ABC’s journalistic objectivity & integrity early victim of Syrian conflict


For anyone who believes Australia’s cherished national broadcaster, the ABC, is an impartial and objective reporter of what is happening across the globe, it’s time for a rethink. Any pretence of the ABC’s journalistic objectivity and integrity have all but evaporated in the heat of the Syrian conflict of the past five years.
ABC Middle East correspondent, Sophie McNeill, in particular, has been vehemently one-sided in her reporting of this complicated, multifaceted conflict.
In fact, McNeill appears to have a personal vendetta against the Syrian leader, Syrian government, Syrian Arab Army and all those Syrians who have thrown their overwhelming support behind their leader, government and army.
This “objective” journalist has openly called for regime change in Syria on more than one occasion. McNeill’s reports clearly cross the increasingly blurred line between uncompromising, unbiased reporting and all-out activism.
Walkley Award winner & cheerleader for regime change in Syria. Photo SBS
This ABC report begins: “The Syrian conflict continues with no end in sight and as long as the West fails to act against the Assad government, Islamic State will continue to flourish, writes Middle East correspondent Sophie McNeill.”
A curious premise given that the Syrian Army (often referred to by the ABC as Assad’s forces or regime forces), has always been, and will continue to be, at the frontline of the bloody fight against Islamic State.
The crimes committed by the Islamic group are horrific and unimaginable to most Australians. Torture, rape, slavery, beheadings, suicide bombings — there has never been a group as callous and with total disregard for other human beings lives.
Everything possible needs to be done to ensure their so-called caliphate comes to an end. But when you look at the numbers of deaths in Syria, IS militants are responsible for a fraction of the civilian deaths.
According to a new study out this week by the Syrian Network for Human Rights — Syrian government forces caused 75 per cent of Syrian civilian deaths this year. This is where the horrific IS comes in. Mr Assad’s unpunished crimes in Syria have been, and continue to be, a huge recruitment tool for the terrorists.
For a moment, forget the unsubstantiated statement that “government forces caused 75 per cent of Syrian civilian deaths this year“.
Let’s first consider McNeill’s incredulous leap in logic that Assad’s “unpunished crimes” provide the perfect recruitment drive for IS. Given that IS recruits appear to be predominately foreign fighters rather than home grown Syrian wahhabi wannabes, this assertion is non-sensical.
Deep Saudi pockets together with western bombing missions and killer drone strikes in Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, Yemen and Syria provide a far greater inspiration for aspiring young terror recruits from the likes of the UK, Europe, Northern Africa, Canada and Australia.
Now, back to the assertion that 75 per cent of civilian deaths this year have been caused by government forces. This figure, the report states, is quoted in “a new study out this week by the Syrian Network for Human Rights”.
How has this figure been determined given the obvious difficulties of accurately obtaining and verifying such figures in a war zone?
How about the study itself?
Well, McNeill failed to shed any further light on this “new study”. So, I guess we must trust her on that one that it’s legit.
And what of the Syrian Network for Human Rights?
Nope. No illumination for the dear reader on just who exactly that group is either.
McNeill’s piece is either a case of shoddy, sloppy reporting, or … there are some things she believes are better left unwritten.

Dubious sources

According to that fountain of all knowledge, Wikipedia: “the Syrian Network for Human Rights is a UK-based non-governmental organization, founded in June 2011, which monitors the Syrian Civil War. The organization’s chairman is Fadel Abdul Ghani. It has been routinely cited by news media, as well as by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on at least one occasion.”
On its website, the organisation claims it is an independent, non-partisan, non-governmental, non-profit organisation. However, a quick review of the organisation’s content on that same site reveals it to be very partisan indeed, and anti-government to boot.
So does this mean the ABC should not quote any of the information this organisation provides? Not necessarily. But if it does, it should, at the least, advise the reader of the organisation’s anti-government stance. Allow the reader to make up their own mind as to the level of credibility they afford it.
McNeill’s favourite source for everything that’s happening on the ground in Syria, however, is The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. A one-man band with an axe to grind operating out of a two-bedroom terrace in Coventry.
Abdulrahman sitting in his Observatory.
To be fair, the ABC is not alone in referencing this so-called organisation. It’s a popular source of information for western journalists reporting on the conflict from the comfort and safety of their far away news rooms.
But like the Syrian Network for Human Rights, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is hardly an objective source.
In December 2011, just as the conflict was igniting Reuters reported on the SOHR in Coventry – an unlikely home to prominent Syria activist:
When he isn’t fielding calls from international media, Abdulrahman is a few minutes down the road at his clothes shop, which he runs with his wife.
Cited by virtually every major news outlet since an uprising against the iron rule of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad began in March, the observatory has been a key source of news on the events in Syria.
After three short spells in prison in Syria for pro-democracy activism, Abdulrahman came to Britain in 2000 fearing a longer, fourth jail term.
“I came to Britain the day Hafez al-Assad died, and I’ll return when Bashar al-Assad goes,” Abdulrahman said.
Abdulrahman has also admitted to receiving funds from the EU and an unnamed European country according to The New York Times.
Tony Cartalucci, an independent American geopolitical analyst based in Thailand, had this to say about the integrity of the SOHR back in 2013:
One could not fathom a more unreliable, compromised, biased source of information, yet for the past two years, his “Observatory” has served as the sole source of information for the endless torrent of propaganda emanating from the Western media. Perhaps worst of all, is that the United Nations uses this compromised, absurdly overt source of propaganda as the basis for its various reports
As unreliable, compromised and biased as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights may be, that doesn’t deter McNeill and her colleagues from constantly referencing this “absurdly overt source of propaganda”.

