10 Oct 2012

Carr Calls For Syria Assassination

By Joseph Wakim
By calling for the murder of Bashar al-Assad, Foreign Minister Bob Carr has shown both his hypocrisy and his lack of understanding about our "allies" in the Syrian uprising, writes Joseph Wakim
Public figures must think twice before commenting about someone's death.

Veteran broadcaster Alan Jones has learned this lesson after "cyber democracy" took Australian decency into its own hands. They have inscribed an epitaph for his career: you reap what you sow.

But it appears that Foreign Minister Bob Carr has learnt nothing about the volatility of the "death sentence". His "brutal and callous" call for the assassination of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad on ABC Four Corners on Monday was utterly un-Australian, and warrants immediate sanction by Julia Gillard.

Our foreign minister represents a liberal democracy where murder is a crime and the death sentence has long been outlawed. Assassination should not be part of Australia's strategy to end the proxy war between Iran and Israel that is fought on Syrian soil.

Carr's comments are yet another example of the foreign minister is trying to force-fit the Libyan template over Syrian territory.

Carr's rationale that "an assassination combined with a major defection ... is what is required to get, one, a ceasefire, and, two, political negotiations" smacks of dangerous naivety. It ignores the fact that to the president and his supporters, Syria is fighting its own "war on terror" and defending its sovereign territory. This religious war has been proudly sponsored by the US and its Gulf allies — the undemocratic kingdoms of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Rather than creating a cease fire, an assassination would escalate the war beyond the five volatile Syrian borders. Does Carr seriously think that Iran, Russia and China would sit idly by as yet another regime is militarily toppled?

Carr concludes that "we've got nothing to do but trust the spirit of the Arab Spring". The embers of the Arab Spring were actually extinguished long ago by what he himself calls "religious fanatics ... who want another form of dictatorship". The "jihadists," who answer to fatwas from Saudi sheiks for a holy war to ethnically cleanse Syria from non-Sunnis, want a Salafist theocracy, not a secular democracy. Ironically, Carr's call for an assassination aligns him with Sheikh Muhammad al Zughbey — "your jihad against this infidel criminal and his people is a religious duty".

When asked about the presence of Islamic extremists or al Qaeda in the uprising, Carr insists that "the truth is ... nobody knows ... outside Damascus, observation doesn't exist". His sources are all sworn enemies of the Syrian regime — The Friends of Syria, Gulf leaders and Western leaders  — and of course they will not concede that extremists have hijacked the uprising.

Inside Syria, observation and monitoring does exist and the al-Qaeda presence has been repeatedly revealed. Journalist Robert Fisk interviewed so-called Syrian rebels inside a Syrian military prison in August, only to find that most were "recycled" foreign mercenaries. Inconvenient facts and counter-narratives such as this cannot be dismissed as pro-Assad propaganda, although Fisk's piece in particular has drawn some criticism, including from Syrian political dissident Yassin Al-Haj Saleh.

Moreover, Carr has an immediate opportunity to be enlightened by a visiting Syrian nun who has been at the centre of the violence, tending to the war wounded. Despite repeated requests to meet with him, Mother Agnes-Mariam from St James Catholic monastery in Homs has been shunned. She has been forced to flee to Lebanon after being warned that the rebel forces, our allies and future assassins, plotted to abduct her.

Why? Because she was outspoken about the "aggressive armed gangs ... abducting people, beheading, bringing terror even to schools". Like Fisk, she confirms that only about one in 20 rebels are Syrian. She has witnessed how the uprising "steadily became a violent Islamist expression against a liberal secular society" and testifies to a "hidden will to empty the Middle East of its Christian presence". This darker truth belies the "spirit of the Arab Spring" in Carr's fantasy.

Unlike Carr, Mother Agnes has a peaceful solution that is gaining momentum — Mussalaha (reconciliation) — a grass roots movement for dialogue and negotiation among Syrian citizens of all ethnic and religious backgrounds who "reject sectarian violence and are tired of war".

