6/23 – 7/1 Emergency Protests Against the Growing Threat of War on Syria or Iran
“Day After” Demos within 24 hours of any NATO attack
Hands Off Syria and Iran!
End the Drone Wars!
We Need Jobs, Education and Healthcare, Not Endless War!
U.S & Syria: Facts you should know
If NATO military actions are unleashed against Syria or Iran, the United National Antiwar Coalition – UNACpeace.org is urging activists across the country to immediately call united “Day After” demonstrations within 24 hours at Federal Buildings across the U.S.
But don’t wait for another U.S. war. TAKE ACTION NOW!
Actions against the growing war danger are already being held in the following 28 cities during the week of June 23 to July 1.
List of actions in 28 cities
These emergency united actions are demanding:
We Need Jobs, Education and Healthcare, Not Endless War!
The growing threat of war against Syria is escalating! Recently, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Russia not to get in the way of US backed efforts to force out the government of President Assad. The U.S. supplied Turkish jet shot down over Syria has heightened tensions. While Washington and its NATO allies openly funds and arms mercenary forces in Syria, the corporate media is making every effort to overwhelm us with calls for another “Humanitarian War”.
The drumbeat of sanctions and threats against Iran is growing! On Thursday June 28th, the most extreme form of U.S. oil, banking and trade sanctions on Iran are set to take effect, followed by EU sanctions on July 1. Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz in response. Sanctions are an orchestrated effort to create crisis, destabilizing shortages and economic dislocation. Even in the absence of an immediate conflagration, oil sanctions are a prelude to war, not an alternative to war.
US drone attacks are an expanding form of anonymous war! U.S. drone attacks on Pakistan are now occurring on a daily basis. In response, Pakistan has closed all NATO supply routes into Afghanistan for the past 8 months. U.S. drone wars have expanded to Yemen, Somalia and now the Philippines. This is international lawlessness and an attack on the sovereignty of every country.
During the period from June 23 through July 1, there will be demonstrations, vigils, forums and meetings around the country to protest the growing threats of war.
Please join the protests or organize an emergency action in your city.
If NATO military actions are unleashed against Syria or Iran, UNAC is urging activists across the country to immediately call united “Day After” demonstrations within 24 hours at Federal Buildings across the U.S.
Actions during the week of June 23 to July1 are already being held in the following 28 cities:
1. Minneapolis, MN, Tues. June 26, 4:30pm Federal Building 4th St & 3rd Ave.
2. Chicago, IL, Tues. June 26, 4:30 to 6:00 pm, 130 E. Randolph, Natl HQ of Obama Election Campaign
3. Detroit, MI, Wed. June 27, 4:30pm, Federal Building, Michigan Ave. & Cass Ave.
4. Grand Rapids, MI Mon. June 25 & Mon. June 30, Monument Park, Fulton St & US 131
5. Columbus, OH, Sun. June 23 & 24, 4pm @ COMFEST, Goodale Park, Solar Stage
6. Columbus, OH, Sun. July 1, 5pm, 15th St & High St, Main Entrance of OSU
7. Boston, MA, Mon. June 25, Obama Fundraiser, 3-6:00pm, Boston Symphony Hall,Massachusetts Ave. & Huntington Ave.
8. Northampton, MA, Sat. June 30 11am Main Street intersection
9. New Haven CT – Sat. June 30 – The Green,
10. Albany, NY, Thurs. June 28, 4:30 – 6pm, Federal Building, N. Pearl & Clinton Ave.
11. Syracuse, NY, Thurs. June 28, Federal Building
12. Rochester, NY, Friday, June 29 -4:30pm Culver Road across from old Armory by Cobbs Hill Park & 490 Exit.
13. Buffalo, NY,
14. NYC, NY, Wed. June 27, 6:30pm Meeting on war threats & building a response, Manhattan Theatre Club, 311 West 43rd St.
15. Brooklyn, NY, Sat. June 23, 6:30pm, 1026 Coney Island Ave
16. Jersey City, NJ, Sun. June 24, noon, Journal Square’s 9/11 Fountain
17. Newark, NJ, Sat. June 23 & 30, Broad St & Market St, part of daily protests
18. Philadelphia, PA, Wed. June 27, 4:30 – 6pm, Federal Building, 6th & Market.
19. Washington DC, Sun. July 1, 11am Washington Monument & Constitution, 1pm march to Senate Building, area 2
20. Tallahassee, FL, Sun. June 24, 12:30 – 2:30 pm, Florida’s Old Capitol Steps, Appalachee Pwy & S Monroe
21. Colorado Springs, CO, Sun. July 1, Noon – 2pm, Acacia Park, corner of Bijou & Tejon
22. Salt Lake City, UT, Wed. June 27, 5pm Federal Building, South State St.
23. Los Angeles, CA, Sat. June 30, 4pm, Westwood Federal Building, 11000 Wilshire Blvd.
24. Oakland, CA, Fri. June 29 5pm Federal Building
25. Vallejo, CA, Sat. June 30 1pm Peace Pole, 289 Mare Island Way
26. Fresno, CA,
27. Vancouver, CANADA Sat. June 23, 1pm Vancouver Art Gallery, Robson & Howe St.
28. Vancouver, CANADA, Tues, June 26 7pm, Meeting at Joe’s Café, 1150 Commercial Dr. at William St
A full list of the growing number of locations with contact information will appear at: UNACpeace.org
Send information about your action to: UNACpeace@gmail.com
U.S. & Syria: Facts you should know
By Joyce Chediac
The following timeline reviews the progression of U.S.-NATO intervention in Syria and counteracts the Big Lie in the corporate media aimed at preparing open imperialist military aggression against the Syrian people.
● Washington has funneled money to a right-wing Syrian opposition group since at least 2005. (Washington Post, April 16, 2011)
● The U.S. reopened its embassy in Damascus in January 2011 after six years. This was no thaw in relations. The new ambassador, Robert S. Ford, who served until October 2011, is a protégé of John Negroponte, who organized death squads in El Salvador in the 1970s and in Iraq while ambassador there in 2004-05. There terror squads killed tens of thousands. Ford served directly under Negroponte at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.
● Ford “played a central role in laying the groundwork within Syria as well as establishing contacts with opposition groups.” Two months after he arrived in Damascus, the armed insurgency began. (Global Research, May 28)
● Armed opposition to Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011 in Daraa, a small town on the Jordanian border. Mass protest movements usually start in large population centers. Later, Saudi Arabia admitted sending weapons to the opposition via Jordan. (RT, March 13)
● The U. S. and its NATO allies used grassroots protests in Egypt, Syria and elsewhere as a cover to build support for right-wing insurgencies whose goal was not to help the Syrian people but to bring Syria into the pro-imperialist camp. Any excesses or mistakes by the Assad government were not the real issue.
● The Arab League, European Union and U.S. begin imposing economic sanctions, a form of warfare, against Syria in November 2011 on the pretext of stopping state-sanctioned violence against protesters. Stepped-up sanctions and freezing of Syrian assets caused the value of the Syrian pound to drop by 50 percent against the dollar, with the cost of necessities often tripling.
● Exiles who received U.S. funding became part of the Syrian National Council. SNC’s Burhan Ghalioun said he would open up Syria to the West, end Syria’s strategic relationship with Iran (and with the Lebanese and Palestinian resistance), and realign Syria with the reactionary Arab regimes in the Gulf. (Wall Street Journal, Dec. 2, 2011)
U.S. &NATO escalate involvement
● Ex-CIA agent Philip Giraldi admitted that the U.S. was involved in Syria and laid out the U.S. plan: “NATO is already clandestinely engaged in the Syrian conflict, with Turkey taking the lead as U.S. proxy. Ankara’s foreign minister, Ahmet Davitoglu, has openly admitted that his country is prepared to invade as soon as there is agreement among the Western allies to do so. The intervention would be based on humanitarian principles, to defend the civilian population based on the ‘responsibility to protect’ doctrine that was invoked to justify Libya.” (theamericanconservative.com, Dec. 19, 2011)
● Giraldi continued: “Unmarked NATO warplanes are arriving at Turkish military bases close to … the Syrian border, delivering weapons from the late Muammar Gaddafi’s arsenals as well as volunteers from the Libyan Transitional National Council who are experienced in pitting local volunteers against trained soldiers. … French and British special forces trainers are on the ground, assisting the Syrian rebels while the CIA and U.S. Spec Ops are providing communications equipment and intelligence. …
● “The frequently cited United Nations report that more than 3,500 civilians have been killed by Assad’s soldiers is based largely on rebel sources and is uncorroborated. Likewise, accounts of mass defections from the Syrian Army and pitched battles between deserters and loyal soldiers appear to be a fabrication, with few defections being confirmed independently. Syrian government claims that it is being assaulted by rebels who are armed, trained, and financed by foreign governments are more true than false.”
● The “Free Syrian Army” has rear bases in Turkey, is funded by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and is made up of defecting Syrian soldiers. Spiegel Online sites a source in Beirut who reports seeing “‘hundreds of foreign fighters’ who have attached themselves to the FSA.” (Feb. 15)
● The U.N.-mandated commission of inquiry, in its February 2012 report, documented torture, taking of hostages, and executions by armed opposition members.
● The first heavy fighting in Syria’s capital, Damascus, started in March. Pipelines were blown up, and huge explosions ripped through intelligence and security buildings in Christian areas on March 16, killing at least 27 people. The Syrian government charged then that terrorist attacks supported from abroad have been responsible for eight car bomb attacks since December, killing 328 and wounding 657. This got little Western media attention.
● Human Rights Watch on March 20 accused armed Syrian opposition members of “Kidnappings, the use of torture and executions … of security force members, individuals identified as members of government-supported militias, and individuals identified as government allies and supporters.”
● In the Baba Amr neighborhood of Homs, the armed opposition has formed its own laws, courts and death squads, according to Spiegel Online. Abu Rami, an opposition commander in Baba Amir, interviewed by Spiegel, said in the city of Homs his group has executed between 200 and 250 people. (March 29)
U.N. steps in
● Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan went to Syria in March at the behest of the U.N. and Arab League to put together a peace proposal. But Annan and the U.N. are not impartial. Annan is an architect of the “responsibility to protect” doctrine, cited by former CIA agent Giraldi as the planned pretext for intervention in Syria. The U.N. endorsed this doctrine under Annan’s tenure.
● In 2004, Annan gave U.N. approval to the U.S., French and Canadian intervention that deposed Haiti’s President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Annan’s stated reasons were the same then as now in Syria: an alleged impending “humanitarian catastrophe.” Annan provided a similar U.N. cover for France to tighten its colonial grasp on the Ivory Coast in 2006. In Syria, Annan’s calls for a Syrian government ceasefire and for outside “humanitarian” aid are really calls for foreign intervention.
● Syria agreed to an Annan-brokered ceasefire March 27. The opposition refused. While the Western heads of state and the corporate media heaped blame on Assad for “not honoring” the ceasefire, the West kept arming the opposition.
● What the U.S. government really thought of the ceasefire was revealed by Robert Grenier, former director of the CIA’s Counter-Terrorism Center, who called upon those who would “help” Syria “to climb metaphorically into the ring and dirty themselves,” adding, “what the situation needs is not high-minded sentiments, but effective, lethal aid.” (Al Jazeera, March 29)
● As the imperialists “climbed into the ring,” they continued to blame Assad. Speaking at an anti-Assad “Friends of Syria” meeting in Istanbul on April 1, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Assad had “defiled” the ceasefire. She called for Damascus to unilaterally stop fighting and withdraw from areas of heavy right-wing infiltration. She said the U.S had pledged at least $25 million in “nonlethal” aid to the Syrian opposition, which included satellite communication equipment.
● By May, the reactionaries “have begun receiving significantly more and better weapons … paid for by Persian Gulf nations and coordinated … by the U.S.” (Washington Post, May 15) “The Syrian rebels have received their first ‘third generation’ anti-tank weapons. They are supplied by Saudi and Qatari intelligence agencies following a secret message from President Barack Obama.” (debkafile.com, May 22)
The Houla massacre
● Right before a scheduled visit to Syria by Annan, news broke of a horrible massacre of 108 people in Houla on May 25, which included whole families and as many as 48 children. Headlines worldwide blamed the Syrian government, and all Western capitals called for increased sanctions and more international pressure on Assad.
● By May 27, the imperialists had coordinated their “international outrage” and expelled Syrian diplomats from the U.S., the Netherlands, Australia, Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Bulgaria and Canada.
● The U.N. Security Council reacted to the massacre — with no investigation as to who was responsible — by unanimously condemning Syria for allegedly using tanks and artillery after agreeing to a ceasefire. Ignored were statements from the Assad government that it was not responsible. A closer look showed this was the case.
● Marat Musin, reporting for Russia’s ANNA News, was in Houla and interviewed witnesses right after the massacre. Musin determined that the massacre was committed by the so-called Free Syrian Army, not the Assad forces. His report concluded: “The attack was carried out by a unit of armed fighters from Rastan, in which more than 700 gunmen were involved. They brought the city under their control and began with a cleansing action against loyalist [pro-Assad] families, including elderly people, women and also children. The dead were presented to … the U.N. and the ‘international community’ as victims of the Syrian army.” (May 31) The conservative German newspaper, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, corroborated the ANNA report on June 7.
● Residents knew many of the killers by name and identified them as local criminal elements now working for the FSA. (Syria News, May 31) Anti-Assad forces then posed as villagers and invited the U.N. observers in. Some put on uniforms of the Syrian soldiers they had killed and said they were defectors.
● A widely shown photo of dozens of shrouded bodies, which the BBC first presented as the aftermath of Houla, was really taken by photographer Marco di Lauro in Iraq in March 2003.
● BBC world news editor Jon Williams admitted in his blog June 7 that there was no evidence whatsoever to identify either the Syrian Army or Alawite militias as the perpetrators of theMay 25 massacre. United Kingdom’s Channel 4 senior reporter Alex Thomson said June 7that the opposition led him into a line of fire and tried to get him killed by Syrian military forces so it would “look bad” for Assad.