On 10 September, His Excellency Bashar al Ja’afari addressed the Schiller Institute, in New York City.
TRANSCRIPT (courtesy of the Schiller Institute):
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for coming on this Saturday, a hot Saturday, humid Saturday, to listen to us. I know that sometimes politics is boring, would bore the listeners. However, the issue is very important. It’s not only about Syria, but it is about all of us. It’s about the U.S.A., it’s about Syria, Iraq, the Middle East, the whole Middle East—the whole world! And we will try to elaborate a little bit by adding to what my distinguished colleague, the Hon. Senator Richard Black has just pointed out.
History has shown to us that lies are not and could not be eternal. We know for sure, nowadays, that many tragic episodes in history were based on lies, meaning they were baseless and without any foundation. I could share with you hundreds of examples about what I’m saying, all of them derived from the UN itself, from the United Nations, where I represent my country. We have indeed too much information to share with you. We could speak about what’s going on in the world in general, or just in Syria, in particular, for hours, if not for days, and you would be surprised, because you have never heard anything of this information I’m going to share with you.
It is a great honor for me to have the opportunity to address this august audience from this podium in St. Bartholomew’s Church in Manhattan. I convey to you my sincere salutes, and best wishes, and I thank the Schiller Institute, and thank you all, for offering this great honor to me and to my colleagues.
We meet today while we all are recalling the tragedy of September 11. It was one of the most sad and grievous days in the whole history of the United States. It also was a harsh and difficult lesson to learn for all nations and governments, that terrorism recognizes no boundaries or identities, and therefore should not be justified, protected, or concealed. I’m saying this, because Senator Black somehow gave some hints about the Saudi links to the events of 9/11. And I will elaborate a little bit on this issue, later on. Fifteen of the nineteen terrorists who did the 9/11 attacks, were Saudis. They were not Syrians; they were not Iraqis; they were not Algerians. They were Saudis.
These same Saudis were formed by what is called, commonly speaking, Wahhabism, which comes from the name of the founder of this school of thought, Mohammad Abdul Wahhab (1703-1792). Abdul Wahhab appeared all of a sudden in the Hijaz, the old name of Saudi Arabia, which is a fake name actually. Saudi Arabia is a fake name of the country, because “Saudi” means al-Saudi, the family of Saud; so it’s as if you were changing the name of your own country to be the United States of Obama. [laughter] So this family stole the name of the country and transformed this country to fit its radical agenda. That happened in the late 18th Century.
The funny part of the story is that this school of thought was facilitated, created, and endorsed by the British intelligence of that time. So the British intelligence facilitated the creation of this radical movement in Islam, on purpose of course,— you know the British, how they act. Nothing is for free. [laughter]
In 1802, the followers of this crazy guy moved toward Karbala in Iraq. In Karbala, they attacked the shrines of the Shi’a Muslims, and in Damascus in 1810 they tried to invade the city, but the Syrians stopped them and defeated them at the walls of the city. Then they retreated and went back to where they came from.
I’m giving you this background to show you that this crazy movement is not a newcomer. It has been there for centuries, a couple of times protected by the British, then by the Americans. It is not because they like them, but it is because their craziness fits those foreign agendas.
Manipulation of Islam
Islam is not about Saudi Arabia. In Damascus, in the greatest mosque in Damascus, called the Umayyad Mosque, in the middle, in the heart of the mosque, which is also the biggest and greatest mosque in Syria,— we have the shrine of St. John the Baptist, inside the mosque. The tomb of St. John the Baptist is in the middle of the mosque, where Muslims as well as Christians visit the tomb, and say their prayers. Senator Black told you about the Mufti of Syria, this wonderful man. Could you believe that his main political adviser is a Christian? The Mufti’s political adviser is a Christian. Only in Syria—only in Syria. This is why we are extremely proud of our secularism. We are proud of what we are, whether we are Muslims or Christians, but we are not ready to become as crazy as the Saudis are. And we don’t share, at all, their concepts of religion.
