Report: Houla Massacre Victims Didn’t Support Opposition

SANA

The initial report of the judicial committee investigating al-Houla massacre affirmed that all the victims belonged to peaceful families who wouldn’t stand up to the state and had never joined protests or held up arms, who also had opposed the armed terrorist groups.

The initial findings indicated that the victims were killed by fire at close distance and sharp tools, not by shellfire.

The initial report added that the armed terrorist groups who gathered in al-Houla liquidated the victims in the process of an attack on the law-enforcement members who hadn’t entered the area where the massacre occurred, adding that most of the bodies are of terrorists who were killed in the clash with the law-enforcement members.

Brigadier General Qassem Jamal Suleiman, head of the investigation committee, said in a press conference at the Foreign Ministry on Thursday that the investigation is in its initial stages and is still underway.

He added that the investigation committee depended on testimonies of eyewitnesses who saw the massacre happen that can be directly verified, adding that some of them will appear on TVs, indicating that the initial report was based on evidences and facts in relation to the armed attack that targeted the law-enforcement members in the town.

Gen. Suleiman said that law-enforcement members were positioned at five points in al-Houla, adding that the armed attack was aimed at turning the place into an area outside the state’s control.

Suleiman said that the armed men gathered inside the village after Friday prayers and started an onslaught simultaneously with other gunmen numbered between 600-800 who came from neighboring areas, namely al-Rastan, al-Sa’an, Burjka’I, al-Sam’alin and others, where mortars, machineguns and anti-tank missiles were used, targeting two law-enforcement points as the main target of the attack, one near Taldao and the second near al-Sa’a Roundabout.

Suleiman said that the terrorist groups came from outside the town and simultaneously liquidated peaceful families during the attack on the law-enforcement members.

He indicated that the place where the massacre happened is in an area where there are armed terrorist groups, and no law-enforcement members entered the area neither before nor after the massacre, indicating that the area is located far from the law-enforcement members’ posts.

He added that the law-enforcement members hadn’t left their positions but defended themselves against the terrorist groups, which can be verified through the victims’ images aired by satellite channels, showing that the massacre happened due to close fire and sharp tools, not shellfire as the images showed no signs of mashing, burns or traces of shelling buildings, which means that what happened was direct liquidation.

Suleiman added that killing children does not serve the law-enforcement members or the state, but serves the armed terrorist groups who seek to incite sedition.

Gen. Suleiman said that all the victims belonged to peaceful families who wouldn’t stand up to the state and had never joined protests or held up arms, who also had opposed the armed terrorist groups, indicating that the terrorist groups aimed to invite foreign and humanitarian intervention.

Suleiman said that the massacre targeted the relatives of the People’s Assembly member Abdul-Moa’ti Mashlab whom they wanted to take revenge of before the events ran contrary to the plan and the massacre extended to slaughter other families.

He affirmed that the massacre perpetrated by armed terrorist groups is part of the scheme that seeks to give the impression that a civil war is close at hand in Syria as it coincided with the visit of the UN envoy Kofi Annan.

For his part, Spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ministry, Dr. Jihad Makdissi, said “The report which came after three days is initial and the investigation is still underway as the massacre has political and criminal dimensions. The investigation faces difficulties due to the presence of gunmen in the area.”

“There are further details that were kept unannounced out of fear for the lives of the eyewitnesses. When the investigation ends, we will put the full conclusions to the international community, the UN Security Council and the UN observer mission,” added Makdissi.

Answering a question on whether the international community and the humanitarian and international bodies would be convinced on the findings of the initial investigation, Makdissi said “It is a complicated matter to identify the international community, as part of the international community is hostile to Syria and has an agenda against it. What we care for is public opinion and the citizens who back the state because the state doesn’t commit such crimes and is in a state of self-defense as terrorists are being funded and armed.”

“It is a heinous crime that was condemned by the Syrian government for which we deny responsibility and stress that the Syrian army can never commit such a crime…The perpetrators sought to take revenge of a family of one of the People’s Assembly members, but events got out of hand and a larger massacre was perpetrated.”

Makdissi said that neither statements have not accused the Syrian army but hinted at other elements, adding that the Syrian army protects citizens.

In reply to a question on not engaging the observer mission in the investigation, Makdissi said “It was the Syrian side who contacted the head of the mission, Robert Mood, who was sent by the Syrian Foreign Ministry…There were gunmen killed in the clash and moved to the village’s mosque and filmed for the massacre to appear larger. When the observers arrived, there was a flood of lies aired by media.”

Makdissi added that the Syrian government was acquitted of other massacres in Karm al-Zaitoun and Deir Baalbeh, adding that clues pertaining to the massacre are revealed.

“There is diligent work to incite sedition in Syria…There are 18 sects that have lived in harmony for years and the massacres are aimed at shattering this coexistence, but the Syrian fabric is impervious to sedition attempts,” Makdissi added.

Libya, Syria and the Defeat of Western Diplomacy

Pravda

Westphalia (1648) set the principles, Helsinki (1975) laid the rules; in 1991, the playground bully started running amok, after subverting the terms of the Helsinki Final Act by a new form of imperialism in the 70s and 80s, using civilian populations as a means to create a casus belli or achieve a means to an end. The bottom line: Don’t trust them!

The backdrop was Afghanistan, the tool the Mujahedin and the target was Afghanistan’s only socially progressive government, where women’s rights were guaranteed, along with universal education, free medical treatment and everything else NATO has been happy to destroy in the last fifty years.

With the counter-weight to NATO removed with the voluntary dissolution of the USSR in 1991, the playground bully started running amok, firstly interfering in the Balkans, arming separatist groups and creating the conditions for the Balkans Wars; secondly interfering in Kosovo by creating the KLA (UÇK) and using Islamist terrorists against Serbia; thirdly lying to create a casus belli in Iraq (“Weapons of Mass Destruction posed an immediate threat to the USA and its allies” – anyone remember that bullshit?) and with the UNO set to defeat the legal route, they chose the illegal one outside the UNSC and invaded anyway; fourthly the false flag events in Libya where the Government was wrongly accused of starting the problem by bombing civilians when the reality was that hundreds of armed terrorists had been unleashed by the west, raping, murdering, torching and torturing and when the authorities tried to restore order, the No Fly Zone turned into Mission Creep as China and Russia were informed the details would be filled in later.

The conclusion? Never, ever trust them again. Libya was the line in the sand, the line that NATO in general and the FUKUS Axis (France, UK and US) in particular crossed with boots on the ground, arming and supporting a terrorist faction in a civil war of their own making, strafing government troops trying to protect civilians, turning a blind eye to the horrific atrocities committed by the terrorists they had armed and financed. As the line in the sand was crossed, the line which stands for common decency, the line which defines diplomatic norms and good relations among the international community, so were the rules of diplomacy broken, so was the history book of international relations ripped into shreds, so were all the conventions and legal precedents created since Westphalia relegated to the gutter.

And the result has been that since 1991, the contribution of the West has been appalling: the Balkans War, the Kosovo War, the Afghanistan War, the Iraq War, the Libyan War and now, Syria, where armed terrorists have once again been used to sow chaos, to murder, rape and pillage, so as to create a humanitarian cause for intervention as the facts are turned on their head, as the news is twisted and as the truth is misrepresented, using demonology and a hostile media to create a monster out of a saint and to sanctify the demon they created to serve their own interests.

They lied time and time again, they lied about WMD in Iraq, they copied and pasted nonsense from the Internet and then changed it cynically to dupe a gullible public spoon-fed “wow! and ah!” stories on the news to a backdrop of drumbeats and external threats, creating the “them” which justifies the “us”; they demonised the Serbs in the Balkans from day one, forgetting what happened to the Serbs in Krajina and elsewhere, they overlooked the atrocities of the KLA against civilians and Hashim Thaçi’s boasts that the Albanians carried out terrorist attacks. Then in Libya, they lied about Colonel Gaddafi and overlooked his humanitarian projects bringing e-learning and telemedicine to hundreds of millions of people across Africa.

As for Afghanistan, time will tell the full story of the Twin Towers and the Afghanistan connection, suffice it to say that already in 1998 the Afghanistan project was in place, as Mullah Mohammed Omar himself said in an interview with Dawn magazine, since removed from the Net like so many other documents and photographic evidence.

And today, inexorably, the schoolyard bully turns on Syria, once again arming terrorists and once again lying and manipulating photographic evidence to demonise the saint and sanctify the demon, as the circus prepares to move further eastwards to Iran, which is already being accused of creating nuclear weapons and as Mother Russia sees herself surrounded by a vice grip from the Baltic States in the north around to her entire western frontier, to the south-west and now to the south as the Iranian sword is prepared to be thrust into her belly. “NATO will not move eastwards”. Remember those words?

Don’t trust them! Don’t give them any leeway whatsoever in the UNSC; give them a hand and they grab an arm and a leg. Libya was the line in the sand, they crossed it and destroyed their credibility for the foreseeable future with their Mission Creep, wholly predicted in this column from day 1. They did it before, they will do it again. They will use any excuse to arm any number of UN troops as a means to launch another spectacular mission creep.

The schoolyard bully understands one thing and one thing only: when the brothers of his victims line up in front of him, pull his face up to theirs, look into his eyes and inform him that they will smash his face down the other side of his cowardly little neck if he so much as dares to overstep the line again.

You do not use kids as a cynical excuse for starting a war, especially not if you are responsible for the trouble in the first place and for arming those who murdered them. Is that clear?

Gay Rights and the Capitalist Electoral Circus

Defend the Separation of Church and State!

Workers Vanguard

On May 9, Barack Obama announced on ABC News that he has “evolved” to the position that “same-sex couples should be able to get married.” Within hours of his tepid endorsement of what should be a basic democratic right, contributions to the Obama/Biden re-election campaign jumped by millions of dollars. Meanwhile, Obama got on the phone to black preachers in order to forestall any possible blowback from this key constituency, for whom gay marriage is controversial. It was calculated politicking against Obama’s Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, who recently addressed the commencement at the fundamentalist Liberty University in Virginia in a bid for support from the Tea Party and evangelicals who aren’t quite sure that Mormons are Christians.

Thus do the two parties juggle in the capitalist electoral circus, where workers, immigrants, the poor and the oppressed are left to clean up the animal droppings. The difference between the two parties amounts to the fact that the Republicans openly dish out racist, sexist, anti-labor poison while the Democrats adopt a more benign image for working people and the oppressed—and end up doing the same thing in office.

The cover of Newsweek (21 May) showed Obama crowned with a rainbow halo and the headline, “The First Gay President.” But the president knew that his carefully uttered statement on ABC would have no immediate effect on the legal status of gay marriage. He made clear that his views were “personal” and that he would leave it to the states to decide, a nod to the “states’ rights” doctrine that has historically been wielded to strip black people of democratic rights, particularly in the South. Thirty states currently have bans on gay marriage written into their constitutions. This includes North Carolina, where voters passed a state constitutional amendment on May 8 stating that “marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state,” posing a potential challenge to civil unions between heterosexuals as well.

Obama’s statement dwelt on “committed” and “monogamous” gay couples that he knows while praising their good parenting—in other words, the traditional “one man on one woman for life” applied with a lifestyle twist. So gay people, too, can struggle to shoehorn their personal lives into the institution of marriage, one of the means by which the ruling class exerts social control. And gay working people like others will keep struggling to find affordable, quality childcare, medical care and decent education for their kids, while trying to feed and house their families on diminishing wages and benefits.

The Spartacist League supports full equal rights for gays, just as we support any gain in civil and democratic rights that the working class and the oppressed can wrest from the capitalist rulers and their state. This includes the right for gays to marry—a condition for receiving a range of necessary social benefits. Marriage rights or not, gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders will continue to face deadly bigotry in this homophobic society, where organized religion and the nuclear family are key institutions for the maintenance of the capitalist order. We also support the right of gays to enter the military without any “don’t ask, don’t tell” traps, which does not lessen by one iota our class opposition to the imperialist military and its wars and occupations.

Humorist Fran Lebowitz hit the target when she said in her HBO documentary that she was “stunned” that the two greatest desires of gay rights activists were marriage and serving in the military. She noted, “Usually the fight for freedom is the fight for freedom…. This is like the fight for slavery.” We say: For the right to gay marriage—and divorce! Not one person, not one penny for the imperialist armed forces! We communists fight for a workers government, under which no one will be forced into a legal straitjacket (they don’t call it “wedlock” for nothing) to get medical benefits, visitation rights, child custody, citizenship rights or any of the other privileges this capitalist society grants to married couples.

Reformist Left: Democrats’ Amen Corner

However cheap it came, the president’s “evolution” on gay marriage was greeted with effusive praise in the expected liberal quarters. The New York Times raised comparisons with Lyndon Baines Johnson’s signing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The National Organization for Women issued a statement “celebrating” Obama’s views, while the gay and transgender rights organization AllOut.org sent him a thank you card, “Obama Stood Up for Love,” with 75,000 signatures. Also unsurprising was the praise, coupled with some mild criticism, coming from the reformist left. The Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) called Obama’s comments a “sea-change” analogous to the “major historic moment” of his election as the first black president (Liberation, 12 May). The International Socialist Organization (ISO) chimed in that the statement “is, of course, historic,” while chastising Obama for being a “latecomer” on “marriage equality” (“What Took Him So Long?” Socialist Worker, 14 May).

The reformists decry Obama’s deference to states’ rights as well as his flip-flops on gay marriage, which Obama supported in 1996 during his first campaign for the Illinois state senate, only to reverse course when he went on to run for the U.S. Senate. In the 2008 elections, his opposition to gay marriage was perhaps the most effective tool in the passage of California’s Proposition 8, which enshrined marriage as being between heterosexuals only. “Robocalls” were placed to people’s cellphones with recordings of Obama declaring: “I believe marriage is a union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union.” This was hardly a first for the Democrats. Bill Clinton signed the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act that pronounced, “The word ‘marriage’ means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.”

But the complaints of the ISO, PSL & Co. about the Democrats’ waffling on gay rights are in the service of their main selling point: that it was pressure exerted by gay and lesbian activists that got Obama to do right, and now it’s time to keep the pressure on. Thus, the PSL opines that Obama’s announcement was “a victory for the marriage equality movement,” one that “will help fuel more resistance against the entrenched reactionaries who seek to push the LGBT movement back.” Similarly, the ISO opines that “activists may be right in hoping the statement will make it harder for Democrats to back away from future action in defense of equality.”

Like the editorialists at the New York Times, the reformist “socialists,” who were gaga over Obama’s election four years ago, worry that his record as U.S. imperialist Commander-in-Chief has alienated the working people, blacks, immigrants and youth who bought the lie that his administration would bring some relief from the attacks of the Bush gang. Fat chance! As the world capitalist economic crisis grinds on, working people have been made to pay through home foreclosures, massive and long-term unemployment and the shredding of pensions and other benefits. While unions have taken it on the chin, the White House has steadily increased attacks on fundamental civil liberties at home while refocusing U.S. imperialism’s murderous operations abroad, from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Yemen and Libya.

Whether it’s defense of abortion rights and gay rights or the struggle against racist terror, the reformists, whose political activity is entirely defined by the framework of bourgeois society, peddle the notion that the Democratic Party is the vehicle through which the exploited and the oppressed can satisfy their demands. This lie, which is sold by the trade-union bureaucracy to its working-class base, is fundamental to keeping working people politically chained to the decaying capitalist system, having led countless struggles against oppression and war to the graveyard. In contrast, our activity is directed to forging a class-struggle workers party, the necessary instrument to lead the proletariat in the overthrow of the wretched capitalist order. Key to this perspective is breaking the working class, blacks and others on the receiving end of the rulers’ attacks from all illusions in the Democratic Party, the “lesser evil” face of U.S. imperialism.

In the Beginning Was Jimmy Carter

As November approaches, the public is due for yet more nauseating doses of the contest for the title “holier than thou,” now a staple in U.S. elections. Today, it’s unthinkable that a U.S. president would repeat Ulysses S. Grant’s 1876 statement: “Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church and private schools entirely supported by private contributions. Keep the church and state forever separate.” This pronouncement, which was commonplace at the time, was uttered barely a decade after the defeat of the slaveholding South in the American Civil War, the U.S. bourgeoisie’s last progressive war. It is a mark of the degeneracy of U.S. capitalist class rule in this epoch of imperialist decay that a fundamental tenet of the Bill of Rights—the strict separation of church and state—has all but withered away.

Stoking the fires of religious and social reaction, Mitt Romney echoes the loony religious right’s claim that Obama wants to make the U.S. into “a less Christian nation.” Obama has himself pandered to the forces of religious reaction, from overruling the FDA’s approval of the “morning after” birth control pill for teens to agreeing to exclude women workers of Catholic institutions from mandatory contraceptive health insurance coverage (see “Obama Panders to Religious Reaction,” WV No. 997, 2 March).

In fact, the mobilization for Christian “family values” has long been a bipartisan effort. It was Democratic president Jimmy Carter who hyped the values of Christian fundamentalism, as a weapon to roll back the gains of the civil rights and other struggles of the 1950s and ’60s. To the extent that some democratic rights have been extended to gays, it has primarily been as a by-product of those struggles, including the fight against the dirty imperialist war in Vietnam. Carter’s crusade was part of a major bourgeois ideological assault aimed at overcoming the “Vietnam syndrome” and instilling an unquestioning acceptance of capitalism, God and family, including the desirability of dying for one’s country. Since that time, God has been the close personal friend of every American president, Republican or Democratic, while abortion rights, affirmative action in education and other gains have been under constant assault as part of a generalized onslaught against labor and the oppressed.

The push for “family values” has prominently served as a battering ram in this effort. A case in point was the “Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act” signed by Democrat Bill Clinton the same year he approved the Defense of Marriage Act. Part of his ending “welfare as we know it,” the Personal Responsibility act consigned millions of impoverished women to the scrap heap. It authorized government control over the personal and sexual lives of welfare recipients by enabling states to use their Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funds to promote marriage and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies. Now, as the New York Times (7 April) reported, the cash welfare rolls have barely budged despite four years of the worst economy in decades. The victims are primarily single mothers, who resort to selling their own blood and food stamps for cash or rummaging through garbage cans to feed their children. As always in this country founded on black chattel slavery, any attack on the poor hits black people hardest.

The four-decade-long assault on the gains made by blacks, women and others underscores that democratic rights are indivisible. The Spartacist League has stood out in opposing state repression of the most oppressed and marginalized, from Mormon polygamists to NAMBLA (North American Man/Boy Love Association), a group vilified by mainstream gay rights organizations and opportunist “socialists” for advocating the decriminalization of consensual sex between men and boys. We oppose all laws that enable the state to regulate consensual sexual activity, including those that allow the government to exercise social control under the guise of “protecting children.”

It is a vital task of the revolutionary vanguard to champion full democratic rights for gays and to fight to win the working class to this cause. Like the oppression of women, the oppression of homosexuals is not primarily the result of narrow-mindedness. Both are fundamentally grounded in the institution of the family—the root of the patriarchal subjugation of women—and in organized religion. Ending the dominance of church and family, which are necessary props of the capitalist system of exploitation, will require overthrowing bourgeois rule through workers socialist revolution. Through the expropriation of the productive property of the capitalist class, a workers government will lay the basis for a planned economy that qualitatively expands society’s productive forces, eliminating scarcity and vastly expanding the range and depth of scientific knowledge. This will mark the beginning of the socialist epoch of human freedom, destroying the last vestiges of religious and social backwardness.

Further reading:
For the Right of Gay Marriage… and Divorce!
Mariela Castro: The Power of Emancipation Through Socialism

Houla Massacre: False Flag Attack Claims Children’s Lives

Children living in the aftermath of the war against Iraq: once prosperous, starvation sanctions and a decade of bombing campaigns has left the country in tatters and its citizens in poverty.

Echoes of Iraq as Media Searches for “Casus Belli”

by Nina Westbury for Crimson Satellite

Confronted by a reporter about the deaths of more than half a million Iraqi children killed by US/UN starvation sanctions, then Secretary of State Madeline Albright cooly replied, “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it.”

And that was just the beginning. The war against Iraq would eventually claim the lives of roughly 1.5 million people (“Iraq Death Toll Rivals Rwanda Genocide, Cambodian Killing Fields,” alternet.org, September 2007), among them hundreds of thousands of children who died because the Pentagon okayed bombing of water and sewage treatment facilities. Iraq, once a prosperous and developed country with a high standard of living, had been bombed into the Stone Age. The number of deaths indirectly resulting from decimated infrastructure and nonexistent healthcare is unknown. With reckless disregard for civilians, occupation forces destroyed hospitals and schools.

Through it all, Western media was complicit. There was a consensus across a wide ideological spectrum — they insisted that the only criminal was the Ba’athist President Saddam Hussein. Once allied with imperialism, Hussein was now painted as a modern-day Caligula who, because of his brown skin, must have been harboring al Qaeda militants. His mythical Weapons of Mass Destruction posed a threat to the whole world. It was essential that the US and its allies intervene, to save the Iraqi people from this monster and the American people from a menace that shared the same religion as Osama bin Laden. That was the pretext for the evil invasion of Iraq.

Bourgeois Democratic Party politicians, most of whom had endorsed the starvation sanctions, selfishly used mass opposition to the war against Iraq to defeat Republicans in 2006 and 2008. They promised to end “cowboy diplomacy” and the ugliest excesses of the corporate-fascist Bush regime. Like they always do, they lied.

One can imagine Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, perhaps responding to a question about the lynching of blacks in the hellhole of “free” Libya, delivering Albright’s response: “we think it is worth it.” All of the unimaginable humanitarian disasters created by US imperialism are “worth it” for the capitalist class, which needs to plunder weaker countries to keep a floundering economy afloat.

Instead of ending the pursuit of global hegemony, the Obama Administration (filled to the brim with corporate hacks plucked from the Bush Administration) set out to create a “leaner, meaner” imperialism less likely to cause social unrest at home. The result was the “Arab Spring,” in which quislings with terrorist credentials and years of training in the US destabilized an array of governments, posing as spontaneous protesters asking for democratic reforms. The “protesters” were quick to welcome shock-and-awe bombing campaigns and carving up of their homelands to foreign corporations.

This process caused hundreds of thousands of deaths, and whole countries have been destroyed. Further, a rollback in rights for women and ethnic and religious minorities has occurred with the rise of “Islamist” parties like the Muslim Brotherhood (which has endorsed intervention in Syria), tapped to fill the political vacuum.

Children are particularly vulnerable, with many who have lost parents or are suffering from injuries without access to even basic care. With new regimes unable to consolidate power or maintain any legitimate claim of authority, schools are left shuttered and children lose access to education indefinitely — leaving them with no future.

It is in this context that the Obama Administration, its NATO and GCC allies, and a warmongering mainstream media shed crocodile tears for victims of the Houla Massacre, particularly the young children who were killed.

“Houla Killings Could Be Syrian Tipping Point” The Atlantic declared. “Will Syria’s Houla Massacre Force Action on the Crisis?” TIME wondered. Meanwhile, an emergency session was called by the UN Security Council, the same body that just over a year ago rubber stamped the NATO invasion of Libya.

But just like with the pack of lies that justified the war against Iraq, holes began to emerge in the corporate media’s narrative. What purpose did the massacre serve for the Syrian government? It was in no way beneficial to Syrian forces, there was nothing to be gained strategically by killing Syrian children. Then came the announcement by Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister that the victims were not killed by artillery fire (“shelling”), and instead had been killed by bladed weapons in close range — not weapons carried by the Syrian army, and more likely items carried by armed groups. Later, unquestioningly publishing “activist” accounts of the situation got the BBC into hot water when they published an image said to be from Houla which had in fact been a photograph from post-Saddam Iraq.

So once again we are left with two versions of events.

One is the dominant narrative pushed by those seeking intervention in Syria: that the Syrian government, so far unable to be toppled because of widespread popular support and a lauded reform process, is so depraved that it would order the Syrian Arab Army to murder nearly one hundred innocent people, including dozens of Syrian children, for no reason — and that the Army would go along with it.

The other is based on imperialism’s long history of unspeakable atrocities and an objective understanding of the crisis in Syria: that terrorists admittedly linked to al-Qaeda and bankrolled by the Gulf monarchies and NATO members — people who are on record saying that the deaths of many children are “worth it” to pursue their foreign policy aims — are so desperate to reverse their defeat at the hands of the Syrian people, that they committed a massacre to serve as a pretext for intervention.

Copyright: If you republish this article, please do so in its entirety with credit to the author and a live link to Crimson Satellite.

