Thursday, June 7, 2012

White House: Syrian president Assad lied about Houla massacre in June 4 speech


Syrian president Bashar al-Assad was lying when he denied his government had any involvement in the Houla massacre in which more than 100 civilians were slaughtered over one weekend, the White House said on Monday.

Jay Carney, president Barack Obama’s spokesman, replied to the question if Assad lied in his June 4 speech [1] when he denied his forces killed innocent civilians in a cluster of small villages near Houla with: “Yes. As evidenced by the very massacres that the Assad regime participated in and is now denying, the sooner that political transition takes place, the better for the people of Syria, and the better the chances that a bloody sectarian war will be avoided ... it is obvious that history will judge Assad as a brutal dictator who murdered his own people.”

Assad addressed Syria’s parliament on Sunday morning local time in a defiant speech at the People’s Assembly, vowing he will continue to fight the terrorism in his country which he called “a real war waged from outside”.

“Colonisation remains colonisation but it changes its faces and methods”, the Syrian president said. “We have to fight terrorism for the nation to heal and we will firmly continue to do so. We are prepared to dialogue with those who do not receive instructions from abroad, but there won’t be dialogue with those who seek foreign intervention.”

Assad’s People’s Assembly speech on Houla massacre

On the Houla massacre president Assad said in his speech [translated from Arabic language]:

“Last week, after the atrocious al-Houla massacre, they accused the armed forces of committing it. In the beginning they said that it was the result of artillery and tank shelling, but later they retreated because they felt the amount of popular support for the armed forces and because accusing the armed forces is an accusation to every Syrian citizen without exception of being a criminal and a terrorist. That's why they started talking about pro-government militias, as they describe them.

What happened in al-Houla, al-Qazzaz, al-Midan, Deir Ezzour, Aleppo, and many other places in Syria, and what we described as brutal, heinous and ugly massacres, is in real fact very difficult to describe. Even beasts do not do such things, particularly what happened in al-Houla. I believe that neither the Arabic language nor any other human language can describe what we saw. We, the Syrians who lived this period, will continue to feel shame whenever we remember it as long as we live. We hope that it will not remain in the memory of our children and grandchildren. Still I hope that we will retain the lessons learned from this crisis but without the feelings and the images associated with it.

Hadn't we felt the pain and the anger which reached boiling point for me personally and for all of those who have seen these cruel scenes on television, particularly the children, we wouldn't be human beings. This is the natural human feeling and the patriotic feeling too. If we wanted to offer condolences, it is hard to offer them to families and relatives because whole families were killed. We better commiserate with ourselves for the levels that some Syrians have reached, we commiserate with ourselves for the level of criminality that we have seen, which is as painful as the crime itself.

Do these feelings move us, or should we harness them? Do they give us direction, or should we decide in which direction to move? The problem is that some people's anger pushes them towards destroying the country. This is what we saw in the first days of the crisis. We have a group of people, regrettably, although it is a small group who fall in the same trap again and again. Every time they hear a lie or a rumour on a certain TV station or on the internet, they base their position on that and they are pushed towards destroying the country.

So, do we use these feelings in order to prevent more bloodshed and protect children, particularly that the criminals who committed this crime and other crimes are not criminals for one day or one hour, they are permanent criminals, and there is no doubt that they are planning for other crimes when the opportunity arises. Do we protect our children from more crimes or shall we prepare ourselves for more of the same? Here we see the difference between national awareness and the lack thereof. We do not want to be led by our instincts nor by channels which speak on behalf of foreign powers.”

Russian journalist and eyewitness exposes lies on Houla massacre

Russian ANNA News journalist Marat Musin, who was in the region of Houla, near the Syrian city of Homs, during the Houla massacre, tells about his experiences [2] and exposes the mainstream media lies on the horrible event.

A few translated excerpts from his Russian article:

“In the weekend of May 25, 2012, at about 2 PM, big groups of fighters attacked and captured the town of Al-Hula of the Homs province. […] The town was attacked from the north-east by groups of bandits and mercenaries, numbering up to 700 people. The militants came from Ar-Rastan (the Brigade of al-Farouk from the Free Syrian Army led by the terrorist Abdul Razak Tlass and numbering 250), from the village of Akraba (led by the terrorist Yahya Al-Yousef), from the village Farlaha, joined by local gangsters, and from Al Hula. […]

When the rebels seized the lower checkpoint in the center of the town and located next to the local police department, they began to sweep all the families loyal to the authorities in neighboring houses, including the elderly, women and children. Several families of the Al-Sayed were killed, including 20 young children and the family of the AbdulRazak. […]

The people were killed with knives and shot at point blank range. Then they presented the murdered to the UN and the international community as victims of bombings by the Syrian army, something that was not verified by any marks on their bodies. […]

During the attack […] the armed men lost 25 people, which were then submitted to the UN observers, together with the 108 dead civilians – “victims of the regime”, allegedly killed by bombing and shelling of the Syrian army. As for the remaining 83 bodies, including 38 young children, they were from the families that were executed by militants, all loyal to the government of Syria.”

Musin also notices how the mainstream media exerted pressure on the public opinion regarding Russia and China by preparing texts in Russian and Chinese language in advance, reading:
Syria­ Homs­ the city of Houla. A terrible massacre perpetrated by the armed forces of the Syrian regime against civilians in the town of Houla. Dozens of victims and their number is growing, mainly women and children, brutally killed by indiscriminate bombing of the city.
Who profits?

Italian peace activist and independent journalist Marinella Correggia also says there are many facts that cast huge doubts on claims that the Syrian government forces were behind the Houla massacre. In an interview on Russia Today [3], she mentions that all victims of the massacre in online videos appear to have been killed at close range and not as a result of artillery strikes, which doesn’t make it plausible that the Syrian army attacked Houla with heavy weapons, murdering the children.

Correggia points to the fact that some of the online videos provide erroneous information:
"One of the videos on YouTube in Spanish says 'Assad bands killed children in Hula,' but in fact shows images of children in houses that SANA and Press TV say were killed by armed groups of the opposition in other villages."
She calls it “almost impossible” that the Syrian government would carry out such a massacre.
"One should ask: who profits? Massacres happen right before either a Security Council meeting, like in the February Homs massacre, or before or during Kofi Annan’s visits, or after some military defeats. Therefore it seems to me almost impossible that government could order or give a green light to it."
[1] The full text of President Bashar al-Assad's speech delivered at the People's Assembly on June 4 can be read here

[2] The full text of the translation of the experiences of Russian ANNA News journalist Marat Musin in the region of Houla can be read here

[3] Italian activist and journalist Marinella Correggia on Russia Today

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