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Sat Dec 24, 2011, 10:43 PM

"By all Means Necessary" - Human Rights Watch 88-page December Report on Syria

Since the beginning of anti-government protests in March 2011, Syrian security forces have
killed more than 4,000 protesters, injured many more, and arbitrarily arrested tens of
thousands across the country, subjecting many of them to torture in detention. These
abuses, extensively documented by Human Rights Watch based on statements of hundreds
of victims and witnesses, were committed as part of a widespread and systematic attack
against the civilian population and thus constitute crimes against humanity.

This report focuses on the individual and command responsibility of Syrian military
commanders and intelligence officials for these crimes. It is based on interviews with 63
defectors both from the army and from the intelligence agencies, generally known as the
mukhabarat. These defectors shared with Human Rights Watch detailed information about
their units’ participation in violations and the orders they received from commanders at
different levels. The defectors provided information on violations that occurred in seven of
Syria’s fourteen governorates: Damascus, Daraa, Homs, Idlib, Tartous, Deir al-Zor, and

Human Rights Watch interviewed all of the defectors separately and at length. Violations
described in this report are those that were described separately by several defectors and
with sufficient detail to convince the researcher that the interviewees had first-hand
knowledge of the incidents in question. Several accounts have been excluded because
interviewees did not provide such detail.


Thank god for HRW.

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Reply "By all Means Necessary" - Human Rights Watch 88-page December Report on Syria (Original post)
tabatha Dec 2011 OP
stockholmer Dec 2011 #1
joshcryer Dec 2011 #2
tabatha Dec 2011 #3
stockholmer Dec 2011 #8
tabatha Dec 2011 #9
stockholmer Dec 2011 #10
David__77 Dec 2011 #5
David__77 Dec 2011 #4
pinboy3niner Dec 2011 #6
joshcryer Dec 2011 #7

Response to tabatha (Original post)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 11:18 PM

1. over half the deaths were pro-Assad, Syrian Army, or neutrals, sniped off by assorted terror mercs


brought in by the US/UK/Israel axis. Many of these are Chechen or ex-al Qaeda porta-goons fresh outta Libya. This is one big psy-op designed to roll up one of the last 4 nations that doesn't have a City of London network-controlled central bank. (North Korea, Cuba, and Iran are the other's, now that Libya was invaded).

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Response to stockholmer (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 11:22 PM

2. Source?

You're spouting regime propaganda.

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Response to stockholmer (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 11:29 PM

3. Good lord - what a load of total crap.

Please provide some evidence.

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Response to tabatha (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 25, 2011, 03:56 AM

8. Free Syrian Army commanded by Military Governor of Tripoli



The UN Security Council members are at loggerheads over the interpretation of the events that are rocking Syria. On one hand, France, the United Kingdom and the United States claim that a revolution has swept the country, in the aftermath of the "Arab Spring", and suffering a bloody crackdown. On the other hand, Russia’s and China’s take is that Syria is having to cope with armed gangs from abroad, which it is fighting awkwardly thereby causing collateral victims among the civilian population it seeks to protect.

The on-the-spot investigation undertaken by Voltaire Network validated the latter interpretation http://www.voltairenet.org/a171975 . We have collected eyewitness testimonies from those who survived an armed attack by a foreign gangs. They describe them as being Iraqis, Jordanians or Libyans, recognizable by their accent, as well as Pashtun.

In recent months, a certain number of Arab newspapers, favorable to the Al-Assad administration, discussed the infiltration into Syria of 600 to 1,500 fighters from the Islamic Fighting Group in Libya (IFGL), rebranded Al Qaeda in Libya since November 2007. In late November 2011, the Libyan press reported the attempt by the Zintan militia to detain Abdel Hakim Belhaj, companion of Osama Bin Laden http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/09/02/abdul-hakim-belhaj-libya-s-powerful-islamist-leader.html and historic leader of Al Qaeda in Libya, who became military governor of Tripoli by the grace of NATO http://www.voltairenet.org/a171328 . The scene took place at Tripoli airport, as he was leaving for Turkey. Finally, Turkish newspapers mentioned Mr. Belhaj’s presence at the Turkish-Syrian.

Such reports have been met with disbelief on the part of all those who regard Al Qaeda and NATO are irreconcilable enemies between whom no cooperation is possible. Instead, they reinforce the thesis which I have defended since the attacks of September 11, 2001, that Al Qaeda fighters are mercenaries of the service of the CIA http://www.voltairenet.org/a170002 .



