U.N. Figures

UN figures are often quoted in the media to support claims that the President of Syria and his government are responsible for killing thousands of innocent Syrians, including hundreds of children. These figures are questioned, however, by credible ME analysts.

If the UN figures cannot be trusted, what are the implications of this?

Excerpts only of articles are presented here, but links to the sources are provided. This page is to encourage questioning and research and less reliance on one or two sources. There are 22 million people in Syria; their experience of life, their fears and hopes cannot be represented by a few.

Note: Most of these links are presented elsewhere on this blog.  But they are brought together here to encourage questioning of the UN figures.

Other resources are available on:  http://australiansforsyria.wordpress.com

Images of Syrians taken recently from Syrian TV are included on this blog. If the UN were correct in its claims, wouldn’t these people be protesting – screaming to the world? There are people screaming for international help and military intervention and you are shown their images in the mainstream Australian media. Rarely are images of Syrian people other than these presented to western readers. They must be remembered.  29 June 2012.

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Major-General Robert Mood, the head of the UN observer mission in Syria, spoke at a press conference at which he made it clear that his reports are not open to the public. It is up to the UN offices in New York and Geneva as to what is presented from them. He called for reporters to record the complexity and nuances of Syria, and not to rush to report the claims of one person who approaches them with a story.

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CNN report, 12 June 2012:  U.N. Special Rep. Radhika Coomaraswamy says 49 children were executed by Syrian Government troops. (When? Where? According to whom? Verified by whom?)

Note that in the CNN report (link below) there is no video footage from recent massacres, particularly Houla, to support the claims made by Ms Coomaraswamy and repeated by the CNN reporters.  Yet, most people would be making a connection in their head between her claims and those images despite the fact that independent investigations into the massacre at Houla show anti-government forces were responsible for the terror there. Ref: John Rosenthal’s article in NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/302261/report-rebels-responsible-houla-massacre-john-rosenthal

U.S. Congressman Ron Paul in his speech to Congress on 19 June said, Falsely blaming the Assad government for a so-called massacre perpetrated by a violent warring rebel faction is nothing more than war propaganda.  (A transcript of his speech is on a post on this blog.)

CNN report which presents the claims of U.N. Special Rep. Radhika Coomaraswamy:

Other voices: 

Interview with Sari Saoud’s mother.  Sari, a 9-year-old Christian Syrian from Homs, was killed in a street near his home in November 2011.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDUF72f0w2s

A Syrian Australian woman, a mother of two school age children, responds to claims that the army is  deliberately killing and torturing children.
Mother Agnes Mariam, a nun based in Syria for 18 years, spoke at a press conference last November after she had been on tour of some of the hot spots in Syia:
Reverend Adib Awad speaks about the terror in Syria:
An interview with a Syrian Australian woman who lived in Syria with her three young children for 7 months last year.

So what conclusions can be drawn from the accusations of U.N. personnel – those who are a long way from Syria but who speak with such certainty?  Are they outrageous? Criminal? 

Who can be trusted to do the rigorous research necessary for an understanding of what is happening on the ground in Syria? ………The welfare of 22 million Syrians and Syria, the country, may depend on people’s commitment to doing that research.  

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ENGLISH AL-AKHBAR

Questioning the Syrian “Casualty List”

By: Sharmine Narwani

Published Tuesday, February 28, 2012

“Perception is 100 percent of politics,” the old adage goes. Say something three, five, seven times, and you start to believe it in the same way you “know” aspirin is good for the heart.

Sometimes though, perception is a dangerous thing. In the dirty game of politics, it is the perception – not the facts of an issue – that invariably wins the day.

