Tuesday, January 14, 2014

"Authors of Conflict in Syria Are the US-led Axis" Finian Cunningham

 Peace Movements Must pressure Their Governments to Refrain from Supporting Terrorists in Syria and elsewhere! They must cut through the propagandline according which Assad is dictator! They must  go out and defend Syrian sovereignty and their legal government represented by Bashar al Assad!


Geneva II – Washington’s Plan B for Regime Change in Syria

Finian CUNNINGHAM | 15.01.2014 | 00:00

The fatal problem with the Geneva II negotiations on Syria, due to open next week in Switzerland, is that the process is furtively being treated by the US and its allies as a lever for regime change. It is their Plan B for regime change, where Plan A is the failed covert military tactic. That does not bode well for a successful, that is sustainable, settlement to a crisis that is nearly three years old with well over 100,000 deaths and nine million people – more than a third of the total population – displaced from their homes. It amounts to an illegal interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state, and as such is doomed to fail. 
Of course, Washington and its allies would never admit to this cynicism. No, they couch their baleful, cynical agenda with all sorts of pious platitudes about «peace» and «finding solutions».
But one quick integrity-check is this: there are some 30 countries invited to attend the Geneva conference, including the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and even Brazil and South Africa. But missing from that list like a hole in the head is Syria’s main regional ally, Iran. This omission is due to the insistence of the United States. Such an unreasonable, obstreperous American attitude betrays a hidden ideological objective and belies any genuine interest in finding a peaceful settlement. 
Underscoring the ulterior motive is the seeming American concession that Iran is «welcome» to attend the Geneva II summit – but only if Tehran accepts that the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad must step down. Iran has refused to accept any such precondition for its participation and has reiterated that it is up to the Syrian people to decide on the political outcome of the talks. 
The implicit flaw in the Geneva II process reflects the disingenuous position of the Western powers and their regional Arab and Turk allies towards trying to find a negotiated political settlement to the Syrian conflict. 
Syria’s Assad government has announced its willingness to participate in the conference, which opens on January 22 in the Swiss city of Montreux and continues in Geneva on January 24. It is called Geneva II because a previous conference held in Geneva at the end of June 2012 first set out a framework of constituting a «transitional government». The so-called Geneva I Communiqué clearly states that any political settlement must be mutually worked between Syrian parties and that it may comprise members of the present Syrian government, including Bashar al-Assad. In other words, the communiqué does not pre-empt negotiations.
Why the follow-up Geneva II conference has been delayed for more than 18 months is largely due to prevarication by the Western governments and their sponsored exiled Syrian opposition, the so-called Syrian National Council. The Western powers and their regional proxies have been busily trying to reinterpret the Geneva Communiqué as a statement that imposes the precondition of the Assad government standing down. For Syria and its allies Russia, China and Iran that contravenes the agreed Geneva principle of mutual negotiations and having no preconditions, especially preconditions imposed by foreign parties. (Truth be told, this would not be the first time that the US backtracks on political agreements, as Russia well knows from vacillating negotiations over nuclear arms reduction.)   
US backsliding over Syria was clear immediately following the first Geneva conference when then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sardonically disclosed the ulterior agenda. In a quip to media, Clinton remarked that the continuance of Assad in power would «never be mutually acceptable» and therefore the communiqué, in the US view, was for all intents and purposes a sacking order. 
A lot has changed over the intervening year and half. For a start, the death toll from the violence has probably doubled to the current figure of 130,000. The US and its allies bear responsibility for this bloodshed and destruction from their material support of the various anti-government militias and from their inordinate delay in convening the Geneva II conference. 
A second major change is that Syrian government forces have managed to gain the military upper hand over the foreign-backed militants. Assad’s army has retaken large swathes of the country and has pushed back the insurgents into territorial pockets of the northeastern region. The militants may still hold Syria’s second city of Aleppo in the north and Raqqa in the northeast, but the Syrian Arab Army has been gradually whittling away control of surrounding areas into an ever-tightening noose.
Whereas back in June 2012 Assad’s political future seemed to be in the balance, now his government is more assured that it will overcome the insurgency. Its legitimacy, mandate and sovereignty have been reinforced. This insurgency has always been an externally driven covert campaign for regime change, underpinned by clandestine supply of arms, money and so-called jihadist fighters being funneled into Syria from the US, Britain and France in liaison with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Jordan and Israel. 
Moscow has been well aware of this covert agenda and hence it has stood firm in support of its historic Syrian ally, despite Western governments and media trying to traduce Russia’s principled involvement as «providing succor to a despotic regime». 
