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Here is the Assad interview CNN will never show you, “EU is supporting the terrorists in Syria from the very beginning”

Assad tells a Belgium reporter that the EU cannot re-build Syria ‘while destroying Syria.’

Alex Christoforou

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On the 7th of February, 2017 Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told Belgian media that their country and the EU merely obey ‘the American master’ when it comes to Syria and political decision-making in general.

Once again Assad shows that he is far from the dictator the western media paints him to be.

What Assad shows is that he is a well educated, well spoken, leader of a sovereign Syria that has undergone a massive and brutal US/EU invasion using Wahhabi jihadist forces masked as “moderate rebels.”

Here is the full transcript of the interview (courtesy Middle East Observer)…

Reporter: We’ve been to Aleppo, we’ve seen the destruction…how do you see the way forward for peace nowadays after Astana?

President Assad:

If we want to talk about how to see the peace – it is not related mainly to Astana, it is something much bigger: how can we stop the flowing of the terrorists towards Syria or in Syria? How can we stop the support from regional countries like Turkey, Gulf states, or from Europe like France and UK, or from the US during the Obama administration? If we deal with that title, this is where we can talk about the rest, about the political procedure. Astana is one of the initiative(s) during this war on Syria, and it’s about the dialogue between the Syrians.

Now it’s too early to judge Astana. The first one was positive because it was about the principles of the unity of Syria, about the Syrians deciding their future, how can you implement this communique? That’s the question. And I think we are going to see an Astana 2 and so on. So the peace is two things: fighting terrorists and terrorism, stopping the flowing of terrorists and every kind of logistical support, and second, dialogue between the Syrians to decide the future of their country and the whole political system. These are the headlines about how to see the future of Syria.

Reporter: We have seen many breaches in the ceasefire. Would you consider the ceasefire still upholding or is it dead?

President Assad:

No it’s not dead, it is…and it’s natural in every ceasefire anywhere in the world, in every war in any conflict to have these breaches. It could be sometimes on an individual level, it doesn’t mean there’s (a) policy of breaching of (the) ceasefire by government or any other party, and this is something we can deal with on a daily basis, and sometimes on an hourly basis, but till this moment, the ceasefire is holding.

Reporter: In the fight against (the) terror group Daesh, do you think all means are justified?

President Assad:

It depends on what do we mean by all means, we have to be…

Reporter: Literally all means…

President Assad:

Yeah but I don’t know what the means that are available to tell you yes, all means, so I don’t know what all means, but if you want to talk about military means, yes of course, because the terrorists are attacking the people. I’m not only talking about ISIS. ISIS and al-Nusra and all the al-Qaeda affiliated groups within Syria. When they attack Syrians and killing civilians, and beheading people and destroying properties – private and public – and destroying the infrastructure, everything in this country…our constitutional duty and legal duty as (a) government and as (an) army and as state institutions is to defend the Syrian people. It is not an opinion, it’s a duty. So regarding this, you can use every mean in order to defend the Syrian people.

Reporter: But we have seen the destruction in Aleppo – you have seen the images as well. Was there no other way to do it than in such a…or (sic) way?

President Assad:

Actually since the beginning of the crisis or the war on Syria we used every possible way. We didn’t leave any stone unturned in order to bring people to the negotiating table. But when you talk about the terrorists…when you talk about terrorists, when you talk about al-Qaeda, when you talk about al-Nusra and ISIS, I don’t think anyone in this world would believe that they are ready for dialogue, and they always say they’re not. They have their own ideology, they have their own way-path. They don’t accept anything (that) could be related to (a) civil state or civil country. They don’t. And I think you know as (a) European about this reality. So no, making dialogue with al-Nusra & al-Qaeda is not one of the means, but, if somebody wants to change his course on the individual levels, we are ready to accept him as a government and give him amnesty when he goes back to the normal life and give up his armament.

Reporter: The Belgian government is contributing in the fight against Daesh. There are six F-16 fighter planes in the fight against Daesh. Are you grateful to the Belgian government for that contribution?