The Pentagon's "Salvador Option": The Deployment of Death Squads in Iraq and Syria


The following article is Part II of a three part series.

Part I of this research focusses on the broad implications of a US-NATO "humanitarian" military campaign against Syria.

This present essay (Part II below) focusses on the history of the Pentagon's "Salvador Option" in Iraq and its relevance to Syria.

The program was implemented under the tenure of John D. Negroponte, who served as US ambassador to Iraq (June 2004-April 2005). The current ambassador to Syria, Robert S. Ford was part of Negroponte's team in Baghdad in 2004-2005.


John Negroponte- Robert S. Ford. The Iraq "Salvador Option"

In January 2005, following Negroponte's appointment as US ambassador to Iraq, the Pentagon confirmed in a story leaked to Newsweek that it was "considering forming hit squads of Kurdish and Shia fighters to target leaders of the Iraqi insurgency in a strategic shift borrowed from the American struggle against left-wing guerrillas in Central America 20 years ago". (El Salvador-style 'death squads' to be deployed by US against Iraq militants - Times Online, January 10, 2005)

John Negroponte and Robert S. Ford at the US Embassy worked closely together on the Pentagon's project. Two other embassy officials, namely Henry Ensher (Ford's Deputy) and a younger official in the political section, Jeffrey Beals, played an important role in the team "talking to a range of Iraqis, including extremists". (See The New Yorker, March 26, 2007). Another key individual in Negroponte's team was James Franklin Jeffrey, America's ambassador to Albania (2002-2004). Jeffrey is currently the US Ambassador to Iraq. Negroponte also brought into the team one of his former collaborators Colonel James Steele (ret) from his Honduras heyday:

Under the "Salvador Option," "Negroponte had assistance from his colleague from his days in Central America during the 1980's, Ret. Col James Steele. Steele, whose title in Baghdad was Counselor for Iraqi Security Forces supervised the selection and training of members of the Badr Organization and Mehdi Army, the two largest Shi'ite militias in Iraq, in order to target the leadership and support networks of a primarily Sunni resistance. Planned or not, these death squads promptly spiralled out of control to become the leading cause of death in Iraq.



Libya, Syria, and the West: An Interview With Andrew Gavin Marshall


Devon DB: Seeing as how the rebels are split into factions, do you think this will come back to haunt the US and NATO in the formation of the new Libyan government?

Mr. Marshall: The fact that the rebels are split into factions is not a surprise to the West. From the beginning of the TNC (Transitional National Council), the organization was factionalized, and with the recent assassination of one of the military commanders (several weeks prior to the storming of Tripoli), these factions were known to be in competition. Thus, it is likely that this potential was taken into consideration by Western strategists. Whomever may become supreme within the TNC in a power struggle, it would be likely that the country could descend into a more chaotic system or civil war. If the al-Qaeda rebel factions (those with the most military training and experience) were to get a strong foothold in the country, this could even provide the West with a pretext for an occupation of Libya in order to “secure” the “transition” of the country into a liberal democratic structure.

It seems unlikely that the West would support a new dictatorship in Libya. In 2005, the Council on Foriegn Relations (the premier strategic policy planning institution in the United States – the “imperial brain trust” as some theorists have referred to them) produced a document, “In Support of Arab Democracy” http://www.cfr.org/democracy-promotion/support-arab-democracy/p8166 . One of its chief authors was Madeleine Albright, a protégé of the most influential strategic thinker in the American Empire, Zbigniew Brzezinski. The ultimate conclusion laid out in the report was that the United States needed to undertake a strategy of “democracy promotion” in the Arab world, replacing once-plient dictatorships with more stable, secure liberal democratic states. The report stated quite emphatically, that democracy should be promoted through “Evolution, not revolution.” However, it also emphasized the need to employ different strategies in different countries, and not resort to a “one-size fits all” strategy. With the ‘Arab Spring’, the democracy promotion agenda was forced to the forefront and had to act, pre-empt, and co-opt at a rate in which it was perhaps not prepared. Thus, we have seen the co-optation (or attempted co-optation, since these events have not yet subsided) of the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.

A true revolution is a threat to Western domination of the region, its resources and population. Thus, evolution into liberal democratic states is preferable to a true people’s revolution. True democracy, however, is not desired by Western strategists. True democracy (where the people would rule) is anathema to American imperial interests for a very clear reason: the public opinion of the Arab world.

In 2010, a major Western polling agency conducted a survery of popular opinion in the Arab world. Among the findings were that a vast majority felt that Iran had a right to a nuclear program (as high as 97% agreed with that in Egypt), that a majority felt Iran obtaining nuclear weapons would be good for the stability of the Middle East, and that the two countries which were perceived as the “biggest threat” to the Middle East were Israel and the United States, respectively (with 88% and 77%) while Iran was perceived as a major threat by only 10%, China by 3%, and Syria by 1%. Download document at: http://www.brookings.edu/reports/2010/0805_arab_opinion_poll_telhami.aspx

Thus, we must see the current upheavals in the Arab world as part of a larger, global strategy. Following the collapse of the USSR, Western liberal capitalist democracy was promoted as the “winner” of the Cold War, and the only system worthy of upholding. Thus, Yugoslavia, a socialist state, had to be dismantled so that no “alternatives” to the Western dominated system may persevere. The Latin American dictatorships, so strongly supported for decades (and indeed much longer), were no longer sustainable. The neoliberal reforms of the age of ‘structural adjustment’ (promoted and implemented by the IMF and World Bank from the 1980s onward) had thoroughly discredited the states that implemented them, both in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa.


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Response to stockholmer (Reply #8)

Sun Dec 25, 2011, 10:16 AM

9. You have broken the rules of posting - too many paragraphs.

Firstly, Abdel Hakim Belhaj is NOT AL Qaeda:

In November 2007 Noman Benotman, described as the "ex-head of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group", published on open letter to al-Qaeda.[14][15][16] According to The Times:[15]

"In November last year Noman Benotman, ex-head of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group which is trying to overthrow the regime of Muammar Gaddafi, published a letter which asked Al-Qaeda to give up all its operations in the Islamic world and in the West, adding that ordinary westerners were blameless and should not be attacked."

Noman Benotman's letter to Zawahiri was published in Akhbar Libya (News) as an op-ed clarification in November 2007. The gist is that al-Qaeda's efforts have been counterproductive and used as "subterfuge" by some Western countries to extend their regional ambitions. These comments were first aired at a meeting in Kandahar in the summer of 2000.[17]

On 10 July 2009, The Telegraph reported that some member organisations of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group had split with Al Qaeda.[9]


Saying that LIFG is Al Qaeda because they fought on the same side, would be saying that the US is Al Qaeda because it fought along side Osama Bin Laden at one time.


Syria presents an even bigger obstacle to stability in the region. While Syria remains closed to much of the Western media, Bouckaert and another HRW researcher traveled into the country by hiking across the Turkish border under the radar of the Syrian military that had withdrawn at the time. Using an already established in-country extensive network of contacts, Bouckaert and his colleague were “able to document what’s happening and we know it’s not an armed Islamist uprising against the government. It’s the government slaughtering peaceful protesters.

In order to understand what happened in Syria and ensure the international community takes effective measures to stop the bloodshed, the latest Human Rights Watch Report is instructive. The report titled “Individual and Command Responsibility for The Crimes against Humanity in Syria” is based on more than 60 interviews with defectors from the Syrian military and intelligence agencies. Former Syrian soldiers identified 74 commanders and officials by name who allegedly ordered, authorized, or condoned widespread killings, torture, and unlawful arrests during the 2011 anti-government protests. Human Rights Watch has urged the Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and impose sanctions against the officials implicated in abuses. Whether or not the report — which gives recommendations to Russia, China, the Arab League and Turkey — will be effective in preventing this bloodshed is questionable. However, disclosure of the tragic events that have been witnessed by the soldiers below, whose names have been changed for their protection, is very important.


This Andrew Marshall?
Marshall has been noted for fostering talent in younger associates, who then proceed to influential positions in and out of the federal government: "a slew of Marshall's former staffers have gone on to industry, academia and military think tanks."[2] Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz, among others, have been cited as Marshall "star protégés."[3]


I stand by my original assessment of crap.

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Response to tabatha (Reply #9)

Sun Dec 25, 2011, 01:59 PM

10. I didnt violate rules, those are seperate articles, also you have the wrong Andrew Marshall


As for Belhaj, you are just wrong, as well:

Case Study - the Libya invasion and US/UK/NATO support of al-Qaeda :

Abdel Hakim Belhaj is a ranking al-Qaeda leader (emir of the Islamic Fighting Group of Libya)

http://www.pvtr.org/pdf/Report/RSIS_Libya.pdf (page 18 has interview with Belhaj)

One of Belhaj's underlings is Nasser Tailamoun, who was Osama bin Laden's driver. Qadaffi released these 2, plus dozens of other radicals, in September of 2010.



