Wanted: The ‘Butcher of Damascus’ to Return Normalcy to Syria

Bashar al-Assad is just the latest in a long line of Middle East leaders demonized by colonial Britain and the U.S. for their independence, says Eric Margolis in this commentary.

By Eric S. Margolis  

Butcher of Damascus.  Gasser of children.  Baby Killer of Syria.   Tool of Moscow.  Cruel despot.  Monster.

These are all names the western media and politicians routinely heap on Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad.  He has now become the top Mideast villain, the man we love to hate.

As a veteran Mideast watcher, I find all this hard to swallow. Compared to other brutal Mideast leaders, Assad is pretty weak tea. The U.S./British propaganda effort to paint Assad in blackest colors is having a difficult time.

Mideast leaders who toe the U.S. line and make nice to Israel are invariably called ‘statesmen’ or ‘president’ by the American government and its increasingly tame media.  Their repression is conveniently downplayed.

Saudi rulers are reverently treated by despite leading the world in executions.  Last year, 44 people were publicly beheaded.  In some years, around 150 people have lost their heads in Saudi Arabia, often a quarter of them Pakistani guest workers.  Having been arrested by the Saudi religious police, I can tell you that the kingdom is a police state with sand dunes and camels.  Saudi vassal states Bahrain and the Emirates are better, but not much.

Morocco, a key U.S. ally, is notorious for its ghastly prisons and brutal torture.  Iraq and Afghanistan, now under U.S. control, are even worse. Israel, the largest recipient of U.S. aid, holds close to 7,000 Palestinian political prisoners, among them 400 children, and is gunning down Palestinian demonstrators on the Gaza border.

Syria has always been a repressive police state. I recall watching ‘spies’ being hanged in front of my hotel.  Its various police forces are notorious for brutality and torture. In fact, until recently, the U.S. actually sent captive suspects to Syria to be tortured and jailed.

That was before Washington made the decision to overthrow Syria’s legitimate government (‘regime’ in DC talk) as the first step in attacking Iran.     

But Damascus was no worse a human rights abuser than Cairo, Amman, Rabat and Riyadh, all U.S. vassals.

While looking at the current western hate campaigns against Syria and Iran, keep in mind the history of the modern Mideast.  We are again seeing the 1914 era lies from London about Belgian babies speared on German bayonets.

‘Hitler on the Nile’

Nasser: British tried to kill him.

Any Arab or Iranian leader who sought an independent policy or refused the tutelage of London and then Washington was delegitimized, excoriated, and demonized. Remember the Iranian leader Mohammed Mossadegh overthrown in a CIA coup?  The renowned Egyptian leader, Gamal Abdel Nasser, whom the British branded ‘Hitler on the Nile’ and tried to assisante? Or the late, murdered Libyan Muammar Khadaffi, called ‘Mad Dog of the Mideast’ by President Ronald Reagan? 

Imam Khomeini of Iran and President Ahmadinejad, both favored targets of western media invective, and both compared to the much overused Hitler. Saddam Hussein, the ‘Butcher of Baghdad,’ and that modern Dr Fu Manchu, Osama bin Laden, the all-time favorite Muslim arch villain. 

Of course, there’s nothing new in this nasty name-calling.  During the Victorian Era, Britain’s press demonized arch villains like ‘the Mad Mullah,’ the Mahdi, the Fakir of Ipi, and Nana Sahib of the 1857 Indian uprising against British imperial rule.

Assad: Reluctant warrior.

Bashar al-Assad was a mild-mannered ophthalmologist living in London with his British-born wife.  When his rash elder brother Basil was killed in a car crash, Bashar was compelled to return to Syria and become the nominal political leader after the death of his very tough, ruthless father, Hafez al-Assad.  Bashar’s main role was mediating between powerful factions in Damascus and trying to modernize his nation (while managing the police state inherited from his father).

In 2011, the U.S., Britain, Israel and Saudi Arabia ignited an uprising in Syria using often fanatical jihadists.  The shy, retiring Bashar was forced to become war leader in a ruthless civil conflict as his nation disintegrated. 

President Trump, whose B-52 bombers are ravaging Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen calls Assad a ‘monster.’  Some of his relatives are indeed ruthless.  But very many Syrians think of Assad as their nation’s only hope of returning to normalcy.

Eric S. Margolis is an award-winning, internationally syndicated columnist and book author. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, Times of London, the Wall Street Journal, the Khaleej Times, Lew Rockwell and other news sites in the Middle East and Asia.  He has appeared as an expert on foreign affairs on CNN, BBC, ABC, France 2, France 24, Al Jazeera, CTV, CBC, CCTV China His internet column is found at  www.ericmargolis.com. He is author of two best-selling books ”War at the Top of the World – The Struggle for Afghanistan and Asia” and “American Raj, How the U.S. Rules the Mideast”.

69 comments for “Wanted: The ‘Butcher of Damascus’ to Return Normalcy to Syria

  1. Bjorn Jensen
    April 25, 2018 at 14:35

    I came across this interactive ” live map of Syria recently. The icons show everything from daily bombing activity to Israeli fighter jet flight paths, Turkish observation post, numbers of civilian casualties and so on.
    It is updated live.


    I’m not sure how they do it. It is updated regularly. There is also photographic documentation.

    Maybe the more technical amongst you can take a look at the site.

    It’s based in MacLean, Virginia

    Excellent article.

  2. CitizenOne
    April 23, 2018 at 23:23

    I dug this up based on the article which is pertinent. It is the basis for propaganda in WWI:

    We do not want war.
    The opposite party alone is guilty of war.
    The enemy is the face of the devil.
    We defend a noble cause, not our own interest.
    The enemy systematically commits cruelties; our mishaps are involuntary.
    The enemy uses forbidden weapons.
    We suffer small losses, those of the enemy are enormous.
    Artists and intellectuals back our cause.
    Our cause is sacred.
    All who doubt our propaganda, are traitors.

