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PUTIN crashes BBC's John Simpson

Dec 19, 2014

JOHN SIMPSON, BBC: Western countries almost universally now believe that there’s a new Cold War and that you, frankly, have decided to create that. We see, almost daily, Russian aircraft taking sometimes quite dangerous manoeuvres towards western airspace. That must be done on your orders; you’re the Commander-in-Chief. It must have been your orders that sent Russian troops into the territory of a sovereign country – Crimea first, and then whatever it is that’s going on in Eastern Ukraine. Now you’ve got a big problem with the currency of Russia, and you’re going to need help and support and understanding from outside countries, particularly from the West. So can I say to you, can I ask you now, would you care to take this opportunity to say to people from the West that you have no desire to carry on with the new Cold War, and that you will do whatever you can to sort out the problems in Ukraine? Thank you!

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Thank you very much for your question. About our exercises, manoeuvres and the development of our armed forces. You said that Russia, to a certain extent, contributed to the tension that we are now seeing in the world. Russia did contribute but only insofar as it is more and more firmly protecting its national interests. We are not attacking in the political sense of the word. We are not attacking anyone. We are only protecting our interests. Our Western partners – and especially our US partners – are displeased with us for doing exactly that, not because we are allowing security-related activity that provokes tension.


Let me explain. You are talking about our aircraft, including strategic aviation operations. Do you know that in the early 1990s, Russia completely stopped strategic aviation flights in remote surveillance areas as the Soviet Union previously did? We completely stopped, while flights of US strategic aircraft carrying nuclear weapons continued. Why? Against whom? Who was threatened?



So we didn’t make flights for many years and only a couple of years ago we resumed them. So are we really the ones doing the provoking?



So, in fact, we only have two bases outside Russia, and both are in areas where terrorist activity is high. One is in Kyrgyzstan, and was deployed there upon request of the Kyrgyz authorities, President Akayev, after it was raided by Afghan militants. The other is in Tajikistan, which also borders on Afghanistan. I would guess you are interested in peace and stability there too. Our presence is justified and clearly understandable.



Now, US bases are scattered around the globe – and you’re telling me Russia is behaving aggressively? Do you have any common sense at all? What are US armed forces doing in Europe, also with tactical nuclear weapons? What are they doing there?



Listen, Russia has increased its military spending for 2015, if I am not mistaken, it is around 50 billion in dollar equivalent. The Pentagon’s budget is ten times that amount, $575 billion, I think, recently approved by the Congress. And you’re telling me we are pursuing an aggressive policy? Is there any common sense in this?



Are we moving our forces to the borders of the United States or other countries? Who is moving NATO bases and other military infrastructure towards us? We aren’t. Is anyone listening to us? Is anyone engaging in some dialogue with us about it? No. No dialogue at all. All we hear is “that’s none of your business. Every country has the right to choose its way to ensure its own security.” All right, but we have the right to do so too. Why can’t we?



Finally, the ABM system – something I mentioned in my Address to the Federal Assembly. Who was it that withdrew unilaterally from the ABM Treaty, one of the cornerstones of the global security system? Was it Russia? No, it wasn’t. The United States did this, unilaterally. They are creating threats for us, they are deploying their strategic missile defence components not just in Alaska, but in Europe as well – in Romania and Poland, very close to us. And you’re telling me we are pursuing an aggressive policy?



If the question is whether we want law-based relations, the answer is yes, but only if our national economic and security interests are absolutely respected.



We negotiated WTO accession for 19 years or so, and consented to compromise on many issues, assuming that we are concluding cast-iron agreements. And then… I will not discuss who’s right and who’s wrong (I already said on many occasions that I believe Russia behaved the right way in the Ukrainian crisis, and the West was wrong, but let us put this aside for now). Still, we joined the WTO. That organisation has rules. And yet, sanctions were imposed on Russia in violation of the WTO rules, the international law and the UN Charter – again unilaterally and illegitimately. Are we in the wrong again?



We want to develop normal relations in the security sphere, in fighting terrorism. We will work together on nuclear non-proliferation. We will work together on other threats, including drugs, organised crime and grave infections, such as Ebola. We will do all this jointly, and we will cooperate in the economic sphere, if our partners want this.