Syria Under Attack by Globalist Death Squad Experts

Brandon Turbeville

As the destabilization effort against Syria continues, the connections between the terrorist “opposition” forces and Anglo-American, pro-NATO governments are becoming more and more obvious, even as the mainstream media refuses to address the issue in any manner other than direct obfuscation.

Thankfully, a sizable portion of the alternative media, along with outspoken Syrians like YouTube blogger Syrian Girl have played a major role in exposing the “rebels” for what they are – foreign terrorists and criminal Syrian elements that are being backed by Anglo-American and pro-NATO governments and intelligence agencies. Many of these individuals are admittedly al-Qaeda, much like the Libyan “rebels” who, after taking power with the help of NATO, immediately began restricting freedoms and slaughtering black Libyans. Indeed, a sizable portion of these terrorists have actually traveled from Libya to Syria, with some working from across the borders of Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon.

As author and historian, Webster Griffin Tarpley, has aptly stated before, it is now widely apparent that al-Qaeda is nothing more than the United States’ Arab legion.

In addition, due the increasing level of brazenness with which the Anglo-American empires are engaging in their operations, the actual players involved in the destabilization efforts are also becoming more visible as well.

One individual who is receiving uncharacteristic levels of press attention is Robert Ford, the U.S. ambassador to Syria.

Of course, all of the reporting by the mainstream media is glowing and supportive, making it seem as if Ford were a bona fide people’s hero fighting for an oppressed population.

Yet the reality is that he is nothing more than a globalist destabilization expert who is merely taking over from his mentor John Negroponte, who became quite refined as a enabler of mass slaughter in Central America and Iraq. Indeed, Negroponte’s Iraq affair is where Ford himself was able to hone his skills in the arming and assistance of ruthless death squads who target innocent people in campaigns of terror and mass murder.

Now, however, questions must arise over possible connections to destabilization agents and potential participation in these efforts by General Robert Mood, the Norwegian general which has recently been appointed head of the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) as well as the ever-present David Petraeus in the background.

First, however, some background might be necessary for those who are not familiar with the connections between the prominent “officials” like Ford and Negroponte and how they are relevant to the situation in Syria.

It should be noted that Prof. Michel Chossudovsky of GlobalResearch.ca has provided an excellent historical presentation of the connections of Negroponte, Ford, and Petraeus in relation to death squads and destabilization in his article “The Pentagon’s ‘Salvador Option’: The Deployment of Death Squads in Iraq and Syria.” I encourage everyone to read this excellent piece for context and analysis as a companion to my own article.

John Negroponte was the U.S. ambassador to Honduras from 1981 to 1985. In this role, he was instrumental in supporting and overseeing the Nicaraguan Contra killers who, although based in Honduras, engaged in horrific acts of terrorism inside Nicaragua. Ultimately, this operation claimed the lives of approximately 50,000 innocent civilians. This is the origin of the term “Salvador Option” when speaking of the formation of “death squads” for political purposes, an option that has become a hallmark of Negroponte and the system which he represents.

Negroponte was also responsible for the formation of the Honduran death squads who engaged in a mission of terror against opponents of the US-backed Honduran regime as well as the Sandinistas and civilian populations in Nicaragua.

As Peter Roff and James Chapin write in their article “Face-off: Bush’s Foreign Policy Warriors,

The Sun described the activities of a secret CIA-trained Honduran army unit, Battalion 316, that used ‘shock and suffocation devices in interrogations. Prisoners often were kept naked and, when no longer useful, killed and buried in unmarked graves.’

On August 27, 1997, CIA Inspector General Frederick P. Hitz released a 211-page classified report entitled “Selected Issues Relating to CIA Activities in Honduras in the 1980s.” This report was partly declassified on Oct. 22, 1998, in response to demands by the Honduran human rights ombudsman.

In 2005, Negroponte was appointed as ambassador to Iraq. In this role, he again oversaw the formation of death squads who targeted both the civilian populations and the Iraqi insurgency. The goal here was to foment division within the insurgency and turn it into a fragmented front. A divided opposition is obviously much easier to defeat than a united one. This theory has been proven accurate time and time again.

Indeed, in 2005, a story was leaked to Newsweek where the Pentagon confirmed that it was “considering forming hit squads of Kurdish and Shia fighters to target leaders of the Iraqi insurgency in a strategic shift borrowed from the American struggle against left-wing guerrillas in Central America 20 years ago.”[1]

The Pentagon did more than “consider” this option. Not very long after this information was leaked, Iraq began to see the results of its implementation. As Dahr Jamail of Antiwar.com wrote in 2007,

Under the ‘Salvador Option,’ Negroponte had assistance from his colleague from his days in Central America during the 1980s, Ret. Col James Steele. Steele, whose title in Baghdad was Counselor for Iraqi Security Forces supervised the selection and training of members of the Badr Organization and Mehdi Army, the two largest Shi’ite militias in Iraq, in order to target the leadership and support networks of a primarily Sunni resistance.

Planned or not, these death squads promptly spiraled out of control to become the leading cause of death in Iraq. Intentional or not, the scores of tortured, mutilated bodies which turn up on the streets of Baghdad each day are generated by the death squads whose impetus was John Negroponte. And it is this U.S.-backed sectarian violence which largely led to the hell-disaster that Iraq is today.

Of course, the fact that the death squad option was implemented so quickly after the release of the report suggests that the mercenaries were being organized and applied long before Newsweek was made aware of them.

Nevertheless, serving in Iraq at the same time that the death squads were beginning to make their bloody mark on the cohesion of the “insurgency,” was Robert Ford who, at the time, had been appointed political counselor to the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. Ford remained in this post from 2004-2006 where he worked closely with Negroponte. He was also heavily involved in the organization of the death squads. Ford was instrumental in helping make “contacts” with these individuals as well as developing and maintaining relations with them for other purposes such as continued and future terror campaigns.

In fact, Ford was once described by Negroponte as “one of these very tireless people . . . who didn’t mind putting on his flak jacket and helmet and going out of the Green Zone to meet contacts.” In short, Ford acted as a foot soldier in death squad formation.

