Jun 252013
 

NO U.S./NATO/Israel War - Hands Off Syria

Say NO! to U.S.-NATO-Israel war

Hands Off Syria!

Dearborn City Hall – Michigan Avenue at Schaefer Ave.

Gather at 5:30 PM, Rally at 6 PM

Join us in protesting the U.S. war against the sovereign government of Syria. Demand no U.S. aid to their puppet rebels. Stop CIA and NATO support to the rebels. No to U.S. troops. No to “no-fly zones.”

Initiated by the Syrian American Forum:    SAF and MECAWI Rally Opposing US Military Intervention in Syria – Read the SAF statement here.

Endorsed by the Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice (MECAWI).

For more info, call 313-680-5508 or visit mecawi.org.

Below is the joint statement from UNAC (United National Anti-war Coalition) and ANSWER:

United Statement and Call for Action to Oppose

U.S./NATO and Israeli War on Syria

No more wars – U.S. out of the Middle East!

The White House’s June 13th announcement that it would begin directly supplying arms to the opposition in Syria is a dramatic escalation of the U.S./NATO war against that country.  Thousands of U.S. troops and intelligence personnel are training opposition forces and coordinating operations in Turkey and Jordan.  Israel, the recipient of more than $3 billion annually in U.S. military aid has carried out heavy bombing raids against Syria. The Pentagon has developed plans for a “no-fly” zone over Syria, threatening a new U.S. air war.

The pretext for this escalation is the assertion, presented without any actual evidence, that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons in the conflict that has been raging for more than two years.  Like their predecessors, President Obama and other top U.S. officials pretend to be concerned about “democracy” and “human rights” in Syria, but their closest allies in the campaign against Syria are police-state, absolute monarchies like Saudi Arabia and Qatar.  Once again the so-called ‘Responsibility to protect’, R2P, is used as a pretext for NATO to dominate this region.

Just as the false claim of “weapons of mass destruction” was used as justification for the invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003, the allegations that chemical weapons were used by the Syrian military is meant to mask the real motives of Washington and its allies. Their aim is to carry out “regime change,” as part of the drive to create a “new Middle East.”

The invasion of Iraq in 2003, the U.S.-backed Israeli war in Lebanon in 2006, the 2011 NATO bombing of Libya, the now-escalating war in Syria and the growing threats against Iran are part of a coordinated regional effort by the United States, Britain and France to dominate this oil-rich and strategic region.

The U.S. government cuts basic services and has eliminated hundreds of thousands of public sector workers jobs in the last three years in the name of  a discredited austerity which has destroyed the economy, but has unlimited billions available for wars of aggression and NSA surveillance of almost every American.

We join together to call for National Days of Action, June 28- July 15, 2013, to demand:

  • Stop the U.S./NATO/Israeli war and forms of intervention against Syria!
  • Self-determination for the Syrian people!
  • Fund people’s needs, not the military!
  • U.S. Out of the Middle East!

Sponsors:  UNAC, ANSWER

 June 25, 2013  Posted by  Uncategorized Tagged with: , , ,  No Responses »
May 202013
 

UNAC051113

The May 2-3 and 4-5 nighttime bombings of Syria’s International Airport, military installations in a Damascus suburb and a military supply depot reportedly killed 300 people. The bombings were initially denied but then confirmed by Israel and soon after given the stamp of approval by the Obama Administration.

The previous week President Obama and Secretary of Defense Charles Hagel threatened to escalate U.S. intervention in Syria based on the unsubstantiated charge that Syria had employed weapons of mass destruction, in this case the deadly sarin gas.  Continue reading »

 May 20, 2013  Posted by  Uncategorized Tagged with: , ,  No Responses »
Sep 282012
 

Chicago Anti-NATO-05-20-2012October  5-7: Anti-war actions

in over 20 cities on

11th anniversary

of invasion & occupation

of Afghanistan

Say NO to…

  • wars of colonial conquest

  • to sanctions and drone attacks

  • frame ups, raids and repression at home

  • to Islamophobia and racism

Demand …

  • money for jobs and education, not war

  • U.S.-NATO hands off Syria and Iran

  • Bring all the troops home NOW

 

Demonstration

Friday – October 5, 2012

4:00 to 5:30 PM

Hart Plaza, Detroit – Jefferson Ave. & Woodward

Sponsored by: Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice
(313) 680-5508

MECAWI joins the call by the United National Antiwar Coalition for demonstrations, meetings, vigils or other actions for the weekend of Oct. 5-7, along with protests internationally in 3 cities in Canada – Vancouver, Toronto, Windsor and protests in London, Tehran, Iran and Islamabad, Pakistan to mark the 11th anniversary of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Afghanistan.

