One Million Deaths from Afghan Heroin, Drug Production “40 Times Higher” since 2001 US-NATO Invasion

By Russia Today

Heroin production in Afghanistan increased 40 times since NATO began its ‘War on Terror’ in 2001, the head of Russia’s Federal Drug Control Service stated, adding that more than 1million people have died from Afghan heroin since then.

 “Afghan heroin has killed more than 1 million people worldwide since the ‘Operation Enduring Freedom’ began and over a trillion dollars has been invested into transnational organized crime from drug sales,” Viktor Ivanov said at the conference on the drug situation in Afghanistan.

Ivanov stressed that the main factor of instability in the war-torn country remains the prosperous heroin industry.

 “Any impartial observer must admit the sad fact that the international community has failed to curb heroin production in Afghanistan since the start of NATO’s operation.”

According to his presentation at UN’s 56th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna on March 11, opium growth has increased by 18 per cent from 131,000 hectares to 154,000.

As the situation in Afghanistan changed with NATO withdrawing its troops, Russia along with Afghanistan and the international community must face the new reality and develop an efficient strategy to deal with the heroin problem, explained Ivanov.

Opium production has been central to Afghanistan’s economy ever since US and NATO forces invaded in October 2001. Just before the invasion Taliban had implemented a ban on poppy growing, declaring it to be anti-Islam, which lowered the overall production. But after the West’s involvement, production resumed and now the country produces some 90 per cent of the world’s opium, the great bulk of which ends up on the streets of Europe and Russia.

US and NATO officials have been stuck in a Catch-22 fight against Afghan opium. At the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna in March, Ivanov stated that on the one hand, they are attempting to win the hearts and minds of the local population, which increasingly depends on the cultivation of opium poppy for their livelihood. On the other, they need to cut off finances to the Taliban insurgency, which is fueled by the sale of opium poppy to foreign markets.

About 15 per cent of Afghanistan’s Gross National Product depends on drug-related exports, which amounts business worth US$2.4 billion a year, according to UN 2012 figures.


Spokesman for Afghanistan’s Counternarcotic Ministry Qayum Samir told Radio Free Europe on Monday that 157,000 hectares are being planted with poppies this spring, which is up by an estimated 3,000 hectares since last year. Samir argued that lack of security, lack of governance and widespread poverty are the reasons behind the increase in heroin production.

Moscow believes the simplest solutions are the most effective ones, and eradicating the country’s poppy fields is the key to solving the problem, underlined Viktor Ivanov.

But there is a big difference between how Russia and the US see the solution to the problem.

“Metaphorically speaking, instead of destroying the machine-gun nest, they suggest catching bullets flying from the machine-gun,” Ivanov explained. “We suggest eradicating the narcotic plants altogether. As long as there are opium poppy fields, there will be trafficking.”

However, based on the US and NATO strategy, there seems no intention to get rid of all Afghan poppy fields, which is an inconsistency in the Western approach.

 The head of Russia’s drug enforcement suggested US and European banks tacitly welcome and “encourage” the inflow of drug money, he explained.

Gil Kerlikovske, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy in the executive office of the US president, told RT that “We can intercept and seize tons of narcotics, we can make arrests of traffickers, but we really need to choke off the funds that supply this.”

Currently, Russia supports solutions proposing to improve social and institutional development in Afghanistan and discussing the problem at the international level.


Saudi Arabia is planning to punish a prisoner by paralyzing him

By:Damian Thompson

He was not sentenced to death by execution or firing squad. Another type of punishment awaits Ali Al-Khawahir, who stabbed his best friend 10 years ago, if he does not come up with SR1 million and pays it to the victim.

Ali was sentenced to be fully paralysed as a punishment for causing paralysis to his best friend after stabbing him in the backbone.

The victim requested SR2 million in the beginning to forgive his assailant but later reduced the amount to SR1 million. Some people organised a campaign to raise the money for Ali who could not attend his father’s funeral because he was incarcerated.

 Ali’s mother has been suffering tremendously over his incarceration and has begged many people over the past few years to help her son and save him from this eye-for-an-eye punishment.

  Ali was jailed when he was 14 years old, the 60-year-old mother told Al-Hayat daily. His friend has been completely paralyzed ever since and has not been able to lead a normal life and has been deprived of being a father, she added.

    “Ten years have passed with hundreds of sleepless nights. My hair has become grey at a young age because of my son’s problem. I have been frightened to death whenever I think about my son’s fate and that he will have to be paralysed.”

 Ali’s mother feels sorry for the victim too and says he deserves millions in compensation but the problem is that she is poor and does not have the huge amount. She hopes that philanthropists help her son who has spent 10 years of his life in the prison.

I'm totally opposed to the death penalty, but this eye-for-an-eye retribution strikes me as, if anything, even more inhumane.

Source:The Telegraph


Hugo Chavez Leaves a Prodigious Legacy That Will Never Die

Great revolutionary leaders never die. They are immortalized in the hearts of the people they have served. As Aleida Guevara, daughter of Che Guevara, put it: “My father lives in a mountain of people.” So it is with Hugo Chavez, the phenomenal socialist president of Venezuela who died from cancer on March 5, to be mourned by the millions of people all over the world who revered and admired him.

As the most popular President of Venezuela for the last 14 years, Chavez’s accomplishments were legion. Not only did he transform Venezuela into a socialist welfare state overnight, but he also led the Latin American Revolution on a continental scale – a revolution which liberated 12 countries in the region from U.S. imperialist domination. This accomplishment made Chavez an international hero to people in the Global South and North, who looked to him as an example and inspiration in their struggle against Western neocolonialism.

Since its inception, Venezuela had been dominated by a rich white élite descended from Europeans who ruled over a poor indigenous, mestizo, and Afro-Venezuelan majority. This U.S.-backed élite monopolized wealth and power and kept more than 50% of Venezuelans mired in poverty even though their country had become the world’s fifth biggest oil producer. With Washington’s support, the Venezuelan upper class proved to be one of the most corrupt in the world, looting the country’s oil wealth for 40 years. When the people protested, they were killed, as in the Caracazo massacre in 1989 when security forces slaughtered 3,000 people. Because of this brutal repression and imposed poverty, a popular movement arose and spread, eventually electing Hugo Chavez the country’s President in 1998. Chavez then launched the Bolivarian Revolution, which turned out to be the forerunner of the broader Latin American Revolution.

A former army colonel, Chavez came from a poor family and was part indigenous and part Afro-Venezuelan. He was elected President four times, and by the largest majority in 40 years.  Including regional contests, the Chavez government won a total of 16 elections. Determined to end what he called the reign of “savage capitalism,” Chavez redistributed Venezuela’s wealth by massively expanding free health care and education, and through land reform and public subsidies. These social reforms angered the United States, which tried three times to get rid of him – once through a failed military coup, then through fomenting an oil strike and other economic attacks, and then by a bungled assassination attempt.

Before Chavez, more than half the people in Venezuela lived in poverty, a figure that he had succeeded in reducing by half before his death. He instituted free universal health care and free education, raising the country’s literacy rate to an astonishing 100%. He implemented land reforms and created government supermarkets which cut the cost of food by 40%.  Before these major social improvements, 70% of Venezuelans had no access to basic medical care, and 40% of them were illiterate. Chavez also increased the minimum wage by more than 600%, reduced unemployment from 20% to 6%, and moved Venezuela up four positions in the United Nations Human Development Index.

The Chavez government’s land reform program, called Mission Zamora, promotes equitable land ownership and food security.  Seventy percent of the land in Venezuela is owned by only 3% of the people, who often leave it unused. For this reason, the country has had to import 70% of its food needs. Mission Zamora has broken up idle large landed estates, called latifundios, and redistributed 3.4 million acres of land to 15,000 peasant families, as well as set up 50,000 co-operatives for the new owners. These steps have boosted food production and started Venezuela well on the path towards food self-sufficiency.

As Dr. Maria Paez Victor, a Venezuelan-Canadian sociologist, explained to me: “It is not just Chavez, it is Chavez with the people of Venezuela.” The massive success of the Chavez government can be explained by the fact that it is an instrument of the poor majority in Venezuela, who have risen to claim their country and its resources. So, along with health care, education, land and food, the Bolivarian Revolution literally gave power to the people and Chavez became the first ruler in Venezuela’s history to ensure the participation of the poor in politics.

