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An Honest Syrian Response to the Criminally Hypocritical Western Cries of “Torture”

21st Century Wire says…

No other fabricated claim against Syria’s majority elected head of state, President Assad, has received such amplification from colonial media & NGOs, as that of “torture”. The sheer hypocrisy of western outrage against a practice they have clandestinely perfected in the vaults of deep state for hundreds if not  thousands of years, is staggering.

Torture is a global phenomenon, to pretend otherwise or to adopt a moral superiority in the west is to ignore the misery that is inflicted daily, both domestically and internationally, by our governments & their allies.

While flinging “torture” accusations at the majority of geopolitical prey nations, the UK and US, in particular, support client states who conduct torture campaigns on a horrifying scale against their own citizens or their captive, occupied peoples – yes Saudi Arabia and Israel are the perfect examples of torture as a way of life. There is no equivalent outrage against, or prosecution of, their crimes of mass torture, racist oppression or ethnic cleansing pogroms. Why not?

How many dissident or political prisoners does the UK have in solitary confinement in UK prisons? Solitary confinement is a recognised form of torture by the way. I recommend everyone follow the case of Melanie Shaw that has been highlighted by UK Column.

US police forces extra-judicially executed more than one thousand Black Americans in 2015. How many people in the US and UK are living below a humane poverty line, destitute, persecuted, homeless and ghetto-ised. Incidentally, you do not see the same level of destitution on the streets of Damascus, Homs or even Aleppo, despite crippling US/EU sanctions and the terrorist proxy war being waged against a sovereign nation and its people.

The following is an email I received from a young Syrian last year. It was in response to the clamour for President Assad’s removal based upon his alleged “torture” record. All such claims emanate from spurious western or gulf state produced reports from the likes of compromised NATO-aligned NGOs such as Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch.

Read the honest response to the western claims, from a Syrian (anonymity is maintained for their security):

“To have a very good answer about all of that mentioned, I refer you to have a look on excellent long articles by Syrian analyst, Camille Alexander Otrakji, who has a lot of information about the US-Syrian relations. He has a video on YouTube about that subject as well but unfortunately, it’s in Arabic:

Article 1: A Frank Look at America’s Interests, Values & Mistakes in Syria. October 2014

Article 2: Ten New Year Resolution Ideas for a Healthier American Role in Syria and the Middle East in 2015: Part III of Discussion with Ambassador Robert Ford. December 2014

The last section of this pretty long and detailed article is about “Torture”. I’m quoting the following from it:

“Reality: Before the events of 2011, serious torture existed, in small numbers, in Syrian prisons. Humiliation (often bordering on torture) was widespread […]

Most Americans believe torture was justified after 9/11 (where 3,000 Americans died). In Syria, we have a savage war… 200,000 Syrians died. It wouldn’t be surprising that today many Syrians also believe torture (by their favorite side of the conflict) is legitimate. This corrupting of people’s values takes place during conflicts and the best way to confront it is to end those conflicts, not through propaganda stunts.

When the conflict ends, the two easiest starting points for those looking for positive momentum for a reforms process are 1) ending torture and 2) fighting corruption … I am confident that a large majority of Syrians will enthusiastically call for both.”

As for my personal opinion, and I’ll mention it frankly whether they were positive or negative:

Torture in jails, in most countries of this planet, through most eras of history and current history, is a natural horrible act that almost every jail officer do it when they want to know hidden secrets from what they believed as dangerous criminals. There is torturing in the US, or by US officers in other parts of the world; by British in Iraq; by Arabs, by Israelis….Even states like Canada, Australia, and the Scandinavian states would have such incidents that pop up in the media from time to time, and we can trace such atrocities 50 years ago in their archives.

Back to Syria, does it have a notorious history in torturing in jails? Yes, arguments if they were few or many. Did some people lose their lives in Syrian jails under torturing acts? Yes. It happens in crisis times (like in the 80’s after the Muslim Brotherhood fighting era). Were some of these victims innocents? Yes, but not as exaggerated.

But, what is the reputation on Turkish jails? Worst than the Syrian. The Jordanians’? worse. The Iraqis’? Egyptian’s? Atrocious. What about the Saudi’s? Horrible. The Israelis’? Out of discussion.