In the case of the raging conflict over Syria, the one fundamental issue that motors the entire international debate on the crisis is the death toll and its corollary: the Syrian casualty list……….

http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/4645

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RT

Who Is Killing Whom in Syria? 
Interview with Jeremy Salt
by Maria Finoshina 4 January 2012

Jeremy Salt: I don’t think there’s any doubt at all that a large number of military, of civilians, have been killed by armed gangs and by defectors.  So, what we actually need to do is to disaggregate these (casualty) figures.  How many people have been killed by the Syrian Army?  How many of them were innocent, entirely innocent?  How many of them were men who picked up arms?  How many civilians have been killed by armed gangs?  And so forth and so on.  You need to break the whole thing down, but these figures are not broken down.

http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2012/salt140112.html

Jeremy Salt teaches in the Department of Political Science at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey and is the author of Imperialism, Evangelism, and the Ottoman Armenians, 1878-1896; and The Unmaking of the Middle East: A History of Western Disorder in Arab Lands.  This video was released by Russia Today on 4 January 2012.  See, also, Jeremy Salt, “Truth and Falsehood in Syria” (Palestine Chronicle, 5 October 2011); Jeremy Salt, “And Now for Syria” (2 November 2011); Jeremy Salt, “‘Human Rights’ and the Road to Hell: Libya and Now Syria?” (Palestine Chronicle, 3 December 2011); Jeremy Salt, “Truth about Syria: Crazy Men in Grey Suits” (Palestine Chronicle, 12 January 2012).

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RT QUESTION MORE

‘UN Commissioner report on Houla? But they only talk to Syrian opposition – by phone’

UN Human Rights Council ‘own’ sources?

What worries Marinella Corregia, an activist from the “No War Network,” is the sources the UN Commissioner for Human Rights uses to draw their reports, as their opinions do not seem in accord with UN monitors’ prudence. General Robert Mood, who heads the observing mission, has not yet pointed to anyone for the killings.

Marinella Corregia called the spokesman for the UN Commissioner for Human Rights, Rupert Colville, to get some answers. This is the conversation they had as reported by the peace activist:

Marinella Corregia: Who spoke with the local people you quote? The UN observers?
Rupert Colville: The UN observers are another body.

MC: So which witness sources do you have and how did you speak with them?
RC: Our local network, whom we spoke on the phone. I cannot say more; I have to protect them.
MC: How could they recognize that the killers were Shabbiya? Weren’t their faces covered?
RC: Our local contacts in Syria say they were Shabbiya. Try to be less cynical.

MC: But no doubt from your side? It seems that many of the children were from Alawite pro-government families…
RC: We are asking for an investigation. I don’t say we are certain. We have also been asking for international investigations for the past months in Syria; but it has never been done and that is why we rely on our sources.

MC:  So it is not the UN that says that pro-government groups killed the children, it is your sources saying that.
RC: Yes, many people, our sources point the finger at the Shabbiya [militia group].

More questions than answers as Houla investigation continues

But who are these contacts? Corregia says that so far the UN Council on Human Rights used reports made up by their own commission of three envoys, working independently from UN monitors. The commission has never set foot on Syrian soil; their sources, as listed by the anti-war campaigner, appear to be: “the opposition groups [the UN Human Rights Council] spoke to on the phone; the opposition they met in Turkey; and other ‘activists’ they met in Geneva.”

“So the bottom line: no actual witnesses!” points out Marinella Corregia, who is sure the body treats the Houla incident “just the same way.”

Houla reports filed so far stand no criticism, continues the activist, – instead of giving answers, they just raise more questions:

“Who talked to the residents, since the UN Human Rights Council is in Geneva? Are they true residents or the ones like the face-covered lady interviewed by Al Jazeera? The ‘survivor’ in question says she was hiding as her children were being slaughtered – how is it possible that a mother hides at a moment like this?”

“How was it possible that immediately after “Shabbiya” and the “army’s artillery” accomplished the massacre people were not afraid to collect bodies, film them and then send the video to international media?”

“How could survivors identify Shabbiya militia if they say killers were masked? By ‘green military dress’?”
“Why does a video show that some dead children have their hands tied? Did the killers take time to tie the hands of the children before killing them? Or were the hands tied later by those who filmed the massacre in order to call for more blame if possible?”
“Why does the man in the video, while showing the children and screaming ‘Allah Akbar!’, treat them with no respect, like puppets?”
“Why in one of the videos, showing the ‘government’ shelling, are people escaping carrying Syria’s flag, not the opposition’s one?”
“Is it true, as some sources say, that the majority of the people who were killed came from Alawites pro-government families or neutral Sunnis and some others from the opposition? Is it also true that the people were shouting pro-Assad slogans?”

