Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 28, 2012

Syria: Plans of 1957 As Implemented In 2011/12

In 1948 the CIA predecessor overthrew the government of Syria. Today we learn that another such attempt was planed in 1957:

Newly discovered documents show how in 1957 Harold Macmillan and President Dwight Eisenhower approved a CIA-MI6 plan to stage fake border incidents as an excuse for an invasion by Syria's pro-western neighbours, and then to "eliminate" the most influential triumvirate in Damascus.
...
The "preferred plan"adds: "Once a political decision is reached to proceed with internal disturbances in Syria, CIA is prepared, and SIS [MI6] will attempt, to mount minor sabotage and coup de main incidents within Syria, working through contacts with individuals.
...
The report said that once the necessary degree of fear had been created, frontier incidents and border clashes would be staged to provide a pretext for Iraqi and Jordanian military intervention.
...
The plan called for funding of a "Free Syria Committee", and the arming of "political factions with paramilitary or other actionist capabilities" within Syria. The CIA and MI6 would instigate internal uprisings, for instance by the Druze in the south, help to free political prisoners held in the Mezze prison, and stir up the Muslim Brotherhood in Damascus.

The planners envisaged replacing the Ba'ath/Communist regime with one that was firmly anti-Soviet, but they conceded that this would not be popular and "would probably need to rely first upon repressive measures and arbitrary exercise of power".

That all sounds very familiar when compared what is happening these days.

Meanwhile Hillary Clinton's diplomats tried another stunt, claiming for the 11th or so time that Russia changed its opinion on Assad:

Russia and other big powers have agreed to back a proposal by UN envoy Kofi Annan for a national unity government to lead political change in Syria.

Western diplomats say the proposed cabinet could include members of the opposition and government, but no-one who would undermine its credibility.

It was obvious that this was wrong and a few hours later Lavrov's people said so:

Russia hasn’t signed up to United Nations special envoy Kofi Annan’s plan for a transition of power in Syria and has made a different proposal as officials head to Geneva for crisis talks, a Russian Foreign Ministry official said.

Russia doesn’t agree with Annan’s approach and won’t support any imposed power handover, said the official, ...

What the western media have mostly failed to notice is the fact that recent changes in the Syrian government already created a national unity government. Significant members of the (non-violent) opposition are now part of the new Syrian cabinet:

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad issued a decree on Saturday forming a new government, state television said, less than two months after controversial parliamentary elections boycotted by the opposition.
...
[A] national reconciliation portfolio was created for the first time by the regime, which has been suppressing a popular uprising for the past 15 months and labels protesters and armed rebels alike as “terrorists”.

Ali Haidar, a member of the Syria-based opposition tolerated by the regime, was given the post.

Qadri Jamil, another Syria-based opposition figure, was appointed deputy prime minister for economic affairs and minister of domestic trade and consumer protection, a portfolio that replaces the former ministry of provision and domestic trade.

What Syria needs is not a western designed unity government of expats but a real ceasefire. But assured of the western powers continued support the insurgency will not agree to any ceasefire unless it feels near an imminent defeat.

That is not yet the case but I suspect that the Syrian army will soon move for another big push that will revert the slight territorial gains the insurgence has made in some areas. But some significant defeats of the insurgency will likely also lead to a new push for an armed attack by western states. I find it difficult to foresee what would develop from an imminent threat of such an attack. Will the Russians be willing to, in that case, throw in some showstopper?

Posted by b on June 28, 2012 at 01:24 PM | Permalink

Comments

"Will the Russians be willing to, in that case, throw in some showstopper?"

No. Clearly not.

Russia has already said it will NOT go to war over Syria. Since the western powers ARE going to war against Syria, only force will stop them. Trying to engage in a half-hearted diplomatic effort is clearly designed to come up short.

Again, Turkey has already committed acts of war against Syria and if Russia were truly Syria's ally it would not legitimize unlawful acts of war with diplomatic recognition. Why won't Russia declare Turkey's actions acts of war, for instance?

If Russia truly wanted to protect Syria it would be acting much differently. There is evidence Turkey is lying about the plane that was shot down, for instance. How come Russia is making this case??????? Instead they act like both sides are to blame and are indeed putting pressure on Assad merely by participating in this farce.

I wonder if Iran is learning any lessons about relying on Russia for help.

Posted by: Walter Wit Man | Jun 28, 2012 1:47:46 PM | 1

I think Russia has a interest in Syria, so long as its interest outweigh the cost, Russia will stand by Syria's side....

and sending a few anti-air systems for "field testing" is good value for money...

Russia might also find Syria an interesting place to test a few theory's of "antiterrorism" and "counterinsurgency" so they can match the US again (who had both Iraq and Afghanistan as testing grounds....)

then Russia might enjoy the fact that they can flex their muslces a bit more (and have an excuse to increase their military budget...)

Posted by: simon | Jun 28, 2012 1:57:35 PM | 2

It started; Lavrov already talking about a "transitional government" for Syria as a possible solution, but at the same time or from the other of his mouth, he is saying Assad will not go and any dicision about Syria's leadership has to come from within Syria. He has already agreed to disinvite Iran to Geneva. Russia is starting a soft slide away from Assad.

Getting back to CIA business and the linked article, Kermit Roosevelt Jr (Theodore's grandson)mentioned in the 1957 Syrian plot is the same CIA agent that was responsible for Operation Ajax to topple Iran's Mossadegh in 1953.

Posted by: www | Jun 28, 2012 2:18:11 PM | 3

Thanks for pointing out this CIA history btw.

The Guardian article doesn't give much detail about how and why the documents were discovered in 2003.

I am a little dubious of supposed document dumps like this. I don't know how much we can trust it. I don't doubt that that the CIA was involved in Syria but wonder if there is a disinformation motive.

The main one I can think of is that the Baathist revolts in the region were actually CIA revolts and people like Nasser (and Saddam!) were working with the west.