Unlike Carr, her method not assassination and defection, but disarmament — "freeing them of this massive foreign interference and this media instigation for violence". As part of her international peace mission to the Vatican and the EU, she will lead a delegation of Nobel Prize laureates to Syria next month.

It is abhorrent that Carr links assassination with "what Kofi Annan said was essential". Like Mother Agnes, Annan promoted disarmament. Above the negotiation table, the US-Saudi-Qatar axis talked about a political solution, but under the table they sabotaged his "peace plan" with a lucrative supply chain of arms, while criticising those who vetoed more military solutions.

Why is Carr afraid to meet with Mother Agnes? Because she will disarm him of his "just war" theory, and force him to face the facts that he has put us in bed with the terrorists. She may even enlighten him that it was not Libya that endured 17 years of civil war, as he stated, but Lebanon — for 15 years. Like Alan Jones, he should know better, but chooses not to.

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Posted Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 14:51

Bob Carr howls Jehad on Bashar al-Assad.

Imagine the outrage had it been Bashar al-Assad calling for Bob Carr's death?

Posted Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 18:00

Joseph Wakim OAM agree with your article.

What did Wikileaks show us.

John Pilger has not been able to expose an eigth of what Wikileaks exposed in his 20 odd year carrier. So if John Pilger couldn't do it what does anybody realy know, what does the Media really know, Nothing.

What we do know is we have been lied to by our Politicians and that our Politicians are Hypocrits.

Other then that most of us, 97%, know nothing and thats what our Politicians rely on.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. thomasee73
Posted Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 19:22

It won't be long before poor, smelly, dark skinned people with dubious cultural values get their hands on the ultimate weapon to date for murder without risk - the unmanned remote controlled weaponised air vehicle. It's a dangerous time for political leaders to be eroding the long-standing taboo against assassination. A sufficiently determined idealogue can convince himself that anyone in any sort of leadership position is an anti-democratic enemy of the people. I fear that a Pandora's box of "might makes right, and to hell with institutional conflict resolution processes", at a time when the individual increasingly has access to the increasingly powerful military technology is a recipe for the tragedy of global conflict to be visited upon even civilised societies like ours (as opposed to merely uncivilised basket cases like Africa, Arab states, Latin America, or Serbia). Danger, Will Robinson, danger!

Posted Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 10:36

The vast majority of humans leave school without any functional idea of how their society functions, or why it functions the way it does (something that should be more important than the NAPLAN debacle). Given democracies have as a fundamental part of their identity, the notion of informed consent, it is no wonder many bleet away at the actions of parliaments and politicians, without any cognizance of what is actually appropriate, or not. It is all about feelings, and little to do with reasoned and informed decision making.

With that in mind, I would like to emphasise how important it is for our's, and other's, politicians, to respect the sovereignty of other nations. So this is exactly what the Foreign Minister is not doing when he calls for a just war or targeted assassinations. He could be arguing, or using other elements of political force, for Russia to stop supplying the Syrian government with arms, so that the people of Syria can settle their own disputes. He could be arguing that a blockade be formed around the country to stop any further shipments of weapons used to oppress the uprising against this corrupt and morally bankrupt war criminals. He could be arguing more about punishing Russia for its continuing interference, but they are a big bully on the block, and he is not that brave, and also there would be the hypocrisy of Israel and Palestine just a short drive away.

Instead he brings Australia down to the level of thugs and war mongers.

Posted Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 12:25

thomasee73, loved your post.

Dr Dog
Posted Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 13:23

Good one Bob Carr! Now I know it is OK to flaunt the law as long as I feel strongly about the issue I will be careful to make sure I disobey police here in your home state of NSW as much as possible. Funny, I never would have picked Bob as an anarchist.

