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Israeli Colonel captured in Iraq with Islamic State terrorists, confesses to Israel-ISIS Coalition, from Peter Myers

(1) Russia explains to clueless US Public why Obama can't defeat ISIS
(2) Israeli Colonel captured in Iraq with Islamic State terrorists
(3) Israeli General Captured in Iraq Confesses to Israel-ISIS Coalition
(4) Iraqis release photo of captured ISIS advisor Israeli Colonel Yusi Oulen Shahak
(5) Islamic State warn Muslims in the West that they'll soon be unwelcome
(6) Soros NGOs behind Syria refugee push into Europe
(7) New Internationalist (Anarchist mag funded by Soros) sides with Syrian rebels
(8) A resilient revolution, by Daniel Adamso for New Internationalist
(9) Trots exchange criticism with New Internationalist magazine
(10) New Internationialist credits Soros with donating millions to Progressive causes

(1) Russia explains to clueless US Public why Obama can't defeat ISIS

Russia Explains To Clueless US Public Why Obama Can't Defeat ISIS

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 11/18/2015 22:12 -0500

Earlier this week, CNN’s senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta
asked President Obama the following question at a press briefing:

     "A lot of Americans have this frustration that they see the United
States has the greatest military in the world, it has the backing of
nearly every other country in the world when it comes to taking on ISIS.
I guess the question is, and if you'll forgive the language, but why
can't we take out these bastards?"

Well Jim, the answer is quite simple and indeed, if you - or any other
member of the mainstream media for that matter - would bother to look at
things like the declassified Pentagon report that Judicial Watch turned
up earlier this year, you’d be less confused.

Allow us, once again, to provide you with the answers you seek, straight
from the Pentagon ca. 2012:

     ...there is the possibility of establishing a declared or
undeclared Salafist Principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor),
and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want,
in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic
depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).”

Translation: if Sunni extremists were to establish a proto-state in
eastern Syria that would be great because it would destabilize Assad and
cut off Iran from Hezbollah thus endangering the preservation of
Tehran’s Shiite crescent.

For those who need a still simpler formulation: ISIS started out no
different than any of the other rebels the US supports in Syria. They
likely received guns, money, and training if not directly from the US,
then from Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Washington seems to have had some idea
that they would seek to capture and hold territory and as far as the
Pentagon was concerned, that was just fine. Whether or not the CIA
anticipated what would come next is up for debate, but make no mistake,
US intelligence knew good and well this was a possibility and let it
happen because ousting Assad was (and still is) the top priority.

So when the Jim Costas of the world ask “why can’t we take out these
bastards?”, the answer is that if if we did, one of the main forces
destabilizing the Assad regime would be gone and not only that, the US
would no longer have an excuse to be in Syria, which would leave the
country’s political future entirely up to Russia and Iran and that is a
decidedly unpalatable outcome not only for Washington, but for Riyadh
and Doha as well.

It’s Occam’s Razor Jim: look for the simplest possible explanation and
go with that.

Of course that explanation is simply too bad to be true for most
Americans and so the public and the mass media will continue to exists
in a state of perpetual bewilderment as to why 13 months of aerial
bombardment hasn’t done anything to degrade the group.

In case any of the above isn’t clear enough, Sergei Lavrov has
commentary which may help to drive the point home, presented below
without further comment:

     "Despite announcing ambitious plans for its coalition against
Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), the analysis of those [US-led]
airstrikes during over a year lead to conclusion that they were hitting
selectively, I would say, sparingly and on most occasions didn’t touch
those IS units, which were capable of seriously challenging the Syrian

     “Apparently, it’s a kind of a ‘honey is sweet, but the bee stings’
situation: they want IS to weaken Assad as soon as possible to make him
leave somehow, but at the same time they don’t want to overly strengthen
IS, which may then seize power."

     "The US stance seriously weakens the prospects of Syria to remain a
secular state, where the rights of all ethnic and religious groups will
be provided and guaranteed,”

     "Russia’s assessment of the US-led anti-terror operation in Syria
is based on observations of specific results and there are little
results, not to say there are none – except the fact that during this
period [since August 2014] the Islamic State has grown on the
territories they control.”

Clear enough?

(2) Israeli Colonel captured in Iraq with ISIS terrorists

From: Paul de Burgh-Day <>
Date: Sat, 24 Oct 2015 08:53:19 +1100
Subject: EXCLUSIVE: Israeli Colonel Leading ISIL Terrorists Captured in

Thu Oct 22, 2015 3:38

Israeli Colonel Leading ISIL Terrorists Captured in Iraq

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iraqi security and popular forces have caught an Israeli
colonel from Golani Brigade along with a number of ISIL terrorists, a
commander disclosed on Thursday.

"The security and popular forces have held captive an Israeli colonel,"
a commander of Iraq's popular mobilization forces said on Thursday.

"The Zionist officer is ranked colonel and had participated in the
Takfiri ISIL group's terrorist operations," he added.

Noting that he was arrested along with a number of ISIL terrorists, the
commander said, "The Israeli colonel's name is Yusi Oulen Shahak and is
ranked colonel in Golani Brigade of the Zionist regime's army with the
security and military code of Re34356578765az231434."

He said that the relevant bodies are now interrogating the Israeli
colonel to understand the reasons behind his fighting alongside the ISIL
forces and the presence of other Zionist officers among ISIL terrorists.

The Iraqi security forces said the captured colonel has already made
shocking confessions.

Several ISIL militants arrested in the last one year had already
confessed that Israeli agents from Mossad and other Israeli espionage
and intelligence bodies were present in the first wave of ISIL attacks
on Iraq and capture of Mosul in Summer 2014, but no ranking Israeli
agent had been arrested.

Political and military experts told FNA that the capture of the Israeli
colonel will leave a grave impact on Iraq's war strategy, including
partnership with Israeli allies.