President Assad:

Let me be frank with you: when you talk about contribution in the operation against ISIS – actually there was no operation against ISIS. It was (a) cosmetic operation. If you want to talk about (the) American alliance against ISIS, it was only an elusive alliance, because ISIS was expanding during that operation. At the same time that operation is (an) illegal operation, because it happened without consulting with or taking the permission of the Syrian government, which is a legitimate government. And it’s a breaching of our sovereignty. Third, they didn’t prevent any Syrian citizen from being killed by ISIS. So what are we grateful for? To be frank: no.

Reporter: You have stated several times that it is up to the Syrian people, it is up to the constitution to decide who their leadership should be, who their president should be. If the Syrian people would decide for a new leadership, would you consider to step aside?

President Assad:

If the Syrian people choose another president, I don’t have to choose to be aside, I will be aside, I will be outside this position, that’s self-evident, because the constitution would put (a) president, and the constitution would take him out according to the ballot box and the decision of the Syrian people. Ofcourse that’s very natural. Not only because of the ballot box, because if you don’t have public support, you cannot achieve anything in Syria, especially in a war. In a war what you need – the most important thing – is to have public support in order to restore your country, to restore the stability and security. Without it you cannot achieve anything. So yes ofcourse.

Reporter: Mr President, I am 43 years old, if I would have been born in Syria, there would always have been an Assad in executive power. Can you imagine a Syria without a member of the Assad family in executive power?

President Assad:

Of course, we don’t own the country. My family doesn’t own the country to say that only Assad should be in that position. That’s self-evident. And this could be by coincidence, because President (Hafez) Assad didn’t have an heir in the institution to be a successor. He died, I was elected – he didn’t have anything to do with my election when he was president.I didn’t have any position in the government. If he wanted me to be a heir, he would have put me somewhere, given me a responsibility. I didn’t have any responsibility actually. So it’s not as many in the media in the West use to say since my election that he was succeeded by his father or his father put him in that position. So yes Syria (is) owned by the Syrians, and every Syrian citizen has the right to be in that position.

Reporter: Do you think the European Union or even NATO can play a role in like rebuilding the country, in rebuilding Syria?

President Assad:

You cannot play that role while you are destroying Syria because the EU is supporting the terrorists in Syria from the very beginning under different titles: ‘humanitarian’, ‘moderate’, and so on, actually they were supporting al-Nusra and ISIS from the very beginning, they were extremists from the very beginning. So they cannot destroy and build at the same time.

First of all they have to take (a) very clear position regarding the sovereignty of Syria, stopping supporting the terrorists, this is where the Syrian would – I say would – accept those countries to play a role in that regard. But in the meantime if you ask any Syrian the same question they would say they don’t accept those countries that supported the people who destroyed our country, we don’t want them to be here. That’s what I think.

Reporter: Do you think Belgian can play a role in Syria?

President Assad:

Let me talk about the European political position in general. Many in this region believe that the European do not exist politically. They only follow their master the American. So the question should be about the American, and the European will follow and will implement what the American want. They don’t exist as (an) independent state, and Belgian is part of the EU.

Reporter: There is a new administration in Washington with Trump in power. What do you expect from it? Are you looking to work closely together?

President Assad:

What we heard…a statement by Trump during the campaign and after the campaign is promising regarding the priority of fighting the terrorists, and mainly ISIS. That’s what we’ve been asking for during the last six years. So I think this is promising. We have to wait – it is still early to expect anything practical, it could be about the cooperation between the US and Russia that we think is going to be positive for the rest of the world including Syria. So as I said it is still early to judge it.

Reporter: If you look back on the last couple of years, are there any things that you regret?

President Assad:

Every mistake could be a regret by any individual…

Reporter: Have you made mistakes?

President Assad:

As a human…I have to make mistakes to be human, otherwise I’m not a human.

Reporter: What would you consider a mistake?

