Ask first: "Who benefits?" Ask that of the Malaysian Airliner shoot-down too
Whenever I hear of some terrible atrocity happening--like this gas attack on a civilian (hostage) population in a terrorist-held area in the Idlib province of Syria, killing 72 Syrians, including 20 children--I always ask Putin's puppy what questions I should be asking myself about a tragedy like this.
And he always answers me in Latin (for that's how he and Volodya converse):
Great question, PP! "Cui Bono?" "Who benefits [from this crime]?"
Not Assad, that's for sure. Not with this big UN/EU Conference on The Future of Syrian taking place in Brussels with all the important stakeholders in the future of Syria right there on stage. You know. The US, the UK, Germany, Norway, Kuwait, and Qatar.
Who better to speak for the best interests of the Syrian people than those 6 nations?
"These gas attacks are his work! Obama let him off the last time!"
As accusations reinforce each other:
"Assad must go!"
That's the bottom line. These 6 nations don't give a hoot who gasses whom.
The US, in particular, was happy to give Saddam the chemical precursors to "gas his own people" (the Kurds whom neocons now love) so long as Saddam gassed over 70,000 Iranians during the Iran/Iraq War as well.
The US, the UK, Germany, Norway, Kuwait, and Qatar all want Assad to go because they all want a pipeline built from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf monarchies up through Syria to the Mediterranean--thereby eliminating Europe's need for Russian oil, while also eliminating the need to ship their oil in tankers through the Iran-threatened Strait of Hormuz.
It is Assad who's refusing to let that pipeline be built through Syria because he's an ally of both Russia and Iran. So...
"Assad must go!"
The Saudis also want Assad to go to further their ambition to "cleanse" the entire Middle East and Southern Russian of Christians (most of whom are Orthodox Christians), Shia Muslims, and other minority religions (e.g. Zoroastrians) through forced migration, forced conversions, stonings, beheadings, and crucifixions, as I have been encouraged to document on this brave website here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here.1
The only people who do not want to see Assad go, besides the Russians and the Iranians, are the Syrian people themselves: which is why (once again, after Trump was taken to the woodshed by the Deep State) the US is adamantly opposed to the Syrian people being given any chance to vote for him.
The US has had enough of free elections with the election of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, Mohamed Nasheed in the Maldives, Salvador Allende in Chile, Hamas in Gaza.... The list goes on. Every time free elections are allowed the Deep State suffers!
When Assad did stand for reelection in 2014, after 14 years of unopposed rule, in a contested election that was judged "free, fair, and transparent" by an international commission of observers, headed by Jimmy Carter--Assad won 88% of the vote if such a thing is possible. That's 3 percentage points higher than Putin's highest point of genuine popularity. Could it be?
Those poll results might indeed be accurate if even "the important stakeholders in Syria's future" like the US are worried. A leaked secret NATO survey, taken a year earlier at the lowest point in Assad's popularity (when he was being widely blamed for the US-Saudi-Qatar-Kuwait-imported-terrorist "rebellion" still raging on) showed that even then Assad would have won a contested election against a strong opponent with a whopping 70% of the vote across all demographics.
The neocons were shocked (Like the "liberated" Iraqis not greeting our invading forces in 2003 with flowers.) But Assad's popularity is really not so hard to fathom. For while both he and his father, Hafez al-Assad, did rule as dictators--even brutal dictators at times--they were also "enlightened" dictators in the sense that they well understood that even dictators ultimately only govern with the consent of the governed; and that it was therefore in their interest to respect the rights, especially the religious rights, of all of their citizens, while simultaneously emphasizing the unifying feeling and concept of a shared secular identity among their citizens as "Arabs" and more specifically "Syrians."
And this emotional concept (as opposed to just an abstract or intellectual concept) of a unifying Arab identity did indeed have the intended effect of quelling religious strife and divisiveness wherever it was tried throughout the Middle East--be it in Egypt or Libya or Syria or Iraq. And with peace came prosperity for the masses.
That was certainly not to the liking of the divide-and-conquer Imperialists here in America. If they were to be obscenely rich, the Arab masses had to be poor and torn apart by religious divisions, as we see in Iraq and Libya today. Those nations were once the jewels of the Middle East (along with Syria) under Saddam and Gaddafi with their versions of Arab nationalism.
But while Iraq and Libya have now been swept away by the American war machine, Basher's father, Hafez al-Assad, and since Hafez's death in 2000, Bashar himself were able to resist all of the CIA's nefarious efforts to undermine the aptly named, Syrian Arab Republic--giving rise to 40 years of peace and prosperity across all demographic groups.
And no group benefited from Assad's protection more--and remain more loyal to their Alawite Muslim President today--than Syrian Orthodox Christians, whom Assad continues to protect from Clinton-Obama-sanctioned genocide in the areas Assad continues to control to this very day.
That has been a huge, huge source of embarrassment to the past Clinton-Obama Administration. And that is why the rate of acceptance of Syrian Christian refugees into the US for permanent settlement here under Clinton-Obama remained at 0,5% (that's ½ of 1%) of all Syrian refugees accepted for settlement during Obama's 2 terms. Clinton and Obama simply did not want Syrian Orthodox Christians coming here and talking about the Christian genocide taking place in those areas of Syria that Assad does not control: "rebel"-held areas these Syrian Orthodox Christians may be escaping from. But Clinton and Obama had no mercy. To keep these truth-tellers out, Clinton and Obama actually went so low as to use the fact that these Orthodox Christians had to pay their Wahhabi Muslim terrorist-captors a so-called "Christian tax" or "jizya" to avoid crucifixion or beheading to send these Orthodox Christians back into the hands of their terrorist tormentors where they would face certain death on the bizarre legal ground that this payment of a "jizya" constituted "material support to a terrorist organization." In effect, what this legal argument, which has since been upheld, says to these Orthodox Christian refugees is that:
"You should have refused to pay the tax and let the terrorists behead or crucify you then, instead of putting us in the position of having to send you back--which makes us look bad. Really it's between you and them!"
