Skip to main content

WikiLeaks paper shows probable signs that the US was preparing for a proxy war in Syria as early as 2006

The WIKILEAKS Public Library of US Diplomacy (PlusD) holds the world's largest searchable collection of United States confidential, or formerly confidential, diplomatic communications. As of April 8, 2013 it holds 2 million records comprising approximately 1 billion words. The collection covers US involvements in, and diplomatic or intelligence reporting on, every country on earth. It is the single most significant body of geopolitical material ever published. The PlusD collection, built and curated by WikiLeaks, is updated from a variety of sources, including leaks, documents released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and documents released by the US State Department systematic declassification review.


A cable from January 2010 shows probable signs that the US was preparing for a proxy war in Syria as early as 2006.

Despite that, as the cable itself describes, the Syrian government was making some efforts to open its borders to foreign business and investments, the US officials were still unhappy with the Syrian authorities traditional 'habit' to regulate private business activities.

 Image result for usa syria

The cable express the desire of the US to force Syria fully adopt the neoliberal policies, therefore, fully open and deregulate its market in favor of the US companies. Pretexts like bureaucracy, government and public sector corruption are being used. Fully aligned with the neoliberal doctrine, the cable supports even that “labor laws are complex and significantly limit an employer's flexibility to hire and fire employees.” This is a common practice that we've seen by the IMF in all the countries that has 'invaded' and destroyed economically.

There is also a flavor of US intense dissatisfaction for the fact that Syria was cooperating with foreign private capital at the time where the US companies were finding particularly hard to operate in the country due to the sanctions imposed. For example, we read that the Syrian government "awarded a contract to a French-Syrian consortium to operate the container terminal at the Port of Latakia. The tendering process was typically opaque and the winning French company may have benefited from having an influential Syrian partner and an improving political relationship between Syria and France."

Therefore, the only 'solution' for the US capital to escape from this dead end in order to make a dynamic comeback in Syria under its own terms and conditions, was the most common among the US policies: regime change. Such a suspicion can be supported by the fact that, as the cable describes, "since the end of 2006, a number of U.S. corporations, notably in the oil and gas sector, made the decision to divest and cease their activities in Syria.", but mostly by the fact that "the Secretary of the Treasury issued a decision on March 9, 2006 banning correspondent relations between the Commercial Bank of Syria [CBS] and U.S. financial institutions. Although the U.S. Treasury sanction only targets CBS, many U.S. and European banks subsequently cut off correspondent banking relationships with all Syria-based financial institutions."

Finally, it is almost hilarious to read that "the President has designated the Commercial Bank of Syria (CBS) as an institution of primary money-laundering concern.", as if the Western banking cabal is pure and ethical!

Some key parts:

SAA [Syria Accountability Act] sanctions are in addition to restrictions under the Grassley Amendment that prevents U.S. corporations from taking advantage of foreign tax credits for taxes paid in Syria. Furthermore, the President has designated more sanctions under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and Section 311 of the USAPATRIOT Act regarding financial transactions with the Commercial Bank of Syria. As a result, the transfer of U.S. dollars to and from Syria has become difficult, making investments that much more challenging to execute. Therefore, since the end of 2006, a number of U.S. corporations, notably in the oil and gas sector, made the decision to divest and cease their activities in Syria.

In 2009 the Syrian Arab Republic Government (SARG) did issue new laws in the fields of investment, tourism, shipping, arbitration, intellectual property rights (IPR), banking and finance, real estate, and trade that continue its slow and halting effort to reform the country's economy. Continued political instability in Syria's neighboring countries, however, as well as the international financial crisis, discouraged significant foreign investment. [...] Decree No. 8 is designed to enable investors, whether Syrians, Arabs, or foreigners, to own or lease the land required for their projects, and provides for free repatriation of profits, dividends and invested capital on condition that all tax liabilities have been met.

