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The View from Canada
Rosemary Barton, war crimes, and the liberation of Aleppo
By Jim Miles, The Miles Report
Submitted by Author
Friday, Dec 16, 2016

The Miles Report No. 79 - Rosemary Barton, war crimes, and the liberation of Aleppo

It continues to amaze me - although I know it shouldn’t because of its repetitious nature - but the mainstream media (MSM) content of Canada’s CBC as represented by Rosemary Barton on Power and Politics is a combination of double standards, misinformation, and innuendo through choice of language.

Barton’s main talking points today (Wednesday, December 14, 2016) came under the title “Fall of Aleppo”, with her main theme being war crimes.  The implications made for the latter put full blame for the declared crimes on the Assad/Russia combination. Her three guests today were: Louise Arbour, former Canadian Supreme Court Justice; Stephane Dion, current Liberal foreign affairs minister; and Stephen O’Brien, UN Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs.   All three avidly reflected and supported the “war crimes” thesis of Ms Barton.

First, the “Fall of Aleppo”
From the many sources I have read, from the many history books and contemporary events books I have read, the very title “Fall of Aleppo” is a lie.  Aleppo - at least a good part of it, “fell” to the al-Qaeda/al-Nusra related so called rebels about four years ago.  These ‘rebels’ were aided and abetted by the U.S. CIA, indirectly through our great democratic allies in Saudi Arabia, and more discreetly, at first at least, by our Turkish NATO ally.  Yes there were protests, but the violence came from outside (hmmm, perhaps the call for war crimes investigations should extend back in time….more later). 

What is actually happening in Aleppo is a victory of government forces, aided by its allies, in retaking the part of Aleppo that was held under the severe hand of the Islamic fundamentalist groups.  The way the CBC and other western MSM present the story is as if the “moderate” terrorists  - which the U.S. failed to identify - were the ones besieged in Aleppo.  Certainly the civilians trapped in this “cauldron” (the non-western term used for the surrounding and defeat of the rebel/terrorist groups) have suffered, as they do in all wars.  They will continue to suffer until the Assad government - okay call it a regime, which it is just as much as Trudeau’s government is a regime considering it governs with only 40 per cent of the populations approval (at last count) - until the government can restore some semblance of security to the city as a whole.  The civilians were essentially hostages to the rebel/terrorist forces, not allowed to leave the area, killed if they tried, subject to enforced fundamentalist rules. 

In short, Aleppo has not fallen, Aleppo has recovered from its hostage taking by the terrorists.  Aleppo has been liberated.

War crimes - for sure, all wars are crimes, but how far back do you want to go?
The first guest, Louise Arbour, supported the war crimes meme currently circulating in western MSM and government agencies.  Barton asked about Canada’s UN initiatives which have gone nowhere. Arbour’s response accepted the war crime premise, and placed the blame on the UN and the ICC as being ineffective and their actions insufficient in the past (as per Rwanda, Yugoslavia, Darfur).  She reported that they (someone) is “collecting...accumulated evidence” of the “devastation” as Aleppo “falls completely to the regime.”  The U.S. is not party to the ICC, and Russia has recently withdrawn because of its evident western bias and its true ineffectiveness. 

Barton ended asking if Arbour was “anyway hopeful for the people of Syria?”  The response was a clear “No”, qualified by saying that the civilians were “hostage to both sides.”  Time will tell what happens in Aleppo, but so far from what I have seen, most of the citizens are very happy to see the end of the rebel/terrorist occupation and hostage holding in eastern Aleppo.  Arbour called it a “very dark day.” Crazy, hey, I thought it was the best news to come out of the war so far - yes, I know, more civilians will die, in Mosul as well as Aleppo, and on to Idlib and Raqqa  - but at least the scourge of fundamentalist terrorism has been alleviated and hopefully seriously restricted for this important city.

Stephane Dion was the second guest, and stuck with the main themes of the afternoon.  Barton again began with comments about “shelling is a war crime” (really Rosemary?) in pockets of east Aleppo. Dion attempted to explain what Canada was doing via the UN which effectively highlighted Canada’s ineffectiveness.  Part of the discussion actually entertained the idea of removing the veto from Russia in the Security Council - a great idea if the same would apply to the other four veto holders, the U.S., France, Great Britain, and China.   In other words allow the General Assembly to hold the true power, but that of course goes against ‘western’ wishes for dominance globally. 

I missed a short section then returned to find Britain’s Stephen O’Brien essentially doing the British lap dog thing for the U.S. empire.  If one ever wants to hear any kind of rant containing double standards, lies, and false humanitarianism, just listen to those who still believe that Britain is an imperial power. It is in a way, but only as mentioned, as a U.S. poodle.

O’Brien’s supercilious self-righteousness for humanitarian concerns would bring a tear to even the most jaded eye.  Mine were tears of cynical jaded laughter as to the wilful ignorance  of his overwrought self-satisfied rectitude and virtue, typical British imperial rhetoric.  Repeating the memes of a fallen Aleppo and war crimes,  O’Brien used such wonderful phrases as “heinous and abominable acts...atrocities,” in his attempts to be the civilizer, the bringer of benevolence to the world.   At the end, responding to Barton’s question concerning when  Aleppo were to be “run over entirely”, he indicated it was a “man made crisis” and those that “perpetrated these abominations” should be brought to justice. 

War crimes? Well, where should we start?
Perhaps we should start most recently in Libya, where the British promoted no-fly zone turned into a bomb anything that will help the rebels, all on the pretext of a supposed genocide, the now thoroughly disreputed “right to protect.”  Certainly war crimes were committed there by Britain, and Canada, and the U.S., and every other participant. The military equipment used to supply the ‘rebels’ - really another branch of al-Qaeda - was redistributed to the protesters in Syria and the African Sahel. Who are the people responsible for that who should be brought to justice for their abominable actions? Hint: it wasn’t the Russians. 