    So let’s translate this into modern language.

    We do not want war. Translation: “We want War”

    The opposite party alone is guilty of war. Translation: We are guilty of Preemptive War”

    The enemy is the face of the devil. Translation: “We demonize the enemy as the Devil. The enemy is the Devil (Putin)”

    We defend a noble cause, not our own interest. Translation: “We are in it purely for our self interest. Oil, Gas, Mineral resources, Mining, Banking etc. We are in it for our own interest”

    The enemy systematically commits cruelties; our mishaps are involuntary. Translation: “Our actions are our own of our own volition. We create and hide atrocities and cruelties by us and exemplify and magnify cruelties by our enemy”

    The enemy uses forbidden weapons. Translation: We can attack our enemies at will because they have weapons of mass dwstruction”

    We suffer small losses, those of the enemy are enormous. Translation: “Our weapons are superior”

    Artists and intellectuals back our cause. Translation: “The Liberals back our cause for War”

    Our cause is sacred. Translation: “The Conservatives back our cause for War”

    All who doubt our propaganda, are traitors. Translation: “Everyone who doubts the main stream propaganda is a Traitor”

    Donald Trump beware, there is a band of oligarchs waiting to pin you as a Traitor for doubting the propaganda.

    I say keep on keeping on with your attacks on the intelligence agencies who have signed onto and have in fact created all of the fake news against our newly appointed enemy in Russia that seeks to create a new yet old enemy by resurrecting the old Cold War and turn it into a new Cold war. They should be shuttered and discredited for their lies which have seduced the Congress on both sides of the aisle to sanction Russia and enact laws preventing the President from refusing the compulsions of the Congress to engage in acts of war with an unproven enemy. Perhaps there is a Russian Bear like the one predicted by Reagan with his “Bear in the Woods” campaign created by the Reagan conservatives.

    • CitizenOne
      April 23, 2018 at 23:25

      Here is the link to “The Bear in the Woods” campaign propaganda which ensured Reagan’s Election:


      • Bob Van Noy
        April 24, 2018 at 09:05

        Thank you very much CitizenOne for that link, it was very enlightening for me. Hal Rainey had a truly legendary and very uniquely assuring voice, he could sell anything. Ronnie brought stage management into politics big time. His press conferences were lit as if they were movie sets.
        Nixon learned through Rodger Ailes how to set-up an audience by directing the questions, and off we went to Neverland, where we currently exist. The last several Democratic Conventions should be researched on a PhD level for theatrical management it’s a farce… But it’s not funny!

        • CitizenOne
          April 24, 2018 at 20:50

          There is a Bear in the Woods.
          There is a scorpion in the desert.
          There is a Shark in the Ocean.
          There is a spider in the bread box
          There is a wolf in the closet.
          There is a democrat under the blanket.
          There is a liberal on TV
          There is a taxman in the mailbox
          There is a communist in the refrigerator.
          There is a boogeyman in the hall
          There is a madman in my hall.

          It reminds me of the song Brain Damage by Pink Floyd (Roger Waters) Dark Side of the Moon album

          Brain Damage
          (Waters) 3:50

          The lunatic is on the grass.
          The lunatic is on the grass.
          Remembering games and daisy chains and laughs.
          Got to keep the loonies on the path.

          The lunatic is in the hall.
          The lunatics are in my hall.
          The paper holds their folded faces to the floor
          And every day the paper boy brings more.

          And if the dam breaks open many years too soon
          And if there is no room upon the hill
          And if your head explodes with dark forebodings too
          I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon.

          The lunatic is in my head.
          The lunatic is in my head
          You raise the blade, you make the change
          You re-arrange me ’til I’m sane.
          You lock the door
          And throw away the key
          There’s someone in my head but it’s not me.

          And if the cloud bursts, thunder in your ear
          You shout and no one seems to hear.
          And if the band you’re in starts playing different tunes
          I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon.

          “I can’t think of anything to say except…
          I think it’s marvelous! HaHaHa!”

          I can hardly go to sleep!

  3. Kenric Ashe
    April 23, 2018 at 11:30

    “I recall watching ‘spies’ being hanged in front of my hotel.”

    Was that before or after Bashar and is it still so brutal since 2011?

    Professor Tim Anderson: “Quite a number of Syrians have criticised President Assad to me, but not in the manner of the western media. They say they wanted him to be as firm as his father. Many in Syria regard him as too soft, leading to the name ‘Mr Soft Heart’. Soldiers in Damascus told me there is an Army order to make special efforts to capture alive any Syrian combatant. This is controversial, as many regard them as traitors, no less guilty than foreign terrorists.”

  4. Zhu
    April 22, 2018 at 21:41

    How long with the line “Joe Blow is Hitler” continue to work in the US? Isn’t it become too worn a big propaganda lie?

  5. April 22, 2018 at 11:24

    Thank you, Gen Dao, for your valuable post. I read today that the Internet is buzzing with speculation about Tucker Carlson’s disappearance from his show the last three days, as he was the only MSM host questioning the alleged Assad/Syria chemical attack. We shall see if he returns on Monday.

    • Patricia Victour
      April 23, 2018 at 12:15

      Holy crap! I saw that gonzo Carlson show online (not a regular Faux watcher, but I must say that lately Carlson has gone off the reservation a time or two). I hope he has not “committed suicide” by shooting himself twice in the back of the head, or perhaps been killed by “unknown thugs” in some dark alley he never would have frequented. I tried searching for more info on this but came up empty so far.

