29 December 2011 — Global Research
The chief of the monitoring team Sudanese General Mustafa Dabi has described the situation in the central city as reassuring. Dabi, however, says more investigations are required. The observers also plan to visit the nearby city of Hama as well as the northwestern province of Idlib and Deraa province in the south.
Meantime, Syrian authorities say they have released 755 people detained during the unrest. Releasing prisoners is part of the government’s pact with the Arab League to defuse the crisis. The UN says more than 5 thousand people have been killed in the 9 month violence. Damascus says 2 thousand security forces are among the victims. It blames the deaths on foreign-backed armed gangs.
Video interview at: http://www.presstv.ir/detail/218224.html
Press TV has conducted an interview with Professor Michel Chossudovsky, director of the Center for Research on Globalization in Montreal, to further explore the issue. Following is the transcription of the interview:
Press TV: The chief Arab League monitor in Syria says he has seen ‘nothing frightening’ on a first visit to the flashpoint city of Homs. The remark has taken some Western and regional countries by surprise with France calling the remarks ‘premature’. What do you think of this development and the reactions it has received, especially by Paris?
Chossudovsky: I think that General Dabi’s statements confirm what many independent reports have been saying for months in that the situation in Syria is characterised by an armed insurrection and foreign interference in the affairs of a sovereign state namely Syria and that the situation on the ground which the mission has observed does not correspond to what the media has been feeding us in the last few months –I am talking about the Western media– largely based on information from the Syria Observatory in London which we know is supported by the Western military alliance and which is in permanent liaison with the British Foreign Office.
I have been following the situation in Syria from the outset. I was in Syria in the month of February; I left in early March and I can assure you that we are dealing with is an armed insurrection: armed gunmen supported by Turkey and NATO, which have infiltrated the protest movement and which are in large part responsible for creating this crisis in Syria. All of which is there to justify a subsequent ‘humanitarian intervention’ by NATO forces.
The Arab League was sent in with the mission to actually support the Western military alliance and it just so happens that their findings contradict their US sponored mandate.
So that up until now the Arab League was supported by the US State Department; and Now they are saying No to the Arab League mission because because they have expressed a different viewpoint and they are not toeing the line on what the media has been telling us. They [the international community] are now saying that General Dabi is not reliable and in fact, the campaign is already under way to discredit General Dabi who has incidentally the support of the Arab League.
Press TV: When you talk about, first of all, the Arab League going there in which their mission was to support what you said were these armed insurrections that are supported by Turkey and NATO in terms of infiltrating the protests, what is going to be the outcome now that they have come out contradicting that?
I mean, what is going to be the reaction by the US, by France, by NATO countries involved including Turkey? Are they going to continue with infiltrating these protests and of course the flow of arms as another thing that, in particular, Turkey has been accused of flowing through into Syria?
Chossudovsky: First of all, the foreign based Syrian opposition groups initially supported the Arab League mission and in fact, they were pushing for this Arab League mission and now because the Arab League mission with 150 observers and 20 people who are going to stay on in Syria, have come up with a much more critical assessment of what is happening, they are now saying that they do not trust the Arab League mission and they say [they are] ‘deeply critical of the mission’, saying it will simply ‘give Al-Assad cover for his crackdown’.
There has been a turn around as far as the international community is concerned. First, they support the Arab League because they were expecting that the Arab League mission would parrot the official statements of Hillary Clinton which are fabricated and now they are saying ‘we have reservations’ concerning General Dabi because he is from Sudan. But of course Sudan is a country which is also in defiance of US foreign policy.
I think what is important is that we have a team of people in the Arab League mission who are doing their job. I suspect that what France and the other Western powers will do is to try to discredit General Dabi, divide the team, publish reports of those which are pro-western and denigrate the assessment which might come from a more objective appraisal of what is happening on on the ground inside Syria.
Press TV: Quickly if you can Professor Chossudovsky, you talked about how there is going to be discredit attributed to Arab League’s General Dabi, in particular; but what about discrediting what you have said have been fabrications for example on the part of the US and what you referred to as Secretary Clinton there? I mean, where does the discredit towards them? Why isn’t that being highlighted and that they can come out and in the meantime for example discredit the Arab League once these results become more permanent in terms of the revelations?
Chossudovsky: What I found rather incredible –I mean I have been listening to the reports coming out on the news here in North America– is that they have gone to arm length to discredit the Arab League mission which in effect was sent in by Washington.
I mean, it wasn’t the Arab League that decided on sending in that mission. Washington instructed the Arab League. First of all, they wanted to exclude Syria from the Arab League which they pressured the Arab League to do and now they have this Arab League mission which they initiated and the Arab League mission has come out with contradicting statements which in fact suggests that the Arab League –at least the head of the mission– is saying the truth.
We have known for months and months that what has been described by the Western media is sheer fabrication. I started investigating the events in Daraa in mid-March and the first observation, confirmed by Lebanese and Israeli news reports, was that the number of police who had been killed in the course of the first days was greater than the numbers of so-called protesters and it was also acknowledged acknowledged that there was an influx of Salafists and other terrorist groups supported by foreign powers into Syria, in Daraa which is a small city close to the Jordanian border.
And so then subsequently this whole process became much more serious extending to other cities. There is a foreign supported insurrection inside Syria.
I do not know what the Arab League mission’s conclusions will be, I am sure it will be pressured, heavily pressured, by the major powers, the United States, France, Britain to toe the line and present a report which supports the official position of the Western military alliance against Syria rather than a balanced and objective assessment.
So it is going to be very interesting in the weeks ahead to see how this mission actually proceeds. But I certainly think at this stage that this is in a sense positive because it is an independent voice which is now saying ‘no’ to the fabrications which have been upheld in the media, the unsubstantiated reports concerning casualties, but primarily concerning the actual causes of this crisis and the nature of foreign interference in the affairs of sovereign state, namely Syria.