|Anthony Freda Art|
Nearly two years ago, in November, 2012, Barack Obama made his now infamous remarks that “there’s no country on Earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders.”
Obama’s statements, of course, were designed to act as cover and protection for the Zionist settler state of Israel as it launched and continues to launch violent campaigns of slaughter and extermination against the Palestinians. Obama reiterated his position by stating that the United States supported Israel in its “right to defend itself” against “missiles landing on people’s homes and potentially killing civilians.”
The idea, obviously, was that Israel was being forced to defend itself against terrorism, i.e. the bombing of civilians and the launching of missiles across the border into its territory.
While leaving the Israeli question aside, and while neglecting to point out that, at the time of the statement, Obama’s own government was involved in the bombing of Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, and had just concluded the bombing of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, one might fast forward to 2014 as the United States rains down bombs on sovereign Syrian soil.
For instance, as The Associated Press reported,
U.S.-led airstrikes targeted Syrian oil installations held by the extremist Islamic State group overnight and early Thursday, killing at least 19 people as more families of militants left their key stronghold, fearing further raids, activists said.
The Islamic State group is believed to control 11 oil fields in Iraq and Syria. The new strikes involved six U.S. warplanes and 10 more from the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, mainly hitting small-scale refineries used by the militants in eastern Syria, Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said.
RT reports further on the strikes citing Agence France-Press,
According to Agency France-Presse, strikes involved targeting an oil field in Syria administered by the Islamic State, reportedly close to positions held by the group near the towns of Al-Omar and Deir ez-Zor, journalist Zaid Benjamin reported.
The US and its partners used “a mix of fighter and remotely piloted aircraft to conduct 13 of airstrikes against 12 ISIL-controlled modular oil refineries located in remote areas of eastern Syria in the vicinity of Al Mayadin, Al Hasakah, and Abu Kamal and one ISIL vehicle near Dayr az Zawr, also in eastern Syria,” read a statement by CENTCOM.
“These small-scale refineries provided fuel to run ISIL operations, money to finance their continued attacks throughout Iraq and Syria, and an economic asset to support their future operations,” the statement continued. “Producing between 300-500 barrels of refined petroleum per day, ISIL is estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day from these refineries. The destruction and degradation of these targets further limits ISIL’s ability to lead, control, project power and conduct operations.”
Yet while the mainstream media and the U.S. government are attempting to portray the strikes against the Syrian oil refineries as a strike against ISIS, the fact of the matter is that they are a strike against the secular government of Bashar al-Assad.
Strikes Against Refineries Hurt Syria More Than ISIS
Although it is true that ISIS/ “moderate death squads” had seized control over the oil refineries in Eastern Syria and were using them for their own strategic purposes (with the help of NATO command), it is also true that, in a large portion of these areas, the SAA (Syrian Arab Army) was poised to retake control.
This is particularly the case in Dayr el Zor, where the SAA had recently launched a major offensive against the death squads causing ISIS fighters trapped by aerial bombardment and escape routes cut off by the SAA. In other words, the death squads were trapped in Dayr el Zor, the city was weeks away from being liberated, and the surrounding areas were set to be reconquered by the SAA. This, of course, would have led directly to the retaking of the oil refineries by the Syrian government. Unfortunately, that opportunity has now been lost as a result of the U.S. airstrikes which destroyed the refinery infrastructure.
It should also be remembered that most of the death squads fled these areas after being given forewarning of a series of imminent American airstrikes, thus causing the civilian casualties to be higher in number than those of the ISIS fighters the strikes were allegedly targeting. Indeed, many of these fighters later appeared in Northern Syria on the Syria/Turkey border reinforcing other death squad battalions in efforts to reopen supply lines from Turkey.
Similar situations are found in the other locations mentioned as targets of U.S. airstrikes such as al-Hasakah where the SAA had made significant gains alongside Kurdish forces.
Thus, as SAA forces moved in to retake control of the oil refineries managed by terrorists funded by Western powers, the United States initiated airstrikes just in the nick of time to deprive SAA forces of the opportunity to seize some of the oil refinery infrastructure it desperately needs.
It is also important to note that virtually none of the infrastructure being destroyed by the United States airstrikes was built by ISIS. It was built by the Syrian government. The reality of the bombing campaign is that the United States and its allies are destroying important regions of Syria and leaving nothing of real value for the Syrian military to retake after its long-fought battles against ISIS.
Thus, headlines across the world should more accurately have read “US Bombs Syrian Oil Refineries To Prevent Assad From Retaking Them.”
Still, one should keep in mind that it was not only the oil refineries which were being targeted but whole neighborhoods filled with civilians. One such neighborhood was the town of Kfar Daryan.
ISIS As An Oil Company?
The excuse peddled by Western governments and their lapdog media outlets to justify the bombing of Syrian oil refineries is that the goal is to disrupt ISIS oil revenue and thus break its funding. The narrative provided to the general public is that ISIS is funding itself by oil sales on the black market to the tune of millions of dollars per day. Of course, while it is most likely true that ISIS is using their commandeered oil sites to support themselves on a number of fronts, and even attempting (with some success) to sell that oil, the idea that ISIS is somehow able to evade the most sophisticated monitoring network in the entire world during the process of obtaining, refining, selling, and delivering oil across the region is entirely unbelievable.
Regardless, it must be pointed out that, among the countries listed as hosting ISIS customers by mainstream outlets like CNN, Turkey and Jordan are at the top of the list, both close American allies and one a member of NATO. Even more interesting is the fact that ISIS has also allegedly sold “black market” oil to buyers in a number of EU member states.