Posted Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 15:09

It has become obvious that the description of Penny (as an actress) by Leonard's Mother in Big Bang Theory should fit Bob Carr very well, I quote from memory; "The locus of your identity is exterior to your self". Bob has become more of a Peacock since his unelected induction into the Foreign Affairs portfolio. He is now protected from any real intelligence.

Such callings for regime change are merely an indication that Bob feels that Oz is safe behind US policy lines and is happy as a result to risk our collective safety making statements that only the US Administration or Senate would make. He may be intelligent but he's certainly not smart, because the US has a steel wall whereas ours is made of straw.

This kind of attitude is playing into the hands of Israeli fanaticism and just plain provocative US policies of Containment and 'Control' of the Middle East. Calling for an assassin is an invitation to have himself assassinated. Like the US, Australia seems to regularly misunderstand what Democracy means. It seems that Democracy can mean global control from Washington, facilitating the protection of copiers of this Flunkey's Plan. Bring back Kev at least he can speak Mandarin and make some sense in the portfolio.

Posted Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 16:43

Just plain embarrassing. What a nitwit Bob Carr is to make such inflammatory public statements. What about Australia's Rule of Law?

Posted Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 17:31

1. I don't know how accurate it is to describe the Assad regime as liberal and secular. Sure, they preach secularism and have Christian ministers, but actively try to prevent the Sunnis from gaining too much power. And liberal is a ridiculous word to use in this context. They aren't liberal in either the economic or social sense.

2. You mention the US-Saudi-Qatar 'axis' several times, implying that this is a bad thing because the gulf regimes are undemocratic. You didn't mention democratic Turkey's significant role. Nor that Iran and Russia are can barely be called democratic, and certainly not liberal.

In criticising Bob Carr, I think you've also forgiven Assad too much.

Posted Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 20:35

If I remember correctly, Carr recently went to the USA to update his instructions.
Clinton and Obama would have given him clear advice as to what to say and do.
Australia never does anything that is not OKed with the Yanks beforehand. Carr has been fascinated by Mass Murderer Obama's Killer Drones. (I read that these drone operators have now read more of the mass of US crime/detective fiction, and have taken on the 'double -tap' as a method of operation. You blow the bejesus out of a car load, or room full, of Muslims, call them 'terrorists', then as rescue people come in to save some lives, the drones hit them again. More than doubles the kill rate. Wonderful! No American lives threatened whatsoever). I would imagine that Obama has OKed this murderous activity.
I also read that the Gillard mob have indicated a desire to purchase A FEW BILLION DOLLARS worth of Killer Drones, supposedly to watch for 'boat people'. What is the bet that a few boatloads of boat-people disappear off the face of the ocean when these drones become active. I would imagine that Abbott and Co. would raise no objections.
After all, if the Greatest Democracy On Earth feels totally free to murder thousands of people, no charges, no courts, no back-fire, from thousands of kilometres away in an air-conditioned booth in CIA country, I am sure that Carr/Gillard/Smith/Abbott would not be the ones to object.
None of them would be game to do so, anyway, they know who is BOSS! And it is not any of them.

Posted Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 21:03

Further to above, I read suggestions that the USA would not be so involved in getting rid of the Syrian administration (bad as it may be) if Obama were not so hounded in an election year by Nutcase Netanyahu. They, the US/ Zionist front, are utterly confirmed in their ambition to get rid of Assad, the Lebanon Hizbollah leadership, the Iranians, ONLY because they supposedly are a threat to a Zionist israel. I keep on reading that a lot of israelis are proposing peaceful means of settling their occupation of Palestine, but they are all pie in the sky, because israel is controlled by a Fundamentalist Zionist junta of Religionists and straight-out Fascists, such as Netanyahu, and they have no intention of allowing ANY lessening of their total power over the lives of the occupied Palestinians. This is not at all helped by the backing of the Fundamentalist Christians in the USA, who seek an Armageddon brought on by the Jews, which will give THEM everlasting life at the feet of their god. And they control the Republican Party, and the possible next President of the USA.
I do not see anything like PEACE in any future.
Poor Fellow, My World.