Historic Speech in Damascus sends Shockwaves around the World

From the Left: VT Financial Editor Mike Harris, VT Managing Editor Jim Dean, VT Senior Editor Gordon Duff and VT Director Colonel James Hanke.


Last week Gordon Duff, Senior Editor of Veterans Today delivered an Historic Keynote Address at the International Conference on Combating Terrorism and Religious Extremism held in Damascus, Syria. This speech is sending shock-waves around the World.


Gordon Duff was part of a Veterans Today Senior Staff Delegation that traveled to Damascus and was in consultation with the Veterans Today Board and other like minded individuals within the American Military and Intelligence community and other such individuals from sixty-eight different nations around the World who were at the Conference.

This Delegation included Veterans Today Senior Editor *Gordon Duff, Veterans Today Managing Editor **Jim Dean, Veterans Today Director ***Colonel James Hanke, and Veterans Today Financial Editor ****Mike Harris.

Gordon Duff’s speech quickly changed the focus of the whole conference and is now sending shock-waves around the World in the various Diplomatic, Military and Intelligence corps around the World.

Why is his speech Historic? For a number of vitally important reasons. This speech is the first time in history an American Intelligence Team of “non-activists” gave a military briefing to an audience of this type, including key Military Leaders of diverse Tribal Forces throughout Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, along with a Russian delegation and many others from around the world. Before this historic speech by Duff, no one has ever dared to speak the simple truth about the true problem, that it is not Terrorism in the Mideast, but it is the effects of large scale international Organized Crime.
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What American general made sure stockpiles of heavy weapons and ammo would be left in Iraq for the soon to emerge ISIS/ISIL/Daish?



ISIS, also known as ISIL, Daish, Al Qaeda version 2, or Al CIA Duh version 2. How could this group grow so fast and become instantly so well armed and unopposed?

"But even more important, Duff, a noted international Intel and Security Consultant, identified the root cause of United States of America’s dysfunctional involvement in Iraq and Syria and the true cause of ISIS/Daish.

Duff’s speech immediately changed the whole tone of the Conference and turned it to a very practical focus on the true causes of ISIS/Daish.

His speech immediately shifted the focus of the Conference from theoretical discussions of Terrorism and Extremism, to what is actually going on at the ground level at a practical level, who is responsible and why they are doing it, that is stealing factories and torturing and killing civilians, folks that are their people.

Gordon Duff laid out the true cause of ISIS/Daish in simple terms for the very first time anyone has ever done so publicly and this disclosure from such a highly credentialed and credible Intel Professional is now sending shock-waves around the World.

Duff declared that there are far too many that have died to continue speaking in unclear terms and that it was time to share a key hypothesis based on signals intelligence. Then Duff proceeded to explain the True Causes of ISIS/Daish in simple understandable terms which provide the clarity needed to form a sustainable solution.

"Duff explained that what is going on in Iraq and Syria with ISIS is not Terrorism, it is simply CRIME. That is, it is the works of an international Crime Cabal which has gotten control of the American Congress. Yes, this is a large Organized Crime problem that must be understood at its simple root cause.


Duff identified this Crime Cabal as Israeli and pointed out that this is Worldwide Crime on a scale never experienced before.

Duff explained how the illegal Supreme Court Decision of Citizens United made it possible for an Israeli-American Organized crime magnate now operating out of Macao, Sheldon Adelson to essentially buy control of both Houses of Congress in the last election and being able to bring Congress under control of this International Crime Syndicate which specializes in human trafficking and narcotics.

"Duff also identified American Generals McInerney and Vallely as being involved in organizing Daisch along with Senator John McCain.
He also pointed out that Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel [who has just resigned] was the one that prevented the American bombing of Syria in response to the False-Flag gas attack at Aleppo, Syria.

This keynote address delivered by Gordon Duff was historic because for the very first time ever a Top Intel and Security Consultant publicly explained how the problem with ISIS/Daish is not terrorism but is Crime. He clarified that ISIS/Daish is a result of Criminal Behavior of an Israeli based International Crime Syndicate which essentially bought control over the US Congress during the last election.

Here is Gordon Duff’s keynote speech which was historical and is now sending shock-waves around the World.