By the way, what ISIL is doing, and all these fanatic groups operating in Syria and Iraq, those who are beheading the boys, and women, and girls,— they have inherited beheading people by sword from the Wahhabis! Till now, ladies and gentlemen, in Saudi Arabia, after the Friday prayers, they behead people in the public square! Till now! It is not only ISIL! In Saudi Arabia itself, every Friday after the prayer, they behead people, publicly, in the public square, but using swords! So the story is not new. ISIL is not a newcomer; ISIL has been there for centuries, represented by the Saudis. And this is why they are protecting them and defending them and sending them weapons and money.
Most of us in this world believed after that black day of 9/11, that there would be a united international stand against terrorism. We were all optimistic at that time, if you remember, that finally, we will get together to fight terrorists. And that all nations will fight together against terrorists, their supporters, their funders, and their inspirational leaders. Unfortunately, what happened next, was the invasion of Iraq. So if the Saudis attacked New York, the Twin Towers, why go after Iraq, if the main reason was to avenge what happened in 9/11—and we all know, and we all knew at that time, that it was a Saudi conspiracy. Then why attack Iraq? Iraq is a secular country, like Syria. Syria, Iraq, and Algeria are the only three secular governments in the Arab world! Iraq is out the picture now; Iraq has become a hub of international terrorism, after the spreading of George Bush freedom over there. [laughter]
Algeria you know. Algeria was tested before us, in the early 1990s. They sent to them an early Arab spring, but it was defeated—thank God! So, only Syria remains. Only Syria remains; and Egypt, recently. And Egypt recently after the eviction of Morsi, who belongs to the same family of the radical movement of Islam. It is not about Islam; it is about radical movements, pretending, claiming, alleging that they represent Islam, but they don’t.
Islam has become a good business for manipulation. Very good business for manipulation, very good business. Everybody makes business out of Islam very cheaply, and we will try to explain why. It’s not about politics. You are fed up with politics; I am also fed up with politics. It is about geo-political dimensions, rivalries, competition, dominance.
Then we said, what happened next unfortunately was the invasion of Iraq, under the very same pretext of fighting terrorism. That was a funny part of the story: When George Bush invaded Iraq, he said that he was doing that to combat terrorism; and to get rid of the wrongly alleged weapons of mass destruction—again, another lie. You know it. You know it, and let me tell you this story. I’m an eyewitness: I work at the UN and I know what I’m talking about, because I was there—a story that none of you have seen in the mainstream media, as Senator Black said.
Bremer Does the Dirty Work
After the invasion of Iraq, the United Nations, under the pressure of Tony Blair and George Bush at that time, sent what we call an investigation commission, called UNSCOM, headed by a Swede, Hans Blix, a scientist, to find the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The purpose was to show to the so-called international community that the invasion of Iraq was based on facts! There are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and we’ve got to find them and show them to the international community!
U.S. Air Force/SSgt. D. Myles Cullen
So they formed this commission of investigation and sent it to Iraq. Of course, when I say “commission,” it’s about hundreds of people all paid off using Iraqi government funds, the Iraqi assets frozen by the United Nations. Billions of dollars were spent on the activities of this commission, at the expense of the Iraqi people. This commission spent—how long? — from 2003 and even before, up to 2008; in 2008 it was about to close the file, because the lie had become too big to swallow.
So they gathered the Security Council and asked the commission to submit its final report. But the funny part of this story is that this final report doesn’t include any hint that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. But the commission wouldn’t be able to say that “Sorry Gentlemen, members of the Security Council, we haven’t found anything in Iraq.” That would run against the mainstream propaganda spread by George Bush and Tony Blair at that time.
So everybody was cornered in the Security Council: They need to shut down the file! Because it had become too costly, and it is time to put an end to all this story. What to do?
