The Arab Americans for Syria and the International Action Center held an “Eyewitness Syria” forum that was filled to capacity Oct. 19 at the Glendale Public Library auditorium in Los Angeles. Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark was the featured speaker, along with panelists Johnny Achi, representing the Arab Americans for Syria; Dedon Kamathi, of the All-African Peoples Revolutionary Party; and John Parker, IAC West Coast coordinator.
Clark and the three panelists recently returned from a fact-finding mission to Syria to counter the lies used as a pretext for U.S. bombing and mass slaughter against that sovereign country. Former Congressperson Cynthia McKinney and IAC Co-coordinator Sara Flounders were also on the peace delegation.
Clark painted a compelling picture of what Syria under U.S. domination would look like. He related the many contributions Syria has made in providing resources for victims of past U.S. wars, especially against Iraq.
Panelists shared their experiences, highlighting the devastation caused by the U.S.-led so-called “rebels” and fanatical religious forces, determined to end Syria as a secular and sovereign country. Parker and the others stressed the tremendous spirit of resistance displayed by youth on Mount Qasioun, putting their bodies in harm’s way to protect Syrian communication towers from U.S. or Israeli bombs, and by hospitalized victims of sniper attacks.
The peace delegates talked with the injured soldiers and community volunteers who have organized armed resistance against the “rebels.” The Syrians have converted schools into housing and health care centers that are dedicated to educating and keeping children safe when rebel forces violently uproot their communities and kidnap their parents and siblings.
Achi reviewed the history of Syria and explained the beginning of the recent conflict, countering the story given by the corporate media to justify U.S. war. He exposed the hijacking of peaceful opposition by the paid mercenaries who used extreme violence to draw the government into war.
Kamathi told of Syria’s role in keeping the region from U.S. and Israeli domination. Kamathi, who has a program on KPFK, Pacifica’s Los Angeles radio station, criticized the sometimes progressive media that parrot U.S. lies and help facilitate U.S. wars against Libya and Syria.
A small grouping supporting the so-called “rebels” tried to disrupt the forum but were quickly silenced by the crowd. Their questions were answered by the panel during the question-and-answer period. Some waved the mercenaries’ flag, which was the old flag of Syria under French domination. Responding to the audience’s anger at that flag, Parker compared it to the Confederate flag, which is a symbol of the enslavement and lynching of African people. He stressed that the old flag represented an imperialist country, which had slaughtered thousands of children.