- Syria remains the region's only independent secular state.
Washington aims to replace its regime with a client one.
- Libya's model was replicated. Months of externally generated
violence followed. So far it's short of war. For how long is uncertain.
Obama can't wait to wage another one to keep ravaging the world one country
at a time.
- Months of violence, sanctions and isolation have taken
a toll. Deaths mount. No one knows how many. Western media reported numbers
come from opposition forces, not independent observers. Nothing they say
- Assad's government says 2,000 security forces have been
killed. "Terrorist gangs" are blamed. Whatever the actual number,
they've been many. Heavily armed insurgents are responsible. Conflict resolution
- Syria's economy deteriorates steadily. In 2011, its GDP
collapsed 30% - from around $55 billion to $37 billion. Its currency also
plunged from 47 to 62 to the dollar. Basic goods and services are in short
supply. Heating and cooking oil are scarce. Electricity is on and off.
- Assad's regime is weakening. National institutions are
eroding. Opposition forces are locally organized. Neighborhood committees
and armed groups were formed. At issue is usurping state power despite
divisions of strategy, especially over peaceful or violent conflict resolution
and pro or con advocacy for outside intervention.
- After months of turmoil, heightened fear prevails. On
December 23, Syrian state television reported two suicide car bombings,
the first ones in Damascus since conflict began. Kfar Sousa district was
targeted. It's where state security and intelligence facilities are located.
Heavy gunfire followed. Syria reported 40 or more killed and 100 wounded.
- The attacks came a day after 60 Arab League observers
arrived. They're an advance monitoring team with hundreds more to come.
Whether they'll help or hurt is uncertain. More on that below.
- Their mission will last a month unless renewed. It wants
all security forces withdrawn from urban areas and detainees released.
Nothing is said about heavily armed insurgent terrorists doing much of
the killing. Conflict resolution depends on stopping all of it equitably.
- Of concern is that monitors are a step short of occupation.
It's reminiscent of events preceding NATO's 1999 Serbia/Kosovo war. In
March 1999, Slobodon Milosovic got an unacceptable ultimatum, the so-called
Rambouillet Agreement. It was a take-it-or-leave it deal no responsible
leader would accept.
- It involved surrendering Serbia's sovereignty to NATO
occupation with unimpeded access throughout the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
(FRY), including its airspace and territorial waters. Moreover, NATO demanded
use of areas and facilities therein for its mission, irrespective of FRY
- It also required Milosevic's full cooperation. It was
an offer designed to reject. War, mass destruction and slaughter followed.
Serbia's sovereign Kosovo territory was lost. It's now Washington/NATO
occupied territory, run by Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, an unindicted drug
trafficker with known organized crime ties.
- Washington, Israel, and key NATO partners have similar
designs on Syria. War's perhaps planned. Pro-Western Arab League despots
supported NATO's Libya war, mass slaughter and destruction. At the same
time, they ignore ongoing atrocities in Bahrain, Yemen, Somalia, Palestine,
elsewhere in the region, and internally.
- Calls for military intervention are increasing. In late
November on CNN's State of the Union, former Secretary of State Condoleeza
Rice accused Assad of "driving his country to the brink of civil war.
(He's) no friend of the United States."
- "Syria is the handmaiden of the Iranians throughout
the region and so the fall of (Assad) would be a great thing not just for
the Syrian people....but also for the policies of the United States and
those who want a more peaceful Middle East."
- She also called for tough sanctions, isolation and intervention,
adding that if Russia and China won't agree, "then we (and allies)
have to do it on our own." Stopping short of suggesting war, the implication
- A Syrian National Council (SNC) was established. It's
similar to Libya's puppet Transitional National Council (TNC). Originally
formed in 2005, it was revived on August 23, 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey.
It represents Western-backed internal opposition elements against the rights
and interests of most Syrians.
- It called for a Libyan-style no-fly zone and foreign
intervention. It supplies intelligence to Washington and other Western
nations. If unconventional tactics fail, stepped up violence and war remain
- Since early 2011, NATO countries used regional bases
to provide anti-regime support. Saudi Arabia, Lebanon's March 14 alliance,
Turkey, Jordan and Israel are financing and arming insurgents.
- So far, Russia and China blocked a Libyan-style "humanitarian
intervention." Washington, however, wants regime change. Huge challenges
remain to stop it.
- SNC members want the Security Council to establish "protected
zone" cover in violent prone areas. Free Syrian Army (FSA) security
force defectors and insurgents also want no-fly zone protection and foreign
military involvement. Deferring so far from direct NATO action, Washington
backs Turkey and Arab League partners intervening.
- America's Media War on Syria
- A New York Times attack piece is typical. On December
22, its editorial headlined, "Get Tougher on Assad," saying:
- After months of conflict, Assad's "still killing
his people. And leaders in Russia, China and Arab states still haven't
done enough to pressure him to stop." Claiming 5,000 unsubstantiated
deaths, The Times blames "the brutal government crackdown in nine
months of protests."
- Fact check
- Unmentioned was Washington's long planned regime change,
replicating the Libya model, replacing an independent regime with a client
one, and using heavily armed insurgents to destabilize Syria violently.
- Assad's willingness to dialogue with opposition elements
"seems like another ploy to buy time as he tries to beat Syrians into
- Fact check
- Throughout the conflict, Assad made conciliatory offers.
Opposition forces dismissed them out of hand, much like Libya's TNC rejected
Gaddafi's overtures earlier.
- On state television several times since last spring,
Assad promised reforms. In June, he announced a 100-member panel to draft
parliamentary election law changes, press freedoms, and a new constitution.
He also said he'd prosecute those responsible for violence.
- "There is little reason to believe Mr. Assad will
allow (Arab League) observer(s) unrestricted access to all conflict areas
(and be free to) make all of its findings public."
- "Meanwhile, Russia is still tying the....Security
Council in knots and preventing it from doing what it should have done
months ago (through) tough economic and trade sanctions," condemnation,
and more. Assad "left no doubt that he is willing to destroy his country
to maintain his hold on power, which would be a disaster for the region."
- The Times stopped short of endorsing war. Expect it if
NATO intervenes directly or indirectly. When Washington's involved militarily,
America's media march supportively in lockstep without debate, who benefits
and loses, rule of law issues, and other right and wrong considerations.
- Throughout the AfPak, Iraq and Libyan conflicts, disputing
their legitimacy was verboten.
- Instead, Times and other major media opinion pieces suppress
truths and manipulate public opinion to support Washington/NATO attacking
nonbelligerent countries lawlessly. Perhaps Syria and Iran are next.
- Target Iran
- Matthew Kroenig titled his Foreign Affairs January/February
2012 article, "Time to Attack Iran." Doing so let his advocacy
pose as analysis.
- Harvard International Affairs Professor Stephen Walt
called his article "a textbook example of war-wongering disguised
as analysis. It is a remarkably poor piece of advocacy....This is not fair-minded
'analysis;' it is simply a brief for war designed to reach a predetermined
- In his article, Kroenig said waging war is "the
least bad option. (For years), American pundits and policymakers have been
debating whether the United States should attack Iran and attempt to eliminate
its nuclear facilities."
- "Proponents (say) the only thing worse than military
action (is) Iran armed with nuclear weapons. Critics" warn doing so
won't work and "would spark a full-fledged war and a global economic
- Fact check
- Iran's not aggressive or imperial. It poses no regional
threat. It hasn't attacked another nation in over 200 years. It maintains
a strong military for self-defense. It's vital given repeated Washington
and Israeli threats.
- No evidence whatever suggests an Iranian nuclear weapons
program. US intelligence assessments through March 2011 found none.
- During his December 1, 1997 - November 30, 2009 tenure
as IAEA director general, Mohamed ElBaradei concurred. Current head, Yukiya
Amano, politicized IAEA policy for Western interests, mainly America's.
- Washington manipulated his appointment. He was enlisted
to lie. He hasn't disappoint. Ahead of his report suggesting an Iranian
nuclear weapons program, he visited Washington for instructions.
- "....(S)keptics of military action fail to appreciate
the true danger that a nuclear-armed Iran poses to US interests in the
Middle East and beyond....The truth is that a military strike intended
to destroy Iran's nuclear program, if managed carefully, could spare the
region and the world a very real threat and dramatically improve the long-term
national security of the United States."
- Kroenig's a former Secretary of Defense Office strategist.
He's also a Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Stanton Nuclear Security
Fellow. CFR is an influential US organization. From its 1921 beginnings,
it's advocated one-world government run by dominant financial interests.
- Historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. called it a "front
organization (for) the heart of the American establishment." It meets
privately and publishes only what it wishes the public to know. Since 1922,
Foreign Affairs has been its flagship publication.
- Its members represent imperial Washington's interests,
including its longstanding objective for unchallenged global dominance.
Achieving it depends on replacing independent regimes with client ones
and eliminating all military and economic rivals.
- War's a frequently used option. Waging it against Iran
could embroil the entire region and threaten general war, possibly with
- In his rage to attack nonbelligerent Iran lawlessly,
Kroenig omitted the possibility and said nothing about Israel being nuclear
armed and dangerous.
- He represents imperial America's quest for world dominance,
even if destroying it happens in the process.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
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