Wednesday, 14 March 2012



The Russian Foreign Minister has condemned efforts by certain Western countries for a regime change in Syria through misleading the international community and manipulating the UN Security Council.

Lavrov also rejected military intervention in Syria and said that any foreign interference would jeopardize regional stability.

Press TV has talked to the political analyst Sukant Chandan from London to discuss the issue in detail. The program also provides insights of two other guests, Dr. Kevin Barrett from the Muslim-Jewish-Christian Alliance from Wisconsin and Professor Michel Chossudovsky with the center for research on globalization.

What follows is an approximate transcript of the interview.

Press TV: Where did Kofi Annan’s meeting with Assad lead to? Now this was something that Sergey Lavrov said today, “he is hoping that it will be helping him to resolve the situation.” What do you think?

Chandan: I think..., I will start with Palestine, and I make no apology to starting with Palestine because I remember just a few years ago one of the better Western-based white liberal radicals said “Palestine was still the issue” and today what we see in the last several days is now, dozens of Palestinians being massacred by the Zionist State.

And where has all the focus been? The Zionist State is now in the political situation that we have been in; the so-called Arab Spring can get away with massacres, when just over a year ago it could not.

And what has happened is that the empire has realized especially since the Hezbollah’s victory against the Zionist State in 2006, that they need to put in place certain political mechanisms, lies and manipulation back and reverse the trend and the trend up to that point was victories of the steadfast bloc of the resistance axis of mainly Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and the Palestinian resistance.

So, after the victory of Hezbollah in 2006, it is quite obvious that the West with their allies in the region has put in place certain political conspiracy for this Arab Spring to come about.

So, instead of being focused on the massacres that the Zionist State has been committing in the last few days and nearly on a weekly basis, even the Palestine Solidarity Movement and many people who, up to just yesterday aspired for the freedom of the Arab countries against the Zionism and the Imperialism are now, instead of focusing on the Zionist state, are focusing on the regimes like Gaddafi and Assad.

So, is Palestine still the issue? It is clearly not. What is now the issue is the Western regime change facilitated by the so-called Arab Spring.

Press TV: Mr. Chandan we are hearing the Syrian envoy in Russia make the same claims. He said that the West is calling, in his words terrorists, the opposition and the revolutionaries that these terrorists in his words are being supported and financed by the West.

So, basically when we look at the way the media is covering this, we are hearing for instance of pro-Assad and anti-Assad militia groups, fighting for instance in Homs where severe casualties we are hearing of are happening.

So, who do you think these groups are? Are they pro-Assad and anti-Assad militia? Are they just al-Qaeda? Are they the Syrian government and army against the opposition and revolutionaries? What do you think?

Chandan: I think the array of political forces in the opposition that wants regime change in Syria that they are not new political forces in Syria, they have been there for many decades if not generations.

Basically in the region you have two sides of the struggle. On one the hand, you have the Western-backed monarchies and regimes and the Western agenda has always been to divide the Arabs, which they have done more or less successfully and to ensure that the Arabs are divided along sectarian lines, and that is exactly what is happening today.

And that the Arab struggle is de-linked and disconnected and severed from the Palestinian revolutionary struggle as well and that is what they have achieved in Syria.

And absolutely, China and Russia are the only guarantors, they are not fully guarantors; but at the moment relatively to the historical place that we are in, Russia and China are the only guarantors to stopping the war machine of the West from regime change. Without Russia and China there would be war, I mean increased and intensified war on Syria.

But I remember sitting in Tripoli in Libya towards the second half of the summer last year and it seemed NATO were in great disarray that the NATO-backed rebels were getting nowhere unless NATO was bombing a path for them; and that the Jamahiriya State looked like it actually survive the then NATO aggression.

The point I’d like to make is that although it seems that the Syrian regime may have survived this battle that it’s been in for the last year, make no mistakes - Quoting a famous English rock band “these are war pigs that were dealing within the West and they will not leave Syria alone, they will come for Syria, they will come for Hezbollah and they will come for their big prize in the region which is Iran” and our side have to really prepare ourselves, not only people in the region, but the Solidarity Movements as well, which so far have been really failing in their job of defending the region from the imperialism and the Zionism.

Press TV: Now, Mr. Chandan how do you see the role of the likes of Saudi Arabia and Qatar in Syria? Now, of course these two countries have been leading, in their own words, the diplomatic effort, the political effort to solve the crisis in Syria, they say they support people’s demands there, but the question is - Are they in a position to support popular demands in Syria and at the same time suppress the demands in their own countries and in neighboring Bahrain and in Yemen?

Chandan: Indeed, I mean, the role of Saudi Arabia and Qatar is nothing new. Its role is to help and be a watchdog and to be a facilitator. Obviously Qatar is holding the biggest US military base in the region which is CENTCOM and ..., when Saudi Arabia falls, everything will unravel in the region and in the Muslim Community, i.e. it would actually move forward towards liberation against that, which is holding it back, which is the imperialism’s alliance with the Saudi regime.

A good friend of mine, Ramzy Baroud who is a Palestinian writer, said recently that the mainstream media have been colluders and complicit in the massacres in Palestine. I do not think it is just them, it’s actually been who is actually more collusive and complicit in the media, which is Al-Jazeera, which is the voice of the Qatari monarchy. So, this is the role that these states are playing in Syria and in the region generally.

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