Chris Hedges Best Speech In 2017

Chris Hedges has taken Noam Chomsky's critique of corporate capitalism, celebrity culture, and the philistine nature of the United States and has endowed it with emotion and a call to action. 
A must-listen speech. 

Source  |

When food is used as a weapon

[While the “60 Minutes” highlights #Saudi Atrocity in #Yemen, it conveniently Ignores the #US Role in it.]


This month Saudi Arabia tightened a stranglehold on the neighboring country of Yemen and 7 million people face starvation. The Saudi blockade is an escalation in Yemen's civil war. The United Nations says the war has now become a "man-made catastrophe." You've seen very little of this because the Saudis prevent reporters from reaching the war zone. Recently, we were ordered off a ship headed to Yemen. Days later the Saudis gave us permission to fly there but, after our equipment was loaded and our boarding passes issued, the Saudis closed the airspace so the plane couldn't take off. Even so, we have managed to get pictures out of Yemen to show you what the Saudi government does not want you to see. This will be hard to watch, but 27 million people in Yemen pray you will not turn away.

A child in Yemen

Hungry children cry. But there are no tears at the limits of starvation. Wasting bodies cannot afford them. This is the Al Sabeen Hospital in the Yemeni city of Sana'a. Ibtisam is two and a half. She weighs 15 pounds. Haifa is seven. She weighs 11 pounds. The images, and stories from the hospital, were sent to us by people that we hired inside Yemen. One child dies every ten minutes in the country according to the U.N..
David Beasley: It's just desperation and death. It is as bad as it gets. I don't know if I've ever seen a movie this bad.
Scott Pelley: We were headed into Yemen with the World Food Programme, the Saudis gave us permission to come, and then when we arrived they wouldn't let us into the country. What do you think they didn't want us to see?
David Beasley: I don't understand why they won't allow the world to see what's taking place. Because I think if the world sees the tragedy of this human sufferin', number one, the world will step up and provide the support financially for innocent children to eat. But when you get on the ground and see what I see, you see is chaos, is starvation, is hunger, and it's unnecessary conflict strictly man-made. All parties involved in this conflict have their hands guilty, the hands are dirty. All parties.

"We're on the brink of famine. If we don't receive the monies that we need in the next few months, I would say 125,000 little girls and boys will die."

In essence, the fight is between the two main branches of Islam. The Shia branch occupies much of the West, the Sunnis most of the South and East. Saudi Arabia, leader of the Sunni world, began airstrikes against Shia rebels, more than two years ago. The rebels, who are known as Houthis, are supported by Saudi Arabia's arch enemy, Iran, the leader of the Shia world.
Houthi rebels have plenty of blood on their hands, including the deaths of 1,000 civilians. But the U.N. says the Saudi coalition has killed more than 3,000 civilians; bombing schools, hospitals and Al Kubra hall, scene of a funeral last year. 132 Civilians were killed, nearly 700 wounded. Still, the deadliest weapon in Yemen is a blockade holding up food, fuel and medical aid.
David Beasley: We can't get our ships in. They get blocked
Scott Pelley: Who blocks the ports?
David Beasley: The Saudi coalition.
David Beasley told us the Saudis bombed the cranes that unload ships. The U.S. sent replacement cranes. But the Saudis won't let them in.
David Beasley: We ask any, any parties engaged in this conflict to respect humanitarian law, respect the rights of innocent people and give us the access that we need to provide the help that's needed.
Scott Pelley: It sounds like the Saudis are using starvation as a weapon.
David Beasley: I don't think there's any question the Saudi-led coalition, along with the Houthis and all of those involved, are using food as a weapon of war. And it's disgraceful.

A child in Yemen

The U.N. World Food Programme is the largest humanitarian aid agency. The U.S. is its biggest donor, so the director is most often an American. Beasley was once governor of South Carolina.
David Beasley: We're on the brink of famine. If we don't receive the monies that we need in the next few months, I would say 125,000 little girls and boys will die. We've been able to avert famine, but we know three things that are happenin'. We know that people are dying. We know that people are wasting. And we know that children are stunting. We have a stunting rate in Yemen now at almost 50 percent. That means they're smaller, the brains are smaller, the body's smaller because they're not getting the food or the nutrition they need.
The World Food Programme's Stephen Anderson is trying to move millions of pounds of food to Yemen from an African port in Djibouti.
Stephen Anderson: The World Food Programme is mobilizing food for seven million people. Now what that looks like is a 110-pound bag of wheat flour. We're aiming to provide two million of those every month to the people of Yemen.
Scott Pelley: How long can you keep that up?
Stephen Anderson: Well, we're desperately praying for peace. Because that's the only sustainable way of really rebuilding the situation our stated objective is to try to prevent a famine from occurring.

Stephen Anderson distributes food

While facing imminent famine, the people of Yemen are also suffering one of the biggest cholera epidemics in history. Nearly a million have been infected with the bacteria which inflicts diarrhea, dehydration and sometimes death. The disease thrives in dirty water. And water treatment and sanitation have collapsed in Yemen's cities.
Scott Pelley: What do you have to have to stop the epidemic?
Nevio Zagaria: We should have peace. This is what we need to stop this epidemic. So we cannot solve the problem of cholera if we do not have a proper safe water supply, if we do not have proper sanitation. If we do not have the sewage treatment plant in the main town functioning and stop because it runs out of fuel as it happened at the beginning of this epidemic in the north of Sana'a for three or four months.
Scott Pelley: The main sewage plant in Sana'a ran out of fuel and didn't run for three or four months?
Nevio Zagaria: Yes. So 3 million people, huh?
About two million Yemenis have been forced from their homes by the war and there's been a big exodus of refugees that the world doesn't know very much about. Many of them have come 25 miles across the Red Sea to a refugee camp in the African nation of Djibouti. It is a testament to how bad things are in Yemen that the refugees believe that this place is so much better.
We've seen a few refugee camps in our time but this may be the most desolate with a drought of life and flood of sun. One worker told us we were smart to come in fall when it cooled off to 110.

Scott Pelley: How long have you been here?
Ali Shafick: Unfortunately 28 months.
Ali Shafick was once an architect in the Yemeni capital. His home was destroyed. He's alone here. And his despair was almost like madness.
Ali Shafick: To be jobless in this camp is very sad. The time is going slowly, very slowly.
Scott Pelley: The heat must be unbearable.
Ali Shafick: Heat? Yes, boiling. Starting from June, July and August. Three months. You cannot live, you cannot live here, three months. It's impossible to live.
Scott Pelley: And yet you do.
Ali Shafick: I have to be patient. I have to be patient.

Djibouti refugee camp

This mother, Ameena Saleh, told us her family left after Saudi led airstrikes killed more than 70 people in her town.
The planes would fly above us and fire rockets and missiles she told us. At night there was no sleep, they were holding the young ones. She said that her older son was saying 'we are going to die.' She told us we saw people die right in front of us.
Scott Pelley: A little while ago we heard a rumble from the direction of Yemen. That's the bombing, isn't it?
Yes, her husband said, it's near.
Scott Pelley: What do you think when you hear that?
Strong fear, she said. She said the terror is still inside us from the rockets, missiles and planes.
Scott Pelley: What lies ahead for these people, given where we are today?
Ayman Gharaibeh: Remember, the conflict is going into a third year, some people has been displaced for literally three years or going into their third year.  I honestly do not see any silver lining anywhere on the horizon that this is gonna end soon. And I'm afraid the humanitarian situation will continue to deteriorate. And we would go from a displacement to a famine, as happened, to cholera, and God knows what's next.

"All the children are gonna be dead. It's terrible."

The Saudi intervention in Yemen began with the rise of 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, he's the son of the king and he's the defense minister. Salman is quickly reforming the kingdom's fundamentalist society. Recently, he lifted the ban on women drivers. This month, he arrested 200 Saudis including princes and media owners. He says it's a crackdown on corruption. His critics believe he's silencing his rivals. Salman's campaign in Yemen has now landed Saudi Arabia, for the first time, on the U.N.'s blacklist of nations that disregard the safety of children in war.
The Saudis have pledged $8 billion in humanitarian aid for Yemen, but they've delivered very little of that. The head of the Saudi humanitarian agency says that its aid to Yemen is, quote, "way beyond any damage caused by any attacks."