With CELAC, UNASUR, the Bank of the South, PetroSur, and ALBA, an entirely new socialist-oriented continental economy is being created. This economy does not function according to capitalist market rules, but rather responds to the development needs of the Latin American people.

The Chavez government triumphed over U.S. imperialism because it organized the Venezuelan people to defend the gains of the Bolivarian Revolution. As President Chavez said in 2009: “Ten years ago, the Bolivarian revolution arrived in Venezuela, pushed forward by a powerful popular movement, and we have ten years of resisting aggressions — terrorism, sabotage by the U.S. empire — yet here we are on our feet and prepared to survive 100 more years of aggressions if we have to.”

Source:Global Research


Syria conflict drawing hundreds of "jihadists' from Europe, says report

Exclusive: Up to 600 people from 14 European countries have taken part in fighting since 2011, finds King's College study

Hundreds of Europeans have travelled to Syria since the start of the civil war to fight against the Syrian government, the most comprehensive study of European foreign fighters to date has found.

A year-long survey by King's College London of more than two hundred martyrdom posts on jihadist-linked websites and hundreds of Arab and western press reports found that up to 600 individuals from 14 countries including the UK, Austria, Spain, Sweden and Germany had taken part in the conflict since it began in 2011.

The largest contingent, the study found, came from the UK, with estimates of fighters running between 28 and 134.

Based on their populations, the figures for Belgium, the Netherlands and Ireland, with about 200 fighters between them, made these countries the most significant, the lead researcher, Prof Peter Neumann from the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) at King's College, said.

European fighters made up to between 7% and 11% of the foreign contingent in Syria, which ranged between 2,000 and 5,500 people. The researchers also said there were likely to be at least 110 named Europeans engaged in fighting currently.

They found that between 30 and 92 fighters were from France, between 14 and 85 from Belgium and between five and 107 from the Netherlands. Other nations in the study included Albania, Finland and Kosovo.

Neumann said the wide variance in figures represented the difference between the team logging named individuals with a documented case history or death notice and credible estimates from government officials at the higher end.

"No one has really mapped it out across all of Europe," Neumann said. "We've brought all these figures together … it's a compilation of the open source data. We can say with certainty now that hundreds of Europeans have joined the fight in Syria."

Neumann said the figures, though relatively small, showed how fast international jihadists had been mustered in response to the conflict.

"The mobilization of this conflict is more significant than any of the recent conflict we have known about," he said.

"The numbers are still quite small in terms of the overall percentage but in absolute numbers I think it is higher now than any other conflict since Iraq. But Iraq went on for years and years. But here we have in the space of a year effectively – since early 2012 – you can already speak of thousands of [foreign fighters]. In Iraq that took two or three years to reach that point so it is really significant."

In February, the team discovered a post detailing the death of Ibrahim al-Mazwagi – a 21-year-old British-raised Libyan who had been killed in fighting in Syria.

A photo of Mazwagi, who has been recorded as the first Briton killed fighting in Syria, showed him wearing the team shirt of his university American football team, the Hertfordshire Hurricanes.

The team coach Jim Messenger said Mazwagi, who studied business administration at Hertfordshire University, had a number of good friends on the team.

Neumann said: "We have been so preoccupied with Mali … the real story is Syria because people aren't going to the Sahara. If you put yourself in the mind of a jihadist, you want to fight in the heart of the Arab world."

Source: the guardian


Palestine: “I really hope these crops can reach their harvest”

Following its disengagement from the Gaza Strip in September 2005,the Israeli occupation authorities unilaterally and unlawfully established a so-called ‘buffer zone’, an area prohibited to Palestinians along the land and sea borders of the Gaza Strip.

 The precise area designated by Israel as a “buffer zone” is unclear and this Israeli policy is often enforced with live fire.

In accordance with the ceasefire agreement that ended Israel’s last military offensive on the Gaza Strip in November 2012, the Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) in an online statement on 25 February 2013 declared that farmers could access lands in the border area up to 100m from the border fence instead of the previously imposed 300 meters.

