Syria, Conspiracy Theory, & Antisemitism
Chip Berlet printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Thu Sep 06, 2012 at 09:08:25 AM EST

An international network of conspiracy theorists is pressing their support of the brutal Syrian Assad regime in an alliance with neofascists and authoritarians, including some who peddle antisemitism.

Their attacks on United States foreign policies and criticism of Israeli government policies, fused with their conspiracist mindset, has led them to suggest that the anti-Assad forces are being manipulated as part of a plot to use the “the Syrian crisis to dismantle Hezbollah.”

This is the contention of Franklin P. Lamb, writing on Counterpunch on September 3, 2012 in an article titled “Is the Syrian Crisis Being Leveraged to Weaken Hezbollah?”

The gold standard of this fusionist conspiracy nexus is the “Voltaire Network” which describes itself as founded by “French intellectual Thierry Meyssan,” and consisting of a “web of non-aligned press groups dedicated to the analysis of international relations,” with points of view coming from “diversified political, social and cultural backgrounds.”

Franklin P. Lamb has written for the Voltaire Network, which describes him on an author page as "Lawyer and former Board member of the Sabra-Shatila Foundation ; Director, Americans Concerned for Middle East Peace (Beirut-Washington D.C.) ; Former Professor of International Law at Northwestern College of Law in Oregon."

Thierry Meyssan is a leading international figure among those that claim the 9/11 terror attacks were part of a vast insidious plot by elites, not the acts of a handful of terrorists.  The Voltaire Network includes two former LaRouchite authors, William Engdahl and Webster G. Tarpley; and U.S. anti-imperialist James Petras. Silvia Cattori is a frequent contributor to the Voltaire Network, with a special focus on interviews.

Voltaire Network participants also collaborate in several ways with a broader and more diffuse set of conspiracist networks, mostly visible online Participants in this broader network have held international meetings and attended conferences in the United States. The network, which has no formal name, fuses rightwing and leftwing ideological claims into a combined critic of elite power similar to that of pro-fascist ideologues prior to World War II.  At least one group in the network is alleged to have support from allies of the Syrian government.

The Voltaire Network sponsored a 2005 gathering in Belgium titled the “Axis for Peace,” which included a number of current leaders and supporters of the LaRouche network, including LaRouche’s wife, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, who is the president of the Schiller Institute based in Germany. Christine Bierre, a panelist, is the editor in chief of the French LaRouchite publication New Solidarity, (Nouvelle Solidarité). Panelist Jacques Cheminade is the president of Solidarité et progrès (solidarity and progress), a political party advocating the ideas of Lyndon LaRouche, and candidate for the 2007 French presidential elections. Former LaRouche network staffer Webster G. Tarpley, a panelist, was a major architect and author of LaRouchite antisemitic investigative reports issued in the 1980s.

Christopher Bollyn, a panelist, is described as “an investigative journalist for American Free Press.” That the newspaper was created and run by notorious antisemite Willis Carto is not mentioned. The conference issued Final Declaration that ended up on the Centre for Research on Globalisation website.

See for background:

Voltaire Network

Voltaire Network: Main Authors Page

Franklin P. Lamb, Counterpunch September 3, 2012

The Plan to Destabilize Syria, by Thierry Meyssan

The Lynching of Muammar Gaddafi

Axis for Peace, 2005, “It is Time to Unite and to Ensure Peace: Final Declaration of Brussel's Peace Conference,” November 20, available at Global Research

Voltaire Network,

It's hard to either describe or post a comment on the incomprehensible. I gather they relish thousands of Syrians being tortured and murdered by their own government, but what's their excuse, now?

by Rey Mohammed on Thu Sep 06, 2012 at 08:49:08 PM EST
it seems impossible they can justify the carnage.
_ _ _

Chip Berlet: Research for Progress - Building Human Rights
by Chip Berlet on Thu Sep 06, 2012 at 10:54:26 PM EST

what does the author think of the US's alliance with the Saud kingdom, Qatar, Bahrain all authoritarian and fascist? maybe the author thinks US imperialism is a conspiracist fantasy? who do you think the US is funding and arming in Syria? Salafists who set off car bombs in Damascus, who massacre Shiites, Christians and Sunnis that don't pledge allegiance to ultra reactionary Wahhabi insanity. I guess the author isn't opposed to "totalitarian and apocalyptic clerical fascist movements" when they are armed and funded by the US and its puppet fascist and authoritarian regimes and the full support of the US propaganda system. The author seems to buy the general worldview of the US's elite propaganda system that's in lockstep with US criminal wars of aggression and terror.