In a relevant development in July, Iraqi volunteer forces announced that
they had shot down a drone that was spying on the Arab country's
security forces in the city of Fallujah, Western Iraq.

Iraq's popular forces reported that they had brought down a hostile
surveillance aircraft over the Southeastern Fallujah in Anbar Province.

They said that the wreckage of the ISIL's spy drone carried
'Israel-Made' labels.

This was not the first Israeli-made drone downed in Iraq.

In August an Israeli Hermes drone was shot down in the vicinity of
Baghdad Airport.

(3) Israeli General Captured in Iraq Confesses to Israel-ISIS Coalition


General Shahak was captured by Shiite militia and is still being held in
Iraq. His captors are keeping DESI informed, a European  security
organization with close ties to VT. The article below is based on
questions we submitted to his captors this morning. We also  inquired as
to the conditions under which he is being held...

USA Parliament (Intr) Foreign Minister and European  Department for
Security and Information Secretary General Ambassador Dr  Haissam Bou
Said exclusively confirms to VT that the Israeli Brigadier  Yussi Elon
Shahak captured by the Iraqi popular army confessed during  the
investigation that, “There is a strong cooperation  between MOSSAD and
ISIS top military commanders,” asserting that “there are Israeli
advisors helping the Organization on laying out strategic  and military
plans, and guiding them in the battlefield.”

The terrorist organization also has military consultants from Saudi
Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Jordan. Saudi Arabia has so far
  provided ISIS with 30,000 vehicles, while Jordan rendered 4500
vehicles. Qatar and United Arab Emirates delivered funds for covering
ISIS  overall expenditure.

The planes belonging to the aforesaid countries are still landing in
the Mosel airport, carrying military aid and fighters, especially via
the Jordanian borders.

The Parliament and the DESI also  confirm the Death of ISIS leader Abu
Baker al Baghdadi, who received two bullets: one in the head and the
other in the shoulder in a fire  exchange. Two of his top aides were
killed as well. It is believed that the CIA and MOSSAD are behind his
death as he becomes a wasted  commodity.

Furthermore, Eight ISIS top  commanders were killed in “Haith” in an
Iraqi airstrike after two weeks  of surveillance by the Iraqi military

The report concluded that ISIS terrorist group  recently arrested in
Moscow came from Syria and Iraq through Ukraine.  The perpetrators were
planning to carry out subversive operations in  railways and bus
stations. The bombers are from Chechen, Caucasus,  Iraqi, Syrian and
Saudi nationalities.

Ukraine became the hotbed of embracing terrorist activities in
complicity with Putin’s arch enemies who want to break up Russia and
then absorb it in revenge of his military intervention in Syria.

(4) Iraqis release photo of captured ISIS advisor Israeli Colonel Yusi Oulen Shahak

Posted by Malcolm on October 25, 2015 at 2:37pm

Here's the photo of Israeli Colonel Yusi Oulen Shahak. Wow, he's young
for someone of that rank!!

The Iraqi's are quoted as saying “the Israeli colonel’s name is Yusi
Oulen Shahak and is ranked colonel in Golani Brigade of the [Israeli]
zionist regime’s army with the security and military code of

Several ISIS militants arrested in the last one year had already
confessed that Israeli agents from Mossad and other Israeli espionage
and intelligence bodies were present in the first wave of ISIS attacks
on Iraq and capture of Mosul in Summer 2014, but no ranking Israeli
agent had been arrested.

The Iraqi security forces said the captured colonel has already made
shocking confessions.

(5) Islamic State warn Muslims in the West that they'll soon be unwelcome

French Muslims Resist the Lure of Fear

Anna Lekas Miller

Nov. 20 2015, 4:25 a.m.

AS FRENCH POLICE continue to search for suspected terrorists, many of
France’s 6 million Muslims have an additional anxiety. Not only are they
reeling from Friday’s attacks, but many within the Muslim community
anticipate a surge in racial profiling by the police, as well as hate
crimes and violence by ordinary citizens.

“The minute something like this happens, everyone thinks it is us,” said
Nora Boukhari, a 39-year-old former police officer of Algerian descent
living in the heavily North African 20th arrondissement of Paris. She
talks animatedly, while continuously adjusting her white headscarf, and
has wrapped an oversized brown woolen jacket over her black embroidered
djellaba, a long, traditional Islamic dress, to protect herself from the

Although she was born in the north of France — and speaks only French —
Boukhari’s Algerian roots run strong, and her Islamic faith is important
to her.

The aftermath of the November 13 attacks brought Boukhari back to 10
months ago, when masked gunmen stormed the offices of the French
satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing 11 members of its staff. After
the attack, divisions within French society arose almost immediately,
with those claiming solidarity with the slain journalists claiming “Je
suis Charlie” and those critiquing the racist nature of the cartoons
saying, “Je ne suis pas Charlie” — I am not Charlie.

“There is no freedom of speech in this country,” Boukhari continued. “If
you said, ‘I am not Charlie,’ you were immediately looked at like you
were a terrorist.”

Boukhari deliberately declined an invitation to a vigil for the victims
of the attacks back in January. She said that if her religion was not
respected and she could not pray as a Muslim and practice her faith
freely in her workplace — something strictly forbidden under France’s
strict legal separation of church and state — she would not honor a
double standard and pray for others. Shortly thereafter, she was
suspended from her position as a police officer.

“Then it was ‘Je suis Charlie’ and ‘Je ne suis pas Charlie,’” she told
me. “Now it is ‘Je suis Paris’ and ‘Je ne suis pas Paris.’”

Despite Boukhari’s cynicism, this time around appears to be different
from the January attacks in many ways. Although a mosque was soon
vandalized in the north of France, and a halal butcher in the south was
graffitied with the words “Wake up, France,” there have been no reported
hate crimes directed against Muslims — and little divisive rhetoric over
who is French and who is not.