… and unfounded claims

In fact, McNeill did just that this Monday, 23 May, making the sensational unsubstantiated claim that: Syria conflict: Monitoring group’s report finds 60,000 people died in jails in past five years.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) report said tens of thousands of people had been killed by the regime of Bashar al Assad, either as a direct result of torture or denial of food and medicine. SOHR, a British-based monitoring group, said it had arrived at the number by adding up death tolls provided by sources in several Syrian jails and security agencies.
Being the ever-curious investigative journalist, McNeill obviously questioned SOHR on who its sources were and exactly what Syrian jails the figures were taken from and …
Oops. Sorry.
And what about the math? That’s 33 dead prisoners for every single day of the year for the past five years.
Fellow ABC Middle East correspondent, Matt Brown, who has reported on the Syrian conflict mostly from the Turkish side (both geographically and ideologically) also highlighted the allegations of systematic torture and execution within Syrian jails.
United Nations investigators have accused the Syrian Government of “extermination” in its jails and detention centres, saying prisoners have been executed, tortured to death or held in such horrific conditions that they perished.
In somewhat of a contradiction to McNeill’s more recent report, Brown stated that: “Thousands of detainees have been killed while being held by different sides in Syria’s brutal conflict since the violence began nearly five years ago, the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria said in its latest report.”
Brown also referenced the Caesar photos which have been largely discredited and were even questioned back in 2014 by pro-western propaganda outlet, CNN in Syria: Photos charging mass torture by regime ‘fake’.
Brown writes:
The report adds to a huge body of evidence from the commission and others, detailing horrific abuse, torture and killings in Syrian-run jails. The so-called Caesar Report released in early 2014, contained some 55,000 photographs depicting the tortured and abused bodies of around 11,000 people it said had died in Syrian jails during the first two years of the conflict.
The so-called Caesar torture photos just happened to be released two days before negotiations on the Syrian conflict were due to begin in Switzerland. The 55,000-odd photos said to document the torture and deaths of 11,000 prisoners were apparently compiled by a Syrian army photographer who went only by the nom de guerre Caesar.
While most mainstream media eagerly ran with the story without questioning its veracity, the Christian Science Monitor(a media outlet that in no way could be accused of being enamoured with the Syrian President) smelled a rat.
This is a single source report, from an unidentified man, who is related by marriage (according to a footnote on page 15 of the report) to a similarly unidentified member of the “Syrian National Movement” who “left Syria five days after the civil war against the current Syrian regime had begun and established contact with international human rights groups.” The Syrian National Movement has been funded by Qatar and is devoted to Assad’s downfall and the source has been working with this unidentified Assad opponent since “around September 2011.”
Writing in Counterpunch on 4 March 2016, Rick Sterling, co-founder of Syria Solidarity Movement, goes further making the case that not only are the origins of the photos dubious, but that the photos, rather than documenting the torture and execution of Syrian prisoners, instead document the deaths of soldiers and civilians in the conflict and most likely originated from hospitals and morgues.
You can read Sterling’s analysis in The Caesar Photo Fraud that Undermined Syrian Negotiations.
Standards of objective journalism
These are just several examples of apparent bias, or at least shoddy reporting, by the ABC’s Middle East correspondents.
There are many more. For example, you are unlikely to hear the voices of Syrians who support their leader, government and/or army (of which there are many given the results of the last two elections held in the country).
Likewise, you will not hear about the devastating effects Russian involvement in the conflict is having on IS and the other terrorist groups fighting in the country. No, ABC there are no “moderate rebels”. That’s a Kerry-concocted fallacy. They are terrorists, mostly foreign, and all foreign-backed.
It’s time the ABC provided the Australian public with a more balanced view. We deserve nothing less. And it’s written in the ABC’s Editorial Policies no less.
The ABC has a statutory duty to ensure that the gathering and presentation of news and information is impartial according to the recognised standards of objective journalism.
Ending on a bright note, here’s a positive story from Syria you won’t find on the ABC or other western media outlets. Written by Canadian peace activist Ken Stone, it showcases the country’s reconciliation efforts.

Ben ölürsem..

Ben ölürsem akşamüstü ölürüm 
Şehre simsiyah bir kar yağar 
Yollar kalbimle örtülür 
Parmaklarımın arasından 
Gecenin geldiğini görürüm

Ben ölürsem akşamüstü ölürüm 
Çocuklar sinemaya gider 
Yüzümü bir çiçeğe gömüp 
Ağlamak gibi isterim 
Derinden bir tren geçer

Ben ölürsem akşamüstü ölürüm 
Alıp başımı gitmek isterim 
Bir akşam bir kente girerim 
Kayısı ağaçları arasından 
Gidip denize bakarım 
Bir tiyatro seyrederim

Ben ölürsem akşamüstü ölürüm 
Uzaktan bir bulut geçer 
Karanlık bir çocukluk bulutu 
Gerçeküstücü bir ressam 
Dünyayı değiştirmeye başlar 
Kuş sesleri, haykırışlar 
Denizin ve kırların 
Rengi birbirine karışır

Sana bir şiir getiririm 
Sözler rüyamdan fışkırır 
Dünya bölümlere ayrılır 
Birinde bir pazar sabahı 
Birinde bir gökyüzü 
Birinde sararmış yapraklar 
Birinde bir adam 
Her şeye yeniden başlar

Ataol Behramoğlu

Hillary Is the Candidate of the War Machine

Feb 05, 2016  by Jeffrey Sachs  Director, Center for Sustainable Development and Sustainable Development Solutions Network

There’s no doubt that Hillary is the candidate of Wall Street. Even more dangerous, though, is that she is the candidate of the military-industrial complex. The idea that she is bad on the corporate issues but good on national security has it wrong. Her so-called foreign policy “experience” has been to support every war demanded by the US deep security state run by the military and the CIA.

Hillary and Bill Clinton’s close relations with Wall Street helped to stoke two financial bubbles (1999-2000 and 2005-8) and the Great Recession that followed Lehman’s collapse. In the 1990s they pushed financial deregulation for their campaign backers that in turn let loose the worst demons of financial manipulation, toxic assets, financial fraud, and eventually collapse. In the process they won elections and got mighty rich.

Yet Hillary’s connections with the military-industrial complex are also alarming. It is often believed that the Republicans are the neocons and the Democrats act as restraints on the warmongering. This is not correct. Both parties are divided between neocon hawks and cautious realists who don’t want the US in unending war. Hillary is a staunch neocon whose record of favoring American war adventures explains much of our current security danger.

Just as the last Clinton presidency set the stage for financial collapse, it also set the stage for unending war. On October 31, 1998 President Clinton signed the Iraq Liberation Act that made it official US policy to support “regime change” in Iraq.

It should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime.

Thus were laid the foundations for the Iraq War in 2003.

Of course, by 2003, Hillary was a Senator and a staunch supporter of the Iraq War, which has cost the US trillions of dollars, thousands of lives, and done more to create ISIS and Middle East instability than any other single decision of modern foreign policy. In defending her vote, Hillary parroted the phony propaganda of the CIA:

“In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members... “

After the Iraq Liberation Act came the 1999 Kosovo War, in which Bill Clinton called in NATO to bomb Belgrade, in the heart of Europe, and unleashing another decade of unrest in the Balkans. Hillary, traveling in Africa, called Bill: “I urged him to bomb,” she told reporter Lucinda Frank.