Scott Pelley: You met with some government officials involved in all of this, what kind of dialogue did you have with them?
David Beasley: Well we met with officials on all sides. They said all the right things. And we come back, everything that they agreed to on visas and access, so that we can get the equipment we need in, so we can deliver the food where we need to deliver it, and the technology and the health product -- you know -- terrible. The conditions are deteriorating in an unprecedented way and none of the commitments that were made, by any and all sides, have been fulfilled.
Scott Pelley: What future do you see for Yemen?
David Beasley: I don't see a light at the end of this tunnel. There's gotta be a big change. As the World Food Program, I've got my mandate to feed people. But also as a U.N. leader, I call upon the leaders of the world to bring the pressure to bear whatever's necessary to get the Saudi-led coalition, the Houthis and all involved to the table and end this thing. You keep goin' like you're goin', there's not gonna be anybody left. All the children are gonna be dead. It's terrible.
Produced by Nicole Young and Katie Kerbstat


Stella Matt    |     19 Nov 2017

We are devastated when ONE building is taken by ONE terrorist - imagine EAST SYDNEY was taken by an army of terrorists sponsored in the BILLIONS by a foreign country (if not trillions which is probably a more accurate figure)?

Imagine if all the newspapers around the world didn’t call them terrorists, imagine if they called them ‘rebels’?

Imagine if schools and hospitals were used as headquarters for these ‘rebels’ and every time your army attacked these headquarters every newspaper all around the world said ‘they just blew up the last hospital, we need to support the rebels’

Imagine if they went to the electricity substation and water pumping station in your area and just turned it off... for years... dismantled the substation and sold it to another country and then wired the entire pumping station with explosives.

Imagine all the people around the world sending money to help ‘save you from your government’ and that money was used to feed and arm the ‘rebels’ and if you wanted a packet of flour you had to pay $200 for it even though you haven’t worked in 4 years because you were trapped in a city that was under ‘rebel’ control?

Imagine seeing your friend beg the ‘rebels’ for food because she was hungry and seeing them feed her a gunshot in her mouth?

Imagine if the ‘rebels’ took all the children in your neighbourhood, killed them, tossed them into a building, hit the building with a bomb, filmed it and said ‘the government just bombed a school and killed the children inside, we must help the ‘rebels’.

Imagine if your army was only kilometres away fighting to get to you but the UN called for a ceasefire every time they came close? Imagine the terrorists/rebels abiding by a ceasefire (yeah right!)?

Imagine if the main road to your city was a corridor that you could exit to get to your army, except the price the ‘rebels’ were asking per person was in the thousands and ‘rebel’ snipers would most likely bomb or shoot you as you tried to exit anyway.

Imagine if after 4 years of hell your government and army saved you? Freed you! Fed you! and you tuned in to see the world news and found the world was calling your liberation a ‘humanitarian disaster’?

Imagine your city being on the news constantly for 4 years rallying support for the ‘rebels’ but after you were actually freed the TV didn’t show your town ever again? The world never heard the truth about what you suffered for 4 years, never spoke about the heroic army that saved you? Just left it at ‘humanitarian disaster’... yet now you have your family back, your home, your freedom...

Imagine knowing this could have been over in a month rather than years if the people of the world knew the truth...

This is East Aleppo liberated by their government and army in December 2016. 200,000 people were saved on one day in December alone (not counting the hundreds of thousands saved over 4 years along the way).

Video footage exists to prove ALL OF THIS. Our TV and newspapers prove the rest.

I invite you all to post one link, one image or one testimony below ­čÖĆ­čĆ╝❤️


1) East Aleppo Diaries: Testimony from Hanano Shatters Corporate Fake News

2) Liberation of East Aleppo: Testimonies from Hanano .

Sexual Harassment and Assault

by Sako Sefiani

I don’t think anyone is surprised at how prevalent and widespread sexual harassment and assault is among men of all classes and colors. As infuriating as it is to hear about all these affluent and famous men of high status committing sexual harassment and assault against women who aren’t in a position of power as they and don’t have the means or luxury of putting these asshole predators in their place because their career, reputation or dignity is on the line, it’s good to see them at least exposed and sued.

But, what really needs to happen is for them to serve time in jail, instead of paying a sum of money to their victims and walk away to do it again. That’s exactly what Bill O’Reilly of Fox News did each of the seven times he was sued. The situation is not too different from violent and racist police thugs walking away free after committing assault or murder of innocent black men and women.

I already made some enemies with my anti-racist commentaries; so what the hell, let’s lose some more “friends”.

You can unfriend me if:

- You think a woman with “provocative” cloths is “asking for it”, or that she’s “at least partly to blame”, in case of a sexual assault.

- You think there is nothing wrong with commenting on the legs or chest or behind of a woman you’re not romantically involved with.

- You think men making such comments is the same or has the same effect or significance as if it were women making them about a man.

- You think there is something suspicious and unbelievable about women who wait for years before they come forward about past sexual harassment or assault.

- You think as long as there is no physical force, then sexual advances are okay and not a big deal because she can simply say “no” and there is no harm done in proposing.

- You think a “light” touch or a “little” spank on the buttock or an unsolicited shoulder massage is no big deal.

- You think a drunk woman who can hardly walk or stand up is a fair game.

- You think it’s okay to “walk with” a woman that you see walking alone on the street or even suggesting to “walk” her to her home.

- You think because a woman has just spent or has been spending time with you on either dates or otherwise, it’s normal to expect or ask to have sex.

- You think sexism is a two way street and just as women can be subjected to sexism by men, so can men be by women.

This last point will probably draw many objections, just as the point that racism can’t be both ways did on my anti racist posts. But, it’s important to understand that like racism, sexism is unidirectional. In fact, what makes racism racism and distinguishes it from an isolated and individual case of hatred or bias is the fact that only one of the two sides has the institutional, cultural and state power behind it. Since such power is by definition one sided, so is racism and similarly so is also sexism.

Or you can try to learn and understand what makes a person sexist and try not to be one. A good rule of thumb is to consider how you’d like your own mother or sister or wife or daughter to be treated by other men.

13 / 11/ 2017


15 Temmuz 2016'da Seni Lin├ž Ettiler O─člum!

Orhan ┼×ahin/ ABC
"Geceleri r├╝yalar─▒ma giriyor Murat. Anne ne oldu 15 Temmuz'da k├Âpr├╝de?” diyor. “Seni lin├ž ettiler o─člum diyorum. G├╝nahs─▒zd─▒ yavrum, hi├žbir ┼čeyden haberi yoktu!"

Kar┼č─▒yaka'da Do─čan├žay Mezarl─▒─č─▒'na giderken kula─č─▒mda ├ž─▒nl─▒yor bu s├Âzler. Arabada Sedat Amca, ┼×evkiye Teyze ve Nazan'la birlikteyiz. Murat'─▒n mezar─▒na gidiyoruz. ┼×evkiye Teyze'nin bu s├Âzlerini zihnime kaz─▒d─▒m adeta. Mezarl─▒kta s─▒k s─▒k tekrar ettim i├žimden. O s─▒rada g├Âz├╝m Murat Tekin'in mezar─▒nda, akl─▒m bir saat ├Ânce  babas─▒ ve annesiyle oturup onu konu┼čtu─čumuz evdeydi...

Evi bulmam─▒z zor olmam─▒┼čt─▒. Bornova'da Osmangazi'deydi ev. Evin giri┼činde ve balkonunda ay y─▒ld─▒zl─▒ bayrak dalgalan─▒yordu. ┼×evkiye Teyze kap─▒da kar┼č─▒lad─▒ bizi.  ─░├žeride herhangi bir odaya girebilece─čimizi s├Âylerken sevin├ž i├žindeydi. Sohbet ederken anlad─▒m, Murat'─▒n dostlar─▒yla konu┼čmak, onu anlatmak hem en b├╝y├╝k ne┼česi hem de en b├╝y├╝k ─▒zd─▒rab─▒yd─▒. O─člunun sevildi─čini dostlar─▒ oldu─čunu bilmek onu gururland─▒r─▒yordu.

