The War against Syria and the Collapse of the Western Colonialism Paradigm
“Restore International Law: Respect Syria’s Perfect Sovereignty,” was the topic taken up at the May 8 Schiller Institute conference by Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban, the Political and Media Advisor to the Syrian Presidency. She noted that for the last
ten years Syria has been “fighting a double-edge war,” one in the streets with people “led by well-organized secret forces” telling them what to do; and the other waged by the media which is spreading disinformation, both in Syria and abroad. She particularly pointed to the British role in the latter: after all Western and Gulf journalists were withdrawn from Syria, the only source for their so-called authoritative news came from the “Syrian Observatory for Human Rights”, which was a one-man show run by one Rami Abdul Rahman, sitting in… Coventry, in the UK.
Western powers were intent on destroying Syria, Dr. Shaaban said, because it was “the jewel of the crown” in the Arab world, whose resources they wanted to loot with the help of terrorist forces. After it proved impossible to topple the government through military means, she noted, and the major terrorists were defeated, they resorted to sanctions, a “form of collective punishment on the Syrian people.” Yet, despite all that, the Syrian people have resisted, and this war has shown that “Western policies” are “bankrupt”, and their narrative is no longer credible.
A lively exchange of questions between Dr. Shaaban and Mrs. LaRouche ensued with both audience questions and exchanges of ideas between the two of them. In answer to one question, Dr. Shaaban stressed that, far from being a country of religious fundamentalists, peaceful co-existence among multiple religions within Syria is an attribute “we drink from our mother’s milk”. She embraced the message of Helga Zepp-LaRouche, of seeing all of humanity as a global family of sisters and brothers, which is “the antithesis of what Western colonial powers are doing”. Therefore, “this is the time for the Schiller Institute to be the leading narrative; its noble cause of the last 50 years” must prevail.
Dr. Shaaban broadcast her intervention live on her Facebook page. An article highlighting her attack the role of the UK in the propaganda war against Syria, was published on May 9 in several Arabic language publications, as well as in English in Syria Times (http://syriatimes.sy).
Putting an End to the “Medieval” Practice of Economic Sanctions
After Dr. Shaaban, the word was given to Col. Richard H. Black, former State Senator of Virginia, and former head
of the U.S. Army’s Criminal Law Division at the Pentagon, who has spoken at a number of SI conferences (cf. SAS 17, 12/21, 51, 38/20). He challenged the audience to reject the “despicable” and “loathsome” actions of the governments of the United States which have colluded and funded al-Qaeda terrorists in Syria, and continue to impose illegal sanctions. He also provided a detailed picture of the last 10 years of war and its horrid impact on the Syrian people.
The “criminal measures” imposed on Syria were forcefully denounced by another speaker from the U.S., Caleb Maupin,
journalist and analyst, and founder of Center for Political Innovation. He cited some seldom mentioned facts, such that the Syrian government, from the 1970s to 2011, had increased life expectancy, lowered infant mortality, built infrastructure, and “wiped out” illiteracy in the country. And yet, the U.S. has been determined to overthrow the Syrian government. As for China, Maupin called its success of moving from being “a deeply impoverished” nation to an economic superpower was “one of the most beautiful stories of the 20th and 21st century.”
Dr. Hans Köchler, President of the Austrian-based International Progress Organization, blasted unilateral economic sanctions as “a continuation of war by others means.” They are a new version of asymmetric warfare, he said, with the clear aim to force the targeted country into submission; a scandalous and morally revolting form of medieval siege warfare, which has taken hold in our modern world. In his view, the Caesar sanctions on Syria constitute a crime against humanity, and “reveal an attitude of arrogance and self-righteousness that is typical of imperial rule.”
Europe and Japan Both Need Dialogue with Russia and China
Professor Wilfried Schreiber, Senior Research Fellow at the World Trends Institute for International Politics, in Potsdam,
Germany, took up the issue of the present world order. He began by noting that the conference was taking place on May 8, the day of commemoration of the “liberation from nazi barbarism”, which is of particular importance for Germany. Pointing to the Soviet Union’s invaluable contribution to that victory, he deplored the current flood of hatred and malice toward Russia, which is presented as “the enemy” in virtually all the mass media.
Rather than seeking confrontation, he proposed that the West seriously take up the offer for dialogue and cooperation with Russia and China, as is expressed in the joint declaration of their foreign ministers issued on March 24, 2021, and work toward a common security, rather than supremacy of one power over all others.
Prof. Schreiber was followed by Eric Denécé, Director at the French Center for Intelligence Research (CF2R), who roundly criticized French foreign policy for the past two decades, during which time the Foreign Affairs Ministry came increasingly under the influence of American neo-conservative ideals. He proposed a series of changes aimed at re-establishing France’s international credibility and independence, and ensuring constructive relations with Russia, China and Africa. He denounced at length the “economic racket” to which the U.S. is subjecting its allies, including through the extraterritorial sanctions under which the fight against corruption has been hijacked to extort billions of euros from French companies.
From Japan, economist Daisuke Kotegawa, former Japanese Ministry of Finance official, and former director for Japan at the IMF, gave new insights into the cooperation that was developing between Japan and Russia in the economic, political, and social realms in 2012. Unfortunately, the heavyhand of Barack Obama and his National Security Adviser Susan Rice brought that process to a halt, and Prime Minister Abe was pressured into imposing economic sanctions on Russia in 2014 over the Crimea issue. Moreover, Japanese banks have been threatened with reprisals for any loans to Russian companies.
A contribution on “Afghanistan and the New Silk Road” came from Sayed Mujtaba Ahmadi, Minister Counsellor at the Embassy of Afghanistan in Canada. At its height, he noted, Afghanistan stood at the crossroads of the historic Silk Road, where different cultures and societies from around the world met and exchanged ideas and goods with one another. Today, Afghanistan is integrating the Belt and Road Initiative, and also participating in the Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India (TAPI) gas pipeline, and the CASA-1000 project, an electricity transmission line from Central Asia down to South Asia.
Throughout the conference, Helga Zepp-LaRouche stressed man’s unique capability, as the only known species endowed with unlimited creative reason, to solve the acute problems now confronting all of mankind — if we so choose.
All contributions are available on https://schillerinstitute.com/