Hillary’s record as Secretary of State is among the most militaristic, and disastrous, of modern US history. Some experience. Hilary was a staunch defender of the military-industrial-intelligence complex at every turn, helping to spread the Iraq mayhem over a swath of violence that now stretches from Mali to Afghanistan. Two disasters loom largest: Libya and Syria.

Hillary has been much attacked for the deaths of US diplomats in Benghazi, but her tireless promotion of the overthrow Muammar Qaddafi by NATO bombing is the far graver disaster. Hillary strongly promoted NATO-led regime change in Libya, not only in violation of international law but counter to the most basic good judgment. After the NATO bombing, Libya descended into civil war while the paramilitaries and unsecured arms stashes in Libya quickly spread west across the African Sahel and east to Syria. The Libyan disaster has spawned war in Mali, fed weapons to Boko Haram in Nigeria, and fueled ISIS in Syria and Iraq. In the meantime, Hillary found it hilarious to declare of Qaddafi: “We came, we saw, he died.”

Perhaps the crowning disaster of this long list of disasters has been Hillary’s relentless promotion of CIA-led regime change in Syria. Once again Hillary bought into the CIA propaganda that regime change to remove Bashir al-Assad would be quick, costless, and surely successful. In August 2011, Hillary led the US into disaster with her declaration Assad must “get out of the way,” backed by secret CIA operations.

Five years later, no place on the planet is more ravaged by unending war, and no place poses a great threat to US security. More than 10 million Syrians are displaced, and the refugees are drowning in the Mediterranean or undermining the political stability of Greece, Turkey, and the European Union. Into the chaos created by the secret CIA-Saudi operations to overthrow Assad, ISIS has filled the vacuum, and has used Syria as the base for worldwide terrorist attacks.

The list of her incompetence and warmongering goes on. Hillary’s support at every turn for NATO expansion, including even into Ukraine and Georgia against all common sense, was a trip wire that violated the post-Cold War settlement in Europe in 1991 and that led to Russia’s violent counter-reactions in both Georgia and Ukraine. As Senator in 2008, Hilary co-sponsored 2008-SR439, to include Ukraine and Georgia in NATO. As Secretary of State, she then presided over the restart of the Cold War with Russia.

It is hard to know the roots of this record of disaster. Is it chronically bad judgment? Is it her preternatural faith in the lying machine of the CIA? Is it a repeated attempt to show that as a Democrat she would be more hawkish than the Republicans? Is it to satisfy her hardline campaign financiers? Who knows? Maybe it’s all of the above. But whatever the reasons, hers is a record of disaster. Perhaps more than any other person, Hillary can lay claim to having stoked the violence that stretches from West Africa to Central Asia and that threatens US security.

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The Real Huma-gate Crime is the Muslim Brotherhood!

04.11.2016        Author: F. William Engdahl

The real crime revealed in the Hillary Clinton emails sent from her private server has been carefully covered up, at least until now. It is a criminal conspiracy–yes, a real conspiracy–to hide something from the American people and from the world. It’s so explosive that it could not only derail Clinton’s bizarre Presidential campaign. It is so dangerous to those implicated that a US Attorney General and a Director of the FBI covered it up at risk of career. It could likely lead to impeachment charges against President Barack Obama for criminal complicity in heinous crimes against the United States. This is what’s being covered up.

The key person to examine is Huma Mahmood Abedin, Hillary’s ever-constant companion since she was Hillary’s aide in the scandal-ridden Bill Clinton White House beginning 1996. Today 40-year-old Huma Abedin is Presidential candidate Hillary’s Vice Campaign Manager.

Huma Abedin is the only other person apparently with complete access to Hillary’s private email account when Clinton was Secretary of State and Huma was Clinton’s Deputy Chief of Staff, and, in an eyebrow-raising arrangement that had “conflict of interest” painted in day-glo red, at the same time she held her US State Department job with highest security clearance, Abedin was employed with the Clinton Foundation, which is under investigation for illegally using Hillary’s Secretary of State position to peddle influence in exchange for million dollar “donations” to Bill’s foundation. The major donors included the governments of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, not accidentally, the two major financiers of Al Qaeda’s al-Nusra Front (the Washington “moderate opposition” to Assad) and ISIS today.

Why do I believe Huma Abedin, who has been a Clinton intimate for some twenty years ever since she was 19, is at the heart of an illegal criminal conspiracy characterized as “bigger than Watergate”?

Because Huma Abedin is at the center of a criminal international terror network that is behind every major Islamist terrorist group active in the world since the CIA created the Afghan Mujahideen in the end of the 1970’s as part of its Operation Cyclone. Huma Abedin, the right arm of the potential next US President is Muslim Brotherhood from her head to toes, more precisely, Muslim Sisterhood. And the degree of influence she has over Hillary Clinton, from all close observers, is said to be extraordinary.

Huma Abedin was raised from 1978 when she was age 2, until she entered George Washington University, by her Sunni Muslim parents, Syed Zainul Abedin and Saleha Mahmood Abedin, in Jedda, Saudi Arabia.

Huma and her family moved to Jeddah as her Indian-born Sunni father, Syed, took a senior post with the Saudi government’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs. In Jeddah, Huma’s father founded the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs. Remember the name as it is central to Huma’s tale.

Syed Abedin at the same time, with Saudi money, founded the affiliated think-tank, the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs in Jeddah. According to Walid Shoebat, a former Muslim Brotherhood member, now a peace activist, “The Abedins for decades were actually serving a foreign entity, the government of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs, and not American Democracy as President Obama stated.” The Saudi government, with CIA support, at the time of Syed Abedin’s activities was intimately working with the Muslim Brotherhood to spread their feudal ultra-reactionary brand of Islam worldwide.

Huma Abedin was raised in the company of a large colony of exiled Muslim Brotherhood families smuggled into the ultra-reactionary Saudi Arabia by the US Central Intelligence Agency in the 1950’s after the Brotherhood tried and failed to assassinate Egypt President Nasser.

I have extensively documented this fusion of the politically aggressive Muslim Brotherhood originally from Egypt, founded in the 1920’s by Hassan Al-Banna, with the ultra-feudal Wahhabite strand of Islam of the Saudis in my latest book, The Lost Hegemon: Whom the gods would destroy. There I document Huma Abedin’s sect extensively. Two quotes from the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan al-Banna, indicate the true nature of what is in fact a secret society death cult:

“Allah is our goal; The Prophet is our Leader; The Qur’an is our Constitution; Jihad is our Way; Death in the service of Allah is the loftiest of our wishes; Allah is Great; Allah is Great.”

