Syria: former UK ambassador speaks

15 Feb

Two excellent offerings from OffGuardian this week. Yesterday was a video featuring Peter Ford, ambassador to Syria 2003-6, telling the “Imperialism on Trial” symposium in Derry that humanitarian invasion and sanctions are simply updated versions of the “White Man’s Burden” legitimation of colonialism. A liberal of the old school, Ford’s a decent man who deserves a hearing.

For his part, today Kit wrote:

Sideshows & distractions while the zombie media cheer & US start killing Russians in Syria

It’s a story that isn’t getting as much coverage as it should, but American soldiers have allegedly killed “dozens” of Russian “mercenaries” in an attack on pro-Government forces in eastern Syria.

The numbers vary according to source. Some put them in single figures, some say “hundreds”. Some say they were special forces. Some say “mercenaries.” The Kremlin is vague and non-commital, so are the Pentagon & State Department. But no one is denying that Russians have been killed by the US Army.

Couple that with the second attack on a “Syrian tank” yesterday, and the “new cold war” that people keep talking about just got a bit hotter.

This really happened. It is an unavoidable reality. The time has come for people to truly wake up, because American fantasies are in danger of destroying the real world.

But the western media who are bothering to cover this seem entirely unaware of its meaning or even its historical significance. Alec Luhn in the Telegraph describes the incident as the “deadliest” confrontation between the two nations “since the Cold War”, as if he believes the 1950s-80s were seeing the Soviet Union & NATO taking pot shots at each other on a regular basis. He simply does not understand that rigid rules of engagement once existed specifically to avoid this kind of thing. Because back then the US military & State Department was run by people who understood what MAD (“mutually assured destruction”) actually meant. That neither they, nor journos such as Luhn have any comprehension of this any more is the most dangerous thing in this dangerous situation.

Luhn and other western journalists seem to believe a potential nuclear holocaust is a relic from the past, a thing that can no longer happen, or that if it does it will be “somewhere else”. Growing up with years of phoney “wars” with countries barely able to defend themselves has lulled these people into a sense of absolute safety and invulnerability. They believe war is a video game they can watch from the security and comfort of their living room and comment about in smug soundbites on Twitter.

By the time they realise their mistake it will probably be too late.

But let’s have a quick reality check.


The Russian’s did not hack the American election.
That did not happen, the entire machinery of American bureaucracy has been working overtime to attempt to prove this story true. They have found nothing. If they had even the tiniest shred of evidence, it would be being pasted onto 20 foot tall billboards.

The hysterical social media-based screaming about Trump being “Putin’s man”, or the “Siberian” candidate, or any other ridiculous label needs to stop, because while people are talking about non-problems, the American deep state is causing REAL problems.

Do a results based analysis. If Trump had been put in power by the Kremlin … why would he promote increased NATO funding? Why would he be overhauling American nuclear weapons? Why would he be carrying out airstrikes in Syria, that kill Russian nationals? Trump has not made a single move to de-escalated the new conflict with Russia. The opposite. He has made the situation worse at every juncture, despite his campaign promises to work together. That fact alone disproves the “Russian interference” meme.

Assad did not gas his people.
There has never been any proof that either the attack on Ghouta or Idlib was carried out by the SAA, or under Assad’s orders. Quite the contrary, weapons experts have spoken out against those accusations, many times. Even the US Defense Sec. recently admitted:

We have other reports from the battlefield from people who claim it’s been used…We do not have evidence of it.”

In contrast, America’s own military admit that they have been using depleted uranium shells in Syria. The claimed moral authority of the US and NATO does not exist.

The White Helmets are not “non-partisan aid workers” or selfless heroes.
The White Helmets receive funding from US and UK governments, this is not disputed. They operate only within “rebel” held areas, and associate with globally recognised terrorist groups.


Bashar Al-Assad won a Presidential election.
Far from being a dictator with no democratic mandate, Assad won an election in 2014. Assad is the legitimate president of Syria. All polls carried out over the years since the war started have shown a large majority support their President. One in 2012, 2013, and 2017. Some of the polls were carried out by NATO powers. There is no question that Assad has the support of most Syrians.

America has been planning regime change in Syria for years.
In a now famous 2007 interview, Gen. Wesley Clark of the US Army stated that he was given a list of countries that the US was planning to “hit”. Those 7 countries were Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Lebanon, Iran…and Syria. Of those 7 counties, only 2 are still standing in one piece, Iran and Syria…and Syria only just. It’s perfectly clear that Syria has been in America’s crosshairs for a long time.