UN Human Rights Council’s rulings mostly adds political weight to the efforts taken by other UN’s bodies, notably the UN Security Council. The Security Council – and prior to it the UN monitors in Syria – is yet to deliberate a final opinion who is responsible for the Houla massacre. But some political leaders seem to know their answer: Syrian diplomats have already been expelled from the US, the UK, France, Germany and other countries across the world.

http://www.rt.com/news/houla-massacre-un-syria-635/

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A question raised in the above article also puzzled this editor:

“Why does the man in the video, while showing the children and screaming ‘Allah Akbar!’, treat them with no respect, like puppets?”  

An Addounia (a private Syrian satellite TV station) report on the Houla massacre shows a man picking up bodies of children as if they are the kill after a day’s hunting.  He shows them to UN observers and reporters.

Report on the Houla massacre by Addounia TV in Syria
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2_owegdPms&feature=related  Houla Massacre an Inside Job by FSA (Addounia report)
Interview of a witness by a Russian reporter
http://sabinachiaburu.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/hulahoms/  30 May Interview by Russian reporter with female witness from Taldao re massacre there and in Houla
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The killing of 9 year-old Sari Saoud in Homs, November 2011, illustrates how children have been targeted in this propaganda and ‘humanitarian’ war against Syria. This interview with his mother details the circumstances of his death.
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Sharmine Narwani in her article referenced at the top of this page refers to the listing of people killed by militia on the “killed by the army” list presented to the world.  On this list are included the following:
#5969, Abdo al Tallawi, 4/17/11, Homs, General in Syrian army killed alongside his two sons and a nephew. Funeral footage shows all four victims. The others are also on the list at #5948, Ahmad al Tallawi, #5958, Khader al Tallawi and #5972, Ali al Tallawi, all in Homs…
The killings of these children were reported to Amnesty Melbourne office, but Amnesty London office has refused to report them.  What list has Amnesty put them on?  What list has the UN put them on?
Their deaths were referred to in a report on an ABC POOL page in May 2011:http://australiansforsyria.wordpress.com

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The following interview with Reverend Adib Awad refers to the violence and terror across Syria.  Has the UN phoned him?

Reverend Adib Awad on Syria

Revd Adib Awad is General Secretary of the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon.  He was raised as a child with Bashar Al-Assad and knows him well. Adib insists Qatar and Saudi Arabia along with the US are funding mercenaries from Libya and Iraq to attack civilians in Syria and that the army are not responsible.

He is convinced the President enjoys the support of at least 75% of Syrians.

Reverend Awad examines the crisis from its beginning. He offers an interesting perspective as his brother has been a political prisoner in Syria.

http://vimeo.com/43187181


3 Responses to U.N. Figures

  1. brian says:

    it means the UN cant be trusted…thats its now an instrument of US imperialism; actively violating its own charter, aiding the attack on sovereignty

  2. Joseph Calhoun says:

    Here’s something I wrote in an e-mail a few days in regards to an article at voltairenet.org:

    “On February 4, 2012 when I witnessed the VETO by Russia & China of the resolution in the UN Security Council for a mandate for NATO to militarily intervene in Syria, I felt slightly delerious with joy. I even tweeted a link to Joan Baez singing “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” and went out to celebrate
    Day by day all the attempts to stage an event to implement a SHOCK DOCTRINE moment to sway world opinion to activate a mandate for U.S./NATO imperial intervention has fizzled and failed.
    Everyone is now wise to Western propaganda techniques and the use of their created social networks of Twitter, Facebook, & YouTube.
    But these techniques have backfired and the social networks are flooded, in real time, with facts that counter the NATO propaganda line for all the world to see.
    Its now time to bring these serial NATO killing war criminals to justice as well their propaganda mouthpieces even among the so-called progressive alternative media like al-Jazeera, Pacifica, and DemocracyNow!
    Aiding propaganda to commit genocide is more severe crime than the act itself & IMHO the likes of Amy Goodman, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, & members of the UNHRC should be referred to ICC for prosecution.

    J. A. Calhoun– journalist, film maker, activist

  3. Mike Jackson says:

    The US supports endless wars for Israel, it all started a decade ago after a false flag attack.
    9/11, US and Israel:
    http://www.amazon.com/America-Deceived-II-Possession-interrogation/dp/1450257437

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