President Assad:

A mistake (is) when you either take a wrong decision, or make wrong practice. It depends on the situation. But if you want to talk about the crisis as I understand from your question, the three decisions that we take from the very beginning is to fight terrorism, and I think it’s correct; is to make dialogue between Syrians – I think it’s correct; to respond to every political initiative, whether it’s genuine or not, and I think it’s correct; and actually we supported the reconciliation between the Syrians, and I think it’s correct. Anything else could be trivial – you have a lot of things regarding the practice, regarding the institutions, you always have mistakes.

Reporter: If you look back do you think this war was avoidable?

President Assad:

No, because there was bad intention regarding the different countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, France, UK, and the US, in order to destabilise Syria. So it wasn’t about the Syrians. That doesn’t mean that we don’t have many flaws before the war and today, as a country that allow many of those countries to mess with our country. I’m not excluding – I’m not saying it’s only about them, but they were the ones who took the initiative in order to run this war, so I don’t think it was avoidable.

Reporter: You have just had a visit from a Belgian parliamentary delegation with Mr Dewinter and Mr Carcaci, do you consider them as friends?

President Assad:

The most important (thing) about those visit is not to be friends. As a politician you don’t come to Syria to visit your friend, you come to Syria to see what’s going on.

Reporter: Do you see them as political allies?

President Assad:

No because…no, they are not my allies at all – they are coming here not for that reason. They are here in order to see what’s going on. They are the allies of the Belgian people. They came here because the government, the Belgian government, like many European governments, are blind today, they have no relation with this country on every level, so they don’t see what’s going on, they cannot play any role. So now the only eye that you have are the delegations that’s coming from your country, and this is one of them, this is one of the eyes that your government could have, and you could have many other eyes and delegations coming to Syria. So they’re not my allies, they’re not coming here for me, they’re coming here to see the situation, and I’m one of the players in the Syrian conflict. It’s natural to meet with me to hear what’s my point of view.

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Macron cuts ski holiday short, vowing crack down on Yellow Vests (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 109.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the 18th consecutive week of Yellow Vests protests in Paris. Following last weeks lower participation, Saturday’s Yellow Vests in Paris gathered larger crowds, with various outbreaks of violence and rioting that has been blamed on extreme elements, who French authorities claim have infiltrated the movement.

“Act XVIII” of the protests has shown that the Yellow Vests have not given up. France’s Champs-Élysées boulevard was where most of the violence occurred, with the street being left in a pile of broken glass and flames.

One day after Paris was set ablaze, French President Emmanuel Macron cut his ski holiday short, returning to Paris and vowing to take “strong decisions” to prevent more violence.

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Via Zerohedge


Paris awoke on Sunday to smouldering fires, broken windows and looted stores following the 18th consecutive Saturday of Yellow Vest protests.

Around 200 people were arrested according to BFM TV, while about 80 shops near the iconic Champs Elysees had been damaged and/or looted according to AFP, citing Champs Elysees committee president Jean-Noel Reinhardt.

The 373-year-old Saint Sulpice Roman Catholic church was set on fire while people were inside, however nobody was injured. The cause of the fire remains unknown.

The riots were so severe that French President Emmanuel Macron cut short a vacation at the La Mongie ski resort in the Hautes-Pyrénées following a three-day tour of East Africa which took him to Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya.

Macron skied on Friday, telling La Depeche du Midi “I’m going to spend two-three days here to relax, to find landscapes and friendly faces,” adding “I’m happy to see the Pyrenees like that, radiant, although I know it was more difficult at Christmas” referring to the lack of snow in December.

In response to Saturday’s violence, Macron said over Twitter that “strong decisions” were coming to prevent more violence.

Macron said some individuals — dubbed “black blocs” by French police forces — were taking advantage of the protests by the Yellow Vest grassroots movement to “damage the Republic, to break, to destroy.” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Twitter that those who excused or encouraged such violence were complicit in it. –Bloomberg

The French President has family ties in the Hautes-Pyrénées, including Bagnères de Bigorre where his grandmother lived. He is a regular visitor to the region.

