Summary: Serious accusations targeting the Syrian government (for having discarded, on purpose, poliomyelitis vaccination campaigns in those areas occupied by the armed gangs) come from various sources: the doctors of the so-called “opposition” in the USA (Wasim MAZIAK, head of the US-“research” centre on tobacco in Aleppo, in particular); their “active” colleagues in Lebanon (mainly inside the US-American University of Beirut) and in the UK (Adam COUTTS, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, here associated with the Lancet journal). And as if such a war were not enough, the same protagonists are involved in a concurrent war on a trivial peaceful object particularly associated with the daily life of Middle East culture.
ملخص باللغة العربية: اتهم أطباء من “المعارضة” السورية في الولايات المتحدة ألأمريكية و في طليعتهم وسيم مزيك من المركز الأمريكي السوري لل”أبحاث” عن التدخين الموجود في حلب, و زملائهم “الناشطون” جدا في لبنان (الجامعة التابعة للولايات المتحدة الأمريكية في بيروت) والمملكة المتحدة (آدم كوتس من مدرسة لندن للصحة والطب الاستوائي بالتعاون في هذا الظرف مع المجلة الطبية “اللانسيت”), اتهم الحكومة السورية باتهامات خطيرة مثل اهمالها المفترض المتعمد في تلقيح الأطفال ضد الشلل (شلل الأطفال) في المناطق المحتلة من قبل المجموعات المسلحة. وكما لو لم تكن هذ الحرب كافية، يشن نفس الأشخاص في نفس الوقت حربا أخرى موازية ضد عادة شعبية تقليدية سلمية معروفة بتمييزها الخاص للحياة الثقافية اليومية في الشرق الأوسط
Résumé en français: Les récentes accusations, graves, contre le gouvernement syrien (d’avoir volontairement négligé la vaccination contre la poliomyélite des populations se trouvant dans les territoires occupés par les bandes armées) émanent de médecins de l’«opposition» syrienne aux USA (Wasim MAZIAK, du centre US-Syrie de «recherche» sur le tabac situé à Alep, en particulier) et de leurs collègues particulièrement «actifs» au Liban (US-American University of Beirut) et au Royaume Uni (Adam COUTTS, de la London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, associé en l’occurrence avec le journal The Lancet). Et comme si une guerre ne suffisait pas, les mêmes acteurs sont simultanément impliqués dans une guerre parallèle contre un objet banal et pacifique de la culture quotidienne du Moyen Orient…
Even if the Syrian geopolitical thriller may seem difficult to approach for many, it can be easily summarised by the famous Arab saying: “When the cow is about to die, many knives arise” (‘indama tasqut al-baqara, takthur sakakinuha)… Anyone who is not a doctor and, to make things more difficult, does not even have the least scholarly grasp of the Middle East, will find it uneasy to understand a situation characterised not only by war but also, at the same time, by complex health and “public health” issues (*). Understandingly, such an individual will be easily deceived by many so-called “experts”.
For instance and as a blatant contribution to the global psychological war on Syria, the Lancet (a medical journal in the United Kingdom) has recently published papers by the Editors themselves and Syrian doctors of the so-called foreign “opposition” mainly based in the USA [1-3]. Unsurprisingly, the content of the materials, which are published in parallel with the Geneva Talks, leaves no doubt that the objective was to ratchet up pressure on the Syrian legal government (*). The Lancet is convinced that the latter, for three years now, is waging a war on civilians and that the macabre “contribution” of the armed gangs in this respect (*) would be much less important . With an amazing spearing style, the Lancet editors blindly endorse statements by Human Rights Watch about chemical attacks last summer, feigning to ignore the unethical way the same international organisation covered a similar “scenario” during the recent NATO-led war on Libya.
“[M]ost civilian deaths have resulted from government attacks as part of a deliberate military strategy […] The horrific sarin attack in Ghouta, an opposition-held suburb of Damascus, in August, 2013, is one example. Hundreds of civilians were killed, including many children […] Syrian troops have used ballistic missiles, rockets, artillery shells, cluster bombs, incendiary weapons, barrel bombs, and regular aerial bombardment in heavily populated opposition-held territory, including targeted attacks on functioning medical facilities, schools, and other civilian structures […] The group also investigated nine apparent ballistic missile attacks in 2013 that killed at least 215 people, including 100 children. No military targets were struck in the attacks and, in seven of nine cases investigated, there were no signs of any apparent military targets in the vicinity”.
And as if the above serious accusations were not enough, and previous ones about the purported systematic rape of women mainly attributed to soldiers of the Arab national army , the Lancet editors then openly charge the Syrian government with cynical criminal calculations by supposedly delaying or cancelling poliomyelitis vaccination campaigns in the very areas controlled by armed gangs. They cite a paper authored, among others, by Adam COUTTS, Fouad FOUAD and Wasim MAZIAK . These interesting individuals are respectively affiliated with the:
-UK London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine;
-US-American University of Beirut;
-US-Syrian Centre for Tobacco Studies (premises in Aleppo although managed from abroad in the US).