“It is not the same as the Charlie Hebdo attacks,” said Khalil Merroun,
an imam in Évry-Courcouronnes, the sleepy suburb on the outskirts of
Paris that is now making international headlines as the birthplace of
Ismaël Omar Mostefaï — one of the four shooters who gunned down
concertgoers in the Bataclan Theater on Friday night.

While most of the town has every marking of an economically depressed
Parisian suburb, with businesses that have been closed for months and
little life on the street, Merroun’s mosque rises from its drab
surroundings as a beautiful, traditionally tiled Islamic cultural
center, inviting the neighborhood’s large Muslim community to meet and
gather for cultural events, in addition to praying. Nearby are several
halal butcheries, and grocery stores selling pickled lemons, brining
olives, and other North African delicacies that aren’t available in
French supermarkets.

In addition to the Muslim community, Merroun makes a point of welcoming
non-Muslims to visit the center, and ask him any questions about Islam.

“This time the terrorists were targeting the diversity in French society
— including French Muslims,” he continued.

While the Charlie Hebdo attacks specifically targeted the content of the
magazine — which was perceived to be indicative of larger issues of
cultural racism within French society — Friday’s attacks went after the
“Parisian way of life,” and were thus more collectively frightening.
Among the dead were people of several different nationalities, walks of
life, and religious backgrounds — including French citizens of North
African descent.

“They want to fracture us — and use extremism to make a division between
who is Muslim and who is French,” Merroun continued. “But we won’t let
them do that this time.”

While Merroun is engaging in a massive public relations offensive — he
spends most of his time these days in a small office inside of the
mosque fielding questions from foreign journalists about whether or not
he knew Ismaël Omar Mostefaï personally (he did not), and how he
suspects Mostefaï became radicalized — his suspicions about diversity
being the true target of the attacks have been confirmed by the Islamic
State itself. In a statement published in its online magazine, Dabiq, in
February, the militant group warned that Muslims in the West would soon
find themselves unwelcome in their societies, and that their best
alternative is to migrate to Syria and join the Islamic State.

“Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists,” it read.
“Either you are with the crusade, or with Islam.”

However, for many of France’s Muslims, negotiating their faith within
the context of their country is not a new challenge.

“It is true that more people look at you suspiciously, but they’re in
shock and grieving,” a Moroccan-French mother of five who declined to
give her name following the events told me outside of the
Évry-Courcouronnes mosque.

“Most Muslims are trying to wrap their heads around why anyone would do
such a thing, just the way everyone else is.”

While the Islamic State’s goal of creating animosity toward Muslim
communities is working in other countries, it has been less effective in
France. Though mosques in the United States and Canada have experienced
threats, and arson attempts, damage to mosques in France has been
minimal following last Friday’s attacks. As the United States attempts
to use the attacks in Paris as an excuse to further limit entry to
Syrian refugees seeking asylum, President Francois Hollande announced
that in spite of the recent attacks he will honor his commitment to take
in thousands more refugees — with extensive security checks — over the
next two years.

“Our country has a duty to uphold this promise,” the French president
announced in an address on Wednesday. “We have to reinforce our borders
while remaining true to our values.”

(6) Soros NGOs behind Syria refugee push into Europe

J’accuse: Those Responsible for the Friday the 13-th Attacks in Paris

Wayne MADSEN | 19.11.2015 | 00:00

Almost immediately after the Friday the 13th Islamic State of Iraq and
the Levant (ISIL) terrorist attacks in Paris that left 129 dead and 352
wounded - 100 severely - the chief enablers of the massive influx of
Middle Eastern and North African migrants into Europe, which included
jihadist «sleeper agents», proclaimed that casting blame for the attacks
was outrageous at a time when people needed to mourn. The social media
and propaganda operatives who are financed by George Soros’s global
network of non-governmental organization (NGO) fronts were squarely
behind the campaign to encourage mainly Syrian migrants in Turkey to
storm into Europe from refugee centers in Turkey.

The Soros gang’s griping about casting blame on any migrants for the
terrorist attacks was a cynical attempt to divert attention away from
the fact that it was Soros groups that enabled the terrorists to enter
Europe by embedding themselves as Trojan horses inside the migrant
stream. At a recent meeting in Istanbul, Soros called for the spending
of 10 billion euros to facilitate the movement of more than a million
Third World and mainly Muslim refugees into Europe.

While most refugees, particularly women and children who want to enter
Europe are legitimate political and economic migrants responding to
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s blanket invitation, the Soros
organization has cynically used the migrant issue to advance its own agenda.

Integrated in the mass of humanity that swamped the Balkans refugee
bridgehead were ISIL terrorists who were intent on carrying out exactly
the type of terrorist attacks witnessed in Paris. However, in a display
of sheer audacity and using their well-honed polarization skills and
«divide-and-conquer» techniques, the Soros operatives said that anyone
casting blame on the migrants were racists and xenophobes. In response,
it is important to state that Soros and his operatives directly enabled
the creation of Europe’s worst refugee crisis since the end of World War
II are nothing more than aiders and abettors of jihadist terrorism. With
their irresponsible methods of swamping Europe with uncontrollable
streams of migrants, thus breaking down European security mechanisms,
the Soros operatives have the blood of the innocent victims of ISIL’s
attacks on their own duplicitous hands.