Emmanuel Macron (2ndL), head of the political movement In Marche! (Onwards!) And candidate for the 2017 presidential election, and his wife Brigitte Trogneux (L) have lunch April 12, 2017 (Reuters)

 

 

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Vesti calls out Pompeo on lying about Russia invading Ukraine [Video]

Secretary Pompeo displayed either stunning ignorance or a mass-attack of propaganda about what must be the most invisible war in history.

Seraphim Hanisch

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After the 2014 Maidan revolution and the subsequent secessions of Lugansk and Donetsk in Ukraine, and after the rejoining of Crimea with its original nation of Russia, the Western media went on a campaign to prove the Russia is (/ was / was about to / had already / might / was thinking about / was planning to … etc.) invade Ukraine. For the next year or so, about every two weeks, internet news sources like Yahoo! News showed viewers pictures of tanks, box trucks and convoys to “prove” that the invasion was underway (or any of the other statuses confirming the possibilities above stated.) This information was doubtless provided to US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.

Apparently, Secretary Pompeo believed this ruse, or is being paid to believe this ruse because in a speech recently, he talked about it as fact:

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Russia’s annexation of Crimea and aggression in eastern Ukraine an attempt to gain access to Ukraine’s oil and gas reserves.

He stated this at IHS Markit’s CERAWeek conference in Houston, the USA, Reuters reports.

Pompeo urged the oil industry to work with the Trump administration to promote U.S. foreign policy interests, especially in Asia and in Europe, and to punish what he called “bad actors” on the world stage.

The United States has imposed harsh sanctions in the past several months on two major world oil producers, Venezuela and Iran.

Pompeo said the U.S. oil-and-gas export boom had given the United States the ability to meet energy demand once satisfied by its geopolitical rivals.

“We don’t want our European allies hooked on Russian gas through the Nord Stream 2 project, any more than we ourselves want to be dependent on Venezuelan oil supplies,” Pompeo said, referring to a natural gas pipeline expansion from Russia to Central Europe.

Pompeo called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine an attempt to gain access to the country’s oil and gas reserves.

Although the state-run news agency Vesti News often comes under criticism for rather reckless, or at least, extremely sarcastic propaganda at times, here they rightly nailed Mr. Pompeo’s lies to the wall and billboarded it on their program:

The news anchors even made a wisecrack about one of the political figures, Konstantin Zatulin saying as a joke that Russia plans to invade the United States to get its oil. They further noted that Secretary Pompeo is uneducated about the region and situation, but they offered him the chance to come to Russia and learn the correct information about what is going on.

To wit, Russia has not invaded Ukraine at all. There is no evidence to support such a claim, while there IS evidence to show that the West is actively interfering with Russia through the use of Ukraine as a proxyWhile this runs counter to the American narrative, it is simply the truth. Ukraine appears to be the victim of its own ambitions at this point, for while the US tantalizes the leadership of the country and even interferes with the Orthodox Church in the region, the country lurches towards a presidential election with three very poor candidates, most notably the one who is president there now, Petro Poroshenko.

However, the oil and gas side of the anti-Russian propaganda operation by the US is significant. The US wishes for Europe to buy gas from American suppliers, even though this is woefully inconvenient and expensive when Russia is literally at Europe’s doorstep with easy supplies. However, the Cold War Party in the United States, which still has a significant hold on US policy making categorizes the sale of Russia gas to powers like NATO ally Germany as a “threat” to European security.

It is interesting that Angela Merkel herself does not hold this line of thinking. It is also interesting and worthy of note, that this is not the only NATO member that is dealing more and more with Russia in terms of business. It underscores the loss of purpose that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization suffers now since there is no Soviet Union to fight.

However, the US remains undaunted. If there is no enemy to fight, the Americans feel that they must create one, and Russia has been the main scapegoat for American power ambitions. More than ever now, this tactic appears to be the one in use for determining the US stance towards other powers in the world.