What I’m trying to say? It’s one of the repulsive cultural attitudes that run in the blood of the people and the political officials of that whole region (among so many others around the world). It’s so similar to that dangerous habit of shooting in the air in celebrations and funerals (the oldest act I read about so far goes back to WWI, when rabble and mobs were shooting bullets in the air in the Levant). Bashar al-Assad asked the soldiers so many times to stop that dangerous habit and save the bullets to use against the terrorists; Hasan Nasrallah begged his fans and asked them the same request over and over again, and threatened any Hezbollah member to kick him out of the Resistance if he shoot bullets in the air; yet, it runs in the blood of the ordinary people and fans, it seems that it’s so hard to stop or control it no matter what.

Same with the torture act. It’s something I’m not proud of at all, but it’s so normal in the investigations, as it’s the only way to know what this or that criminal is hiding.

I still remember a cartoon in a local newspaper in Dubai in 2003 after the fall of Baghdad. It was from 2 sketches. The first is pre-2003, where there is an officer who looks like Saddam Husain torturing a person in a jail. The next one is after 2003, where that old victim became the new jail officer, and he’s torturing the old officer in the same way. In other words: Nothing has changed! Perhaps, Hezbollah after the Lebanese civil war is one – if not the only one – of the rare exceptions, because they don’t use that tactics (they were using it in the civil war, though, like all the other militias by the time).

Torture against who? Torture acts usually are not against people who do individual criminal acts (stealing money, raping, even murdering for personal reasons…etc). Torture acts are against dangerous people who the investigators believe that they have an agenda, or that they are part of something bigger (terrorism, agents for enemies, spies, funded by other intelligent organizations, people who are preparing for political coup-d’etat…etc) those are the ones that usually go under torture, as it’s the only way the old school’s investigators know to discover what secrets the criminals are hiding.

The Near East was under the Ottoman Empire control for centuries, and all the previous empires that ruled that area were famous for that act of torturing, it’s mentioned in all history books. Syrian governments pre the Assad family ruling were doing the same acts of torturing. I want to say that these horrible acts are not because of the Assad family, anyone who is going to rule after Assad will do the same act. We have enough examples of what Syrian terrorists (fighting opposition gangs) did to whoever they captured from Syrian soldiers in the last 5.5 years ago, they murdered people under torture and in front of cameras. In a real ironic example, Syrian people today remember the old torturing days of the Syrian Mukhabarat (intelligence officers), and wish the old days to come back! I mean, they regret how they used to criticize that horrible acts by the time, after what they had gone through in this current crisis, and found that all the old atrocities in Syrian jails were like a piece of cake compared with what they practiced under Nusra, Da’esh, and the rest of the terrorists.

“Syria and other M.E. states have needed to be pretty firm in government to avoid being overturned by foreign” powers and states. The late Syrian president, Hafiz al-Asad, was pretty tough against those people. By his time, people were complaining of that iron fist. Today, people are blessing his soul when remembering him, and wish he was alive to terminate all these terrorists and be merciless against them.

Many Syrians today blame Bashar al-Asad of being “Too Good” and “Naive” in dealing with the crisis. Hafiz was tough against the Muslim Brotherhoods (MB) terrorism in (1979-1982), and many innocent people died while crushing the MB movement, and many innocent people went to jails, but that toughness saved Syria for 3 decades and makes it one of the most secure countries around the globe.

When Bashar ruled Syria, he wanted to make peace with all the political prisoners and started to set them free one after the other, both the radical Muslim Brotherhoods and the radical Leftists (Communists, Socialists, Democrats…etc.). Many Syrians today say that those criminals should never leave jails in the first place because many of them had stabbed the government and the president’s reputation in the back when they had the opportunity to do so. They never thought about the state infrastructure, they thought only about taking revenge.

1. Did Bashar al-Assad order the police officers to torture criminals? NO.
2. Did he torture any criminal (or civilian) himself? Absolutely Not.
3. Where are these “plenty of evidence of him doing this to his own people”?

Bashar is a very humble person. He used to walk in the streets with his family, eating in restaurants, talking to people without obvious bodyguards around him. But he has his father’s stubborn’s genes for sure. That was so obvious in the current crisis, and he used that trait in defending Syria and Syrians, not in torturing them.

