Scott Horton Interviews Pepe Escobar

Scott Horton, February 16, 2012

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Globetrotting journalist Pepe Escobar discusses allegations that Iranian assassins tried to kill Israelis in Bangkok, Thailand; why the amateurish operation, and Israel’s history of frame-ups, leads him to believe it was a false-flag attack; the strange bedfellows uniting behind the Syrian opposition, including the Arab League, US, NATO and Al Qaeda; why Syrian religious minorities and the “business class” still support the Assad government; why Patrick Cockburn is right about Syria’s “Lebanisation” and descent into a prolonged sectarian civil war; and the Saudi tanks and made-in-USA tear gas that crushed the protests in Bahrain – and exposed the hypocrisy inherent in US “democracy building” foreign policy.

MP3 here. (29:39)

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving Into Liquid War and Obama Does Globalistan.

An extreme traveler, Pepe’s nose for news has taken him to all parts of the globe. He was in Afghanistan and interviewed the military leader of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance, Ahmad Shah Masoud, a couple of weeks before his assassination. Two weeks before September 11, 2001, while Pepe was in the tribal areas of Pakistan, Asia Times Online published his prophetic piece, “Get Osama! Now! Or else …” Pepe was one of the first journalists to reach Kabul after the Taliban’s retreat, and more recently he has explored and reported from Iraq, Iran, Central Asia, US and China.

36 Responses to “Pepe Escobar”

  1. Pepe Escobar is sitting in Bangkok, so what he says about reports coming from the Bangkok police might be credible.

    He's not in Syria and obviously has NO clue about it. His source (he based a whole article on quotes from this person) is a Syrian Christian, whose claims go against everything that's reported by credible journalists and by people that I personally know. This source sitting in Homs can tell us that almost half of the deaths reported were Syrian police? And that any civilians killed were killed in crossfire? That's absurd! Civilians in parts of Homs (the worst-hit parts) are trapped in their homes, and they're being shelled in their homes, which is why we see the dead bodies of children who were lying in their beds. The people are running out of food and water, and when a man ventures out to try to find bread, there are snipers on the roof to shoot him down. What crossfire?!?

    There are so many points to cover that if I try to cover them, this will be so long that no one will read it. (And I know that the people who believe the hype about the 'GREAT' Pepe Escobar won't believe anything anyway.)

    MANY soldiers have defected from the Army, which makes sense since most of the regular soldiers (not the elite groups) are Sunni conscripts. Others who are coming from other Muslim countries aren't coming because Ayman Zawahiri said so – he has no relevance for them. They're coming because they see what's going on, they see men, women and children tortured and killed, they hear the stories of the refugees who have gotten out. Pepe keeps attaching the name al-Qaeda to the resistance, but it's irrelevant.

    I live in Kuwait, and I can tell you that for weeks, people have been collecting money and clothes to send to the Syrians, talking about it in both social and Islamic gatherings, saying special prayers, demonstrating at the Syrian Embassy here (in fact, some – including Syrian citizens – broke through and got inside), demanding that the Ambassador be expelled (which has since happened), etc. Members of Parliament have travelled to the border, taking supplies to the refugees, and are trying to get inside. I'm sure that's the same all over the Arab world. I have no personal knowledge of this, but I assume that some men from all over are also going there to try to defend the people.

    This statement was issued by 107 Islamic scholars from throughout the Arab world from different schools of thought: http://en.islamtoday.net/artshow-417-4376.htm. For the people that are concerned about Syria, I don't think they even needed this, but it certainly got attention among Muslims (although maybe it wasn't newsworthy in the West because it wasn't from 'al-Qaeda’?). I don't know anyone who cares what Zawahiri says about the situation, but I see that even at antiwar.com now, anyone who supports the Syrian people against their regime (which is much worse than a 'police state') will be labelled as al-Qaeda.

    At a party I went to recently, we all brought old clothes to be sent to the Syrians, we talked about it, and a Syrian woman told us things that she knew personally, including that many of her relatives had been taken and they didn’t know whether they were dead or alive. Does that make us all al-Qaeda terrorists?

    Zawahiri and Hillary Clinton are both irrelevant, and to the extent that your coverage makes them out to be influential, it's ridiculous and shows your ignorance.

    Pepe’s description is like a caricature, where the majority Sunnis are ignorant, violent country bumpkins. It’s ridiculous. I would suggest reading someone like Nir Rosen, who has just spent time in Syria and actually knows something. (See http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2012/02… Sadly, Anthony Shadid just died as he was leaving Syria (not due to the conflict – from an asthma attack).