The Saudis appear to be the only member of the US-led axis that still retains a commitment to the covert military agenda for regime change. Washington and its other allies have sobered up to the realpolitik that regime change in Syria is not going to happen through the battlefield and wanton acts of terrorism. 
That’s why Clinton’s successor, John Kerry, told the so-called Friends of Syria gathering in Paris last weekend that «there is no military solution, only a political one». The proper way to perceive Kerry’s reasoning is not one of moral exhortation, but more a jaundiced resignation to reality by the US. 
What Kerry means by «solution» is that the long sought-after objective of regime change in Syria must henceforth be achieved through political means because, quite evidently, the covert military option is quickly becoming redundant. 
The Western media myth of «moderate rebels» fighting for democracy in parallel with anti-government «extremists» has collapsed spectacularly to reveal an orgy of heinous violations against civilians and nihilistic feuding between different extremist groups, all of whom profess a ideological link to Al Qaeda. 
In the latest infighting between the extremists in Syria’s northeast, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is reported to have executed hundreds of cadres belonging to the Jabhat al Nusra Front and another militia called Ahrar al-Sham. All of these groups – which were formerly fighting against the Assad forces before turning their guns on each other – espouse the fanatical Wahhabi ideology of Saudi Arabia and are supported materially by the Saudis. It has been reliably reported over several months – albeit in a low-key way – by the New York Times, Daily Telegraph and Le Monde among other Western media outlets that the US has supplied weapons to these Al Qaeda-affiliated groups with Saudi collusion
From the Western viewpoint, the covert military agenda in Syria has degenerated from a smart regime-change tactic into a dangerous, unpredictable loose cannon. The violent repercussions threatening the stability of Iraq, Lebanon and the region, extending as far as Russia as the Volgograd bombing atrocity indicates, is probably not what Washington foresaw being unleashed in such an uncontrollable way. 
Revealing American apprehension, Kerry said last week: «This is part of the reason why the Geneva conference is so critical, because the rise of these terrorists in the region and particularly in Syria and through the fighting in Syria is part of what is unleashing this instability in the rest of the region. That’s why everybody has a stake. All of the [Persian] Gulf states, all of the regional actors, Russia, the United States and a lot of players elsewhere in the world have a stake in pushing back against violent extremist terrorists who respect no law, who have no goal other than to take over power and disrupt lives by force.»
Kerry’s sanctimonious words are, of course, contemptible. Why is Iran pointedly omitted from this panoply of players? What’s more, the extremism raging in the region – the countless bloody death toll – is a direct result of American imperialist machinations fomenting these very same «violent extremist terrorists who respect no law». 
Kerry’s words and his government’s belated concern to convene the Geneva II conference are doubly contemptible because they are nothing more than barefaced deception to salvage a morass of its making. 
Washington’s concern is not to find a political settlement to end the Syrian conflict, but rather to find an alternative way of executing regime change by other means. This is why Washington is desperately trying this week to get its sponsored exile group the Syrian National Council (SNC) to attend the conference. The SNC has minimal political base inside Syria. Even the anti-government militants, whom the SNC presumes to sort-of represent, have rejected it as a political non-entity. 
Nevertheless, the US needs this exiled confected group to attend the Geneva II conference in order to give its «Assad must go» precondition any substance. If the SNC does not attend then all that remains of the Syrian caucus at Geneva is the Assad government and reformist Syrian opposition parties, such as the Syrian Nationalist Party and the Syrian Popular Front for Change and Liberation. The latter opposition groups have said that they are willing to work out a negotiated settlement with the Assad government and, in scathing reference to the Western-backed SNC, they have rejected «a fabricated opposition which lives in fancy hotels and make their money through the blood of Syrian people».
That is the point: the US and its Western allies and their regional proxies, such as Saudi Arabia and Turkey, do not want to allow a genuine political process worked out by the Syrian people. The Orwellian-named Friends of Syria are imposing preconditions to orchestrate their pre-emptive regime-change outcome of Geneva II regardless of the interests or the sovereign rights of the Syrian people. 
By contrast, Russia, China and Iran have shown themselves to be genuine allies of the Syrian people because these powers have insisted that the process must be governed by Syrians without any preconditions. As Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov pointed out, the Western approach to Geneva II is «ideological», not a practical commitment that prioritises finding a peaceful solution. 
If Western interests are allowed to dominate the process, then the Geneva II is doomed to fail in its ostensible objective of achieving a peaceful resolution to the Syrian conflict… This should be no surprise because the authors of the conflict in Syria are the US-led axis, who now present themselves as the authors of peace. How can these actors possibly prescribe peace? And moreover especially because their covert war on Syria is merely being redeployed by other, political, means.