YouTube - Veterans Today -

It should now be clear to everyone that the creation of ISIS/Daish occurred not because of Terrorism, but because of the undue influence exercised on the American Political system by this Israeli based Crime Syndicate in which a faction inside the American Congress, Military and Intel has been manipulated into supporting the creation of ISIS/Daish.

"It is easy to imagine why Duff’s frank disclosure in his keynote address that the real problem on the ground in Iraq and Syria is Crime and the handy-work of an international Israeli Crime Cabal immediately changed the tone of the conference, and is now sending shock-waves around the World.

This is the first time ever that these issues have been clarified for the Syrian Security Services and Military as well as to Intel, Military and Diplomatic representatives from all over the World.

In days and weeks to follow it is expected that such an Historic disclosure based on hard Intel will change the scope and tone of the discussion about what is really going on in Iraq and Syria on the ground and how a worldwide criminal enterprise is behind it.

There were several sophisticated attempts to sidetrack and derail the VT Delegation and keep Gordon Duff from delivering his Historic Speech. Despite all these attempted interceptions, one of which was directly thwarted by VT Financial Editor Mike Harris, Gordon Duff was able to deliver his keynote address and make history by putting the actual facts behind ISIS/Daish on the public record for the very first time. Colonel Jim Hanke spoke at the Conference also and his talk was very well received.

Jim Dean took numerous films which should prove to be quite important when some are published on VT.

Mike Harris gave numerous interviews to the Syrian Press and met with Syrian Security Officials and the Grand Mufti, the World’s top Islamic legal and theological scholar. These discussions were very productive and did a great deal to further an understanding of what is actually behind the ISIS/Daish crime problem in Iraq and Syria which is nothing more than sophisticated international Organized Crime and must be dealt with as such.

Conclusion:

Obviously Gordon Duff and his team displayed great courage in attending this Conference in Damascus and deserve the highest commendations possible for this fine work representing the true interests of peace for folks with no voice.

When the dust settles time will show this speech will be a major turning point in the Criminal Cabal’s blatant abuse of the American People from their buying and hijacking of the US Congress and some American Generals with deep Intel connections and their abuse of millions around the World in many different nations, especially the Mideast.

No criminal Cabal or conspiracy this large can exist without utmost secrecy, which no longer exists thanks to Duff’s keynote address and complete disclosure. Their crimes are now no longer secret and the “Jig is now up”.


Thanks to Duff the Jig is about up for this International Israeli linked Crime Cabal, some have identified as the International Zionist Crime Cabal (IZCS) which has formed an alliance with the Bush Crime Cabal (BCC) which is now being completely identified all over the Worldwide Internet. It is now realized by many that the BCC was formed when Bush1 ran the Assassination of JFK and rose to power, able to deeply embed his operatives in the CIA, the Military, Congress, the Department of Justice and the Judiciary.

Now if anyone doubts that ISIS/Daish was set up under the Money Power of the International Zionist Crime Cabal (IZCS) operating out of Israel which has now gained Control of the US Congress, consider this. All ISIS/Daish wounded are taken to Israel for medical treatment, all expenses paid and those that can be are returned to Iraq or Syria to attack, torture, murder and asset strip innocent civilians, pretending to be Islamic Terrorists. This is all done in order to create mass confusion and to empower those governments that exist off the spoils of pushing solutions to their synthetic terrorism which is really nothing more than a massive Organized crime operation to make money and accrue more power. How do we know that the Criminal cabal has truly gained control over the US Congress. We now have actual specific evidence which has uncovered the Crime Cabal’s control over Congress through the use of large bribes and threats of assassination.

It is now beyond obvious that the only way to deal with a such a large Criminal Cabal is to indict them, arrest them, fully prosecute them, and if convicted with clearly convincing evidence beyond any shadow of a doubt, then sentence them appropriately. If they have committed Treason, Sedition or other Capital offenses well, then upon conviction in a suitable court of law, US or International, they must be executed like the convicted Nazis from the Nuremberg War trials or the convicted Japanese from the International Military Tribunal for the Far East also known as the “Tokyo Trials” and in other courts in many different places in Asia and the Pacific. About 1,000 Japanese War criminals were executed after conviction and Twenty Nazi War criminals were executed after conviction.