Although government officials had previously stated that no privatization of state enterprises will take place during the current Five-Year Plan, which runs through 2010, in 2007 the SARG awarded a contract to a Philippines-based company to develop and run the small container terminal in the Port of Tartous. Similarly, in 2008, the SARG awarded a contract to a French-Syrian consortium to operate the container terminal at the Port of Latakia. The tendering process was typically opaque and the winning French company may have benefited from having an influential Syrian partner and an improving political relationship between Syria and France.

In addition to the challenges mentioned above, business contacts highlighted the following specific difficulties of doing business in Syria: - The SARG requires import licenses for every item imported, except for raw materials and items imported from Turkey and the GAFTA (Greater Arab Free Trade Agreement) countries. [...] The awarding of contracts is often delayed by the lobbying efforts of influential local business interests and groups. [...] labor laws are complex and significantly limit an employer's flexibility to hire and fire employees.

In June 2008, the SARG issued Law 11 regulating property ownership by non-Syrians. The law's objective is to facilitate foreign ownership of residential property as a means of stimulating greater overall foreign investment. Law 11 was followed quickly by Law 15 in July 2008, which established a Real Estate Development and Investment Authority specifically empowered to encourage investment in the real estate sector. Despite these steps, foreign individuals and companies are allowed to rent offices and residences for a maximum period of 15 years, which is not renewable.

Enforcement of the Arab League Boycott of Israel (dating from 1967) may lead to difficulties in the importation of needed products or in registering trademarks because the government requires additional paperwork certifying compliance with the boycott. U.S. law prohibits companies from providing this paperwork. Anecdotal reports indicate the SARG has occasionally waived its requirement for boycott compliance certification in order to facilitate business with large U.S. companies. As of September 2009, the Syrian Trademark Office is no longer asking foreign companies to fill out an application declaring their compliance with the Arab League Boycott of Israel.

Under the guidelines of the USAPATRIOT Act, the President has designated the Commercial Bank of Syria (CBS) as an institution of primary money-laundering concern. Consequently, the Secretary of the Treasury issued a decision on March 9, 2006 banning correspondent relations between the Commercial Bank of Syria and U.S. financial institutions. Although the U.S. Treasury sanction only targets CBS, many U.S. and European banks subsequently cut off correspondent banking relationships with all Syria-based financial institutions.

In 2006, the government allowed private investors to have access to foreign currency through CBS to finance the import of raw materials. In 2007, the SARG authorized foreign investors to receive loans and other credit instruments from foreign banks, and to repay them as well as any accrued interest from the proceeds of their projects using local banks. In February 2008, the SARG permitted investors to receive loans in foreign currencies from local private banks provided that the loans are used to finance capital investment, particularly the import of machinery and production equipment. Debtors are free to repay their loans from their foreign currency accounts in Syria or abroad or by purchasing foreign currency from the lending bank.

The SARG passed Law 24 in April 2006 which permits the operation of private money exchange companies, provided such operations are licensed. To date, there are ten currency exchange companies and 12 currency exchange offices operating in Syria, although many more continue to operate illegally on Syria's vast black market. Outward capital and profit transfers are permitted to companies licensed under Decree 8. Otherwise, they are prohibited unless approved by the Prime Minister or arranged separately, as in the case of production-sharing agreements with oil exploration companies.

A number of U.S. suppliers and companies have asserted claims against state enterprises for non-payment of goods and services delivered. The government has made an effort since 1996 to settle some of these cases on a case-by-case basis and one American supplier finally received payment in 2002 for goods delivered in 1982. Long delays are common in settling disputes through negotiation and arbitration. In the past several years, fewer investment disputes have been filed or brought to the Embassy's attention as U.S. business activity in Syria has decreased steadily over that period.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Jean-Luc Mélenchon may be Julian Assange's last chance to escape from the brutal Anglo-American fascist regime

globinfo freexchange   The Anglo-American axis has now become officially a fascist coalition, framed by the rest of its Western pets. UK's Home Secretary Priti Patel, one of the most ruthless ever, decided to extradite Julian Assange to US. No surprise of course. The only question we had in mind is "what took her so long?" And the only answer we can think of, is the fear of an angry public response by Assange's supporters and ordinary people. And we should hope for that, during the time of the battle (and beyond) against that preposterous decision. It seems that the decision has terrified not only independent, but also some mainstream media outlets. As if they have suddenly woke up from a great shock, realizing now for good what this decision would truly mean for press freedom. An article in The Guardian is quite characteristic:   Murderers, torturers and war criminals will be toasting the British home secretary, Priti Patel, tonight. Her decision to approve t