I recently saw allegations about the Yom Kippur war that "describes the 1973 October War as a collusive enterprise between US, Egyptian and Israeli leaders, orchestrated by Henry Kissinger." http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/02/22/what-really-happened-in-the-yom-kippur-war/

Posted by: Walter Wit Man | Jun 28, 2012 2:44:06 PM | 4

A bit more about the planned 1957 plot by the CIA. The first successful CIA plot removed Syrian President Shukri al-Quwatly from office because he was very anti-America, anti-Israel and pro- Communist. After a brief jail term and an exile in Egypt, he returned to Syria in 1955, ran for office and was reelected President. That's when the plot started getting hatched to remove him again, especially after the botched 1956 French-led attack on Suez the included the UK and Israel and the return of the communists in force to the ME. The CIA sent agents to Syria to bribe officers for the coup but the Syrian officers took the cash and denounced the CIA and its plot. The CIA agents were rounded up and evicted from the country and Syria joined Egypt in a federated United Arab Republic that lasted until 1963. Until then, the Baathists were second in importance to the communists in Syria. It was only in 1970 with Assad Sr taking over the country that he Alawites and Baathists really started their rule of Syria that is still in force today.

Posted by: www | Jun 28, 2012 2:53:56 PM | 5

Good Ol' Ike's ME policy was essentailly to gain or preserve power for access to oil for US allies and itself (for the day US territorial oil ran low). Thus, working against Nasser and his policies was important, and the Soviet Union could also be held in check.

When he was leaving office, Eisenhower warned against the growth of the Industrial-Military Complex and its likelihood of taking us into wars and other misadventures. But he played a hidden game of aggression, some of which is more widely known than others.

Posted by: jawbone | Jun 28, 2012 3:02:33 PM | 6

@Jawbone #6,

Or is Ike the fall guy?

Maybe he ruffled some feathers so the CIA disinformation agents worked Ike into their subtle disinformation stories. . . like saying the plot against Syria arose during Ike's administration.

Really? I'm sure there was subterfuge going on long before Ike was in power.

Was just looking at this interesting story on a British spy in WWI, Aaron Aaronshon, who was mapping the region's water sources and was important in the Zionist movement: http://www.amazon.com/Aaronsohns-Maps-Untold-Created-Middle/dp/0151011699 Some of the material the author wanted to look at was still classified after almost 100 years!

In addition to water I'm sure the West already was looking into the region's oil. Maybe this is what is still classified after all these years?

I'm sure the CIA had interests in Syria previous to Ike's administration.

Posted by: Walter Wit Man | Jun 28, 2012 3:14:51 PM | 7

Of course this has been decided on the ground

1. Assad declared Syria to be in a state of war (with help of Turkey)
read up on any war, even the "war on terror" what that means for dissent.
2. I hear a parking lot was blown up in Damascus for dramatic effect.
whatever - that is not enough to make any regime lose power, Damascus citizens are now
sure their president is not lying
3. The massacres - what is the reason -
I guess to create/prevent "safe zones" free of informers
and/or frighten people into obedience, or maybe even PR, here is a BBC map,
the long silent stretch along the Turkish border is Kurdistan.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18595884
4. What is happening with Jordan, I hear they closed the border and Syria is enforcing
that, too?
5. Players with different interests are financing different people,
I doubt there is meaningful cooperation.
6. Somebody from Hamas is supposed to have been killed by Mossad in Syria.
Feels like displacement activity, Israel can't be serious to threaten Syria
that way. Plan was they should send their troups to the Golan.
I do not think they did.
7. Syrian rebels have a grave PR problem. Even in Al Jazeera English
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/06/2012626105942801314.html
"For the SNC, a coalition of the main opposition groups, the most problematic incongruity has been between its alleged commitment to democratic principles and some of its practices."

and so on, so on ...

I guess by now, the Russians can ask for a lot of concessions if they can solve this in an all around face saving way.


Posted by: somebody | Jun 28, 2012 3:17:42 PM | 8

I certainly agree that the US does not change its spots. Plans to overthrow the Syrian regime have existed since forever.

I suspect though that the objectives have changed. In the past the aim was to put in place a pro-American regime. Now, the prospect is that the new regime will be Salafi. That's hardly in American interests; who knows what such a regime might do?

There's a good argument that the US doesn't know what it's doing. Otherwise, it must be the Israeli plan of 1982: create confusion and divide the Middle East into warring statelets.

That was what was tried in Iraq with the bombing of the Golden Dome in Samarra in 2006. It didn't work, though the parallel scheme to make Kurdistan independent has worked to a fair degree. That was my experience when I was in Erbil in November last.

This kind of 'clever' operation rarely finishes as the operators desire. Especially if the operators don't know what they're doing.

On the question of Lavrov's interests, I do think, against you, b, that the Asad regime is failing. The problem is that he is a softy. He doesn't want to kill his people. The war has been far from outright, and so the opposition is gaining.

Posted by: alexno | Jun 28, 2012 3:19:59 PM | 9

But the 50s were definitely an important time in Middle East politics.

Under Ike's administration CENTRO was formed:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Treaty_Organization

So it's interesting to think that just over 50 years ago Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Turkey where all clearly aligned with the U.S. and Britain.

Posted by: Walter Wit Man | Jun 28, 2012 3:31:28 PM | 10

>>> I recently saw allegations about the Yom Kippur war that "describes the 1973 October War as a collusive enterprise between US, Egyptian and Israeli leaders, orchestrated by Henry Kissinger." >>>

Walt, if the Counterpunch story is true, then we have to conclude that what was written about the "Samson Option" threat that arose out of the 1973 war and that was used to blackmail the US into airlifting the much needed arms re-supply to Israel was false. We would also have to consider the arm twisting that the US did to get the Arabs to quit the war because of the Samson was also false.