Attempting to summarize the death squad plan, Michael Hirsh and John Barry of Newsweek wrote in 2005:

[O]ne Pentagon proposal would send Special Forces teams to advise, support and possibly train Iraqi squads, most likely hand-picked Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and Shiite militiamen, to target Sunni insurgents and their sympathizers, even across the border into Syria, according to military insiders familiar with the discussions. It remains unclear, however, whether this would be a policy of assassination or so-called ‘snatch’ operations, in which the targets are sent to secret facilities for interrogation. The current thinking is that while U.S. Special Forces would lead operations in, say, Syria, activities inside Iraq itself would be carried out by Iraqi paramilitaries. [emphasis added]

Commenting further on the Newsweek article, the Times Online added, “Nor is it clear who would take responsibility for such a programme – the Pentagon or the Central Intelligence Agency. Such covert operations have traditionally been run by the CIA at arm’s length from the administration in power, giving US officials the ability to deny knowledge of it.”[2]

Although the focus of these articles revolve around the question of CIA/Pentagon death squads in Iraq, it is important to notice that, as far back as 2005, it was admitted that there were clear plans to create, fund, and operate death squads in Syria.

Ford and Negroponte are not the only high-profile US officials in the trenches of death squad development however. General David Petraeus, now Director of the CIA, established and subsequently assumed command of the Multi-National Security Transition Command Iraq (MNSTC) under the auspices of training and equipping the Iraqi army, police, and security forces. Petraeus’ personal command of the MNSTC began in 2004, at virtually the same time Negroponte was appointed ambassador.

In reality, MNSTC was not merely about training Iraqi forces, but about establishing death squads. Indeed, it was a true counterinsurgency strategy that was instrumental to the Iraqi “Salvador Option” employed by the Pentagon and, likely, the CIA.

Although Petraeus is now Director of the CIA, his military connections are no doubt intact. Indeed, relationships of this nature do not change with the mere presentation of a new title on one operative or another. Likewise, Robert Ford’s 2009 appointment as ambassador to Syria is merely the insertion of yet another destabilization agent into the Syrian landscape.

Ford’s current action in Syria serves the exact same purpose as his presence in Iraq only a few years previous. This time, however, it seems that Ford is taking on a more central role in the affair. Indeed, many Syrians, if not aware of the more sinister acts of Ford, are at least aware that he has been instrumental in fomenting violent rebellion and negative Western public opinion against the ruling government. This is why Ford’s convoy was attacked by “pro-government” Syrians as he rode through town meeting with his terrorist pets.

Ford’s very presence in Syria has been nothing more than a destabilization tactic. Indeed, he has drawn quite a bit of international attention to himself by traveling across the country at will, “meeting with protestors” and turning terrorists into martyrs in the minds of the gullible Western public.

Logically, by “meeting with protestors” one can read “instigating terrorism.” The mainstream media, however, reports Ford’s terror encouragement tour as a heroic act of solidarity with “the people.”

Eventually, after a succession of terror tours the Assad regime finally slapped restrictions on Ford’s travel, requiring him not to leave the boundaries of Damascus. However, Ford openly disregarded those limitations and brazenly began traveling all over Syria, meeting with his terrorist brethren.

Of course, one should not forget that Petraeus, as CIA Director and a direct connection and common denominator between U.S. military and NATO contacts, is also a major player in the Syrian “Salvador Option” which is now taking shape. The death squad strategy is largely useless without at least of one these institutions, a relatively easy accomplish since, at the top of both, the establishment merges to form the same shadow government.

Nevertheless, there is one more major player in the Syrian destabilization that should be drawing some more attention for his potential role in the early development of the Syrian death squads. General Robert Mood, the Norwegian general who is now the head of the United Nations Supervision Mission In Syria (UNSMIS), is not without his own potential for connections to destabilization efforts in Syria.

Ironically, Mood has extensive connections with NATO, the organization (by virtue of its member nations) which is responsible for the Syrian destabilization to begin with. So, as it stands, we now have NATO being sent in to Syria to observe and report on the actions of NATO (the death squads). One can already assume what observations will be made to the general public in the coming days (or weeks).

It is worth noting that General Mood holds a Master’s Degree in Military Studies from the U.S. Marine Corps. University as well as attending his own countries Norwegian Army Staff College and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Defense College located in Rome – truly a citizen of the world.

From 2008 to 2011, Mood was the Commander in Chief of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), an organization whose stated purpose is to provide a military command structure for UN peacekeeping functions in the Middle East. Mood was also Operations Officer for the Norwegian Battalion of UNIFL (United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon) during the 1980s.

However, interestingly enough, Mood, in his position as Commander in Chief of UNTSO, oversaw the various established groups of UN “observers,” some of which were (and still are) located in Syria. One of those groups OGG (Observer Group Golan) is split into two different substations with one of those stations headquartered in Damascus (OGG – Damascus). Other outposts of UNTSO are based in Israel, Lebanon (which borders Syria), and Egypt.

Mood’s position then, would put him squarely involved in Syria at the same time as Robert Ford and presumably, David Petraeus via his personally delegated presence. With that in mind, one must wonder what role Mood might have had in the formation of the death squads being developed at the time. Webster Tarpley alluded to this possibility in an interview conducted with PressTV when he said:

Any analysis that doesn’t start with the death squads and the role of [American diplomat John Dimitri] Negroponte in Baghdad and then Robert Ford in Damascus I would actually ask [Head of United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria, Major] General Robert Mood if you were there from 2009 to 2011 in Damascus what did you know about the formation of these death squads. That would be a really interesting question.

The fact that the “rebellion” in Syria is actually a NATO/Anglo-American/Arab puppet state fostered destabilization effort is not debatable to anyone who has even a basic grasp of the events now transpiring in the region. Although it is taking much longer to do to Syria what these same forces accomplished in Libya, the game plan remains exactly the same.

In fact, many of the players that took part in the dismantling the Gaddafi regime are now involved in the destruction of Assad’s government. The same al-Qaeda terrorists that emerged in Libya have now traveled to Syria for round two of imperial moves to establish puppet governments and reduce the living standards of an entire nation. The infamous Libyan “rebel” leader Belhaj is now reportedly conducting operations in Syria as well.

Of course, all of these forces work with the direct aid of the Anglo-Americans and the de facto world army known as NATO. It has even been reported by Thierry Meyssan of the Voltaire Network that French agents acting as mercenaries/death squad participants were captured by the Syrian government early on in the “rebellion.” All the while, the mainstream Western media reported the events as “peaceful protest” and a grass-roots level organic Syrian uprising against an oppressive regime.

