Provoking nuclear war by media | by John Pilger

23 August 2016 | John Pilger

The exoneration of a man accused of the worst of crimes, genocide, made no headlines. Neither the BBC nor CNN covered it. The Guardian allowed a brief commentary. Such a rare official admission was buried or suppressed, understandably. It would explain too much about how the rulers of the world rule.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague has quietly cleared the late Serbian president, Slobodan Milosevic, of war crimes committed during the 1992-95 Bosnian war, including the massacre at Srebrenica.

Far from conspiring with the convicted Bosnian-Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, Milosevic actually "condemned ethnic cleansing", opposed Karadzic and tried to stop the war that dismembered Yugoslavia. Buried near the end of a 2,590 page judgement on Karadzic last February, this truth further demolishes the propaganda that justified Nato's illegal onslaught on Serbia in 1999.

Milosevic died of a heart attack in 2006, alone in his cell in The Hague, during what amounted to a bogus trial by an American-invented "international tribunal". Denied heart surgery that might have saved his life, his condition worsened and was monitored and kept secret by US officials, as WikiLeaks has since revealed.

Milosevic was the victim of war propaganda that today runs like a torrent across our screens and newspapers and beckons great danger for us all. He was the prototype demon, vilified by the western media as the "butcher of the Balkans" who was responsible for "genocide", especially in the secessionist Yugoslav province of Kosovo. Prime Minister Tony Blair said so, invoked the Holocaust and demanded action against "this new Hitler". David Scheffer, the US ambassador-at-large for war crimes [sic], declared that as many as "225,000 ethnic Albanian men aged between 14 and 59" may have been murdered by Milosevic's forces.

This was the justification for Nato's bombing, led by Bill Clinton and Blair, that killed hundreds of civilians in hospitals, schools, churches, parks and television studios and destroyed Serbia's economic infrastructure. It was blatantly ideological; at a notorious "peace conference" in Rambouillet in France, Milosevic was confronted by Madeleine Albright, the US secretary of state, who was to achieve infamy with her remark that the deaths of half a million Iraqi children were "worth it".

Albright delivered an "offer" to Milosevic that no national leader could accept. Unless he agreed to the foreign military occupation of his country, with the occupying forces "outside the legal process", and to the imposition of a neo-liberal "free market", Serbia would be bombed. This was contained in an "Appendix B", which the media failed to read or suppressed. The aim was to crush Europe's last independent "socialist" state.

Once Nato began bombing, there was a stampede of Kosovar refugees "fleeing a holocaust". When it was over, international police teams descended on Kosovo to exhume the victims of the "holocaust". The FBI failed to find a single mass grave and went home. The Spanish forensic team did the same, its leader angrily denouncing "a semantic pirouette by the war propaganda machines". The final count of the dead in Kosovo was 2,788. This included combatants on both sides and Serbs and Roma murdered by the pro-Nato Kosovo Liberation Front. There was no genocide. The Nato attack was both a fraud and a war crime.

All but a fraction of America's vaunted "precision guided" missiles hit not military but civilian targets, including the news studios of Radio Television Serbia in Belgrade. Sixteen people were killed, including cameramen, producers and a make-up artist. Blair described the dead, profanely, as part of Serbia's "command and control". In 2008, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Carla Del Ponte, revealed that she had been pressured not to investigate Nato's crimes.

This was the model for Washington's subsequent invasions of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and, by stealth, Syria. All qualify as "paramount crimes" under the Nuremberg standard; all depended on media propaganda. While tabloid journalism played its traditional part, it was serious, credible, often liberal journalism that was the most effective - the evangelical promotion of Blair and his wars by the Guardian, the incessant lies about Saddam Hussein's non-existent weapons of mass destruction in the Observer and the New York Times, and the unerring drumbeat of government propaganda by the BBC in the silence of its omissions.

At the height of the bombing, the BBC's Kirsty Wark interviewed General Wesley Clark, the Nato commander. The Serbian city of Nis had just been sprayed with American cluster bombs, killing women, old people and children in an open market and a hospital. Wark asked not a single question about this, or about any other civilian deaths. Others were more brazen. In February 2003, the day after Blair and Bush had set fire to Iraq, the BBC's political editor, Andrew Marr, stood in Downing Street and made what amounted to a victory speech. He excitedly told his viewers that Blair had "said they would be able to take Baghdad without a bloodbath, and that in the end the Iraqis would be celebrating. And on both of those points he has been proved conclusively right." Today, with a million dead and a society in ruins, Marr's BBC interviews are recommended by the US embassy in London.

Marr's colleagues lined up to pronounce Blair "vindicated". The BBC's Washington correspondent, Matt Frei, said, "There's no doubt that the desire to bring good, to bring American values to the rest of the world, and especially to the Middle East ... is now increasingly tied up with military power."

This obeisance to the United States and its collaborators as a benign force "bringing good" runs deep in western establishment journalism. It ensures that the present-day catastrophe in Syria is blamed exclusively on Bashar al-Assad, whom the West and Israel have long conspired to overthrow, not for any humanitarian concerns, but to consolidate Israel's aggressive power in the region. The jihadist forces unleashed and armed by the US, Britain, France, Turkey and their "coalition" proxies serve this end. It is they who dispense the propaganda and videos that becomes news in the US and Europe, and provide access to journalists and guarantee a one-sided "coverage" of Syria.

