You are here

peace activism

Al-Qaeda Cut Leaves 5 Million Thirsty In Damascus - Western Media Unconcerned

There is a humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Syria and the "western" media ignore it. On December 22 al-Qaeda aligned Takfiris in the Wadi Barada valley shut down the main water supply for the Syrian capital Damascus. Since then the city and some 5-6 million living in and around it have to survive on emergency water distributions by the Syrian government. That is barely enough for people to drink - no washing, no showers and no water dependent production is possible. Article originally published at Moon of Alabama. Sources of pictures and enlargements also available there.

Rally Saturday: Australia Keep Your Hands Off Syria! End the Sanctions!

Rally at 1.30pm. STOP PRESS the original date of This Sunday 25 September 2016, has been changed to Saturday 24 September Martin Place (Railway Station outside MLC Centre), Sydney City.

Socialists Supporting NATO and US Empire: a Response to Ashley Smith

At the recent annual convention of Veterans for Peace, VFP Vice President Jerry Condon said “The US peace movement has been demobilized by disinformation on Syria.”

Disinformation and propaganda on Syria takes three distinct forms. The first is the demonization of the Syrian leadership. The second is the romanticization of the opposition. The third form involves attacking anyone questioning the preceding characterizations.

Putin's Warning: Full Speech 2016

Video and translation: This comment by Putin, about United States aggression and its abandonment of protocol to limit the risk of nuclear destruction, was made to representatives of various media outlets during the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, in June 2016. It was filmed and has been translated by Inessa S and we have imbedded the video in the article with her translation. It seems particularly timely to publish this in the wake of the release of Hillary Clinton's lost emails. "Nobody has anything to gain from a nuclear stand-off against Russia. The power hungry decision-makers are few in number, but powerful enough to have subverted mainstream media to misrepresent Russia as the main threat to international security." (Vladimir Putin).

Reconciliation the only way forward in Syria - by Judith Bello

Here is a brief update on the activities of the US Peace Council delegation in Syria. We went to Ma'alula today [29 July 2016] and tomorrow most of us will fly home. I could spend many words and hours debunking every lie you have been told about Syria and Syrians in the last 5 years, a Sisyphean task in today’s environment. Instead I will share some of my perceptions of recent events based on my experiences in Damascus this week.

Yesterday [28 July] was quite an interesting day. We met with President Assad in the morning and talked at some length. We began by exchanging introductions and then we asked him some very serious questions. We were not allowed to record the session but many of us took at least some notes. He told us that his strongest focus is on representing the Syrian people and holding the state together on their behalf. He described numerous programs the Syrian state has enacted to protect the people during this very difficult time. The government has converted schools and other buildings into refugee centers. They continue to provide, to the best of their ability, free education and medical care to everyone in the government held areas; they supply power, clean water and food even to areas that are occupied by militants where it is possible.

Clinton's anti-Russia spin campaign dangerous as well as dishonest

US presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton has been found to have taken dangerous and illegal risks with her emails whilst Secretary of State. Tens of thousands have gone missing. It is suspected that these emails would reveal compromising exchanges with Middle Eastern dictatorships, among other things. (The brutal dictatorship in Saudi Arabia, currently conducting genocidal war on Yemen, is a major arms customer for the US and has contributed between $10m and $25m to the Clinton Foundation, from which Clinton draws financial support for her campaign.) Instead of targeting Clinton's extreme negligence, incompetence and corruption, leading media outlets have suggested, without any evidence, that Russia hacked her emails and - ridiculously - that Russia is trying to steal the US election.

International bid to end sanctions against Syria

This news was sent by Marinella Correggia, of the No War Network. The Italian Committee to end the EU sanctions against Syria https://bastasanzioniallasiria.wordpress.com/ was created 15 days ago by a group of Italian activists. See also the video in English (and in other languages) Let's end these sanctions against Syria! embedded within this article. Shamefully, European Union sanctions against Syria were renewed for one year, yesterday. People who want Syria to survive should not take this lying down.

A huge group of Syrian religious people launched a vibrant call to European Parliamentarians, mayors and people, in English see here: https://bastasanzioniallasiria.wordpress.com/english/. (see also the other languages on the web page)

"The Australian newspaper is like a free market Pravda." (Dr Jeremy Salt)

Why does the mass media support false government narratives that justify our support or participation in deadly wars? Media analyst, Jeremy Salt and Susan Dirgham of Australians for Reconciliation in Syria, explore this perplexing question that shapes our times and our future.