  6. jose
    April 22, 2018 at 11:16

    Excellent article posted here. I would only add the following: “Apr 13, 2017 – The U.S. Intervened in Syria in 1949. … The Mar. 30, 1949, coup by Syrian Army Chief of Staff Col. Husni al-Zaim was “one of the first covert actions that the CIA pulled off,” since it had been created in 1947, according to Douglas Little, professor of history at Clark University. As we all can see, US meddling in Syria is nothing new. I have pointed out this incontrovertible fact to many people and each one thought I was lying. (The grip of the US doctrinal system is very powerful indeed.)(emphasis mine)

  7. April 22, 2018 at 09:22

    Good on Anon for not letting Israel off the hook!

    I’m also pleased to see Margolis emphasize the role of Britain, and its talent for brutal name-calling. Theresa May is especially good at vitriolic descriptions of entitities she wants the rest of us to hate and revile. This was so evident in the speech her delegate gave to the OCPW (why that was even allowed is beyond me, since the OCPW is supposed to be impartial) that it was almost laughable. Well, I actually did laugh at one point.

    And kudos big-time to Consortium News for carrying on so beautifully the legacy of your lost leader. I particularly appreciated the sane and cogent articles concerning the so-called Russian Hack Myth, and keep them with others in sidebar of my blog.

  8. backwardsevolution
    April 22, 2018 at 07:45

    Eric Margolis – that was a very good article. Thank you.

  9. Gen Dao
    April 22, 2018 at 02:02

    Mr. Margolis, thank you very much for this helpful article. In future articles I wonder if you might not want touch on points such as the below:

    * Bashar Assad’s father was truly a ruthless strongman, but it should not be forgotten that during almost his entire time as president (and continuing up to the present) the Muslim Brotherhood declared war on the secular Ba’athist government and engaged in an armed struggle to overthrow the Syrian government and establish Sharia law instead. If the armed Muslim Brotherhood had declared war on the US government and even gone so far as to capture a whole US city, how differently from Assad Sr. do you think US presidents would have acted?

    * On blogs I have several times encountered the claim from leftist former political prisoners in Syria that Syria does not torture leftist political prisoners but only suspected Muslim Brotherhood members and other jihadists, i.e., militants who are trying to overthrow the Syrian government using violence. Have you researched this point?

    * It’s important to remember that Bashar Assad’s government did respond to many of the popular political demands made in March and April of 2011, before the demos were completely taken over by the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda in Syria. Several draconian security laws were repealed by parliament, and in 2012 a new democratic Syrian constitution was passed. I wonder how many NYT or WaPo reporters or State Dept. “specialists” have even read this new constitution, which can be found online? How many other Middle Eastern constitutions can even compare with it?

    * Moreover, the Ba’athists in Syria have always been much more responsive to minority points of view than most Middle Eastern governments. The Assads are themselves members of a minority Shia school of Islam and have been constantly demonized by Sunni theologians in Saudi Arabia and the gulf states, so the Assads have been comparatively careful about protecting minority rights and maintaining multicultural and multifaith dialog. Hence the strong support for Assad shown by Syrian Christians, for example. This is almost never mentioned by the western MSM.

    * Another fact hidden under the cone of silence imposed by the western MSM is that the present president (Assad) and the parliament of Syria were elected under democratic conditions observed by international election observers under the new constitution in 2014. Assad won his race for president against two opponents. Therefore Assad and the current Syrian parliament are the legitimate government of Syria. The next elections will be held in 2021, so if belligerent western nations professing to respect democracy are interested in “regime change,” they will have to wait until 2021, when the Syrian people will indeed make that decision themselves. Demanding an arbitrary change in the Syrian government before then is equal to negating the 2014 elections and demanding illegal interference in the domestic affairs of Syria, aka neo-colonialism. The parallel with the US-supported anti-democratic coup in Ukraine in 2014 is striking.

    • Rob Roy
      April 22, 2018 at 02:58

      Gen Dao, thank you for adding to this good article. I have defended Bashar al Assad for a long time and get verbally slapped down every time. The US reminds me of Germany in the thirties. The German people were completely convinced that Poland was the aggressor because the media…newspapers and radio…told them so relentlessly. That was the needed false flag to militarize the population to “preemptively” attack Poland, even though Poland was not the aggressor and had no intention of attacking Germany. Today, Iran, Syria and Russia are called the “aggressors” and the US is, by propaganda, riled up to pull more regime change coups and thinks nothing can stop them from forging on with their hegemony with the end resulting in ‘The New World Order’ run by the US. Iran has never attacked anyone and wants stability and peace, as does Syria and Russia. May they prevail while the US gets sanctioned by the rest of the world and fade away into oblivion before killing everyone on earth.

      • backwardsevolution
        April 22, 2018 at 03:55

        Rob Roy – good post.

    • backwardsevolution
      April 22, 2018 at 04:00

      Gen Dao – great post, and I agree. Assad tried hard to tread the fine line between what the West wanted (opening up to Western banks) and being good to his people. He also had a killer of a drought to contend with.

    • mike k
      April 22, 2018 at 07:22

      Very good points. Thank you.

    • Bob Van Noy
      April 22, 2018 at 08:04

      Excellent thread, many thanks to all. As I mentioned below, I’m reading “Bush And Cheney, How They Ruined America And The World,” I encourage all to read it because it reads much like a prosecutors presentation in a jury trial. It seems scholarly and fair to my ear, but the point is, that the The Authorization For Use Of Military Force, AUMF, is itself a document worthy of public inspection and the entire premise of The Global War On Terror, GWOT is subject to broad and legal scrutiny.

      Some of on this site have been arguing for months if not years that a thorough public review, subject to actual public trials are appropriate…

      See link below for an online chapter.

      • Bob Van Noy
        April 22, 2018 at 08:18

        My hope is that with a broad and well sourced argument, that this small but scholarly forum is capable of generating, enough well sourced factual information to spread the word that America has been deceived by powerful individuals within our own government, and that a route to a broad and legal solution must be accomplished…

    • Anon
      April 22, 2018 at 08:50

      Please post a link to your source for this quotation. I often must deal with the “Assad is a dictator” line and would appreciate documentation of contrary views.

    • Joe Tedesky
      April 22, 2018 at 12:53
      • Kenric Ashe
        April 23, 2018 at 12:10

        Yes! I was going to post that along with the question of whether it truly is a civil war.

    • April 23, 2018 at 12:02

      Gen Dao, one of the best and most inclusive articles on Syria. It helps us understand a different world where violence by government seems the only effective defense against very violent enemies. All the points about the majority support of their president and the amendments to the Constitution, respect for minorities including Jews have been ignored by our media and ignored by our leaders–not because they are ignorant but because they are callous and greedy.

      As we watch the battle enfold and possibly wind down, we must recognize that in this struggle the white hats were Russian and Iranian, and the black hats just about everyone else. I think it explains the frenzy some in our media and special interest groups are in, lest not only the territorial integrity of Syria be restored but that of Iraq as well. It also threatens the stranglehold by the west on the region and the real fear that Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon will unite to defend against domination by the West and its allies.

      Finally, I have to say when I saw your name, I thought you might be a resurrected Chinese war lord like the ones in the movie Keys to the Kingdom. Old movie with Gregory Peck. Just being silly. Sorry. Really great summation. Gen Dao.

      • April 23, 2018 at 21:48

        Gen Dao, I referred to you commentary as an article. I guess I thought it should have been.

  10. David G
    April 21, 2018 at 21:33

    Sounds like this Margolis fellow doesn’t think Gordon Pasha had any business dying to keep the Sudan British. Poppycock, what!

  11. April 21, 2018 at 19:04

    More info on “media” at link below.
    ROBERT BRIDGE | 21.04.2018
    Useful Idiots? New Yorker Magazine Fails Litmus Test for Media Impartiality on Syrian War


    • Bob Van Noy
      April 22, 2018 at 08:24

      Thank you Stephen J. I have refused to renew my past subscription to the New Yorker under its current editor and the same with The Atlantic Magazine, both excellent in the past…

  12. April 21, 2018 at 18:54

    Interesting article at link below.
    APRIL 20, 2018
    A Tale of Two Atrocities: Douma and Gaza


    The mainstream media once again have enthusiastically endorsed Donald Trump’s latest strike on Syria, pulled off without Congressional approval and in blatant violation of US and international law…. (emphasis added)

    [read more at link below]


  13. April 21, 2018 at 18:49

    See link below on “media” and “Syria Strikes.” Are illegal acts of war “okay”?
    APRIL 18, 2018
    Out of 26 Major Editorials on Trump’s Syria Strikes, Zero Opposed

    None of the top 100 newspapers questioned the US’s legal or moral right to bomb Syria, and all accepted US government claims to be neutral arbiters of “international law.” …
    [read more at link below]

  14. Bob Van Noy
    April 21, 2018 at 18:37

    Thank you Eric Margolis, I’m reading “Bush And Cheney” How They Ruined America And The World by David Ray Griffin with much positive referral to our very own Robert Parry. Fortunately you can download an important chapter on Syria at the link I’ll provide…


  15. April 21, 2018 at 18:07

    Over 100 Missiles Fired Into Syria

    Three war criminals members of a war criminal gang
    Fired over 100 missiles into Syria, while most of the media sang
    They praised this illegal act of war and continue to spread the lie
    Of chemical weapons being used in Syria, that thinking people do not buy

    But hey, the media is being “consistent” it spreads the war criminals lies
    They are the shills and propagandists; while millions of people have died
    These B.S. spreaders and so-called “searchers for truth,” really are a disgrace
    They cover up and censor the war criminals attacks on the human race

    Iraq, Libya, Gaza, Yemen, Syria and people in other countries too
    They are the suffering victims of this lying, deceitful “news media,” crew
    Millions are dead millions are refugees, their homes and countries destroyed
    And the reporting of these crimes against humanity leaves a huge void

    They are the main reason the war criminals are getting away with atrocities
    The complicity of the media can be seen in their constant verbosity
    Tell a lie often enough and it eventually can be accepted as a proof
    And the marketers and the corporate media are “experts” at perverting the honest truth

    Their latest coverage and marketing, of an illegal act and war crime
    Was hailed by them as good and wonderful and all done by design
    Their war criminals and allies, according to them had all the criteria
    So most of the “media” supported, the firing of over 100 missiles into Syria…

    [much more info at link below

  16. Abe
    April 21, 2018 at 17:51

    The conflict in Syria has never been a “civil war”, and the anti-government forces are almost entirely Israel-Saudi-U.S. Axis-supported terrorist mercenaries, not “rebels”.

    Terrorist groups were set loose on Syria in early 2011, when the U.S. and its “allies” launched a “dirty war” dressed up by the media as a popular “revolution”.

    Armed terrorists infiltrated Syria and staged attacks against Syrian civilians and security forces during March 17-18, 2011 demonstrations in Daraa, a city in southwestern Syria, just north of the border with Israel’s “good neighbor” Jordan.

    In Daraa in 2011, as in Ukrainian capitol Kiev in February 2014, roof top snipers targeted both police and demonstrators.