Yet the idea itself seems like more of a cover to mask the true nature of the funding of ISIS and other takfiri militants operating in Iraq and Syria, namely that the funding is coming from the United States, NATO, and the GCC. Like the ridiculous claims that ISIS was funding itself entirely through secretive private Twitter donations, the “oil sales” argument is one that should be taken with a healthy dose of salt. After all, mainstream outlets are also asserting that ISIS is selling some of this oil to the Syrian government, a lose-win-lose situation for both sides and a rather poor attempt to portray Assad as an ally of ISIS.
Attacks On Syrian Food Storage
In an airstrike campaign that took place September 28, “coalition” aircraft struck “mills and grain storage facilities in Manbij,” a town in Northern Syria which was controlled by Western-backed death squads.
Manbij is located slightly northeast of Aleppo, the largest city in Syria which is itself the scene of fierce fighting between the NATO-directed ISIS forces and the Syrian government. The SAA began focusing on Aleppo intently in the last few months.
The attack on grain facilities by NATO/GCC forces is yet one more example of how the bombing of Syria is not aimed at destroying the West’s ISIS proxy army but at crippling and destroying the Assad government.
Just like the bombing of Syrian oil refineries, the effect of bombing Syrian grain silos is to prevent the Assad regime from retaking much needed resources to provide for its citizens or its military after long fought battles with ISIS.
The elimination of the grain silos would, of course, do nothing to stop ISIS but it will go quite some distance in adding to the burdens of an already oppressed and hungry people barely surviving under the rule of the so-called “moderate rebels” also known as ISIS.
Interestingly enough, when Bashar al-Assad’s forces have blockaded ISIS controlled areas in the past, no matter how lenient the blockade may have been in terms of food shipments, the West has responded with claims that he was “starving his own people.” Yet, when death squads banned food and baby products from being shipped in to areas that they themselves controlled, the West ignored and silenced the reports. When the West directly bombs food storage, it is presented as bombing for democracy and freeing the people from ISIS.
Unsurprisingly, no death squad fighters were killed in the attack on the Manbij grain stores, only civilians. Even death squad supporter Rami Abdulrahman, the director of the propaganda outfit called Syrian Observatory For Human Rights, was forced to admit the results of the U.S. bombing only produced civilian casualties.
‘These were the workers at the silos. They provide food for the people.’ The airstrikes ‘destroyed the food that was stored there,’ said Abdulrahman.
The United States military, typically, refused to acknowledge the fact that any civilians were killed.
While any unintentional killing of Syrian civilians by the Assad government was presented to American audiences as premeditated slaughter against innocent people, American airstrikes continue to be presented as manna from heaven, designed to rid the world of Islamic terror and brutal dictators at the same time.
Of course, in the twilight zone of American media, the truth is that the United States has created, funded, armed, and directed the Islamic terror for decades and that the “brutal dictator” is actually fighting for the survival of Syria. Little details like facts and reality, however, have never gotten in the way of Western media outlets.
Killing Civilians ‘OK’ If America Does It
Following its illegal and immoral attacks on the Syrian people which have produced alarming amounts of civilian casualties within only a matter of days, the United States recently announced that it is “relaxing” its policy on civilian killings in Syria. Indeed, the White House is now backing away on claims that it will only use lethal force where there is a “certainty or near certainty” that no civilians will be killed.
Such “policy changes” led Joaquim Moreira Salles of Think Progress to write that “Reports last week of significant civilian casualties as a result of U.S. airstrikes were the first indication that the Obama administration is ignoring its own rules in the war on terror.”
Yet the reality is that the United States has never been worried about civilian casualties, neither during the tenure of this President or that of the last. Any pretense to the contrary is naivete at best. As Salles also writes,
Similarly, drones are touted for their “surgical” precision and “laser guided” targeting system, yet they have killed civilians in Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, and more notably in Pakistan, which has been the subject of over 390 covert drone strikes since 2008.
Independent groups like the Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimate that 710 civilians had been killed by drone attacks. Amnesty international claims the number of civilian casualties in Pakistan alone can be as high as 900. Coming to an accurate number is extremely difficult, but when human rights groups are able to go into the affected areas and investigate individual strikes, the number of civilian casualties is always substantially higher than reported by the government, which counts all men of military age as enemy combatants.
In other words, when civilian casualties become too evident in the eyes of the public or too politically damaging, the answer is to change your semantics and wording of policy so that the casualties disappear from the radar screen of public opinion.
Thus, Barack Obama, while setting the international standard for response to bombing a sovereign nation and killing its civilians by his statement regarding Israel’s so-called safety, in essence, openly stated that the United States is guilty of terrorism, a claim that few of its victims will argue against.
Yet it appears that some people are more equal than others. Palestinians, Syrians, Iraqis, Afghanis, Somalians, Yeminis, are acceptable casualties. Israelis are not. Palestinians, Syrians, Iraqis, Afghans, Somalians, and Yemenis are required to accept “missiles landing on people’s homes and potentially killing civilians” without resistance. Israel can act with impunity.
Obama’s hypocritical statement is not out of the ordinary. The White House has repeatedly denounced the killing of civilians in Syria. Unfortunately, the U.S. has attempted to blame the secular government of Bashar al-Assad for the deaths of Syrians (there has never been any evidence that the SAA has targeted civilians) and not the death squads that the United States armed, trained, funded, and directed from the very beginning for the purposes of overthrowing Assad.
At the end of the day, Presidential statements mean very little in the way of actual policy. Hypocritical proclamations and even outright lies serve only to mask the true agenda lurking underneath. Informed observers already know this. Those who take such statements seriously have much to learn.
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Brandon Turbeville is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Francis Marion University and is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, and The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria. Turbeville has published over 300 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.