The city of Aleppo is in the news. Most readers and viewers will be unaware that the majority of the population of Aleppo lives in the government-controlled western part of the city. That they suffer daily artillery bombardment from western-sponsored al-Qaida is not news. On 21 July, French and American bombers attacked a government village in Aleppo province, killing up to 125 civilians. This was reported on page 22 of the Guardian; there were no photographs.

Having created and underwritten jihadism in Afghanistan in the 1980s as Operation Cyclone - a weapon to destroy the Soviet Union - the US is doing something similar in Syria. Like the Afghan Mujahideen, the Syrian "rebels" are America's and Britain's foot soldiers. Many fight for al-Qaida and its variants; some, like the Nusra Front, have rebranded themselves to comply with American sensitivities over 9/11. The CIA runs them, with difficulty, as it runs jihadists all over the world.

The immediate aim is to destroy the government in Damascus, which, according to the most credible poll (YouGov Siraj), the majority of Syrians support, or at least look to for protection, regardless of the barbarism in its shadows. The long-term aim is to deny Russia a key Middle Eastern ally as part of a NATO war of attrition against the Russian Federation that eventually destroys it.

The nuclear risk is obvious, though suppressed by the media across "the free world". The editorial writers of the Washington Post, having promoted the fiction of WMD in Iraq, demand that Obama attack Syria. Hillary Clinton, who publicly rejoiced at her executioner's role during the destruction of Libya, has repeatedly indicated that, as president, she will "go further" than Obama.

Gareth Porter, a samidzat journalist reporting from Washington, recently revealed the names of those likely to make up a Clinton cabinet, who plan an attack on Syria. All have belligerent cold war histories; the former CIA director, Leon Panetta, says that "the next president is gonna have to consider adding additional special forces on the ground".

What is most remarkable about the war propaganda now in floodtide is its patent absurdity and familiarity. I have been looking through archive film from Washington in the 1950s when diplomats, civil servants and journalists were witch-hunted and ruined by Senator Joe McCarthy for challenging the lies and paranoia about the Soviet Union and China. Like a resurgent tumour, the anti-Russia cult has returned.

In Britain, the Guardian's Luke Harding leads his newspaper's Russia-haters in a stream of journalistic parodies that assign to Vladimir Putin every earthly iniquity. When the Panama Papers leak was published, the front page said Putin, and there was a picture of Putin; never mind that Putin was not mentioned anywhere in the leaks.

Like Milosevic, Putin is Demon Number One. It was Putin who shot down a Malaysian airliner over Ukraine. Headline: "As far as I'm concerned, Putin killed my son." No evidence required. It was Putin who was responsible for Washington's documented (and paid for) overthrow of the elected government in Kiev in 2014. The subsequent terror campaign by fascist militias against the Russian-speaking population of Ukraine was the result of Putin's "aggression". Preventing Crimea from becoming a Nato missile base and protecting the mostly Russian population who had voted in a referendum to rejoin Russia - from which Crimea had been annexed - were more examples of Putin's "aggression". Smear by media inevitably becomes war by media. If war with Russia breaks out, by design or by accident, journalists will bear much of the responsibility.

In the US, the anti-Russia campaign has been elevated to virtual reality. The New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, an economist with a Nobel Prize, has called Donald Trump the "Siberian Candidate" because Trump is Putin's man, he says. Trump had dared to suggest, in a rare lucid moment, that war with Russia might be a bad idea. In fact, he has gone further and removed American arms shipments to Ukraine from the Republican platform. "Wouldn't it be great if we got along with Russia," he said.

This is why America's warmongering liberal establishment hates him. Trump's racism and ranting demagoguery have nothing to do with it. Bill and Hillary Clinton's record of racism and extremism can out-trump Trump's any day. (This week is the 20th anniversary of the Clinton welfare "reform" that launched a war on African-Americans). As for Obama: while American police gun down his fellow African-Americans the great hope in the White House has done nothing to protect them, nothing to relieve their impoverishment, while running four rapacious wars and an assassination campaign without precedent.

The CIA has demanded Trump is not elected. Pentagon generals have demanded he is not elected. The pro-war New York Times - taking a breather from its relentless low-rent Putin smears - demands that he is not elected. Something is up. These tribunes of "perpetual war" are terrified that the multi-billion-dollar business of war by which the United States maintains its dominance will be undermined if Trump does a deal with Putin, then with China's Xi Jinping. Their panic at the possibility of the world's great power talking peace - however unlikely - would be the blackest farce were the issues not so dire.

"Trump would have loved Stalin!" bellowed Vice-President Joe Biden at a rally for Hillary Clinton. With Clinton nodding, he shouted, "We never bow. We never bend. We never kneel. We never yield. We own the finish line. That's who we are. We are America!"