—Credo of the Society of Muslim Brothers of Egyptian, Hassan al-Banna

“Victory can only come with the mastery of the ‘Art of Death.’ A martyr’s death fighting for establishment of the new Caliphate is the shortest and easiest step from this life to the life hereafter.”

—Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood

German Jewish psychologist Arno Gruen, who fled with his family to New York from Nazi Germany, made a lifelong study of the family roots of fascism. In an analysis of the relationship between a dysfunctional childhood and those men who crave war and are fascinated by death, Gruen noted, “If death is what offers the greatest safety to such a man, then that is what he longs for. It is no accident that ideologies that express the deepest contempt for compassion and pay the greatest homage to the male mythology of strength and heroism have been and continue to be the fascist ones. And every one of them glorifies death.”

Al-Banna’s Society of the Muslim Brothers is based on such a fascist death-craving ideology.

The Muslim Brotherhood secret society has been modelled in many ways on other secret societies with hidden agendas such as the Society of Jesus or the Himmler SS of Nazi Germany. In fact, in exile during the Second World War in Berlin, then-leading Muslim Brother, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Amin al-Husseini worked closely with SS head Heinrich Himmler to broadcast hate broadcasts by short-wave from outside Berlin inciting anti-Jewish uprisings in Jerusalem. In his postwar autobiography, the Grand Mufti wrote, “Our fundamental condition for co-operating with Germany was a free hand to eradicate every last Jew from Palestine and the Arab world. I asked Hitler for an explicit undertaking to allow us to solve the Jewish problem in a manner befitting our national and racial aspirations and according to the scientific methods innovated by Germany in the handling of its Jews. The answer I got was: The Jews are yours.”

Family affairs

Today Huma Abedin is most infamous among Americans not for her vastly important and dangerous political ties to the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist network. She is known as the estranged wife of the sexually-disturbed Anthony Wiener. In fact the recent FBI seizure of a laptop allegedly containing some 650,000 emails from Abedin, Hillary Clinton and reportedly also Barack Obama, were reportedly in a shared laptop the New York FBI office took from husband Wiener when they were investigating charges that Wiener, forced to resign as US Congressman for sexting intimate pictures to various women, had texted a photo of his male organ to an underage girl of 15.

The real scandal has conveniently been sidestepped as tabloid and mainstream media focus attention on the Wiener sex scandals. It’s Huma’s relation to the world’s most dangerous terrorist network, the Muslim Brotherhood that’s at the center of Hillary’s secret emails.

Huma’s brother, Hassan Abedin, was Development Officer at the UK Oxford Center For Islamic Studies until at least 2010, working under the supervision of the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual head and international liaison, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, along with Abdullah Omar Naseef, the founder of Rabita Trust, a Saudi-financed subsidiary of the Muslim Brotherhood-controlled Muslim World League, which was classified as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist Entity by the US Government and whose assets the US Treasury froze in the wake of September 11, 2001. Naseef was and is today the Chairman of the Board and Qaradawi was a Board member when Abedin worked there. Moreover, Hassan Abedin worked with Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal on a project titled, “Spreading Islam to the West.”

The same Al-Qaeda terrorist financier, Muslim Brotherhood leading figure, Abdullah Omar Naseef, co-founded the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs in Saudi Arabia in 1978 with the father of Huma Abdedin.

Sweet Mama Abedin

Huma Abedin’s mother, Pakistani-born Saleha Mahmood Abedin, is a leading member of the women’s branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Muslim Sisterhood. Saleha Abedin is in fact a member of the Presidency Staff Council of the Muslim Brotherhood’s International Islamic Council for Da’wa and Relief alongside leading Muslim Brother, Abdullah Omar Naseef, who played an

integral role in both al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood, the same Naseef who co-founded Said Abedin’s Saudi-based Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs.

Though the Muslim World League’s financial arm in the United States—Rabita Trust—was shut down for its terror ties, it still exists under the name Rabita al-Alam al-Islami. Saleha Abedin is also a member of this organization.

Saleha is also Chairwoman of the International Islamic Committee for Woman and Child (IICWC). Her IICWC is in turn a subsidiary of the Saudi-financed Muslim World League controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood. The charter of Saleha Abedin’s IICWC was drafted by Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader, Yusuf al Qaradawi.

In a 2009 speech aired on the pro-Muslim Brotherhood Al Jazzerra in Qatar, Qaradawi declared, “Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. By means of all the things he did to them – even though they exaggerated this issue – he managed to put them in their place. This was divine punishment for them…”

Salema Abedin’s IICWC official policies include support for marital rape, child marriage, female genital circumcision and polygamy. The Position document of Salema Abedin’s International Islamic Committee for Women and Child (IICWC) states: “The criminalization of female genital circumcision completely clashes with Islamic law, which did not provide for this prohibition, as confirmed by Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who was one of the drafters of the Charter… ”

In 2010, just as she was about to launch the Arab Spring wave of Islamic Color revolutions in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Syria, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton went to the Saudi Arabian Dar al-Hekma college for women at the Red Sea port city of Jeddah. Her hostess there was Abedin’s mother, Dr. Saleha Mahmood Abedin. At the time, Saleha Abedin, mother of Hillary’s closest associate and keeper of some 650,000 emails now being investigated by the FBI, was Vice Dean of the college. Saleha Abedin co-founded the college along with Yaseen Abdullah Kadi—a Saudi who was named in 2000 in UN Security Council Resolutions as a suspected associate of Osama bin Laden’s terror network, al-Qaeda. Saleha’s college also enjoyed support from members of the bin Laden family.

Huma Abedin is in no way estranged from her Muslim Brotherhood family. She is an integral part of it. Huma served as Assistant Editor of the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, whose editor was mother, Saleha and whose brother Hassan Abedin was Associate Editor. Huma joined the journal, founded by her late father, also tied to the Muslim Brotherhood, in 2002 and officially remained there until September, 2008, shortly before taking a top position with Obama Administration Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. At the time she joined the journal of her mother, in 2002, designated terrorist, Muslim Brotherhood leading figure, Abdullah Omar Naseef sat on the Advisory Editorial Board.

