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Spokespeople from the NATO countries and their loyal media outlets have seized upon a massacre at Houla, Syria, to mobilize for open imperialist military intervention against the Syrian government and — and no one should doubt this — against the people of Syria. NATO governments have already begun expelling Syrian diplomats.

There seems to be no doubt at this time — May 29 — that a massacre took place. There is, however, much confusion about who exactly carried out the massacre. The corporate media is blaming the killings on the Syrian government and calling for foreign intervention. The Syrians, however, deny that their armed forces or police have taken part, blame the killings on the armed opposition and have themselves condemned the killings and are organizing an investigation.

While we have no special knowledge about what did or didn’t happen, we do have a treasury of knowledge of how the imperialists have manipulated such events in order to justify a war or intervention on a „humanitarian“ basis. It is this type of manipulation that anti-war and anti-imperialist forces should be most on the alert for.

The most recent such manipulation was in Libya last year, when the imperialist powers claimed there would be a „massacre“ of civilians in the city of Benghazi, a center of monarchist opposition to Moammar Gadhafi, if there were no NATO intervention. This supposed threat became the pretext to win U.N. backing for a „no-fly zone“ in Libya. France and Britain, with enormous U.S. logistical support, turned this „no-fly zone“ into a military assault on the pro-Gadhafi regime and overthrew it, leaving Libya prey to the Western oil and energy monopolies.

In January 1999, the imperialists used the „Racak massacre.“ A group of reactionary commandos were killed in a gunfight with Serb military and police forces in the town of Racak, in the Kosovo province of Serbia. The reactionaries dressed the dead fighters up as civilians and claimed they were executed at close range. A few news media — Le Figaro (Jan. 20, 1999) and a year later the Berliner Zeitung (March 24, 2000) — exposed the more obvious inconsistencies in the “massacre” myth. A Finnish team led by Helena Ranta also discovered that all 23 dead were killed by gunfire at a distance. (See “Hidden Agenda: The U.S./NATO takeover of Yugoslavia,” International Action Center, 2002)

Nevertheless, NATO spokespeople and the corporate media spread the lie that there had been a massacre of civilians. U.S. and NATO forces used this pretext to justify 78 days of bombing of Serbia and the dismemberment of what remained of Yugoslavia.

Groups such as Amnesty International have put out statements calling for the U.N. Security Council to move „beyond condemnation“ of the Syrian regime. Let’s keep in mind that Amnesty International is currently partnering with Madeline Albright, to demand that NATO defend women in Afghanistan. As Secretary of State Albright stated in an interview with Leslie Stahl that she felt that the death of 1/2 million children in Iraq was „Worth it“.

There is no possible justification for imperialist intervention in Syria, whatever happened in Houla. NATO’s own bombing campaign in Afghanistan regularly kills civilians (See Miami Herald, May 29), but no one dares raise these crimes before the United Nations. NATO’s hypocrisy is all too familiar. The media campaign around Houla should put the anti-war movement on alert that the imperialists are preparing right now for another intervention.

We reprint here the Syrian government’s side of the Houla story, slightly edited from a statement released by Damascus:

Makdessi: Syria will establish Investigative Committee on Houla Massacre


“Syria will establish an investigative committee on the Houla massacre, to issue results within three days,” said Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jihad Makdissi in a…

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