted in the UN Security Council voting to implement a no-fly zone over Libya in 2011, based on wild claims which all turned out to be false. We know how that turned out; unleashing a similar hell on the whole of Syria would be far worse.

https://thesyriacampaign.org/about/

 http://voiceproject.org/

Hillary Clinton is not a Feminist

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Hillary Clinton says she’s a feminist, and claimed, astonishingly, while promoting her book “Hard Choices” last year:

“Women and girls … [are] central to our foreign policy,” saying that countries that value the rights of women are “less likely to breed extremism.”

However this statement is completely at odds with her actions as Secretary of State, such as with Libya – of which it has been said was her own project rather than Obama’s – where she put her own vile agenda ahead of the rights of women in Libya, which were light-years ahead of most other Middle Eastern countries. Since the death of Gaddafi, the rights of Libyan women have been rolled back by decades, with them now having to leave the house covering their heads, if not also their faces. It should be noted that the leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) – Abdelhakim Belhadj – whose group was backed by NATO air strikes and who afterwards had his photograph taken with leading Washington warmongers John McCain and Lindsey Graham, is now said to be leading ISIS in Libya.

Clinton was also central to the “Friends of Syria” group, an ironic name if ever there was one, which advocates for the violent overthrow of the country’s President Bashar al-Assad. Syria is also one of the few countries in the Middle East where women are treated as human beings. In November, Al Arabiya reported that nightlife has returned to the besieged ancient city of Aleppo. In the government-held half citizens dance the night away underneath the lasers, even on weeknights…whilst in the rebel-held half of the city, cafes and restaurants are divided into men only and family sections, and women do not leave the house without their husbands.

On the Israeli-Palestinian issue she has staunchly defended Israel’s massacres in Gaza, and has said that if she were the Israeli Prime Minister, she would not give up “security” in the West Bank, suggesting that she does not support a two-state solution.

Therefore, Hillary proclaiming herself a feminist, and her claim that women’s rights are important to the Obama administration’s foreign policy is crude and absurd. As Kelley Vlahos wrote in The American Conservative last year:

Hillary Clinton just may prove to be what the defense establishment has been waiting for, and more. Superior to all in money, name recognition, and influence, she is poised to compete aggressively for the Democratic nomination for president. She might just win the Oval Office. And by most measures she would be the most formidable hawk this country has seen in a generation.

“It is clear that she is behind the use of force in anything that has gone on in this cabinet. She is a Democratic hawk and that is her track record. That’s the flag she’s planted,” said Gordon Adams, a national security budget expert who was an associate director in President Bill Clinton’s Office of Management and Budget.

Karen Kwiatkowski, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who has spent her post-service days protesting the war policies in Iraq and Afghanistan, is more blunt. “Interventionism is a business and it has a constituency and she is tapping into it,” she tells TAC. “She is for the military industrial complex, and she is for the neoconservatives.”

Clinton in a state of ecstasy when asked about the brutal death of Gaddafi:

References:

Hillary Clinton Wants You to Call Her a Feminist
http://time.com/2864425/hillary-clinton-hard-choices-feminist/

Washington’s Al Qaeda Ally Now Leading ISIS in Libya
http://landdestroyer.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/washingtons-al-qaeda-ally-now-leading.html

The Military-Industrial Candidate
http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-military-industrial-candidate/

Sliver of Aleppo’s once thriving nightlife returns
http://english.alarabiya.net/en/perspective/features/2014/11/23/Echoes-of-a-once-famed-nightlife-of-Aleppo.html

12 years ago yesterday, Tony Blair “liberated” Iraq

In this clip from the BBC News at 10 – 9th of April 2003 – political editor Andrew Marr tells the public that Tony Blair has been vindicated in his decision to invade Iraq. Marr also states that Blair’s critics will not now turn around and thank him for having been right all along, because “they’re only human.” The editor notes that nobody will be able to say that Tony Blair is the type of person who is driven by opinion polls and “the drift of public opinion.” However isn’t a leader who will listen to public opinion exactly what we expect our PM to do?  In fact isn’t that what democracy is all about? A Guardian article from January 2003 notes:

The results of the tracker question on an Iraq war shows that opposition to a war has risen steadily from 37% in October to 47% now. Over the same period support for military action has fallen from a peak of 42% to only 30% now.

British public opinion is never consulted before going to war, or in fact before deciding to covertly build a mercenary force, and provide them with money and weapons, as has been going on in Syria since 2011. On issues of war the public are a liability, as if given a vote, it is unlikely that we would have voted yes to British involvement in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria. Thanks to Ed Miliband’s revolt we were saved from entering another conflict – and on the wrong side – but our covert operations against the Syrian government continue.

It is ironic how Marr says that on that night of April 9th 2003, Blair “stands as a larger man and a stronger prime minister as a result” of not having listened to his critics, but in 2015 he is now so, pretty much universally, reviled, that he can’t go out in public here for fear of attack, or of someone trying to make a citizens arrest.

Reference:

Support for war falls to new low
http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2003/jan/21/uk.iraq2