ISIS et al are funded by the West and their allies.
ISIS are the excuse for all of America’s military personnel on the ground in Syria. They are the reason for “coalition” air strikes. But they are the creation of American intelligence. No one disputes that the CIA armed and trained the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan, in order to undermine the USSR. No one disputes that the Contras in Nicaragua were armed and trained by the CIA also. Cuba and Chile likewise. Arming and training extremists (whether religious or political) to fight proxy wars has been the American MO for decades. Leaked e-mails show that ISIS, al-Nusra and their ilk are exactly the same, therefore any claims that America are in Syria to defeat ISIS are proven lies.

America (and Israel) are in breach of international law.
Syria is a sovereign state, it is illegal to perform military operations on the territory of a sovereign state without permission of the government of said state. This is the basic premise of all international law. War is a crime, to declare war on another state without approval of the UNSC is illegal under international law. To fund, train or arm mercenaries in order to fight a proxy war is also illegal under international law. You cannot shoot down Syrian jets over Syrian airspace. You cannot perform “defensive” air strikes against Syrian soldiers, in Syria, whilst being on their land illegally. Any such attacks are de facto war crimes.

Russia and Iran, on the other hand, are operating on Syrian soil at the express invitation of the legitimate Syrian government. In terms of international law, there is no question as to who is in the wrong.

It’s very important that this fact doesn’t get lost.


In 2013, as the world was priming for another (illegal) NATO war in the middle east, people prevented itPeople stood up. The wounds of Iraq and Libya were still fresh. Ed Milliband was uncharacteristically principled. The Russians stepped in to mediate. War, for the moment was averted, because people were aware and spoke out.

This time, they’re not asking our permission, they’re not trying to persuade us or deceive us. They are distracting us. The Oscars and the Olympics and Brexit and Oxfam and ‘hate speech’ and #MeToo…none of it ultimately matters. Side shows, a three ring circus with an orange clown in the centre ring.

Behind these distractions, the deep state moves, declaring their intentions openly for anyone with eyes willing to see or ears to hear. The machine is moving toward war, a war far more dangerous than Iraq or Libya. Potentially global. Potentially devastating. Potentially final.

The above are the basic facts of the Syria conflict, they cannot be refuted. They must be repeated and spread. The fantasies need to be put aside and the realties understood. We can’t afford to keep our eyes shut, and stopper our ears, as we let a delusional American elite, and their zombified spokespeople in the MSM, push us toward a global war.

The only way to stop it is to be aware. Luhn and his fellow stenographer-journalists are clueless in the face of potential catastrophe. They are not going to be speaking truth to anyone. We have to do this ourselves.


2 Replies to “Syria: former UK ambassador speaks

  1. Enjoyed Peter Ford’s speech. I was in Derry for the Bloody Sunday commemoration a few days he presented it. So glad you posted it here. Its presentation is clear simple of reminiscence of a former Foreign Office staff unleashed. As you say a decent man

    • It’s a striking feature of our time that so many disillusioned former servants of empire are raising their heads above the parapet. In Britain we have Ford and Craig Murray, the UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan Blair sacked because he was pointing out that its ruler, the lovely Mr Karimov, boiled his political enemies in oil. In this, Murray risked upsetting ‘our friend’ – a man vile and steeped in corruption, but a man allowing former Soviet airbases inside his fiefdom to be used by Coalition forces to launch strikes on Iraq.

      (I’m a frequent reader of Murray’s excellent columns. This, for instance, just as liberals were naively intoning that “Assad’s barrel bombs” – though not “Obama’s depleted uranium shells” – were beyond the pale.)

      In America we have, among others: Stephen Cohen (Reagan’s Russia expert), Paul Craig Roberts (Reagan’s appointee at the Treasury) and Philip Giraldi (ex CIA); cogent voices all, taking to the air to voice dissent from both the financial and military wings of the neoliberal project. In France we have former Foreign Minister Roland Dumas, highly critical of the dirty war on Syria. And we have former UN weapons inspectors Hans Blix and Theodor Postol, their dissent from the Assad-gassed-his-citizens line earning them blanket no-platforming across all mainstream media, Guardian very much included.

      I could go on, I really could, but these will do. What’s so striking is not just the status, expertise and depth of experience of these men and others, but also the extent to which they have been shunned by MSM. In a pre internet age, most of us would never have known about them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *