Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 34 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds   

Syria's "false flag' terrorism, Houla and the United Nations

By       (Page 4 of 7 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page. (View How Many People Read This)   No comments
Author 3970
Message Tim Anderson

The UN report did blame armed anti-government groups for some crimes but came in much more strongly against the Syrian government, relying on the formal duties of government to "prevent or punish' violence, as well as not commit it (HRC2012: 23).


However the problem here in attempting to blame the government, when the perpetrators had not been properly identified, was not simply the risk of error. This course may have appeased the big powers, which had set themselves against the Syrian Government. The more serious risk -- if they were in fact wrong -- was that the UN would directly encourage more "false flag' terrorism.


The bias in the UN commission's approach to investigation did not go unobserved. Not only was there tremendous pressure from premature statements by UN officials (Secretary General Ban Ki Mon had regularly attacked the Syrian Government) and Security Council members, the Commission was relying mainly on opposition sources, helpfully organised by the US funded exile groups, for its sources.


In late May Italian anti-war activist Marinella Corregia asked UN Commissioner for Human Rights, Rupert Colville, what sources his group was using to investigate the Houla killings and this exchange followed:

"MC: So which witness sources do you have and how did you speak with them?

RC: Our local network, whom we spoke on the phone. I cannot say more; I have to protect them " Our local contacts in Syria say they were Shabbiya. Try to be less cynical.

MC: But no doubt from your side? It seems that many of the children were from Alawite pro-government families"

RC: We are asking for an investigation. I don't say we are certain.' (Valiente 2012)


The second report on the UN's inquiry, released on 15 August, firmed up on the pro-Government militia (Shabiha) line.   The UN report said:

"The commission conducted eight additional interviews, including with six witnesses from the Taldou area, two of whom were survivors " Forty-seven interviews from various sources were considered by the commission. Interviews were consistent in their depiction of events and their description of the perpetrators as Government forces and Shabiha. Apart from two witnesses in the Government report, no other account supported the Government's version of events' (HRC 2012: 10),

i.e., that FSA groups had committed the murders. The problem is, numbers of interviews mean little if the selection process has been poisoned by bias.


Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).


Well Said 2   Valuable 2   Must Read 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Tim Anderson Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Tim Anderson is an academic and social activist based in Sydney, Australia
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Syria: how the violence began, in Daraa

In Defence of the Syrian Arab Army

The Libyan Tragedy: lessons for the western left

Al Jazeera's attacks on Syria: some background

Syria's "false flag' terrorism, Houla and the United Nations

Hugo Chávez, Venezuela and the Corporate Media

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: