The voice of the empire, The Washington Post, with its curious Goebbels-approved masthead font, admits:
"Classified U.S. diplomatic cables [via Wikileaks] show that the State Department has funneled as much as $6 million to the [Syrian opposition] group since 2006 to operate the satellite channel and finance other [unspecified] activities inside Syria" The U.S. money for Syrian opposition figures began flowing under President George W. Bush after he effectively froze political ties with Damascus in 2005" "It is unclear to what extent [Syrian] intelligence services understand how USG money enters Syria and through which proxy organizations,' the [State Department] cable stated, referring to funding from the U.S. government." (The Washington Post, U.S. secretly backed Syrian opposition groups, cables released by WikiLeaks show, April 17, 2011, emphasis added)
From the horse's mouth: "proxy organizations" and "USG money," since 2005-6. But we can look back further in time, much further and find some curious Cold War strategic planning from Uncle Sam regarding Syria.
"CIA and SIS [British MI6] should use their capabilities in both the psychological and action fields to augment tension," reads the "preferred plan" for regime change in Syria, dating back to 1957 and approved by president Dwight D. Eisenhower! Back when Syria was the Soviet Union's ally on the Mediterranean, the CIA and MI6 studied the problem and came up with actionable options for western war makers.
"Driving the call for action was the CIA's Middle East chief Kermit Roosevelt [who overthrew Mossadegh in Iran in 1953]" "Once a political decision is reached to proceed with internal disturbances in Syria, CIA is prepared, and SIS [MI6] will attempt, to mount minor sabotage and coup de main incidents within Syria, working through contacts with individuals"' The plan called for funding of a "Free Syria Committee', and the arming of "political factions with paramilitary or other actionist capabilities' within Syria." (UK Guardian, Documents show White House and No 10 conspired over oil-fuelled invasion plan, Sept. 26, 2003, emphasis added)
Anything sound familiar? How about this:
"Casualty lists in US newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation." (Operation Northwoods, US Joint Chiefs of Staff, March 13, 1962)
By February 2012, we have Israeli reports of foreign special forces inside Syria in violation of the UN Charter, a clear war crime:
"British and Qatari special operations units are operating with rebel forces under cover in the Syrian city of Homs just 162 kilometers from Damascus, according to debkafile's exclusive military and intelligence sources... They are tactical advisers, manage rebel communications lines and relay their requests for arms, ammo, fighters and logistical aid to outside suppliers, mostly in Turkey." (Debkafile, First foreign troops in Syria back Homs rebels. Damascus and Moscow at odds, February 2012)
The Incident at Houla, Syria
Numerous civilians were killed on May 25, 2012 in Al-Houla, Syria. Immediately, the Assad regime was blamed (as always) by the opposition public relations sources, those so-called "activists." The Syrian government's artillery fire was noted by the United Nations.
The world's press picked up on this opposition "activist" story, and soon the Syrian ambassadors were booted out of the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Australia, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Exactly like a rehearsed and coordinated bit of political theater. Corporate news continues to blame the Assad government for the Houla killings with the caveat usually included somewhere in the propaganda article that the claims are unverified and that investigations haven't concluded.
Then a Russian news team investigated exactly who was killed, how and why. This investigation was followed by a German investigation by FAZ, one of Germany's largest newspapers, and both reports come to a very different conclusion than that of the "activists." While the murders of women and children were brutal, barbaric and disgusting, it is the perpetrators that matter here. The civilians were not killed by artillery shells, but by small arms fire and/or knives. They were not killed because of their opposition to the regime, but were families known for supporting Assad. Several were Shiite living in the predominantly Sunni neighborhood. The investigations reveal much.
"Note that once, the exactly same provocation failed at Shumar (Homs) and 49 militants and women and children were killed, when it was organized just before a visit of Kofi Annan. The last provocation was immediately exposed as soon as it became known that the bodies of the previously kidnapped belonged to Alawites. This provocation also contained serious inconsistencies -- the names of those killed were from people loyal to the authorities, there were no traces of bombings, etc." (Center for Research on Globalisation (translation), THE HOULA MASSACRE: Opposition Terrorists "Killed Families Loyal to the Government", Marat Musin, 6/1/2012)
Essentially, the investigation found that a small hamlet in Syria was invaded by "up to 700" insurgent fighters. They attacked three government check posts in a lengthy battle, as the Syrian army returned artillery fire. A contingent of these terrorists then went house to house seeking out political opponents and massacred the entire families of those who were still loyal to the government or who had converted from Sunni to Shiite Islam.
"When the rebels seized the lower checkpoint in the center of town" they began to sweep all the families loyal to the authorities in neighboring houses, including the elderly, women and children. Several families of the Al-Sayed were killed, including 20 young children and the family of the Abdul Razak. Many of those killed were "guilty" of the fact that they dared to change from Sunnis to Shiites."
The rebels collected bodies and claimed that the victims were killed by army shelling, which was obviously not consistent with forensic analysis, nor with reality. This first lie, easily discounted morphed into a second story concerning the alleged involvement of a pro-government militia, now that the regular army could not be credibly blamed.
The German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) confirmed this Russian account of the Houla atrocities on June 7th. The murdered families are named and described in more detail.
Several dozen members of a family were slaughtered, which had converted from Sunni to Shia Islam. Members of the Shomaliya, an Alawi family, were also killed, as was the family of a Sunni member of the Syrian parliament who is regarded as a collaborator. (FAZ, Abermals Massaker in Syrien, 6/7/2012, Translation )
Previously German newspaper Der Spiegel published an interview with a Syrian rebel executioner and his death squad, named the "burial brigade."
"According to Abu Rami, Hussein's burial brigade has put between 200 and 250 traitors to death since the beginning of the uprising." (Der Spiegel, An Executioner for Syria's Rebels Tells His Story, 3/29/2012)
The bulk of these "traitors" are likely Syrian civilians who remained loyal to the government. Their deaths prompt no international outrage or crocodile tears, however.
After the artillery fire murder story of May 25th was found completely meritless, the claim regarding Houla shifted so that a pro-Assad militia called "Shabiha" must be the perpetrator. This claim then went around the world without any evidence to support it, whatsoever. It remains the quasi-official narrative, despite the identities and affiliations of the victims now divulged by Russian and German news media. The murdered families were pro-government and a parliamentarian who was considered a traitor by the Sunnis, quite inconsistent with murder by a pro-government militia, yet very much consistent with a self-admitted rebel "burial brigade."