UNAC is recognized for linking the endless wars abroad to the expanding “war at home”. This means the persecution of Muslims, raids and deportations of immigrant workers, racist profiling and the stop-and-frisk policies, mass incarceration and voter suppression in the U.S.

The demonstrations are underlining these difficult issues of US wars abroad: ending the occupation of Afghanistan, demanding hands off Syria, no war on Iran, stop the drone wars and stand with Palestine.

A Crucial Time for Solidarity

The killing of the U.S. ambassador in Benghazi, Libya, and the wave of massive, angry protests targeting U.S. missions, consulates and other targets of western imperialist intervention that has swept the Muslim World has sharpened the international crisis. U.S. militarists may press for even more intervention. The Pentagon is sending warships to Libya and posting Marines at U.S. embassies. The proxy war against Syria continues, as do the threats against Iran with the largest naval armada in history conducting “U.S. war games” in the Persian Gulf this week.

Organizers have also noted that elections in Venezuela, a country also long targeted by Wall Street, take place on Oct 7 and it is an important time to also demand Hands Off Venezuela and Latin America.

This all makes anti-war protests even more timely and necessary.

The following is a list of some of the more than 20 demonstrations that have been called as of Sept. 20 in North America:

In Los Angeles, a rally will be held Oct. 6 at Pershing Square, 532 S. Olive St., at 2 p.m. The broad coalition sponsoring the protest includes the International Action Center, School of the Americas Watch-L.A.,  Arab Americans for Syria, Latinos Against the War, and Union of Progressive Iranians. For more information and to endorse the protest, call 323-306-6240.

Also in Los Angeles, a march to “shut down the military recruitment center” is set for the same day at noon at Hollywood and Highland.

In New York, UNAC has called for a march on Oct. 7 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. centered at the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building Plaza at 163 West 125th St. in Harlem. A UNAC press release says they were able to win a permit after “a fight and a lot of work by Nellie Bailey, of the Harlem Tenants Council and Black Agenda Report, and Imam Talib, president of the Islamic Leadership Council of Metro N.Y.” The march is timed specifically to avoid conflict with an important Bertrand Russell Tribunal on Palestine, which is taking place in New York that same weekend. Another protest is set in New York’s Duffy Square, 47th and Broadway, at noon Oct. 6. For more information, call 212-633-6646

In Boston, the action is set for Oct. 6 at 1:30 p.m. at Park Street, raising the slogans, “Hands off Syria and Iran! No to racism, raids and repression! No to Islamophobia!”

In Chicago, protesters will march to Boeing headquarters at 435 N. Michigan Ave. at 3 p.m. on Oct. 7. An additional slogan is “Stop FBI repression of anti-war activists.” For more information, call 773-301-0109or email: joeiosbaker@gmail.com.

A particularly broad coalition has set a protest in Minneapolis on Oct. 7 at 1 p.m. to meet along the sidewalks at Hennepin and Lagoon Avenues and march at 1:30. For details, call 612-522-1861 or 612-827-5364.

In San Francisco, a march and rally will be held Oct. 6 at noon at Powell and Market Streets. Also scheduled in California’s Bay Area is a Civil Liberties Teach-in at Laney College in Oakland on Oct. 1-3, organized by Northern California UNAC.

The Michigan Emergency Committee Against War and Injustice set the demonstration in Detroit for Friday, Oct. 5 from 4-5:30 p.m. at the entrance of Hart Plaza on Jefferson at Woodward Ave. It will also protest the drone attacks in Somalia, Pakistan and Yemen.

The Philadelphia protest will take place on Oct. 6, there will be a vigil/demonstration/kite-flying at 1 p.m. at 34th & Walnut Streets and will join the NYC protest on Oct. 7. 