Moreover, in 1997 while she was a student at George Washington University and serving as White House intern for Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin was on the executive board of the George Washington branch of the Muslim Students Association (MSA), the most influential Muslim student organization in North America, founded in 1963 by members of the Muslim Brotherhood. That was also the same time that Huma Abedin, Vice Campaign Manager and decades-long intimate of candidate Hillary Clinton, was an assistant editor at Naseef’s journal.

A Real ‘Vast Right Wing Conspiracy’

What is unfolding in what now properly should be renamed “Huma-gate” is the real “Vast Right-wing Conspiracy” as Hillary Clinton likes to call any and all detractors.

Huma Abedin has clearly played a leading inside role for the obscene marriage of the US intelligence community, Pentagon and State Department with the worldwide Muslim Brotherhood Sunni secret terror organization.

It’s very clear to me, in light of the research I made into the true nature of the Muslim Brotherhood and its relation to US “deep state” intelligence networks for my book, The Lost Hegemon, that this Huma-gate conspiracy that the Obama White House and Clinton machine are desperately trying to cover, gets at the real reason for the adamant backing of President Barack Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and later John Kerry for bringing Muslim Brotherhood regime into power following launch in 2010 of the Arab Spring regime change operations. It is a matter of public record that the Obama White House was furious when Muslim Brotherhood President in Egypt replacing Mubarak, Mohammed Morsi, was ousted by a military putsch led by General Al Sissi.

It was Hillary Clinton who was handed the lead role by Obama in 2010, to oversee the Muslim Brotherhood coups across the Islamic world. It was Clinton, whose Deputy Chief of Staff at the time was Muslim Brotherhood-linked Huma Abedin, who vehemently pushed the overthrow of Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi, a dire enemy of the Brotherhood, even when Obama and his Secretary of Defense were reluctant to go to war. It was Clinton who pushed for the overthrow of Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak and his replacement by Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammad Morsi. It was Hillary Clinton who pushed for direct US involvement in the Syrian civil war, including the arming of Syrian rebels allied with al Qaeda, today called ISIS.

The real scandal of the 650,000 Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin emails hidden on the laptop or laptops at the home of Anthony Wiener, estranged husband of Huma Abedin, is not that Hillary might have lied under oath about turning over all her emails. The real scandal is that the most damaging secrets of America’s invisible government, its parallel “deep state” acting uncontrolled since at least the time of Vice president and former CIA chief, George H.W. Bush, in the 1980’s, could come to light. If that happens, “All the King’s Horses and All the King’s Men” will face charges of treason or worse. That just might be an appropriate time to begin a clean out of the Augean Stables today known as political Washington.


F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”

Hacked Emails Link Turkish Minister to Illicit Oil

October 17, 2016 | By Ahmet S. Yayla

In late September, a Turkish hacker group, RedHack, released the emails of Berat Albayrak, Turkey’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and the son-in-law of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Hackers have claimed that they downloaded around 20 gigabytes of data from Albayrak’s email accounts. As the group started to release the emails through social media, controversial issues have been brought to the surface once again. The Turkish government was quick to react, immediately issuing a court order prohibiting the release of the hacked emails and their publication in the media. The issuance of the court order, however, lends credence to the authenticity of the leaked emails. One of the most contentious issues uncovered with the leaked email communications and documents was the transfer of oil controlled by the so-called Islamic State and the Erdoğan family’s involvement via a company named Powertrans.

After Turkish military shot down a Russian war plane on Nov. 24, 2015, tensions between Turkey and Russia increased. The Russian government imposed sanctions to Turkey, banned tourism, and halted trade between two countries, in addition to releasing satellite images and other documents allegedly providing evidence for oil trade between Turkey and the Islamic State. The Russian defense ministry accused Erdoğan and his family of direct involvement in this illegal oil trade. In response, Erdogan vowed to resign if Russia’s claims were true.

Prior to the advances of the recent coalition air campaign, the Islamic State controlled about 60 percent of Syrian oil fields, producing 50,000 barrels of oil a day, and about 17 percent of Iraq’s oil fields, producing 30,000 barrels of oil a day. At roughly $40 per barrel, oil generated a steady income of $3.2 million a day at the height of the group’s production.

This production raised the question of who was buying and transporting this illicit oil. According to U.S. Department of the Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen, the oil was sold through a variety of middlemen, including some from Turkey, and was then mixed with legally-produced oil. Cohen stated, “Some of the oil emanating from territory where ISIL operates has been sold to Kurds in Iraq, and then resold into Turkey.” Additionally, a report by Rystad Energy commissioned by the Norwegian government determined that most of the oil sold by the Islamic State was directly sold to Turkey.

Based on the Russian satellite images, Islamic State oil entered Turkey via three different paths. The western path involved the transfer of oil from Raqqa through Azaz, a city in northwestern Syria, to Iskenderun port on the Mediterranean. The northern path is a busy one, with oil coming from Deir ez-Zor and transferred to Turkey by tankers. One satellite image from Oct. 18, 2015 shows 1,722 tankers in a queue carrying oil. The eastern path involved oil from the northeast of Syria transferred to northern Iraq and then sent to Turkey through Cizre, a town near Turkey’s border with Syria. A satellite imagefrom Nov. 14, 2015 shows 1,104 tankers along this route. Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov stated that over 8,500 tankers transporting up to 200,000 tons of oil used to enter Turkey and Iraq from Islamic State-controlled territories daily. In order for oil to be transported along these routes, a large network of operations must have been set up in Turkey.

The background of this scheme to transfer oil by tanker starts with the privileges given to a company called Powertrans to transfer northern Iraqi oil to Turkey starting on Aug. 24, 2012. The Erdoğan government passed a bill on Nov. 11, 2011 prohibiting all import, export, or transfer of oil or its byproducts into or out of Turkey. The bill stated that the government could then revoke the ban in specific cases for the benefit of the country. This exception allowed the state to grant a single company the rights of oil transportation. The Erdoğan government soon contracted the rights of oil transfer to a company named Powertrans without a public bid.

Based on documents released by Redhack, Powertrans was established by Ahmet Muhassiloglu and Grand Fortune Ventures, and was registered at an Istanbul address. However, soon after Powertrans was established, Muhassiloglu’s shares were sold to a Singaporean company named Lucky Ventures on April 21, 2011. It was later revealed that Grand Fortune Ventures and Lucky Ventures were established as front companies in Singapore on Aug. 8, 2008, and they moved their operations to the British Virgin Islands on Nov. 7, 2009. It was unclear who owned these companies, and therefore who owned Powertrans. Still, Powertrans was granted the privileges to carry oil from northern Iraq through Turkish oil pipelines and ports.