Girdi─čimiz odan─▒n her yan─▒ Murat'─▒n resimleri ile doluydu. Odan─▒n k├Â┼česine yerle┼čtirilen televizyonun ├╝zerinde lise y─▒ll─▒─č─▒ ve ├╝niformas─▒na ait kep, ┼×evkiye Teyze'nin oturdu─ču koltu─čun ├╝zerinde ise Mustafa Kemal'in portresi, Murat'─▒n okulda arkada┼člar─▒yla ├žektirdi─či foto─čraf─▒ ve bir de u├žak tablosu vard─▒. 

Ben oday─▒ incelerken Nazan, ┼×evkiye Teyze ile ├žoktan sohbete ba┼člam─▒┼čt─▒. Ertesi g├╝n Silivri'de ilk duru┼čmas─▒na ├ž─▒kacak olan Hava Harp Okulu ├Â─črencisi karde┼či Faruk'un Murat'─▒n bir alt devresi oldu─ču detay─▒n─▒ o an ├Â─črendim.  K─▒sa bir sohbetten sonra Sedat Amca da girdi i├žeri. R├Âportaj─▒m─▒za ba┼člad─▒k.

Murat'─▒n ├Âl├╝m├╝yle ilgili ayr─▒ bir soru┼čturma y├╝r├╝t├╝l├╝yordu. En az─▒ndan devletin Murat Tekin'e ili┼čkin s├Âyledi─či tek ┼čey buydu. 
Sedat Amca ise soru┼čturma y├╝r├╝t├╝ld├╝─č├╝ne inanmamakla birlikte o─člunun ba┼č─▒na gelenler ├Â─črenilmesin diye 15 Temmuz K├Âpr├╝ Davas─▒'ndan ay─▒rd─▒klar─▒n─▒ s├Âyl├╝yordu. Sedat Amca'ya g├Âre dosyalar ayr─▒lmasa k├Âpr├╝de olanlar duru┼čmalarda konu┼čulsa, t├╝m T├╝rkiye ger├žekleri ├Â─črenecekti. Dava g├Âzden ─▒rak bir ┼čekilde y├╝r├╝t├╝ls├╝n isteniyordu.
Murat'─▒n katillerinin askeri ├Â─črencilerin de yarg─▒land─▒─č─▒ devam etmekte olan davalarda m├╝┼čteki olarak bulundu─čunu s├Âyleyen Sedat Amca "Katiller belli hepsi meydanda" diye sesini y├╝kseltiyor. Ard─▒ndan da hemen ekliyor; "Bu i┼čin pe┼čini b─▒rakmayaca─č─▒m." 
┼×evkiye Teyze al─▒yor s├Âz├╝ Murat'─▒n nas─▒l ├Âld├╝r├╝ld├╝─č├╝n├╝ anlat─▒yor. "Tek bilinen var ├žocu─čum lin├ž edildi, i┼čkenceyle ├žocu─čumu ├Âld├╝rd├╝ler. Dizlerinde morluklar var. Y├╝z├╝ kapkara ┼či┼č, tan─▒nmaz halde, babas─▒ te┼čhis etti. Y├╝z├╝ndeki benler, ┼či┼člikler nedeniyle iyice belirginle┼čiyor. ├ľyle te┼čhis edebiliyoruz." 
"├ľ─črencilerden Aziz ikisi birlikte ├žok dayak yemi┼čler. ─░kisi yere d├╝┼čerken birbirlerine bak─▒p g├╝lm├╝┼čler. Okulda b├Âyle ├Â─črenmi┼čler, son nefeslerinde ┼čehit olurken... Aziz bay─▒lm─▒┼č... Ba┼čka bir arkada┼č─▒ kuca─č─▒na alm─▒┼č Murat─▒m─▒, ama y├╝z├╝ art─▒k Murat de─čilmi┼č.

Sedat Amca da ekleyiveriyor; 
"Zevk al─▒yorlar, bu ├žocuklar bu ┼čekilde ├Âld├╝r├╝l├╝rken vatan kurtarm─▒┼člar, ├Âyle zannediyorlar"
┼×evkiye Teyze Murat'─▒n otopsisinin detaylar─▒n─▒ anlat─▒rken Sedat Amca'n─▒n y├╝z├╝n├╝n ifadesi solukla┼č─▒yor. S├Âze girdikten sonra ses tonu de─či┼čiyor, a─člamakl─▒ bir tonda "Fazla geriye gitme" diye e┼čini uyar─▒yor. O ├Âyle deyince ben de daha fazla de┼čmiyorum. Kim bilir ayn─▒ ┼čeyleri ka├ž defa anlatm─▒┼čt─▒ da her defas─▒nda bo─čaz─▒nda yutkunamad─▒─č─▒ yumru onu bu uyar─▒y─▒ yapmaya te┼čvik etmi┼čti? 

S├Âz d├Ân├╝p dola┼č─▒yor tekrar yarg─▒lamalara geliyor. Sedat Amca askeri ├Â─črencilerin yarg─▒land─▒─č─▒ duru┼čmalara neden gelemediklerini anlat─▒yor. Yarg─▒lanan askeri ├Â─črencilere 'hain, ter├Ârist' denilmesini kald─▒ramad─▒─č─▒n─▒ bu y├╝zden gelmedi─čini belirtiyor. 

B─░R ├ľ─×RENC─░N─░N NE G├ťNAHI OLAB─░L─░R?

"Bir ├Â─črencinin ne g├╝nah─▒ olabilir, hain olamaz darbeci olamaz. Kendi kendine darbe yap─▒yorum diyemez" s├Âzleriyle sitem ediyor mahkemelerde ya┼čananlara.   

Sedat Amca da ┼×evkiye Teyze de ├žocuklar─▒n─▒ T├╝rkiye'nin en g├╝venilir kurumuna emanet edip, ba┼člar─▒na bu felaketin gelmesinden komutanlar─▒ sorumlu tutuyor. Genelkurmay Ba┼čkan─▒ Hulusi Akar'─▒n k├Âpr├╝de ├Âld├╝r├╝len o─člu Murat ve Rag─▒p Enes Katran i├žin tek kelime etmemesine sitem eden Sedat Amca sadece Kemal K─▒l─▒├ždaro─člu'nun taziyeye geldi─čini anlat─▒yor. 

Bu arada ┼×evkiye Teyze'den ├Â─čreniyoruz. Adalet Y├╝r├╝y├╝┼č├╝'ne Gebze'de dahil oluyorlar. ─░ki g├╝n boyunca K─▒l─▒├ždaro─člu ile omuz omuza adalet ar─▒yorlar. Y├╝r├╝y├╝┼če kat─▒ld─▒klar─▒ ilk ak┼čam Veysel K─▒l─▒├ž, Kemal K─▒l─▒├ždaro─člu, ┼×evkiye Teyze ve Sedat Amca g├Âr├╝┼č├╝yor. 

┼×evkiye Teyze CHP liderine  "Sen benim zor g├╝n├╝mde ac─▒l─▒ g├╝n├╝mde evime geldin. Benim i├žin ├Ânemli olan siyaset├ži olarak de─čil, insan olarak geldin ya. Allah raz─▒ olsun. Bak ben de Allah nasip etti sana deste─če geldim. Yavrular─▒m─▒z i├žin ┼čehitlerimiz i├žin geldim" diyor. 
Solda ├╝zerinde Murat'─▒n resmi olan baba Sedat Tekin, yan─▒nda CHP Genel Ba┼čkan─▒ Kemal K─▒l─▒├ždaro─člu, sa─čda Murat'─▒n annesi ┼×evkiye Tekin...