US and NATO use and support of al-Qaeda in the Libya coup d' etat

Abdel Hakim Belhaj, Tripoli's newly installed military governor (also a key official within Libya's National Transitional Council), is linked to Al Qaeda, reports Liberátion (Leftist French newspaper).



Belhaj is the former head of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (an affiliate group of Al Qaeda). In 2003, Belhaj was arrested in Malaysia in 2003, later being interrogated by CIA in 2004 in Thailand. He was set free in Libya in 2008.

It's important to note Belhaj is supported by NATO, as Le Parisien and MSN France report:



10 h 20. Un islamiste à la tête du commandement militaire de la rébellion à Tripoli. Abdelhakim Belhadj a été le chef militaire qui a préparé, avec l'aide de l'Otan, la prise du QG de Kadhafi, à Bab Al-Azizya. Al-Jazeera lui a consacré un long entretien en direct du QG à l'issue des combats. Ancien dirigeant du Groupe islamique des combattants libyens (GICL), lié à Al-Qaida, Abdelhakim Belhadj, a été arrêté en 2004 par les Américains en Asie et livré par la suite à la Libye, selon la presse arabe. Il aurait bénéficié de l'amnistie de centaines d'islamistes libyens en mars 2010 ordonnée par Saif Al-Islam, fils préféré de Kadhafi.


Karel Abderrahim, a researcher at the Institute of International and Strategic Relations (Institut de relations internationales et stratégiques, a French think tank) said in an interview to La Croix, a Catholic French newspaper, that he is skeptical about the dissolution of Al Qaeda-Libyan Islamic Fighting Group:


Further background:




Libyan rebel commander admits his fighters have al-Qaeda links


"Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, the Libyan rebel leader, has said jihadists who fought against allied troops in Iraq are on the front lines of the battle against Muammar Gaddafi's regime.

In an interview with the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, Mr al-Hasidi admitted that he had recruited "around 25" men from the Derna area in eastern Libya to fight against coalition troops in Iraq. Some of them, he said, are "today are on the front lines in Adjabiya".

Mr al-Hasidi insisted his fighters "are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists," but added that the "members of al-Qaeda are also good Muslims and are fighting against the invader".

His revelations came even as Idriss Deby Itno, Chad's president, said al-Qaeda had managed to pillage military arsenals in the Libyan rebel zone and acquired arms, "including surface-to-air missiles, which were then smuggled into their sanctuaries"....................


flashback 2 years (including Young Turks video) more US support of terrorist groups

Saudis and CIA back Khalid Sheikh Mohammad’s Jundullah in Pakistan and Iran?



flashhback to 2007 (BBC)

Libyan Islamists 'join al-Qaeda'

Zawahri called for North African leaders to be overthrown
A Libyan Islamist group has joined al-Qaeda, according to an audio message on the internet attributed to the radical network's second-in-command.
Ayman al-Zawahri purportedly said the Fighting Islamic Group in Libya was becoming part of al-Qaeda.



flasback to 2002 (Guardian UK) French intelligence experts revealed how western intelligence agencies bankrolled a Libyan Al-Qaeda cell


MI6 'halted bid to arrest bin Laden'Startling revelations by French intelligence experts back David Shayler's alleged 'fantasy'about Gadaffi plot

British intelligence paid large sums of money to an al-Qaeda cell in Libya in a doomed attempt to assassinate Colonel Gadaffi in 1996 and thwarted early attempts to bring Osama bin Laden to justice.
The latest claims of MI6 involvement with Libya's fearsome Islamic Fighting Group, which is connected to one of bin Laden's trusted lieutenants, will be embarrassing to the Government, which described similar claims by renegade MI5 officer David Shayler as 'pure fantasy'


Lies, War, and Empire: NATO’s “Humanitarian Imperialism” in Libya (Video + Article)



It has been said, “In war, truth is the first casualty.” Libya is no exception. From the lies that started the war, to the rebels linked to al-Qaeda, ethnically cleansing black Libyans, killing civilians, propaganda, PR firms, intelligence agents, and possible occupation; Libya is a more complex story than the fairy tale we have been sold. Reality always is.

What Were the ‘Reasons’ for ‘Intervention’?

We were sold the case for war in Libya as a “humanitarian intervention.” We were told, of course, that we “needed” to intervene in Libya because Muammar Gaddafi was killing his own people in large numbers; those people, on the same token, were presented as peaceful protesters resisting the 40-plus year reign of a brutal dictator.

In early March of 2011, news headlines in Western nations reported that Gaddafi would kill half a million people.<1> On March 18, as the UN agreed to launch air strikes on Libya, it was reported that Gaddafi had begun an assault against the rebel-held town of Benghazi. The Daily Mail reported that Gaddafi had threatened to send in his African mercenaries to crush the rebellion.<2> Reports of Libyan government tanks sitting outside Benghazi poised for an invasion were propagated in the Western media.<3> In the lead-up to the United Nations imposing a no-fly zone, reports spread rapidly through the media of Libyan government jets bombing the rebels.<4> Even in February, the New York Times – the sacred temple for the ‘stenographers of power’ we call “journalists” – reported that Gaddafi was amassing “thousands of mercenaries” to defend Tripoli and crush the rebels.<5> Italy’s Foreign Minister declared that over 1,000 people were killed in the fighting in February, citing the number as “credible.”<6> Even a top official with Human Rights Watch declared the rebels to be “peaceful protesters” who “are nice, sincere people who want a better future for Libya.”<7> The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights declared that “thousands” of people were likely killed by Gaddafi, “and called for international intervention to protect civilians.”<8> In April, reports spread near and far at lightning speed of Gaddafi’s forces using rape as a weapon of war, with the first sentence in a Daily Mail article declaring, “Children as young as eight are being raped in front of their families by Gaddafi’s forces in Libya,” with Gaddafi handing out Viagra to his troops in a planned and organized effort to promote rape.<9>

As it turned out, these claims – as posterity notes – turned out to be largely false and contrived. Doctors Without Borders and Amnesty International both investigated the claims of rape, and “have found no first-hand evidence in Libya that rapes are systematic and being used as part of war strategy,” and their investigations in Eastern Libya “have not turned up significant hard evidence supporting allegations of rapes by Qaddafi’s forces.” Yet, just as these reports came out, Hillary Clinton declared that the U.S. is “deeply concerned by reports of wide-scale rape” in Libya.<10> Even U.S. military and intelligence officials had to admit that, “there is no evidence that Libyan military forces are being given Viagra and engaging in systematic rape against women in rebel areas”; at the same time Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, “told a closed-door meeting of officials at the UN that the Libyan military is using rape as a weapon in the war with the rebels and some had been issued the anti-impotency drug. She reportedly offered no evidence to backup the claim.”<11>



article is heavily footnoted and sourced (127 total footnotes) with hyperlinks as well

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Response to stockholmer (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 11:42 PM

5. I think that you're a little off here.

This is not about "City of London," though Lyndon LaRouche might say so. And Syria would need to produce evidence of foreign detained terrorists, but has not. And China, Vietnam, Laos, among other countries do not have "City of London network-controlled central banks." Somalia certainly doesn't!

And the HRW report does acknowledge the killings of police, soldiers and security forces.

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Response to tabatha (Original post)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 11:38 PM

4. A bunch of statements by people using pseudonyms?

"63 interviews with defectors..." who are anonymous, but if their accounts were true should be able to be identified by the Syrian authorities anyway, due to the very specific claims made. It raises the question as to why not a one would identify themselves. It is not as if there aren't thousands of opposition members who are known to Syrian intelligence by name and place of residence.

It is an interesting report. I do not agree with all of the conclusions and recommendations reached based on the 63 anonymous interviewees, though many of the recommendations to Syria have merit.

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Response to David__77 (Reply #4)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 11:51 PM

6. It's not true that "not a one would identify themselves"

HRW's report makes it clear who changed their names and why:

Syria has been and remains under an information blockade, and obtaining information about the government crackdown on protesters is extremely difficult. Those who speak to investigators or share information through electronic means face severe repercussions. To protect defectors, other witnesses, and their families, Human Rights Watch has changed their names and withheld information about the location of the interviews. In the report, pseudonyms are indicated with quotation marks.

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Response to David__77 (Reply #4)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 11:58 PM

7. I don't think the Syrian authorities could identify them so easily.

There are probably a lot of missing and dead on both sides, the defectors could be presumed dead.

It's a lot different to be an opposition member of the civilian public than it is to be an objector. In some states being an objector means jail time or even death and punishment.

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