However, it is known inside high level Intel circles and by those who worked closely with OSS agents and operatives, that numerous American Army secret assassination teams were deployed in Europe to bring many uncharged Nazis to instant justice. Some teams operating under Presidential Orders were also deployed to Hawaii and Asia to bring “instant, extra-judicial justice” to many Japanese war criminals that avoided exposure and arrest. This whole Nuremberg Trial and Tokyo Trial process needs to be repeated against the Criminal Cabal and all their kingpins, Top Policy-Makers, political and Judicial puppets as well as all their operative and mass-murderers deployed on the ground as mercenaries for fat paychecks. Those who attempt to flee prosecution can be hunted down to the ends of the Earth if necessary.

And the worst of all this is the ability of the Crime Cabal to use American Generals and a sitting US Senator to start up and run ISIS/ISIL/Daish. This is truly disgusting but there is actually even more to this story. Because the honest faction of the US Military is now targeting some ISIS positions, what we actually have now is a Secret American Civil War being fought in Iraq. And now China has offered military help to the Iraqi government. Unless John McCain is stopped in his rise to become Chairman of the Armed Service Committee, he may be able to exert serious pressure and be able to push America into another War in Iraq (maybe Syria, Iran and the Ukraine too) and his actions could trigger a nuclear WW3 with the Russian Federation and President Putin who has just about had enough.

Hat’s off and Highest Commendations to Gordon Duff and his team of American Heroes who have now set the record straight and had the great courage necessary to publicly disclose, for the very first time anywhere, the true causes of ISIS/ISIL/Daish and have shown it to be a crime problem created by a large international Organized Crime Cabal. Now most of the World Security and Intel Units know the truth that has been hidden from them for many years by excess compartmentalizing and billions of dollars spent by the Crime cabal to control and prevent their access to this information. These Units now know with incredible clarity for the first who deploys synthetic terror, torture, mass-murder and asset-stripping in the Mideast and why. They now know it is being done to further the Crime Cabal’s goals and power.
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Photo with captions from Rense.com

Gordon Duff is the Managing Director and Senior Editor of veterans Today, a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War. He is a disabled veteran and has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades. He is an accredited diplomat and is generally accepted as one of the top global intelligence specialists. He manages the world’s largest private intelligence organization and regularly consults with governments challenged by security issues. Gordon Duff has traveled extensively, is published around the world and is a regular guest on TV and radio in numerous countries. Gordon Duff is a trained chef, wine enthusiast, avid motorcyclist and gunsmith specializing in historical weapons and restoration. His business experience and interests are in energy and defense technology. He is the Managing Director of Adamus Defense Group of Switzerland.

Jim Dean is the Chairman of Veterans Today and wears many hats, ranging from day to day operations to the development, writing and editing of numerous articles. He also has an active schedule of international TV and radio interviews. He has numerous contacts on the ground in the Mideast and provides detailed reports in his articles and on Veterans Today News Reports Radio. Jim Dean is also a member of the Military Order of World Wars, Association for Intelligence Officers, and the Senior Vice President, Adamus Defense Group, Switzerland.

Colonel James Hanke is a Veterans Today Director and US Army Special Forces (Ret.) Colonel Hanke is Former G2 Third Army, NATO Nuclear Weapons Commander, Attache to Israel, A-Team Leader Vietnam, and a Director of Operations, Adamus Defense Group, Switzerland.

Mike Harris is the Financial Editor of Veterans Today, a radio host, a former GOP Campaign Finance Chairman, gubernatorial candidate for Arizona, and a Senior Vice President of Adamus Defense Group, Switzerland. Mike is an expert in full-contact mixed martial arts. His long term expertise in such has gained him a lot of respect and the nickname “Iron Mike”.

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Here is transcript of this Historic Keynote Address by Gordon Duff at the International Conference on Combating Terrorism and Religious Extremist Conference held in Damascus, Syria first week of December, 2014. Gaps are where his speech was translated to listeners.

Gordon Duff: Too many people have died for people to continue speaking in terms that are unclear and just not speaking the truth.