Even after French authorities determined that one of the dead terrorists
in Paris was, in fact, Ahmad Almohammad, a Syrian refugee from Idlib who
entered Europe from Turkey on October 3 through the Greek isle of Leros
with a Syrian passport, Soros’s operatives demanded that the refugee
flow from the Middle East, Asia, and North Africa continue unabated
despite the collapse of the Europe’s external borders and regional
security. Almohammad transited from Greece to Macedonia, Serbia,
Croatia, Hungary, Austria, and then into Germany and, ultimately, to
France. One such call to maintain the current migratory status quo came
from the Emergencies Director of Human Rights Watch, Peter Bouckaert. It
should be emphasized that in 2010 Soros «leased» Human Rights Watch for
$100 million over a ten-year period. Since that time, the NGO has served
Soros’s sordid global interests, including undermining the government of
Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and concocting phony news reports about
«barrel bombs» and chemical weapons attacks by Syria’s army. Bouckaert
claimed the Syrian passport found on the dead terrorist migrant was
fake. The claim turned out to be false.

Because of pressure from groups like Human Rights Watch, Amnesty
International, International Organization of Migration, and other
Soros-financed geopolitical tools, the Syrian government relaxed its
stringent passport renewal policies after it was criticized for doing
nothing to help Syrians who had fled the civil war ravaging the country.
In April 2015, Syrians abroad, even those who left the country
illegally, members of exiled opposition groups, and Syrians who dodged
the military draft, were permitted to renew their Syrian passports at
Syrian consulates in Turkey, Greece, Lebanon, and the United Arab
Emirates. This was a direct concession by Assad to the Syrian opposition
before peace talks were due to commence in Geneva.

It was in Greece where the Friday the 13th Paris terrorist was issued
his emergency Syrian passport, which Human Rights Watch misrepresented
as counterfeit. Is Human Rights Watch perhaps trying to divert attention
away from the fact that terrorists are obtaining valid passports to
enter Europe?

Two other Soros-financed groups that have facilitated the entry of
jihadist refugees into Europe are W2EU (Welcome to European Union) and
MigrationAid Hungary. W2EU has provided migrants with «Rough Guide»
booklets written in Arabic that instruct migrants, now known to have
included terrorists, on how to travel to Germany and Austria and ask for
asylum, food, housing, and unemployment benefits. It is clear that these
Soros groups have worked hand-in-glove with Merkel who shouted from her
perch in Berlin for all refugees to come to Germany. Even when informed
that there were jihadists among the refugee ranks, Merkel ordered that
German borders remain open. She and her coalition government of
Christian Democrats and Social Democrats also share in the blame for the
Paris Friday the 13th massacre. Soros has also utilized NGOs such as the
European Program for Integration and Migration (EPIM) to lobby for
relaxed immigration controls by the European Union.

One minute after the first news reports of the Friday the 13th attacks,
a London-based cartoonist named Jean Jullien claimed he designed the
peace symbol with the Eiffel Tower image. The symbol became the
trademark for memorializing the attack. Just as with the Charlie Hebdo
attacks, slick marketing images were immediately rolled out. In the case
of the Charlie Hebdo operation, new signs proclaiming «Je suis Charlie»
appeared all over Paris and on social media within minutes. In the
latest attack, the Eiffel Tower peace symbol went viral on social media
and signs proclaiming «Je suis Paris» not only spread on the Internet
but began popping up throughout France almost immediately. As
experienced with the themed revolution campaigns designed by Soros
propaganda «majordomo» Gene Sharp, slick media production of
emotion-laden symbols and slogans have become integral to Soros-linked
social upheaval campaigns.

Also culpable is U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs
Victoria Nuland, the neoconservative tool of Benjamin Netanyahu and the
Israel Lobby, who presided over gavaging Greece with a series of
destabilizing economic austerity measures. As part of the tag team
Nuland undermined the government of Macedonia with a Ukrainian-style
«color revolution» attempt. It was through Greece and Macedonia that the
refugee invasion of Europe was launched. Neither country was in a
position to defend its maritime and land frontiers.

As also seen with the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks in Paris,
Netanyahu’s Zionist power elites are again eager to make political
capital out of any jihadist operation. Direct Israeli military and
intelligence support for Syrian and Iraqi jihadist groups, including the
Nusra Front and Al Qaeda, spans as common denominators two major
jihadist attacks in Paris in 2015.

Just a day before the Friday the 13th attack, Barack Obama stressed that
ISIL needed no elimination but mere «containment» in Syria and Iraq,
Clearly, Obama merely communicated of the desires of his Central
Intelligence Agency director John Brennan, who is long-rumored to be
Wahhabist-oriented and who may well be the actual «Jihadi John».
Incidentally, the U.S. claimed to have killed the video-documented
«Jihadi John» just the day before the latest Paris attack. As usual
which such blustering claims, as previously also seen with the «killing»
of Osama bin Laden, the United States again failed to provide any solid
proof that it killed the ISIL propagandist «Jihadi John».

Obama’s and Brennan’s coddling of ISIL through Washington’s Saudi,
Qatari, and Turkish proxies – Saudi King Salman, Qatar’s Al Thani ruling
clique, and Turkey’s want-to-be Ottoman and Seljuk emperor Recep Tayyip
Erdogan -- enabled the self-proclaimed Islamic «caliphate» to take
hundreds of thousands of innocent lives in Syria, Iraq, the Kurdish
region, Yemen, Libya, Nigeria, Sinai, Lebanon, Thailand, Bangladesh,
Afghanistan, Tunisia, France, and Turkey. The hands of Erdogan, the
House of Saud, and the House of Thani are dripping with the blood of the
victims of ISIL.

Erdogan is believed by many Turks of having used ISIL to carry out the
October 10, 2015 deadly twin suicide bombings of Kurdish political
demonstrations near Ankara’s two train stations. Erdogan’s increasingly
draconian regime benefited from the pre-election bombing as it enabled
his party to gain a parliamentary majority. Erdogan blamed ISIL and the
Kurdish PKK guerrilla group for the attack. Also noteworthy is the fact
that two of the dead Friday the 13th terrorists in Paris were carrying
altered Turkish passports.

