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Friday, August 05, 2011

Syria: President Assad declares a multiparty system- and France calls it a ‘provocation’

You can watch me discussing the latest developments in Syria- and why France’s reaction is so extraordinary, on Russia Today here.

Meanwhile, I see that Hillary the Hawk has said that the US believes that over 2,000 people have been killed by the Syrian authorities in recent clashes. While all deaths must be deplored, there’s strong reasons for treating such numbers with a huge barrow-load of salt.

Remember Kosovo?

John Pilger writes:

Following the same path as the build-up to the invasion of Iraq, the media coverage in the spring of 1999 was a series of fraudulent justifications, beginning with the then US defence secretary William Cohen's claim that "we've now seen about 100,000 military-aged [Albanian] men missing . . . they may have been murdered". David Scheffer, the then US ambassador-at-large for war crimes, announced that as many as "225,000 ethnic Albanian men aged between 14 and 59" may have been killed

……….One year later, the International War Crimes Tribunal, a body in effect set up by Nato, announced that the final count of bodies found in Kosovo's "mass graves" was 2,788. This included combatants on both sides and Serbs and Roma murdered by the Kosovo Liberation Army. Like Iraq's fabled weapons of mass destruction, the figures used by the US and British governments and echoed by journalists were inventions - along with Serbian "rape camps" and Clinton's and Blair's claims that Nato never deliberately bombed civilians.

The US is not a disinterested party when it comes to Syria, nor was it when it came to events in the Balkans in the late 1990s.

For a view on Syria from someone who has actually been in the country this summer, check out this report.

On July 15, I received news feeds from the AFP announcing a million protestors all over Syria, of which 500,000 in Hama alone.

In Hama however, they could not have been more than 10,000.

This ‘information’ was even more absurd due to the fact that the city of Hama counts only 370,000 inhabitants.


Anonymous said...

Mr. Clark,

Great interview. While we cannot be 100% sure about what is going on in Syria at the moment, how do we know that the opposition is not made up of, say, violent Islamists? You are right; the best policy is to let the Syrians sort things out themselves.

brian said...

what will happen now is US etc will pour their slave taxpayers money into Syria to back oppositions loyal to the US

Anonymous said...

Well, you would've said that, wouldn't you. Assad is a fascist, but he's no friend of Uncle Sam, so you'd defend him. Pathetic.

Callum Arnold said...

Some people are easily satisfied by whatever comes out of the mouth of a thug like Assad.

jack said...


The opposition is made up of violent Islamists mainly the Muslim Botherhood who with the help of Turkey are helping cause havoc in Syria.

Neil Clark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Neil Clark said...

John: many thanks. it's really quite a simple concept isn't it? Let the Syrian people sort things out for themselves. But some people don't seem to get it.
As I wrote here:


Liberal imperialism is not only unethical in its consequences but also in the basic assumption that underlies it - namely, the arrogance that "we" - ie the most powerful nations on Earth - have a god-given right to interfere in the internal affairs of "other less enlightened" nations to dictate who should be their leaders and under what system of government they should operate.

Anonymous said...

"Let the Syrian people sort things out for themselves."

Which means another Hama (+10,000 dead last time). So we should stay put and are not supposed to do anything? Not even bring it to the fore? What about international solidarity? What if the opposition to the fascist Baath party regime asked for sanctions? or for the intervention of the Arab League to stop Assad's brutal repression?

If you cry hypocrisy each time action is taken, you become paralysed, because you can't give an answer to every problem. You keep bringing Bahrain on, which means that what you actually want is more intervention, not less.

Besides, your tone was clearly apologetic of Assad Junior's refusal to open up the game since he's been appointed to power... not very socialist, let alone democratic, in my view.

Douglas said...

The Muslim Brotherhood is a regional organization, not just a Syrian organization, so if Robert Lindsay's post is correct, the whole idea of letting the Syrians sort things out for themselves is long past praying for. Both Turkey (but which one? The western democracy or the Islamic emirate?) and the Muslim Brotherhood are involved.

Many Americans have commented that since Syria has a long history as a state sponsor of terrorism, America should be supporting the Syrian protestors instead of the Libyan rebels. But America is now preoccupied with the wreckage resulting from the credit downgrade and the ensuing market crash.