It’s time we simply said what we know, whether it’s classified information or not.
All of you have seen the results of what we’re saying.

What we’re saying will fit what has happened here and what facts you’ve been able to bring out…

Our hypothesis is based on solid information, solid research on the ground, using human signals intelligence from our extensive capabilities.

We don’t guess.

We know what we’re talking about here.

Their motivation is largely economic.

They’re a criminal organization but they are part of a worldwide criminal organization.

And they’re here in your territory, taking your things – your factories, your lives, your people – for the enrichment of a specific group of people who need to be held to account.

It’s almost as though it’s a police problem.

This is crime.

This terrorism you’re suffering is worldwide crime on a scale we have never seen before.
There has never been anything like this.

Gordon Duff: I appreciate your statements and I recognize the truth and honesty of what you were saying but I do believe there are areas of misunderstanding how the United States works politically.

And this is a problem, a tremendous problem in the Middle East and one of the things that’s driven us here is it’s very difficult to understand what has happened as far as Israeli control of American politics and I will, as succinctly as possible, I will explain this to you.

Gordon Duff: In 2005, the Supreme Court of the United States had a decision on a case called Citizens United.
The decision of the Supreme Court legalized unlimited corporate bribery.

This turned control of the Congress of the United States over to human traffickers, narcotics traffickers and in particular, the most powerful individual in the United States today is a gambling boss named Sheldon Adelson, an Israeli citizen who fled the US living in Macau.

He spent over one billion dollars in the last election and bought control of both Houses of Congress.

Now Senator John McCain, the father of al Nusra, the father of ISIS, will be running US legislative and military foreign policy.

Gordon Duff: American generals like General McInerny and General Paul Vallely, specialists in psychological warfare, helped organize Daish.

They have traveled in and out of your country here, Syria, over and over, as had Senator John McCain.

Meeting with al Qaeda – an organization created by the American, Saudi and Israeli Defense Forces and Intelligence Services.

Gordon Duff: Only a week ago, the US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, resigned.

Chuck Hagel was the individual that stopped the United States from bombing Syria over the false flag gas attacks near Aleppo.

Gordon Duff: It was our organization here that supplied the intelligence that stopped those attacks.

Gordon Duff: It’s our goal here, while we are here, to try to establish a method of communication that will allow Syria and other nations within the area to understand Israel’s control of the US, the control of the US by organized crime and how the US government is subservient to a worldwide criminal organization.


About Author
Preston James, Ph.D

Social Psychologist with Doctorate from Major Midwest Big Ten University. Retired after serving the community for over 36 years during which time there were numerous contacts with those associated with Intel and Law Enforcement.

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SOURCE | http://www.veteranstoday.com/2014/12/13/historic-speech-in-damascus-sends-shockwaves-around-the-world/

The Full Paris Match interview of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad | 28 Nov 2014