Other actions are already set for Salt Lake City; Richmond, Va.; Talahassee, Fla.; Duluth, Mn.; Columbus, Ohio; Concord, N.H.; Teaneck, N.J., Olympia, Wash. and Albany, N.Y. on or near the Oct. 5-7 weekend.

In Vancouver, Canada, at 1 p.m. on Oct. 6 an event at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Robson & Howe Streets downtown, is sponsored by the Mobilization Against War & Occupation. For details, call 604-322-1764.

The Canadian Peace Alliance is also planning actions in other Canadian cities. There will be a protest also in London, England on Oct. 7 in Trafalgar Square and another on the same issues is taking place in Brussels, Belgium on Sept. 25.

For more information on the individual cities or to add your own city to the list, see october7actions.net/wordpress and UNACpeace.org

 September 28, 2012  Posted by  Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , ,  No Responses »
Jun 272012
 

By Joyce Chediac, International Action Center

The following timeline reviews the progression of U.S.-NATO intervention in Syria and counteracts the Big Lie in the corporate media aimed at preparing open imperialist military aggression against the Syrian people.

● Washington has funneled money to a right-wing Syrian opposition group since at least 2005. (Washington Post, April 16, 2011)

● The U.S. reopened its embassy in Damascus in January 2011 after six years. This was no thaw in relations. The new ambassador, Robert S. Ford, who served until October 2011, is a protégé of John Negroponte, who organized death squads in El Salvador in the 1970s and in Iraq while ambassador there in 2004-05. There terror squads killed tens of thousands. Ford served directly under Negroponte at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

● Ford “played a central role in laying the groundwork within Syria as well as establishing contacts with opposition groups.” Two months after he arrived in Damascus, the armed insurgency began. (Global Research, May 28)

● Armed opposition to Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011 in Daraa, a small town on the Jordanian border. Mass protest movements usually start in large population centers. Later, Saudi Arabia admitted sending weapons to the opposition via Jordan. (RT, March 13)

● The U. S. and its NATO allies used grassroots protests in Egypt, Syria and elsewhere as a cover to build support for right-wing insurgencies whose goal was not to help the Syrian people but to bring Syria into the pro-imperialist camp. Any excesses or mistakes by the Assad government were not the real issue.

● The Arab League, European Union and U.S. begin imposing economic sanctions, a form of warfare, against Syria in November 2011 on the pretext of stopping state-sanctioned violence against protesters. Stepped-up sanctions and freezing of Syrian assets caused the value of the Syrian pound to drop by 50 percent against the dollar, with the cost of necessities often tripling.

● Exiles who received U.S. funding became part of the Syrian National Council. SNC’s Burhan Ghalioun said he would open up Syria to the West, end Syria’s strategic relationship with Iran (and with the Lebanese and Palestinian resistance), and realign Syria with the reactionary Arab regimes in the Gulf. (Wall Street Journal, Dec. 2, 2011)

U.S. &NATO escalate involvement

● Ex-CIA agent Philip Giraldi admitted that the U.S. was involved in Syria and laid out the U.S. plan: “NATO is already clandestinely engaged in the Syrian conflict, with Turkey taking the lead as U.S. proxy. Ankara’s foreign minister, Ahmet Davitoglu, has openly admitted that his country is prepared to invade as soon as there is agreement among the Western allies to do so. The intervention would be based on humanitarian principles, to defend the civilian population based on the ‘responsibility to protect’ doctrine that was invoked to justify Libya.” (theamericanconservative.com, Dec. 19, 2011)

● Giraldi continued: “Unmarked NATO warplanes are arriving at Turkish military bases close to … the Syrian border, delivering weapons from the late Muammar Gaddafi’s arsenals as well as volunteers from the Libyan Transitional National Council who are experienced in pitting local volunteers against trained soldiers. … French and British special forces trainers are on the ground, assisting the Syrian rebels while the CIA and U.S. Spec Ops are providing communications equipment and intelligence. …

● “The frequently cited United Nations report that more than 3,500 civilians have been killed by Assad’s soldiers is based largely on rebel sources and is uncorroborated. Likewise, accounts of mass defections from the Syrian Army and pitched battles between deserters and loyal soldiers appear to be a fabrication, with few defections being confirmed independently. Syrian government claims that it is being assaulted by rebels who are armed, trained, and financed by foreign governments are more true than false.”