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Ariel Cohen explains Washington’s latest foreign policy strategy [Video]

Excellent interview Ariel Cohen and Vladimir Solovyov reveals the forces at work in and behind American foreign policy.

Seraphim Hanisch

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While the American people and press are pretty much complicit in reassuring the masses that America is the only “right” superpower on earth, and that Russia and China represent “enemy threats” for doing nothing more than existing and being successfully competitive in world markets, Russia Channel One got a stunner of a video interview with Ariel Cohen.

Who is Ariel Cohen? Wikipedia offers this information about him:

Ariel Cohen (born April 3, 1959 in Crimea in YaltaUSSR) is a political scientist focusing on political risk, international security and energy policy, and the rule of law.[1] Cohen currently serves as the Director of The Center for Energy, Natural Resources and Geopolitics (CENRG) at the Institute for Analysis of Global Security (IAGS). CENRG focuses on the nexus between energy, geopolitics and security, and natural resources and growth. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, within the Global Energy Center and the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center.[2] Until July 2014, Dr. Cohen was a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. He specializes in Russia/Eurasia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.

Cohen has testified before committees of the U.S. Congress, including the Senate and House Foreign Relations Committees, the House Armed Services Committee, the House Judiciary Committee and the Helsinki Commission.[4] He also served as a Policy Adviser with the National Institute for Public Policy’s Center for Deterrence Analysis.[5] In addition, Cohen has consulted for USAID, the World Bank and the Pentagon.[6][7]

Cohen is a frequent writer and commentator in the American and international media. He has appeared on CNN, NBC, CBS, FOX, C-SPAN, BBC-TV and Al Jazeera English, as well as Russian and Ukrainian national TV networks. He was a commentator on a Voice of America weekly radio and TV show for eight years. Currently, he is a Contributing Editor to the National Interest and a blogger for Voice of America. He has written guest columns for the New York TimesInternational Herald TribuneChristian Science Monitor, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, EurasiaNet, Valdai Discussion Club,[8] and National Review Online. In Europe, Cohen’s analyses have appeared in Kommersant, Izvestiya, Hurriyet, the popular Russian website Ezhenedelny Zhurnal, and many others.[9][10]

Mr. Cohen came on Russian TV for a lengthy interview running about 17 minutes. This interview, shown in full below, is extremely instructive in illustrating the nature of the American foreign policy directives such as they are at this time.

We have seen evidence of this in recent statements by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo regarding Russia’s “invasion” of Ukraine, and an honestly unabashed bit of fear mongering about China’s company Huawei and its forthcoming 5G networks, which we will investigate in more detail in another piece. Both bits of rhetoric reflect a re-polished narrative that, paraphrased, says to the other world powers,

Either you do as we tell you, or you are our enemy. You are not even permitted to out-compete with us in business, let alone foreign relations. The world is ours and if you try to step out of place, you will be dealt with as an enemy power.

This is probably justified paranoia, because it is losing its place. Where the United Stated used to stand for opposition against tyranny in the world, it now acts as the tyrant, and even as a bully. Russia and China’s reaction might be seen as ignoring the bully and his bluster and just going about doing their own thing. It isn’t a fight, but it is treating the bully with contempt, as bullies indeed deserve.

Ariel Cohen rightly points out that there is a great deal of political inertia in the matter of allowing Russia and China to just do their own thing. The US appears to be acting paranoid about losing its place. His explanations appear very sound and very reasonable and factual. Far from some of the snark Vesti is often infamous for, this interview is so clear it is tragic that most Americans will never see it.

The tragedy for the US leadership that buys this strategy is that they appear to be blinded so much by their own passion that they cannot break free of it to save themselves.

This is not the first time that such events have happened to an empire. It happened in Rome; it happened for England; and it happened for the shorter-lived empires of Nazi Germany and ISIS. It happens every time that someone in power becomes afraid to lose it, and when the forces that propelled that rise to power no longer are present. The US is a superpower without a reason to be a superpower.

That can be very dangerous.

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