Was Bashar al-Assad (or even his late father) a “best friend” to the US? That is not accurate!. The following diagrams are from Otrakji’s articles. This is how the American-Syrian relations were since 1970, it shows the Ups & Downs between them. and this schedule as well shows how the relation between the 2 sides was Hostile for 52% of the time between 1967-2017 (the schedule is up till 2013, but nothing changed between 2013 and today on that subject), 24% normal, and 26% friendly, mostly not in Bashar al-Assad’s era.

They had a type of normalization from time to time, but Syria remained on the U.S.’s “Axe of Evil” list for decades. So, when the US and Bashar al-Assad were “best friends” ?

Syria wants to make good relations with the US, but they don’t trust the Americans because of their blind support to Syria’s enemy – Israel. So, Syria preferred to depend on many smaller regional and international powers instead of depending on a sole superpower like the US, that can’t trust it.

Were there relations between the CIA and the Syrian intelligence? Of course, there were, and perhaps, they’re still up till today. There were secret meetings between the French, Saudi, Turkish, and Jordanian intelligence officials from one side with the Syrian intelligence officials on the other side within the current years of crisis. Syrian government mentioned that so many times, that “these states are cursing us daily in front of the media, and asking us for coordinating under the table and secretly, and we decided not to work and coordinate with them till they stop their rhetoric and war on us, and till they open their embassies in Damascus”.

What about the “Extraordinary Rendition” act between the US and Syria? It’s possible, but not so sure. We all heard of the Canadian Syrian Maher Arar’s case between Canada, the US, and Syria after 9/11. (btw, Maher Arar is a big supporter of the terrorists in Syria since 2011 ! Another example of “taking revenge” attitude no matter what consequences.). Did that happen so many times? Did it happen few times? Were such things taking place all the times? I really have doubts about all of that. We have to keep in mind that what happened in 9/11 can’t be compared to any other crisis before and after that date. So, I don’t believe that such “renditions” happened in other time but the 9/11 first couple of years.

It’s documented that Syrian intelligence helped the CIA to capture real terrorists between 2001 and 2003 (Arar’s issue was in that short period). That had been mentioned in the Colin Powell’s discussions with Bashar al-Assad after the invasion of Iraq, where Assad reminded Powell of the services and information the Syrian government gave to the US and lead to the safety of American people’s lives, and Powell thanked him for it. (yet, Powell gave a list of requests to Assad by that time, were understood as “American bullying and threatens”).

Regarding Saddam Hussein’s receipts of mass destruction, I don’t think there are such thing at all. I googled it and found one link only that mentioned it one time without any proof and evidence. The US invaded Iraq for many other reasons (oil, gas, geopolitics, threatening to Iran and Syria, and as mentioned in the paragraph regarding Saddam’s economic policy on depending on Euro instead of the US$ – similar to what Gaddafi wanted to do in Libya and Africa in 2010 and how he wanted to make an independent African currency, …etc.), and they were lying about the WMD; the alleged link between Saddam and al-Qa’eda; and the Anthrax phobia. All were Big Fat Lies. No one said by the time that they have receipts of WMD (what is it? a supermarket?).

I’m not defending Saddam Hussein, I’m just saying that what the US said for its reasons to invade states were not true, they were lying, and the real reasons were something else, just like today in Syria. The US don’t care about the Syrian people, they are using the suffering of the Syrian people to work for the American agenda in Syria.

Saddam used chemical weapons in the Iranian-Iraqi war, and against the Kurds in Iraq, but that was in the 80’s, and after the Gulf War of early 90’s, Iraq had no such weapons. The US officials claimed in 2003 that Iraq has WMD, which was a lie, and an excuse to invade Iraq, taking advantage of what happened in 9/11.

I agree with the idea of the “bullying” act of the US foreign policies against other nations around the world. No Comment!  It’s human nature everywhere and every time in history, when a nation became a superpower of its time, it starts bullying the weaker ones.

I hope Otrakji’s and my answers gave a good idea about the situation. As a result, I was always so proud of the Syrian foreign policies, and so ashamed of the Syrian internal policies (mainly corruption). But that has nothing to do with the current crisis. I’m supporting the Syrian Army and Bashar al-Assad in this global war on Syria. Once that war ends, then I can criticize him and his actions like any other president of this world. Now is not the right time to be divided on who’s the good, the bad, and the ugly in this war.”

END OF EMAIL.

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