Why is France so interested in Syria? According to the Guardian, France’s policy in Syria has been “more forward than any other Western country”:
“[France] was early in calling for President Bashar al-Assad to step down, still insists he must go, and recently joined airstrikes inside Syria against the Islamic State.”
France joined the United States in bombing Syrian territory (without a U.N. mandate) even before the United Kingdom did. In 2013, France stood by Obama’s side despite the fact the United Kingdom’s parliament voted not to join Obama’s efforts to “punish” Syrian president Bashar al-Assad for crossing Obama’s imaginary red line. France has also been a staunch backer of rebels fighting to overthrow Assad since the conflict began.
Not many people know this, but Syria was a former French colony prior to World War II. Both Syria and Lebanon were promised to France under a secret agreement reached with Great Britain following the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1916. However, even in recent times, France was not overtly anti-Syrian. When Bashar al-Assad took power in 2000, France bore no real ill will towards him. Former president Nicolas Sarkozy openly praised Assad for defending the rights of Syrian Christians.
It is a bold statement to blame France for the current situation in Syria. However, as discussed by Dr. Ayse Tekdal Fildis in an academic paper entitled “The Troubles in Syria: Spawned by French Divide and Rule”:
“Great Britain and France transformed what had been relatively quiet provinces of the Ottoman Empire into some of the least stable and internationally explosive states in the world.”
As part of the Ottoman Empire, Syria did not exist as an entity and was more commonly referred to as “Greater Syria,” “Geographical Syria,” or “Natural Syria,” which was actually comprised of Jordan, Israel/Palestine, Lebanon, and modern day Syria.
Colonially speaking, France was never welcome in Syria. As noted by Randall Baker, an “international expert on historical perspectives in the analysis of contemporary environmental policy and problems,” Syria directly told France they were not welcome to interfere in Syria as early as June of 1919. However, France went ahead and took Syria by cunning force following the San Remo Conference that year, allowing Amir Faysal Ibn Husayni to remain king of Syria only if the country remained under French control and influence. In practice, this gave Syria some leeway — until an interventionist in the form of Alexandre Millerand took office in France. Unsurprisingly, after Syria’s Congress declared Faysal king of the “United Syria Kingdom,” which was to be an unconditionally independent state, France declared this declaration to be null and void.
Instead, Millerand imposed five unconditional demands on Syria: (1) the unconditional acceptance of the French mandate; (2) the acceptance of French-Syrian paper money based on the Franc (sound familiar?); (3)the abolition of conscription and reduction of the army (sound familiar?); (4) French military occupation of the railway and stations from Riyaq to Aleppo; and (5) punishment of persons implicated in hostile acts against the French.
Despite the fact that Faysal accepted the ultimatum in principle, France decided it was time for him to leave. On July 26, 1920, the French government intervened outright and occupied Damascus, overthrowing Faysal and his nationalist government. With this complete takeover of the Syrian region, France also gifted itself the ability to veto any Syrian legislation, making “a charade out of Syrian political life.”
Not surprisingly, there was great resistance to colonial rule from the officers of the Arab army (sound familiar?).
In order to fully take control of Syria, France relied on a divide and rule strategy to undermine Arab nationalism. This strategy involved dividing Syria into segments to block any chance at an overriding sense of nationalism. However, interfering in Lebanon at the same time, a country that also did not exist as an entity under the Ottoman Empire, also played to France’s strengths in disallowing any sense of unity in the region. As Dr. Fildis notes:
“The Maronites saw Lebanon as their own Christian homeland; Sunni Muslims, however, demanded unity with Syria and looked towards the wider Arab world for their source of identity. Therefore, there was no common identity in Greater Lebanon at its birth and no instinct to become a nation; it was just a Christian-dominated French power based in the Middle East.” [emphasis added]
The chief architect of French policy in Syria prior to and during World War I, Robert de Caix, opposed the creation of a unified Syrian state as it would supposedly “have an Arab and Muslim orientation, would be hostile to France and would project a dangerous influence on French North Africa.” It should be noted that dividing and partitioning the resistant Arab states into smaller, weaker states that would pose no threat to American allies in the region is deemed to be one of the core reasons the West is continuously backing wars in the Middle East to this day.