HIGHLIGHT
Paris Match: Let’s talk about ISIS. Some people say that the Syrian regime encouraged the rise of Islamic extremists in order to divide the opposition. How do you respond to that?
Bashar el Assad : In Syria we have a state, not a regime. Let’s agree on the terms first. Second, assuming that what you are saying is true, that we supported ISIS, this means that we have asked this organization to attack us, attack military airports, kill hundreds of soldiers, and occupy cities and villages. Where is the logic in that? What do we gain from it? Dividing and weakening the opposition, as you are saying? We do not need to undermine those elements of the opposition. The West itself is saying that it was a fake opposition. This is what Obama himself said. So, this supposition is wrong, but what is the truth? The truth is that ISIS was created in Iraq in 2006. It was the United States which occupied Iraq, not Syria. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was in American prisons, not in Syrian prisons. So, who created ISIS, Syria or the United States?
TRANSCRIPT 
Paris Match: Mr. President, three years into this war, and considering how things have turned out, do you regret that you haven’t managed things differently at the beginning, with the appearance of the first signs of the revolution in March 2011? Do you feel that you are responsible for what happened?
Bashar el Assad: Even in the first days of the events, there were martyrs from the army and the police; so, since the first days of this crisis we have been facing terrorism. It is true that there were demonstrations, but they were not large in number. In such a case, there is no choice but to defend your people against terrorists. There’s no other choice. We cannot say that we regret fighting terrorism since the early days of this crisis. However, this doesn’t mean that there weren’t mistakes made in practice. There are always mistakes. Let’s be honest: had Qatar not paid money to those terrorists at that time, and had Turkey not supported them logistically, and had not the West supported them politically, things would have been different. If we in Syria had problems and mistakes before the crisis, which is normal, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the events had internal causes.
Paris Match: Your army is blamed for its excessive use of force during this war. Why are civilians shelled?
Bashar el Assad : When a terrorist attacks you with weapons, how do you defend yourself and your people, with dialogue?! The army uses weapons when the other side uses them. For us in Syria, it is impossible to have our objective as shelling civilians. There’s no reason to shell civilians. If we are killing civilians, in other words killing our people, fighting terrorists at the same time, and fighting the states which stand against us and which support terrorists, like the Gulf countries, Turkey, and the West, how could we stand for four years? If we haven’t been defending the people, we wouldn’t have been able to stand all this pressure. Consequently, saying that we are shelling civilians doesn’t make any sense.
Paris Match: Satellite imagery of the cities of Homs and Hama show completely destroyed neighborhoods; and the United Nations, of which your country is a member, talks about 190,000 people having been killed in this war. Were all the people in those neighborhoods terrorists?
Bashar el Assad : First of all, you need to verify the figures provided by the United Nations. What are the sources of these figures? The figures being circulated in the world, particularly in the media, are exaggerated and inaccurate. Second, images of destruction are not only obtained through satellite images, they are there actually on the ground, and they are accurate. When terrorists enter a certain region and occupy it, the army has to liberate it, and there is a battle. So, naturally, there is destruction. But in most cases, when terrorists enter a certain area, civilians flee from it. In fact, the largest number of victims in Syria is among the supporters of the state, not the other way round; and a large number of those were killed in terrorist attacks. Of course, when you have war and terrorism innocent people die. This happens everywhere in the world. But it is impossible for a state to target civilians.
Paris Match: According to the United Nations too, there are three million Syrian refugees in neighboring countries, what amounts to one eighth of Syria’s population. Are all those allied with terrorists?
Bashar el Assad : No, no. Those who left Syria are generally people who left because of terrorism. There are those who support terrorism, and there are those who support the state but left because of the security situation. There is also a significant number of those who do not support any side.
Paris Match: From a military perspective, do you have the means which enable you to win this war?
President Assad: Now we are fighting states, not only gangs. Billions of dollars are spent on those gangs. They receive arms from different countries, including Turkey. So, it is not an easy war from a military perspective. Nevertheless, the Syrian Army is winning in many places. On the other hand, no one can say how this war will end or when. But the major war for them in the beginning was how to win the hearts of the Syrians; and they have lost this war. The communities which embraced terrorists have become very small, and that is the reason why the army is winning. So, we have to look at this war militarily, socially, and politically.
Paris Match: But they haven’t lost yet, since half your territories are out of your control.
Bashar el Assad : The Syrian Army doesn’t have a presence everywhere, and it’s impossible for it to be everywhere. Consequently, in any place that the Syrian Army doesn’t have a presence, terrorists cross the borders and enter that region. But the Syrian Army has been able to regain control over any region it decided to enter. This is not a war between two armies where you can say that they took a certain part and we took another part. The war now is not like that. We are talking about terrorist groups which suddenly infiltrate a city or a village. That’s why it’s going to be a long and difficult war.
Paris Match: Many people say that the solution lies in your departure. Do you believe that your departure is the solution?
Bashar el Assad :  The president of any state in the world takes office through constitutional measures and leaves office through constitutional measures as well. No President can be installed or deposed through chaos. The tangible evidence for this is the outcome of the French policy when they attacked Gaddafi. What was the result? Chaos ensued after Gaddafi’s departure. So, was his departure the solution? Have things improved, and has Libya become a democracy? The state is like a ship; and when there is a storm, the captain doesn’t run away and leave his ship to sink. If passengers on that ship decided to leave, the captain should be the last one to leave, not the first.
Paris Match: This means that the captain is prepared to die. You talked about Gaddafi. Do you fear facing the same fate and to meet your death like Saddam Hussein and Gaddafi?
Bashar el Assad : A captain doesn’t think of life and death, he thinks of saving his ship. If the ship sinks, everybody will die, so we would rather save the country. But I want to stress an important point here. Remaining president had never been my objective, before, during, or after the crisis. But we as Syrians will never accept that Syria become a western puppet state. This is one of our most important objectives and principles.
Paris Match: Let’s talk about ISIS. Some people say that the Syrian regime encouraged the rise of Islamic extremists in order to divide the opposition. How do you respond to that?
Bashar el Assad : In Syria we have a state, not a regime. Let’s agree on the terms first. Second, assuming that what you are saying is true, that we supported ISIS, this means that we have asked this organization to attack us, attack military airports, kill hundreds of soldiers, and occupy cities and villages. Where is the logic in that? What do we gain from it? Dividing and weakening the opposition, as you are saying? We do not need to undermine those elements of the opposition. The West itself is saying that it was a fake opposition. This is what Obama himself said. So, this supposition is wrong, but what is the truth? The truth is that ISIS was created in Iraq in 2006. It was the United States which occupied Iraq, not Syria. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was in American prisons, not in Syrian prisons. So, who created ISIS, Syria or the United States?
Paris Match: The Syrians we meet in Damascus talk about sleeping Jihadi cells in the West more than they talk about the war against ISIS. Isn’t that strange?
Bashar el Assad : Terrorism is an ideology, not an organization or a structure; and ideology doesn’t acknowledge any borders. 20 years ago, terrorism used to be exported from our region, particularly from Gulf countries, like Saudi Arabia. Now, it is coming to our region from Europe, especially from France. The largest percentage of the European terrorists coming to Syria are French; and you had a number of incidents in France. There was also an attack in Belgium against a Jewish museum. So, terrorism in Europe is no longer asleep, it is being awakened.
Paris Match: The Americans, in their war against ISIS, are tactical allies. Do you still think that their intervention constitutes a violation of national sovereignty?
Bashar el Assad : First, you said that it is tactical, and this is an important point. You know that tactics without a strategy do not produce results, so it will not defeat terrorism. It is an illegal intervention, first because it is not authorized by a Security Council resolution, and second because it did not respect the sovereignty of a state, Syria, in this case. So, it is an illegal intervention, and consequently constitutes a violation of sovereignty.
Paris Match: According to Agence France Presse, your air forces made at least 2,000 sorties in 40 days, and this is a huge number. When your aircraft cross the alliance’s aircraft, for instance on their way to shell Raqqa, do you coordinate or do you have a non-aggression agreement?
Bashar el Assad : There is no direct coordination. We attack terrorism everywhere, regardless of what the United States, or the alliance it leads, is doing. You might find it strange that the number of daily Syrian air strikes against terrorists is larger than that launched by the alliance. There’s no coordination; and at the same time you need to realize that the alliance’s airstrikes are merely cosmetic.
Paris Match: But these airstrikes are helping you, and one reason why U.S. Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel resigned is that he believed that they support your government and your positions.
Bashar el Assad : Don’t you see that this question contradicts the earlier question, in which you said that we support ISIS? This means that we are ISIS’s enemies.
Paris Match: I said that some people say, sometimes, that you have supported ISIS to divide the opposition.
Bashar el Assad : And I didn’t mean “you” by my remark, I meant “those” people.