In Britain, Jeremy Corbyn has also excited hysteria from the war-makers in the Labour Party and from a media devoted to trashing him. Lord West, a former admiral and Labour minister, put it well. Corbyn was taking an "outrageous" anti-war position "because it gets the unthinking masses to vote for him".

In a debate with leadership challenger Owen Smith, Corbyn was asked by the moderator: "How would you act on a violation by Vladimir Putin of a fellow Nato state?" Corbyn replied: "You would want to avoid that happening in the first place. You would build up a good dialogue with Russia... We would try to introduce a de-militarisation of the borders between Russia, the Ukraine and the other countries on the border between Russia and Eastern Europe. What we cannot allow is a series of calamitous build-ups of troops on both sides which can only lead to great danger."

Pressed to say if he would authorise war against Russia "if you had to", Corbyn replied: "I don't wish to go to war - what I want to do is achieve a world that we don't need to go to war."

The line of questioning owes much to the rise of Britain's liberal war-makers. The Labour Party and the media have long offered them career opportunities. For a while the moral tsunami of the great crime of Iraq left them floundering, their inversions of the truth a temporary embarrassment. Regardless of Chilcot and the mountain of incriminating facts, Blair remains their inspiration, because he was a "winner".

Dissenting journalism and scholarship have since been systematically banished or appropriated, and democratic ideas emptied and refilled with "identity politics" that confuse gender with feminism and public angst with liberation and wilfully ignore the state violence and weapons profiteering that destroys countless lives in faraway places, like Yemen and Syria, and beckon nuclear war in Europe and across the world.

The stirring of people of all ages around the spectacular rise of Jeremy Corbyn counters this to some extent. His life has been spent illuminating the horror of war. The problem for Corbyn and his supporters is the Labour Party. In America, the problem for the thousands of followers of Bernie Sanders was the Democratic Party, not to mention their ultimate betrayal by their great white hope. In the US, home of the great civil rights and anti-war movements, it is Black Lives Matter and the likes of Codepink that lay the roots of a modern version.

For only a movement that swells into every street and across borders and does not give up can stop the warmongers. Next year, it will be a century since Wilfred Owen wrote the following. Every journalist should read it and remember it...

If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood

Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,

Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud

Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,

My friend, you would not tell with such high zest

To children ardent for some desperate glory,

The old lie: Dulce et decorum est

Pro patria mori.


Follow John Pilger on twitter @johnpilger

Clintonites prepare for war on Syria | BY RICK STERLING

AUGUST 23, 2016  | by Rick Sterling

The Syria Propaganda Campaign

Neocons and Clintonites have launched a major campaign with the goal of direct US military intervention and aggression against Syria, potentially leading to war with Iran and Russia. An early indication emerged as soon as it was clear the Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic Party nominee. Following the California primary, the NY Times reported on State Department diplomats issuing an internal memo “urging the United States to carry out military strikes against the government of President Bashar al Assad.”

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”.

PBS broadcast a story titled “Repeatedly targeted by airstrikes, Syrian doctors feel abandoned.”The story features video from the “White Helmets” along with photos from the reported April bombing of Al Quds Hospital.

Currently there is a huge media campaign around the situation in Aleppo. Syrian American doctor Zaher Sahloul, of the Syrian American Medical Society, has been interviewed extensively on mainstream media as well as DemocracyNow with widespread promotion in Truthout and other sites.

There has been lots of publicity around a letter to President Obama, supposedly written by 15 doctors in East Aleppo. The letter ends “We need your action.” The flow and wording of the letter suggests it may have been composed by a marketing company and there has been no verification of the doctors who supposedly signed it.

An online Change petition asks German Chancellor Merkel and President Obama to “save the people of Aleppo”. 

The publicly funded Holocaust Memorial Museum has promotedthe video #SaveSyria. One of the producers of the video is The Syria Campaign which is the marketing organization which branded the pervasive “White Helmets” as documented in “Seven Steps of Highly Effective Manipulators”.

In parallel with this media campaign, the House Foreign Affairs Committee has introducedHR5732 the “Caesar Syrian Civilian Protection Act of 2016”. The resolution calls for escalating economic/financial pressure on Syria and “Assessment of potential effectiveness of and requirements for the establishment of safe zones or a no fly zone in Syria”.

Dr. Sahloul, the Syrian American Medical Society doctor / spokesperson says that Obama’s legacy will be defined by whether or not he attacks Syria to impose a “no fly zone”. It seems unlikely that Obama would do that at the end of his term. Instead, the goal is to prepare the public for the new war to begin after Hillary Clinton becomes President.

Falsehoods and Lies of Omission 

In his article ““The media are misleading the public on Syria” author Stephen Kinzer recently wrote“Coverage of the Syrian war will be remembered as one of the most shameful episodes in the history of the American press. Reporting about carnage in the ancient city of Aleppo is the latest reason why.”

Here a few facts about Aleppo which contradict the msm narrative: 

* At least 85% of Aleppo’s population is in government controlled area.

* The estimate of 300K civilians in rebel/terrorist controlled east Aleppo is likely a gross exaggeration. In Spring 2015 Martin Chulov of the Guardian visited the area and estimated there were 40K.