Here's another angle to what happened just before the 1973 war broke out. Whether true or not, your guess is just as good as mine; could very well be an Israeli plot to make trouble between the Arabssince it wasn't the only time that such things were advanced:

"... On 25 September (1973), King Hussein of Jordan requested an urgent meeting with Israeli
Prime Minister Golda Meir. He flew his personal helicopter to Israel and delivered the message
that Syrian deployments were actually the precursor to war and that he expected, if war
were to come, Egypt would cooperate with Syria.13 Meir asked for an assessment of this information
from the director of AMAN, Eli Zeira, who argued that Hussein was acting on
Sadat’s behalf in an effort to bluff Israel into concessions on returning the canal. Hussein’s
warning did result in further increases of Israeli forces on the Golan but did not dissuade
Ms. Meir from departing on a planned trip to Europe the next day.14

http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/navy/pmi/1973.pdf

Posted by: www | Jun 28, 2012 3:36:22 PM | 11

That's interesting www. Seems like a lot of subterfuge going on.

We need a complete reevaluation.

Posted by: Walter Wit Man | Jun 28, 2012 3:46:30 PM | 12

Jawbone #6, you mentioned Eisenhower and Water; Eisenhower was the first and probably last US President to really stand in the way of Israel's theft of its neighbors' water. But even after having stopped them, 2 years later the Israelis were back to their thievin' ways and they never stopped since. Here's the Eisenhower/water story:

"... Accordingly, in 1951, contrary to the armistice agreements and over the protests of U.S. and U.N. officials, the Israelis began moving military units and bulldozers into the demilitarized zone on the Syrian border. Spurred by hostilities in the area over water, in 1953, the Eisenhower Administration prepared a unified plan for the use of the Jordan River. In September 1953, Israel, in an apparent attempt to preempt the American plan, secretly began a crash program to construct a nine-mile long pipeline in the demilitarized zone to divert Jordan River waters.

When the Americans learned of Israel's activities which included around the clock work crews, they protested and President Eisenhower went so far as to suspend vital economic aid to Israel. No announcement about the aid suspension was made at the time, perhaps to keep from drawing the ire of the Zionist lobby at home.

However, soon afterward, the Israelis launched an unrelated attack on a West Bank Jordanian village, killing 53 people which came to be known as the Kibya massacre. As a result of the ensuing furor, on October 18, 1953, the Eisenhower administration made public its cutoff of aid to Israel. Eleven days later, under the pressure from the U.S. Zionist lobby and a pledge by Israel to suspend work on the diversion project, U.S. aid was resumed. (Taking Sides: America's Secret Relations with a Militant Israel, by Stephen Green, William Morrow and Co., N.Y. 1984. "The 1953 Aid Cutoff: A Parable for Our Times," pp. 76- 93.)

Israeli work on diverting the water of the Jordan River was only temporarily suspended -- perhaps for as long as two years. By 1960, however, the diversion project -- which came to be known as the National Water Carrier -- was complete and in fact was the target of the PLO's first (and unsuccessful) attack in 1964. "

For the rest of the great article on Israel's theft of water from all its neighbors,
by Jeffrey Blankfort
http://desip.igc.org/TheftOfWater.html

Posted by: www | Jun 28, 2012 4:01:23 PM | 13

re 4 & 11

This is conspiratorial rubbish. In 1973, if Golda Meir had been aware of a threat in advance, the minimum she would have done would be to put Israeli troops on alert, which was not the case, even if she disbelieved the threat. The Israelis are notorious for their trigger re

Posted by: alexno | Jun 28, 2012 4:06:16 PM | 14

The Israelis are notorious for their trigger reactions to threats.

Posted by: alexno | Jun 28, 2012 4:07:19 PM | 15

Otherwise, it must be the Israeli plan of 1982: create confusion and divide the Middle East into warring statelets.

alexno wrote.

Yes.

Creative chaos that leads to dis-empowerment, de-development, strife and local wars, opening up, some hope, space for strong-men actors from all over. How exactly this furthers US (as a country) interests is moot. But perhaps the US is no longer a Nation, merely a place where different corporate and criminal interests hold sway and compete in secret. Their interests - oil, energy, arms sales, drugs, controlling food, slavery in new forms, banking, etc. - criss cross in peculiar ways, so creative chaos is kinda the only way to go.

Posted by: Noirette | Jun 28, 2012 4:22:12 PM | 16

Alexno, in your haste to jump to conclusions, you missed this part in post 11:

"Whether true or not, your guess is just as good as mine; could very well be an Israeli plot to make trouble between the Arabs since it wasn't the only time that such things were advanced"


There were other versions advanced of the same event; it has Jordan warning Israel of the impending 1973 attack but those receiving the messages on the Israeli side did not relay them to their superiors in time. These were probably hatched from the first such conspiracy theory advanced about Jordan in 1947 plotting with the bad guys to let them easily win the coming war by putting up only a token resistance and in exchange, the bad guys would let them grab the West Bank without much resistance. In the middle East, a conspiracy is born every 20 minutes and you need a road map to navigate your way through them.

Posted by: www | Jun 28, 2012 4:23:15 PM | 17

@ 10

50 years ago, might not sound like alot, but 50 years ago USA still practiced apartheid on their buses.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 28, 2012 4:58:29 PM | 18

re 17
Alexno, in your haste to jump to conclusions, you missed this part in post 11:

"Whether true or not, your guess is just as good as mine; could very well be an Israeli plot to make trouble between the Arabs since it wasn't the only time that such things were advanced"

No, I wasn't jumping to conclusions; I realised there was a certain ironic tone to your 11. But I don't think it's worth being subtle. Ironising over which conspiratorial theory or another isn't worth it; it's clearly not the case. The Israelis had some information before the 1973 attack, late, but not so much as to provoke the minimum, an alert.