In the context of this divide and rule policy, it should be no surprise that Syria is currently ruled by an Alawite regime — a minority in Syria — which continues to be a problematic issue. As Dr. Fildis explains:
“Some of Syria’s religious and ethnic minorities, such as Kurds, Armenians, Jews and various Christian sects, were widely dispersed and did not have a geographical base to give rise to political unity, whereas the Alawites and Druze were compact regional minorities with considerable political unity.” [emphasis added]
In essence, one of these groups was always going to have to take charge to the detriment of the other political and religious identities, and unity would always be an issue. As Dr. Fildis explains, the French are directly responsible for this calamity:
“Their autonomy mainly had been fostered by the French in an attempt to break Syrian unity. By the end of the mandate, Alawite and Druze areas were incorporated into the larger Syrian state by the French. Nonetheless, minority consciousness, reinforced by a combination of geography, religious differences, communal segregation and regional separatism, had a damaging impact on Syrian political life even long after the mandate.”
However, due to this distaste for France’s actions, the European power’s stranglehold over Syria was short-lived. France’s attempts to destroy Syrian nationalism and prevent any sense of unity in the country ultimately backfired. In that context, it is clear that France had no interest in creating a democratic state for the Syrian people given Syria’s self-governance was putting them on the road to democracy.
As explained in an article published by the Globalist, adapted from an essay by Ian Buruma entitled, “Year Zero, A History of 1945,” France was still fighting for control of Syria as World War II was ending and the formation of the United Nations was well underway, bombing Syrians in Damascus, Aleppo, Hama, and Homs. The British immediately helped Syria oust French forces, and Damascus celebrated the French withdrawal. According to the Globalist, General Charles de Gaulle stated in response to Britain’s interference:
“We are not in a position to open hostilities against you at the present time. But you have insulted France and betrayed the West. This cannot be forgotten.”
So how can Syria’s current political upheaval be directly attributed to the French? Well, as noted by award-winning writer, Dr. Halla Diyab:
“The era of the French mandate created a bad and destructive political habit that Syria picked up through time to internalize and feed for decades to come: political radicalization ‘the legacy of which was almost a guarantee of Syria’s political instability.’ Political upheaval and instability [were] dominant political feature[s] of Syria until [the] Assads came to power.”
Is France looking to reclaim what they believe should have been theirs following the fall of the Ottoman Empire? Or are we really to believe that France is motivated by human rights concerns and a keen interest in counter-terrorism?
France’s commitment to counter-terrorism should be questioned outright. As the Atlantic observed, France retaliated against the infamous 2015 terror attacks in Paris by ramping up its military operations in Syria, despite the fact that the attacks could have been in response to a number of French military operations across the globe. The Atlantic states:
“It’s worth noting that the ISIS statement translated by SITE makes no explicit mention of Syria. The French military has been heavily involved in operations against Islamist militant groups outside of the Middle East over the last few years, including one group that has pledged fealty to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliph. France has deployed 3,000 troops to West Africa—a region where they’ve historically had great influence, as a colonial power and otherwise—with a presence in Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Ivory Coast. The fight in Mali has centered on al-Qaeda affiliated militants, but in Nigeria and surrounding countries, France has been the Western nation most invested in fighting against Boko Haram, the brutal Nigerian Islamist organization. Earlier this year, Boko Haram pledged allegiance to Baghdadi.” [emphasis added]
The Washington Post has therefore attributed France’s keen interest in influencing events in Syria as rooted in three key factors. First, the writers argue, France is attempting to reinforce itself as a great power. Second, France is offering an alternative foreign policy to that of the option of the United States military (though what this entails in practice is not clear). And lastly, France can enhance and strengthen ties with the anti-Assad Sunni nations in the Middle East, who also share “France’s deep distrust of Iran” (Syria’s closest ally).