As the Islamic State oil became available in 2014, Powertrans took the opportunity to set up schemes to transfer the oil to the Batman refinery in Turkey and to the Turkish international ports of Mersin, Dortyol, and Ceyhan.

The Turkish public was not aware of this structure for a long time. The first time it attracted heated media attention was on May 23, 2014, when the Iraqi government officially complained to the International Chamber of Commerce about Turkey because of Powertrans’ illegal oil trade. The Erdoğan government immediately passed another bill to extend the rights of Powertrans to transfer oil until Dec. 30, 2020—most likely in an effort to preempt a public backlash. Still, not much attention was given to Powertrans until mid-2015, when international news outlets started to investigate the Islamic State’s oil dealings. Turkish Nokta news journal published a detailed investigative article about Powertrans’ business, claiming that Çalık Holding and its CEO Berat Albayrak were behind the company. Albayrak immediately denied this allegation.

The documents released by RedHack provide evidence that Albayrak was, and still is, unofficially running the company. The documents also revealed that Albayrak’s cousin, Ekrem Keles, used to work for Çalık Holding as the coordinator for sales and marketing. Keles sent an email to Albayrak on Aug. 9, 2015 reporting on the company’s marketing in northern Iraq. Another important figure who emailed Albayrak often was Betül Yılmaz, who did not have official ties with Powertrans but was the human resources manager of Çalık Holding. Yılmaz communicated with Albayrak frequently via email to get approval for personnel issues. On Dec. 11, 2015 Albayrak wrote to his lawyer regarding a press release responding to a news report naming him as the owner of Powertrans. He asked his lawyer to edit the line by the lawyer stating, “his client has no longer had ties with Powertrans.” Albayrak got upset, firing back at his lawyer, “What does it mean? … I have never had any ties with this company!”

The RedHack email releases supported allegations about the Erdoğan family’s illicit and corrupt business activities, which included granting opportunities and contracts without public bids to concealed companies and transferring and selling Islamic State oil. This amounts to providing the terror network with the funds to pay its fighters, to purchase weapons and explosives, and to incite violence around the world. While members of the Erdoğan family were making millions of dollars through shady business activities, their dealings with the Islamic State facilitated brutal killings and displacement of people in Syria and Iraq.



Ahmet S. Yayla is the deputy director of the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism and co-author of the book ISIS Defectors: Inside the Terrorist Caliphate.


The Erdoğan family and Daesh (next instalment)


A group of Turkish hackers, RedHack, has a obtained the e-mails of the Minister for Energy. Immediately, a Turkish court forbade the publication and the reproduction of these e-mails.

However, the 20 gigabytes of data were analysed by Professor Ahmed Yayla, assistant director of the ICSVE (International Center for the Study of Violent Extremisim), and ex-head of Turkish Anti-terrorism [1]. They confirm persistent rumours and supply new details.

The oil stolen by Daesh in Syria was transported by 8,500 tanker trucks belonging to a company called Powertrans, which, without any call for tender, had obtained the monopoly of oil transport on Turkish territory. It was owned by the very mysterious Grand Fortune Ventures, based in Singapore, then transferred to the Cayman Islands. Behind this financial set-up can be found Çalık Holding, the company belonging to Berat Albayrak (photo), the son-in-law of President Erdoğan and his Minister for Energy.
Hacked Emails Link Turkish Minister to Illicit Oil”,  Ahmed Yayla, World Policy, October 17, 2016.
[1] “According to the ex-chief of Turkish counter-terrorism, Erdoğan is protecting Daesh”, Translation Pete Kimberley, Voltaire Network, 19 September 2016.

Full text of Syria Pres al-Assad'in interview with the Serbian newspaper Politika

Interview Date: 3 Oct 2016

'United States and its Western allies are to blame for failure of latest ceasefire'

President Bashar al-Assad said that the United States and its Western allies are to blame for the failure of latest ceasefire, because terrorism and terrorists are for them a card they want to play on the Syrian arena.

In an interview given to the Serbian newspaper Politika, President al-Assad said that Russia is very serious and very determined to continue fighting the terrorists, while the Americans base their politics on a different value as they use the terrorists as a card to play the political game to serve their own interests at the expense of the interests of other countries in the world.

President al-Assad pointed out that Western countries wanted to use the humanitarian mask in order to have an excuse to intervene more in Syria, either militarily or by supporting the terrorists.

Following is the full text of the interview:

Question 1: Mr. President, why has the latest Syria ceasefire failed? Who is to blame for that?

President Assad: Actually, the West, mainly the United States, has made that pressure regarding the ceasefire, and they always ask for ceasefire only when the terrorists are in a bad situation, not for the civilians. And they try to use those ceasefires in order to support the terrorists, bring them logistic support, armament, money, everything, in order to re-attack and to become stronger again. When it didn’t work, they ask the terrorists to make it fail or to start attacking again. So, who’s to blame? It’s the United States and its allies, the Western countries, because for them, terrorists and terrorism are a card they want to play on the Syrian arena, it’s not a value, they’re not against terrorists. For them, supporting the terrorists is a war of attrition against Syria, against Iran, against Russia, that’s how they look at it. That’s why not only this ceasefire; every attempt regarding ceasefire or political moving or political initiative, every failure of these things, the United States was to be blamed.

Question 2: But which country is supporting terrorism? Saudi Arabia? Qatar?

President Assad: Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey…

Journalist: Turkey?

President Assad: Because they came through Turkey with the support of the government, direct support from the government.

Journalist: Directly?

President Assad: Direct support from the government, of course.

Journalist: With money or with armament?

President Assad: Let’s say, the endorsement, the greenlight, first. Second, the American coalition, which is called “international coalition,” which is an American. They could see ISIS using our oil fields and carrying the oil through the barrel trucks to Turkey under their drones…

Journalist: This is the Syrian oil?

President Assad: In Syria, from Syria to Turkey, under the supervision of their satellites and drones, without doing anything, till the Russians intervened and started attacking ISIS convoys and ISIS positions and strongholds. This is where ISIS started to shrink. So, the West gave the greenlight to those countries like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, and actually those countries, those governments are puppets; puppets to the West, puppets to the United States, they work as puppets, and the terrorists in Syria are their proxy, the proxy of those countries and proxy of the West and the United States.

Question 3: But money for marketing this oil, who has the money? Turkey?

