By Rick Sterling for Global Research – In early August Dennis Ross and Andrew Tabler opined in the NY Times about “The Case for (Finally) Bombing Assad”. Dennis Ross is a favorite Clintonite. In her book “Hard Choices”, Clinton described how she asked Dennis Ross to come to the State Department to “work on Iran and regional issues”. NY Times regular Nicholas Kristof made his pitch for war against Syria. According to the self-styled humanitarian, we need “safe zones” as proposed by Clintonite Madeline Albright and retired General James Cartwright. That is risky but “the risks of doing nothing in Syria are even greater”.
By Ray McGovern for Consortium News – On Aug. 17, TV interviewer Charlie Rose gave former acting CIA Director Michael Morell a “mulligan” for an earlier wayward drive on Aug. 8 that sliced deep into the rough and even stirred up some nonviolent animals by advocating the murder of Russians and Iranians. But, alas, Morell duffed the second drive, too. Morell did so despite Rose’s efforts to tee up the questions as favorably as possible, trying to help Morell explain what he meant about “killing” Russians and Iranians in Syria and bombing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad into submission.
By Bill Van Auken for WSWS – Photographs and video of five-year-old Omran Daqneesh have rapidly become ubiquitous in the media in the US and Western Europe after being distributed by a group aligned with the CIA-backed Islamist “rebels” in Syria. The toddler is shown sitting somewhat dazed in the orange seat of a new and well-equipped ambulance, his face covered in dust and tinged with what appears to be dried blood from what was reportedly a cut to his scalp.
By Gareth Porter for Truthout – In a stunning diplomatic surprise, Turkey and Iran have announced a preliminary agreement on fundamental principles for a settlement of the Syrian conflict. The dramatic turn in the diplomacy of the Syria War was revealed in Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim’s regular weekly speech to the ruling AKP Party in the parliament and confirmed by a senior Iranian foreign ministry official Tuesday.
By Lizzie Dearden for Independent – Members of the US-led coalition have been accused of deploying a “scorched earth policy” in Syria by activists who claim to have documented scores of civilian deaths. One group of anti-Isis activists, called Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, has said air strikes supporting a key offensive in Manbij are killing innocent families. “The international coalition is using a scorched earth policy in the city and supporting the Syrian Democratic forces that have been surrounding the city for two months,” the group said.
By Darius Shahtahmasebi for Information Clearing House – Despite Obama’s claims Assad is illegitimate and must step down, the fact remains that since the conflict erupted in 2011, Assad has held the majority support of his people. The elections in 2014 – which Assad won by a landslide with international observers claiming no violations – is a testament to the fact that although Assad has been accused of serious human rights violations, he continues to remain reasonably popular with the Syrian people. Obama, on the other hand, won elections in 2012 with a voter turnout of a mere 53.6 percent of the American public; only 129.1 million total were votes cast.
By Lauren McCauley and Jon Queally for Common Dreams. Citing the disastrous bombing campaign in 2011 that pushed the nation into political chaos and bloody violence, anti-war groups are calling for an immediate end to a new wave of airstrikes on Libya approved by U.S. President Barack Obama. “The world needs a peace movement now more than ever, as Obama continues to drop bombs all over the Middle East and we prepare for the next US president.” —CodePinkIn an online petition sent out Tuesday, the U.S.-based peace group CODEPINK declared: In the last seven years, Nobel Peace Prize-winning President Obama has bombed seven countries. Tell President Obama it’s time to stop endless bombing across the Middle East! We, the undersigned, call on President Obama to end the bombing campaign in Libya and across the Middle East. We agree with Congresswoman Barbara Lee when she said that “there is no military solution to this crisis” with [the Islamic State or ISIS]. We ask that the administration instead take steps to form a comprehensive regional approach that addresses political, economic, humanitarian and diplomatic challenges that allow [ISIS] to commit violence.
By Andrea Germanos for Common Dreams – The U.S.-led coalition has been accused of killing as many as 28 civilians, including a woman and seven children, near the northern Syrian city of Manbij on Thursday—the same area where U.S.-led airstrikes last week may have killed scores of civilians. “The Manbij area,” as the Associated Press describes, “has seen extensive battles between IS [Islamic State or ISIS] extremists and U.S.-backed Kurdish-led fighters.” It is also where UNICEF estimated last week that there are 35,000 children trapped “with nowhere safe to go.”
By Carolina Drake for Truthout – On the last day before spring break at Manhattan Country School, a progressive school in New York City, the 7th and 8th graders were busy at work with their activism campaign, “Build Bridges, Not Borders.” In one classroom, a group of students gathered near the phone, waiting for their turn to call Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office to encourage the resettlement of Syrian refugees in New York. In another room, students practiced their talking points and arguments in anticipation of their lobbying trip to Washington, DC, where they would ask congressional representatives to oppose bills that would block the refugee resettlement process
By Staff of Tele Sur – After the Paris attacks of Nov. 13, French President Francois Hollande didn’t flinch before looking east to Syria. Terrorism, he said, must be demolished there. All eyes then followed his gaze: to French history in Syria, French intervention in Syria, French interests in Syria. In highlighting the east, though, Hollande is distracting spectators from its more relevant history, intervention and interests south: in Tunisia.
By Marjorie Cohn for Consortium News – In an internal “dissent channel cable,” 51 State Department officers called for “targeted military strikes” against the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, a proposal that President Barack Obama has thus far resisted. However, were he to accept the cable’s advice, he would risk a dangerous – possibly catastrophic – confrontation with Russia. And, such a use of military force in Syria would violate U.S. and international law. While the cable decries “the Russian and Iranian governments’ cynical and destabilizing deployment of significant military power to bolster the Assad regime,” the cable calls for the United States to protect and empower “the moderate Syrian opposition,” seeking to overthrow the Syrian government.
By Staff of Moon Of Alabama – S. Rifai, also known as @THE_47th, is a Syrian “activist” from Homs. He was involved since early 2011 when the U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford (@fordrs58) fomented the “revolution” in Syria. He has since tweeted about the “revolution” and has shown lots of insider knowledge. Below S. Rifai corrects the U.S. propaganda record. The former ambassador Ford allegedly had a hand in last weeks “dissident” letter by some State Department employees.
By Robert Parry for Consortium News – Some 51 State Department “diplomats” signed a memo distributed through the official “dissent channel,” seeking military strikes against the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad whose forces have been leading the pushback against Islamist extremists who are seeking control of this important Mideast nation. The fact that such a large contingent of State Department officials would openly advocate for an expanded aggressive war in line with the neoconservative agenda, which put Syria on a hit list some two decades ago, reveals how crazy the State Department has become.
By Staff of Reporters Without Borders – To mark World Refugee Day, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is today publishing a report about the situation of Syrian journalists who have been forced to flee their country since the start of the Syrian Uprising in March 2011. Journalist of all kinds – professional and non-professional, Syrian and foreign – run the risk of violence and reprisals throughout Syria.