At the November 15 G20 summit in Antalya, Turkey, Obama appeared to have
taken a hiatus from seeking terrorism management advice from the
ISIL-supporting Erdogan and, instead, was seen in private conference
with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss battling the Islamic
State. However, Obama’s posturing was too little and too late. Any
meaningful plan to combat jihadism in coordination with Russia, France,
China, Iran, Egypt, and other countries would mandate the prerequisite
of firing Brennan as CIA director and cleansing the intelligence agency
of its Saudi- and Israeli-supporting elements.

The Islamic State is clearly not alone in having the blood of innocents
on its hands. The trail of blood extends to Berlin, Riyadh, Doha,
Ankara, as well as the White House and CIA headquarters in Langley,

(7) New Internationalist (Anarchist mag funded by Soros) sides with Syrian rebels

Syria’s good guys - Inside a forgotten revolution

NI 485 - September, 2015

Nonviolent activists are holding out in Syria, despite the destruction.
Do not abandon them, says Daniel Adamson.

Syria – the good guys

Daniel Silas Adamson for the New Internationalist co-operative.

Before the war, the best way to enjoy Syria was in complete ignorance.
That’s what I did in 2005, when I arrived in Damascus as a tourist. For
two weeks I explored the country’s Roman ruins and medieval markets,
enthusing about the sophistication of the food and the friendliness of
the people. Syria, as my guidebook put it, was ‘the Middle East’s best
kept secret’.

It was not until the following year, when I returned to Damascus to
live, that I started to see that Syria had secrets of its own. Buildings
from which Syrians averted their eyes. Jails from which no one emerged.
To walk these streets, as writer Rana Kabbani has said, was ‘to walk on
pavements that were the ceilings of basements where political prisoners
hung upside down by their feet’.

As my naïveté diminished, so my admiration for the Syrian people
increased. After they rebelled against the regime of Bashar al-Assad in
2011, I followed their progress closely through the blogs, Facebook
pages and Twitter feeds where activists debate the revolution, the war,
and the ongoing struggle to build a better Syria.

Their stories deserve to be far more widely known, and this magazine is
a contribution towards that end. In putting it together, I have relied
on the insight of Syrians far more expert than me, as well as the
contributions of Syrian writers, artists and activists represented in
these pages. My thanks and respect to them all.

Elsewhere in the issue, French economist Edouard Tétreau urges Pope
Francis to take a stand against ‘insane money and alienating
technologies’ when he visits the UN headquarters later this month.

(8) A resilient revolution, by Daniel Adamso for New Internationalist

A resilient revolution

Daniel Adamson


In the early days of the Syrian uprising, civil society blossomed for
the first time in generations. Despite the destruction, it is still
alive, says Daniel Adamson.

In December 2011, a group of Syrian activists released 2,000 ping-pong
balls onto a steeply sloping street in Damascus. On each one, they had
written a single word: freedom.

The activists belonged to Freedom Syria Days – a collective of
revolutionary groups dismayed by Syria’s slide into war and desperate to
hold on to the nonviolent, subversive spirit that had marked the first
months of the uprising. Insisting that Assad’s regime could be crippled
by civil disobedience, they instigated a general strike, closing shops
and disrupting transport networks. They covered credit cards with glue
and stuck them into ATMs. They poured red dye into the fountains of

There was nothing frivolous about this. The activists knew that Syrians
had been tortured and killed for acts of creative resistance. What they
could not have known, though, was that while they were releasing
ping-pong balls, Assad was releasing known Islamist militants from
Syria’s jails.

The regime tried to disguise this within a general amnesty, to pass it
off as part of a package of ‘reforms’. But Assad’s real intention, many
analysts believe, was to transform a civil uprising into an Islamist
insurgency that would both legitimize the crushing of the revolution and
discourage the US from any thoughts of regime change.1

It took a long time for Syria’s revolutionaries to take up arms, and
longer still before they were eclipsed by the ferocity of the Islamist
militias. In the end, though, Assad’s selective release of prisoners,
the army’s murderous assault on peaceful demonstrators and the meddling
of foreign powers (see the article ‘Proxy War’) ensured that Syria was
engulfed in a full-scale civil war.

By 2013, the Sunni jihadist movement that had plagued Iraq for years had
bled across the border and morphed into ISIS, a group even more
nihilistic and vindictive than its progenitors. As Assad registered the
growing alarm of the West, he must have been thrilled. He had always
said Syria was dealing with terrorists, that his regime was the only
bulwark against fanaticism. By 2014, with 200,000 people dead and the
country in ruins, it was starting to sound plausible.

Fear crumbles

The regime’s willingness to set Syria ablaze was a desperate strategy,
but not an irrational one. However frightening the prospect of a
jihadist insurgency, Assad seemed even more terrified by the nonviolent
uprising from which the ping-pong activists had emerged.

What really worried him was the erosion of the fear which, for 40 years,
had sealed Syria’s lips, suffocated its talent, and stifled its
imagination. Fear was the mortar that held Assad’s Syria together. Now,
under the pressure of the uprising, it was crumbling.

As it disintegrated, Syrians found a voice that had been silenced for
decades. They sang songs that mocked Assad and laughed at the fawning
servility of those who surrounded him. (See ‘Singing in the kingdom of
silence’ for our gallery of revolutionary art.) They tore down portraits
that had intimidated people for years, and raised banners that gave
voice to the hopes of ordinary Syrian men and women. Most important of
all, they began to articulate a Syrian national identity in terms of
opposition to the state. The regime had spent years weaving the cult of
the Assads into the fabric of Syrian patriotism. Suddenly, this whole
scheme was unravelling. Without firing a shot, the demonstrators had
undermined the psychological basis of Assad’s rule. It was too late now
to placate them with reforms or higher wages. ‘We don’t want your
bread,’ the crowds chanted, ‘we want dignity.’