However, this reference, along with the reference to the increased fishing area at sea, was removed from the statement later. Then, on 11 March 2013, an Israeli army spokesperson, in a letter to GISHA, stated “the residents of Gaza are required not to approach within 300m of the security fence”.

“We were very happy when we heard about the ceasefire and couldn’t wait to start sowing our farm lands again,” says Majid Wahdan (52) while sitting down under a tree in a plot of farmland in Beit Hanoun.

Wahdan, a farmer and father of four daughters and three sons, had been living in north east of Beit Hanoun for 35 years when, in 2003, his family’s three storey house and farming land, located approximately 400 meters from the border with Israel, were bulldozed.

“In total 36 dunums of land, which I share with my brothers, were razed. Three and a half dunums of the plot belongs to me. Many water wells in the area, including on our land, were destroyed as well. Assistance from charity organizations made us get by,” says Wahdan as he recalls the days when his home and livelihood were turned into a ‘buffer zone’. Wahdan and his family now live in a different part of Beit Hanoun.

He continues: “I replanted my own land twice between 2003 and the war in November. I put citrus trees in the land, which were bulldozed both times, destroying hundreds of tons of crops. Because the army prevents us from planting tall trees, we are now forced to plant low vegetable crops. After the November war I decided to risk it and go back to my land and the plot I rent right next to it. I planted wheat and watermelons. I really hope these crops can reach their harvest. The reason I planted watermelons is that they are cheap and only take around 70 days to grow. I don’t know what will happen so I want to quick crops that can be harvested quickly, before the ceasefire is over again.”

In addition to planting crops, Wahdan also rebuilt the water wells and irrigation networks: “In 2006 I went back to my land to rebuild a water well, but the army destroyed it after it was completed. The same happened in 2008 and 2009. The last time I fixed it was three weeks ago. Farmers who have lands closer to the border have problems with accessing water.”

Wahdan argues that water which runs through the aquifer in the area is the main reason for land razing: “I believe that the reason they level our lands is that fact that we have water that is good for farming. We have sweet water under the lands and they want to use it. This is a water war.”

The repeated destruction of his farming investments, have forced Wahdan to farm his land differently;

“if I had a free choice, I would plant citrus trees like orange and lemon trees. I’ve always had citrus trees and they are much more profitable than the short vegetable crops. Also, instead of investing in my own land, I started working on other people’s land, further away from the border. I farm two plots in Beit Hanoun, besides my own land. I couldn’t take any risks. Even now, we have to wait and see with the ceasefire. It is impossible to predict anything.”

Wahdan has incurred major financial losses over the years, and says: “there is no remedy or compensation for what we have lost. The damages of all that I’ve lost over the years, my home and all the crops, is around $250,000. I receive support from charities so that I’m able to tend to the land. They give us water irrigation networks, seedlings, and fertilizers. It helped us to get back on our feet here in the farmlands near the border. I farm the land together with my brothers and the workers we hire. We all have big families, so many people rely on the harvesting of these crops for their income.”

Farmers in the Gaza border areas regularly come under attack from the Israeli occupation forces positioned at the border. Wahdan recalls: “2011 and 2012 were the most difficult years for us. We were shelled and shot at. Anywhere within 1 kilometer from the border fence we would be at risk of getting shot by Israeli soldiers. That is different since November.”

Despite the change post-ceasefire, Wahdan thinks that stated policies are of limited value for farmers who are tending their lands:

“official Israeli announcements stating where we can and cannot go, are not important. We don’t care about what the leaders say. What matters to us is which soldier has his shift. Shepherds who herd their sheep are allowed to walk near the border by some soldiers while others shoot at or around them. The shooting comes from soldiers who are trigger-happy. I have witnessed many attacks on farmers, both shooting and shelling. Despite the attacks, we must remind the soldiers that this is our land and that we have the right to access it. And if the situation remains calm, I will rebuild my home on my land.”

Since the November ceasefire, PCHR has documented the killing of four Palestinian civilians by Israeli forces, and the injuring of 65 others, including 17 children, in the ‘buffer zone’. Another 48 civilians were arrested by Israeli forces in the same area, including 19 children.