  2. By the way, many people are also calling for boycotts and diplomatic action against China (not that that would really be possible, since everything comes from there) and Russia because of their votes in the Security Council. If either country is rethinking its stance, it has a lot to do with that widespread public anger in countries where they've traditionally had good relations.

  3. Every day i watch the news i get a feeling that war against Syria is inching closer. All the ingredients are there. The one sided reporting (everything the rebels say is true and everything the government say is a lie), the demonization of the leader, politicians joining in the call for his removal. The only thing that hasn't happened yet is the military buildup. But there maybe reasons to believe that a intervention (at least the type with warplanes and cruise missiles) won't happen this time. There are a couple of reasons why i believe that.

    The first reason is that any war in Syria is going to endanger operation re-election for Obama which is the most important thing for him in 2012.

    The second reason is the Syrian military. This is not the Iraqi military of 2003 or the Taliban military of 2001 or even the Libyan military of 2011. the Syrian military has about 300000 man and in times of war they can mobilize up to 500000 man. Defections so far has been just a few thousands at the very most ten thousand. So the Syrian military remains largely intact. It has 1600 T-72 tanks (more than Iraq in 1991), they have a fleet of 40 to 80 upgraded MiG-29's and have invested billions of dollars in their air defence and have the S-300 missiles system (Russian equivalence of the Patriot missiles system). Above all the Syrians have hundreds of tons of chemical weapons and hundreds of ballistic missiles. Syria's neighboring countries will be very reluctant to host American forces for regime change as that might invite missile attacks with chemical weapons on their territory. So this means that the US would be almost completely dependent on the aircraft carriers. This means relying on the F/A-18. And F/A-18 Hornet/Super Hornet against MiG-29's and S-300 missiles is not as fun as F-15's F-16's and F/A-18's against no warplanes and some SA-2 missiles like in America's previous wars.

  4. The word "boycott" should never be mentioned, because as people get really annoyed with the US empire, the easiest and most effective boycott would be against American companies and products that are on every street corner of most the world today. It surprises me that it hasn´t already happened, but it can´t be far away.

  5. Despite the friendly demeanor of the host and his guest this was a horrifying interview.

    NATO imperialists joining Arab Monarchies and Islamic jihadists to plunge a whole nation into a civil war that could last for decades. What moral ugliness and complete irrationality. How will history judge 'the West's' engagement in what can only be described as a campaign of 'counter-enlightenment'?

    Nominally socialist countries like LIbya, Iraq, Yugoslavia needed to be reformed not destroyed after the fall of the Soviet Union – yet in each country this US & NATO were funding and arming religious terrorists and inflaming sectarian movements. The imperial strategy of police states for the homeland and our allies but anarchy & chaos for any opposition must lead to global disaster. It's one planet – if you transform countries into festering wounds than we all suffer for it.

    Just like LIbya, no one in the corporate media even bothers with propaganda that there will be a positive outcome in Syria and so underneath the thin veneer of the whiteman's burden (or "responsibility to protect' as it is called these days) the grinning skull is easily seen: Let the brutes kill each other.

  6. Luther is so right. This has been the policy of US/NATO/Israel for 25 years now. Empower the jihadists and fundamentalists, and destroy the democrats/socialists/nationalists. Break up functioning states into warring mini-states and failed states. It's all in the "Clean Break" paper the neocons wrote for Likud. And it truly is a horrible, horrible crime, beyond anything the Nazis did, IMO.

  7. Declassified documents show FBI, MI5,MOssad spied on Khalifah Aaed 24×7 since $Birth

  8. The word gamers are back in place! Aslam Alekem khalifaH, can you produce those ‘Declassified documents’ or you just ate at McDonalds again?

  9. Aslam Alekem Al-Agencies! Then Than
    Some of you lost some trillons? England found some see!
    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201212/ldhansrd/text/120216-0002.htm

  10. [...] on the true situation in Syria on AntiWar Radio with Scott Horton on February 16, 2012. Escobar said: “What we have here is the government against an armed insurrection, and in the middle we have [...]

  11. [...] on the true situation in Syria on AntiWar Radio with Scott Horton on February 16, 2012. Escobar said: “What we have here is the government against an armed insurrection, and in the middle we have [...]

  12. @umma Maybe Pepe is not in Syria, and you are not, but this fellow is:
    http://www.voltairenet.org/End-of-game-in-the-Middle-East

  13. Hey is that jfintel, jwish-front-national-league? Seems to me J’s for sometimes been relocating to Canada. Why’s that??

  14. [...] on the true situation in Syria on AntiWar Radio with Scott Horton on February 16, 2012. Escobar said: “What we have here is the government against an armed insurrection, and in the middle we have [...]