How the elites trick clueless politicians and rob you in broad daylight using the inflation scare

failed evolution   The sequences of the utter fraud:   Money overflow throughout society -> starts losing value -> financial crisis happens -> big banks and corporations dictate bailout programs for them, austerity and cuts for the rest of the society through their corrupted political puppets -> new and existed money is exclusively directed back to them -> starts re-gaining value -> crisis ends -> clueless politicians are happy because they managed to "control inflation" -> people lose homes, jobs, incomes and suffer   Other crisis happens -> prices soar in vital goods and services -> big banks and corporations dictate governments to freeze salaries using the inflation scare -> money value remains high with rising trends -> huge profits for big banks and corporations through soaring prices, tax cuts and subsidies -> crisis ends, prices stabilized -> clueless politicians are happy because they managed to "control inflation"

A history of naked imperialism continues as Biden approves Somalia redeployment

Biden has reversed Donald Trump’s withdrawal of US forces from Somalia and will redeploy Special Operations Forces. It is just the latest move in a long history of destructive US-UK meddling in the Horn of Africa.    by TJ Coles   Part 3 - The US and UK wage proxy war on the ICU, infiltrate the movement with Al Qaeda extremists   The attacks of 9/11 in 2001 provided the George W. Bush administration an excuse to sanction Somali banks, even though the 9/11 Commission cleared the banks of wrongdoing. Since then, Somalia has become a testing ground for the imposition of cashless societies. Convinced that the more right-wing elements of the ICU were “al-Qaeda” fronts, the Joint Special Operations Command and CIA operated covertly in Somalia. Failing to destroy the ICU from within, the US and Britain backed an opposition government in exile comprised of Ethiopian and other warlords. In December 2006, Ethiopia invaded Somalia as a US-British proxy war. Hundreds of thousands of Somalis fled t

“A historic sham”: Zelensky’s speech to Greece’s parliament sparks national outrage, opens WWII-era wounds

By inviting an Azov fighter to address Greece’s parliament, Zelensky opened the country’s historic wounds and triggered angry demonstrations that have shaken its pro-US government.   by TJ Coles   Part 8 - Anti-NATO protests and massive public opposition to arming Ukraine shake Greek government   In October 2021, Greece and the US amended their Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement to “ deepen[] and expand[] on [their] partnership to maintain strong, capable, and interoperable militaries. ” Soon after, Greek media reported: “ A large number of helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles …, tanks, cannons, and artillery are expected to reach the Greek port near the border with Turkey in the weeks to come as part of an extensive military shipment that is of unprecedented scale. ” From Bulgaria and the German-based 21st Theater Sustainment Command, the US sent by rail forty-four M117 Guardian Armored Safety Vehicles to Greece, which arrived in November. The “Safety” epithet is propaganda. Jane’s

Operation Surprise: leaked emails expose secret intelligence coup to install Boris Johnson

Leaked emails reviewed by The Grayzone reveal possibly criminal plot by pro-Leave elites to sabotage Theresa May’s Brexit deal, infiltrate government, spy on campaign groups, and replace May with Boris Johnson. by Kit Klarenberg       Intelligence cabal infiltrated UK civil service thanks to “centrally placed mole”     Ex-MI6 chief Richard Dearlove pitched espionage operations targeting civil service and campaign groups     Fake Democratic Party fronts run by CIA veterans were proposed to infiltrate pro-Remain groups     Cabal sought to spy on and disrupt Prime Minister’s top Brexit negotiator     Shadowy billionaires funded effort in total secret     Dearlove claimed credit for influencing government policy on Huawei     Cabal now seeking to remove Boris Johnson     These efforts could amount to charges of TREASON  Part 3 - The cabal’s “centrally-placed mole in the civil service” leaks No. 10’s secret “warplan,” exposes official secrets behind nom de plume   On September 21st 2018, th

