Morning Star (UK)

October 15, 2015

By Felicity Arbuthnot

How speedily the lies of the “international community” in general and those of Britain and the US in particular about Syria are unraveling since Russia got involved.

Take Prime Minister David Cameron. On September 24 2014 he addressed the United Nations and committed Britishaircraft to attack Islamic State (Isis) in Iraq, adding unequivocally that there would be no similar action in Syria and absolutely no “boots on the ground.”

Referring to Iraq he added that the West should not be frozen by “past mistakes.” If Iraq is a “mistake,” heaven alone knows what a catastrophe would look like.

Cameron of course was being economical with the truth. In 2013 Parliament voted not to attack Syria, making Cameron the first prime minister in 200 years to lose a parliamentary war vote.

It would anyway have been another illegal action, since Britain had not been invited by the Syrian government and had no UN mandate. However, in July this year it transpired that British pilots had been “embedded” with US and Canadian forces and had flown “intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and strike missions,” according to the Ministry of Defence.

On September 7 this year Cameron announced that aBritish drone strike in Syria had killed two British citizens fighting with Isis. What an irony that Britain, having accused other nations of “killing their own people,” terrorists or not, now sees Cameron kill his “own people” in a”targeted assassination.”

Michael Clarke, director-general of London’shawkish Royal United Services Institute, said the pair were “targeted in an area “The government insisted that, unlike CIA drones, [British drones] were never used for targeted assassinations in territories where we were not militarily engaged.” Another government lie pinned.

Cameron’s pledge not to put “boots on the ground” was called into doubt two months ago by a SundayExpress report that said that SAS soldiers were operating in Syria, “dressed inblack and flying Isis flags.”

It is an echo of what happened in Basra, Iraq,in September 2005, when British special forces dressed in Arab clothing were arrested driving an explosives-laden car.

Had the car been detonated, “Iraqi insurgents” would have been blamed. In the end the British military demolishedthe police station in order to free the would-be bombers.

In August it was reported that SAS troops in Syria, “dressed in US uniforms, joined US special forces” to assassinate alleged Isis financier Abu Sayyaf and kidnap his wife. It appears the British government only ever acts with the US, or at its behest, while sidelining our own Parliament.

When it comes to the Russians, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is clear about the head-chopping, culture-erasing monsters besieging Syria — CIA-trained or not — stating recently: “If it lookslike a terrorist, if it acts like a terrorist, if it walks like a terrorist, if it fights like a terrorist, it’s a terrorist, right?”

But, in a response which illuminated Washington’s selective stance, US Secretary of State John Kerry said: “What is important is Russia has to not be engaged in any activities against anybody but Isis. That’s clear. We have made that very clear.”

Britain and the US of course are both bombing and supporting insurgents entirely illegally in Syria, having no UN mandate and no request from the country’s government. Did Kerry even blush when Lavrov remarked — over the unspoken questions as to whether Russia would extend its air attacks to terrorist groups in Iraq — that they had no such plans. “We are polite people, we don’t come if not invited,” Lavrov said.

Russian President Vladimir Putinis equally clear about the terms of the country’s involvement: “We have … an invitation and we intend to fight against terrorist organisations and them only” — possibly referring to allegations that the US has been targeting Syriangovernment forces.

Before beginning air strikes in Syria, the Russians informed US officials. Not long afterwards, stories began to emerge of Russianattacks killing civilians. Sadly for the US fearmongers, the Russian planes had not even left the ground at the time the reports surfaced.

By October 2,panic had set in among the “US-led coalition” which called “on Moscow to immediately cease attacks on the Syrian opposition and to focus on fighting Isis.” The statement was issued by France, Turkey, the US, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Britain.

But the cat was already out of the bag, and a US official claimed to the Wall Street Journal that the Russian strikes had hit CIA-backed insurgents. “One area hit was a location primarily held by rebels receiving funding, arms, training from the CIA and its allies,” the paper reported.

And there are good reasons to think more deeply about who exactly the US is backing in Syria. Aside from the “moderate” insurgents fighting the Syrian government, there have been some serious allegations made that the US has a bit of a softspot for the Nusra Front — the al-Qaida “affiliate” in Syria.

In June, Robert Fisk reported that not only was US ally Qatar trying to rehabilitate the group but that French intelligence reports claimed US jets were avoiding bombing Nusra Front positions.

And in August disgraced US ex-CIA director David Petraeus suggested the US arm the terrorist group, supposedly using it to defeat Isis.

In response to Russia’s military support for Damascus, US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power called “on Russia to immediately cease attacks on Syrian opposition and civilians.” Such action, she warned, “will only fuel more extremism and radicalisation.”

For a US official this is an incredible thing to say, as until the US-British invasion of Iraq in 2003 there simply were no
fanatical terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria, swathes of whose territory are now controlled by Isis. Indeed they were two of the most secular countries in the region.

Syria, from lies, to heartbreak, to cultural destruction, has become a microcosm of the demented, ridiculous “war on terror.” The lies and subterfugeto justify the horror have become more desperate but only the most wilfully ignorant obtuse can avoid noticing that Terrorists R US.