Posted Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 21:59

Geoffff, great comment! It's a shame that posts on the middle east and the arab world are so frequently rank with venomous accusations of every type against just two usual suspects and so little is directed to honest analysis of both acute and chronic causes, and solutions. The USA and Israel did not spark this uprising, it came about after many years of brutal oppression by a regime with a murderous, minority-rule track record.

Besides the knee-jerk swipe at the USA and Israel, I enjoyed and agree with most of the article:

1)Saudi Arabia is certainly not much better than Iran (in fact is its mortal enemy) and one should have no illusions as to its plans for the Syrian people as part of the longstanding and ongoing intra-muslim religious and power conflict. The welfare of the Syrian people, and democracy, is probably the last thing on their minds.

2) The Syrian regime has been a long-time ally of the Soviets/Russia and of Iran (the former continues to block international attempts to punish the regime, while the latter shamelessly continues to prop up the regime, and sanction its murderous conduct for reasons already given above). One would have to be delusional to think that the Syrian regime is first and foremost a puppet of the West.

3) It's always puzzled me how the West claims to know best how to fix things, often using moralistic overtones (and sometimes blurting out absurdities like the one the subject of the article), only to see their solutions turned against them at every turn by those they have supposedly saved. On the other hand, if the USA and Europe didn't get involved in the Libyan revolution (for example), the howlers would no doubt have said that the West always stands idly by while the massacres go on at the hands of their (the West's) loyalist dictators who oppress democracy etc as part of their (the West's) nefarious plans to rule the world, destroy Islam etc etc. So damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Posted Friday, October 12, 2012 - 09:15

I am appalled that the US happily assassinates people with which it does not agree, but never did I imagine it would be advocated by an Australian government and even more disappointed that it was a Labor minister who would make such an outrageous statement.

Nico Machean
Posted Friday, October 12, 2012 - 11:45

I think everyone is missing the point here. Some may argue that it is important to fuel the religious and racial hatred in these countries to create instability. US is pro rebels and Russia is pro Syria regime.

This guy called Freidman recons that for US to continue to dominate, (and for us to continue riding on their coattails), it is important that the middle east, Syria and other Muslim countries remain in a state of war and instability. Not because they are Muslim, and not because of the colour of their skin, or any other similar reason. The simple answer is to keep them weak so they cannot unite in a stable union that may challenge the power of the west. With Syria in shambles, Russia now loses an important sphere of control pushing onto Turkey's border. Turkey now has an opportunity seize (which it is doing) and push its sphere of influence. It wasn't that long ago that there wan an empire in the region (I believe some Man called Otto or something was in charge :)). And then when one power's sphere of influence becomes "dangerous", then the west will turn on them. That simple.

The above sounds a bit fanciful, but have a read of that book by George Freidman, "The Next 100 Years". It was written in 2009 and pretty much predicted the tension in Syria and the US's stance on it which is unfolding exactly how he wrote it with the exception that he estimated the date it would happen a bit wrong. If this Freidman guy is right, and the world really works how he describes, then it is a bit of a depressing place.

Posted Saturday, October 13, 2012 - 21:52

Can I ask people to stop using the word 'Delusional' in place of reasoning, factual information, irrational ranting or insult. To assume one's reality is more solid than another's - with or without a Psyche assessment - is assuming that either party is dwelling in some fatuous Cartesian existence, and is in fact unfortunately, "delusional".

"Bob doesn’t get the fact that you have to have more than a deep voice, and sharp suit to make it in foreign affairs….or in NSW politics for that matter."
I entirely disagree. A deep voice, and sharp suit will allow a Cornish Pasty to make it in foreign affairs eg, Downer. I suppose "make it" might mean that he can fake success in the portfolio if he can occasionally, as Dazza says, "update his instructions. Clinton and Obama would have given him clear advice as to what to say and do. Australia never does anything that is not OKed with the Yanks beforehand."