K─▒l─▒├ždaro─člu'nun kendilerine 'bekleyece─čiz' dedi─čini belirtiyor Sedat Amca "ben bekliyorum zaten elimizden ba┼čka bir ┼čey gelmiyor ki" diyor. O ├Âyle deyince bir su├žluluk duygusu kapl─▒yor i├žimi, "ne yapabilir ki? Elimizden ne gelir" s├Âzleri bir teslimiyet ifadesi gibi y├╝z├╝me ├žarp─▒yor.
─░stemsiz bir ┼čekilde dudaklar─▒mdan d├Âk├╝l├╝yor hemen sonra; "soru┼čturmay─▒ bekleyelim bakal─▒m Sedat Amca ne ├ž─▒kacak?"
Kurdu─čum c├╝mleden utan─▒yorum hemen, ben o mahcubiyeti ya┼čarken ┼×evkiye Teyze ko┼čuyor yard─▒m─▒ma bizim i├žin haz─▒rlad─▒─č─▒ yemekler geliyor masaya. Tok oldu─čumuzu s├Âylememize ra─čmen hi├ž geri durmam─▒┼č ┼×evkiye Teyze, dolu dolu tabaklar─▒ koyuyor ├Ân├╝m├╝ze. Tabaklarda Murat'─▒n en sevdi─či yemekler var. Bir yandan yemeklerimizi yiyoruz bir yandan da sohbetimize devam ediyoruz. 
Adalet Y├╝r├╝y├╝┼č├╝'nden bahsediyor yine Sedat Amca, Veysel K─▒l─▒├ž'─▒n oru├žlu bir ┼čekilde g├╝nlerce, kilometrelerce y├╝r├╝mesini anlat─▒yor. Sedat Tekin, Veysel Amca'dan bahsederken g├Âzleri ─▒┼č─▒ld─▒yor, Veysel Abi diye hitap ediyor. Veysel Amca'n─▒n m├╝cadeleci ki┼čili─či t├╝m T├╝rkiye'de oldu─ču gibi Tekin Ailesi'nde de b├╝y├╝k sayg─▒ uyand─▒rm─▒┼č.
En solda ┼×evkiye Tekin ortada solda CHP Manisa Milletvekili Tur Y─▒ld─▒z Bi├žer yan─▒nda Veysel K─▒l─▒├ž ve onun yan─▒nda Sedat Tekin... Foto─čraf Adalet Y├╝r├╝y├╝┼č├╝'nden... 


Sohbet ederken yine oturdu─čumuz odaya g├Âz gezdiriyorum, Murat'─▒n resimlerine bak─▒yorum. O s─▒rada akl─▒ma geliyor; "Murat'─▒n odas─▒n─▒ da g├Ârebilir miyiz?"  ┼×evkiye Teyze Murat'─▒n odas─▒n─▒ ve e┼čyalar─▒n─▒ toplad─▒─č─▒n─▒ s├Âyl├╝yor; 
"Dayanam─▒yorum g├Ârd├╝k├že, e┼čyalar─▒n─▒ toplad─▒k. Bakam─▒yorum" 

H─▒zl─▒ca ├ž─▒k─▒yoruz evden Kar┼č─▒yaka'da bulunan Do─čan├žay Mezarl─▒─č─▒'na Sedat Amca'n─▒n arabas─▒ ile gidiyoruz. ┼×evkiye Teyze yol boyunca Murat'─▒ anlat─▒yor. Tek tesellisinin onun dostlar─▒n─▒n, arkada┼člar─▒n─▒n ziyaretleri oldu─čunu aktar─▒yor.
Harbiyeliler s─▒k s─▒k ┼×evkiye Tekin ve Sedat Tekin'i ziyaret ediyor. Bunun yan─▒nda bir├žok asker de aileye ziyarete gelmi┼č. Aile kamu kurumlar─▒nda ├žal─▒┼čan ki┼čilerin ziyaretlerine geldi─čini ancak bir soru┼čturma olur korkusuyla foto─čraf ├žektirmek istemediklerini s├Âyl├╝yor. Yukar─▒daki foto─čraf Harbiyelilerin ziyaretinden. 

─░├žinde Murat'─▒n oldu─ču r├╝yalar─▒ndan bahsediyor. Birden o s├Âzler d├Âk├╝l├╝yor a─čz─▒ndan; “Geceleri r├╝yalar─▒ma giriyor Murat 'Anne ne oldu 15 Temmuz'da k├Âpr├╝de?' diyor. Seni lin├ž ettiler o─člum diyorum. G├╝nahs─▒zd─▒ yavrum, hi├žbir ┼čeyden haberi yoktu!"

Mezarl─▒─ča gidene kadar kula─č─▒mda ├ž─▒nl─▒yor s├Âzler. T├╝rkiye'nin en g├╝venilir kurumuna 13 ya┼č─▒nda teslim etti─či o─člunun kendileriyle hi├ž alakas─▒ olmayan, kanl─▒ bir bo─čazla┼čman─▒n ortas─▒nda kal─▒p, bo─čaz─▒n─▒n tellerle s─▒k─▒l─▒p, v├╝cudunu ┼či┼čleyip, bedenine ├živili sopalarla vurularak ├Âld├╝r├╝lmesini b├Âyle yorumluyor ┼×evkiye Teyze... 

Mezarl─▒─ča girmeden arabada haz─▒r bulunan 6 adet be┼č litrelik su ┼či┼čelerini omuzluyoruz. A─č─▒r a─č─▒r ilerliyoruz Murat'a do─čru. Sedat Amca anlat─▒yor; 

"Camiden sela okutmad─▒lar, ├žocu─čumuzun ┼čehitli─čini vermediler. En ├žok da bu zorumuza gidiyor."
Cenazeyi defnederken problem oldu mu peki?  
"Fatma ┼×ahin'in Rag─▒p'─▒n ├Âl├╝ bedenine yapt─▒─č─▒ zul├╝m olmad─▒. Belediye gereken her t├╝rl├╝ yard─▒m─▒ yapt─▒."
(Gaziantep Belediyesi Mezarl─▒klar ┼×ube M├╝d├╝rl├╝─č├╝ yetkilisi Rag─▒p Enes Katran'─▒n abisi Fevzi Katran'a "─░┼člem yapamay─▒z sizin cenazenize” demi┼čti.  Cenaze namazlar─▒ k─▒l─▒nmaz, imam verilmez, ├Âl├╝leri y─▒kanmazm─▒┼č. Aile t├╝m bunlar─▒ kendi imkanlar─▒yla ger├žekle┼čtirdi.)
Murat'─▒n mezar─▒na vard─▒─č─▒m─▒zda topra─č─▒n ─▒slak oldu─čunu fark ediyor Sedat Amca, anl─▒yoruz ki bizden ├žok k─▒sa s├╝re ├Ânce ziyarete gelenler olmu┼č. Topra─č─▒na dikkatle bakt─▒─č─▒m─▒zda deniz kabuklar─▒ yerle┼čtirildi─čini g├Âr├╝yoruz. Arkada┼člar─▒ koymu┼č.
Solda Sedat Tekin, yan─▒nda e┼či ┼×evkiye Tekin en sa─čda karde┼či 16 ay boyunca hi├žbir delil olmadan hapis yatan Nazan Ar─▒k.
Murat'─▒n mezar─▒n─▒ sulay─▒p ayr─▒l─▒yoruz oradan. Sedat Amca 19.00'daki otob├╝s├╝m├╝ze bizi yeti┼čtirmeden ├Ânce Murat'─▒n ablas─▒ Mehtap Tekin'le de Bornova metro dura─č─▒nda ayak├╝st├╝ sohbet edebiliyoruz. Karde┼či i├žin bir kitap yazd─▒─č─▒n─▒ anlat─▒yor. S├Âyledi─čine g├Âre Aral─▒k gibi yay─▒nda olacakm─▒┼č. 

Merakla bekledi─čimizi s├Âyleyip ayr─▒l─▒yoruz yan─▒ndan, ailenin ─▒srarla bir gece misafirimiz olun talebine ra─čmen gitmemiz gerekiyor. Ertesi g├╝n Silivri'de Murat'─▒n arkada┼člar─▒n─▒n, karde┼člerinin 118 Hava Harp Okulu ├Â─črencisinin yarg─▒land─▒─č─▒ Sultanbeyli duru┼čmas─▒ var ├ž├╝nk├╝.
├ľ─črenciler 12 ay boyunca iddianame ard─▒ndan d├Ârt ay boyunca da ilk duru┼čmay─▒ beklemi┼č. Nazan'─▒n karde┼či Faruk da san─▒klar aras─▒nda...
NOT: Hava Harp Okulu ├Â─črencilerinden bir k─▒sm─▒ hakim kar┼č─▒s─▒nda ├ž─▒kt─▒. Savunmalar─▒n al─▒nd─▒─č─▒ davada duru┼čma 13 Kas─▒m 2017 tarihine ertelendi. 
Murat, 15 Temmuz Fethullah├ž─▒ darbe giri┼čimi s─▒ras─▒nda Yalova'daki kamptan komutanlar─▒n─▒n 'tatbikat var' diyerek ├ž─▒kard─▒─č─▒ Hava Harp Okulu ├Â─črencilerindendi. Kamptan otob├╝slerle ayr─▒lm─▒┼člard─▒, ba┼člar─▒nda Albay H├╝seyin Ergezen vard─▒. K├Âpr├╝ye vard─▒klar─▒nda otob├╝s├╝n yolu kesilmi┼čti ve sald─▒r─▒ya u─čram─▒┼člard─▒. ├ľ─črenciler ┼čok i├žindeyken komutanlar─▒ taraf─▒ndan ortada b─▒rak─▒lm─▒┼čt─▒. Bir grup ├Â─črenci polisler taraf─▒ndan kurtar─▒ld─▒, b├Âlgeden uzakla┼čt─▒r─▒ld─▒. Murat Tekin ve Rag─▒p Enes Katran ise kalabal─▒─č─▒n aras─▒nda kald─▒. 
D├Âv├╝lerek ├Âld├╝r├╝ld├╝ler
Aradan 16 ay ge├žti, katilleri hala bulunamad─▒. Bo─čazi├ži K├Âpr├╝s├╝ iddianamesinde yaz─▒lana g├Âre Murat Tekin ve orada ├Âlen di─čer alt─▒ asker i├žin ayr─▒ bir soru┼čturma y├╝r├╝t├╝l├╝yor.

1) Darbe tesebbusu sirasinda linc edilen askerler.

2) Merdan Yanardag: Darbe icinde Darbe..


‘Like magic’: Scientists find way to make old human cells young again

‘Like magic’: Scientists find way to make old human cells young again

10 Nov, 2017

Scientists have discovered how to make old human cells young again through rejuvenation. It’s an exciting discovery that could change the way humans age.

Researchers at the University of Exeter and University of Brighton found they could rejuvenate senescent cells, cells that had stopped their natural growth cycle,causing them to start to divide again. The experiment found they not only look younger, but also behave like younger cells.

“When I saw some of the cells in the culture dish rejuvenating I couldn't believe it. These old cells were looking like young cells. It was like magic,” researcher Dr. Eva Latorre said. “I repeated the experiments several times and in each case the cells rejuvenated. I am very excited by the implications and potential for this research.”

The research builds on earlier findings that showed ‘splicing factor’ genes switch off as humans age. Scientists found a way to restart the splicing through chemicals.

According to the researchers, this could change the way we age, with the hope that humans will experience less of the degeneration that comes with aging. Older people are more likely to have strokes, heart disease and other illnesses, but with cell rejuvenation, this could be decreased.

“This demonstrates that when you treat old cells with molecules that restore the levels of the splicing factors, the cells regain some features of youth,” team leader Professor Lorna Harries said. They are able to grow, and their telomeres - the caps on the ends of the chromosomes that shorten as we age - are now longer, as they are in young cells. Far more research is needed now, to establish the true potential for these sort [sic] of approaches to address the degenerative effects of ageing. ”

The 2011 Conspiracy Against Syria Unravels!

Last week, a bombshell was dropped by former Qatari politician Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabel al-Thani, who oversaw Qatari intervention in Syria until 2013. Simultaneously occupying the post of prime minister and foreign minister during the so-called “Arab Spring,” Hamad was at the forefront of his country’s role in the proxy war against Syria and thus has first-hand inside knowledge of the covert discussions that were being held between the various countries mutually hostile to the Syrian government at the time. Amidst outing his frustrations regarding the current Gulf crisis, he shared some of that knowledge with the outside world in an interview on Qatari television:
When the events first started in Syria, I went to Saudi Arabia and met with King Abdullah. I did that on the instructions of his highness the prince, my father. He [King Abdullah] said we are behind you. You go ahead with this plan and we will coordinate but you should be in charge. I won’t get into details, but we took full charge and anything that was sent [to Syria]would go to Turkey and was in coordination with the US forces and everything was distributed via the Turks and the US forces. And us and everyone else were involved, the military people. There may have been mistakes and support was given to the wrong faction, but not Daesh - they are exaggerating if they say that.[sic][1] Maybe there was a relationship with Nusra [al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria], it’s possible but I myself don’t know about this. But I can tell you that even if that was the case, when it was decided that Nusra is not acceptable, the support for Nusra stopped and the concentration was on the liberation of Syria. We were fighting over the prey [i.e. Assad and his supporters], and now the prey is gone, and we are still fighting. And now Bashar [al-Assad] is still here. If you say ‘okay, Bashar can stay,’ we don’t mind. We have no feelings of vengeance against him, but you [the US and Saudi Arabia] were with us in the same trench.”[2] (emphasis added)
In June, Hamad had already told American talk show host Charlie Rose practically the same thing, but in a less comprehensive fashion:
“Look, in Syria everybody did mistakes, including your country [the US]. When the war, or the revolution, happened in Syria, all of us worked through two operation rooms, one in Jordan and one in Turkey. The first one was in Jordan. And there was countries, some of the GCC countries, among them the Saudi’s, the Emirati’s, Qatar, the United States and other allies, and they was working from there. And all of us was supporting the same group [the armed opposition]. In Turkey we did the same.”[3]
One could take these startling admissions in two directions. The first one could lead to a conclusion that once the rebellion was in full gear, the above-mentioned countries started to support the armed opposition in the form of funding, arms supply and propaganda. This, however, is increasingly becoming documented knowledge and part of the historical record. Moreover, this conclusion would still accept the notion that there was first a tangible and widespread revolution against Assad’s rule which evolved into a civil war, and that the countries in question only afterwards capitalised on these events to further their own geopolitical agendas. In contrast, a second direction could explore the possibility that the covert discussions of which Hamad revealed some were already taking place from the very onset, “when the events first started in Syria,” or even before that. If substantiated, this hypothesis would challenge the claim that the origins of the Syrian debacle lay at a massive uprising against the Syrian government, the latter which was accused of brutally cracking down on initially peaceful protests. The collusion of the geopolitical regime change agendas of the US and its NATO and Gulf allies, particularly Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, as well as Israel, then, might constitute the real first cause of the tremendous suffering of the Syrian people. This article chooses the more provocative second direction.
Syria, an eternal target
Since Syria became independent from France in 1946, Western countries and intelligence agencies regularly conspired to overthrow the ruling regimes of the day. In 1949, a CIA-backed coup succeeded, although very briefly, in ousting Syria’s democratically elected president, and in 1956 and 1957, American and British intelligence twice failed to overthrow the Syrian government, the latter plot which included assassination attempts of leading figures in the Syrian power structure.[4] A recently declassified CIA document, too, revealed multiple agency plans to engineer the collapse of Hafez al-Assad’s government in 1986, including by way of exacerbating sectarian tensions, which is exactly what the US and its allies had done a couple of years earlier when they backed the 1982 Muslim Brotherhood insurrection in Hama.[5]After bloody clashes between the army and Brotherhood Islamists had left thousands dead there, US military intelligence dryly observed that “the Syrians are pragmatic [and] do not want a Muslim Brotherhood government.”[6]
Following 9/11, Syria immediately ended up on the Pentagon’s drawing board. In a 2007 interview with Amy Goodman from Democracy Now, retired four-star General and former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Wesley Clark disclosed that in the aftermath of 11 September, 2001, a fellow general of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told him that the Ministry of Defense had decided “to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and finishing off [with] Iran.”[7] Not long after the US invaded Iraq in 2003, the Bush administration put sanctions on Syria for its alleged ties to terrorism,[8] and soon various American and Israeli officials were issuing threats against the Syrian government that hinted at it being next on Washington’s Middle East chopping block.[9] Paul Wolfowitz, for instance, declared a month after the invasion of Iraq that “there has got to be regime change in Syria” as well, and American-born Israeli journalist Caroline Glick even called for a pre-emptive war against Damascus.[10] At the same time, however, Syria was a primary partner in America’s secretive “extraordinary rendition” program in which terrorism suspects were extradited to foreign countries where they were to be interrogated and often tortured.[11] Furthermore, since 9/11 the Syrian government was providing the US with important intelligence about al-Qaeda, and therefore, the CIA and State Department figured that finishing the job in Iraq first remained the top priority in American foreign policy for the time being.[12]
Laying the groundwork
Still, declassified documents and admissions from government officials reveal that covert operations to destabilise the government of Bashar al-Assad, who ascended to the presidency after his father’s death in 2000, were ongoing during the Iraq war. In a cable released by Wikileaks, William Roebuck, then charg├ę d’affaires at the American embassy in Damascus, advised his superiors in 2006 to coordinate more closely with Egypt and Saudi Arabia to fan the flames of sectarian tensions between Sunni and Shia Muslims in Syria.[13] And indeed, in his widely circulated 2007 piece The redirection, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh said that the US was partaking “clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria” which bolstered Sunni extremist groups sympathetic to al-Qaeda. More concretely, Hersh wrote that the “the Saudi government, with Washington’s approval, would provide funds and logistical aid to weaken the government of President Bashir Assad,” just as Roebuck had suggested in the previous year. Furthermore, a former high-ranking CIA officer revealed to Hersh that the Americans and Saudi’s provided political as well as financial support to the Syrian National Salvation Front, a coalition of opposition groups centred around former Vice-President Adbul Halim Khaddam and the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.[14]
In addition, the Washington Post reported in April 2011 that the State Department had secretly funnelled millions of dollars to Syrian political opposition groups since at least 2005, drawing on analysis from several Wikileaks cables. It also provided funds to Barada TV, a London-based opposition satellite channel which began broadcasting in April 2009 and conveniently ramped up operations in 2011 to cover the unfolding demonstrations.[15] The role of such clandestine operations in laying the groundwork for regime change should not be underestimated. Also in April 2011, a couple of months into the Arab revolts, the New York Times reported that Congress- and State Department-funded NGOs such as Freedom House and the National Endowment for Democracy, both infamous for their roles in instigating colour revolutions around the world, “played a bigger role in fomenting protests [in the Arab world] than was previously known,” particularly in Yemen and Egypt.[16]
In Syria, however, it went further than actions that could be disguised as “democracy building campaigns,” as the New York Times described the funding and training of activists and political opposition groups around the Arab world. In a bombshell statement, former French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas gave a piece of insight into the pre-2011 underground plans to destabilise Syria in 2013. During a debate on French television in June of that year, he exposed plans of foreign-engineered armed rebellion as far back as 2009:
“I am going to tell you something. I was in England two years before the hostilities began in Syria. I was there by chance for other business, not at all for Syria. I met with British officials, some of whom are friends of mine, and they confessed while trying to persuade me that preparations for something were underway in Syria. This was in Britain, not America. Britain was preparing the invasion of rebels into Syria. […] I just need to say that this operation goes way back. It was prepared, conceived and planned.[17] (emphasis added)
When Dumas spoke to a correspondent of Syrian state-sponsored news outlet SANA two weeks later, he added that he was approached by two people, an Englishman and a Frenchman, who asked him to participate in the preparations for a plan to topple the Syrian government. Dumas said that he refused, but that “events proved that they were serious about what they were saying.”[18]
When zooming out, all of this clearly interlocks with the big agendas of Western deep states regarding the Middle East. In 2008, one of the think tanks closely aligned to the Pentagon, RAND corporation, published a paper that discussed several US government policy options in “the long war” against Washington’s various adversaries in the Middle East. Aside from continuing supporting “the conservative Sunni regimes” in the Gulf, the authors proposed a “divide and rule” strategy as well, as such a policy “focuses on exploiting fault lines between the various Salafi-jihadist groups to turn them against each other and dissipate their energy on internal conflicts.” “This strategy,” RAND added, “relies heavily on covert actions, information operations (IO), unconventional warfare, and support to indigenous security forces.”[19] And indeed, in retrospect this appears to have been the chosen strategy in Washington’s efforts to topple Assad as well as Gaddafi respectively in Syria and Libya, where supporting local insurgents has led to the enormous amount of loss of life, the displacement of millions and the enormous infrastructural destruction of both countries.
When mainstream publications narrate the Syrian war, they by default explain the root cause of it to be anti-government demonstrations that were violently suppressed by the Assad government. In the viral “explanation” videos of the Guardian,[20] Vox[21] and Kurzgesagt,[22] the Syrian government, standardly characterised as an “authoritarian” or “quasi-dictatorial” regime, is depicted as the villain that brutally cracked down on massive peaceful pro-democracy protests across the country, after which those who wanted change eventually had no other alternative than to take up arms themselves. This narrative, however, is deeply flawed on every fundamental level.
First of all, it turns out that there were no signs of revolutionary sentiment in early 2011. One would expect that if Syria was ruled over by a brutal and unpopular dictatorship, the Syrian government would have to face popular uprisings all across the country, just like in Tunisia and Egypt. As reported by Timemagazine’s correspondent in Damascus Rania Abouzeid, however, demonstrations in the wake of the Arab uprisings in February either “fizzled” because they failed to garner support, or they were mainly focused on the situation in other Arab countries and attracted less than 200 people.[23] In a follow-up article in the beginning of March called “Sitting pretty in Syria: why few go bashing Bashar,” Abouzeid explained why “even critics concede that Assad is popular and considered close to the country’s huge youth cohort.” Despite the one-party rule and the widespread corruption and lack of political freedom resulting from it, high unemployment and poverty rates and the repressive and vigilant state-security apparatus the Syrian government shared with the pro-American ruling regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, “Assad has a hostile foreign policy toward Israel and stridently supports the Palestinians and the militant groups Hamas and Hizballah,” which are very much “in line with popular Syrian sentiment.” Furthermore, “Assad is viewed as a reformer even by some Syrians who may despise the regime, blaming its shortcomings on his father’s still present ‘old guard’.” Indeed, drawing from interviews with human rights activists, Abouzeid stressed that the majority of Syrians want reform to take place within the party, the government and the security agencies.[24] As suggested by a poll conducted by a leading Turkish think tank, that sentiment had not changed by late 2011, as only 5% of the Syrian respondents said they supported violent protest, while 91% opposed it.[25]
It is no surprise, then, that the events that triggered the war did not take place in the country’s largest cities such as was the case in the Tunisian and Egyptian capital cities of Tunis and Cairo, where mass protests forced Ben Ali and Mubarak to resign. Rather, the first incident happened in the southern regional town of Dara’a, close to the Syrian-Jordanian border. In mid-March, the arrest of a group of 15 kids who had sprayed a graffiti slogan containing the words “the people want the regime to fall” on a wall had sparked protests which resulted into casualties as well as the torching of the Baath Party headquarters and the courthouse of the town. According to Abouzeid, who was in the country contrary to most journalists who wrote about the incident, “Assad responded immediately, sending a high-ranking delegation to deliver his condolences to the families of the dead,” after which the governor was dismissed, and the kids were released.[26] While most Western media publications quoted unnamed “witnesses” and “activists” as saying that security forces brutally cracked down on the demonstrations in Dara’a, Lebanese and Israeli media reported that seven police officers and at least four demonstrators had been killed in the clashes that had erupted.[27] In addition, several reports observed rooftop snipers targeting both civilians and police, which is reminiscent of other highly questionable and obscure events, such as the 1982 Muslim Brotherhood insurgency in Hama, the 2014 Maiden square demonstrations in Kiev and the 2016 killings during a Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas. In all these events, rooftop snipers who are by now either confirmed or suspected to be agent provocateurs killed both peaceful demonstrators and police officers.[28]
Although it is unclear what exactly transpired in Dara’a, it has all the appearances of an at least partially staged event. When demonstrators as well as security forces die, this means that there must have been an armed insurrection which was either embedded with the protestors, or which drove the peaceful demonstrators off the streets. Taking in mind Roland Dumas’s revelation of European plans of the invasion of rebels into Syria and Dara’a’s close proximity to Jordan, where one of the two multinational operation rooms with the specific goal of regime change would soon be (or perhaps was already) set up, it is at least plausible that several foreign countries conspired to plan the events in Dara’a. And indeed, Reuters reported a couple of days before the eruption of violence that Syrian security forces had seized a large shipment of weapons, explosives and night-vision goggles from a truck at al-Tanaf, the Iraq-Syria border crossing that is the closest one to Dara’a;[29] and Saudi official Anwar al-Eshki later confirmed to BBC television that his country had sent weapons to the al-Omari mosque in Dara’a prior to the moment all hell broke loose in the town.[30]
A second critique of the mainstream narrative thus shatters the myth that the anti-government demonstrations were peaceful during the first phase of the so-called revolution, as already from the very onset the amount of dead security forces seemed to equal those of the demonstrators, at least some of the latter who must have been foreign-backed armed insurgents. This pattern continued throughout the first months of the conflict, as dozens of police officers and soldiers were massacred in March and April.[31] By mid-December 2011, the UN’s human rights chief Navi Pillay estimated the death toll of the conflict to total around 5.000 casualties.[32] Contrast that to the government’s count of 478 police officers and 2.091 soldiers and security forces killed among its ranks between 29 March 2011 and 20 March 2012, which was incorporated into a report from the UN’s Human Rights Office.[33] Although absolutely nothing can justify or excuse state aggression against protestors, it is clear that a significant part of the violence should be attributed to armed insurgents. Furthermore, according to Frans van der Lugt, a Dutch Jesuit priest in Homs who was killed by Jabhat al-Nusrah in 2014, “very often the violence of the security forces is a reaction to the cruel violence of the armed insurgency.”[34]
Finally, although no one dismisses the fact that significant anti-government demonstrations with attendees totalling tens of thousands were held in the spring and summer of 2011, the mainstream narrative ignored the huge, ostensibly larger, pro-government rallies that were held in response to the violence that was happening across the country. Although both sides clearly inflated the number of attendees at their respective rallies, Camille Otrakji (in an article intentionally non-normative and critical of both sides) estimated that up to one million Syrians attended pro-government demonstrations, which is close to five percent of the population or 50 times the amount of the only pro-Mubarak rally in Egypt.[35] These observations suggest that Assad is popular, which is backed up by several additional sources, some of whom from entities openly hostile to the Syrian government. In 2008, an American poll by the University of Maryland and Zogby International found that Arab respondents considered Assad the world leader that they admired the most aside from Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah.[36] A year later, the Syrian president was chosen as the person of the year by CNN’s Arabic readers, more than doubling the score of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who came in second.[37] At the beginning of 2012, nine months into the conflict, Assad’s popularity among Syrians had not faltered. Analysis of 18 large polls on Facebook conducted in 2011 showed an average of 53% in favour or President Assad, while support for typical demands of the opposition, such as changing the colours of the Syrian flag, an Arab boycott of Syria, Turkish or NATO intervention and a UN vote targeting the Syrian government, were very weak.[38] In January 2012, the Guardian reported that a poll linked to the Qatari government found that, to its surprise, some 55% of Syrians wanted Assad to stay while most Arabs outside Syria felt the president must resign. This indicates the growing bifurcation between Syrian and Arab public opinion, or between those undergoing the horror of war and those consuming news about it, which indicates the effectiveness of Gulf and Western propaganda in turning global public opinion against the Syrian government.[39]
A source enormously biased against Assad, NATO, confirmed that this sentiment did not change over the course of the conflict. An internal study of the Atlantic military alliance conducted in June 2013 estimated that 70% of the Syrian population supported the president while 20% adopted a neutral position, in contrast to a mere 10% support for the rebels.[40] Although Western media and officials were quick to denounce the 2014 presidential elections, the first real democratic and competitive ones in decades following a 2012 referendum that amended the constitution, the results actually pretty accurately reflected NATO’s assessment. Assad defeated his two opponents with 88.7% of the votes, with a massive participation rate of 73.7%. This means that a staggering 64% of the eligible voters chose for Assad to remain in power, which more than doubles the 26% that put Donald Trump into the White House.[41] As to the credibility of the elections, over 100 international observers from both allied (e.g. Russia and Iran) and non-partisan (e.g. Brazil, Venezuela and Uganda) countries monitored the elections and issued a statement declaring that the elections were “free and fair” and were held “in a democratic environment, contrary to Western propaganda.”[42] As Sunnis make up 75% of the Syrian populace and Alawites only 11%, this completely debunks the false representation of Assad’s rule as a sectarian Alawite dictatorship suppressing a Sunni majority.
The standard narrative employed to explain the origins of the Syrian “civil war” thus has the truth totally backwards. Not only did and does the Syrian government headed by President Assad enjoy a considerably large popularity and was there hardly any widespread revolutionary fervour against the Baath Party during the so-called Arab Spring, the insurgency, commonly described in Western and Gulf media as some sort of unified opposition, was violent and brutal from the very day the conflict started on 15 March 2011. This, of course, does not mean that Syrian security forces did not use excessive force to suppress dissent or did not commit human rights violations over the course of the conflict, nor does it mean that there was never meaningful opposition and agitation against the government. While Assad’s governance around 2011 was often praised for its foreign policy, its secularism and protection of women rights and minorities, the stability of the country and social inclusion in the sectors of education and health, Assad failed to better the dire economic situation, effectively fight corruption, lessen fears over the security-intelligence apparatus and abolish the one-party rule of the Baath Party.[43] The Western mass media pointed to these failures in order to construct a simplified narrative of “the Syrian people” on the one hand against “the government” on the other, as if Arabs, in contrast to Westerners, are not capable of having complex political systems in which various pressure groups agree on some things and disagree on other issues.
Otrakji offers a clear explanation of why most Syrians allow the continuation of the authoritarian nature of the Syrian government:
“While the coalition opposed to Assad successfully promoted its role as a champion of individual political freedom, Assad’s supporter’s reaction was: ‘great, but never at the expense of our national freedom and dignity.’ This is a key element that western media fail to understand about the psychology of the Syrian people. Many Syrians are more preoccupied with protecting their country’s national interests rather than their own right to challenge President Assad at the 2014 Presidential elections. You will not convince them to sacrifice their national dignity in favor of promises by a highly energetic coalition of all the Gulf Arabs, Turkey, and western countries that often attempted to control Syria’s decisions, suppress Syria’s aspirations, or simply weaken Syria’s role in the region so that they can enjoy more influence. To many Syrians, including but not limited to Assad’s supporters, ‘the international community’ + the GCC are seen as vultures and sharks. The two Assads, unlike the Qatar financed Syrian opposition, have always been willing to suffer constant pressure, punishment and isolation, to protect Syria’s dignity and independence.”[44]
Indeed, most Syrians perceive the war in a totally different fashion as the propagandised masses in the West and in much of the rest of the Arab world. Many Syrians abhor fellow countrymen who cry for Western intervention, because they see the conflict not as a civil war but as a proxy war waged by the US, Israel, Turkey, the GCC and NATO against their freedom and security. Syrians know their history, as well as the broader history of neo-colonialism in the Middle East and elsewhere, and know that the “humanitarian” concerns of foreign officials are nothing but a disguise for what they perceive as just the latest iteration of Western imperialism. As a result, they turn for help to their own government, the supposed unpopularity and brutality of which paradoxically constituted the backbone of selling the war on Syria in the first place.
The real reason for instigating the proxy war on Syria, as this article has demonstrated, has nothing – absolutely nothing – to do with “saving” the Syrian people. When are we going to learn that, time and time again, mainstream media coverage is little more than propaganda to justify foreign intervention, which, time and time again, strengthens – not lessens – the grip of hostile governments over their populations? In a 2016 interview with Swedish media, at a time the mass media was crying crocodile tears over Aleppo, a Syrian doctor who actually lives in Aleppo was asked what the outside world should do to help Syria and its people from the hell of war. His answer? “Leave us alone, forget us.”[45]
# # # #
Bas Spliet, Newsbud Contributing Analyst,  is a bachelor’s student History and Arabic at the University of Ghent, Belgium. He is interested in geopolitics, focusing most of his time in getting a better understanding of wars in the Middle East. His analyses can be found He can be reached at

