You’re a conspiracy theorist!!” I always hear that from folks, but in my brain I have my accusers sounding like Elmer Fudd to Bugs Bunny: “You cwazy conspiwacy theowist!!”
This post is the introduction to a series of referenced articles I’ll be dedicating myself to writing over 2021 busting the primary narratives surrounding the war in Syria, including the following topics: Conspiracies exist; Syria is not a “shit hole” country; “moderate rebels”; “brutal putdown of peaceful protests”; chemical weapons attacks allegations; “civil war”; “Sunni vs Shia” war; the rise of ISIS; Russia and Iran’s roles; the role of the US and its allies; the media’s part in promoting misleading narratives; and a summary of how and why there has been a war in Syria.
For ten years the Syrian people have been suffering; it’s way past time to set the story straight. My Background and Bio:
When I began studying Syria and the war there in 2012, I had no bias – well, actually I was prone at that time to believe the press and government regarding these wars in the Middle East. By 2016 though, after four years of continual research, a truth had emerged which was troubling to my conscience in the extreme. The only way I could determine if what I had come to believe about the war was true was to go and see the reality on the ground for myself.
Since May of 2016, I’ve made seven research trips, each about three weeks long, traveling around the country usually on my own with Syrian friends as guides and translators (though I have traveled completely solo at times as well). In “hot areas” of course I’ve been protected by Syrian soldiers and at many meetings there have been government appointed people in attendance; but for the most part the interactions I’ve had with hundreds of Syrian people from all walks of life and backgrounds have been random, spontaneous, and private.
I have no affiliations of any kind, my trips have been self-funded using crowd funding, and I accept no money or any kind of expensive gifts whatsoever for any of my efforts (though I have received a few free hotel rooms from hotel managers thankful to see a friendly American staying again at their establishment, also some sweets and small gifts). My loving parents were born in the twenties and my father was a WWII veteran who was in such actions as D Day and Bastogne.
My father taught me to love my country but not trust government further than I could throw it; he was an honorable man. Since I was six years old, I’ve had a lifelong fascination with history, archaeology, and geography and though I didn’t complete my degree, I was majoring in the first two in college. And I was always a political creature – participated in my first debate in sixth grade.
I’ve had several careers ranging from ultralight flying instructor to a long term involvement in the personal computer industry. My husband Syd and I have two sons we are so proud of who are honorable, hardworking, and intelligent young men, and now two granddaughters. We’ve lived on our 1820’s farm in rural Virginia for over 20 years and have always been active, and hopefully positive, members of our community and citizens of our country.
Traveling was always a priority and I’ve had many journeys – seeing 49 of our 50 states, several trips to Europe, Mexico, and the Caribbean, as well as the seven to Syria, six to Lebanon, and one to Kuwait. They’ve all been wonderful but nowhere was I received as an American visitor with greater warmth, friendship and gracious hospitality as I have been in Syria.
Conspiracies Exist: Apparently, although history shows the US was arming, training, funding and promoting radicalized, violent, fundamentalist extremists in Afghanistan in the 80s, the thought of America doing it again in Syria (Libya also) seems like a “ridiculous conspiracy theory” to many people in the West.
It was awkward then when our “freedom fighters” in Kabul were throwing acid in the faces of women attending university, but oh well, the government and media made them out to be “the good guys” anyway. As US backed “moderate rebels” from the beginning of the war in Syria were massacring villages, beheading civilians including priests, torturing, raping, kidnapping and looting their way around the country, the American public was being “protected” from such gruesome realities by a complicit news media that has been labeled even by veteran journalists as mere “stenographers” of government press releases.
Journalist Glenn Greenwald took it even further in 2007, calling the establishment press ‘Bad Stenographers’, Referring to the role played by our establishment press as stenography is truly an insult to the work of professional stenographers.” (1) A few years ago I was asked to speak (along with two other Americans who’d spent time in Syria during the war – Richard Black and Carla Ortiz – at the Washington DC Press Club and I agreed with a little trepidation as I thought the audience of about two dozen veteran journalists, State Department officials, and intelligence officers might be hostile to my message, and the moderator I knew to have pro-Israel opinions.
I was shocked and pleased to find the opposite. In fact two people there, one formerly with the State Department and the other former CIA, told me they’d been sharing my posts and articles with their personal networks of contacts for years. I was thankful for their confirmation of my work.
For clarity’s sake, I’m defining a conspiracy as being secret plans by the US government to do harm, whether in other countries or even against American citizens themselves. It is critical in my opinion that investigations into possible conspiracies and crimes should basically follow the scientific model.
To me that means there are questions posed or problems observed, hypotheses (ideas) considered regarding possible answers, and dedicated and disciplined research done (which often takes many years and requires field work if that is at all possible) to develop a theory and present it with evidence and confidence. Here is a very short sample list of proven conspiracies (many of them officially admitted by the government) to ponder showing that conspiracies do in fact happen in order to begin making my case that the war in Syria is a war **against** Syria – planned and orchestrated with objectives and actions masked by propaganda to cover unjustifiable aggression in a country which was never a threat to the US.
Saying this list is a subset is a sad and gross understatement; the full list is depressingly long:
1) The buildup to the invasion of Iraq. Colonel Larry Wilkerson, one of the writers of Colin Powell’s infamous and misleading UN speech about WMD’s in Iraq, admitted the team had cherry picked intelligence to create the pretext for war.