Posted by: alexno | Jun 28, 2012 5:06:50 PM | 19

"I certainly agree that the US does not change its spots. Plans to overthrow the Syrian regime have existed since forever"

or you say that the US keeps circling the Ottoman Empire ...

http://www.naqshbandi.org/ottomans/maps/ :-))

talking about that - I find this interview with a former Turkish foreign minister quite interesting - and revealing

"Al-Monitor: It appears that the opposition is getting much bolder and there are reports that they are controlling large swathes of the Syrian countryside.

Yakis: One group may have achieved an attack in one district, another may be successful in another region, but as long as they are not coordinated, they will remain separate and it could turn to the worst because when one segment becomes too strong in one region and another becomes too strong in another, they may see themselves as rivals… when it comes to go to the next step. There are a lot of unknowns in Syria…

We do not know what type of outcome will produce a democratic election in Syria…. Nobody made a very neutral public opinion poll in Syria. Seven months ago, a Qatari public opinion company carried out a survey and found out that 56% of the Syrian population was supporting Bashar. To what extent it dwindled down we do not know. Without relying on solid data, you cannot say that the falling down of the regime is imminent."

"Al-Monitor: UN envoy Kofi Annan has called a meeting in Geneva on Saturday [June 30] of a contact group excluding Iran. Can it accomplish anything?

Yakis: In the absence of Iran, what are we going to discuss? The major problem will be to persuade Iranians in Geneva not to continue their present practice [in Syria] so excluding Iran is not the best decision.

Al-Monitor: Why do you think the US excluded Iran?

Yakis: It must be preconceived ideas about Iran; they [the Americans] know what they [the Iranians] are going to say and nobody will be able to persuade Iranians to do otherwise… But holding the meeting is the right decision. Will it solve the problem? No, but it is a step in forward.

The Syrian question is more complex than we all think… In Syria, unlike in other Arab countries, the destiny of the army, the political regime, security and intelligence…are tied together very closely. If one falls, the others should also fall... Without creating a substitute for these four elements…then the country will fall into chaos."

Posted by: somebody | Jun 28, 2012 5:28:12 PM | 20

There is no reason why Russia shouldn't support the idea of a national unity government. President Assad spoke about such a government already in his speech on January 10th, 2012:

Back to the subject of the national unity government, if we talk about the participation of the opposition and say that all the parties will take part in the government including the opposition, who do we mean by ‘opposition’? Any person can now call himself/herself ‘opposition’, and I have met some of such people and used to ask them, ‘who do you represent?’ The opposition stands for a public body, not for a person as an opponent. Now we have opposition figures and currents, but the opposition is usually an institutional body which is established by elections. For the time being, we do not have elections; so how do we define the opposition? Who takes part in that opposition, and what is the volume of their participation? We still do not have the criteria for all this. Before the next elections, we could still say that the government will take a certain form after the elections. But we want to accelerate the process and launch the contribution in the opposition before the elections. In other words, we will adopt special, rather than institutional, criteria.

We haven’t accused people of being traitors. The criteria are clear stating the establishment of a national opposition. What do we mean by ‘national government?’ We do not want an opposition that sits in embassies and receives gestures from the outside where they will be told not to have dialogue with the state or to delay the dialogue now because things are over and it is a matter of weeks before the total collapse! We do not want an opposition that sits with us and blackmails us under the title of the crisis in order to achieve personal gains. We do not want an opposition that wants to have a secret dialogue to avoid the anger of others. If we take the existing national criteria and figures, we can start to work on this government immediately now that we have understood the subject, whether they call it a ‘national unity government’ or ‘separation government’. What they choose to name it is not important at all.

Unfortunately Assads question on the opposition's legitimacy is still not answered.

Posted by: Antifo | Jun 28, 2012 5:36:52 PM | 21

I do not think the US really cares about the form of the Syrian government, if Assad switches sides for all they care he can stay forever.

this here is quite a funny list of US complaints ...

http://iranprimer.usip.org/resource/iran-and-syria

"Since Iran’s 1979 revolution, the two regional powerhouses have pooled political leverage and military resources to enhance their position, build a network of surrogate militias and frustrate the plans of opponents. Together they ensured Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, which bordered both countries, would not become the predominant regional power. They forced U.S. peacekeepers out of Lebanon in 1984, and thwarted Israel’s effort to bring Lebanon into its orbit during an 18-year occupation that finally ended in Israel’s unilateral withdrawal in 2000. The odd bedfellows together sired or supported Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and an array of radical Palestinian groups. All reject peace. And together they have inflicted repeated setbacks on six American presidents. "

Posted by: somebody | Jun 28, 2012 5:50:58 PM | 22

The 1957 story is totally false, bcs it says "the Ba'ath/Communist regime"
Baath and Communist parties were striking everyday as a radical opposition with minimal representation in the parliament and the gov.
The regime was the unique democratic Syrian regime during the century. It started with clean elections in 1954 (the winner majority was composed by two right parties: the National Party and People Party), and ended in 1958 with a conspiracy by Nasser, who was –that time- the favorite leader for both Soviets and USA, but not UK nor France.
During 1954-1958 democratic period Syrian press was 100% free. All documentations could be found in the Congress Library and deny this story.

Posted by: Damasko | Jun 28, 2012 6:27:40 PM | 23

There are currently reports that Turkey is moving troops and tanks to the Syrian border. If the Mi6 and CIA doctrine in 1957 was to orchestrate border clashes by using Jordan or Iraq, then today they are certainly using Turkey. We'll probably see an expanded war. The Russians are going to have to put up or shut up. Diplomacy has it limits. If Syria falls, Iran will follow, and eventually in the near future, Russia.