[1] According to a leaked mail to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and an admission of Vice-President Joe Biden, both senior officials under the second Obama administration, Qatar was among the countries that provided support to ISIS: Patrick Cockburn, “We finally know what Hillary Clinton knew all along – US allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar are funding Isis,” Independent, 14.10.2016,; Barbara Plett Usher, “Joe Biden apologised over IS remarks, but was he right?”, BBC, 07.10.2014,

[2] Quoted from translation provided by Zero Hedge: Tyler Durden, “In shocking, viral interview, Qatar confesses secrets behind Syrian war,” Zero Hedge, 29.10.2017,

[3] Ben Norton, “U.S. and Gulf allies supported Islamist extremists in Syria, Qatar’s ex-prime minister admits, bolstering growing evidence,” Alternet, 16.06.2017,

[4] Bas Spliet, “The proxy war on Syria – part 1: the Syrian conflict in historical perspective,” Scrutinised Minds, 29.11.2016,; Ben Fenton, “Macmillan backed Syria assassination plot,” Guardian, 27.09.2003,

[5] Brad Hoff, “New declassified CIA memo presents blueprint for Syrian regime change collapse,” Libertarian Institute, 14.02.2017,; Tim Anderson, The dirty war on Syria: Washington, regime change and resistance (Montr├ęal, Global Research Publishers, 2016), 15-6.

[6] US Defense Intelligence Agency, Syria: Muslim Brotherhood pressure intensifies (Washington DC, May 1982), 8, available at

[7] Amy Goodman, “Gen. Wesley Clark weighs presidential bid: ‘I think about it every day’,” interview with Wesley Clark, Daily Show, Democracy Now, 02.03.2007, available at

[8] “Bush signs Syria sanction bill,” CNN, 13012.2003,

[9] John J. Maersheimer and Stephen M. Walt, “The Israel lobby and U.S. foreign policy,” London Review of Books 28, no. 6 (2006), 59-60, available at

[10] Nathan Guttman, “Some senior U.S. figures say Syria has crossed the red line,” Haaretz, 14.04.2003,; Caroline Glick, “Fighting the next war,” Jerusalem Post, 19.04.2007, cited in Jonathan Cook, Israel and the clash of civilisation: Iran, Iraq and the plan to remake the Middle East (London: Pluto Press, 2008), 138.

[11] Jane Mayer, “Outsourcing torture: the secret history of America’s ‘extraordinary rendition’ program,” New Yorker, 14.02.2005,

[12] Maersheimer and Walt, “The Israel lobby,” 60.

[13] William Roebuck, “Influencing the SARG in the end of 2006,” 13.12.2006 (Wikileaks, cable 06 Damascus 5399 a), available at

[14] Seymour Hersh, “The redirection: is the administration’s new policy benefitting our enemies in the war on terrorism?”, New Yorker, 05.03.2007,

[15] Craig Whitlock, “U.S. secretly backed Syrian opposition groups, cables released by Wikileaks show,” Washington Post, 17.04.2011,

[16] Ron Nixon, “U.S. groups helped nurture Arab uprisings,” New York Times, 14.04.2011,

[17] Quoted from Youtube, “Roland Dumas: the British prepared for war in Syria 2 years before the eruption of the crisis,” channel of Syrian buzzard, posted on 18.06.2013,

[18] Christof Lehman, “Former French Foreign Minister Dumas blows the whistle on Western war plans against Syria,” NSNBC International, 03.07.2013,

[19] Christopher Pernin et al., Unfolding the future of the long war: motivations, prospects and implications for the U.S. army (Santa Monica: RAND Corporation, 2008), 16.

[20] Youtube, “The war in Syria explained in five minutes: Guardian animations,” channel of the Guardian, posted on 18.09.2013,

[21] Youtube, “Syria’s war: who’s fighting and why,” channel of Vox, posted on 07.04.2017,

[22] Youtube, “The European refugee crisis and Syria explained,” channel of Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell, posted on 17.09.2015,

[23] Rania Abouzeid, “The Syrian style of repression: thugs and lectures,” Time, 27.02.2011,,8599,2055713-1,00.html.

[24] Rania Abouzeid, “Sitting pretty in Syria: why few go bashing Bashar,” Time, 06.03.2011,,8599,2057067,00.html.

[25] Mensur Akg├╝n and Sabiha Seny├╝cel G├╝ndogar, The perception of Turkey in the Middle East 2011, transl. Jonathan Levack (Istanbul: TESEV Publications, February 2012), 15-6, available at

[26] Rania Abouzeid, “Syria’s revolt: how graffiti stirred an uprising,” Time, 22.03.2011,,8599,2060788,00.html.

[27] Michel Chossudovsky, “Six years ago: the US-NATO-Israel sponsored Al Qaeda insurgency in Syria. Who was behind the 2011 ‘protest movement’?”, Global Research, 09.03.2017,

[28] Chossudovsky, “Six years ago: the US-NATO-Israel sponsored Al Qaeda insurgency in Syria;” James Corbett, “Dallas ambush follows pattern of provacateured false flags,” Corbett Report, 07.08.2016,; Anderson, The dirty war on Syria, 18.

[29] “Syria says seizes weapons smuggled from Iraq,” Reuters, 11.03.2011,

[30] Quoted from Youtube, “Syria - Daraa revolution was armed to the teeth from the very beginning,” channel of Truth Syria, posted on 10.04.2012,

[31] Sharmine Narwani, “Syria: the hidden massacre,” Russia Today Op-Edge, 07.05.2014,

[32] “Syria: 5.000 dead in violence, says UN human rights chief,” Guardian, 12.12.2011,

[33] Independent International Commission of Inquiry, Periodic update (UN: OHCHR, 24.05.2012), 2, available at

[34] Frans van der Lugt, “Bij defaitisme is niemand gebaat,” Mediawerkgroep Syri├ź, 13.01.2012,

[35] Camille Otrakji, “The real Bashar al-Assad,” Conflicts Forum, 02.04.2012,

[36] Shilbey Telhami, 2008 annual Arab public opinion poll (Maryland: University of Maryland and Zogby International, April 2008), slide 95, available at

[37] “CNN’s Arabic readers choose Assad as 2009 person of the year,” CNN Arabic, 21.01.2010,

[38] Camille Otrakji, “Analyzing the largest Syria Facebook polls,” Syria Page, 24.01.2012,

[39] Jonathan Steel, “Most Syrians back President Assad, but you’d never know from western media,” Guardian, 17.01.2012,

[40] “Poll: 70% of Syrian support Assad, says NATO,” Before It’s News, 13.06.2013,

[41] Anderson, The dirty war on Syria, 33-5;

[42] Anahita Mukherji, “Foreign delegation in Syria slams West, endorses elections,” Times of India, 05.06.2014,

[43] Otrakji, “The real Bashar al-Assad.”

[44] Otrakji, “The real Bashar al-Assad.”

[45] Patrik Paulov, “’Aleppo has been under fire by terrorists for four years’. Interview with Aleppo doctor about life in Syria’s largest city,” Proletar├źn, 25.05.2016,