Video & Transcript: Women's Rights in Syria and a History of Western interventions in the region

Susan Dirgham of AMRIS talks with Middle East and propaganda scholar, Jeremy Salt, about the history of western interventions in the Middle East and in Syria. She asks why the mainstream press don't tell westerners how Syria is secular and has good women's rights; women got the vote there in 1947. This article is summary plus transcript from the video of Part One of Politics and war in Syria: Susan Dirgham interviews Jeremy Salt. Susan Dirham is convener of Australians for Reconciliation in Syria (AMRIS) and Jeremy Salt is a scholar of Media propaganda and the Middle East
Jeremy Salt begins by talking about 19th century history of interventions in the Middle East, then about intervention in Iraq in 1990s. The UN ran this nominally, but really England and United States did. Two UN humanitarians objected to the inhumanity of economic sanctions against Iraq, possibly even mentioned ‘genocide’: they were Denis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck. [1] To Susan’s question, Dr Salt agrees that UN personnel no longer speak out. On the subject of the 2003 ‘weapons of mass destruction’: The use of no-fly zones to conduct aerial bombardments. [2] Libya. No-fly zone fig leaf. Syria: they wanted to get a UN resolution for a no-fly zone, but Russia and China blocked this with the UN. Next best thing [sic] was to pull down the government of Damascus by using armed gangs – mercenaries. From 2011 until now and still [the west]have not reached their main objective, which is the destruction of the government in Damascus, but they have destroyed a large part of Syria. This is similar to the Sandinista template of mercenaries used in Nicaragua.

Can the US-NATO leopard change its spots for peace?

One dramatic impact of the Paris terror attack and the contradictions within the NATO camp and vis a vis the GCC-Turkish Camp, is that all of Putin's worst detractors are queuing up to meet him and seek his words of wisdom ....

Open Letter to Code Pink peace activists on their ignorance about Syria

Code Pink is a prominent anti-war US based organization. Very high profile. After the Paris attacks they published a webpage that ignorantly cast the Syrian Government on the same footing as Daesh. This prompted me to write the following letter, asking them to re-look at their understanding and analysis of Syria and their position on President Bashar al Assad:

Czech media: ‘World leadership should be given to Russia, not the United States’

Having brought chaos, lawlessness and terrorism into Libya and Iraq, the United States is now trying to do the same in Syria. Europe has become fed up with Washington’s wrongdoings and says Russia should become a new world leader, Czech journalist Jiri Vyvadil wrote for newspaperParlamentnilisty.cz.

The White House wants the Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad gone and will do whatever it takes to achieve its objective — even arm Islamic militants to fight against government troops, creating a civil war that resulted in millions of people fleeing the country to save their lives.

Washington’s method of conducting foreign policy is to create chaos at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives and destroy entire countries in the name of US economic and political interests. However, the US has constantly failed at it — all of its wars in the last two decades have ended in a fiasco, but Washington still hasn’t learned and keeps sticking to the same destructive policy which hasn’t worked, the Czech newspaper said. This article first published on NOVOROSSIA TODAY at http://novorossia.today/czech-media-world-leadership-should-be-given-to-russia-not-the-united-states/?_utl_t=fb on October 3, 2015.

Putin's great speech for world peace to UN Monday 28 September

Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a speech to the U.N. General Assembly on Monday and said sadly that the West was making an "enormous mistake" by not cooperating with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the struggle against ISIS. With regard to US-NATO conduct in Middle Eastern affairs he said,“I cannot help asking those who have caused this situation: Do you realize now what you have done? [...] "[...]It is hypocritical and irresponsible to make loud declarations about the threat of international terrorism while turning a blind eye to the channels of financing and supporting terrorists, including the process of trafficking and illicit trade in oil and arms. It would be equally irresponsible to try to manipulate extremist groups and place them at one's service in order to achieve one's own political goals in the hope of later dealing with them or, in other words, liquidating them. To those who do so, I would like to say — dear sirs, no doubt you are dealing with rough and cruel people, but they're in no way primitive or silly. They are just as clever as you are, and you never know who is manipulating whom. And the recent data on arms transferred to this most moderate opposition is the best proof of it."

Time to stop bombing and make peace in Syria and Yemen

Multi-signatoried letter to UK Guardian Saturday 26 September 2015: We are gravely concerned at the possibility of a parliamentary decision to bomb Syria. David Cameron is planning such a vote in the House of Commons in the near future. He is doing so in the face of much evidence that such an action would exacerbate the situation it is supposed to solve. Already we have seen the killing of civilians and the exacerbation of a refugee crisis which is largely the product of wars in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan.
The US and its allies have dropped 20,000 bombs on Iraq and Syria in the past year, with little effect. We fear that this latest extension of war will only worsen the threat of terrorism, as have the previous wars involving the British government. Cameron is cynically using the refugee crisis to urge more war. He should not be allowed to.