Posted by: Andre' E. Williams | Jun 28, 2012 8:24:51 PM | 24

It appears that Russia and China were bamboozled over the Libyan resolution in the UN that led to the Nato engineered overthrow of the the Khadaffi regime. China lost big time on that one. They will use whatever diplomatic clout that they have to prevent a repeat with Syria. However, do not expect either to risk nuclear war over saving the Assad regime. If the US, UK and France push for war against Syria (using Turkey, the FSA and the oil monarchies as their tools) Russia will resist using diplomacy but it seems unreasonable for people to expect that they will enter into outright war with Nato to protect Syria. If I were a Russian FP minister I would probably be doing what they are doing -- i.e. raise diplomatic roadblocks but avoid world war.

We should recognize that the US just suffered a major defeat in Iraq and probably another one in Afghanistan. Iran is the beneficiary of those defeats. The US is now trying to reverse these strategic set backs by going after Syria. We should recognize that the US and Nato have the power to cause considerable problems in the ME. A wounded beast can be one very dangerous beast. If I were China or Russia, I would just sit back and let us thrash around trying to undo the strategic set backs in Iraq and Afghanistan. No question but that the US will cause some serious damage, but it is better to let us thrash around then entering into some international world war.

Posted by: ToivoS | Jun 28, 2012 9:30:44 PM | 25

How defeat? Iraq has been fragmented into warring factions, customers for American weapons. Weapons paid for with petro-dollars. And Syria, unwilling to play along, was always in the cards.

Posted by: ruralito | Jun 28, 2012 10:55:20 PM | 26

>>> In 1948 the CIA predecessor overthrew the government of Syria. >>>

It actually happened in 1949 on May 29th, a mere 3 years after France left Syria and 2 years after the CIA was formed. It started a long line of successive militar coups that ended in 1970 with the one by Assad Sr that crystallized the Alawite/ Baathist monopoly on everything in the Syrian constitution of 1973 that included reserving 2/3 of parliamentary seats to the Baath Party. This parliamentary limitation provision (Section 8) was removed in the new constitution by the current President Assad. For those interested in a bit more about Syrian revolutions and the CIA, a good short pictorial by Andy Warner that appeared in Slate a couple of months back:

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/history/2012/04/syrian_violence_was_the_cia_involved_in_the_1949_coup_that_plunged_the_country_into_decades_of_turmoil_.html

Posted by: www | Jun 29, 2012 12:30:52 AM | 27

"Sometime during the autumn of 1947, one such OSS veteran, Miles Copeland, an Arabic-speaking Alabaman, arrived in Damascus with instructions “to devise a ‘pilot project’ by which we would bring about a sensible state of affairs.”

1947 - Truman would sign NSC 10/2, a top secret directive authorizing the CIA to undertake “covert action” anywhere in the world as part of America’s global crusade against the Soviet Union.

22 April 1955 - attempt of the coup. Colonel Adnan Malki assassinated by right-wing paramilitary organization Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) which had ties with CIA.

12 March 1955 - Eisenhower approved NSC 5412, a super-secret directive superseding Truman’s NSC 10/2 and reaffirming Washington’s willingness to conduct plausibly deniable covert action. On 12 March 1955, Ike established the Planning Coordination Group, an interagency panel that eventually became known as “Special Group 5412,”

21 March 1956 - Operation Straggle second covert scheme to install a pro-West gov.

Week later Eisenhower approved Project Omega, a secret blueprint for combating revolutionary nationalism in Arab world.

12 Avgust 1957 - Operation Wappen

Abdel Hamid Sarraj, the Ba’athist colonel who served as Syria’s chief of counterintelligence, snuffed out Operation Wappen before it ever got off the ground. Just before dusk on 12 August 1957, Sarraj’s security forces arrested several of the leading Syrian conspirators, surrounded the American embassy, and declared Howard Stone and two other CIA operatives persona non grata. Cloaking himself in plausible deniability, Dwight Eisenhower thundered that Sarraj’s “slanderous campaign” against America proved that Syria was rapidly becoming a Soviet satellite. Off the record, however, U.S. and U.K. correspondents in Damascus were able to confirm that Sarraj’s charges were probably true. Although for a brief moment in late August it appeared that the White House might invoke the Eisenhower Doctrine and send in troops, by early autumn Ike was edging away from intervention in Syria."

There is nothing NEW in the Guardian article, this old information, presented as new. The way I see the Western camp is in "damage control" mode and despicable Guardian is always handy with its fabrications.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Jun 29, 2012 12:32:49 AM | 28

rualto does not understand: :"How defeat?"

Er poor doob, the current government of Iraq is now allied with Iran. Given where the previous government of Iraq was allied, that has to be a strategic defeat for the US.

Posted by: ToivoS | Jun 29, 2012 1:03:02 AM | 29

>>> The US is now trying to reverse these strategic set backs by going after Syria. >>>

Toivo, the US lost face in its 2006 war on Hezbollah because Israel wasn't up to the task, and it has to be attributed in part to Syria. It was intended as a first step towards hitting Iran but the loss to Hezbollah put off the Iran plan. Now the US is into another round to neutralize Hezbollah by way of Syria without getting involved or involving its Israel gorilla. Same plan, new strategy.

Posted by: www | Jun 29, 2012 1:21:43 AM | 30

sure www and now they are mired in unintended consequences.

Iran, Afghanistan, Somalia and Libya are high on the failed state index and if the US and Israel's problem are non-state actors - and they probably are - then the US and Israel have lost those wars.

Israel can win against any state actor, they lose against non state actors.

I found a fun Nasser quote:
"The genius of you Americans is that you never make clear-cut stupid moves, only complicated stupid moves which make the rest of us wonder at the possibility that we might be missing something."

Posted by: somebody | Jun 29, 2012 1:41:28 AM | 31

www I don't disagree with what you are saying. Are you in disagreement with my earlier comments?

Posted by: ToivoS | Jun 29, 2012 1:48:02 AM | 32

That was a fun quote, somebody, Nasser appeared just as preoccupied with advancing his concept of pan-Arabism as with what was happening in Egypt. In the end both lost out.