Tags: Al Qaeda UN Middle East Saudi Arabia Syria Turkey US

Finian Cunningham

Originally from Belfast, Ireland, Finian Cunningham (born 1963) is a prominent expert in international affairs. The author and media commentator was expelled from Bahrain in June 2011 for his critical journalism in which he highlighted human rights violations by the Western-backed regime. He is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in journalism. He is also a musician and songwriter. For many years, he worked as an editor and writer in the mainstream news media, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. He is now based in East Africa where he is writing a book on Bahrain and the Arab Spring.He co-hosts a weekly current affairs programme, Sunday at 3pm GMT on Bandung Radio. Finian Cunningham is a frequent contributor to international media, including PRESS TV and nsnbc, where he began contributing in 2012.

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    Finian Cunningham (born 1963) has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. He is a Master's graduate in ...

Abschlusserklärung der Haifa-Konferenz für einen atomwaffenfreien Nahen Osten

Abschlusserklärung der Haifa-Konferenz "Für einen atomwaffenfreien Nahen Osten"

5. - 6. Dezember 2013 in Haifa/Israel

Wenn Israel nicht nach Helsinki geht, dann holen wir  Helsinki nach Israel “ unter diesem Motto haben besorgte israelische Bürger im Dezember letzten Jahres zu einer historischen Konferenz aufgerufen. Anlass dafür war die Befürchtung, dass ein weiterer katastrophaler Krieg im Nahen Osten unmittelbar drohte, dessen Ressourcen als Schmiermittel für große Weltwirtschaftsmächte von massgeblicher Bedeutung sind. Unsere Sorge wuchs vor dem Hintergrund, dass die bereits geplante Helsinki Konferenz entgleist war, die aber einen Prozess zum Auschluss eines solchen Krieges hätte in Gang setzen können. So kam es zu einer Koalition aktiver und emeritierter israelischer Parlamentarier, die sich mit lokalen und international aktiven Friedens- und Menschenrechtsvertretern am 5. und 6. Dezember 2013 in Haifa, Israel zusammenfanden, um zu einer nuklearwaffenfeien Zone in Nahost aufzurufen und um ihrer Forderung nach einer nuklearwaffenfreien Welt Nachdruck zu verleihen.

In einem Grußschreiben an die Konferenz bezeichnete der ehemalige US Präsident Jimmy Carter „das Streben nach Einrichtung einer nuklearwaffenfreien Zone in Nahost, nach einer Zone, die frei von Massenvernichtungsmitteln ist“, nicht nur als „vernünftiges, sondern auch als ein erreichbares Ziel“. Er fügte noch hinzu: „Ich unterstütze das Vorhaben der Organisatoren und rufe alle Staaten der Region dazu auf, unmittelbare Schritte zu ergreifen, um diesen explosiven Teil der Welt von diesen gefährlichen Waffen zu befreien.“

Die Zusammenkunft von Haifa bekräftigte diese Unterstützung für die unmittelbare Einberufung der Helsinki Konferenz zur Schaffung eines solchen Gebietes, das frei von allen Massenvernichtungsmitteln sein muss.
  • Ein solches Vorhaben ist einmütig mandadiert worden durch die turnusmäßige Atomwaffen-Sperrvertrag-Überprüfungskonferenz bei den Vereinten Nationen in New York 2010.
  • Es wurde erneut im September 2013 von hochrangigen Regierungsvertretern in New York eingefordert, anlässlich eines Treffens zum Thema „Nuklearabrüstung“.
  • Es wurde bestätigt von der UN Generalversammlung im Dezember 2013.
  • Es wird unterstützt von der „Bewegung der Blockfreien Staaten“.
Wir anerkennen die Bedeutung beider Vereinbarungen, die für den Augenblick den Krieg verhindern. Syrien ist im Begriff seine Chemiewaffen abzuschaffen. Der Iran ist dabei in Zusammenarbeit mit einer Gruppe von Staaten Differenzen über sein Atomprogramm auf diplomatischem Wege zu lösen. Wir begrüßen die bevorstehenden Verhandlungen in Genf, die zum Ziel haben, den Krieg in Syrien zu beenden ebenso  begrüßen wir  die im Gang befindlichen Verhandlungen mit dem Iran.

