Stephen Lendman is a writer, syndicated columnist, activist, News TV personality, and radio show host. He currently writes for and and hosts, since 2007, a progressive radio show at The Progressive Radio News Hour on The Progressive Radio Network.

Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA, raised in a modest middle income family, attended public schools, received a Harvard BA in 1956 and a Wharton MBA in 1960. After six years as a marketing research analyst, Lendman became part of a new small family business in 1967, remaining there until retiring in 1999.

Since then, he has devoted his time to progressive causes, extensive reading, and since summer 2005 writing on vital world and national topics, including war and peace, American imperialism, corporate dominance, political persecutions, and a range of other social, economic and political issues.

He is also author of the celebrated books "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity" and "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War".

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Major Media Admit Presence of Foreign Militants in Syria

by Stephen Lendman


Syria’s conflict isn’t an uprising, revolution or civil war. It’s lawless Western aggression. It targets an independent government and its people. Doing so violates fundamental international law.

Washington planned it years ago. It wants puppet leaders installed. It’s Afghanistan/Iraq/Libya 2.0. America destroys nations to control and plunder them.

War on humanity is waged for unchallenged global dominance. Syria is ground zero. Other targeted states come later.

Proxy death squads are used. They’re heavily armed, trained and directed. They reign terror on Syrian civilians. They’ve murdered thousands of noncombatant men, women and children.

At issue is ravaging and intimidating Syria to submission. Foreign militants show no mercy. Their presence has been well known all along. Media scoundrels now admit it. At the same time, their framing deceives more than explains.

On July 29, The New York Times headlined “As Syrian War Drags On, Jihadists Take Bigger Role,” saying:

“….Syrians involved in the armed struggle say it is becoming more radicalized: homegrown Muslim jihadists, as well as small groups of fighters from Al Qaeda, are taking a more prominent role and demanding a say in running the resistance.”

Fact check

Militants are largely imported, not homegrown. Many are Al Qaeda affiliated. They’re brought in from regional countries. Most Syrian regime opponents deplore violence. They want reforms, not war.

The Times said more recently “larger, more organized and better armed Syrian militant(s push) an agenda based on jihad.”

At the same time, it claimed “no significant presence of foreign combatants of any stripe in Syria….” It cited an unnamed “activist” saying around 1,000 of 50,000 fighters involved are foreigners. It added that many of them aren’t “jihadists.”

It tiptoed toward admitting that what Assad said all long is true. It suggested that “Salafist groups” and other Islamic radicals “now receive most foreign financing.”

It stopped short of explaining that Syria was lawlessly invaded. It’s waging defensive liberating battles. International law legitimizes them. No nation would stand aside and let foreign invaders ravage and control their country.

On July 26, Time magazine headlined “TIME Exclusive: Meet the Islamist Militants Fighting Alongside Syria’s Rebels,” saying:

Al Qaeda’s flag is prominently displayed. “At this stage, they remain a minor player in the conflict. (T)heir role may grow exponentially.”

In May, Time asked “Is al-Qaeda Intervening in the Conflict?” saying:

“It’s hardly a revelation (to imagine) criminal and extremist elements looking to profit from the disintegration of order. Instability….is a petri dish for radicals.”

US strategy depends on violence and instability. Peace and calm defeat Washington’s agenda. Time magazine, The New York Times, and other media scoundrels suppress information readers most need to know. Instead they’re fed managed news misinformation garbage.

Other major media also admitted the presence of foreign militants in Syria. They include AFP, Der Spiegel, London Telegraph, UK Sunday Times, South Africa’s News 24, and various lesser known publications.

BBC says they’re involved but play a minor role. BBC runs cover for imperial Britain. It has to. It’s state operated, funded and controlled. It produces propaganda. Real news, information and analysis are verboten.

Qatar’s Al Jazeera operates the same way. They and other media scoundrels mock legitimate journalism.

On July 30, Voice of Russia (VOR) headlined “Jihadists with ‘British accents’ fighting Syria’s Assad,” saying:

“Dutch journalist Jeroen Oerlemans and UK photographer John Cantlie were attacked by anti-Assad troops when crossing the Syrian border from Turkey last week.”

Their captors weren’t Syrians. They came from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Chechnya, and elsewhere. Many of them spoke English. Some did “with recognizable” British accents.

Russia Today reported the same story. It said what happened shows that “Syria has become a magnet for radical Islamists, who are there either as mercenaries or because of ideology.”

Hard core extremists among them want regional countries transformed into Islamic caliphates. Syria is the region’s only independent secular state.

Its people alone should decide how they’ll be governed. Free, fair and open elections are now held. Independent candidates and parties opposing Assad participate.

In contrast, despots run regional monarchies like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, other Gulf states, Jordan, and Morocco. Washington extends support. They’re valued imperial allies.

So is Israel. Like America, its democracy mocks the real thing. Both countries deplore it. They don’t tolerate it at home or abroad. They wage wars to prevent it. They want unchallenged hegemonic control.

They’re involved in Syria’s conflict. Aleppo currently is ground zero. On July 29, SANA state media headlined “Armed Forces Clear Neighborhoods in Aleppo and Damascus Countryside from Terrorist Groups,” saying:

Syrian forces “cleared Saladin neighborhood in Aleppo city from armed terrorist group.”

