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Duplicitous Human Rights Council Report on Syria

by Stephen Lendman Friday, Jun. 29, 2012 at 9:18 PM


Duplicitous Human Rights Council Report on Syria

by Stephen Lendman

On June 27, the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) discussed conflict conditions in Syria. Truth took a back seat. Some present denounced its absence.

Pre-scripted, its conclusions were predictable. Washington calls the shots. Most HRC members salute and obey.

Syrian HRC representative Faisal Khabbaz al-Hamwi denounced the proceedings. Calling them useless and politically biased, he said its report reflects a "disinformation war against Syria." He walked out of the session, saying:

"We will not participate in this flagrantly political meeting."

He had good reason to leave. Before doing so he said national reconciliation can only happen when "foreign powers stopped inciting violence. The crisis in Syria (is) genuine war and a criminal operation involving destruction of property."

It's not about "legitimate demands for reform." It's about lawlessly supporting regime change. It's to replace Assad with a pro-Western puppet.

Washington had that in mind for years. Independent governments aren't tolerated. America has longstanding plans to oust them for subservient vassal ones.

Syria's insurgency is supported and financed from abroad. It promotes anarchy and disorder. It ignores how Israel persecutes Arabs and Turkey wages war on Kurds.

It avoids discussing Gulf states' crimes against their own people and involvement in Washington's war on Syria.

"A war of minds and bombs is taking place. Gunmen have been carrying out terrorist acts on Syrian cities. Such activities by gunmen and terrorists is being fed with money and weapons from abroad," he explained.

"How could some sides pretend to be worried about the Syrian people and at the same time arming the terrorists and conspiring against the Syrians."

"Had these sides been honest, they would have supported Annan's plan and urged all sides to hold a constructive national dialogue," he added.

Vasily Nebenya, Russian Foreign Ministry Human Rights Director, said the HRC's report on Houla killings doesn't reflect facts on the ground.

HRC's account "indicates to the tension of the situation where this massacre benefited powers which have interest in destabilizing the situation before debating the Syrian file at the UN Security Council."

High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay spurned her mandate. Instead of responsibly "strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights," she spurned them in deference to Western interests.

She said conditions in Syria continue to deteriorate. She called them "alarming." She pointed fingers the wrong way. She ignored Western-sponsored massacres and other atrocities. She blamed Assad, not foreign mercenaries. Since March last year, they've been ravaging the country.

In September 2011, Paulo Pinheiro was appointed Chairman of a three-member International Commission of Inquiry for Syria.

Its mandate is investigating human rights abuses. His reports bear testimony to his bias. Like Pillay, he represents Western interests, not truth and full disclosure.

His earlier reports blamed Assad for insurgent crimes against humanity. He claimed soldiers were shooting unarmed protesters. Arrests were made without cause. Civilian neighborhoods were indiscriminately attacked.

His accounts came right out of the anti-Gaddafi playbook. They lack credibility. He said insurgents also committed crimes but on a much smaller scale. He lied. He's paid to lie. His new report repeated the earlier pattern.

Again he pointed fingers the wrong way. He called conditions "on the ground dangerously and quickly deteriorating."

"In the increasingly militarized context, human rights violations are occuring across the country on an alarming scale during military operations against locations believed to be hosting defectors and/or those perceived as affiliated with anti-government armed groups, including the Free Syrian Army."

He ignored credible eye-witness testimonies. He fabricated accounts and conclusions. He discussed the May 25 Houla massacre.

He said it's "unlikely that anti-Government fighters were responsible....and considered that Syrian Government forces or those loyal to them were the most likely perpetrators."

Russian journalist Marat Musin published firsthand observations of what happened. He exposed scoundrel media misinformation and lies.

Western-enlisted death squads bore full responsibility. Government forces and/or so-called pro-Assad shabbiha had no involvement.

Pro-Assad loyalists were murdered. Targeting them was cold, calculated, and well-planned. In two earlier June articles, Germany's  Frankfurther Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) published facts, not misinformation on what happened. It blamed insurgents, not government forces or pro-Assad elements.

Documentation based on credible eye witnesses reconstructed events accurately. Survivors pointed fingers the right way. Anti-Assad elements were interviewed. They claimed responsibility. FAZ kept their names confidential. At issue is potential reprisals.

Pinheiro's report claimed "no doubt as to what was happening on the ground and identified the Syrian authorities as carrying a clear and definite responsibility in this regard."

It said Assad is "unwilling or unable to investigate and prosecute crimes...." It endorsed Pillay's request for the Security Council to refer responsible government officials to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for prosecution.

At HRC's emergency June 1 meeting, she blamed Assad for Houla killings, saying:

"These acts may amount to crimes against humanity and other international crimes and may be indicative of a pattern of widespread or systematic attacks against civilian populations that have been perpetrated with impunity."

"I reiterate that those who order, assist or fail to stop attacks on civilians are individually criminally liable for their actions."

Ahead of the meeting, Washington, Turkey and Qatar submitted a joint draft resolution to the HRC. It condemned "the wanton killings of civilians by shooting at close range and by severe physical abuse by pro-regime elements and a series of government artillery and tank shellings of a residential neighborhood."

On June 1, the HRC blamed Assad for Houla killings. A final resolution was adopted. Forty-one voted yes. Russia, China and Cuba rejected one-way responsibility. Two nations abstained.

Responsible insurgents weren't mentioned. Assad was accused of failing "to protect and promote the rights of all Syrians, including through systematic and repeated violations of human rights."

It called for holding guilty parties accountable. It shamelessly blamed victims, not perpetrators. It ignored facts based on credible eyewitness testimonies.

Instead it published misinformation and bald-faced lies. Doing so makes nations blaming Assad and HRC officials complicit with insurgent crimes.

On June 28, HRC members will resume discussions on Syria. Dialogue on other matters will be held. Later in the day, closed door meetings will follow. It's unclear whether what's considered will be revealed.

Conclusions from previous HRC emergency sessions on Syria also blamed Assad for insurgent crimes. Doing so destroys its credibility. Instead of fulfilling its mandate, it spurned it.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"


Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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