* While there are very few doctors serving in the opposition controlled Aleppo, there are thousands of doctors working in the government controlled area. 

* The dominant rebel terrorist group in Aleppo is the Syrian version of Al Qaeda.

* The armed groups who invaded Aleppo have been unpopular from the beginning. In the Fall of 2012 James Foley wrote:

“Aleppo, a city of about 3 million people, was once the financial heart of Syria. As it continues to deteriorate, many civilians here are losing patience with the increasingly violent and unrecognizable opposition — one that is hampered by infighting and a lack of structure, and deeply infiltrated by both foreign fighters and terrorist groups.”

* The rebel-terrorists launch dozens and sometimes hundreds of mortars daily into the government controlled areas causing huge casualties. Western media ignores this destruction and loss of life.

* The much publicized April bombing of the supposed MSF supported “Al Quds Hospital” in Aleppo was full of contradictions and discrepancies. These were highlighted in an Open Letter to MSF. To this date, MSF has not provided corroborating information.

* Much of the video purporting to show bombing effects in Aleppo are stamped with the “White Helmets” logo. White Helmets is a creation of the US and UK and primarily a propaganda tool. The claims they are Syrian, independent and non-partisan are all false.

* Much of the information about Syria comes from “activists” trained and paid by the USA. In her book “Hard Choices” Secretary Clinton speaks says the US provided “training for more than a thousand (Syrian) activists, students, and independent journalists” (p464, hardback version). Obviously they are not independent and their reports should be carefully checked. 

* In contrast with the ambiguous situation at “Al Quds Hospital”, consider what happened to Aleppo’s “Al Kindi Hospital”. Take three minutes to view the suicide suicide bombing of Al Kindi Hospital. Take two minutes to view what the “rebels” did to Syrian soldiers who had been guarding the hospital.

* Like Richard Engels fake kidnapping, the contrived CNN reports by “Syrian Danny”, the August 21 chemical attack in Ghouta effectively shown to be a staged event intended to force US attack because of the supposedly crossed red line.

* The letter to President Obama was likely written by a paid Syria War propagandist or Washington lobby firm. Read the letter here and judge for yourself. For contrast watch this interview with a real Syrian doctor not mouthing propaganda from K Street Washington DC.

* The latest propaganda tool being used to promote US aggression against Syria is the photograph of little Omran in the orange ambulance seat. The video comes from the Aleppo Media Center “AMC”. Like the White Helmets, AMC is a US creation. The photo of Omran has been widely accepted without scrutiny. The insightful Moon of Alabama, has raised serious questions about the media sensation. Brad Hoff has documented that the main photographer, Mahmoud Raslan, is an ally of the Nour al Din al Zenki rebel terrorists who beheaded a young Palestinian Syrian a few weeks ago. This is confirmed step by step in this short video. Another good short video exposing the propaganda around #Syrianboy is here.

Why the Burst of Propaganda and Calls for US Attack Now?

The Syrian crisis is at a critical point and there is prospect of the collapse of the rebel-terrorists. If they crushed or expelled, it would allow hundreds of thousands of displaced Aleppans to return home as soon as services are restored. This would also allow the Syrian army and allies to focus on attacking ISIS in the east and terrorist groups remaining in Idlib, Hama, the outskirts of Damascus and the south.

The tide is running against the rebel terrorist factions and their supporters. Up until the last year, fanatics and mercenaries were traveling from all parts of the globe into Syria via Turkey. Tens of thousands went to Syria from SE Asia, China, Russia, North Africa, Europe and North America. They were given carte blanche to depart their home countries, arrive in Turkey and be guided into Syria. For example, young Canadians such as Damien Clairmont went and died in Syria. His mother has courageously exposed the fact that Canadian Security Intelligence Services (CSIS) knew about his plans yet did nothing to stop him. Progressive Muslim leaders demanded the government identify and start dealing with the radical recruiters. It was evidently the policy of the cynically named “Friends of Syria” to “look the other way” as their citizens were being brainwashed then recruited to become terrorists attacking Syria.

Now, with terrorist blowback, these same “Friends” are feeling some consequences from their policies. Terror attacks in Britain, France, Belgium and the USA have ended the policy of collusion with wahabi terrorists. In the last year, security services have started arresting recruiters and new recruits. In Britain, a long time promoter of ISIS has been convicted. In Belgium, the court has approved the extradition of a suspected French terrorist. Previously Belgium was the Western country with the highest per capita number of citizens joining the terrorist fight in Syria. And now Turkey has started arresting people en route to join ISIS in Syria.

Since the rebel terrorists invaded Aleppo in 2012, they have had a constant pipeline bringing weapons, fighters and supplies into the city. For the past few months the Syrian army has been on the verge of encircling and closing the access routes into rebel terrorist sections of east Aleppo. Western media and governments which support the rebel terrorists are doing all they can to delay or prevent this closure. They are trying to stall or prevent a Syrian victory until someone more hawkish than Barack Obama is in the White House. 

Who is Driving the Conflict?

Regional forces supporting the war on Syria include Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey. Israel has always been deeply involved, contrary to the faulty analysis of some observers. Israel has provided medical and military support to Nusra/Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups operating near the Golan Heights. Former Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren was explicit: “Israel has wanted Assad ousted since Syria war began” .

