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The First Casualty

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Joe Giambrone     Permalink
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"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."

Of course CNN asks "analysts" about the situation and we find that:

"Many [Shabiha] have shaved heads and sport thick black beards. The beards are a confusing touch, Weiss said, because they "want to look like Salafists" so people will think they are the fundamentalist Sunnis they dislike and blame for violence." (CNN, Regime-backed militia does Syria's 'dirty work,' analysts say, 6/7/2012)

So, when Salafist Jihadis actually do what they openly admit to doing in a German newspaper it can conveniently be blamed on Assad's alleged militia? This story has been through the looking glass for so long, there is little chance that an honest assessment can be found anywhere in the western media.

Who Are These Rebels?

At the end of January, 2012 the League of Arab States Observer Mission to Syria produced its report, which was swiftly buried because it did not adhere to the narrative spun by western "leaders."  The well-armed, violent nature of the insurgency was described more clearly.  Thus, the observer mission was recalled from Syria so that they would not produce any more unhelpful evidence, unhelpful to those seeking regime change, which is a breach of the UN Charter and a war crime. The Arab observers reported:

"The Mission noted that the [Syrian] Government strived to help it succeed in its task and remove any barriers that might stand in its way" The Mission noted that many [opposition] parties falsely reported that explosions or violence had occurred in several locations. When the observers went to those locations, they found that those reports were unfounded" the media exaggerated the nature of the incidents and the number of persons killed in incidents and protests in certain towns" Some media outlets have published unfounded statements, which they attributed to the Head of the Mission. They have also grossly exaggerated events, thereby distorting the truth." (Report of the Head of the League of Arab States Observer Mission to Syria for the period from 24 December 2011 to 18 January 2012)

Distorting the truth, mischaracterizing the situation, and lying to the world were exposed.  As was the actual violence on the ground perpetrated by the rebels.  Clearly Russia and China, India, Venezuela and Cuba can read plain English and are not reliant upon U.S. and western corporate news lies for their intelligence concerning the Syrian situation. Immediately the U.S. pushed for a UN Security Council vote to unleash NATO on Syria, as it had bombed Libya the previous year and aided in the massacre of tens of thousands of Libyan civilians. 

On February 4th of this year both China and Russia vetoed imperial plan A.  No UN blessing would be bestowed on this war against the Syrian regime.  Hillary Clinton called the vetoes "disgusting and shameful," although she finds herself on the same side as Al Qaeda in Syria.  What is disgusting and shameful here? The Arab observers had already exposed the nature of the conflict on the ground in Syria:

"In Homs and Dera"a" armed groups committing acts of violence against Government forces, resulting in death and injury among their ranks" some of the armed groups were using flares and armour-piercing projectiles" In Homs, Idlib and Hama" acts of violence being committed against Government forces and civilians that resulted in several deaths and injuries. Examples of those acts include the bombing of a civilian bus, killing eight persons and injuring others, including women and children, and the bombing of a train carrying diesel oil. In another incident in Homs, a police bus was blown up, killing two police officers. A fuel pipeline and some small bridges were also bombed... Such incidents include the bombing of buildings, trains carrying fuel, vehicles carrying diesel oil and explosions targeting the police, members of the media and fuel pipelines. Some of those attacks have been carried out by the Free Syrian Army [the main opposition group] and some by other armed opposition groups. (emphasis added)

Disgusting and shameful are appropriate descriptions, but this is the covert insurgent force being described, not the Syrian government troops.  The same rebels that Hillary Clinton now admits to sending money, medicine and so-called "nonlethal" war material like tactical battlefield radios.  Clinton and U.S. Government denials of active participation in the Syrian insurgency are ludicrous on their face.  It is U.S. allies in the region who are the main suppliers of arms and money to the insurgents and the terrorist groups operating today in Syria.  These nations include Britain, France, Turkey, Jordan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia; NATO is, of course, dominated by the United States; Israel is certainly not a disinterested party either. Libyan rebels are also involved in Syria, including the former head of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), a group on the State Department's terrorist list!

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Joe Giambrone is an American author, freelance writer and filmmaker. Non-fiction works appear at International Policy Digest, WhoWhatWhy, Foreign Policy Journal, Counterpunch, Globalresearch, , OpedNews, High Times and other online outlets. His science fiction thriller Transfixion and his Hollywood satire (more...)

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