    The U.S. continues to train terrorist fighters at a base in the Jordanian town of Safawi, close to Daraa. CIA-trained terrorists cross into Syria from Jordan along the 320-kilometer (198-mile) shared border. Most fight with Al-Qaeda affiliates while the rest join the ranks of the ISIS/ISIL/Daesh.

    The so-called “humanitarian mandate” paraded by the US and its “allies” is sustained by false flag attacks: killing civilians in a “regime change” campaign to break the legitimacy of governments in the Middle East that refuse to abide by the diktats of Washington and its “allies”.

    • mike k
      April 22, 2018 at 07:30

      You are concise and accurate Abe. Here on CN we are defenders of real history. In this world of propaganda and lies, this is a vital service. Truth is the vital oxygen people need to survive this phony world of manufactured falsehoods.

  17. backwardsevolution
    April 21, 2018 at 17:29

    This is a great article on “color revolutions” and “hybrid wars”. The author says:

    “Here’s how it works. Pre-planned destabilizing forces, a combination of foreign citizens and domestic so-called ‘opposition’, even if they are not officially affiliated with a political party, either hijack legitimate protests or engineer their own conditions for one, and then provoke the government into responding with force. The goal is to delegitimize the state domestically and internationally, and weaken it to the point where an urban guerrilla offensive eventually topples it.

    Even if it fails to overthrow the authorities, the resultant destabilization spreads throughout the region and creates a favorable strategic environment for US foreign policy, such as a pretext for regional military deployment. There are also scenarios where it can be used to create a secessionist movement within the targeted state, in which case it markets itself to certain ethnic, religious, or regional groups in order to gain supposed ‘legitimacy’. […]

    The idea to keep in mind is that Color Revolutions aren’t spontaneous, but are engineered destabilization movements with concrete geopolitical goals. […]

    Also remember that there is a distinction between legitimate protests and Color Revolutions, but the US is dangerously blurring the line between the two in order to hide its strategic intent and gain a certain plausible deniability over its involvement. When foreign NGOs and internationally affiliated opposition members are involved, that’s usually a red flag, as well as statements in support of the movement from the US State Department or local American embassy.

    If a protest seems to support American strategic interests, more often than not, it actually does, and the US has some kind of direct or indirect role in bringing it about, even if 9 out of 10 of the participants don’t realize this. Always be alert, and if you keep in mind that the US has weaponized Color Revolutions and engineers them for geopolitical purposes, then you’ll be more fully prepared to counter this new type of weapon.”

    Hybrid wars – you take a peaceful protest (maybe citizens complaining about prices being too high), you put your stooges into the crowd and on a few rooftops with sniper rifles. Shots are fired into the crowd, maybe a few innocent people are shot and killed. The citizens look around and see the government soldiers standing on the periphery. Thinking they had taken the shots, they start to maybe throw some rocks or bricks at the soldiers. The soldiers and government are paralyzed. Do they shoot at the protesters, at their own citizens? Maybe one soldier, fearing for his life, does shoot a citizen, and then the fun begins.

    The goal is to create chaos, have the citizens think their own government initially fired into the crowd and killed some innocent people. This gives the Western government, who wanted to overthrow the country’s leader anyway, an excuse to go in. Of course, the NGO’s have already been in the country engineering this whole event.


    This isn’t the exact article I read before (it was longer), but it will do.

    • Bob Van Noy
      April 21, 2018 at 18:42

      Thank you backwardsevolution, here is a very important interview on the Saker site that cannot be missed…


      • backwardsevolution
        April 22, 2018 at 03:52

        Bob Van Noy – thank you for that wonderful article! I had skimmed the transcript of the interview the other day, but this time I listened to the recording. Wow, the Japanese steal the Chinese gold, and the West steals the gold from Russia and Libya. Barrick Gold, the Bush family, the Russian mafia, the CIA. We all sit here and speculate, but I bet if we knew the whole truth, we just wouldn’t believe it (or maybe we would!). Thank you, Bob.

        • Bob Van Noy
          April 22, 2018 at 16:40

          Thank you for following up. Yes, listening to it is important. And, for the record I believe all of it.

    • Dave P.
      April 21, 2018 at 19:55

      Backwardsevolution – It seems like they are starting something – may be another color revolution – in Hungary right now, with all these protests. Orban’s party just won the parliamentary election resoundingly with 67% of the vote. And EU started threatening Hungary with some sort of sanctions a few days ago. And now for the last two or three days we are seeing these protests.

      We have to remember that only in big cities like Budapest or Moscow in those countries, all sort of West’s NGO’s, including Soros’s have bought some followers, along with the West,s intelligence agencies, to start these demonstrations in the beginning stage. I think they are kind of sending the signal to the Austrian Government too to line up behind EU, US or else. I don’t think the West will let Orban govern Hungary unless he follows their line.

      • backwardsevolution
        April 21, 2018 at 21:56

        Dave P. – geez, I’d better get up to speed. I’m always about a mile behind, it seems. I don’t watch the news on TV and I don’t read the newspapers, but I must admit that sometimes my children ask me if I saw such and such, and they can’t believe it when I say “no”. They say, “It’s been all over the news!” I guess I should turn on the TV and watch the spin, but I just can’t seem to force myself to listen to Wolf Blitzer or Judy Lie-a-Lot.

        Yes, Viktor Orban of Hungary does not like that George Soros, and vice versa. I am sure that Soros has his big fat foot firmly planted in Hungary’s door. I try not to wish ill of anyone, but when it comes to Soros….. I agree, Russia and Hungary need to eject those NGO’s from their countries, all of them – gone!