Video: Syrian villagers try to make the world understand that “rebels”, NOT the Syrian government are killing them

While European governments cry crocodile tears over the mass migration of people from this region, Syrians are trying to get them and the US to stop backing so-called 'rebels' who are the very ones forcing people out of the region. The video inside came to candobetter.net from a source describing itself as 'a group of Syrian journalists (living in Syria) who have created a new Middle East Channel'. The video shows Syrian civilians who have come from near Idlib protesting outside the Red Cross in Damascus about the silence of the international press on the predicament of two villages isolated behind enemy ['rebel'] -held areas above Idlib, where two villagers have been kidnapped by Islamic extremists.

Syria: Welcome to Hell (Article by Vanessa Beeley)

The Syrian Arab Army is fighting a war but not against anti government rebels as depicted in the mainstream media, rather its a dirty war against a merciless, depraved and bloodthirsty proxy army funded, armed and supported by the Empire interventionist alliance [US, Turkey, KSA, Jordan, NATO, Israel]. It is now well documented that Turkey is the main rat run, supplying weapons, supplies, chemical weapon ingredients and manpower often via the pseudo aid convoys. Serena Shim reported that WHO trucks were running arms and equipment to “rebels” shortly before she was killed in a mysterious car accident, after receiving death threats."HRW, Amnesty International and assorted Humanitarian offshoots are on a ceaseless crusade against the SAA use of barrel bombs.  Today, Ken Roth even compared the use of Barrel bombs to the destruction caused by the nuclear bomb used on Hiroshima.

[Article first published at https://thewallwillfall.wordpress.com/2015/08/09/syria-welcome-to-hell/]

Australian military involvement in Syria must be resisted

Apart from its illegality under international law, any Australian military involvement in Syria at this stage, even to fight Da’esh, would be both illegitimate and foolish. It is past time that Australia changed its stance on refusing to recognise the legitimately elected government of Syria, and started to support Syria’s fight against the legions of foreign-backed terrorists, including Da’esh – a fight in which the Syrian army has already lost more than 100,000 soldiers, but which it is determined to win.

The Middle East: Best soap-opera wannabe ev-ah!

Candobetter.net editor: Must Read! This is a brilliant and hilarious satire. Humour with a sting: Several people have asked me recently why I always seem to be writing about the Middle East. "Why don't you ever write about anything else?"

Of course I write about other stuff -- but the Middle East is so much more interesting and entertaining than anything else! The Middle East is definitely more interesting, entertaining and even weirder than any soap opera, reality show or action flick that Hollywood could ever produce. Fascinating stuff.

I'm always amazed that so few other Americans aren't just totally fascinated by the Middle East too. Or even that there isn't at least one daytime soap opera devoted solely to the subject -- if for no other reason than that the Middle East has some of the greatest villains of all time!

Take America, for instance. Our very own Wall Street and War Street are currently starring as top-billing major actors in the Middle East, playing in prime-time roles -- as the biggest villains in the script so far too. America practically invented ISIS, for goodness sakes! You can't get more villainous than that. http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2015/03/mainstream-media-calls-supporting-al-qaeda-isis.html

My Apologia for the American 2016 presidential election

"If Americans are ever going to survive the Golden Age of Endless War (and the rest of the world is going to survive it too), then we need to elect a president in 2016 who will not bomb, kill, torture, blow up, blast, maim, blitzkrieg, drone-strike or otherwise do bad things to other human beings (or to us either). America needs a new foreign policy -- one that is not just a high-tech version of foreign policies currently deployed by ISIS and the Taliban."

What’s really going on with ISIS in Yarmouk Refugee Camp Syria? By Father Dave

"Yarmouk is only a few kilometres south of Damascus. It was once a thriving centre of colour and life with a vibrant market that made it much more than just a Palestinian enclave. Over the last four years though it has been the centre of so much violence and death that it is now the most festering wound on the ailing Syrian body. And perhaps the most tragic dimension of Yarmouk at the moment is the way the suffering of these people is being manipulated to provide a new rationale for Western military intervention."