Clearly, France has renewed its aggressively colonial stance in recent times. The importance of the global energy markets, as evidenced by France’s ulterior rationale to take out Gaddafi in Libya, cannot be understated. Syria presents a threat to French interests as an Iranian-dominated bridge between Russia and Europe would cut France out of this energy-rich area completely, something which was previously theirs prior to the end of World War II. By overthrowing Assad and creating a puppet government of France’s own (currently known as the Syrian National Council), France would be able to alleviate the economic threat an Iranian alliance poses to the anti-Assad interests in the region and assert itself as a colonial power in the heart of the Middle East, taking back what was once theirs.
As noted by anti-war Youtube channel Stormcloudsgathering:
“The West is in a state of decline. Their influence is waning. If the U.S. and their allies fail to remove Assad from power, what they will be faced with is more than just a strong Shia crescent [a reference to the Iranian dominated bridge of Iran-Iraq-Lebanon-Syria]. If they fail, they risk being edged out of the entire region and replaced by Russia. This would give Russia an enormous amount of leverage in global energy markets, and this of course has serious implications for the petrodollar.”
By Darius Shahtahmasebi
Source: Anti Media
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This carefully research article by John Steinbach on Israel’s nuclear arsenal was first published by Global Research in March 2002
“Should war break out in the Middle East again,… or should any Arab nation fire missiles against Israel, as the Iraqis did, a nuclear escalation, once unthinkable except as a last resort, would now be a strong probability.” Seymour Hersh(1)
“Arabs may have the oil, but we have the matches.” Ariel Sharon(2)
With between 200 and 500 thermonuclear weapons and a sophisticated delivery system, Israel has quietly supplanted Britain as the World’s 5th Largest nuclear power, and may currently rival France and China ...
Louis XVI needed a revolution, Napoleon needed two historic military defeats, the Spanish Empire in the New World needed multiple revolutions, the Russian Czar needed a communist revolution, the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires needed World War I, Nazi Germany needed World War II, Imperial Japan needed two atomic bombs, the Portuguese Empire in Africa needed a military coup at home, the Soviet Empire needed Mikhail Gorbachev … What will the American Empire need?
I don’t believe anyone will consciously launch World War III. The situation now is more like the eve of World War I, when great powers were armed and ...
GR Editor’s Note
The following article by professor Eric Waddell was first published twelve years ago by Global Research in December 2003 in the immediate wake of the invasion and occupation of Iraq by US and British forces, with a postscript added in 2007. The article provides an incisive historical perspective on America’s “long war” against humanity, which is being carried out under a fake humanitarian mandate.
Let us be under no illusions as to the intent of the US and its allies.
We are dealing with World Conquest under the disguise of a “Global War on Terrorism”.
Michel Chossudovsky, December 24, ...
“Just rubble, a ruin, completely destroyed.” - @lindseyhilsum reveals the full scale of destruction in Palmyra.https://t.co/2Bl1vup2aC
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) April 2, 2016
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When I began reading the work of Douglas Valentine about six years ago, I had not read his books, only the articles that the US online journal Counterpunch had published. In fact I only began reading Counterpunch because of the accident of having been introduced to the two original editors of what was then only a printed newsletter. Later I was even able to publish a few pieces in that journal before its more famous founding editor’s demise. Why do I preface a book review with such personal observations? To that question I will return later.
After reading numerous articles I ...
It seems clear now that the West wants to defeat Russia in Syria at all costs. This latest protracted confrontation in the Middle East can be understood as a proxy war of the US and NATO against Putin’s resurgent Russia. But Syria is just one zone of engagement in a much wider war against Russia that has been taking place since Putin started to stand up to the West. The same confrontation also occurs in Ukraine and formerly in Georgia, where Russia successfully halted, albeit temporarily, the Western advance. This amounts to a new Cold War or an undeclared war ...
This article was first published on October 19, 2014.
This week marks the three-year anniversary of the Western-backed assassination of Libya’s former president, Muammar Gaddafi, and the fall of one of Africa’s greatest nations.
In 1967 Colonel Gaddafi inherited one of the poorest nations in Africa; however, by the time he was assassinated, Gaddafi had turned Libya into Africa’s wealthiest nation. Libya had the highest GDP per capita and life expectancy on the continent. Less people lived below the poverty line than in the Netherlands.