The USA and western powers are also deeply involved. Working with Saudi Arabia and through Turkey, the US has supplied huge quantities of weapons to the rebel terrorists. Sophisticated weaponry totaling 994 TONS was provided last winter as documented here.

On the other side, Iran and Hezbollah are committed to defending the existing Syrian government. They know that if the Syrian government falls, they will be the next ones under attack. Russia also sees this as a crucial conflict. The USA has expanded NATO up to the Russian eastern border, promoted the 2014 Ukraine coup, and insisted on economic sanctions against Russia. Syria is Russia’s only Arab ally and hosts Russia’s only foreign naval base. Russia probably sees this conflict as a crucial for its own future. In another sign of resistance to US global hegemony, China has indicated it wishes to expand military cooperation with Syria.

Following the US lead, Canada, Australia and West European countries have supported the regime change effort despite it being in clear violation of the UN Charter and international law.

What is at Stake?

Despite five years of tragedy and destruction, the U.S. continues trying to overthrow or destroy the Syrian government. This is not a new US objective. In 2005, CNN’s Christiane Amanpourinterviewed Syrian President Assad and said to him “Mr. President, you know the rhetoric of regime change is headed towards you from the United States….They're talking about isolating you diplomatically and, perhaps, a coup d'etat or your regime crumbling. What are you thinking about that?” Amanpour is not only the CNN host, she is the wife of neocon Clintonite James Rubin.

In 2010 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pressed Syria to stop its support of the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah, “loosen” its alliance with Iran and sign a treaty with Israel. Significantly, these are Israel’s demands and of much higher importance to the Zionist state than the USA.

The war in Syria is bringing numerous conflicts to a head: sectarian wahabism vs secular Islam; the “new american century” with one superpower vs a multilateral world; zionist dominance and occupation vs Lebanese and Palestinian resistance. 

Hillary Clinton is on record criticizing the decision to not bomb Syria in the Fall of 2013. She has continued to promote the idea of a “no fly zone”. She is an avowed zionist who has said she wants to take the US-Israeli relationship to the ‘next level’.

Zionist Israel is deeply worried by the prospect of a strengthened Syria and Lebanese resistance. In addition, there are many Palestinian refugees and their descendants in Syria and Lebanon. They retain their wish to return home in keeping with international law. Just as Zionist Israeli interests were a major factor in the invasion of Iraq, so they are in continuing the conflict in Syria. In addition, neocons have not given up their goal of a “new American century”. 

What Has been the role of the Western Left?

The left has been weak in responding and opposing the aggression against Syria. Major factors have included:

- Saudi and US State Dept funded Muslim groups which support the aggression against Syria. This includes the recently famous Dr Zaher Sahloul and the Syrian American Medical Society. SAMS and Zahloul are aligned with Saudi Arabia and receive substantial State Dept funding. 

- deluded leftist groups who support a fantasy “revolution” in Syria just as they did in Libya.

- the flooding of social media and the internet by “activists” and Syrian “civil society” groups who are actually paid and trained agents of the west. This is confirmed by Clinton herself in her book “Hard Choices”.

- uncritical acceptance of major NGOs who are predominately funded by billionaires. These organizations need to be considered with some skepticism. For example, in 1990, Amnesty International mistakenly corroborated the accuracy of the false claim that Iraqi soldiers were stealing incubators from Kuwait, leaving babies to die on the cold floor. In the runup to the 2003 invasion of Syria, Human Rights Watch did not oppose the invasion and implicitly accepted it by only criticizing the lack of preparation. Physicians for Human Rights, another Soros project, has issued grossly misleading reports on Syria.

- alternative media which is progressive on many issues but echoes NPR and mainstream media on critical foreign policy issues including the Syrian conflict.

Some groups including Arab Americans for Syria, Syrian American Forum, Black Agenda Report, Syria Solidarity Movement, Answer and Workers World Party have actively challenged the disinformation but their budgets and influence are relatively small in comparison with the heavily funded organizations pushing for regime change.

Veterans for Peace, one of the most influential and respected peace organizations, has recently sharpened its understanding and position. Following a recent visit to Syria, the Vice President of Veterans for Peace, Jerry Condon, has said, “Everything we read about Syria in the US media is wrong. The reality is that the U.S. government is supporting armed extremist groups who are terrorizing the Syrian people and trying to destroy Syria's secular state. In order to hide that ugly reality and push violent regime change the U.S. is conducting a psychological warfare campaign to demonize Syria's president, Bashar al Assad. This is a classic tactic that veterans have seen over and over. It is shocking, however, to realize how willingly the media repeat this propaganda, and how many people believe it to be true." 

What Needs to Happen

Neoconservatives including Clintonites are pushing hard for a direct US attack on Syria to prevent the collapse of their regime change project. Claiming that the US and NATO can bring a ‘safe zone’ and ‘protect civilians’ is a grotesque falsehood. If the US tries to impose a “no fly zone” it will result in vastly more deaths and risk escalation into direct conflict between Syria, Russia, Iran and Israel.

Former Acting CIA director Mike Morell recently suggested the killing of Russians and Iranians in Syria to make them “pay a price”. He has endorsed Hillary Clinton as President. This is how dangerous, ignorant and arrogant Washington has become.

There is a clear solution to the Syrian tragedy: the countries who have been supplying tons of weapons and paying tens of thousands of mercenary terrorists should stop. The conflict would soon end. The foreigners would depart with much less fanaticism than what they came with. Many Syrian rebel terrorists would accept reconciliation.

There needs to be a global campaign but there is much responsibility in the US since our government is the greatest threat to peace. Following are specific ideas which are realistic and could help significantly.

1. Bernie Sanders raised expectations when he talked about the need stop the ‘regime change’ foreign policy. Now is when he needs to be clear and unequivocal: US military aggression against Syria will make things worse not better and must not happen. Sanders proved that a progressive policy is popular. If Sanders abandons his core foreign policy position and does not speak out strongly against the drive for aggression, it will be a huge disappointment and failure. He must not be allowed to betray his own message and end up as a porter for Hillary Clinton and the war machine. 

2. DemocracyNow and other leading alternative media need to start including different analyses. To a sad extent, their coverage of Syria has echoed NPR and CNN. If DemocracyNow is truly an “Exception to the Rulers”, it needs to start including more critical examinations. DN producers should be studying publications such as Consortiumnews, Global Research, AntiWar, MoonOfAlabama, Al Masdar News, Al Mayadeen, Counterpunch, DissidentVoice, American Herald Tribune, 21stCenturyWire, Black Agenda Report, the Canary, RT, PressTV and TruePublica (not corporate ProPublica). They should be bringing the observations and analysis of journalists such as Sharmine Narwani, Edward Dark, Eva Bartlett, Brad Hoff, Vanessa Beeley, Stephen Sahiounie to name just a few. Syrian academics such as Issa Chaer (UK) and Nour al Kadri (Canada) could be interviewed. Followers of DN have heard Hillary Clinton as Secy of State and other US officials speaking about Syria countless times. Why have Amy and Juan not interviewed the Syrian Ambassador to the UN?

3. This is an opportunity and challenge for Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka of the Green Party. They are clear on this issue. If they can get a mass audience to hear their message, it could be crucial to their winning support and prompting crucial national debate. At the moment there is almost no debate on the life and death issue of war in the Middle East. Instead, the media is filled with propaganda using a boy’s photo to promote more war. The Green Party could play a hugely important role exposing the danger and duplicity of Clinton and Trump. They could play a key role in blocking the Clintonite march to a new war.

4. Veterans for Peace will hopefully play a leading role in changing the perception and ending the demobilization of the US peace movement. There is a lot at stake.


Müslüman Kardeşler’in liderinin bundan 26 sene önceki öngörüsü | Murat Bardakçı

18 Ağustos 2013 | Murat Bardakçı

Türk basınında, Müslüman Kardeşler’in liderleri ile ilk mülâkatı 1987’nin 18 Ağustos’unda, yani tam 26 sene önce bugün ben yapmıştım ve o zamanki lider Muhammed Hâmid ebu’l-Nasr’ın bazı tahminleri doğru çıktı.

Türk basınında Müslüman Kardeşler Örgütü ile yapılmış ilk röportaj, bendenize aittir! 1987’nin 18 Ağustos’unda, yani tuhaf bir tesadüf eseri olarak tam 26 sene önce bugün, örgütün Kahire’deki ofislerinden birinde “genel mürşid” denen o zamanki liderleri Muhammed Hâmid ebu’l-Nasr ile biraraya gelip saatlerce konuşmuştum. Yaptığım mülâkat Türkiye’de üç gün sonra yayınlanmış ve büyük ses getirmişti.

Önce, meslekî açıdan biraz kendimi medhedip pohpohlayayım: Türk basınında Müslüman Kardeşler Örgütü’nün Kahire’deki karargâhına giderek liderleri ile ilk röportajı, 1987’nin 18 Ağustos’unda bendeniz yapmıştım... 

Tesadüfe bakın: Bundan tam 26 sene önce ve bugün!.. Bu röportajın yayınlanmasına kadar bizde Müslüman Kardeşler hakkında ne yazılmış ve çizilmiş ise tamamı derleme idi yahut örgütün sıradan birkaç mensubu ile konuşulmuş ve bu kişiler “önde gelen liderler” olarak tanıtılmışlardı ama örgütün karargâhına gidilerek o zamanın lideri ile yapılmış tek bir görüşme yoktu... 


1987’nin 18 Ağustos’unda yaptığım ve o zaman çalıştığım Hürriyet’te üç gün sonra yayınlanan bu röportaj büyük ses getirmiş, örgütün lideri Muhammed Hâmid ebu’l-Nasr’ın “Türkiye yakında İslâmî yola girecek” şeklindeki sözlerine değişik kesimlerden tepkiler gelmişti. 

Hasan el Benna’nın 1930’larda kurduğu örgüt Mısır’da kısa zamanda iki milyondan fazla üyeye sahip olunca zamanın başbakanı Nokraşi Paşa tarafından yasadışı ilân edilmiş, çok sayıda mensubu tutuklanmış ama tutuklamaların ardından karşılıklı cinayetler gelmişti: Nokraşi Paşa 28 Aralık 1948’de bir suikastte öldürülmüş 1949’un 12 Aralık’ında da Hasan el Benna hükümet mensupları ile yapılacak bir toplantıya gitmek üzere iken Kraliçe Nazlı Caddesi’nde kurşunların hedefi olup hayata veda etmiş ve bu cinayetlerin ardından, Kral Faruk’un emriyle yapılan tutuklamalar gelmişti... 


Örgüt, bütün bunların üzerine yeraltında faaliyet göstermeye başlayıp ordudaki kral karşıtı gruplara destek vermiş, Cemal Abdülnasır’ın 1952’de yaptığı darbe sırasında Abdülnasır’ın yanında olmuş ama kısa bir zaman sonra bütün ümidleri boşa çıkmıştı: Abdülnasır’ın ezdiği ilk siyasî grup darbeyi en fazla destekleyen Müslüman Kardeşler olmuş, örgüt üyeleri devamlı olarak baskı görmüşler, hattâ Kardeşler’in en önemli isimlerinden Seyyid Kutup idam edilmişti.. 


Senelerce devam eden baskılar Enver Sedat’ın da 1981’de öldürülmesinin ardından Hüsnü Mübarek’in işbaşına gelmesine kadar devam etti. Müslüman Kardeşler, Mübarek zamanında da seçimlere resmen katılamamalarına rağmen gösterdikleri adayları diğer siyasî partilerin listelerinden seçimlere sokarak milletvekili yapabildiler. Örgütün, Muhammed Hâmid ebu’l-Nasr ile bu mülâkatı yaptığım 1987 Ağustos’unda, değişik partilere dağılmış 60 kadar milletvekili vardı ama Mısır’da resmen ve hattâ kâğıt üzerinde bile olsa “Müslüman Kardeşler” adında bir siyasî teşkilât görünmüyordu. Örgütün liderlerine “genel mürşid” denirdi, mürşidler Kardeşler’in eski ve tecrübeli mensuplarından seçilirdi...

1987’deki “genel mürşid” Muhammed Hâmid ebu’l-Nasr bundan 26 sene önce yaptığım röportajda o zamanın Mısır’ı için hayal gibi görünen sözler söylemiş, meselâ “Günün birinde seçimle işbaşına gelip temelini Sünnî inançlardan alan İslâmî bir devlet kuracaklarını” anlatmış, Türkiye’den bahsederken de “Köklü bir İslâmî geleneğe sahip olan Türkiye, şimdi Müslümanlığın ilkelerine geri dönüyor” demişti. Muhammed Hâmid ebu’l-Nasr’ın bana bundan 26 sene önce verdiği mülâkatın bazı bölümlerini bu sayfada okuyabilirsiniz...


Müslüman Kardeşler’in tam 27 sene önce bu röportajı yaptığım sırada lideri, daha doğrusu “genel mürşid”i olan Muhammed Hâmid Ebu’l-Nasr, 1913’te Mısır’ın “aşırı dincilerin kalesi” olarak bilinen Asyut şehrinde doğdu, tarım öğrenimi gördü ve hayata 1996’da Kahire’de veda etti. Örgüte kuruluşunun ilk senelerinde, 1934’te katılan Ebu’l-Nasr, Müslüman Kardeşler’in kurucusu ve ilk lideri Hasan el Benna’nın yakın çevresinde yeraldı ve o dönemde gizli çalışan teşkilâtın çeşitli idarî kademelerinde faaliyet gösterdi. Memleketi olan Asyut’ta bölge yöneticiliği yaptı, Mısır’ın içinde ve dışında örgütün propaganda faaliyetlerini yürüttü.

1954’te Mısır’ın o dönemdeki lideri Cemal Abdülnasır’a karşı İskenderiye’de düzenlenen ama başarısız kalan suikast girişiminin tertipçileri arasında yeraldığı iddiası ile tutuklandı. Sonraki senelerde Abdülnasır’ın ardından Mısır’ın başına geçecek olan Enver Sedat’ın başkanlık ettiği bir mahkemede müebbet hapis cezasına çarptırılan Muhammed Hâmid ebu’l-Nasr, 18 sene zindanda kaldı ve 1972’de serbest bırakıldı. Tahliyesinin ardından örgütte yeniden aktif görev alan Muhammed Hâmid Ebu’l- Nasr, uzun seneler Müslüman Kardeşler’in “ikinci adamı” olarak faaliyet gösterdi Örgütün efsanevî liderlerinden olan Ömer Tilmîzanî’nin 1985’teki vefatının ardından “genel mürşid” yani “lider” ilân edildi ve mürşidliğe 1996’daki vefatına kadar devam etti.

Muhammed Hâmid ebu’l-Nasr ile Müslüman Kardeşler’in Kahire’deki merkezinde, dışarıya asılması yasak olan ve sadece içeride kullanılabilen çapraz kılıçlı örgüt armasının altında.

İşte, Müslüman Kardeşler’in “genel mürşid”i olan Muhammed Hâmid ebu’l- Nasr’ın bana bundan 26 sene önce verdiği mülâkatın bazı bölümleri:

MISIR’IN GELECEĞİ: Mısır’da çok yakın bir gelecekte seçimle işbaşına geleceğiz. Mısır halkından gördüğümüz desteği biliyorsunuz. Bizi, onlar iktidara getirecek. Müslüman Kardeşler silâha her zaman karşı oldu, şimdi de karşıdır. Cemal Abdülnasır’a (Mısır’da 1952 darbesini yapıp krallığı deviren ve Müslüman Kardeşler’i yasadışı ilân eden lider) karşı silâh kullandık ama bunu yönetimi devirmek için değil, nefsimizi korumak için yaptık. Bize silâhlı saldırı yapılıyordu, biz de kendimizi korumak için silâhla karşılık vermeye mecburduk. Mısırlılar’a geleceği büyük olan bir İslâm vaadediyoruz. Mısır milletini kalkındırıp uygarlıkla ve kültürle kaynaştıran, düşünceleri ne olursa olsun kimseye düşman olmayan bir İslâm... Mısır, Sünnî’dir; Sünnî inançlarından kaynaklanan bir İslâmî yönetim getireceğiz.

TÜRKİYE’NİN GELECEĞİ: İslâm ilkeleri, uygarlığın ve insanlığın kalkınması yolunda hayır, sevgi ve işbirliği ile hareket edilmesini emreder. Türkiye’nin Müslüman halkı da bu yola girmiştir. Henüz vakit erken ama Türkiye’de de er-geç bir İslâm devleti kurulacak. Bunda garipsenecek birşey görmüyoruz. Türk halkı şimdi İslâmî ilkelere dönüyor ve bunu memnuniyetle karşılıyoruz.

MÜSLÜMAN KARDEŞLER’İN ATATÜRK’E BAKIŞI:  Atatürk bence kâfir değil, “mürted”, yani “dinden çıkmış” bir kişi idi. İttihad ve Terakki tarafından göreve getirilmişti ama İttihad ve Terakki’yi de harcadı ve Türkiye’ye İslâm’ın ruhuna uymayan ilkeleri yerleştirdi. Türkiye’nin inancını, siyasal ve sosyal alanlardaki bütün ilkelerini değiştirdi. Cemal Abdülnasır’ın Mısır’da yaptığı gibi... Abdülnasır’ı da biz, yani Müslüman Kardeşler iktidara getirmiştik ama bizi de harcamıştı. Müslüman Kardeşler olarak, Atatürk’ü uzun yıllar dünyaya hükmeden İslâm birliğinin sembolünü, yani Hilâfet’i yıkıp ortadan kaldıran kişi olarak tanıyoruz. Köklü bir Müslüman olan Türk Milleti şimdi İslâmî ilkelere dönüyor. Müslüman Kardeşler olarak biz kimseyi yargılamayız, sadece İslâm’a davet ederiz.

İSLÂM DÜNYASININ GERİ KALMIŞLIĞI: Geri kalmamızın en büyük sebebi, inançlarımızın sömürge yönetimleri altında zayıflatılması ve birliğimizin parçalanmasıdır. Üzerimizde demirle ve ateşle sömürge idareleri kurdular, biz de sürekli olarak onlarla mücadele içinde yaşadık. Aynı güçler İslâm dünyasına müdahalelerini bugün de kültürel, siyasal ve ekonomik alanlarda sürdürüyorlar. Müslümanlar’ın kalkınarak dünya uygarlığına katkıda bulunmaları için İslâm’ın hürriyet, adalet ve eşitlik emreden ruhuna dönmeleri gerekir. Zaten Kur‘an-ı Kerîm “Ey insanlar, biz sizi bir erkek ile bir dişiden yarattık. Tanışasınız diye kabilelere ve uluslara ayırdık. Allah katında içinizde en doğrunuz, Allah’tan en çok korkanınızdır” buyurur.

HİLÂFETİN YENİDEN KURULMASI: Hilâfet ileride mutlaka yeniden kurulacak ve İslâm dünyasını yönlendirecektir. Ronald Reagan bugün nasıl batıdan, Mihail Gorbaçov da doğudan sorumlu ise, Halife de İslâm dünyasından sorumlu olacak, Müslümanlar’ın kararlarını hilâfet makamı verecek. Müslümanlar hakkında niçin kendi liderleri değil de sürekli olarak başkaları karar versin? Biz hilâfeti ille de “Mısır alsın” demiyoruz. Türkiye de olur, Suudi Arabistan da olur, başka bir memleket de olur. O aşamaya gelindiğinde İslâm ülkeleri anlaşırlar ve bir hilâfet merkezi seçerler. Geçmişteki halifeler içinde iyileri de vardı, kötüleri de... Bir kısmının makamlarını kötüye kullanmış oldukları bir gerçek. Biz, Müslüman Kardeşler olarak halifelerin tamamını değil, her zaman için iyilerini savunuruz.