Israel’s attacks against Palestinian farmers in the Gaza Strip constitute a violation of international humanitarian law as codified under Article 147 of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention.

Moreover such attacks can constitute war crimes under Articles 8(2)(a)(i) and (iii) Article 8 (2)(b)(i) of the International Criminal Court’s Rome Statute. The implementation of the ‘buffer zone’, maintained through attacks, constitutes a measure of collective punishment, which is prohibited under Article 33 of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention.

The right to work, including in just and favourable conditions, is provided for under Article 6 and 7 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). Moreover, Article 11 of the ICESCR recognizes “the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions.

Source : nsnbc


Obama Unleashes Dogs of War in Syria

The recent New York Times article, Arms Airlift to Syrian militants Expands, With C.I.A. Aid, has made it all embarrassingly clear. It also, I take no pleasure in pointing out, confirms my previous analyses (especially here, but also here, here, and here).

The article describes "a cataract of weaponry" pouring into Syria, in shipments whose "size ... and ... degree of distributions are voluminous," and are "suggestive of a well-planned and coordinated clandestine military logistics operation." As a "former American official" is quoted:  "People hear the amounts flowing in, and it is huge."  

And it is a  well-planned and coordinated operation, run by the United States. It's clear that the US is managing the flow of weapons and equipment from all the countries involved.  As one terrorist leader says:  "It all depends on what America says."  The article makes clear "the C.I.A. role in facilitating the shipments."   It was C.I.A. Director  David Petraeus who was "instrumental in helping to get this aviation network moving and [who] prodded various countries to work together on it."  In fact, it's coordinated from even higher up the food chain, with  "senior White House officials ... regularly briefed on the shipments." Of course, out of humanitarian concern, or in a cynical ploy to avoid a public debate about plunging the country into another war -- you decide how gullible you want to be about that -- the rapid acceleration of arms shipments in "voluminous" and "cataract" quantities was delayed until "after the presidential election in the United States."

Everybody knows, too, that, in this well-planned and coordinated operation, a lot of these weapons go to "fake Free Syrian Army brigades claiming to be revolutionaries, and when they get the weapons they sell them in trade" -- but, what the hell, that's part of the plan, since it's all for the same cause:  democracy the destruction of the Syrian state.  Again, you decide what you think the point of all this is.

It's really quite depressing to watch the utter destruction of another Arab state unfold, framed once again as some kind of project for humanitarianism and/or democracy. It's depressing to know that it will engender chaos and violence throughout the region, that it is only the prelude to an even more epic criminal adventure in Iran, and that there is probably nothing that is going to stop it.

The following are excerpts from five other articles that follow up on the revelations in the NYT story, with my introductory remarks in italics:

1. The al-Nusra (al-Qaeda franchise) jihadis are getting their weapons from this  well-planned and coordinated operation run by the C.I.A. and the White House, because, duh, there is no other source:  

Confirmed: US Shipping Weapons to Syria - Al Nusra's "Mystery" Sponsors Revealed

The confirmed admission implicates NATO directly in militarily intervening in Syria's ongoing conflict and reveals the source of arms and cash that have ended up primarily in the hands of Al Qaeda's Syrian franchise, US-designated terror front, Jabhat al-Nusra.   (See here for other examples of US arming listed terror organizations.)

The CIA, Western media, and Western politicians insist that they have taken every precaution to ensure the now-admitted torrent of cash and weapons that have been flowing into Syria to compound and perpetuate the bloodbath, did not end up in the hands of terrorists. However, no plausible explanation has been given as to where al-Nusra is getting its cash and weapons from, or how it has managed to eclipse the extensively Western-backed 'moderates,' to become the premier front in the fight against the Syrian people......  

While the Western media has attempted in the past to feign ignorance as to where Al Qaeda's al-Nusra was getting their weapons from, it is now abundantly clear - al-Nusra's power has expanded across Syria in tandem with the CIA's ever-expanding operations along the nation's borders. If the US is working directly with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey, to arm militants, who else could possibly be working to arm and fund al-Nusra on a greater scale if not this axis itself? 

2. This article also points out that not only is the United States once again blithely ignoring international law to topple Syrian government, it is also applying a unique double-bind logic by which it will blame the Syrian government for any use of chemical weapons, even they are used by terrorists:

 How Obama Chose War Over Peace in Syria   

So while Obama has repeatedly lied about "non-lethal" military aid, he has been personally involved in overseeing a multi-country flood of weapons into Syria, many of which are given to terrorist organizations.  The only effective fighting force for the Syrian militants has been the terrorist grouping the Al Nusra Front, and now we know exactly where they got their guns....

If a toppling of a nation's government is Obama's precondition for peace, then Obama is by definition choosing war....

But even the terrorists inSyria have admitted that the chemical weapons attack took place in a government controlled territory, and that 16 Syrian government soldiers died in the attack along with 10 civilians plus a hundred more injured ....

No matter who is responsible, the Obama administration plans to hold the Syrian Government responsible for crossing the "red line" of a chemical weapons attack ...

Obama's envoy for the United Nations, Susan Rice, issued a statement about the chemical-weapons attack that, according to The New York Times, repeated previous American warnings that there would be "consequences" if the Syrian government "used or failed to secure chemical weapons."

So, if the Syrian terrorists get hold of chemical weapons and use them on the Syrian government -- as seems to be the case -- the Syrian government should be held responsible, according to the Obama Administration, "for not securing chemical weapons."

There is zero room for truth with logic like this. 

3. And don't forget the American-picked actual American Prime Minister of the new Syria:

A Draft-Dodging, Zionist Friendly, Rightwing Texan Islamist to lead Syria?

GhassanHitto, as Syria's new interim Prime Minister. "Bottom line, he's an American, nearly thirty years here makes Ghassan one of us. And who cares if he came here as young man to dodge military service in Syria. Many of us dodged our draft during Vietnam and what's important is that we can count on him!" 

4. A reminder of Israel's interest, which the United States will be certain to secure: 

Obama Unleashes Dogs of War in Syria 

For Israel too, the comprehensive destruction of Syria as a major military power in the Middle East means that all three major Arab powers that could offer defiance to Israel in the past and have been the repositories of "Arabism" at one time or another -- Iraq, Egypt, and Syria -- have been dispatched to the Stone Age.

5. Finally, Israeli news describes Israel's direct participation. Setting up field hospitals for wounded terrorists! Because Israel is eager to help in the well-planned and coordinated comprehensive destruction of the Syrian state, or because the IF has an ongoing humanitarian interest in patching up wounded jihadis and sending them back into battle? You decide:

IF Builds Field Hospital for Syrians in Golan Heights

The IF has built a military field hospital in the Golan Heights, according to international media reports.

At least 11 Syrian fighters have been treated in Israel over the past month for wounds sustained in battle from the savage civil war taking place between opposition forces and troops loyal to Syrian government.

Of those, eight were sent back to Syria, but three have remained in Israel for further treatment due to the complexity of their injuries, AFP reported Thursday..... According to the IF Spokesperson, the injured men were met at the border by soldiers from the Golani Brigade, who maintained heavy security around the Syrians in order to maintain their anonymity and thus ensure their safe return. [to combat, of course] .

Source: Jim Kavanagh


Psychological operation aimed at breaking the will of the Syrian people

Out of time, out of legitimacy, and out of options, the West is attempting once again to prop up its faltering terrorist proxies with another psychological operation aimed at breaking the will of the Syrian people, despite the West’s multiplying tactical and political shortcomings. It began with a suspicious CBS News/AP report titled, “AP: “Master plan” underway to help Syria militants take Damascus with U.S.-approved airlifts of heavy weapons,” which claims to divulge a “covert” plan by the West to flood Syria’s northern and southern borders with increased weapons and fighters for a “final” push to take the capital. The article would claim:

Mideast powers opposed Syrian government have dramatically stepped up weapons supplies to terrorists  in Syria in coordination with the U.S. in preparation for a push on the capital of Damascus, officials and Western military experts said Wednesday.

A carefully prepared covert operation is arming rebels, involving Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar, with the United States and other Western governments consulting, and all parties hold veto power over where the shipments are directed, according to a senior Arab official whose government is participating. His account was corroborated by a diplomat and two military experts.

One must question why the Western media would boldly declare to the world what is supposed to be a “covert” operation, if such an operation had any tactical chance of succeeding – unless of course, the announcement was designed to either cover for wide-scale Western special operations inside Syria, or to help achieve a psychological victory (or both) – to induce panic and terror across the Syrian population in tandem with recent, and increasingly barbaric terrorist attacks on Syria’s civilians.

One such attack included the recent mortar bombardment of Damascus University which left at least 15 dead. The New York Times seemed to take special pleasure in describing in great detail the disruptive effect the attack had on people attempting to live normal lives during the ongoing conflict in their article, “Syria’s War Invades a Campus That Acted as a Sanctuary.”

Now, echoes of NATO’s spectacularly failed July 2012 “Operation Damascus Volcano” – where the Western media coordinated a propaganda blitzkrieg designed to portray Syria as on the verge of collapsing with Aleppo and Damascus’ fall “imminent,” are appearing once again in the headlines. Just a day after CBS/AP’s announcement of the so-called “covert Master Plan,” the Western media is reporting “terrorists gains” including the alleged cutting off of Daara in Syria’s south – meant to foreshadow the once again “inevitable fall” of Damascus. AFP cited the discredited “Syrian Observatory for Human Rights” in their article, “Syria terrorists seize town on key highway to south: NGO,” that:

“terrorists seized control of Dael after destroying the three army checkpoints at the entrances to the town,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. “The town is located on a main road linking Daraa to Damascus.”

The Britain-based watchdog said that a child was among 10 civilians killed in the fighting for the town over the past 24 hours.

At least 15 terrorists and a media activist working with them were also killed, as were 12 loyalist troops, it added.

“Large swathes of Daraa (province) are now under militants control. Their advance in the south is escalating,” Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

In actuality, the so-called “Syrian Observatory for Human Rights” is a single opposition propagandists,  Rami Abdel Rahman, based in a comfortable countryside home in the UK, disingenuously masquerading as a human rights organization. When not feeding the biased-hungry Western media, Rami Abdel Rahman can be found scurrying in and out of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London to meet with Britain’s Foreign Secretary, William Hague.

Rights, leaves the Foreign and Commonwealth Office after meeting Britain’s Foreign Secretary, William Hague, in central London November 21, 2011. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor”


Reuters had even admitted in their December 2011 article, “Coventry – an unlikely home to prominent Syria activist,” that “Rami Abdulrahman,” is openly part of the Syrian opposition who seeks the end of the Syrian government. Abdulrahman admits that he had left Syria over 10 years ago, has lived in Britain ever since, and will not return until “Syrian government goes.”

This facade is fully sanctioned by the Western media which despite acknowledging him as a biased, compromised source, consistently misrepresents him to their audience as a credible “human rights organization,” while almost exclusively deferring to him to lend credibility to their otherwise baseless narratives.

When entire articles hinge on Rami Abdel Rahman’s verified propaganda, perception management, not journalism, is dictating headlines and overarching narratives.

The Syrian people have resisted the collective efforts of the US, UK, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and their regional partners for 2 years, and have defeated at least two previous psychological operations aimed at toppling the government and destroying the country. The tides have shifted across public opinion, and evidence that the West has intentionally sought to arm and direct sectarian extremists against the Syrian nation since at least 2007, are reaching a crescendo.

While the West now openly admits it is working directly with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and NATO-member Turkey to supply thousands of tons of weapons to militants in Syria, it cannot explain how else Al Qaeda’s Al Nusra front has become the best armed and most well equipped front in the conflict – unless these thousands of tons of weaponry were sent directly to them, as was intended to begin with, according to Seymour Hersh’s 2007 article, “The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?” which reported:

To undermine Iran, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of  extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.

A window is closing, and the West is resorting to dangerous desperation. Syria and its allies, as well as concerned interests around the world, must be more vigilant and resilient than ever. The tell-tale signs of a psychological operation are there – but for a psychological operation to succeed, a nation’s people must not be prepared or aware that it is coming. By raising awareness of this most recent, insidious attempt at snatching a psychological victory from the jaws of a tactical defeat, we can help quicken the day when the West’s war machine finally stumbles and falls, giving the people of Syria their lives back.