by Dylan Hunt on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 03:01:11 PM EST
The vast majority of the Syrians killed by their government are not Salafists, and the vast majority of the opponants of the regime are simply people driven into that position by its insane brutality. Are there Salafists taking advantage of that situation? Surely. Where their funds might be coming from is anyone's guess, but most likely through private entities. Whoever our present administration might fund or arm, it's not Salafists, Wahabis, or anyone connected with a certain incident eleven years ago. As for Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, the funds might be channelled from there. I'd point out as someone with ancestors from the former Ottoman Empire, that when anyone formerly ruled by the Turks begs for them to come back, their present state of governance is parlous indeed. Now, please research this thing more thoroughly, and take that foaming Alka Seltzer out of your mouth.

by Rey Mohammed on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 04:26:51 PM EST
from the New Yorker 2007 "The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda."
I would consider $60 billion US weapons deals with King Saud support for its Wahhabi ideology. The US wages jihad ultra reactionary and racist in character against Libya and Syria coordinated with US protected reactionary tyrannies Saudi Arabia and Qatar. destroying any government that doesn't follow US orders can hardly be described as supporting Human rights, democracy and freedom. The US is the greatest obstacle to human rights, freedom and democracy, but because of the power of the US propaganda system US leaders can seemingly get away with the most outrageous of lies. I wouldn't describe as research your passive absorption of US government demonization campaigns against those countries that it targets in its endless wars. you're highly conformist and subservient to US power. try thinking critically against US war PR.
"George Orwell pointed out, the nationalist will not only find excuses for anything his or her nation does, but will also show incredible talent for never hearing about it."

by Dylan Hunt on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 06:01:46 PM EST
Have you noticed, Mr. Hunt, a certain difference between 2007 and 2012? I would ask you to use your imagination, except you have already done so, poorly and to ill effect.

by Rey Mohammed on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 04:39:20 AM EST

here's a video link to everything you need to know about the US supported FSA. In religious ecstasy they can be seen murdering prisoners that they'd been torturing. In 2001 Berlet wrote "Isn't this a moment the left needs to just say it is against terrorism, and that groups like the Taliban and OsB's networks are not liberation stuggles but reactionary or fascistic movements that we oppose?" maybe he doesn't consider throwing the mutilated bodies of postal workers off buildings to shouts of allahu akbar or executing journalists terrorism. maybe he thinks the moment has past and we can once again support reactionary or fascistic movements in the name of liberation.

by Dylan Hunt on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 05:15:02 PM EST
Is unsourced, unauthenticated, and representative of what? Keep it up and you'll grow up to be David Irving.

by Rey Mohammed on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 04:52:56 AM EST

The fear among Orthodox Christians is that if Assad goes, the Suinnis will take over and the Christians will be forced to leave or be killed.  If the so-called 'Christian West'--which I doubt it actually is that--supports getting rid of Assad and his cohorts, then there has to be some 'guarantee' that the Christian, and by extension, the Muslim and Jewish minorities need protection in the future.

by rdrjames on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 06:30:11 PM EST
Is there some reason why it is more important to guarantee that these minorities are not jeopardized than to halt the plainly ongoing murder of thousands of Sunnis? Is the life of one so much more important than the life of the other that absolute safety for one must be bought with real murders of the other many times over?

by Rey Mohammed on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 04:48:37 AM EST
One of the points of this website is that people from all belief systems deserve basic human rights.
_ _ _

Chip Berlet: Research for Progress - Building Human Rights
by Chip Berlet on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 09:46:20 AM EST
I am honored.

by Rey Mohammed on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 10:18:03 AM EST

There is a vast conspiracy international in scope fascist in character giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

congratulations Boyscout master for shining a light on these shadowy nefarious evil-doers.

by Dylan Hunt on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 06:46:14 PM EST

Dylan Hunt,

You apparently joined this site for the sole purpose of disagreeing with Chip Berlet. But apparently the three hour cooling off period before the priviledge of commenting kicks in was insufficent to prevent you from being abusive.  While you are free to disagree with him or any of us, (happens all the time) when you registered for this site, you checked off the little box that says you have read and understand the terms of service and the site guidelines, which are unamiguous about our insistence about treating each other with respect and civility.  Please get with the program, or your further time on this site will be measured in minutes, and all of your comments will be deleted.

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