        Thanks, Dave P. I’ll take a look at it.

  18. PJB
    April 21, 2018 at 17:19

    A friend of mine has a relative who worked with Bashar al-Assad during his opthalmology training in the UK. I asked what his relative thought of Assad’s personality. The answer: a normal guy and “certainly not a psychopath”.

    In the YouTube clip below there is a speech of Assad’s, 10 months into the Syrian war, to a crowd that could number a million in Damascus is Churchillian in scope and style. He does come across as a mild-mannered doctor, thrust by fate into leading his nation against foreign backed head-chopping fanatics. As a result, the enthusiasm of the crowd dwarfs anything any Western politician could receive from supporters.


    The speech is subtitled and worth listening to. You’d never ever see it in the Western mainstream media.

    • backwardsevolution
      April 21, 2018 at 21:07

      PJB – thanks for posting that. I like Assad. As you say, he was thrust into being the leader of Syria. I watched a video where a western reporter was saying to Assad something like, “But you kill people in your prisons,” to which Assad replied, “Yes, that is what is done here, that is the Arab way of dealing with criminals and terrorists.” He wasn’t condoning it, but just stating that that is way things are done there. He couldn’t change it if he tried, as he too has his own lords and nobles (the religious leaders/his political enemies) who would stab him in the back.

  19. ranney
    April 21, 2018 at 17:12

    I wondered when someone would mention that the US sent prisoners to Syria to be tortured before we decided that Syria was a monster. This was common information a few years ago, but now not mentioned.

    Also not mentioned is the help that Syria gave to the US in attempting to accommodate Iraqi refugees during our war against “Al Quaeda”. I recall stories about that because the refugees were complaining that there was no work and living places were hard to find. I imagine that’s is true but it seemed to me that Assad was doing his best to try to help, although the situation was indeed chaotic.

    A while back there was an article and an interview with Assad’s wife, who seemed to me to be a lovely person, well educated and genuinely loving of her husband who we can all understand has been learning his job of state craft on the fly, not having been trained for it (unlike his brother) and who never wanted it anyway. This article is no longer referred to or the fact that Assad’s wife is a beautiful, modern well educated British woman.
    Articles about Assad in the States do not mention the fact that Assad has offered the rebels safe passage to Turkey or to the Kurds or somewhere (I’m rather vague about that) and has been actively providing the evacuated citizens of Douma with food, clothing, medicine and everything else that he can do to help.

    I note that there are no calls in this country for contributions to help the refugee citizens of Douma (or any other city in Syria), and I have seen no calls from the UN to donate either. I wonder why??

  20. April 21, 2018 at 17:00

    Looks to me like the Arab Spring was incubated by some of our NGO’s


    And this is limited hangout NY Times.

  21. April 21, 2018 at 14:52

    Thomas Gilroy’s comment overlooks the brief mention by Mr Margolis of the role of Western interventionism and particularly the CIA in the “Arab Spring” movements of Syria and the Middle East. There are numerous articles on the Internet about this for anyone who doesn’t care to regurgitate the US Establishment narrative but wants to dig deeper. Ahmed Bensaada has written a book, “Arab Spring: Made in the USA”. We don’t live in Syria, therefore we have to rely on media sources for information. The Establishment has even cooked up a term for questioning their dominant story, “Alt”. 21st Century Wire journalists Vanessa Beeley and Eva Bartlett have first-hand knowledge of several years in Syria of what has been called a “Civil War” but is a proxy war for Israel and for multinational corporations’ profits.

  22. Delia Ruhe
    April 21, 2018 at 14:16

    Good to hear from Eric Margolis again after having lost touch with his work a few years ago. I’m now reminded of how much I’ve missed his voice. He’s one of those (to me, a lefty) rare conservatives who believes that people should not be propagandized by their government and its MSM stenographers, and that evidence, facts, and truth are the essence of journalism. He also doesn’t get hysterical about liberalism – or what passes for it in the US.

    In the rest of the West, “liberal” means something quite different than what it does in the US, where Democrats become “left” when Republicans do a lurch farther “right.” So it’s always amusing to hear American conservatives attack liberals as “godless” socialists and communists and enemies of the sacred free market instead of the lynch-pin that keeps the political spectrum fastened to the centre of the liberal democratic system, orbited by several varieties of leftism and several varieties of rightism. In reality, there hasn’t been a “left” in American politics since Eugene Debs. Even FDR wasn’t a lefty; he was a welfare capitalist who practiced the right relation of public and private spheres — which is far more than you can say about those lunatics who follow Grover Norquist and have devoted their careers to dragging a moribund government into the bathroom and drowning it in the bathtub.

    Smart conservatives avoid all this misapprehension and the hysterics that go with it. Margolis is one of these – and we need more like him.

    • backwardsevolution
      April 21, 2018 at 17:09

      Delia – I liked your post and I agreed with most of it, but I don’t think there’s ever been a “free market”. Both Democrats and Republicans have been manipulating and engineering the markets from the get-go, always to their benefit and not for the average person.

      True liberals, of course, believe in liberty. They also believe in the principle of free speech, something the Progressive Left surprisingly have been trying to stifle and shut down, of late. They appear to be now on the side of the warmongers too. That’s a change, isn’t it? It’s like the whole world has been turned upside down and shaken.