Their affiliations have been highlighted above because the two first ones (COUTTS and MAZIAK) recently published an article in a public health journal in which they give an amazing (although criminal) version of the ““Arab Spring””. Indeed, they did go so far as downplaying (by up to 12 times…) the number of deaths actually caused by the US invasion and occupation of Iraq (100 to 200,000 instead of 1,5 million lives). This, together with other startling statements appearing in a so-called “scientific” journal can be described as NATO hagiography or a new form of epidemiology, a macabre one indeed: NATO wars epidemiology [4-5].
Peace activists know that it is often vain to react to huge lies spread on a global scale thanks to modern technologies (and this is one of the foundations of any modern psychological war). However, the response from the WHO Office in Syria (supposed to be in agreement with the local Ministry of Health’s views), clearly debunked the claims. Interestingly, it came heralded by a highly relevant quotation from Aeschylus (525-456 BC): “In war, truth is the first casualty”… The authors (Bruce AYLWARD and Ala ALWAN) diplomatically criticise the lies (actually criminal ones; this is the least one can say) disseminated by COUTTS, MAZIAK and other doctors of the so-called foreign “opposition”, not to mention the usual media beating drums such as Reuters and Der Spiegel:
“These challenges have been compounded by erroneous allegations that—rather than doing everything possible to protect all Syrian children and the huge international investment in global polio eradication—UN agencies, and WHO in particular, had “blocked a vaccination campaign”, were “obstructing the testing of polio samples”, and by extension disregarding fundamental humanitarian principles”.
As if the War on Syria Were Not Enough…
On the same day (1st of Feb 2014), the Lancet simultaneously published a paper calling to resume a concurrent war on another global threat for the free world: the Middle East Peace Pipe. The renewed self-righteous crusade (in the name of “public health” and bearing a war code for one decade now: ««waterpipe»» in one word) is namely launched by Rima NAKKASH, Rima AFIFI and Wasim MAZIAK .
(Caption: The man, who could in theory be fined for smoking the Middle East Peace Pipe, is reading “The Thawra” (literally: Revolution…) newspaper. The credit goes to Hugh McLeod, the photographer of Al-Jazeera who, by the time the photo was taken, probably wished to hint at the possibility of a “revolution” in Syria… The ban on smoking was based on pseudo-scientific reports prepared by the US-Syrian “research” centre in Aleppo. The latter, directed by Wasim Maziak from Miami (Florida, USA), is now known for its suspect activities.
As before, it is interesting to remind the respective affiliations of these individuals: US-American University of Beirut for the two Rima-s and US-Syrian Centre for Tobacco Studies for Maziak. The US-American University of Beirut is an institution unduly viewed in the Middle East as “untouchable”. Partly because of the imperialism of the English language, and certainly out of fear (totalitarianism), most doctors of the region will not publicly acknowledge that it is actually the hub and laboratory where almost all “public health” policies of the Arab world are designed. The annual reports (from the World Health Organisation (WHO) or even the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)), are quite often prepared by US-AUB staff who also are the main authors of biased research articles and offer “public health” trainings and stand behind many other “public health” initiatives; etc. The politicised end-materials are then disseminated to all governments through the national bureaux of the WHO. Entire sectors of the latter UN organisation are actually occupied or under the ideological control of the US-American University of Beirut . The US-AUB multiform interventions in this field are actually disguised diktats imposed to the Arab world by lesson-givers as NATO epidemiologists COUTTS and MAZIAK, counting, behind their computers in Miami or London, the deaths caused by their praised “Arab Spring” [4-5]…
The paper authored by the US-Lebanese and US-Syrian organisations (Nakkash et al ) actually calls weak governments (or those resisting the “international community” “consensus” for some of them) to bow to the new world agenda: that of the planned world prohibition of tobacco (sort of modern version of the Prohibition of Alcohol at the beginning of last century in the USA). The project is motivated by huge financial interests since pharmaceutical companies (funding more or less 80% of the so-called “research” hyping or inventing hazards of human behaviours) are commercialising such (inefficient) gadgets as nicotine “replacement” products (gums, inhalers, patches, etc.).
However, such a global agenda has been delayed because of the unexpected emergence of an unpredictable pre-“Arab Spring” actor: namely, the Middle East Peace Pipe… Looking at the official logo of the US-Syrian “research” centre in Aleppo is enough to understand what is at stake (since it clearly targets the peace pipe itself and not a cigarette…)[10-11]. In “diplomatic” hypocritical terms (as in the paper accusing the Syrian Government of refusing to vaccinate children), the new alarmist Lancet paper calls on “parties” of the so-called FCTC (Framework Convention for “Tobacco “Control”””) to abide by its contents. Few people know that the FCTC is actually an absolutely evidence-less based totalitarian “treaty” cooked by Maziak and his colleagues of the Globalink secret society with the support of huge funding (from the pharmaceutical industry), countless conferences and media propaganda (*)[10-11]. If It has been ratified by a majority of States, this is simply because high officials have been deceived by the officials of their own Ministries of Health who generally take as Gospel Truth the “public health” recipes designed by the US-American University of Beirut. Even the Syrian president, who is a doctor himself, was deceived by Maziak and his US-Syrian “research” centre in Aleppo when –after trusting the latter’s claims- he decided to edict a ban directly targeting the Middle East Peace Pipe. The same goes for the Lebanese ban on smoking for which the US-AUB even organised an “ovation” (sic) meeting … Finally, a good comparison that many peoples of the region will easily understand is to be made with the propaganda disseminated by the local agents of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) in many sovereign states.
The author is a researcher in medical anthropology. His work primarily focuses on the Middle East region. He has lived a short time in Syria and travelled there many times long before the country was targeted on a global scale.
 The war on Syrian civilians. The Lancet 2014 (1 Feb); 383 (9915): 383. Doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(14)60134-3
 Violence against women in Syria. The Lancet, 382 (9908), 1858, 7 Dec 2013 Doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(13)62612-4. On the 7th of past December, the Lancet also wrote: “Read also how the Syrian Army would rape in a systematic way: “It confirms previous reports that rape is used as a weapon of war in Syria, with rapes occurring in three major situations—at checkpoints, detention centres, and during military raids. Shockingly, it notes that an estimated 6000 women have been raped since the conflict began”…
 Sahloul Z, Coutts A, Fouad FM, Jabri S, Hallam R, Azrak F, Maziak W. Health response system for Syria: beyond official narrative. Lancet 2014 (1 Feb); 383 (9915):407. Doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(13)62558-1. Online 21 Jan 2014
 Adam Coutts, David Stuckler, Rajaie Batniji, Sharif Ismail, Wasim Maziak, Martin McKee. The Arab Spring and health: two years on. Int J Health Serv. 2013;43(1):49-60. http://dx.doi.org/10.2190/HS.43.1.d Author copy can be retrieved from: http://www.adamcoutts.com/uploads/1/3/2/6/13265243/ijhs_finalproof_feb2013.pdf
 Open Letter to Wasim Maziak, Syrian Political Opponent and Head of the US-Syrian «Research» Centre in Aleppo (US-SCTS) [Lettre ouverte à Wasim Maziak, opposant politique syrien et directeur du centre « de recherche » USA-Syrie à Alep (US-SCTS)]. Tunisie-Secret, 7 Sep 2013
 Aylward B, Alwan A, Polio in Syria. The Lancet, Early Online Publication, 31 January 2014. Doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(14)60132-X
 Reuter C. An apolitical virus: strife fuels polio’s return to Middle East. Der Spiegel, Nov 21, 2013.
 Coutts AP, Fouad MF. Syria’s raging health crisis. The New York Times, Jan 1, 2014.
 Nakkash R, Afifi R, Maziak W. Research and activism for tobacco control in the Arab world. Lancet 2014 (1 Feb); 383 (9915):392 – 393. Doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)62381-8. Online 20 Jan 2014
 Ten Post-11/9 Great Myths about the Middle East Peace Pipe. 12 May 2012
« Independent Syrian experts are likely right to say that the ongoing pseudo-revolution there (17 months now) is meant, not only to achieve macro objectives in the region but, also, in the end, a certain lifestyle (all independent travellers knowing Syria will understand): the simplicity of daily life, its low cost, Middle East sociability best expressed by Syrian coffee-houses and patios with their gurgling narghiles, etc… What is at stake is the repeated intent, begun in Iraq, to implement the US Great/New Middle East Project at all levels: from the political hyper-structure to the socio-cultural aspects. In the view of their designers and their men in the region, the “Arab way of life” must be shattered thanks to the emergence of a consumerist society essentially based on competition.”
 Prohibition through the Hookah Looking Glass. Speech delivered at the second world conference of TICAP (The Tobacco International Coalition Against Prohibition)(Theme: “Are Guests Welcome? Prohibition and the Hospitality Industry”). 15 Mar 2010. Nieuwspoort; The Hague, The Netherlands. http://tinyurl.com/blr564l
(*) Notes (important warnings about the vocabulary)
Against a tragic backdrop and a prevalent puritan British-English based trend based on understatements, the author calls here a spade a spade and:
-a “war” a “war”, not another trivial “conflict”;
-“media propaganda”, “media propaganda” and not “media coverage” or even “media advocacy”;
-“armed gangs”, “armed gangs” and certainly not “revolutionaries” or even “rebels”. This is no secret for anybody, now, that the latter are directly sent sophisticated weapons by the US and some European States and, indirectly, through well-known corrupted regimes of the gulf region.
In the same vein, the author generally puts quotation marks when using the words “opposition” or “opponents” in such a context.
The opposition, true opposition, in Syria is real but it is certainly not where most of the people look at…