Qatar conference opens new stage in Syrian war

James Cogan

This is what the real friends of Syria look like.

The “Friends of Syria” meeting in Qatar on June 22 ended with a communiqué announcing that Washington and its allies will “take all necessary practical measures” to arm the right-wing Sunni-based opposition forces, which have served as their proxies in a two-year civil war to overthrow the government of President Bashar al-Assad. The announcement opens up a new stage in the war, and heightens the dangers of a regional sectarian conflagration.

The communiqué of the “Friends of Syria”—the Orwellian name given to the coalition of the US, its NATO allies, Britain, France, Italy, Germany and Turkey, and the Sunni states of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar—can only be described as a criminal and reckless document. It proposes to supply sufficient weapons and supplies to the anti-Assad opposition to enable it to counter the Syrian military ahead of “peace talks” in Geneva. The document also hints at US and NATO military operations along Syria’s borders to prevent Shiite fighters from Lebanon, Iraq and Iran assisting the pro-government forces—even as imperialist aid pours in for the so-called “rebels.”

Once again, the imperialist instigators of the civil war assert that Assad and his close supporters have “no role” in Syria’s future. This is a transparent attempt to foment dissent among pro-Assad forces and trigger the collapse of the government.

Plumbing the depths of hypocrisy, the communiqué expresses “strong concern” over “increasing presence and growing radicalism in the conflict” and “terrorist elements in Syria”. The “terrorists” are Sunni extremist groups, linked to Al Qaeda, that have played the leading role in the fighting against the Assad regime and have been one of the beneficiaries of the weapons sent to Syria by US allies in the region. The stepped-up flow of arms now underway will further aid their sectarian attacks on Syria’s Alawite Shiite minority.

Washington v. Edward Snowden Update

Stephen Lendman

He's arguably the most important whistleblower of our time. Perhaps ever.

Events are fast-moving. On June 23, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region's (HKSAR) press release said:

"Mr Edward Snowden left Hong Kong today (June 23) on his own accord for a third country through a lawful and normal channel." "The US Government earlier on made a request to the HKSAR Government for the issue of a provisional warrant of arrest against Mr Snowden." "Since the documents provided by the US Government did not fully comply with the legal requirements under Hong Kong law, the HKSAR Government has requested the US Government to provide additional information so that the Department of Justice could consider whether the US Government's request can meet the relevant legal conditions." "As the HKSAR Government has yet to have sufficient information to process the request for provisional warrant of arrest, there is no legal basis to restrict Mr. Snowden from leaving Hong Kong." "The HKSAR Government has already informed the US Government of Mr. Snowden's departure." "Meanwhile, the HKSAR Government has formally written to the US Government requesting clarification on earlier reports about the hacking of computer systems in Hong Kong by US government agencies." "The HKSAR Government will continue to follow up on the matter so as to protect the legal rights of the people of Hong Kong."

General Wesley Clark: Whistleblower, Warrior

Stephen Lendman

He calls war the road to peace. What else would a four-star warrior say?

One a warrior, always one. Clark hasn't forgotten. His credentials are notorious. He's a war criminal. He's also a whistleblower.

He formerly commanded NATO. From March 24 - June 19, 1999, he led naked aggression against Yugoslavia. For 78 days, hundreds of warplanes attacked mercilessly. About 3,000 sorties were flown. Thousands of tons of ordnance were dropped. Hundreds of ground-launched cruise missiles were used.

Nearly everything was struck. Massive destruction and disruption followed. An estimated $100 billion in damage was caused. A humanitarian disaster resulted. Environmental contamination was extensive. Many thousands were killed, injured or displaced. Two million people lost livelihoods. Homes and communities were destroyed. Lawless aggression was called humanitarian intervention. It was prelude for worse to come.

An avenue to Eurasia was opened. A permanent US military presence was established. America's imperium claimed another trophy. It had many others in mind.

It did so at the expense of mass killing and destruction. Clark's a retired four-star general. He's a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient. He received numerous other awards. They include honorary knighthoods. America and complicit allies honor their worst.

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