Fledgling civil society

Wherever the regime was pushed from power, this outpouring of energy was
converted into something that had never been allowed to flourish in
Syria: a civil society. The people who had marched for freedom now ran
hospitals and schools, documented violations and reported news. Some
joined local councils. Others set up projects to train journalists or
treat traumatized children. These initiatives were often shut down by
fighting, or hampered by lack of funds or experience. But for all its
flaws, the revolutionary movement was lit up by the courage of the
Syrian people.

Assad’s assault on this fledgling civil society is perhaps the saddest
chapter in the tragedy of Syria’s war. In rebel-held towns, schools and
hospitals were hit by a rain of barrel bombs that killed thousands of
civilians and displaced millions more. (See ‘Rushing towards death’ for
the civilian humanitarian response). In areas under regime control,
security services detained anyone who showed too much independence of
mind – web developers like Basel Khartabil, who campaigned for the
freedom of information online; lawyers like Khalil Ma’touk, who defended
Syria’s prisoners of conscience; humanitarians like Raed al-Tawil, who
volunteered with the Red Crescent in Damascus. All three men vanished
into the regime’s jails in 2012. Though al-Tawil was later released,
Ma’touk and Khartabil have not been heard from since.

No-one knows how many languish alongside them – perhaps as many as
150,000 – and few can imagine the horrors these people endure. It was
not until 2014, when a forensic photographer defected from the Syrian
military with 55,000 images on flash drives, that the world got its
first glimpse into what goes on in these jails. The photos showed some
11,000 corpses bearing the marks of starvation, pipe beatings, cigarette
and acid burns, electrocution, fingernail extractions, strangulation and

The arrest of so many lawyers, journalists and doctors has deprived the
country of some of those who had the most to contribute to the creation
of a more humane and open society. Many other have fled Syria. The
optimism of 2011 and 2012 has been crushed by the sheer scale of

Heroes abandoned

Despite all this, though, Syria’s nonviolent resistance is still alive.
Much of its energy has, by necessity, been directed towards emergency
relief – pulling the wounded from the rubble, keeping clinics supplied,
distributing food in areas under siege. But even under these conditions,
there are activists working on the longer-term challenges of state
building – creating a free press, educating women, advancing the notion
of transitional justice. ‘On the news you see only blood and
destruction,’ one woman told Human Rights Watch in 2014. ‘You don’t see
that behind it, there are civilian groups doing things peacefully. We
are still here.’

‘On the news you see only blood and destruction,’ one woman told Human
Rights Watch in 2014. ‘You don’t see that behind it, there are civilian
groups doing things peacefully. We are still here’

In its neglect of these activists and its lurid fascination with ISIS,
the media has played along with Assad’s narrative of a war against
terrorists – a narrative that ignores Syria’s democrats and depicts
Syrians as passive victims in a bloody game between Islamists and
autocrats. After the fight that these people have put up and the
sacrifices they have made, it is hard to imagine how dispiriting this
must feel.

No-one, at this stage, is naïve enough to think that a stable and
prosperous democracy is about to bloom from the rubble. Half the
country’s people are displaced, thousands have suffered or committed
acts from which they are unlikely to ever fully recover, and a whole
generation is growing up traumatized and illiterate in the refugee camps
that cluster along Syria’s borders.

In the early days of the revolution, a group of friends from a village
called Kafranbel in Syria's northwest began to paint appeals for freedom
and solidarity onto cotton banners and to draw satirical cartoons about
the lack of international support. Written in English as well as Arabic,
Kafranbel's weekly messages had a mix of idealism and snark that made
them perfect in a social media age. They have now been seen by millions
of people all over the world. Kafranbel

Worse than naïve, though, would be to abandon the brave men and women
who are still fighting to keep alive the hopes that were expressed so
forcefully at the start of the uprising. To ignore these people, as the
international community continues to do, is to deprive them of
solidarity, to limit their access to funds and training, and to make
sure that their voices are sidelined at the international negotiations
on Syria’s future.

In these pages we have space for only a few examples. Many heroic people
cannot be featured here, and thousands more remain unknown. But despite
these omissions, this edition of New Internationalist attempts to
recognize and amplify the voices of some of the best and bravest
revolutionaries in Syria. Many of them, when asked what the
international community can do to help, converge on a single conclusion:
Syrians need an internationally enforced No-Fly Zone to protect them
from Assad’s barrel bombs.

Beyond this specific appeal, these voices bear witness to the humanity,
creativity, and imagination that has marked the Syrian revolution from
its first day. ‘The Syrian people,’ wrote journalist Mazen Darwish in a
letter smuggled out of a Damascus jail cell, ‘are children of life,
capable of constructing a state built on dignity, freedom and justice.’
That is a judgment illustrated by every one of the contributors and
interviewees here. Together, they offer a rebuke to any suggestion that
the Syrian people might be receptive to the death cult of ISIS, or are
better off under a dictator.

1. For details on the Syrian regime’s selective amnesty in which
hundreds of nonviolent activists remained in jail while an unknown
number of Salafist jihadists walked free, see Jean-Pierre Filui’s From
Deep State to Islamic State – the Arab Counter-Revolution and its Jihadi
Legacy (pp 200–205) and ISIS – Inside the Army of Terror by Michael
Weiss and Hassan Hassan (pp 144–152).

