by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky
March 17, 2012
The latest terrorist attack in Damascus is described by the media as yet another government sponsored initiative geared towards killing Syrian civilians.
The CTV-AP report of this tragic event resulting in 27 deaths and some 140 wounded is riddled with contradictions. First it acknowledges that the target of the attacks was government buildings including Air Force Intelligence and National Security buildings in Damascus:
Two explosions rocked the Syrian capital of Damascus Saturday … The twin suicide car bombs were aimed at intelligence and security buildings in the capital. (CTV, March 17, 2012, emphasis added)
Obviously, it follows, says the report, that the Syrian regime is responsible for targeting its own government buildings.
Now why on earth would it do that? The answer: “The attacks occurred in areas where government security is typically high, raising opposition suspicions that the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was responsible.” (Ibid, emphasis added)
The attacks have the fingerprints of a carefully planned intelligence operation. The Syrian government pointed to the responsibility of Al Qaeda-linked terrorists supported by foreign powers, including Qatar and Saudi Arabia:
The explosions were carried out with devastating precision outside police and military intelligence headquarters in the capital, Damascus, in the early hours, Saturday. The devices comprised two vehicles packed with explosives, according to Syrian state media reports. Local residents described how the bombs were detonated within minutes of each other, causing horrific scenes of carnage.
Many ordinary Syrians are convinced that the latest atrocity – as with previous deadly blasts in the capital and other cities across the country – is the work of terrorist groups that are being trained and supplied by foreign states in a bid to destabilize the government of Bashar Al Assad.
Certainly, the lethal attack appears to be well beyond the capability of “rag-tag rebels”, as the so-called anti-government opposition is often portrayed in the Western mainstream media. Its sophisticated execution suggests the involvement of special forces. The presence of British, French, Saudi and Qatari special forces involved in training and directing Syrian oppositionists in has been reported previously by Global Research and other alternative media. But the mainstream media appear blind to the earth-shattering implications of such a connection. (Finian Cunningham, Saudi Arabia Is Arming Syrian “Opposition” As Twin Car Bombs Kill 27 In Damascus, Global Research, March 17, 2012)
How the Media Views the March 17th Attacks
At this point the media hype becomes even more embroiled and confused. The latest reports on the Damascus March 17 attacks seem to have abandoned their usual blanket statement that the killing of civilians had been ordered by Bashar Al Assad and was carried out by covert government operatives and militia.
What the Western media is now saying is that Al Qaeda was behind the attacks, which, ironically, on the surface concurs with the official position of the Al Assad government.
But there is a “But” to this media line. Implied by the CTV report, Al Qaeda is no longer working within the ranks of the opposition, as claimed by the Syrian government. Al Qaeda, so to speak, “has switched sides” and is now supporting the secular government of Bashar Al Assad against an opposition, largely integrated by Islamists, including the Muslim Brotherhood, Salafi groups and Al Qaeda operatives. An absurd proposition:
“Montreal-based Middle East analyst Mohamed Mahmoud said western intelligence agencies and the Syrian opposition believe the government has links to al Qaeda forces in the country and is using them to help quash the uprising” (Ibid. emphasis added)
A convoluted statement to say the least: Al Qaeda supporting a secular Middle East government against an Islamist “opposition”, when just a few weeks earlier Secretary of State Hillary Clinton acknowledged, in no uncertain terms, that the opposition was supported by Al Qaeda and other armed entities on the US “terrorist list:
“We have a very dangerous set of actors in the region, al-Qaida, Hamas, and those who are on our terrorist list, to be sure, supporting – claiming to support the opposition [in Syria].”
According to the CTV report:
“Top U.S. intelligence officials also have pointed to Al Qaeda in Iraq as the likely culprit behind the previous bombings, raising the possibility its fighters are infiltrating across the border to take advantage of the turmoil.” (Ibid)
The CTV report suggests that the government was behind the attacks. It also intimates that Al Qaeda in Iraq is now collaborating with Bashar Al Assad and is bombing key government buildings on the instructions of the secular government.
“The bombings hit the air force intelligence department building and the criminal security department, several kilometres apart in Damascus, at approximately the same time, around 7 a.m., the Interior Ministry said.
Much of the facade of the intelligence building appeared to have been ripped away.
Shooting broke out soon after the blasts and sent residents and others who had gathered in the area fleeing, an Associated Press reporter at the scene said.” (Ibid)
One assumes, although the report fails to mention it, that the exchange of gunfire was between government forces protecting key government buildings (including Air Force Intelligence) and terrorist operatives allegedly sponsored by the government.
Theater of the absurd.