Day 1160: Julian Assange still in prison and under slow-motion execution by the Anglo-American imperialist criminals

failed evolution   On 11 April 2019, the Ecuadorian government of traitor Lenin Moreno, invited the Metropolitan Police into the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and they arrested Julian Assange . Since then, Assange is kept in Belmarsh high security prison in London, without actual charges.   The real reason world's number one political prisoner is still kept in this high security prison, is because he exposed horrendous war crimes carried out by the US imperialists and their allies.   The ruthless Western imperialist regime wants to punish the No1 real journalist in the world and make him an example for any Whistleblower or real journalist who will attempt to expose its big crimes in the future.   That Assange, who is in precarious physical and psychological health and who suffered a stroke during court video proceedings, has been condemned to death should not come as a surprise. The ten years he has been detained, seven in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and three in the

It’s always the right time to call George W. Bush a war criminal

If George W. Bush is not going to stand trial for war crimes, he should at the very least stop appearing in public to weigh in on unjustified wars, as he did this week when he accidentally referred to the “wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq.”   by Chip Gibbons    Part 3 - The War That Never Ended   The Iraq War may be Bush’s most monstrous crime, but it is far from his only one. Bush’s entire political career was built on death. As governor of Texas, Bush set records by presiding over 131 executions. His reputation for bloodthirstiness was parodied after his election in a Saturday Night Live sketch in which Bush told the defeated Al Gore, “ Maybe I’ll start a war. Wars are like executions supersized. ” After Nixon’s fall from grace, the nation underwent a reckoning with the larger abuses of the security state. (Obama, in the signature accomplishment of his administration, made sure no such reckoning proceeded for Bush). Almost immediately after these reforms were made, the

Paul Mason’s covert intelligence-linked plot to destroy The Grayzone exposed

Leaked emails reveal British journalist Paul Mason plotting with an intel contractor to destroy The Grayzone through “relentless deplatforming” and a “full nuclear legal” attack. The scheme is part of a wider planned assault on the UK left.   by Kit Klarenberg and Max Blumenthal Part 1 A former Trotskyist and BBC journeyman, journalist Paul Mason has made a career as the establishment’s favorite gatekeeper of the UK left. Since the Russian military incursion into Ukraine, he has cemented his position as one of Britain’s most vocal “left” cheerleaders for Western military intervention. While leading a “U.K. left” delegation to Kiev and a demonstration through the streets of London in support of NATO military escalation against Russia, Mason has accordingly used his platform to assail journalists, academics, Labour party members and private citizens who oppose shipping piles of advanced weaponry to Ukraine.  In a series of recent columns, Mason called for the state-enforced suppression o

World-controlling Bilderberg Group meeting discovered by journalists

The Jimmy Dore Show   The highly secretive Bilderberg Group met in person for the first time since the pandemic, taking up and cordoning off the entire Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington DC to plan world domination while refusing to allow access to any of the plebes whose lives they’re planning or journalists who might cover the proceedings. Jimmy Dore and his panel consisting of The Grayzone ’s Max Blumenthal and American comedian Kurt Metzger discuss the shadowy organization’s plans and just why the mainstream media chooses to ignore this meeting of some of the world’s most powerful people.  

Today, Colombia votes on a shift to the Left

Colombia heads to the polls today to reject the far-right politics of Iván Duque and Álvaro Uribe and assert that the average Colombian is much more progressive than the traditional politicians who represent them.   by  Luciana Cadahia / Tamara Ospina Posse    Part 2 - The Fog of War   Colombian and international media have played a leading role in portraying the Colombian people as politically conservative. That was the message delivered by news agencies when, in 2016, the peace accord between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Colombian government was shockingly voted down in a nationwide plebiscite. The subsequent victory of the pro-Uribe candidate Iván Duque Márquez in the 2018 presidential election was seen as confirmation of the narrative that Colombians tend to vote conservative. That media account obscured several key facts. Then president Juan Manuel Santos disdained the average Colombian, and his government made little effort to explain to them what was