[News] Will 1000 American ‘Human Shields’ Stop Another Criminal War?

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Thu Sep 5 12:35:58 EDT 2013


September 05, 2013
http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/09/05/will-1000-american-human-shields-stop-another-criminal-war/



Arriving First in Syria


  Will 1000 American ‘Human Shields’ Stop Another Criminal War?

by FRANKLIN LAMB

/Damascus/

A sort of roller coaster atmosphere pervades Damascus these days with 
“good” and “bad” news rising and falling, often by the quarter hour. 
Much of the population is monitoring closely the news and quickly 
expressing their interpretations of the latest media reports and rumors 
as well as predicting the fairly precise timing of the now assumed 
American attack on their country.

In the very popular, and normally crowded Abaa Coffee House on the edge 
of the old city in what is called the Sarugha section, students and 
others enjoy the fine cool mist, as Damascenes have done for years, that 
is sprayed from ceiling pipes to provide welcome relief from the 37 
degree Celsius (98 degrees F) outside temperatures. Many are clued to 
their laptops and/or in animated conversation analyzing the likely 
extent and timing of the soon believed to be arriving American missiles.

This observer often meets interlocutors in the Abaa because it’s very 
pleasant, large with dozens of tables, cheap and two blocks from my 
hotel.  I have noticed that common greetings are changing from “kif 
hallack”  ” (how are you?)  and “Arak lahekan” (see you later)  to 
“Get  home safely” and “Good luck with the checkpoints.”

But there is also a distinct growing esprit de corps and a broad coming 
together of much of the population here as the countdown to the American 
attack on Syria begins.  An evident rallying around the Assad regime, 
which one presumes is the opposite of what the White House was hoping 
would result from its threats.

A good friend from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent Society (SARCS) an 
humanitarian organization doing amazing rescue, and medical services for 
Syrians and Palestinians during this expanding crisis, described one way 
that her friends are preparing for the American attack.  “We gathered 
our important documents, birth, marriage certificate and passport and 
made photo copies.  Then we leave them with friends in “safe” areas or 
even bury them somewhere. No one knows how bad the Americans will bomb 
us. At work we have been told during our final practice drill last 
saturday that the next siren will be the ‘real thing’ and we will do as 
we have planned for.” She added, “Many of my friends and family are 
leaving but it’s not easy and is very expensive now to go to Lebanon and 
they don’t want us– and my family has decided to stay in our home no 
matter what happens in the coming days.”

One common topic being discussed is the reluctance of the American 
public to attack Syria and how Obama can ignore it.  “What kind of 
Democracy do you have that your President can ignore the will of the 
American public?”  this observer is frequently asked.  One soldier who 
is stationed with his unit just outside my hotel seemed to speak from 
his heart: “You Americans claim you are trying to help the Syrian 
people.  Every child knows, both here and in your country I think, that 
the coming attack will make things much worse for the Syrian people and 
many others. The American people are good and we hope they can control 
their government, but we are preparing for the worst and there will be 
consequences you will come to regret as with Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.”

The government here is assuring the public that Syria is ready for the 
American attack and that public services will continue.  TV channels 
show around the clock images of heroic Syrian army exploits with marital 
and patriotic music. Youngsters, students and workers are gathering at 
presumed targets offering themselves as Human Shields in solidarity with 
their countrymen while challenging President Obama to bomb their beloved 
Syria.

Interestingly, an International Human Shield movement is coalescing 
according to informed sources here and abroad. One initiative is to 
bring 1000 Americans and thousands of others, to Syria within the next 
ten days to guard likely bomb sites reminding one of the International 
Solidarity Movement international volunteer’s efforts in Occupied 
Palestine in order to try to protect homes of Palestinians from 
Government bulldozing.

Some redacted specifics have been disclosed to this observer from an 
international organizing committee working around the clock on this 
Human Shield initiative.

Some descriptive excerpts:

    International Human Shields  are planning on coming to Syria in
    solidarity with the Syrian people and in an effort to send a global
    message and hopefully deter an American attack next week…

    Timing – While moves can be made fast and with all other key
    elements in place, time is not in our favor.  Ten mores days for
    preparation would be ideal. The HS initiative assumes that it must
    be done in such a way that very little time lapse from the official
    announcement of the action to the actual arrival of the Human
    Shields on the ground in Syria…

    Impact – In order to achieve a significant impact having at least
    1000  Americans and several thousand international Human Shields
    deployed in Syria is the objective. With ideally at least one
    representative from every UN Member State, as evidence of the true
    ‘international community’ opposing the American attack.