They gathered a meeting of the Security Council—at midnight. Midnight. There was nobody, except the fifteen members of the Security Council. In a few minutes, the president gavelled the meeting to order, and said, “We endorse the report of the commission”—without saying anything—whether they found something or didn’t find something. The issue is dead.
Now: What to do with the archives of the commission? The archives, a big scandal. The Council decided—ladies and gentlemen, listen to me carefully—to put the entire archives in iron cages, fire resistant, with locks, digital locks for which only the Secretary General knows the code. That was Number 1. Number 2: These locked cages will not be reopened until 60 years from now. [Audience groans.] I’m sure you haven’t heard this story. Nobody will tell you this story. This is what happened. This is how they killed the investigation about why Iraq was invaded! And now, none of us in this room will be able to wait 60 years to disclose that a big lie took place at that time. It will be too late to bring those responsible, accountable, to justice. There will be no George Bush; there will be no Tony Blair.
There will be three million Iraqis killed; one million Iraqi widows; millions of Iraqis without fathers; millions of Iraqi refugees in the world. And the whole of Iraq is destroyed!
And, hundreds of billions of dollars—the Iraqi assets overseas—have gone. Evaporated. Like the $800 million of Libya. Nobody knows where this money is. The $800 million—this is Libya alone.
The result of the invasion of Iraq was the killing of millions of civilians as I said, destroying the infrastructure, and having a failed state there. And more important, transforming Iraq into a hub of international jihadist terrorism.
I am saying this because all of the so-called ISIL, all of them, grew up in the American jails in Iraq. All of them. They were taken care of by the American soldiers in Iraq: So they knew them, how dangerous they are, and they didn’t deal with them accordingly. Why? Because Mr. Bremer was insisting on dividing Iraq on a confessional, sectarian, religious basis. The Iraqis lived side by side for thousands of years, until Mr. Bremer came, and found out that they shouldn’t continue like this. We’ve got to divide the country, we’ve got to give a part to the Sunni, then a part to the Shi’a, then a part to the Kurds, another part to the Assyrians, and so on. Doesn’t that amount to saying the Iraqis were duped and stupid for living side by side for thousands of years before Bremer came?
Today, and after six years, my country, Syria, is still suffering from the fiercest terrorist war in the modern history of humanity. This unprecedented barbarian war reflects the bitter fact that terrorism is still being privileged with safe havens, money resources, some well-known government support, and the growth of terrorist ideologies and shelters around the world. Why do I say this? Because it wouldn’t be that easy for a terrorist to leave Sydney, Australia, to take a flight to,— to change the flight three times, get five visas—Thailand visa, Indonesian visas, a Cambodian visa, whatever—and then find himself at Istanbul airport in Turkey. Then, a group of people would come to welcome him upon his arrival, and escort him to the Turkish border with Syria. Then somebody would give him money and weapons, and facilitate his entry into Syria.
Criminals with One-Way Tickets
This is not a tourist! This is not a tourist: This is a terrorist known in advance by the Australian intelligence services, before he left!
Unfortunately, some governments are calculating that, you know, we have this garbage in our societies. Let us export them to Syria. Let us get rid of this garbage by sending them to Syria and Iraq, where they will kill Syrians, and, probably, they might be killed by the Syrians also. But finally, we will get rid of them, because they are a burden on our societies.
The problem started when these terrorists did kill Syrians and Iraqis, but some of them changed their minds and wanted to get back to Australia, Belgium, Paris, London, Germany, the U.S.A., Canada,— and that was a big problem, because the scenario was totally different. This garbage shouldn’t get back, was the idea initially. But they started to get back. And the Western democracy isn’t able to prevent them from doing so. So what was the solution? The solution is, the British Prime Minister, the Australian Prime Minister, the Belgian Prime Minister, the French President, decided to withdraw citizenship from these terrorists if theydare to come back.
What would that mean? That means, you know guys, continue killing the Syrians until you are killed. But don’t ever think about getting back. And this is what’s going on now in Syria. They cannot go back to where they came from, because they lost their rights to citizenship.
Figure out that these prime ministers I have enumerated did not say that if these terrorists get back, we will take them to court; they didn’t say that. We will hold them responsible—no, they didn’t say that. We will hold them accountable—they didn’t say that. So they didn’t say that these people are terrorists. They said, “If you get back, we will withdraw citizenship from you,” meaning, “You are a good terrorist. As long as you continue to kill the Syrians, you are a good terrorist. But if you think about getting back to Paris, Brussels, Sydney, whatever—then you will become a bad terrorist.”
Yesterday, while I was reading your invitation to this great event, many noble ideas stopped me, especially those about a better future for our nations, away from wars and conflict—particularly the words of Friedrich Schiller, the inspiration of the Schiller Institute, and I quote him: “Born for that which is better.”
Unfortunately, again, what is happening up to today in my country, Syria, goes totally against these great human principles. The Syrian people suffer, until this moment, from terrorism which is supported by regimes of well-known countries, such as Qatar, Turkey, France, and Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi family. I don’t need to remind you here of the basic role of the Saudi family in supporting and funding the terrorists who committed the brutal crime of 9/11, as I said at the beginning. But do not forget the dangerous role of their pre-historic religious clerics who still inspire terrorists with ideas of jihad and hatred of other religions and ethnicities, all around the world.
Another story—I’m a storyteller. I was the ambassador of my country to Indonesia, the biggest Islamic country in the world—235 million Muslims in one country. But this country is composed of 17,000 islands; this is why we call it the Malay Archipelago. It’s not an island, it’s an archipelago, a huge number of islands.
I told Senator Black this story in one of our meetings. When I first arrived in Jakarta, I was surprised that every Friday, after the prayer, thousands of young girls and young women gathered in front of the Saudi Embassy in Jakarta. I asked the Saudi Ambassador, “What’s going on, Ambassador? Why are these people gathered in front of your embassy?”
He said, “You know, Ambassador, these people are giving me a serious headache every Friday. They gather all these women who are carrying a baby and chanting slogans, asking for their rights in their local language,” something that I couldn’t understand at that time.
But all these women happened to fall victim in this way: There are Saudi businesspeople and Saudi religious clerics who come to Indonesia for business, for short periods of time,— they spend twenty days, up to one month maximum over there. So because they are so religious, they need to have sex with women in Indonesia. How can they do it? They go to the small villages in Indonesia, of very poor people—extremely poor people, but real, honest people; and they marry young girls, twelve years old or thirteen years old, and their dowry is only $100. So they give the father $100 and the father gives them his daughter, thinking that giving his daughter to somebody coming from the Holy Land of Islam, is itself a treasure.
The guy takes the girl for twenty days, two weeks, three weeks, whatever,— and then he divorces her before leaving, because he doesn’t need her any more!
The girl finds herself pregnant. After nine months, she has a baby, but the baby doesn’t have any father,— so no papers, no identity, and she cannot register the baby! Thousands of young Indonesian women find themselves in this situation every year!
I spoke to the Ambassador: “You should do something. This is bad for your image,— I mean, you cannot go on with this.” He told me, “You know, Bashar, I have at the embassy a person called a religious attaché,” meaning a guy in charge of religious matters, like the economic attaché, cultural attaché, military attaché,— they have this specific position called the “religious attaché.” “And this religious attaché is stronger than me!” This is what he said. “I cannot do anything. I am the Ambassador, but I cannot do anything to stop this hemorrhage.” That was in 1999.
And at that time, the Saudi regime used to spend $3 billion on educating Wahhabi Indonesian imams: $3 billion per year to educate Wahhabi Indonesian imams in the small villages. This is why, unfortunately, nowadays, in Southeast Asia we now have the same ISIL we have in the Middle East,— they have it over there. They did the Bali explosion if you remember, and the series of explosions at the five-star hotels in Jakarta. This is what the Saudis are.