After NATO’s intervention in 2011, Libya is now a failed state and its economy is in shambles. As ...
The mainstream media (MSM) has declared war on alternative media websites labeling them “Fake News” ever since Hillary Clinton lost the election to Donald Trump. The New York Times editorial board expressed their frustration in an article calling for the censorship of alternative and social media‘Facebook and the Digital Virus Called Fake News’ which claimed both social media platforms (Facebook and Google) has not been aggressive enough in blocking fake news sites:
Most of the fake news stories are produced by scammers looking to make a quick buck. The vast majority of them take far-right positions. But a big part of the responsibility for this scourge ...
According to a report issued on June 6th in German Economic News (Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten, or DWN), the German government is preparing to go to war against Russia, and has in draft-form a Bundeswehr report declaring Russia to be an enemy nation. DWN says: “The Russian secret services have apparently thoroughly studied the paper. In advance of the paper’s publication, a harsh note of protest has been sent to Berlin: The head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Russian State Duma, Alexei Puschkow, has posted the Twitter message: ‘The decision of the German government declaring Russia to be an ...
The June 20 Gray Falcon commentary “Failure to Communicate” has this excerpt, that led me to an extremely anti-Russian and anti-Serb article, from a venue which has previously slanted in that direction:
“The latest example of this ‘flipping the script’ is a New Republic feature comparing Putin to Milosevic. In reality, it is the West acting towards Russia the same way they acted towards the Serbs two decades ago. I’ve argued before that Putin is aware of this, though the Russian public and media in general may not be.”
Whether the issue is the Caucasus or Ukraine, bombing Russia hasn’t been considered, unlike ...
I stated some months ago, while assembling a criminal dossier against the NATO powers for the ultimate war crime of aggression, that the build-up of NATO forces in Eastern Europe, particularly American, concentrated on the Baltic states and Ukraine, presaged hybrid war operations against Russia leading to a general war. This build up of forces and ancillary developments I termed Operation Barbarossa II in light of the remarkable similarities to the build up of forces by Nazi Germany for the invasion of the USSR in 1941 which the Germans code-named Operation Barbarossa. Events have only confirmed my views.
The degradation of ...
GR Editor’s Note
Moscow is accused of doping as part of a US dirty tricks campaign to prevent Russia from participating in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
What is the record of the US with regard to doping?
The main sports organizations including the NFL, MLB, and NBA have allowed unusually relaxed policies for performance-enhancing drug testing and punishment. The USADA is the US government agency responsible for the implementation in the United States of the World Anti-Doping Code, Yet, the record suggests that the USDA does not actively intervene in “big money sports” and often turns a blind eye ...
Listed are only events that solely occurred on command or participation of church authorities or were committed in the name of Christianity. (List incomplete)
As soon as Christianity became legal in the Roman Empire by imperial edict (315), more and more pagan temples were destroyed by Christian mob. Pagan priests were killed.
Between 315 and 6th century thousands of pagan believers were slain.
Examples of destroyed Temples: the Sanctuary of Aesculap in Aegaea, the Temple of Aphrodite in Golgatha, Aphaka in Lebanon, the Heliopolis.
Christian priests such as Mark of Arethusa or Cyrill of Heliopolis were famous as "temple ...
Several years ago two very distinguished American scholars wrote a book, The Israel Lobby.
The book made a very understated case that the Israel Lobby has far more power over the US government and media than is good for America or Israel, as it silences constructive critics who are Israel’s friends. The two scholars were demonized by the Israel Lobby as advocating the return of the Holocaust.
The Israel Lobby presented itself as just a poor little weak thing unable to stand up to all the Nazis assailing Israel. Meanwhile the US Congress was unanimously passing outrageous resolutions handed to it by ...
Netanyahu has the audacity to sell Murdoch & Rothschild Syria’s Oil
What could cause Russia to invade Israel
At the time, Israel’s Prime Minister had flown to Washington, and was making a desperate bid to get Obama’s support for Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
Only a few weeks earlier a discovery had been made that would serve to increase tensions on the question of sovereignty over the Golan – huge oil deposits were found on the Golan Heights, and verified by an Israeli company.