Die Konferenz von Haifa begrüßt das Zustandekommen der 'Israelischen Koalition für die Befreiung des Nahen Osten von Nuklear – und anderen Massenvernichtungswaffen', die sich im Laufe der Konferenzvorbereitung herauskristallisiert hat. Die Koalition hat sich die Aufgabe gestellt, ihren Wirkungskreis zu erweitern und mehr Interessenten für diesen neuen öffentlich Diskurs zu gewinnen. Sie ist gleichermaßen bestrebt, Beziehungen zu gleichgesinnten Organisationen in der Region und darüber hinaus in der Welt zu knüpfen. Die Mitglieder der Koalition sind davon überzeugt, dass die 'Politik der atomaren Ambiguität' sich längst überlebt hat und dass die regionalen und globalen Bedingungen eine neue Politik erfordern. Diese neue Politik würde das Ende des israelischen Atommonopols zur Konsquenz haben. Wir müssen uns die Alternative eingestehen, die da lautet: Entweder Atomwaffen für alle oder die völlige Entfernung aller Massenvernichtungsmittel  aus der Region, einschließlich jener in Israel, im Iran, in Saudarabien und anderswo. Unsere Wahl ist klar: Wir votieren für einen Nahen Osten ohne Atomwaffen und ohne jegliche Massenvernichtungswaffen.

Die Koalition verwahrt sich  gegenüber jeglicher rassistischer Phraseologie. Sie wendet sich  gegen regionale Kriegsdrohungen und verurteilt mit aller Entschiedenheit jede Gewaltandrohung oder gar Ermutigungen zum Einsatz Massenvernichtungsmitteln .

50 Jahre sind seit dem Bau des Dimona Reaktors vergangen und die Israelische Koaltion ist davon überzeugt, dass jetzt die Zeit für ein Umdenken gekommen ist, die Zeit für ein neues antinukleares Denken, für ein Denken, das den Bürgern Israels und der gesamten Region den Horror des Einsatzes von Nuklearwaffen ersparen wird und.  Ein Horrorszenario käme nicht nur für den Fall auf uns zu, dass Israel mittels solcher Waffen angegriffen würde, sondern auch für den Fall, dass es dergleichen Waffen als erstes einsetzen sollte. Wir unterstützen daher die Forderungen der Koalition gegenüber dem Staat Israel für:

  • Entschlossene und unermüdliche Bemühungen, um den Nahen Osten nuklear-und massenvernichtsmittelfrei zu machen
  • Konstruktive und wohlmeinende Teilnahme an der Helsinki Konferenz
  • Teilnahme an der Konferenz in Mexiko über die humanitären Auswirkungen von Nuklearwaffen
  • Den Beitritt zu allen Verträge und völkerrechtlichen Instrumente mit Bezug auf Nuklear- und Massenvernichtungswaffen sowie deren Ratifizierung
  •  Ein Verbot des Erwerbs von solchen Waffen.  Für die Beendigung der Produktion, der Lagerung und der Drohung mit dem Einsatz von Massenvernichtungsmitteln.
  • Unterziehung aller Nuklearanlagen  unter die Sicherheitsstandards der Internationalen Energie Behörde, für die Überwachung und Verfikation der Maßnahmen durch die  zuständige UN-Behörde
  • Vollkommene Offenlegung aller radioaktiven und toxischen Verunreinigung, die durch die Dimona Anlagen verursacht wurden, sei es in der Luft, auf der Erde oder im Grundwasser. Diese Verunreinigungen gefährden das Leben von Israelis, von Palästinensern und auch von Völkern der anliegenden Länder und des Mittelmeeres.
  • Schließung, Außerbetriebsetzung, Sicherung, Sanierung und vollkommene Offenlegung aller Einrichtungen bezüglich Massenvernichtungsmitteln
  • Nukleare Abrüstung und die vollständige Einstellung der Entwicklung von Nuklearwaffen in der Region. Dies ist ein wesentlicher Bestandteil der zu erstrebenden Friedenssicherung in der Region und sollte dazu beitragen, die israelische Besatzung von palästinensischen und anderen arabischen Territorien als Bestandteil eines gerechten und dauerhaften Friedens zu ermöglichen.

  • Die gleichberechtigte Teilnahme von Frauen auf allen Ebenen der anstehenden Debatten und bei den diplomatischen Schritte zur Umsetzung dieser Forderungen

    Wir rufen die internationale Gemeinschaft auf, die obigen Forderungen der 'Israelischen Koaltion' zu unterstützen und die Kampagne für einen nuklearwaffen- und massenvernichtungswaffenfreien Nahen Osten voranzutreiben, in dem sie:

  • Die Existenz der 'Israelischen Koalition' bekannt macht
  • Diese Verlautbarung weit verbreitet
  • Eine Petition in Umlauf bringt, mit der die UNO aufgefordert wird, die Helsinki Konferenz umgehend einzuberufen und die Umsetzung der obigen Forderungen voranzutreiben