  15. [...] on the true situation in Syria on AntiWar Radio with Scott Horton on February 16, 2012. Escobar said: “What we have here is the government against an armed insurrection, and in the middle we have [...]

  16. @Anonymous:

    If Thierry Meyssan is reporting freely from Damascus – for a Russian magazine, no less – then we can safely conclude that he’s a mouthpiece for the Syrian government. Real journalists aren’t allowed in. (Maybe he’s Pepe Escobar’s source!)

  17. Feb. 18, 2012: Tens of thousands of people in DAMASCUS in the streets in support of people who were killed the day before: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JtP0uNK5Ik&sn

    Live ammunition used on the mourners (and all the people whose heads are covered in white are women): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JtP0uNK5Ik&sn

  18. [...] [...]

  19. [...] on the true situation in Syria on AntiWar Radio with Scott Horton on February 16, 2012. Escobar said: “What we have here is the government against an armed insurrection, and in the middle we have [...]

  20. @umma
    The man is damned if he’s in and if he’s not!
    How about arableauges report? I’m not defending Syrian government but you are a fool if you think those whom are fighting it are not stooges of other powers! You are probably a defender of anti-government because you benefit more from it. You have a stake in the out come, no matter how small.
    And that’s just how it is!

  21. One more… just to show that there are more than a handful of protesters – and this is Damascus! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Brz11MBjifA&fe

  22. One more thing, Meyssan is not there on behalf of Russians. Tarpley was also there. Who was Tarpley representing??
    It makes perfect sense that Syrian government do not allow any one in, considering they saw what happend in Libya. Last month Lybian regime used the excuse that they could not do what they had promised cause they did not have any money! The same country under Gaddafi was richer than Italians. What happend to all Libian money ‘west’ froze before the war??
    Will Saudies allow forign jourrnalists? Will Israel allow Presstv. And if US and EU allow that is just cause they have full control over major news agancies. Hell they even make news when needed, remember 9/11 and Oklahoma?
    Come on man! You are not looking at it fairly, and thats ok! But don’t judge others for the same offence!

  23. [...] on the true situation in Syria on AntiWar Radio with Scott Horton on February 16, 2012. Escobar said: “What we have here is the government against an armed insurrection, and in the middle we [...]

  24. [...] on the true situation in Syria on AntiWar Radio with Scott Horton on February 16, 2012. Escobar said: “What we have here is the government against an armed insurrection, and in the middle we have [...]

  25. [...] on the true situation in Syria on AntiWar Radio with Scott Horton on February 16, 2012. Escobar said: “What we have here is the government against an armed insurrection, and in the middle we have [...]

  26. [...] on the true situation in Syria on AntiWar Radio with Scott Horton on February 16, 2012. Escobar said: “What we have here is the government against an armed insurrection, and in the middle we [...]

  27. [...] on the true situation in Syria on AntiWar Radio with Scott Horton on February 16, 2012. Escobar said: “What we have here is the government against an armed insurrection, and in the middle we have [...]

  28. [...] on the true situation in Syria on AntiWar Radio with Scott Horton on February 16, 2012. Escobar said: “What we have here is the government against an armed insurrection, and in the middle we have [...]

  29. Why is an ‘armed insurrection’ not a theme and verboten in US and in Syria is peoples right?
    Because that gives US and her bitches, the excuse to intervene in order to save what ‘in the middle we have [...]‘
    Maybe its time for an insurrection in US so rest of the world can intervene to protect people in the middle??
    Would that work you lying son of bitch?

  30. @umma
    Trust you eyes was somewhat valid in the old days. But in the digital age is not. So do not post youtube videos as evidence. A lot of those are fake! Just like those filmed in Gutter(also known as qatar).
    REMEMBER LYBIA!!

  31. Gaddafi killed 5000
    Last count from Lybia after ‘humanatrian bombing’ (Orwell??) 160.000
    Well done Nato!
    It would be intersting to know Doc Paul’s views on NATO.
    Will he dismember that faul entity?

  32. [...] Independent journalist Pepe Escobar helped shed light on the true situation in Syria on AntiWar Radio with Scott Horton on February 16, 2012. Escobar said: [...]

  33. Is Pepe busy? Maybe he could come on again and tell us how his source says none of this is happening…

    Watch a clip of Marie Colvin here: http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/21/syria

    Then go here to see that she's been killed: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/02/

  34. Why are you even on this site you establishment tool???

  35. HANDS OFF IRAN http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACzYJ9IGlTg

  36. [...] on the true situation in Syria on AntiWar Radio with Scott Horton on February 16, 2012. Escobar said: “What we have here is the government against an armed insurrection, and in the middle we have [...]

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