Elsewhere in the discussions on where Hamas now stands with its drifting away from Syria and inching closer to the American camp, Gaza in consultation the WB will be offering Hebrew as a second language, as an option to 9th graders and onward. The rationale behind giving students the option to take Hebrew, the language of the occupying force, in lieu of English as a second language is for people to learn the language to "better understand how the enemy thinks". Hocus-pocus jargon aside, this is another indication of Hamas' soft slide towards normalization with the Israelis. Don't be surprised to see Khaled Meshaal invited to Washington in the not too distant future; he's already half way there by having moved his offices from Damascus to Qatar. Odd contrast between Israel that's in the process of vanishing the Arabic language from its cultural landscape while Hamas is now starting to propagate Hebrew.

Posted by: www | Jun 29, 2012 2:27:45 AM | 33

>>> Are you in disagreement with my earlier comments?>>>

Not at all, Toivo, I was just adding another element to what you were saying about Iraq and Afghanistan. I have always agreed with what you said.

Posted by: www | Jun 29, 2012 2:37:52 AM | 34

@Walter Wit Man #4
The academic is now Professor at Nottingham University. What is strange is that the article was not published until a year later in Autumn 2004, Intelligence & National Security Vol 19 no. 3 pp401-15 (2004) - The 'Preferred Plan': The Anglo-American Working Group Report on Covert Action in Syria, 1957 - a selective leak to the fake liberal Guardian?

Posted by: felix | Jun 29, 2012 3:14:03 AM | 35

>>> 22 April 1955 - attempt of the coup. Colonel Adnan Malki assassinated by right-wing paramilitary organization Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) which had ties with CIA.>>>

The Syrian Social Nationalist Party, is a Lebanese-Syrian political faction that for a long time was devoted to the creation of a Greater Syria to include most Arab countries and Cyprus. It tried on more than one occasion to take over by coup Syria and Lebanon. The party was formed in 1935 on the model of the German nationalist socialist model and some say that its pinwheel logo, that's still being used today, is not a combination of the crescent and the cross as is pretended by the party but is actually a deformation of the swastika. After several failed coups, the party dropped its pan-Arabic Greater Syria vocation but it's still vehementally anti-Israel. A party VIP is Reseau Voltaire's current VP.

Posted by: www | Jun 29, 2012 3:18:18 AM | 36

Re # 27

Interesting to see the pajama propaganda was being used as far back as 1949! The CIA boys just love this story.

Posted by: Walter Wit Man | Jun 29, 2012 3:39:02 AM | 37

"1947 - Truman would sign NSC 10/2, a top secret directive authorizing the CIA to undertake “covert action” anywhere in the world as part of America’s global crusade against the Soviet Union."

So the Global War of Terror began in 1947 . . .

Posted by: Walter Wit Man | Jun 29, 2012 3:43:34 AM | 38

@Felix #35,

Another good catch.

It's an odd leak. I don't know if this is false or not, but it does seem like it was served to the Guardian.

I find it suspicious when many documents are found at once. This is partly why I'm suspicious of Wikileaks and Stratford document dumps. Same thing with the Al Qaeda documents found in Iraq, or wherever, in the early 2000s that conveniently laid out the whole story of Osama and al qaeda in compelling and explicit detail.

It does seem fishy the way it was discovered and leaked (and wouldn't the government vet the information? Surely they looked at it prior to publication). But I can't really figure out the motivation or see any obvious disinformation because as Damasco, neretva'43, and www point out above, the story sounds pretty much plausible and accurate.

Oh, it just hit me. Ike ordered assassination according to these documents. Definitely a war crime. Bush and now Obama are ordering assassinations so maybe it was leaked to to make it more acceptable by knowing that it's been a long practice by U.S. presidents.

Oh, and it helped establish the Guardian's credibility for the Iraq war.

Posted by: Walter Wit Man | Jun 29, 2012 4:09:15 AM | 39

>>> The 1957 story is totally false, bcs it says "the Ba'ath/Communist regime">>>

Not totally, Damasko #23, but full of inaccuracies. You're right about how democratic Syria had been and the minimal parliamentary representation by Baathists and communists as the Baathists had something like 15 parliamentarians out of a total of 150 and the communists a bit more. A coup did occur though, but not of the military kind. Syria was edging towards full communism and the Baathist proposed short-circuiting it by having Syria join the union with Egypt. Nasser that had a big fear of communism welcomed the idea. Even al-Quwatli wasn't aware of what was happening until it was too late. When the union finally happened, Nasser sidelined the Baathists and all other Syrian parties because he did not tolerate any other political party other than his own and Syria became not much more than a satellite of Egypt. The union was not disbanded in 1963 as the Guardian article said, but in 1961 after yet another military coup in Syria. The Baath party was reestablished in 1962.

Posted by: www | Jun 29, 2012 4:12:21 AM | 40

Antifo #21 quotes from Bashar Assad on 10 Jan 2012 in which Bashar said the issue of the opposition's representative legitmacy in the political landscape was murky or unanswered. Antifo follows up with a comment that the question is still not answered today. I say, and so does Bashar today, the parliamentary elections on 7 May 2012 answered the question (plus the 26 Feb 2012 nationwide referendum on the new Constitution, which authorized the basic political institutions). The militant opposition boycotted the parliamentary elections and they will continue to boycott future elections because in elections they lose bigly as I've said here before many times. Here's Bashar on 3 Jun 2012:

The parties to take part in any National Dialogue should be representatives of the people. How can we ensure that these parties represent the people or a certain segment of the people? In principle, the only basis is the elections.... When you boycott the elections, you do not boycott the state, the government or the ruling party. You boycott the people, the voters. How can any person stand in front of people and say I represent the people yet I boycott the people. This is an impossible contradiction.... Any political process which is not based on popular support doesn't have any value in reality.... The upcoming national dialogue should be based on these principles. http://www.sana.sy/eng/21/2012/06/04/423234.htm


Posted by: Parviziyi | Jun 29, 2012 4:26:58 AM | 41

'somebody' #31 says: I found a fun Nasser quote: "The genius of you Americans is that you never make clear-cut stupid moves, only complicated stupid moves which make the rest of us wonder at the possibility that we might be missing something."{{CITATION NEEDED}} I like it. But I expect it's not authentically from Gamal Nasser.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jun 29, 2012 4:27:42 AM | 42

I know that some people on this board can't agree with my view that no foreign military intervention will happen in Syria. So here's three more items of evidence from the past couple of days news in support of my view (I might add more items as I come across them in the future).

On 27 Jun 2012 Syrian rebels attacked the pro-government al-Ikhbariya TV station facilities in Outer Damascus in a pre-dawn raid, killing seven station employees. Later that day the USA White House spokesman Jay Carney condemned the attack. He said "We condemn all acts of violence including those targeting pro-regime elements." http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-06/28/c_123339598.htm . Bear in mind that NATO and the USA deliberately bombed the pro-government TV station in Belgrade during the 1999 bombing of Serbia, and deliberately bombed the pro-government TV station in Tripoli during the 2011 bombing of Libya.

Erdogan, 27 Jun 2012: "We as Turkey and the Turkish nation have no intention of attacking [Syria]. We are just making provisions to stave off all threats to our unity and integrity, I mean, for defense." http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-06/27/c_131680032.htm . See also the interview on 27 Jun 2012 with a former foreign minister of Turkey which 'somebody' at #20 quoted from above -- the link is http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2012/al-monitor/former-turkish-foreign-minister.html

Lavrov on 28 Jun 2012 reported that there is no NATO member who desires to repeat a Libyan scenario in Syria, since such intervention would be catastrophic for the whole region, and he indicated he was making this report on the strength of communications with NATO representatives. http://www.sana.sy/eng/22/2012/06/28/428192.htm

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jun 29, 2012 4:50:23 AM | 43

Americans never cease to amaze. A National Geographic survey concluded that 36% of Americans (that's 80 million people)believe in the existence of extra-terrestial aliens and that one out of 10 of these people believe they have spotted one and one out 5 claim to know someone that has.

And what if aliens attacked Earth? If that should happen, 65% believe that Obama would be better at confronting them than Romney. As to super heroes on which they rely, 21% would call on the Hulk, 12% would call Batman and 8% would call on Spiderman.

The survey was conducted of 1114 Americans between May 21 and 29. Margin of error 2.9%

http://bigbrowser.blog.lemonde.fr/2012/06/28/mars-attacks-obama-mieux-place-que-romney-pour-contrer-les-extraterrestres/

Posted by: www | Jun 29, 2012 4:53:45 AM | 44

Parviziyi, I did not cite as it is pointless, you can google it, it is all over the web. It might well be urban legend, there is no way to find out. Especially after Fars News went the whole way to falsify interviews even in audio ...

Posted by: somebody | Jun 29, 2012 5:05:51 AM | 45

>>> I know that some people on this board can't agree with my view that no foreign military intervention will happen in Syria. >>>

Of course NATO, the US, Saudi Arabia and Qatar will not be attacking Syria, but where are the rebels getting all those more and more sophisticated arms from? Amazing how dirt-poor Syrian rebels that couldn't afford to buy bread are now going around with satellite cell phones and $2000 AK-47s.

You didn't mention the bombing of the Chinese Embassy in NATO's Yugoslavia adventure, or the bombings of Jazeera offices by the US in Baghdad and Kabul. Lots of apologies and regrets after those.

Posted by: www | Jun 29, 2012 5:07:36 AM | 46

Lavrov said on 4 apr 2012: The opposition would not defeat the Syrian Army even if the opposition were armed to the teeth. http://www.sana.sy/eng/22/2012/04/04/410469.htm

One of the grounds why I agree with that statement is that the bulk of the Syrian Army and other security forces remain loyal to the established government and I can see no evidence that defections in more substantial numbers will be forthcoming. Some recent discussion about this dated 27 Jun 2012 is in a news article headlined "Dozens Defect From Syrian Army, But Impact Is Limited" -- http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2012/al-monitor/two-hundred-defect-from-syrian-a.html

The last time an established government was successfully overthrown by an indigenous armed uprising was in the 1979 revolution in Iran. In Iran's 1979 revolution, army divisions defected en masse, bringing with them their transportation vehicles, tanks, guns, etc. That's what would be necessary to overthrow the government in Syria (in the absence of a foreign conquest). That hasn't happened yet you know. On my information and belief, the generality of Syrian society supports the established government and so there can be no basis for mass defections from the army. Please ask yourself, what's your information basis, if any, for thinking I may be mistaken? This is a question about the Syrian society, so when thinking about it you are to forget about what you know about the foreign powers and foreign media.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jun 29, 2012 5:51:22 AM | 47

Money, Parviziyi, lots and lots and lots of it. It eventually wears away at those standing in its way; an absurd amount of money being thrown at the rebels since over a year. If only a fraction of that amount would have been invested in the country's economy instead of into buying arms for the rebels.

Posted by: www | Jun 29, 2012 6:21:24 AM | 48

returning to b's post, the fact that the Guardian published those documents seems like an exposure of the current NATO strategy; the problem with assessing Us strategy has always been that there are multiple actors involved; I'm sure there are factions that oppose the "permanent war", and seek a detente with Iran and the rest of the Middle East;

I also suspect Anonymous' busting of Statfor is part of this competing strategies scenario, because Stratfor was part of the traditional, reality-based establishment

Posted by: claudio | Jun 29, 2012 6:40:56 AM | 49

somebody #46, ex-CIA agent and author of books on Nasser, Miles Copeland, in one of them "Miles Copeland: Nasser" on page 136 wrote of his encounter with Nasser to brief him on the Eisenhower Doctrine:

"... When Miles Copeland, Roosevelt's (Kermit)man in the Middle East, briefed the Egyptian dictator on the doctrine, Nasser replied that "the genius of you Americans..."