I am Muslim myself, I am proud to be a Muslim, but I have nothing to do with this garbage. Nothing.
We have hopes for the legislation which passed yesterday in the House of Representatives and had already passed in the Senate, allowing the families of 9/11 victims to sue the Royal family—Royal, of Saudi Arabia, [laughter] in the U.S. courts. You know this Royal family, and what they are doing in the hotels in California and New York.
We hope that will pose a new course in U.S. foreign policy regarding fighting international terrorism and holding people responsible. Moreover, this terrorist war against Syria is accompanied by policies of Western states—led by the United States administration and Britain—based on violating international law and the Charter of the United Nations, disrespecting the sovereignty of the country, and acting against the will and interests of the Syrian people.
Senator Black elaborated on this issue, but I would like to add the following: That since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, in 2011, the Security Council endorsed and adopted sixteen resolutions on Syria. Now we have sixteen resolutions adopted by the Security Council on Syria. All of these resolutions start with the following in the Preamble paragraph: “The Security Council reiterates the confirmation of Syrian sovereignty, the territorial integrity of Syria, the political independence of Syria, the principle of non-interference in the domestic affairs of Syria . . .” All of these beautiful Tom and Jerry expressions are in the first paragraph ofeach resolution! And who violates these principles, sacrosanct principles,— the same ones who endorse the resolutions! The same influential people in the Security Council are the ones who are violating these beautiful wordings.
A UN Investigation
Another story. I always tell stories in my meetings, so one day in Geneva, when I was heading the Syrian government delegation to the intra-Syrian talks with Staffan de Mistura, the UN Secretary General’s special envoy for Syria, he called me a storyteller. So the story is the following, and this is a very, very important one.
I will tell you this story chronologically, beginning in October 2012, so you will understand the message. The first attack in Syria using toxic gas took place five months later in Khan al-Assal, a small town in the suburbs of Aleppo, in March 2013. But in October 2012, some of what are called, commonly speaking, “Syrian opposition activists,” formed and established, in Turkey, an office they called the “Office of Documentation on the Use of Chemical Weapons in Syria.” They established this officefive months before anything related to the issue of chemical weapons had happened in Syria. And all of a sudden, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which is based in The Hague, in the Netherlands, gave this non-governmental center consultative status, meaning it endorsed the center as an OPCW consultative body on chemical issues.
We didn’t understand why did it did that, because we didn’t expect that something would happen five months later. Then in March 2013, they attacked Khan al-Assal in Aleppo, using chemical gas, and they killed 18 Syrian soldiers. Of course, CNN wouldn’t speak about it. But 18 Syrian soldiers died of suffocation in this attack.
Immediately Al Jazeera, the Qatari channel, started spreading rumors that the Syrian army used chemical weapons. So the Syrian army used chemical weapons against itself. The Syrian army killed 18 officers and soldiers of its own troops!
Simultaneously, a series of similar attacks took place in Syria. I have the names; you are not familiar with the names, so I will not get into these details. Carla da Ponte, the Italian lady who was a member of the Independent Investigation Committee of the United Nations on Syria, said that the armed groups of the opposition were the ones who used the chemical weapons in the attack against the town of Khan al-Assal in Aleppo. An Italian lady said that; she was immediately fired.
Then we come to the story of the Red Line, President Obama’s Red Line. Because again, after this attack on Khan al-Assal, I got instructions the same day the attack took place—the same day, eight hours after the incident took place—I went myself to the office of the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. I asked him to help the Syrian government in (a) verifying whether or not chemical weapons were used in Khan al-Assal and (b) identifying the perpetrators. This is what I myself asked Ban Ki-moon that day.