2) He made this admission, he said, after learning of the gruesome and sadistic torture chamber of the US Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq; particularly since he was convinced the horror show was approved at the “highest level” of our government. When asked by independent journalist Abby Martin about whether the Syrian government had used chemical weapons his simple response was, “bull”. In 2004, the editors of the New York Times published a weak apology for also cherry picking stories to support the lies being told the American public.
3) The Chilcot inquiry in the UK concluded that Tony Blair had deliberately exaggerated the threat posed by Saddam in order to make the case for war.
4) There are many sources of good information on all this but one which details to great extent the conspiracy was written by retired Colonel Pat Lang, who had been the US Defense Intelligence Agency’s head of counter terrorism operations in the Middle East. His 2004 “Drinking the Kool-aid” is a must read.
5) US support for chemical weapons use by Saddam Hussein. The US assisted Saddam Hussein in his chemical weapons attacks against Iran in the late 1980’s. In 2013, Foreign Policy magazine published their exclusive report on “CIA Files Prove America Helped Saddam as He Gassed Iran”.
6) (The authors of the Foreign Policy report failed however to make the leap of logic regarding chemical weapons attack allegations against the Syrian government which I assert were perpetrated by US and allies backed proxies – but that issue I will write on separately.)
7) Biological crimes by the US government. Among the most gruesome of crimes by the US government were the studies done regarding sexually transmitted diseases on unsuspecting black Americans as well as people in Guatemala. President Bill Clinton officially apologized for the Tuskegee experiment on 600 black American males which ran from 1932 to 1972 (it took the news media 40 years to break the story which ended the program). 399 of the men had syphilis and 201 were control subjects.
The subjects weren’t informed of the true name and nature of the study. The men who had syphilis were told they were getting treatment when in fact no treatment was given – the study was really to see what long term effects of untreated syphilis would be. The US Center for Disease Control (CDC) website has several pages of information on this program. (7) Starting in 1946, the US deliberately infected more than 5000 people in Guatemala with bacteria that cause sexually transmitted diseases.
In spite of President Obama’s formal apology to Guatemala in 2010, “Many have been left untreated to the present day … and little if anything has been done to compensate the victims and their families,” according to a 2013 American Journal of Public Health article available on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) website.
8) The CIA’s MK Ultra mind control program which ran from the 1950’s to early 60’s seems like something out of a science fiction film – but it was very real. The following excerpt is from NPR, The CIA’s Secret Quest For Mind Control: Torture, LSD And A ‘Poisoner In Chief’: Journalist Stephen Kinzer, who spent several years investigating the program, calls the operation the “most sustained search in history for techniques of mind control.”
Note: Kinzer, is an expert on the Middle East and wrote the article, “The Media are misleading the public on Syria” in 2016.
9)Some of Gottlieb’s experiments were covertly funded at universities and research centers, Kinzer says, while others were conducted in American prisons and in detention centers in Japan, Germany and the Philippines. Many of his unwitting subjects endured psychological torture ranging from electroshock to high doses of LSD, according to Kinzer’s research.
“Gottlieb wanted to create a way to seize control of people’s minds, and he realized it was a two-part process,” Kinzer says. “First, you had to blast away the existing mind. Second, you had to find a way to insert a new mind into that resulting void. We didn’t get too far on number two, but he did a lot of work on number one.”
10) And of course, “Operation Cyclone” in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989, “one of the longest and most expensive covert CIA operations ever undertaken” according to Military.wikia.org.
The operation had the US supporting radical, militant Islamist groups in order to draw Russia into a quagmire which did happen; since then the US has been fighting the same groups it once armed, trained and funded. Twenty years later there’s no end to America’s military occupation in sight. The “quagmire” has come full circle though it is quite lucrative for the military and its civilian brother, the industrial complex of defense contractors. The Washington Post published “The Afghanistan Papers” in December of 2019, disproving many of the lies the US government told to the American people regarding the war.
12) Summary: Conspiracies exist. As one retired US Army Colonel told me once, “Conspiracies are why governments have intelligence agencies.” There has been a malignant conspiracy by the US and its allies against the sovereign and independent nation of Syria. The war is an unlawful, manufactured terrorist/proxy war against Syria that has increased the instability of the Middle East region while nearly destroying that non-aggressive, secular, and women-empowering nation.
The conflict has cost the United States billions in the process while terrorist groups like al Qaeda, ISIS, and many others became stronger, better trained and equipped, more effectively recruited for – and some of those battle trained and hardened terrorist fighters have made their way into Europe (also Canada, Australia and the US) as a direct result of the aggression by the US and its allies.I hope you’ll follow this series of articles over the coming months and give me the chance to prove it to you.
Sources:1. https://www.salon.com/2007/11/28/stenography/2. Colonel Larry Wilkerson with Abby Martin on The Empire Files. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgig1QVU2lY3. https://www.nytimes.com/…/from-the-editors-the-times…4. https://www.theguardian.com/…/tony-blair-deliberately…5. https://turcopolier.typepad.com/…/drinking-the-kool-aid…6. https://foreignpolicy.com/…/exclusive-cia-files-prove…/7. https://www.cdc.gov/tuskegee/index.html8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3828982/9. https://www.bostonglobe.com/…/8YB75otYirPzUC…/story.html10. https://www.npr.org/…/the-cias-secret-quest-for-mind…11. https://military.wikia.org/wiki/Operation_Cyclone12. https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/afghanistan-war…/