The job description involves the occasional cup of Tea or a Lewinsky Cocktail in the Oval Office. In this particular Democracy we are without recourse to ethical representation, and the Government doesn't really care that we are.

Posted Sunday, October 14, 2012 - 10:36

geoffff is obviously part of the Jewish Lobby.

Own up son, don't pretend to be Aussie and neutral. If your an Israeli then go live there. Don't be a cowardly dog who hides here, yet has to bark the loudest to hide is cowardice, do your bit.

Get on a plane and Piss Off.

The Israeli's are over there because Eastern Europe Bred too much, why do you think Stalin killed so many people, why are you presumably here in Australia, probably not, one tends to forget NM can be viewed Globally.

Overpopulation people, 1200 years of human debauchery to make room during hard times can't be wrong. The Yanks are on their knees again and Israel is frightened, daddy is dying an economic Death, it might just be a good thing to let that Whore Israel find her own way through life for a change. Its been propped up just like the Banks and the rest of the Cronies.

America's whelps aren't so keen to go and die anymore. So tech wars and over payed War Mongering Elite's are the future

Posted Monday, October 15, 2012 - 16:06

@jackal01 - your remark "geoffff is obviously part of the Jewish Lobby" is just the sort of vile bigotry that we expect from people who don't actually have an argument.

Jewish lobby my arse.

Either present an actual argument in contrast to your interlocutor, or leave it alone.

But don't engage in bigoted suggestions of "guilt by association" to make up for your own short-comings.

Posted Monday, October 15, 2012 - 20:58


If there was no revolution then Gaddafi would have still been in power shelling the civilians of Misrata with cluster bombs (like his mate Assad) and Benghazi would have been destroyed "zenga zenga dar dar" (or have you forgotten already).

You need ground troops to take and hold ground. Air superiority doesn't give you that.

There was a Libyan revolution and you do the people of Libya a foul disservice by claiming otherwise.

Posted Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - 09:37


Could you kindly suggest a remark that I made that can be shown to be incorrect?

1. Did the Gaddafi regime shell Misrata with heavy weapons?
2. Did they indiscriminately fire into civilian areas?
3. Did they use cluster bombs?
4. Did Gaddafi say on May 2, that he would "cleanse Benghazi" "inch by inch, house by house, apartment by apartment, alleyway by alleyway"?
5. Is it true that you need ground troops to take and hold ground and that air superiority can't provide that?

Are any of these propositions "discredited"?

Perhaps you could consider the possibility that political opinions should be derived from the facts, not the other way around.

Posted Sunday, June 30, 2013 - 21:49

Lev, there is another regime in the middle east which you failed to mention (alongside your mates, Assad and Ghadaffi), except this regime is infinitely worse than the secular state of Syria. This mad little middle eastern state is a psychopathic theocracy.

If you consider this sick little state's record you could most certainly tick all five of your little boxes, so let's have a go:-

1- Not just one neighbourhood, but every civilian neighbourhood within reach of their heavy weapons, and which is not occupied by citizens of their sick sect, has been shelled by heavy weapons.

2- They are world famous for indiscriminate killings, nay, the world leaders of the practice, having even used forged passports from the stolen identities of Australian citizens to commit state sponsored murder.

3- They specialise in cluster bombing Gaza and so cluster bombing is certainly not beneath them

4- Most of their leaders, possibly even all of them, have not only threatened, but have factually been personally involved with the ethnic cleansing of entire villages filled with innocent civilians, for example Sabra and Shatila. According to the Time magazine reports these villages were so thoroughly wiped out that not even the villager's domestic dogs and cats were left alive.

5- No, this is not true, it is possible to invade regions using proxy armies. The same sick middle eastern theocracy I am referring to has been perfecting this practice since humanity purged itself of the Nazi regime way back in the last century.

Libya was taken by exactly such a proxy army.