Or maybe we can go back to all the war crimes that started and followed with the U.S. push for war in Iraq, based on lies and deception from the U.S. government, all departments including the military and the CIA, as well as the full Congress.   Britain followed suit with its false declarations by the Blair government  in order to reinvigorate the aged and poorly preserved ethos of the British Empire and its civilizing role in the world.  That led to war crimes throughout Iraq, including Abu Ghraib, Fallujah, Tikrit, and on through other prisons where the rise of al-Qaeda in Iraq essentially occurred as it had not been there originally.  As a consequence of other events, that led to the rise of ISIS and the current war in Iraq and Syria.  Hint: the Russians weren’t involved.

Hmmm, where else can we go?  In reality, the whole U.S. empire - as were the British and French empires before that - is based on military dominance of other regions for the sake of U.S. and later international corporate interests.  There is ample material on this history of crimes against humanity under the fake guise of democracy and freedom, when what really mattered was the subservience of all to the Washington consensus and the dominance of U.S. power and U.S. money. 

Enter Russia
After the CIA supported coup in Ukraine from which the Ukrop neonazis were wanting to ethnically cleanse the Donbas region of Russian speaking people;  after the establishment of nuclear capable missiles on the borders of Russia in Poland and Romania; after fighting fundamentalist terrorists in Chechnya who originated from U.S./CIA efforts in supporting the Afghanistan mujahideen, later Taliban; after watching Yugoslavia be torn apart on the “right to protect” doctrine that had no foundation and then to have Kosovo almost literally bombed out of Serbia; after the war crimes committed by the west without a Russian veto in the Security Council; after watching all these U.S. related crimes against humanity/war crimes,  it is really no wonder that Russia finally found the strength to say no to U.S.imperial desires in the Middle East.

But wait, wasn’t this about ISIS?
Well, yes, but ISIS is generally rooted in U.S. war crime activities that have taken place throughout the region, including U.S. supplying of military materials to Israel as it bombed the open air prison of Gaza with its now 2 million inhabitants.  But...but….the bad guys were hiding behind the civilians...whereas in Aleppo, the rebels/terrorists are….oh yeah, hiding behind civilians.  

Also consider that the U.S. pretended to bomb ISIS for a couple of years  - before Russia intervened - and accomplished little but a bit of publicity;  consider that very recently a major agreement on military alignment was aborted by the U.S. when they bombed a known Syrian army position guarding Deir Ezzor from the ISIS terrorists;   consider that Saudi Arabia, the U.S.’ second largest ally in the region after Israel is supporting and supplying al-Qaeda and ISIS wherever it can find the necessary conditions to promote its fundamentalist inhumanitarian form of religion; consider that the U.S. has been the frontrunner in wanting to get rid of Assad, supported by their faithful British lapdog; consider all this before pointing a finger at anyone for war crimes.

So why would the U.S. do all that?  Simple, really, as mentioned above it’s about oil and money.    The U.S. does not necessarily want the oil, there are many sources available for that.  What it wants is twofold.   First, the price of oil, in large part controlled by the Saudis, is the main support of the U.S. petrodollar, the current global reserve currency.  If that status failed, if the Saudis sold oil in Euros, or yen, or renminbi, or rupees, the U.S. dollar would fail. That is another reason for the misadventures in Libya and Iraq as both were wanting to set up currency exchanges not involving the US$. 

The second reason is related in that the U.S. wanted a pipeline to run from its friendly dictatorship countries in the Middle East  to Europe in order to weaken the Russian economic handle of oil/gas sales to Europe.  Except that Syria stood in the way, and Syria was allied with Iran, and Russia was bypassing Ukraine with its Nordstream and its Southstream through Turkey (or the Black Sea whichever works out).   So once again Russia is not only surrounded by U.S. missiles and military bases, but also has to counter U.S. oil/financial attempts to deconstruct it and make it, like all other states, subservient to U.S. demands.

Syria, unfortunately for its citizens, is the small country caught up in U.S. geopolitical enterprises that are attempting to isolate and destroy the strength of Russia.  War crimes, yes, but start with the reality of the U.S. and its allies war crimes around the region over the past many decades.

War criminals then  for sure must be brought to justice to stop these “atrocities” and “abominations”. Start with Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld, then onto Blair, then back to the U.S. for the CEOs of Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, General Dynamics, General Electric, Lockheed Martin (of Hellfire missile infamy) et al.   The current crop in the EU could also be indicted for war crimes as they support the U.S. efforts and follow along with the manufactured consent of thinking of Russia as the bad guy in all this.  And don’t forget to come to Canada where we have our own crop of war criminals who support U.S. actions both rhetorically and in action. 

Russia is being vilified as the evil scapegoat for all the west’s problems, as an empire needs a good enemy to distract its citizens from problems it really created itself and from war crimes it has created itself.  As a person who has proven to recognize U.S. intentions and outsmart the U.S. on most fronts, Vladimir Putin becomes the arch-villain.  What is truly happening is that Russia is standing up to U.S. imperial interests as it increasingly recognizes that the U.S. is still fighting its anti-Soviet cold war because it needs a good enemy to distract blame from itself. 

The war is far from over, as the U.S. will certainly try to pull out all stops in order to retain dominance in the region - up to and including - and here’s some big speculation - the CIA operating internally to stop Trump from taking the presidency.  I would have to say, “Thank you” to Russia for intervening on behalf of the Syrian people in order to rid the country of U.S. supported terrorists.   It ain’t pretty, it ain’t neat and tidy, and it ain’t over, but Aleppo is liberated.

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