Mit tiefem Bedauern nahm die Konferenz vom Tode Nelson Mandelas Kentnis.
Wir sehen in unseren Anstrengungen die Fortsetzung des Kampfes für die Ziele, denen er sein Leben gewidmet hat: Befreiung,Versöhnung, Nuklearabrüstung

Alle genannten Bemühungen werden in dieser kritischen Zeit dazu beitragen, die Eliminierung von Atomwaffen und Massenvernichtunsmitteln voranzutreiben. Auf diese Weise werden sich auch die Spannungen verringern und das Konfliktpotential wird abnehmen, das zum Krieg führt. Wir akzeptieren die Verpflichtung den Inhalt dieser Erklärung umsetzen zu helfen.

Für mehr Information und zur Unterstützung der Erklärung: haifawmdfz@gmail.com

Übersetzung aus dem Englischen Irene Eckert

Israeli Coalition

Issam Makhoul Chairperson of Emil Touma Institute for Palestinian and Israeli Studies Former MK
Avraham Burg Senior Fellow and International Coordinator in Bruno Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue, Former Speaker of Israeli Knesset
Prof. Naomi Chazan Dean of School of Government and Society in the Academic College of Tel-Aviv-Yaffo
Dr. Dov Khenin, MK
Mossi Raz Former MK, Chairperson of the of the "Israeli Anti-Nuclear Movement"
Tamar Gozansky President of the Movement of Democratic Women in Israel, Former MK
Gideon Spiro Journalist and Member of the Committee for a Middle East Free from Atomic, Biological and Chemical Weapons 
Dr. Ruchama Marton President and Founder of Physicians for Human Rights - Israel 
Prof. Colman Altman Emeritus Professor, Department of Physics, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology
Aida Touma-Sliman Director of Women Against Violenc, Editor of Alitihad
Sharon Dolev Director of the Israeli Anti-Nuclear Movement
Prof. Avishai Ehrlich Academic College of Tel-Aviv-Yaffo
Dr. John Assi An-Najah University, Director of the UNESCO Chair
Akiva Eldar Al-monitor, Journalist
Adam Keller Gush Shalom 
Michael Warshivsky Alternative Information Center
Dr. Edna Gorney Isha L'Isha - Haifa Feminist Center
Fathia Sageer General secretary of the Movement of Democratic Women in Israel
Dr. Asher Davidi Tel Aviv University
Prof. Dani Filc Ben Gurion University 
Dr. Ishai Menuchin Director of The Public Committee Against Torture. 
Dr. Ahmad Massarwi 
Dr. Ofer Cassif Hebrew University
Dr. Hatim Kanaaneh Physicians for Human Rights - Israel
Hillel Schenker Co-editor of Palestine-Israel Journal
Uri Weltmann Teacher

International Delegates
Alfred Marder Honorary President of the International Association of Peace Messenger Cities (USA)
Prof. Tadatoshi Akiba Former Mayor of Hiroshima and Chairperson of the Middle Powers Initiative (JAPAN)
Jacqueline Cabasso Director ofWestern States Legal Foundation Working for Peace & Justice in a Nuclear Free World (USA)
Michelle Demessine French Senate member
Wolfgang Gehrcke Member of the German Bundestag 
Dr. Henry Lowendorf US Peace Council
Dusan Stojanovic Deputy Secretary General of the International Association of Peace Messenger Cities (SLOVENIA)
Prof.Fanny-Michaela Reisin President of the International League for Human Rights - FIDH/AEDH (GERMANY)
Mathilde caroly Communist Party of France, Foreign Relationships
Aymeric Duvoisin Communist Party of France 
Irene Eckert Working Circle for Peace Policy (GERMANY)
Mamadou Diop Mouvement Senegalais de la Paix, Secretaire aux relations exterieures (SENEGAL)
Cathy Goodman US Peace Council (QATAR)
Odile Hugonot Haber The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom,Co-chair of the Middle East Committee (USA)
Mario Franssen Mouvement Intal Beweging (BELGIUM)
Giorgos Koukoumas AKEL (CYPRUS)
Harri Gruenberg Die Linke (GERMANY)
Zisis Zannas SYRIZA (GREECE)
Edouard Brion, Mouvement Chretien pour la Paix (BELGIUM)
Madelyn Hoffman Executive Director of NJ Peace Action (USA)
Jeffrey Klein MA Peace Action (USA)
Olivette Mikolajczak AMPGN (IPPNW) (BELGIUM)
Teodora Velichkova Youth Organization of Socialist Party of Bulgaria