● The “Free Syrian Army” has rear bases in Turkey, is funded by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and is made up of defecting Syrian soldiers. Spiegel Online sites a source in Beirut who reports seeing “‘hundreds of foreign fighters’ who have attached themselves to the FSA.” (Feb. 15)

● The U.N.-mandated commission of inquiry, in its February 2012 report, documented torture, taking of hostages, and executions by armed opposition members.

● The first heavy fighting in Syria’s capital, Damascus, started in March. Pipelines were blown up, and huge explosions ripped through intelligence and security buildings in Christian areas on March 16, killing at least 27 people. The Syrian government charged then that terrorist attacks supported from abroad have been responsible for eight car bomb attacks since December, killing 328 and wounding 657. This got little Western media attention.

● Human Rights Watch on March 20 accused armed Syrian opposition members of “Kidnappings, the use of torture and executions … of security force members, individuals identified as members of government-supported militias, and individuals identified as government allies and supporters.”

● In the Baba Amr neighborhood of Homs, the armed opposition has formed its own laws, courts and death squads, according to Spiegel Online. Abu Rami, an opposition commander in Baba Amir, interviewed by Spiegel, said in the city of Homs his group has executed between 200 and 250 people. (March 29)

U.N. steps in

● Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan went to Syria in March at the behest of the U.N. and Arab League to put together a peace proposal. But Annan and the U.N. are not impartial. Annan is an architect of the “responsibility to protect” doctrine, cited by former CIA agent Giraldi as the planned pretext for intervention in Syria. The U.N. endorsed this doctrine under Annan’s tenure.

● In 2004, Annan gave U.N. approval to the U.S., French and Canadian intervention that deposed Haiti’s President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Annan’s stated reasons were the same then as now in Syria: an alleged impending “humanitarian catastrophe.” Annan provided a similar U.N. cover for France to tighten its colonial grasp on the Ivory Coast in 2006. In Syria, Annan’s calls for a Syrian government ceasefire and for outside “humanitarian” aid are really calls for foreign intervention.

● Syria agreed to an Annan-brokered ceasefire March 27. The opposition refused. While the Western heads of state and the corporate media heaped blame on Assad for “not honoring” the ceasefire, the West kept arming the opposition.

● What the U.S. government really thought of the ceasefire was revealed by Robert Grenier, former director of the CIA’s Counter-Terrorism Center, who called upon those who would “help” Syria “to climb metaphorically into the ring and dirty themselves,” adding, “what the situation needs is not high-minded sentiments, but effective, lethal aid.” (Al Jazeera, March 29)

● As the imperialists “climbed into the ring,” they continued to blame Assad. Speaking at an anti-Assad “Friends of Syria” meeting in Istanbul on April 1, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Assad had “defiled” the ceasefire. She called for Damascus to unilaterally stop fighting and withdraw from areas of heavy right-wing infiltration. She said the U.S had pledged at least $25 million in “nonlethal” aid to the Syrian opposition, which included satellite communication equipment.

● By May, the reactionaries “have begun receiving significantly more and better weapons … paid for by Persian Gulf nations and coordinated … by the U.S.” (Washington Post, May 15) “The Syrian rebels have received their first ‘third generation’ anti-tank weapons. They are supplied by Saudi and Qatari intelligence agencies following a secret message from President Barack Obama.” (debkafile.com, May 22)

The Houla massacre

● Right before a scheduled visit to Syria by Annan, news broke of a horrible massacre of 108 people in Houla on May 25, which included whole families and as many as 48 children. Headlines worldwide blamed the Syrian government, and all Western capitals called for increased sanctions and more international pressure on Assad.

● By May 27, the imperialists had coordinated their “international outrage” and expelled Syrian diplomats from the U.S., the Netherlands, Australia, Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Bulgaria and Canada.

● The U.N. Security Council reacted to the massacre — with no investigation as to who was responsible — by unanimously condemning Syria for allegedly using tanks and artillery after agreeing to a ceasefire. Ignored were statements from the Assad government that it was not responsible. A closer look showed this was the case.

