A delegation from the US Peace Council (USPC) has recently returned to the US from a fact finding mission to Syria.
The members spent 6 days meeting with Syrian Government Officials including, President Assad, Union Leaders, Government Opposition Members as well as Civil & Business Leaders, NGO’s, Charities and Universities.
The delegation stated that each member paid their own way and that the Syrian Government allowed them to meet whomever they wanted.
They issued their report and held a press conference Press conference at the UN on 9th August 2016.
Alfred Marder who, is the President of the USPC firstly acknowledged that the US peace and anti-war movement has been in a state of confusion about Syria and that this has caused division within the movement.
Marder went on to say that much of the confusion stems from the US media’s uncritically accepting US government claims about Syria and Assad. He slammed the role of the media as “Nefarious!”
“There is a familiarity of the government and media narrative which, is used to convince the American people, that the Government has a moral responsibility to intervene.”
He explained that the domestic tactic used by the US government to sway US public opinion, is, to demonise the leader of whatever country the US is targeting.
“Whether it’s Noriega, Hussein, Gaddafi, or Assad, there’s a definite pattern here”
He said the story the US people have been told about President Assad and Syria have been purposefully false. Concerning the reporting he said
“This is not accidental. This is designed to confuse people’s opinions on these Leaders.”
This confusion among the anti war movement effectively neuters their actions and purpose.
The delegates will report back to the many US Anti War affiliations telling the facts of what they found in Syria.
Marder concluded his talk with the hope that the Anti War affiliations can unite and rally the US Anti War Movement to confront their government in order to pressure for policy change in Syria.
One of the main points all members of the Delegation made very strongly was
“That there is no Civil War in Syria!”
This is a false narrative that has been spread by the US government and by the US media.
In fact, the opposite is true. Each delegate stated how impressed they were with the solidarity of the Syrian people.
Contrary to reports in the Western media Christians, Muslims and secular Syrians are united behind the Syrian government and President Assad and are undivided in their fight against the foreign-backed mercenary forces who have invaded their land.
They marvelled at being told by “nearly every Syrian they met” that they refuse to be broken up or identified by their religion or sect. They see themselves firstly as proud Syrians.
Each delegate who spoke made the point that President Assad is elected democratically and that the Syrian people hold President Assad and his government in high regard and also point out that this is the main reason why Syria has been able to withstand 5 years of bloody war.
The Assad government is recognised by the United Nations and all elections that have been held in Syria have been monitored by international observers who have been satisfied that they have met all international standards.
Other members of the delegation added points that they had individually discovered.
Joe Jamison, coordinator of the Queens Peace Council, affiliated with the USPC, started his report by quoting Mark Twain,
“It is not what we don’t know that gets us into trouble, what gets us into trouble is what we think we know for sure which, just ain’t so.”
Jamison was blunt in his assessment and likened this quote to the dangerous attitude of so many Americans who think they know about Syria and President Assad but “….what they think they know, just ain’t so!”
In his opinion the US motive is to destroy Syria as an independent secular Arab state and make it compliant to US interests and policies, like Iraq and Libya have become since the US invasions and bombings of these two countries.
Just like Libya before the NATO bombing, Syria has universal free healthcare and free education from childcare through to university.
Jamison pointed out that the US government supports Jabhat al-Nusra and other groups (whose names change often) who they claim to be ‘moderate rebels’ but who in truth are not moderate in any way and are affiliated either with Al-Qaeda or ISIS.
He mentioned the foreign backed mercenaries (ISIS) are fuelled by the Wahhabi doctrine which he described as
“a sick medieval and backward ideology driven by the Muslim Brotherhood with its genesis in Saudi Arabia.”
He affirmed his opinion by describing how so called ‘moderate’ Jabhat Al-Nusra mercenaries beheaded a 12 yr old boy during the time the delegation was in Syria. There is nothing ‘moderate’ about beheading a 12 year old boy.
In contrast he said
“that Syrian Islam is a socially inclusive and a pluralistic form of Islam. They are democratic and humane.”
Another delegate, Madelyn Hoffman, in answer to journalists’ question, said,
“It is a war of the Syrian people, all of them against foreign mercenaries who are funded and trained by Qatar, Saudi Arabia, US, and Israel.”
These mercenaries are trained in Qatar and move into Syria freely through the Turkish border.
The other major story they shared was the generally unreported sanctions that the US has imposed upon the Syrian people.
The US government claims the sanctions target the Syrian government. However they are actually aimed at wearing down the resolve of the Syrian people.
The US has imposed sanctions similar to the ones Iraq experienced before the invasion, which even the US admits killed half a million children.
Syrians cannot get baby formula, common medication, medication for chemotherapy, child immunisation etc.
These sanctions are so insidious that they affect medical clinics throughout Syria because they are unable to get parts for machines used in medical practice. Think: X-ray, CAT, MRI machines right down to dentists drills.
President Assad has claimed from the beginning that there was no uprising and that the country was being invaded by foreign backed mercenaries. Gaddafi said exactly the same thing when NATO started bombing Libya.
Coincidence? I think not.
The same scenario was acted out in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, and now Syria: invaded and bombed into submission without any politician, general or complicit media representative tried or held to account. There is not even an acceptance of error or a conciliatory voice of remorse.
Maybe this void of responsibility explains the general feeling of mental and spiritual numbness that seems to emanate from the general public in the West towards anything related to Western foreign policy? This numbness manifests itself in a collective ‘shrugging of the shoulders’ when it comes to any foreign policy debate.
The pattern will however continue until Western public opinion finally stirs itself. In the meantime the confusion within the US anti-war movement, and the inactivity and indolence this has led to, shows why the advocates of war in the US and the West are being given a free pass.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.