(9) Trots exchange criticism with New Internationalist magazine

New Internationalist Takes Aim at Marxist Groups

A couple of months ago this site took a potshot at New Internationalist,
attacking their issue on political strategy, which was heavily indebted
to John Holloway's book 'Change the World Without Taking Power'. Now NI
has launched its own attack on revolutionary socialists (NI May 2004)
entitled 'The Trots' - an unsigned article, unfortunately. The main
targets are the SWP (UK), Resistance/DSP Australia and the Fourth

The Trots

Job: Promoting Worldwide Trotskyist Revolution Wherever Possible

Reputation: The Real Revolutionaries

New Internationalist May 2004

Whenever tragedy strikes, one thing can be counted on – the media will
descend on the location like a plague of locusts. The, when all is done,
the swarm unplugs microphones and laptops and moves on to the next
disaster. Bewildered survivors are left to their fate as the media
spotlight shines on the latest ‘horror of the month’.

In the West, whenever an industrial dispute or popular protest erupts,
one thing can be counted on – Trotskyist groups will descend to
‘organize’ the struggle. Then, when all is done, the comrades pick up
their papers and pamphlets and move on to the next struggle.
Disillusioned workers are left behind as groups like Britain’s Socialist
Workers Party (SWP), Resistance in Australia and others breeze in to the
latest ‘Protest of the Month’.

The impact these groups have far outweighs their actual numbers. But
what they lack in political imagination, creativity and mass base, they
make up for in sheer organizing prowess. Consummate opportunists, they
tirelessly weave their way into leadership positions of important social
movements such as the anti-racist and anti-capitalist movements, and
more recently, anti-war efforts. Often shunned by progressive groups,
the Trots bounce back with new front groups such as the anti-capitalist
tour operator Globalize Resistance – active in many countries in Europe
– and pseudo Trot front group Act Now to Stop war and Racism (ANSWER) in
the US. Where front groups fail, they also form alliances such as the
Stop the War Coalition in Britain. They seek to assume leadership and
assimilate diverse movements for their own partisan aims irrespective of
the cause concerned. An Irish environmental festival, Dutch trade
campaigners’ strategy meeting, Belgian protests against a business
summit, a student network conference in Britain, anti-capitalist
protests in Scandinavia, Australia and North America: all these have
been targets of authoritarian socialist groups bent on securing
leadership roles, gaining recruits and, of course, selling papers.

Extremely hierarchical, they prefer top-down leadership bordering on
authoritarianism rather than grassroots participatory organising. Their
largely anti-democratic tendencies are well documented and often
characterised by manipulating important organising meetings, forcing out
dissenters and subverting key platform aims if these are deemed to be
‘counter-revolutionary’. They ‘represent’ the movements in the media,
flooding demonstrations and placards promoting their own groups and
socialist branding, and packing meeting rooms with their own members
such that dissenting views drown in a sea of revolutionary rhetoric.

Their classic vanguardist political philosophy is perhaps best described
by themselves in the British Socialist Workers Party magazine, Socialist

‘Mass movements don’t get the political representation they deserve
unless a minority of activists within the movement seek to create a
political leadership, which means a political party that shares their
vision of political power from below. Such a party will be much less
than the movement numerically, but much more than the movement
ideologically and organizationally.’ (1)

The most disturbing current developments are Trotskyist efforts to
control bodies like the World Social Forum and the European Social Forum
(ESF). The ESF in Florence in 2002 was heavily dominated by the Fourth
International, one of the oldest international Trotskyist groups.
Already the preparations for the European Social Forum in London have
been dominated by the classic assimilation tactics of the Socialist
Workers Party and their front group Globalise Resistance. The situation
has become so bad that activists determined to have a truly open and
democratic forum have launched a campaign to ‘democratise the ESF’
calling themselves the ‘horizontals’. While the horizontals struggle to
ensure another social forum is possible, the ‘verticals’ – the
authoritarian Socialists – are not going away without a fight. As
musician David Rovics humorously captures it: “’Cause I am the vanguard
of the masses, and all of you should follow me. If you doubt my
analysis, you must be in the petty bourgeoisie.”

1. Socialist Review, January 2000.

(10) New Internationialist credits Soros with donating millions to Progressive causes

Money Mavericks

Issue 320

Economic thinkers who’ve dared to challenge the dominant view.


Life and times Cambridge-educated economist and member of London’s
snooty Bloomsbury group in the 1920s and 1930s. Known for an astringent
wit and biting intellect. His General Theory of Employment, Interest and
Prices (1936) is probably the single most-influential work on economics
this century. Widely- published academic and key figure behind the
postwar international financial system hammered together at Bretton
Woods, New Hampshire in June 1944.

Main ideas Admired and feared the power of the market system. Argued
that capitalism would founder on its own greed and self-destruct.
Instead he suggested that the state rein in market excesses and the
capitalist system’s tendency to increase economic inequality. Also
advocated government spending to stimulate the economy, increase
employment and ‘prime the pump’ of consumer demand. His original Bretton
Woods plan called for fixed exchange rates, tight controls on investment
capital and relatively open trade in goods. The IMF was to be a true
‘lender of last resort’, managing a global system where capital flows
were minimal and currencies easily convertible.

Legacy Keynesian economics dominated the postwar era until 1973 when the
US sabotaged the fixed-rate exchange system by allowing the dollar to
float. Since then the volume of unregulated investment capital has
exploded - bringing instability and financial collapse in its wake.


Life and times Not yet 50, Sachs’s résumé runs to a dozen pages. The
agency that books his speeches calls him ‘one of the most influential
economists of his generation’. Director of the Center for International
Development at Harvard. Top-level consultant to governments in Latin
America, Eastern Europe and, infamously, the former Soviet Union. Has
also worked for the IMF, the World Bank, the OECD and the UN Development

Main ideas ‘Global capitalism is the most promising institutional
arrangement for worldwide prosperity the world has ever seen.’ Chief
advocate of economic ‘shock therapy’ - a disastrous plan to remake
Russia’s moribund, Soviet-style ‘command economy’ into free-market
system based on the American model. Recent about-face as trenchant
critic of IMF solution for economic recovery in the Third World. Says
the IMF is ‘deeply flawed’, ‘secretive’, ‘arrogant’ and ‘not technically
up to the task’.

Legacy Spectacular failure of Russia’s economic ‘transition’ - one of
the greatest social and economic disasters in history (70 per cent of
Russians now live below the poverty line). Has hardened his critique of
the IMF and unregulated investment since Asian financial crisis -
blaming rich-world governments for most of the mess. Says it defies
logic that ‘1,000 economists in Washington control the economic
conditions of 1.4 billion people in 75 developing countries’. Advises
poor countries ‘not to wait for a new financial architecture’ but to
limit short-term borrowing by immediately adopting controls on capital


Life and times Patrician financier, philanthropist and one of world’s
richest men (estimated wealth $5 billion). Born 1930 in Budapest, later
emigrated to Britain. Studied at the London School of Economics and came
under influence of the humanist philosopher Karl Popper. Moved to US in
1956 where he developed the ‘hedge fund’. Launched Quantum Fund in 1969
in tax-free island of Curaçao. Made a billion dollars betting against
the British pound in 1992; six years later lost $2 billion in Russia.
His Open Society Institute donates millions of dollars to foster
democratic political and social reforms.

Main ideas Knows capitalism intimately and is not optimistic about what
he sees. Blames ‘market fundamentalists’ for reducing human and social
relations to the common denominator of money. Argues that unregulated
markets, left alone, ignore common interest in favour of individual
self-interest. Says this is recipe for social disintegration and
political collapse ‘which may sweep away the global capitalist system
itself’. Instead advocates ‘global system of political decision-making
to stabilize and regulate a truly global economy’.

Legacy Success as a capitalist has added weight to critique of economic
globalization. Particularly agitated about the ‘inherent instability’ of
financial markets. Calls for national controls to dampen speculation,
yet his own fortune has been built on speculation in those same markets.
Surprisingly also calls for tough regulations on hedge funds and bank
lending, insisting that creditors ‘take the hit’ rather than be bailed
out by public funds. Biggest legacy may be the millions he channels
towards progressive causes.


Life and times Soft-spoken Filipino economist. Spent years in exile in
the US as a critic of autocratic Marcos regime. Worked as researcher,
activist and journalist documenting dark side of much-heralded Asian
‘tiger economies’. Eventually served as Director of the Institute for
Food and Development Policy in San Francisco before resettling in Asia
as Professor of sociology and public administration at the University of
the Philippines and Co-director of the Bangkok-based policy think tank,
Focus on the Global South.

Main ideas Tireless opponent of economic globalization which he sees as
profoundly destructive in both human and environmental terms. Harshly
critical of IMF and World Trade Organization which he calls ‘Jurassic
institutions’ impossible to reform because of ‘hegemonic influence’ of
US and ‘deep neo-liberal indoctrination’. Says Bretton Woods
institutions are the ‘linchpin’ of an international order that
‘systematically marginalizes the South’. Advocates radical vision of
localized economies and regional co-operative arrangements to allow
‘internal economic transformation to take place with minimal disruption
from external forces’. Better to ‘de-globalize’ domestic economy by
looking to local resources and local markets instead of export-led growth.

Legacy Clear analysis and impressive scholarship have made him one of
Asia’s key progressive thinkers. Insistence on people-centred
development grounded in ecological sustainability sets him apart from
the élite consensus in Asia and is beginning to garner public support
throughout the region. Believes people see failure of neo-liberal model
and are searching for new democratic directions based on ‘community
solidarity and security’.


Life and times Springs from mainstream, middle-America. Taught at
Harvard School of Business and Public Health and worked at Ford
Foundation and USAID in the Philippines. Asian experience forced him to
question fundamentals of ‘development’ and to analyze the workings of
the global economy. Middle-American image of integrity, honesty and
plain-speaking helped him become leading critic of economic
globalization and a fierce opponent of corporate-led growth.

Main ideas Unflinching critic of capitalism. Says globalization is
‘triumph of privatized capital over markets and democracy’ and ‘triumph
of the extremely wealthy over the remainder of humanity’. Laments
‘powerful, unfeeling global economic machine dedicated to the conversion
of life into profit by depleting living capital’. Instead calls for
‘post-corporate world’ based on environmental balance and ‘democratic
role for individual citizens in economic and political governance’.

Legacy Arguments resound with indignation of an Old Testament prophet.
Unbridled optimism has galvanized thousands of activists dissatisfied
with the antihuman sweep of globalization. Economic critique appeals
because it is intensely moral, rooted in personal spirituality and
unbending faith in wisdom of humanity. Vision of globalizing civil
society based on ‘openness, voluntary commitment and the ability to


Life and times Was politicized by the women’s movement as young mother
and homemaker. Quickly became indefatigable activist, eventually senior
advisor on women’s issues to Canadian Prime Minister. Outraged by
gutting of Canadian social programmes, she began organizing opposition
to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Later as head of
Council of Canadians was leader in successful fight by global citizens’
groups against the Multilateral Agreement on Invest- ment (MAI).

Main ideas Key strategist in fight against unaccountable ‘corporate
rule’ and for basic rights of citizenship. Says narrow, money-centred
agenda of private corporations and government supporters has hijacked
democracy and created a ‘new royalty’ of global élites. Believes
globalization and corporate rule are not inevitable. ‘To say that we
have no choice is intellectual terrorism.’

Legacy Thorn in the side of corporate free-traders. Charges that trade
liberalization benefits rich and powerful, undercuts national
sovereignty and subverts public interest. Has raised concerns about
corporate influence on public policy and erosion of postwar social
contract by global free-trade agenda. Has also raised concerns about
concentration of press ownership and dominant business influence on mass
media in shaping public opinion.

Peter Myers