  23. ThomasGilroy
    April 21, 2018 at 14:12

    In 2011, the U.S., Britain, Israel and Saudi Arabia ignited an uprising in Syria using often fanatical jihadists. The shy, retiring Bashar was forced to become war leader in a ruthless civil conflict as his nation disintegrated

    In an otherwise well presented article – certainly a balanced view of the Middle East despots – this statement stands out simply because it flat out delegitimizes the Arab Spring. Are not Arabs as well as any other people capable of seeking political reform? You said so yourself that Assad ran a police state. Isn’t that cause for people to protest – especially since Assad promised political reforms when he came to power, but had not delivered? Assad initiated the protests when his security forces arrested and brutally beat up three boys for writing anti-regime grafiti on a wall. On August 3, 2011, Professor Joshua Landis writes commenting on the complex nature of the uprising:

    Western press and analysts did not want to recognize that armed elements were becoming active. They preferred to tell a simple story of good people fighting bad people. There is no doubt that the vast majority of the opposition was peaceful and was being met with deadly government force and snipers. One only wonders why that story could not have been told without also covering the reality – that armed elements, whose agenda was not peaceful, were also playing a role…….”

    The vast majority were peaceful demonstrators. Professor Landis was cited by long time Consortium contributor, Jonathon Marshall. The Arab Spring was active as well in early 2011 having just ousted the despot Mubarak in Egypt. When Landis says deadly force, he refers to the full range of military weapons used by Asssad including tanks, artillery, war planes and helicopters.

    • backwardsevolution
      April 21, 2018 at 16:59

      Thomas – ever since reading your post, I’ve been searching for a very interesting article you might want to read (I’ll keep searching for it). This article states that the war in Syria DID NOT start because of the three boys writing graffiti on a wall, but started in a smallish town in Syria before that event even happened. The reporter had gone to talk to the religious leader who oversaw the town. This religious leader said that the day before the uprising, some outsiders had come into the town, and that it was these outsiders who were instrumental in firing shots from rooftops (just like in Ukraine) in order to start a riot. It was a great article. I’ll try to find it.

      I’ll also post another great article (up above) on “color revolutions” and “hybrid wars”. It might surprise you at how easy it is for outside parties, who want to overthrow a government, go about doing it nowadays. They can’t just walk in. They need a reason. The color revolutions and these new hybrid-type wars do the trick. Please read it.

      • Marko
        April 21, 2018 at 21:09

        I suspect this article by Steven Sahiounie is the one you’re referring to :

        The day before Deraa: How the war broke out in Syria


        • backwardsevolution
          April 21, 2018 at 21:41

          Marko – that’s the article! I couldn’t get to it with your link, but you gave me the name of the article, and so I found it. As soon as I saw the picture, I knew that that was the article. It’s been awhile since I read it, so I hope I didn’t do it too much injustice.
          Here’s the link that works for me:


          Thanks again, Marko.

          • Marko
            April 22, 2018 at 00:10

            Sorry about the link. I clipped the ” https:// ” off so as to avoid any moderation delay , but I should have noted that.

          • ThomasGilroy
            April 22, 2018 at 10:25


            Thanks for the link to the article by Sahiounie. Sometime in the past I read a similar article by the same author. Unfortunately, there is no way to verify anything he said. There is not a single link or source cited by the author. He suggests that Syria was part of a CIA script e.g. the revolutions in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, but fails to explain how that came about, or even why the US would be interested in overthrowing long time US ally, Mubarak (disguised as a part of the Arab Spring). Regardless, the article just shows the complexities of the war in Syria and the various interpretations by so called experts.


    • Marko
      April 21, 2018 at 20:54

      The Revolutionary Distemper in Syria That Wasn’t – Stephen Gowans


      Syria: NOT A Revolution! – Syriana Analysis


      • backwardsevolution
        April 21, 2018 at 21:10

        Marko – thank you.

      • backwardsevolution
        April 22, 2018 at 07:32

        Marko – that Stephen Gowans article was excellent! What a good writer! Facts, evidence, cutting analysis, a great resource.

        I’ll watch the video you provided tomorrow. Thank you, Marko.

    • Kenric Ashe
      April 23, 2018 at 11:35

      What evidence is there that Assad ordered any of that as opposed to it being a military decision? There were nine gov’t and military members indicted in the British lawsuit, for example. Assad wasn’t one of them.

  24. April 21, 2018 at 13:45

    Great article, was on Lew Rockwell’s site this morning. Doesn’t really talk about Assad’s control after his autocrat father, which seems a change from the hardline elder, but like the “autocrat” demonization of Putin uses the past to shape present public perception. I read that after Macron got France to take part in the F.UK.US strike, Assad voluntarily relinquished the French Legion of Honor award bestowed to Syria by DeGaulle, rather than Syria being ordered to give it back. It does appear that Britain’s participation via Mrs. Mayhem (thanks to another CN commenter, sorry i can’t name but great.sobriquet!) harkens back to the colonial Great Powers conflicts of WWI and defeat of the Ottoman Empire, and as we know Britain had a large hand in creation of the state of Israel.

  25. mike k
    April 21, 2018 at 13:41

    Anyone in the way of US oil grabs is demonized. The American public just eats it up; it gives them a guilt free ticket to vent their taste for violence. The victims of that violence are just some dark skinned natives who don’t count, and probably had it coming for defying Uncle Sam. Like in Yemen now. Americans love to be in on a genocide, always have. You can count on us to cheer on the bullies, especially when they are waving the red white and blue. It just makes you feel good to be the toughest guys on the block. Go-git-em! Our brave (hired) heroes will take care of those damn gooks!

  26. Zachary Smith
    April 21, 2018 at 12:53

    Bashar was compelled to return to Syria and become the nominal political leader after the death of his very tough, ruthless father, Hafez al-Assad.

    The other day I saw a passing reference to something I’d never before known – that Richard Nixon paid a state visit to Damascus to see that ruthless father. I was gratified the author mentioned the Bushie use of Syria as a place to torture people. Both the Nixon visit and the routine torture transactions with Syria show that “we” were ok with Syrian dictators – just as we were with all those other dictators coddled by the US.