Yarmouk and the Palestinians in Syria - Article by Mo Salhi

See also: SANA | Palestinian factions’ alliance condemns PLO climb-down on situation in Yarmouk (12/4/15)

Many refugee advocates seem to be entirely unaware that Syria - constantly damned by the mainstream media - is the only country which has given permanent status to the Palestinians who lost their country to Israel. Knowing this gives us a perspective on why US/Israel/NATO is so keen to destroy Syria: their chief target is to destroy any chance of Palestine reestablising itself from Syria. In this article the author, a former resident of Aleppo, with relatives still in Syria, describes some of the history of Palestine-Syrian cooperation and how recently foreign 'Arab Spring' money has religiously radicalised resistance movements in Palestinian refuges in Syria to turn against the secular Syrian Government, to the great satisfaction of Palestine's enemies. Author's name updated 12-4-2015

Stop the Saudi Attack on Yemen - Petition the UN campaign by Judith Bello

To: Ambassadors of nations on the UN Security Council including Samantha Power of the United States, Francois Delattre of France, Mark Lyall Grant of the UK, Vitaly Churkin of Russia, Liu Jeiyi of China and the non-permanent members

Condemn the war planned and waged by Saudi Arabia against the people of Yemen on behalf of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi the deposed president of Yemen. Demand that Saudi Arabia disband their coalition and immediately cease making war on the people of Yemen and end their 'humanitarian' bombing campaign which is creating a humanitarian disaster in Yemen.

If Saudi Arabia does not immediately comply, refer Prince Mohammad bin Salman, son of King Salman and current Defense Minister of Saudi Arabia, who initiated this brutal and illegal assault on Yemen and it's people to the International Criminal Court.

Sign petition

Peace Group asks Canadian opposition leader to review policy on Syria

Thomas Mulcair, MP
Leader of the Opposition

Dear Mr. Mulcair:

Thank you for opposing Harper’s extended and expanded war in Iraq and Syria, and for pointing out in parliament that conducting a military intervention in Syria, without the permission of the Syrian government and the UN Security Council, is a flagrant violation of international law. It’s reassuring to know that “an NDP-led government will end Canada's involvement in this war immediately.”

Video & transcript: Media hysteria puts world at risk of war: Seumus Milne, Assoc Editor, Guardian newspaper, UK

"Bombers in the channel and warships off Britain’s coast… If you believe the British media and some government ministers, it’s only a matter of time before the Red Army complete with snow on their boots turns up on a high street near you. How hot is the new Cold War going to get? Helping us to answer the question is the Guardian's associate editor Seumas Milne." - George Galloway, British MP interviews Seumas Milne.

Video: Syria whom to support whom to trust? Impressive analysis from Susan Dirgham of AMRIS

How could we allow America, NATO, Israel or other Arab states to destroy something so ancient and valuable for all humanity as Syria - the last secular Arab state? Australian peace activist, Susan Dirgham, taught English for years in Syria and got to know the country and its people very well. She argues that, without deception and our complicity through ignorance, there could be no war in Syria. But how do we work out for ourselves what is really happening in Syria and who to help? We need to understand more of Syria's history and its geopolitical position, to which she provides insight here. Just as we need to severely question the notion of US-NATO presenting a 'majority' opinion, we also need to very carefully assess what NGOs are doing in Syria. Susan is the national co-ordinator of “Australians for Mussalaha (Reconciliation) in Syria" (AMRIS). She has travelled very widely and even lived in China before it was opened to the West. When she speaks she provides testable facts and does not talk down to her audience or ask for money. Please consider asking her to speak. You may contact her at susan.dirgham51[AT[gmail.com. There is a question and answer session at the end of this video.

Valuing Secularism in Syria – Important speech by Susan Dirgham

Susan Dirgham describes herself as a peace activist. Her peace activism dates back to her involvement in the anti-Vietnam war movement when she became aware that lies were being told to promote the War, when even apparently well-intentioned people could believe these lies and spread them. She writes, "And at that time, in the US especially, it required informed, courageous individuals in the media, in churches and academia to challenge those lies in order for there to be peace. And in the countries of Indo-China, an extraordinary level of courage and resilience was needed to survive war. To sow sectarian hatred, to damn a person or a group of people or even another nation only takes a few stories, repeated over a period of time by people in positions of influence and then accepted as a truth." Susan identifies a formula for writing [propaganda] on the conflict in Syria. It is to invoke the use of chemical weapons by the Assad government as if this were established fact and to "Damn Assad and the Alawites and your article has a good chance of getting published even if you know virtually nothing." She gives the example of a Waleed Aly article doing just this, ironically just a week after the presidential election in Syria when there was a truly exceptional voter turnout and the president received overwhelming endorsement by Syrians. At the end of her speech, Susan warns that if Syria falls the danger of World War Three will be acute. Susan's highly informative and moving speech was delivered at a Social Policy Connections Public Forum at The Study Centre, Yarra Theological Union, on 6 November. The speech was filmed and we hope to be able to link to the film soon.
Subscribe to RSS - peace activism