Yet, weeks later, Benjamin Netanyahu returned to Israel having failed to secure Obamas support.
It wasnt long before the United ...
Croatia’s president, the former deputy NATO secretary general for public diplomacy Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, decided to pay homage to Nazis of the Ustasha Nazi puppet regime of Croatia shot by Yugoslav partisans at the end of World War II. Grabar-Kitarovic’s tone deafness in choosing Victory in Europe week to honor dead Nazis shocked the Balkans and the rest of Europe.
The Ustasha, along with their Slovenian and Serb loyalists to the Nazi puppet regime, were killed by the partisans under the command of anti-fascist guerrilla leader Josip Broz Tito. Most of the Ustasha were killed in the Austrian town of Bleiburg, as ...
Israel treats Arabs the way Nazis treated Jews – a racist, fascist, white Jewish supremacist (the chosen people nonsense), Arab-hating society systematically ghettoizing and terrorizing people for praying to the wrong God.
Palestinians are treated like subhumans, enduring virtually every type indignity and mistreatment under brutalizing militarized rule, civil justice denied.
Institutionalized racism worse than South African apartheid denies them fundamental human and civil rights. De-Arabization is official Israeli policy. Occupation harshness facilitates slow-motion genocide.
Millions suffer horrifically. Anyone resisting tyranny is eliminated – brutalized, imprisoned or murdered.
Muhammad Allan is a Palestinian political prisoner – rearrested at Barzilai hospital before his release to ...
From the onset of NATO’s aggression from March 24 to June 11, 1999, the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance (NATO) flew over 35,000 combat missions over the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Over 1,000 warplanes (among others F-15, F-16, F-117) and 206 helicopters were used in the air strikes. More than 20,000 laser or satellite-guided weapons were launched and over 79,000 tons of explosives were dropped, including 152 containers with 35,450 cluster bombs, thermo-visual and graphite bombs, which are prohibited under international conventions.1
The NATO forces justified the bombing of civilian targets as either “mistakes” or essential to the destruction of Milosevic and ...
Note: This article was originally published in January 2015.
Two months ago, hundreds of thousands of Chileans somberly marked the 40thanniversary of their nation’s September 11th terrorist event. It was on that date in 1973 that the Chilean military, armed with a generous supply of funds and weapons from the United States, and assisted by the CIA and other operatives, overthrew the democratically-elected government of the moderate socialist Salvador Allende. Sixteen years of repression, torture and death followed under the fascist Augusto Pinochet, while the flow of hefty profits to US multinationals – IT&T, Anaconda Copper and the like – resumed. ...
Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal And Weapons Of Mass Destruction: A Threat To World Peace
A Collection Of Thoughts About American Foreign Policy
World Conquest: The United States’ Global Military Crusade (1945- )
Video: Destruction Of Palmyra (2016)
The Syrian Crisis Is Part Of A War Waged On Russia By The West
Libya: From Africa’s Richest State Under Gaddafi, to Failed State After NATO Intervention
The Lie Of The 21st Century: How Mainstream Media “Fake News” Led To The U.S. Invasion Of Iraq
Germany Preparing For War Against Russia?
Twisted History Against Russia And Serbia
From Cold to “Hot War”? Operation Barbarossa II
Russia Versus America: The Doping Double Standard In America’s “Big Money Sports”. “In Your Face Washington”
Victims Of The (Western) Christian Faith
Zionist Israel Hides Its Crimes Behind Its Smears Of Truth-Tellers
Donald Trump – A Super Zionist?
Croatian Leader Lauds Ustasha Nazis As The «Fourth Reich Lite» Rears Its Ugly Head In Europe
The US Has Invaded 71 Nations Since 1776 – Make 4 July Independence From America Day (2014)
Civilian Casualties Of NATO’s War On Yugoslavia
Crimes Against Humanity: Why Is Henry Kissinger Walking Around Free?