Copeland also repeated the incident and Nasser quote in another of his books "The Game of Nations" on page 161

Miles Copeland,BTW, was the CIA agent in charge of the the coup in Damascus in 1949 to overthrow President Shukri al-Quwatly. It was the CIA's first overseas assignment.

Posted by: www | Jun 29, 2012 7:11:33 AM | 50

yeah, www, but realistically speaking most of this money will be paid to the middle men. And this money will be in accounts in Saudi Arabia, Quatar, Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Israel or end up in Switzerland.
so sure you can buy an assassination or a bomb explosion, however it would be difficult to buy a sustainable uprising without real people on the ground invested in its outcome.
Syria is not new to this, they have practised for a long time, and their Secret Service (the Russian, Iranian) is up to date. I am sure the middle man find it vvery hard to find out whom they are paying for what.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 29, 2012 7:23:40 AM | 51

Correction to Copeland's second Nasser book, the correct title is "The Game of Nations: the amorality of power politics" and the correct page number is 216.

Don't want Jawbone on my case for the error.

Posted by: www | Jun 29, 2012 7:25:56 AM | 52

Contrary to 'www' #48, the rebels have gotten very little money so far. I've talked about that before on this board. Anybody who defects from the Syrian army is taking an income loss as well as greatly increasing in his risk of getting killed.

On the question of what sort of people constitute the armed rebels, here's a report dated 25 Jun 2012 which I take to be correct:

A month of traveling with the armed opposition in northern and central Syria reveals that it is untrue that the armed opposition draws its strength from defections of Syrian Army soldiers. While defected soldiers are among the fighters, most fighters were civilians when they volunteered to fight the Assad government. The vast majority of fighters are young men who were still in primary school when Bashar Assad came to power 12 years ago. They themselves disagree about what will happen when – not "if" – Assad is deposed. All of them are from families that are Sunni in religion. Some of them are pious, but many more are not. When the call to prayer was heard in a village in the Hama countryside, some of the armed men heeded it, but most did not. “They are poor people who have been harmed by the government. Most of them are not extremists,” said Abu Hamza, who is the leader of a group of fighters in KHAN SHEIKHOUN town between Hama city and Idlib city, and is himself a Salafi. http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/06/25/153728/weeks-spent-with-syrian-rebels.html .


Posted by: Parviziyi | Jun 29, 2012 7:42:18 AM | 53

Walter Wit Man
"So the Global War of Terror began in 1947 . . ."


The Origins of the War on Terror

Posted by: neretva'43 | Jun 29, 2012 7:52:28 AM | 54

Parviziyi, I was talking about the large sums being spent on arms, not on the $500/month some rebels are being paid. Jazeera's Thuraya bill alone must have been astronomical.

Posted by: www | Jun 29, 2012 8:40:06 AM | 55

neretva'43

history is used by the powerful to justify all kinds of designs, your link is an example.

It is an Israeli bêtise (I am being polite) to compare the way they treat Palestinians with the treatment of American natives by European immigrants, forgetting the fact that the religion they used for identity was an older precursor of local religions, and the number system they used had been invented by the culture they intended to "colonise".

Basically this storyline was invented to say "look you did it to the Indians what is wrong with us doing it in Palestine" It is pointless anyway as they are just finding out that a minority cannot colonize a people who are just as knowledgeable.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 29, 2012 9:00:15 AM | 56

Please use the formal designation of alCIAda.It helps explain our current confusion and self destruction.
Or enhances our confusion.Must be intentional.(our self destruction)

Posted by: dahoit | Jun 29, 2012 12:22:36 PM | 57

re 50

www, I appreciate your knowledge, and the contribution it makes to MoA. There are not many who have those books on their shelves.

Posted by: alexno | Jun 29, 2012 2:41:21 PM | 58

re 50 thanks www so I can assume now that Nasser never said those things

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miles_Copeland,_Jr.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 29, 2012 3:04:30 PM | 59

Alexno, I don't have those either. I dug up the information on the 'net. Thanks for the kind words.

Posted by: www | Jun 29, 2012 3:24:55 PM | 60

You're probably right, someone. Those guys are professional liars.

Posted by: www | Jun 29, 2012 3:38:53 PM | 61

Syrian Youths English
Damascus: Marja Stores Cameras Reveals Culprits Of Justice Palace Bombing

June 29, 2012

Al-Intiqad website learned from informed sources that the culprits behind the terrorist bombing in the Justice Palace parking lot in Marja - Damascus will be identified through surveillance cameras of nearby commercial stores, and therefore be displayed after confirming the identities and pictures of those who placed the bombs in the cars.

Other sources indicated that the security forces in charge clashed with an armed terrorist group in Doma- in the countryside of Damascus and killed a number of its members and confiscated different types of weapons. In Homs, Khaladiyeh, Joura Chayeh areas and Cairo Street witnessed clashes between the security forces and the rebellious terrorist groups, which lead to numerous killings among the armed terrorists and the martyrdom of a number of security forces including a Major-ranked officer.

Moreover, a checkpoint for the security forces was assaulted in al-Sultaniyeh area that lead to a number of martyrs. Also, a civilian in al-Zahraa area was shot by a sniper and martyred.

Sources clarified that the authorities in charge foiled rebellions' attempts to infiltrate the eastern part of al-Ghor, in an attempt to commit a massacre against the civilians.

Source: al-Intiqad, translated and edited by moqawama.org
http://www.english.moqawama.org/essaydetails.php?eid=20357&cid=274

Posted by: brian | Jun 29, 2012 10:52:13 PM | 62

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