● Marat Musin, reporting for Russia’s ANNA News, was in Houla and interviewed witnesses right after the massacre. Musin determined that the massacre was committed by the so-called Free Syrian Army, not the Assad forces. His report concluded: “The attack was carried out by a unit of armed fighters from Rastan, in which more than 700 gunmen were involved. They brought the city under their control and began with a cleansing action against loyalist [pro-Assad] families, including elderly people, women and also children. The dead were presented to … the U.N. and the ‘international community’ as victims of the Syrian army.” (May 31) The conservative German newspaper, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, corroborated the ANNA report on June 7.

● Residents knew many of the killers by name and identified them as local criminal elements now working for the FSA. (Syria News, May 31) Anti-Assad forces then posed as villagers and invited the U.N. observers in. Some put on uniforms of the Syrian soldiers they had killed and said they were defectors.

● A widely shown photo of dozens of shrouded bodies, which the BBC first presented as the aftermath of Houla, was really taken by photographer Marco di Lauro in Iraq in March 2003.

● BBC world news editor Jon Williams admitted in his blog June 7 that there was no evidence whatsoever to identify either the Syrian Army or Alawite militias as the perpetrators of theMay 25 massacre. United Kingdom’s Channel 4 senior reporter Alex Thomson said June 7that the opposition led him into a line of fire and tried to get him killed by Syrian military forces so it would “look bad” for Assad.

● There has been no independent investigation of Houla to date, yet at a June 7 meeting, Annan and current U.N. General Secretary Ban Ki-moon again made statements putting the responsibility for the Houla massacre on Assad.

● Major General Robert Mood, head of the U.N. Supervision Mission in Syria, suspended patrols of the 300-member team on June 16, citing “spiraling violence in restive areas.” The suspension was right before the G-20 Summit in Mexico, providing another opportunity for imperialism to criticize Assad.

● In initial remarks, Annan called the Houla massacre the “tipping point.” The deaths at Houla have been used by the U.S. and NATO to more aggressively and openly organize for Assad’s overthrow. U.S. officials and Arab intelligence officers admit that the CIA is in southern Turkey funneling weapons to the FSA. It is also there to “make new sources and recruit people.” (New York Times, June 21)

● As a result, “The onetime ragtag militias of the Syrian opposition are developing into a more effective fighting force with the help of an increasingly sophisticated network of activists here in southern Turkey that is smuggling crucial supplies across the border including weapons, communication gear, field hospitals and even salaries for soldiers who defect. The network reflects an effort to forge an opposition movement … that together can not only defeat … Assad but also replace his government.” (New York Times, June 26)


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 June 27, 2012  Posted by  Uncategorized Tagged with: , , ,  No Responses »
Jun 202012
 

U.S. / NATO – No War on Syria!

Stop Attacks on Iran!

Stop Drone Attacks!

Money for jobs & education – not war!

Wednesday – June 27 – 4:30 PM

Demonstrate at McNamara Federal Building
Michigan Ave. at Cass Ave. – Detroit

The United States, through the Pentagon and C.I.A,. along with its NATO allies and reactionary regimes in the Middle East, is waging war on the Syrian people.  The New York Times (6-21-12) admits that the CIA is arming the Syrian “rebels” at the Turkish border.

The goal is regime change. They care nothing about the people of Syria, nothing about “democracy.” They only want to make Syria a satellite of imperialism and to re-enslave the people of Syria.

The murderous assault on Libya last year showed that the only ones who benefit from these imperialist regime changes are the big oil companies, the banks and Zionist Israel. The threats and attacks on Iran are also for the benefit of U.S. imperialism. The progressive movement in the United States must stand up and say “NO!” to U.S.-war against Syria. We need jobs, education and health care – not war.

Sponsored by: Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice
(313) 680 – 5508            MECAWI.org

leaflet

 June 20, 2012  Posted by  Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , , ,  No Responses »
Jun 152012
 

Emergency Alert!

Are U.S. and NATO setting up pretext for attack on Syria?

If the U.S. and/or its NATO surrogates attack Syria, the Michigan Emergency Coalition Against War & Injustice will hold a protest the day after the attack at:

4:00 PM at the McNamara federal building, 477 Michigan Ave., downtown Detroit

 June 15, 2012  Posted by  Uncategorized Tagged with: , ,  No Responses »