“An official source told SANA that the armed forces inflicted very heavy losses on the terrorists, some of them non-Syrians of Arab and foreign nationalities, adding that fleeing terrorists are being pursued and that their hideouts are being raided, with the terrorists being arrested or eliminated.”

Insurgents take refugee in civilian neighborhoods. They use human shields for protection. Doing so slows efforts to eliminate them. Nonetheless, they’re being routed. Order is being restored to Damascus. Pockets of resistance continue.

Expect Aleppo to be liberated. Syrian forces are prevailing. They’re cleansing terrorist held areas. US officials express frustration. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta equates defeating them with Assad losing “all legitimacy.”

Saying so makes him look more buffoon-like than in charge of US imperial wars. An unidentified Syrian military officer told Reuters late Sunday that (i)n a few days safety and security will return to….Aleppo.”

Saladin and Hamdaniya neighborhoods were freed. Security forces routed terrorists trying to enter Syria from Turkey.

Reuters quoted Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moualem saying “(t)oday I tell you, Syria is stronger….In less than a week (terrorists) were defeated” in Damascus. “So they moved on to Aleppo, and I assure you their plots will fail.”

Voltaire Network’s Thierry Meyssan asked “Who is fighting in Syria?”

Armed groups modeled on the Contras are used. They don’t “defend democracy, they fight against it.”

“The FSA (Free Syrian Army) program is to end the secular regime installed by the Baath, the SSNP (Syrian Social Nationalist Party) and the Communist Party in favor of a pure religious Sunni regime.”

Washington’s rhetorical support for “democratic transition” is sham cover for long-planned imperial control.

Foreign mercenaries are used. They’re involved for love, money, ideology, or a combination of two or more. They’re “thugs and habitual criminals.”

They’re “lured by easy money.” They’re paid “seven times the average wage.” Other fighters “fought in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya,” Iraq and Libya.

They’re more mercenary than jihadist. They include Al Qaeda affiliated elements. Many are based in Turkey. They’re fighting “under the label of Free Syrian Army.” They’re NATO “auxiliaries.” They’re headquartered on its Incirlik, Turkey base.

“Hard core Islamists formed their own organizations or joined Al Qaeda.” Qatar or Saudi Arabia control them. They’re “de facto” CIA assets.

In Nicaragua, Contras were CIA-connected. Syrian militants have a similar relationship.

“In May 2012, Miami Cuban Contras organized counter-revolutionary guerrilla war training seminars for their Syrian counterparts.” Tactics used earlier are employed now.

They include targeting Assad loyalists, murdering civilians, economic sabotage, “derailing passenger trains, car bombs at popular sites, and killing religious, political and military leaders.”

The great majority of Syrians oppose them. The longer conflict persists, the greater Assad’s support grows. People need state security forces for protection. Without them they’re defenseless.

Syria’s army is a conscript people’s force. They’re not used for political repression. Assad also authorized neighborhood militias. They’re armed for self-defense. Syria’s military supervises them.

Washington’s war on Syria isn’t about liberation, instituting democracy, and concern for human rights. It’s to establish another regional puppet regime. It’s for imperial dominance.

It’s willing to destroy nations and slaughter their people to control them. Then on to more targets.

Washington threatens humanity. Stopping its carnage matters most.

About the Author: Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at [email protected].

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

Visit his blog site at 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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2 Responses to "Major Media Admit Presence of Foreign Militants in Syria"

  1. Detlef Reimers  August 2, 2012 at 2:48 am

    The fourth invasion (historically, first was 1799 by Napoleon) of Syria is on the run now and the NATO with it’s allies is it’s colonial force. But they need their patsies on the syrian ground. If these are not radical enough (which is true for most of them), one must produce them, train/brainwash them in outside countries and put them on syrian ground as mindless and cruel killers.

    If people were educated and informed enough, they would see through all of these media lies about “democratic opposition”. We should never forget, historically Libanon and Isreal were all part of syria in past times, when the Ottomans ruled the area. All that we see now, is the result of several ruthless colonial wars and subversion through a very special form of colonization. So, the current Syria is already a cutdown version of the historical land. Now, we see the fulfillment of the next systematic breakup of this country into even smaller peaces (just like we saw and see in Irak).

    If anyone of us had access to Saudi television, we could see a surreal auction show every thursday, in which complete corrupt (I would tend to call them fascist) saudi fathers, selling their own sons to this war, to become a mercenary or a suicide terrorist. Look here to see this very ugly sceene:…0.0…1ac.aYPxCEQlI30

    This is an overwiev of leaked TV sceenes in an ordinary saudi television program, think of that it’s ridiculous but true, take any of these to learn about the horrific prices, the father get’s for killing his own sun.

    They are trained in places like Libya, Turkey or other places and then, after this successful brainwash/kill training, put into Syria to kill most effectively anyone in front of their guns.

    These are the local NATO enforce troops. People have to wake up, it’s fascism, not democracy, what they are fighting for.

    For everyone, who understands german, her is a video with the palestinian Said Dudin, PhD in political science (living in Germany), who talks about the colonial history of Syria and gives many actual insights:

    He has been in Syria, Libanon, Egypt and many other ME countries many times.

  2. jamesdelaney  August 1, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Aspects of inconvenient history –

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