The US activist-based steering committee is quickly bringing together 
professionals in IT, marketing, logistical planning and implementation, 
spokesperson(s), public relations, accounting, documentarians, and 
experienced project managers. Ferries from European ports are to be 
arranged to carry significant numbers of Human Shields from Major 
European cities. Ideally, several jumbo jets will be chartered to carry 
human shields from some of the world’s major cities and use of land 
convoys are under consideration.

An excerpt:

    HS/Government Relations – The first objective of the enemies of
    Syria will be to portray Human Shields as nothing more than pawns of
    President Bashar al-Assad. This was precisely what the mainstream
    media did in 2003, presenting Human Shields as pawns of Saddam.  In
    order for the Human Shields to have power they must be seen as
    independent supporters of the people of Syria who represent the will
    of the vast majority of people around the world who oppose the
    pending US-led western attack. The HS should however work with
    prominent leaders in the civilian sector of Syrian society and great
    effort should be made to produce daily news stories of the Human
    Shields and Syrian people working together to protect Syria from the
    ongoing foreign instigated aggression. There are once again many
    details here and these would need to be discussed and agreed if any
    action will be able to reach its full potential.

    Strategy – The sites that Human Shields deploy to must be very well
    publicized and these sites must be identified as protected sites
    under the Fourth Geneva Convention. The White House is saying that
    they are not going to attack infrastructure (as they did with Iraq
    in 2003), but they must attack the infrastructure as the goal is to
    drive Syria into the stone age and make it so weak that Israel will
    through its agents eventually take Syria over. They know that the
    Syrian people and military cannot be defeated without massive
    attacks on the infrastructure.

So it is absolutely vital that all power plants, water treatment 
facilities, bomb shelters (if they exist), civilian communications 
sites, food storage sites and other such sites that are critical to the 
civilian population are the primary if not sole focus of sites for the 
HS to deploy. They cannot deploy to military sites, although I 
personally feel this is morally defensible, it will neutralize the power 
of the HS in the public relations realm and intelligent public relations 
is absolutely critical.

A comprehensive list of protected sites is to be produced immediately 
and these sites will need to be verified by the most independent sources 
we can manage to obtain. UN representatives or former representatives 
would be great, human rights attorneys, legal experts and others of this 
type are very useful.

There will be room to deploy to sites not specifically listed in the 
Fourth Geneva Convention, such as with ethnic and religious minority 
communities who are deathly afraid of the foreign invaders/terrorist. 
Special emphasis should be placed on Christian populations as the 
western audience sadly has more sympathy for Christians than Muslims.”

    Our goal is to personalize the people of Syria and show their
    suffering through the eyes of the HS with effective daily reports to
    be uploaded on the Internet and reported by legitimate news agencies
    such as Press TV, RT and Telesur. A massive effort must be made to
    educate the public about the reasons for the Fourth Geneva
    Convention (FGC) and the imperial powers undeniable record of
    knowingly destroying the lives of ‘protected persons’ as defined in
    the FGC. There must be high quality, well-spoken Arabic/English
    speaking spokespersons.

    We should be ready to provide evidence of any attack on such sites
    the moment it happens and have legal briefs prepared to immediately
    charge the aggressors with war crimes. This is why it is critical
    that the HS are almost exclusively at sites that are protected by
    the FGC.

The Action Plan concludes:

    We cannot necessarily stop them from doing what they intend to do,
    but we can make their aggression harm them far more than Syria and
    its people in the end. Herein lays the power, using the enemies
    momentum against him in the most powerful way possible.

Time will tell which Americans will arrive first in Syria, the military 
or the American public.  Many Syrian are today praying it will be the 
latter and have pledged to join them to defeat the coming aggression.

/*Franklin Lamb* is doing research in Syria and Lebanon and can be 
reached c/o fplamb at gmail.com <mailto:fplamb at gmail.com>/

-- 
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://freedomarchives.org/pipermail/news_freedomarchives.org/attachments/20130905/0eb841be/attachment.html>


More information about the News mailing list