In examining the behavior and writings of the world elite, it is abundantly clear that Syria exists as the last stepping stone before war is launched against Iran. It seems almost certain that the Assad regime must be replaced by a puppet government more favorable to the Anglo-American imperial powers or, at the very least, one that is incapable of resisting them. While Syria has lasted much longer than its counterparts Libya and Egypt, it is unlikely that it will be able to hold out much longer, particularly with the acceptance of the UN “observer” forces inside its borders and an ever-growing pro-war sentiment expressed by Western governments.

If war is launched on Iran, whether by the Western powers or by Israel, World War Three is likely to follow. While the United States and hence the rest of NATO will undoubtedly follow the footsteps of the mad dog of the Middle East, Russia will likely take the opposing side. China and India are likely to follow Russia. A direct clash of these world powers has the potential to produce more destruction than the previous two world wars put together.

Although not the architects of the war, it is important that the names of Negroponte, Ford, Petraeus, and Mood be remembered for posterity as the worker bees who facilitated it.

Notes:

[1] “El Salvador-style ‘death squads’ to be deployed by US against Iraq militants.” Times Online. January 10, 2005. As quoted and sourced by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky of GlobalResearch.ca in his article, “ The Pentagon’s ‘Salvador Option’: The Deployment of Death Squads in Iraq and Syria.”

[2] Ibid.

“Tsunami” of Lies Targets Syria: Army Not Involved in Houla Masacre

SANA

Spokesman for the Syrian Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ministry, Jihad Makdissi, has categorically denied responsibility of the Syrian forces for the massacre that took place in al-Houla area in Homs Province.

In a press conference on Sunday, Makdissi condemned in strongest terms this terrorist massacre against the Syrian civilians as he condemned accusing the Syrian forces of doing that.

Makdissi stressed that no tanks or artillery entered al-Houla town, adding that hundreds of gunmen, armed with various kinds of heavy weapons, attacked al-Houla area in Homs countryside after they assembled in various areas in a deliberate and planned manner, indicating that “The law-enforcement members never left their positions and were in a state of self-defense.”

Makdissi said that Syria also condemns the “tsunami” of lies against the Syrian government in the past couple of days and the ease in leveling accusations against the Syrian government by some foreign ministers and media.

“We’ve talked to the Defense Ministry, the Interior Ministry and the authorities concerned to put us in the picture of what happened in Houla,” said Makdissi.

Makdissi added “It has been confirmed that hundreds of gunmen gathered at 2:00 o’clock on Friday afternoon, using Pick-up cars loaded with up-to-date and heavy weapons, like mortars, machineguns and anti-tank missiles, which are newly used in the confrontation with the state forces.”

”The gunmen headed to al-Houla area which is guarded by the government forces at five points where law-enforcement members and security are positioned, which lie outside the places where the massacres happened. The attack lasted from 2:00 pm o’clock until 11:00 pm. 3 law-enforcement members were martyred and 16 injured, some critically, and there were charred bodies.”

Makdissi said that there has been a massacre in al-Shoumarieh village where crops, houses and the national hospital were burnt down., indicating that Al-Houla is only part of a larger terrorist attack.

Makdissi said that the attack is an unjustifiable act that deserves a Security Council meeting to find out who is funding, arming, hosting and instigating terrorists.

“A military judicial committee was formed to conduct investigation and the results will be announced in three days,” Makdissi added.

”Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem has spoken to the UN envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, and informed him of the details of what happened and the official investigation underway,” Makdissi said.

”We regret that foreign ministers of some countries have rushed to level baseless accusations in such forums as the UN Security Council and the EU, based on statements by opposition figures or biased media.”

”The savage pattern of killing as shown by the images, children, elderly and women were killed in a way which is alien to the morals of the valiant Syrian Arab army,” Makdissi said.

“The Syrian state is responsible for protecting civilians according to the constitution and Syria preserves its right to defend its citizens,” he said.

”It is not the Syrian army, who have taken an oath to protect civilians, who committed the crime. Those who come from hideouts and mountains and kill innocent civilians are well known. There might be clashes and there is a high-level independent investigation at the ministries of defense and interior.”

The suspicious coincidence between the attacks in parallel with the visit of UN Special Envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, is a slap to the political process, said Makdissi.

Answering a question on the beneficiary from this crime against the Syrian people, Makdissi said ” What happened does not serve the interests of the Syrian state, and we are committed to Annan’s plan and wish him success,” stressing that “We don’t trade with the Syrian blood.”

Makdissi said that the regional countries which are hosting terrorist groups and turn a blind eye to the infiltration of terrorists and the countries which are publically funding them are complicit in the crimes against the Syrian people.

On the report of the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Syria, Makdissi said ”I read the report and we have reservations about it…We already know that Ki-moon and Annan are involved with 15 other countries at the UNSC, which is a diplomatic and political labor, because most of these countries are hostile to Syria.”

”There is no such thing as armed opposition as the report called them. There is either intellectual opposition that is welcomed to a dialogue that we’ve never shut the door on, or terrorists. Taking up arms against the state is unjustifiable, whatever the political excuse,” said Makdissi.

Makdissi pointed to the contradiction in Ki-moon’s report which states that some Syrian cities have become outside the control of the Syrian government as he says that tanks and heavy machines haven’t been removed.

”There may be neighborhoods outside the control of the Syrian government due to the presence of gunmen, but not whole cities as the report said, that’s why we hope that the coming reports would be more professional.”

Answering a question on the opposition’s benefit from committing such a crime, Makdissi said ”This question should be put to the opposition…there is an intellectual opposition and terrorists to whom the opposition turns a blind eye…It is not condemning their acts after all. Hence, there is an tacit alliance between the two.”

On the issue of the kidnapped Lebanese, Makdissi ”We heard that there was a phone call between the Turkish authorities and the Lebanese foreign minister…We condemn this act and Syria will spare no effort to offer help in this regard.”

Makdissi said that a the Syrian government submitted a draft statement condemning the massacre to the UN Security Council.

”We admit that we have a crisis, but the solution does not lie in destabilizing Syria. But if they are out for confrontation, we’ll be there for it and we are determined to defend our country.”