President Assad: In partnership between ISIS and Turkey. Part of the money goes to ISIS because this is how they can make recruitment and pay salaries to their fighters. That’s why ISIS was growing before the Russian intervention, it was expanding in Syria and in Iraq. And part of the money is going to the Turkish government officials, mainly Erdogan himself and his family.

Journalist: Erdogan himself?

President Assad: Of course, of course. They were directly involved in this trade with ISIS.

Question 4: Mr. President, do you believe the Russians and Americans can ever agree over Syria? Can Russia and the USA be partners in the war against terrorists in Syria?

President Assad: We hope, but in reality, no, for a simple reason: because the Russians based their politics on values, beside their interest. The values are that they adopt the international law, they fight terrorism, and the interest that if you have terrorists prevailing in our region, that will affect not only our region but Europe, Russia, and the rest of the world. So, the Russians are very serious and very determined to continue fighting the terrorists, while the Americans based their politics on a different value, completely different value, their value is that “we can use the terrorists.” I mean the Americans, they wanted to use the terrorists as a card to play the political game to serve their own interests at the expense of the interests of other countries in the world.

Question 5: The situation about bombing the Syrian Army near the airport in Deir Ezzor… How did the American air attack on the Syrian Army happen? Was it a coincidence or not?

President Assad: It was premeditated attack by the American forces, because ISIS was shrinking because of the Syrian and Russian and Iranian cooperation against ISIS, and because al-Nusra which is Al Qaeda-affiliated group had been defeated in many areas in Syria, so the Americans wanted to undermine the position of the Syrian Army; they attacked our army in Deir Ezzor. It wasn’t by coincidence because the raid continued more than one hour, and they came many times.

Journalist: One hour?

President Assad: More than one hour. There were many raids by the Americans and their allies against the Syrian position. At the same time, they attacked a very big area; they didn’t attack a building to say “we made a mistake.” They attacked three big hills, not other groups neighboring these hills, and only ISIS existed in Deir Ezzor. There is no… what they called it “moderate opposition.” So, it was a premeditated attack in order to allow ISIS to take that position, and ISIS attacked those hills, and took those hills right away in less than one hour after the attack.

Journalist: ISIS attacking Syrian position after American…?

President Assad: Less than one hour, in less than one hour, ISIS attacked those hills. It means that ISIS gathered their forces to attack those hills. How did ISIS know that the Americans would attack that Syrian position? It means they were ready, they were prepared. This is an explicit and stark proof that the Americans are supporting ISIS and using it as a card to change the balance according to their political agenda.

Journalist: And after that, America said sorry, huh?

President Assad: They said they regret, they didn’t say sorry. [laughs]

Question 6: Mr. President, who is responsible for the attack on the Red Cross convoy near Aleppo, and what weapons were used for the destruction of the Red Cross convoy?

President Assad: Definitely the terrorist groups in Aleppo, because those are the ones who had an interest. When we announced the truce in Aleppo, they refused it. They said “no, we don’t want a truce.” They refused to have any convoys coming to eastern Aleppo, and that was public, it’s not our propaganda, it’s not our announcement, they announced it. And there was a demonstration by those militants to refuse that convoy. So, they have interest in attacking that convoy, we don’t have. It wasn’t in an area where you have Syrian troops, and at the same time there were no Syrian or Russian airplanes flying in that area anyway. But it was used as part of the propaganda, as part of the narrative against Syria in the West; that we attacked this humanitarian convoy, because the whole war now in Syria, according to the Western propaganda, is taking the shape of humanitarian war. This is the Western mask now; they wanted to use the humanitarian mask in order to have an excuse to intervene more in Syria, and when I say intervene it means militarily or by supporting the terrorists.

Journalist: This is like the situation in former Yugoslavia, in the war in Yugoslavia, also in the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the war in Kosovo, humanitarian problems.

President Assad: It’s a different era, maybe, a different shape, but the same core, what happened in your country, and what’s happening now in our country.

Question 7: And the Western propaganda spoke about the problem of using the chemical weapons and the barrel bombs.

President Assad: The same, to show that you have a black-and-white picture; very very bad guy against very very good guy. It’s like the narrative of George W. Bush during the war on Iraq and on Afghanistan. So, they wanted to use those headlines or those terms in their narrative in order to provoke the emotions of the public opinion in their countries. This is where the public opinion would support them if they wanted to interfere, either directly through military attacks, or through supporting their proxies that are the terrorists in our region.

Question 8: I see the news in the last days, the Amnesty International condemned a terrorist group for using the chlorine, the chemical weapons in Aleppo.

President Assad: In Aleppo, exactly, that happened a few days ago, and actually, regardless of these chemical attacks, we announced yesterday that the terrorists killed during the last three days more than 80 innocent civilians in Aleppo, and wounded more than 300. You don’t read anything about them in the Western mainstream media. You don’t see it, you don’t hear about it, there’s nothing about them. They only single out some pictures and some incidents in the area under the control of the terrorists just to use them for their political agenda in order to condemn and to blame the Syrian government, not because they are worried about the Syrians; they don’t care about our children, or about innocents, and about civilization, about infrastructure. They don’t care about it; they are destroying it. But actually, they only care about using everything that would serve their vested interests.

Question 9: And now, your army… you are the supreme commander of Syrian military forces. Your army now has not any chemical weapons?

President Assad: No, we don’t. Since 2013, we gave up our arsenals. Now, no we don’t have. But before that, we have never used it. I mean, when you talk about chemical weapons used by the government, it means you are talking about thousands of casualties in one place in a very short time. We never had this kind of incidents; just allegations in the Western media.

Question 10: Mr. President, when do you think the Syrian war will end?

President Assad: When? I always say less than one year is enough for you to solve your internal problem, because it is not very complicated internally. It’s becoming more complex only when you have more interfering by foreign powers. When those foreign powers leave Syria alone, we can solve it as Syrians in a few months, in less than one year. That’s very simple, we can, but providing that there’s no outside interference. Of course, that looks not realistic, because everybody knows that the United States wanted to undermine the position of Russia as a great power in the world, including in Syria. Saudi Arabia has been looking how to destroy Iran for years now, and Syria could be one of the places where they can achieve that, according to their way of thinking. But if we say that we could achieve that situation where all those foreign powers leave Syria alone, we don’t have a problem in solving our problem.

How? First of all, by stopping the support of the terrorists by external countries like the regional ones like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, and by the West, of course, mainly the United States. When you stop supporting terrorists in Syria, it won’t be difficult at all to solve our problem.