This is the same mentality that allowed the United States to send ocean-liners full of Jewish refugees back to Nazi Germany on the eve of WW2.
If only the American people as a whole--or at least Christian Americans--or at the very least, Orthodox Christian Americans--knew what was going on. If only they knew how they were being deceived. If only they could see photos like these.
Yet even among alternative news sites, only Russia Insider has had both the wisdom and the courage to publish photos like these. Photos that make us both think and feel in our hearts that people like us love Bashar Assad and feel safe with him. So safe that the children on the right feel safe to chat with their back to Bashar! Words-only articles rarely "think" to mention those things. That's because words-only articles use the left, "digital" side of the brain which controls the right side of the body, and if dominant, produces both right-handedness and linear thinking. (Whereas a disproportionate number of artists, composers, and cosmologists, like Einstein and Stephan Hawking, are right-brained and left-hand-dominate and think "feelingly" in analog terms.]
Clearly we need both sides of our brain--just as need both words and photos--to emotionally grasp (not just grasp intellectually, according to correct linear grammar) that Assad is a good man, much beloved by the Syrian people.
Assad should therefore be accorded the presumption of innocence with respect to this horrific charge of having "gassed his own people"--unless and until he is found guilty by the International Court of Justice--if there is ever sufficient evidence of probable guilt to charge him in the first place.
I believe that no such evidence exists. Quite the contrary. I believe that the CIA is now "framing" Assad for this heinous crime in exactly the same way the CIA has seemingly now successfully "framed" Putin for directly or indirectly causing the shootdown of Malaysia Air Flight 17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, after Kiev air controllers diverted the plane from its normal route to one over a war zone. where 2 Ukrainian fighter jets took Flight 17 down, killing all 398 people aboard.
I certainly assess Putin to be a good, strong, humble, honest, pious, compassionate, morally-disciplined, Orthodox-Christian man, who is much loved and admired by many Russians, who see the best of themselves in him.
I therefore believe that Putin should also be accorded the presumption of innocence with respect to the horrific charge of having directly or indirectly caused the downing of Flight 17--unless and until he is found guilty by the International Court of Justice--if there is ever sufficient evidence of probable guilt to charge him in the first place.
At the same time I will say in both Assad's defense and Putin's defense that the United States has committed the most heinous crimes throughout its history without the least compunction or the least regret. Witness the Navy missile cruiser USS Vincennes deliberately firing 2 missiles at Iran Air Flight 655 on July 3, 1988, as the commercial airliner, a giant Airbus, was climbing to its normal flying altitude on a regular route at a regular time over Iranian waters on a routine flight from Tehran to Dubai--with all details long filed with the Navy.
Yet on direct orders from Reagan, the Vincennes blew that unarmed Airbus with 290 innocent people aboard to flaming pieces--on the lame excuse that the Vincennes had mistaken the huge climbing Airbus for a small diving Iranian fighter engaged in a Kamikaze attack.
That offensively transparent lie was meant to fool no one.
Reagan's clear purpose was to send a message to the Iranian leadership that the US was prepared to use even more drastic measures, including the use of tactical nuclear weapons if needed, to make the Iranians end the Iran/Iraq War (which Reagan had urged Saddam to start in the first place in the hope of toppling Ayatollah Khomeini's new Iranian "regime"--that ended the reign of our puppet Shah--but which Saddam was now losing, despite our supplying him with poison gas).
With Putin, the purpose in downing Flight 17 was to make the case with the waffling Europeans that Putin was indeed a "monster;" and that the Europeans should therefore join the US in imposing strong sanctions against Russia.
It worked like a charm. Whereas before, many Europeans were privately or even publicly on the fence about imposing sanctions, as there was a case to be made for Putin's needing to seek a reunification with Crimea at least after the US-engineered coup in Kiev, the US had such an enormous megaphone at its disposal in the International Mainstream Media that only the thunderous voices of pundits and politicians calling Putin a merciless murderer--and reminding us all of his prior "convictions" (like that dastardly polonium poisoning!)--resounded in our ears: instantly erasing all memory of a coup. Putin had become Evil Incarnate!
And the sanctions simply sailed through! No thought of an integrated continent from Lisbon to Vladivostok now! The US runs a real "protection" racket. And these acts of terror--from terrorists to rogue states--means we'll stay the world's self-appointed policeman for the next 50 years--even if Middle America must live on dog food!
The author is a licensed clinical psychologist and long-time human rights activist who lives and practices in New York City.
1 I wish to express my special thanks to my former Managing Editor, Alexei Pankin, my present Managing Editor, Riley, and most of all to the Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Russia Insider, Charles Bausman (along with my 2 anonymous Russian research assistants in Moscow and New York), for their Christian patience and encouragement as I have sought to document the "cleansing " of Christians throughout the Middle East by al-Qaeda, ISIS, and their associates which the US pretends to fight, but which it actually actively funds, trains, and supports in its relentless quest to destroy Russia and thereafter China--even if it means aiding and abetting this "cleansing" of Christians from a large section of the globe--while the Saudi Royal family grows ever richer, at the same time they see their own perverted form of Islam (which they themselves are too corrupt to practice) destroy more and more lives.
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