Bashar al-Assad and Paris Match reporter RĂ©gis Le Sommier© Paris Match
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Paris Match: Since one result of the alliance’s airstrikes, from an American perspective, was Chuck Hagel’s resignation, do you think that the alliance’s airstrikes are helping you?
Bashar el Assad : Terrorism cannot be destroyed from the air, and you cannot achieve results on the ground without land forces who know the geographical details of the regions and move in tandem with the airstrikes. That’s why, and after two months of the alliance’s airstrikes, there are no tangible results on the ground in that direction. And that’s why saying that the alliance’s airstrikes are helping us is not true. Had these airstrikes been serious and effective, I would have said that they would be certainly useful to us. But we are the ones fighting the battles against ISIS on the ground, and we haven’t felt any change, particularly that Turkey is still extending direct support to ISIS in those regions.
Paris Match: On July 14th, 2008, you stood on the presidential podium in the Champs Elysees on the sidelines of the Mediterranean summit. Today, the French government considers you an outcast. How do you feel about that?
Bashar el Assad : The good relationship which extended from 2008 to 2011 was not based on a French initiative. It had two sides: the first was an American effort to make the French government influence the Syrian role, particularly in relation to Iran. The second side was a result of Qatar urging France to improve relations with Syria. So, the good relations with France had American and Qatari motives and were not the product of an independent will. Today, there is no difference since both administrations, I mean those of Sarkozy and Hollande, are not independent.
Paris Match: Francois Hollande still considers you an opponent. Do you believe that you can revive relations with him some time in the future?
Bashar el Assad: The issue has nothing to do with personal relations, for I don’t know him to start with. It has to do with relations between states and institutions, relations based on the interests of two nations. When there is any French official, or French government, seeking mutual interests, we will deal with them. But this administration is acting equally against the interests of our people and against the interests of the French people. As for him considering me a personal enemy, I don’t see the logic of that. I’m not competing with Hollande for anything. I believe that Hollande’s competitor in France now is ISIS, because his popularity is close to that of ISIS.
Paris Match: Are there chemical weapons in Syria today, yes or no?
Bashar el Assad : No. When we announced this, it was a clear announcement, and when we decided to abandon chemical weapons, our decision was final.
Paris Match: But U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry accuses you of violating the agreement because you used chlorine. Is that true?
Bashar el Assad : You can find chlorine in any house in Syria. Everyone has chlorine, and any group can use it. But we haven’t used it because we have traditional weapons which are more effective than chlorine, and we do not need to use it. We are fighting terrorists, and using traditional weapons without concealing that or being shy about it. So, we don’t need chlorine. These accusations do not surprise us; for when did the Americans say anything true about the crisis in Syria?
Paris Match: Have you used chemical weapons?
Bashar el Assad : We haven’t used this kind of weapons; and had we used it anywhere, tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people would have died. It’s impossible for these weapons to kill, as it was claimed last year, only one hundred people or two hundred people, particularly in areas where hundreds of thousands, and maybe millions, of Syrians live.
Paris Match: In your latest visit to Paris in November 2010, I conducted an interview with your wife, Mrs. Asmaa al-Assad. Do you miss traveling outside the borders of your country?
Bashar el Assad : Traveling is not one of my hobbies anyway; and my visits were not for tourism, but for work. What I truly miss is Syria as it was. This is what we miss. And of course we miss the existence of a different world, a world which has logical and moral relations. At that time, we used to have great expectations for the development of our region, for more intellectual openness. We used to believe that France, with its cultural heritage, is the country which is most capable of playing this role with Syria in the Middle East.
Paris Match: Your wife used to consider herself an ambassador of modernity. How does she live in Syria, and how does she feel about what is happening in Syria, particularly that she hasn’t left the country?
Bashar el Assad : Like all Syrians, she feels pain. Both of us feel pain for the destruction and the blood we see in Syria, to see Syria going backwards decades and not years. It’s painful to see the country which used to be one of the top five countries in the world in terms of security become a safe haven for terrorists. It is also painful for both my wife and I to see our belief that the West will help us in our bid for development and openness go in the opposite direction, and what is even worse, to see the West having allies among these medieval states in the Gulf, like Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Paris Match: People describe you as being very close to your children. How do you explain to them what is happening to your country when you return home in the evening?
Bashar el Assad : Of course, this discussion goes on in every Syrian house now; and the most difficult thing in this discussion is when you deal with children whose social consciousness has developed during this crisis. There are two basic questions asked, not only in our family but in many families. The first question: how can people who believe or say they are defending God and Islam kill and murder? This is a case which is not easy to explain, and children ask whether these people know that they are wrong. And the answer here is that there are those who know but make use of religion for private purposes, and there are ignorant people who do not know that religion is good. They think, instead, that religion means killing.
The second question: why does the West launch an aggression against us, and why does it support terrorists and destruction? Of course, they do not say the West in general, they specify certain countries, including the United States, France, and Britain. Why do they do that? Have we done anything to hurt them? We also explain to them that people are something, and states are something else.