Question 11: Mr. President, is it true that Syria is the last socialistic country in the Arab world?

President Assad: Today, yes. I don’t know about the future, how is it going to be. We are socialist, but of course not the closed type.

Journalist: Humane socialism, because your government is supporting the education with the subvention, like the Swedish-type socialism.

President Assad: I don’t know a lot about the Swedish-type, but let’s say that in Syria, we have an open economy, but at the same time we have a strong public sector, and that public sector played a very important role in the resilience of the Syrian society and the government during the war. Without that public sector, the situation would have been much more difficult. So, we’re still socialist, and I think the war proved that the socialism system is very important for any country, taking into consideration that I’m talking about the open socialism, that could allow the freedom of the public sector to play a vital role in building the country.

Question 12: And your big companies… this is the state companies or private companies?

President Assad: We have both. But usually in such a situation, the public sector always plays the most important part. As you know, the private sector could feel the danger more and could suffer more and in some areas could quit the whole arena, the economic arena, because of the insecurity. So, that’s why you have to depend in such a situation more on the public sector, but still the private sector in Syria plays a very important part beside the public.

Question 13: And you have very very tolerance atmosphere with other churches, Christians, Muslims, and…

President Assad: It’s not tolerance, actually; they are part of this society. Without all different colors of the society – Christians, Muslims, and the different sects and ethnicities – you won’t have Syria. So, every Syrian citizen should feel fully free in practicing his rituals, his traditions, his beliefs. He should be free in order to have a stable country. Otherwise you won’t have Syria as a stable country. But I wouldn’t call it tolerance. Tolerance means like we accept something against our will; no, Muslims and Christians lived together for centuries in Syria, and they integrate in their life on daily basis, they don’t live in ghettos.

Question 14: No separate schools for Muslims, for Christians, young people, no?

President Assad: No, no. You have some schools that belong to the church, but they are full of Muslims and vice versa. So, you don’t have, no. We don’t allow any segregation of religions and ethnicities in Syria, that would be very dangerous, but naturally, without the interference of the government, people would like to live with each other in every school, in every place, in every NGO, in the government, that is the natural… That’s why Syria is secular by nature, not by the government. The Syrian society has been secular throughout history.

Question 15: And, Mr. President, it’s been one year since Russian air forces took part in the Syrian war, how much has Russia helped you?

President Assad: Let’s talk about the reality. Before the Russian interference, ISIS was expanding, as I said. When they started interfering, ISIS and al-Nusra and the other Al Qaeda affiliated groups started shrinking. So, this is the reality. Why? Of course, because it’s a great power and they have great army and they have great firepower that could support the Syrian Army in its war. The other side of the same story is that when a great country, a great power, like Russia, intervene against the terrorists, in coordination with the troops on the ground, and in our case, it’s the Syrian Army, of course you’re going to achieve concrete results, while if you talk about the American alliance, which is not serious anyway, but at the same time they don’t have allies on the ground, they cannot achieve anything. So, the Russian power was very important beside their political weight on the international arena, in both ways they could change the situation, and they were very important for Syria in defeating the terrorists in different areas on the Syrian arena or battlefield.

Question 16: Is the Syrian society divided by the war today?

President Assad: Actually, it’s more homogenous than before the war. That could be surprising for many observers because the war is a very deep and important lesson for every Syrian. Many Syrians before the war didn’t tell the difference between being fanatic and being extremist, between being extremist and being terrorist. Those borders weren’t clear for many, because of the war, because of the destruction, because of the heavy price that affected every Syrian, many Syrians learned the lesson and now they know that the only way to protect the country and to preserve the country is to be homogenous, to live with each other, to integrate, to accept, to love each other. That’s why I think the effect of the war, in spite of all the bad aspects of any war like this war, but this aspect was positive for the Syrian society. So, I’m not worried about the structure of the Syrian society after the war. I think it’s going to be healthier.

Question 17: And a question about the American presidential elections; who would you like to win in USA presidential elections, Trump or Hillary?

President Assad: I think in most of the world, the debate about this election is who’s better, Clinton is better or Trump. In Syria, the discussion is who’s worse, not who’s better. So, no one of them, I think, would be good for us, let’s say, this is first. Second, from our experience with the American officials and politicians in general, don’t take them at their word, they’re not honest. Whatever they say, don’t believe them. If they say good word or bad word, if they were very aggressive or very peaceful, don’t believe them. It depends on the lobbies, on the influence of different political movements in their country, after the election that’s what is going to define their policy at that time. So, we don’t have to waste our time listening to their rhetoric now. It’s just rubbish. Wait for their policies and see, but we don’t see any good signs that the United States is going to change dramatically its policy toward what’s happening in the world, let’s say, to be fair, or to obey the international law, or to care about the United Nation’s Charter. There’s no sign that we are going to see that in the near future. So, it’s not about who’s going to be President; the difference will be very minimal, each one of them is going to be allowed to leave his own fingerprint, just personal fingerprint, but doesn’t mean change of policies. That’s why we don’t pin our hopes, we don’t waste our time with it.

Question 18: Mr. President, the last question: The relation between Serbia and Syria, do you have any message for people in Serbia?

President Assad: I think we didn’t do what we have to do on both sides in order to make this relation in a better position, before the war. Of course, the war will leave its effects on the relation between every two countries, that would be understandable, but we have to plan for the next time because your country suffered from external aggression that led to the division of Yugoslavia and I think the people are still paying the price of that war. Second, the war in your country has been portrayed in the same way; as a humanitarian war where the West wanted to intervene in order to protect a certain community against the aggressors form the other community. So, many people in the world believe that story, the same in Syria; they use the same mask, the humanitarian mask.

Actually, the West doesn’t care about your people, they don’t care about our people, they don’t care about anyone in this world, they only care about their own vested interest. So, I think we have the same lessons, may be a different area, we are talking about two decades’ difference, maybe different headlines, but actually the content is the same. That’s why I think we need to build more relations in every aspect; cultural, economy, politics, in order to strengthen our position, each country in his region.

Question 19: But Syrian government, you and Syria’s state, supporting Serbia in the problem of the Kosovo?

President Assad: We did, we did, although the Turks wanted to use their influence for Kosovo, in Kosovo’s favor, but we refused. That was before the war, that was seven or eight years ago, and we refused, in spite of the good relation with Turkey at that time. We supported Serbia.

Journalist: Mr. President, thank you for the interview, thank you for your time.

President Assad: Not at all. Thank you for coming to Damascus.