The guy was very nice, as you know. He asked me to give him some time to consult with the good guys on the Security Council. So he consulted with the good guys and he came back, two or three hours later, to tell me the following: “Mr. Ambassador, tell your government that I will assist your country with a verification to prove whether chemical weapons were used or not in Aleppo. But I’m sorry, I cannot assist you in identifying the perpetrators.”
From Day One, they knew who did it! But they didn’t want to reveal the identity of perpetrators.
We said, “Yes, you know what, Mr. Secretary General, help us in verifying if chemical weapons were used or not.” It took him four months and eleven days to send us an investigation team, headed by a well known Swedish scientist, Dr. Ake Sellström. It took him and the Security Council four months and eleven days, to send a team to investigate whether chemical weapons were used in Aleppo. You know that with this kind of weapon, the traces evaporate. You cannot trace them after a couple of days; they are not there.
Obama’s Red Line
More importantly, after four months and eleven days, Dr. Sellstrom arrived in Damascus on August 18 and President Obama made his speech and drew the “Red Line”—that was what Obama did his speech on August 20. Dr. Sellstrom was in Damascus at that time, on his way to Aleppo to investigate what happened in Khan al-Assal. He was still at the door of the hotel in Damascus, getting into his car. All of a sudden, we hear that another chemical attack took place in the suburbs of Damascus. All of a sudden, coincidentally, another attack took place in the suburbs of Damascus! That was done to shift the attention from Khan al-Assal to another place, because initially, they didn’t want anybody to investigate what happened in Khan al-Assal. So the best way to do it, was to shift the focus, to create another spot of attention somewhere else!
And who did it? Read the French anchors, Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot, who published an important book in 2014 that covers this matter, The Roads to Damascus: The black file of Franco-Syrian relations, which shows how the Elysée manipulated chemical weapons reports. In this book, they state that the French Minister for Foreign Affairs, Laurent Fabius, was behind this attack. It is a French book—but CNN will never speak about it, will never say anything about it. You will never hear anything about these issues in the mainstream media, because that would corroborate the accuracy of our statements.
Then,— isn’t it paradoxical that Obama gives his warning and draws his Red Line on the 20th of August, and then, coincidentally, the chemical attacks in the suburbs of Damascus take place one day after, on the 21st? As if somebody is trying to say, “You know, Mr. President, they crossed the line. Go and punish them! Go and kill President Assad! The way your predecessor killed Saddam Hussein!” Isn’t it funny? Would the Syrian government use chemical weapons while Dr. Sellström is in Damascus? I mean. . . .
I’m sorry, maybe I have spoken too long. I will sum up. I told you I could speak for hours about . . . [laughter, applause]. I’m really grateful to all of you for giving me this opportunity to share with you some insights from inside, something that you have never heard about. I try my best, as ambassador of my country, to share this information with the media accredited to the United Nations. But you know what? Every time I take the floor next to the Security Council, where there are usually between 50 and 100 reporters accredited from all over the world to the UN as reporters and journalists; when I take the floor, 50 of them disappear instantly! [laughter] Because they don’t want to hear, because they know what I would say; they don’t want to report it. The point for them is, by listening they would somehow be obligated to report,— so the best way to avoid reporting is by boycotting, by not being there.
I am saying this because too many people, too many ambassadors to the United Nations, come to me and say, “You know, Bashar, you are right. Your government is right. We know the truth, but we cannot say it. You can—God bless you—but we cannot say it.” So the mask has fallen. The truth is there. If you dig a little bit, you will find scandals that take place at this United Nations—scandals. It’s not a place to maintain peace and security, it is a place to demolish peace and security, to destabilize societies. It’s very easy, very easy at the United Nations, to destroy a country.
I thank you very much. I still have too many things left to say, but out of respect for the audience, I thank you very much. [applause]
Once more, allow me to thank the LaRouche foundation also, my old friends in New York. They are doing great, actually. And the Schiller Institute, of course, and this beautiful audience. I’m grateful to you. God bless you.