    But when Holy Israel finally gets around to setting up Land Grab #3, suddenly Assad is an obstacle.

    France To Revoke Major Award From Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad
    Briana Koeneman , Katherine Biek Apr 17, 2018

    The Legion of Honor is France’s highest award. It’s presented to citizens who have “demonstrated outstanding merits in the service of the nation, in a military or a civilian capacity.”

    The move comes just days after France, Britain and the U.S. launched military strikes on targets in Syria in response to the reported chemical attack. Syria has denied any involvement in the alleged attack.

    Genuine Hero Assad suddenly become dirtbag Assad. Except for his success in defeating the latest NATO aggression, what had changed? I know nothing of France, but that Macron fellow seems to be a pure-blooded little weasel.

    • rosemerry
      April 21, 2018 at 16:41

      Micron(sic) has nothing to recommend him but deviousness. His Rothschild past is well-know, his weasel-like behavior with Trump and Mayhem is typical, he cleverly outmanoeuvred the electorate to put his “new party” in power, full of unknowns, after manipulating the weak “socialist” Hollande in the previous government. His domestic policy is to privatise everything, remove the rights workers have gained over the last 70 years, get rid of 120000 jobs (as if others have not tried this for 200 years in France, and it has not helped!) and to do it quickly before people can follow each step. If the workers do not work together, not only the railways, but the rest of public services, will go and we’ll be as bad as the USA, which Micron (sic) obviously admires.
      We did not know of his likely international delusions of grandeur, but nothing would surprise me now.

      • backwardsevolution
        April 21, 2018 at 21:18

        rosemerry – good post. I read where Macron’s election team was composed of some of the same Americans that got Obama elected. They just hopped on a plane and repeated the process in France.

        • franck-y
          April 21, 2018 at 23:30

          And now, we must say 6 eyes, with the France of Macron. It is our ultra-right new look, with beautifull teeth.

    • Marko
      April 22, 2018 at 00:08

      Syria gives as good as it gets :

      “”The ministry of foreign affairs… has returned to the French republic… the decoration of the grand-croix of the Légion d’honneur awarded to President Assad,” the Syrian foreign ministry said in a statement.

      “It is no honour for President Assad to wear a decoration attributed by a slave country and follower of the United States that supports terrorists,” it added.


  27. roberto
    April 21, 2018 at 12:52

    Great article!

  28. April 21, 2018 at 12:48

    Eric is on the right track on this. I was unaware until I read a book called The Devil’s Game that the British had tried to undermine any pan Arabist, secular movements in the Middle East. And that policy extended back to the twenties. The Brits actually backed the Muslim Brotherhood. The idea behind this was that it would be easier to negotiate with royal families in the area for petroleum deals. And BP was a major company in the field.That policy was picked up on by John Foster Dulles when Nasser recognized China and refused to join the Baghdad Pact. Dulles then decided to back Saudi Arabia against Nasser’s pan Arabist movement.

    This is why Israel does not really seem to oppose what is happening to Syria, a secular state that Nasser tried to form a union with. The more fundamentalist the Middle East becomes, the less choice the USA has except to ally itself with Israel no matter what the country does. In fact, it was Israel that backed the formation of Hamas in order to outflank Fatah and make the Palestinians seem more part of the Arab terrorist movement.

    • LarcoMarco
      April 21, 2018 at 15:20

      “This is why Israel does not really seem to oppose what is happening to Syria, a secular state that Nasser tried to form a union with.”

      Nasser didn’t merely try to form a union. Egypt and Syria actually became the United Arab Republic, which lasted 3-1/2 years. After a military coup in 1961, Syria declared its independence from the UAE.

    • Anon
      April 21, 2018 at 20:28

      I am appalled to see Mr. DiEugenio’s name associated with these apparent deceptions:

      “This is why Israel does not really seem to oppose what is happening to Syria”

      You are of course aware that
      1. Israel is the sole US motive behind the Syria fiasco;
      2. Israel has worked with the Kurds as an invasion force against Syria;
      3. Israel has backed KSA in sending jihadis there;
      4. Israel has had Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran and others in its sights since long before the Yinon Plan;
      5. Israel conspired directly with Hillary, and her top ten campaign donors were all zionists, to destroy Syria; and
      6. Israel has been assisting jihadis in the Golan area.

      So exactly why are you trying to make people think that Israel is not involved?

      “The more fundamentalist the Middle East becomes, the less choice the USA has”

      You are certainly aware that:
      1. In fact the US is bribed by Israel for Mideast wars in the interest of Israel and opposed to US interests in the Mideast;
      2. Israel is at least as fundamentalist as many of its opponents;
      3. The US has no need for any policies in the Mideast, other than stabilization and humanitarian aid;
      4. The US cannot lawfully have policies driven by religious considerations; and
      5. Both Syria and Iraq were secular governments.

      Please explain why you made these statements.

      • Berna
        April 24, 2018 at 12:00

        Anon- “Israel is the sole US motive behind the Syria fiasco;” That is a highly simplistic, narrow, and uneducated viewpoint. It does not take into account that Israel’s actions are almost completely predictable as it will do whatever it feels is militarily necessary whether or not the US approves. The US is not in Syria on Israel’s account. US policy is and has been since the beginning of the Cold War to oppose Russian influence anywhere in the world, from Vietnam to Nicaragua to Afghanistan to Iraq to Libya to Syria. Meanwhile, Israel and Russia have very strong relations. Russia is Israel’s primary source of oil. The two countries have a visa free agreement and a free trade agreement.

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