Friday, 1 June 2012

Who committed Houla massacre? (PO)

By M D Nalapat

Modern warfare gets conducted in multiple ways, among the most potent of which is Information Warfare (Info-war). Unless a military combines info-war with the other fields of battle, it may end up winning all the battles but losing the war, just as the US and the UK have in Iraq. Although John McCain and other boosters of the use of force to settle disputes believes that it was the so-called 2007 “surge” (of a mere 20,000 extra troops) that enabled the US to “turn the corner” in Iraq, the present CIA Director (and principal beneficiary of the theory that the surge caused victory) General David Petraeus knows better. It was not that his soldiers did better post-surge on the battlefield that caused the fall in the number of hostile activity in that tortured country, but the shrewd move of Petraeus to ensure that from then onwards, his troops abstained from much of the patrolling and “showing the flag” routines that they had become addicted to since 2005, that led to a fall in the number of attacks on US and UK forces.

Once soldiers from these two countries, of them the former colonial master of Iraq, became less visible to ordinary citizens, the motivation to take up arms against the occupation of their country became much less The US military is particularly resistant to concede that it has been defeated in an operation, and the “surge” created an illusion of enhanced strength that led the public belief that the UK-US coalition had bested the insurgents in Iraq. The reality is that the overwhelming majority of Iraqis are distant from the Wahabbi ideology that is most susceptible to aggressive operations. Saddam Hussein, although a brutal dictator who committed numerous acts of cruelty against his own people and on the people of Kuwait and Iran, was nevertheless a secular individual. Only in Dick Cheney’s fantasy land was Saddam an “ally of Al-Qaeda”, the very organisation that had been seeking to kill him for over a decade before he was finally executed in the penultimate day of 2006. However, so skillful was the info-war against Saddam that till today, most of US citizens believe that he was close to Al Qaeda, just as they believe that Petraeus pulled off a victory in Afghanistan after being given extra troops by George W Bush, the US President who bankrupted his country through waging wars that continued long after they were militarily necessary, and indeed do in Afghanistan to this date.

Muammar Kadhafi was the first victim of what is a deadly tactic in Infowar, which is to have special forces commit atrocities in the guise of soldiers and security personnel of the target country, and then disseminate information on these atrocities through the internet and through conventional media. Those active on the field in Libya say that there were special units of “ info-war commandos” from a prominent member of NATO that went into Libya and indulged in acts of brutality that were immediately blamed - sometimes even before knowledge of the atrocities had reached media outlets - onforces active on behalf of Kadhafi. Although the anti- Kadhafi fighters (and their NATO Special Force allies) killed several times more civilians than the Kadhafi regime, yet such murders have gone almost unacknowledged in the principal news disseminators of NATO info-war, channels such as CNN and BBC, besides of course several newspapers who never stray from the official line until they have been exposed as liars, as took place in the case of the numerous reports of alleged WMD in Iraq, a fiction that was later shown to be such.

So comprehensive has been the information warfare of NATO that to date, except for those in Libya who are victims of the “war of liberation” waged by this alliance of the affluent against the rest of the globe that citizens in all continents remain ignorant of the murders and torture being committed daily in Libya by the allies of NATO against those individuals, faiths and tribes that the local allies of NATO oppose. Although Kadhafi was a dictator, yet in Libya he ensured jobs, housing, food and education to the populace, as well as order (if not law). These days, all of the above are in scarce supply, especially law and order. The country has in effect been divided up among NATO-supported militias, with the alliance looking the other way because its oil companies have received multiple concessions from the successors to Kadhafi. Today, NATO has begun a full-scale info-war against the Assad regime in Syria, designed to give it a blackened name before militarily going in for the kill against what NATO hopes will soon become a de-motivated and divided force.

Once again, there are reports of Info-war Special Forces being inserted into Syria by a key country that was once closely associated with the running of Syria Tanks cannot cut the throats of people, neither can they be used to shoot at close range. As for the so-called “pro-Assad militias” who have been accused by NATO of carrying out the Nazi-style atrocity at Houla in Syria last week, logic would show that such a militia would stand little chance in the midst of a population that clearly was against the regime, as indeed pockets of Syria are, including some locations close to Damascus. Hence attention needs to be paid to those who claim that while about twenty people were indeed killed by artillery and tank fire at Houla, over a hundred were slaughtered by Special Forces operating in the uniform of the Syrian security forces, clothes that any good tailor can stitch in a day.

Individuals in the anti-Assad groups who are horrified at the atrocity claim that it was these Special Forces who cut the throats of little children and shot dead their parents at point-blank range.” No Arab could have committed such an act, much less Syrians. Those who did it were foreigners pretending to be Syrian, and speaking Arabic in an obvious foreign accent”, is the charge. If the UN is to retrieve its reputation for neutrality (and this is difficult in a context when the Major-General in charge of the observer mission comes from a country very close politically, socially and geographically to almost all NATO member-States, and who personally has had extensive interaction with officers belonging to NATO), the organisation must get a high-leveljudicial commission made up of citizens from neutral countries (such as Brazil or Iraq) to probe the Houla massacre. This should include the methods and speed - as well as the provenance - of the dissemination of information about the Hitlerian brutalities committed that day by an armed force. Whosoever is responsible ought to be given the ultimate penalty.

Houla should not be another milestone in NATO Info-war, following on the deceptions practiced in Iraq and Libya. The innocent dead of that city deserve to have the world know the truth. All options need to be exhaustively investigated, and hopefully UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and Maj-General Mood will set aside their visible affinity for NATO and find out if Special Forces from alien countries are active there, as they were in Libya.

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