”If the outside opposition and the countries backing them agreed to political solution, we can say that the crisis is coming to a close. Syria has agreed to dialogue and to the Chinese plan and the Russian proposal for hosting an initial dialogue session, but the ones who fear the street rejected. We are sure that President Bashar al-Assad enjoys the majority necessary to change Syria in a democratic way,” added Makdissi.

Makdissi indicated that the terrorism and crimes have increased since Syria’s approval on Annan’s plan because they don’t want to make the plan a success.

He said that the armed terrorist groups committed more than 3,500 violations of Annan’s plan, adding that “non-stability is a good environment for terrorists… there are al-Qaeda and takfiris but we won’t allow them to make use of this environment no matter how long the confrontation takes.”

Makdissi stressed that the solution to the crisis in Syria lies in lending a helping hand to the Syrian government.

Venezuelan Opposition Promises “Renewal” of Relations with Israel

Venezuelanalysis

Over the weekend, Venezuela’s anti-Chavez minority confirmed reports that one of their own recently met with right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and promised to re-establish ties with Israel if the opposition is somehow successful in this year’s presidential election. Speaking on behalf of the opposition’s socalled Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), Metropolitan Mayor of Caracas Antonio Ledezma is said to have promised both economic and political rewards in exchange for Israeli support of MUD presidential hopeful, Henrique Capriles Radonski.

Though the MUD have been totally unable to improve their standing in polls which predict a sweeping electoral victory for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez this October 7, Ledezma’s comments in Israel provide a troubling glimpse at wishful opposition thinking in a post-Chavez period.

“SOLIDARITY” WITH ISRAEL?

Though he was in Jerusalem last week for the 28th International Mayors Conference, opposition lawyer and politician Antonio Ledezma took advantage of his publicly-financed trip to meet privately with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well as the country’s Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman. Asked about the closed-door meetings, Ledezma said he had used his time in Israel to spread “the message that the Venezuelan nation has respect for Israel.”

Ledezma told reporters he spoke with Netanyahu and Liberman about “the Venezuelan people’s solidarity with the Jewish community” and, “in addition, our (opposition) disposition to reestablish relations with the State of Israel under a new government presided by Henrique Capriles Radonski.”

“In contrast to the current political policy in Venezuela,” he said, “Capriles will re-establish our historical ties.”

Not needing to say so openly, Ledezma’s reference to “historical ties” includes both the United States and Israel, in contrast to Chavez administration policies favoring relations with the entirety of the Global South, including China, Russia, Iran and Cuba, to name just a few.

Pleased with the opposition spokesman, and in direct reference to the Chavez administration, Israel’s Foreign Minister responded to Ledezma’s comments by stating, “nations in the global village of today need reasonable governments that help encourage cooperation among peoples.”

Guaranteeing an opposition victory, Ledezma added that “our people, who don’t know how to mistreat, who value peace and love for one’s neighbor, mustn’t be confused with the decisions of an intemperate administration which has broken our historical relations and is on its way out.”

The right-wing mayor, who withdrew from opposition primaries for lack of electoral potential, told Israeli media he believed “the opposition’s chances are equal (to Chavez’s) and even greater, mostly because it is bringing a message of renewal to all of Venezuela.” Ledezma added that he hopes “the current government will allow for democratic elections.”

President Chavez, who holds a double-digit lead against Capriles Radonski in every poll taken to date, instructed his government to break relations with Israel after the Israeli military killed some 1,500 Palestinians and wounded another 5,000 during its 2009 siege on Gaza.

At that time, the Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a press release stating that “Israel has repeatedly ignored the calls of the United Nations, consistently and shamelessly violating the resolutions approved by overwhelming majorities of member countries, increasingly placing itself on the margin of international law” and added that “Israel’s state terrorism has cost the lives of the most vulnerable and innocent: children, women, and the elderly.”

During his 3-day trip to Israel, the opposition’s Ledezma made no mention of Israel’s segregationist policies towards the Palestinians, the widely-condemned but ongoing blockade against those in Gaza, nor did he question the inhuman prison conditions currently under international scrutiny as several Palestinian hunger strikers near death.

PROMISING RESOURCES

Late last week, Venezuelan philosopher and TV journalist Miguel Angel Perez Pirela denounced the meeting between Ledezma and the Israeli Prime Minister, calling it “further evidence” of opposition plans to “destabilize” the country. Pirela reminded viewers that MUD spokesmen have now met with former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, with right-wing members of the anti-Chavez community in Southern Florida, and, now, with Israel’s Netanyahu.

Pirela explained that Ledezma spent tax-payer funds to finance his trip to Israel, and used his time in the Middle East to request Israeli support for MUD presidential hopeful Capriles Radonski. In exchange for support, he said, Israel was promised “access to the country’s resources” if the opposition were to somehow take this year’s presidential election.

“He who doesn’t want to see has the right not to; he can joke things off and accuse us of paranoia,” said Pirela, “but this smells rotten.”

“There are strong signs that they [opposition figures] are showing us the exact location from which the bullets will be fired,” he said, suggesting recent opposition meetings in Colombia, Miami, Florida, and Israel are evidence of a larger opposition strategy to destabilize Venezuela with international support.

With respect to Israel, in December 2011 and with no evidence to back his assertions, Israeli Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya´alon accused Venezuela of working with Iran to create a “terrorist infrastructure” across the Americas that could be used to “attack the interests of the United States.”

In response to his statements, Venezuela’s Foreign Ministry affirmed, “such abusive and tendentious statements, which come from the representative of a government that itself participates in terrorist attacks against the Arab peoples, are part of a continuous campaign of aggression against our people.”

DEFENDING REVOLUTION

Speaking at a pro-Chavez rally on Friday, Mayor of the Caracas Libertador Municipality and head of the Chavez re-election campaign Jorge Rodriguez denounced the opposition’s international positioning. In the border state of Tachira backing grassroots efforts to re-elect Venezuela’s socialist President, Rodriguez accused Capriles Radonski of traveling to Colombia “to seek advice from known drug trafficker and confessed paramilitary figure, (former President) Alvaro Uribe.”

Rodriguez told those gathered, “the lazy Mayor of Caracas, Mayor Ledezma, recently made his way to Israel and is also meeting with representatives of the extreme right.”

“They’ve already lost hope in winning the election,” Rodriguez affirmed, “but if they try taking the path of destabilization they’ll face the people and homeland, ready to defend the Revolution.”