Making Sense of Syria – by Stephen Lendman
Last March, Syria’s externally generated uprisings began. Despite legitimate grievances, Washington orchestrated change there like elsewhere in the region.
It’s part of its imperial “New Middle East” project to control North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia to Russia’s borders.
For over a decade, regime change plans targeted Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Syria, and other countries outside the region.
Libya’s model is the template for future Washington aggression. Whether it’s employed in Syria remains to be seen.
So far, heavily armed insurgents entered from regional countries. Anti-government demonstrations have been disruptive and violent. Trapped between warring sides, civilian casualties keep mounting.
Washington and other Western nations blame Syria. Its security forces, in fact, confronted an armed insurrection. Conflict keeps raging unresolved.
Russia and China blocked America’s (Western supported) Security Council resolution. If passed, it would have been a first against Syria, perhaps opening the way for greater conflict or war like against Libya.
Despite watered down language, both countries opposed options, including the UN Charter’s Article 41 provisions, stating:
“The Security Council may decide what measures not involving the use of armed force are to be employed to give effect to its decision, and it may call upon (UN members) to apply such measures.”
“These may include complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations.”
In other words, stiff sanctions harming Syria’s weakened economy further might topple it.
On October 4, New York Times writer Neil MacFarquhar headlined, “UN Resolution on Syria Blocked by Russia and China,” saying:
“Nine nations, including the United States and its Western allies voted for the measure, while Brazil, India, South Africa and Lebanon abstained.”
France’s Gerard Araud called the veto “disdain(ful) for the legitimate interests that have been fought for in Syria by protesters since March.”
Britain’s Mark Grant said vetoing the resolution “will be a great disappointment to the people of Syria and the wider region that some members of the council could not show their support for their struggle for basic human rights.”
Washington’s Susan Rice said:
“Those who oppose this resolution and give cover to a brutal regime will have to answer to the Syrian people – and, indeed, to people across the region who are pursuing the same universal aspirations. The crisis in Syria will stay before the security council and we will not rest until this council rises to meet its responsibilities.”
Russia’s Vitaly Churkin and China’s Li Boadong expressed concern about the resolution’s thinly veiled regime change scheme. Both were adamant about Syria not becoming another Libya.
Churkin said it reflected a “philosophy of confrontation,” knowing full well how Britain, France, and especially Washington operate.
This evil troika’s lawlessness is transparent and appalling.
Against Libya, Washington, Britain and France led NATO’s killing machine, turning the country into a charnel house. A peaceful country lies ruined. Corpses pile up daily on others. Human misery levels are horrific.
Libyans know their friends and foes. They understand supportive and hostile nations. They despise imperial Washington and Western allies.
So do Syrians. They want no part of foreign intervention in their internal affairs, especially if Washington, Britain, France, and Israel are involved.
They know what happened to Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan awaits them if NATO’s “humanitarian intervention” targets them.
In December 2008, Susan Rice became UN ambassador. She was chosen for supporting unilateral use of military force against any US target for any reason or none at all.
She and other Obama war cabinet picks then and now represent extreme imperial lawlessness, arrogance and hypocrisy.
She continues that tradition, supporting America’s worst crimes of war and against humanity, perhaps targeting Syria like Libya.
On October 6, nsnbc’s Christof Lehmann addressed the issue of America’s unconventional warfare, involving:
- “freedom fighter” insurgents;
- recruited homegrown and/or US Special Forces death squads;
- color revolutions in Georgia, Ukraine, Yugoslavia, and elsewhere; and/or
- the “modified Chechnyan model,” involving “Arab Spring Subversion” and financial warfare sanctions.
A rogue network of “think tanks, endowments, funds and foundations” are involved. So are CIA, the National Endowment for Democracy, and other congressional funded groups. Internal figures are bribed to defect.
Other tactics are also used. They including enlisting support from human rights organizations, corrupted NGOs and the UN. Major media scoundrels support them and administration policy.
The clear message to targeted regimes is “go or be gone.” End results aim for “post-modern coup d’etat(s).”
A Syrian National Council (SNC) was established, 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 options.
Since early 2011, NATO countries used regional bases to provide anti-regime support. Saudi Arabia and Lebanon’s Saad al Hariri were implicated in financing and arming insurgents. Israel, Jordan and Turkey are also believed to be involved.
So far, Russia and China blocked a Libyan-style “humanitarian intervention.” Once Washington wants regime change, it’s open to question what measures can stop it.
On October 6, Jeremy Salt separated fact from fiction about Syria, saying:
It’s insurrection threatens civil war. Western intervention and propaganda fuel it. What, in fact, is going on?
Hafez al-Assad consolidated Syrian authoritarian rule for three decades (1971 – 2000) until his death. He “crushed all dissent ruthlessly.” Bordering on Israel, he feared assassination and subversion, including by “western intelligence agencies.”
In July 2000, his son Bashar al-Assad succeeded him. Israel occupies its Golan. Syria wants it back. On October 7, in fact, hundreds of Syrian Golan residents rallied supportively for Assad.
Ma’an News said they marched carrying banners and Assad portraits, chanting:
“We love you, Bashar.” “We are with the Syrian army.” A banner read, “We are for a dialog aimed at national unity.”
Washington invention prevents it. Staying vigilant is key to avoid being toppled and replaced by pro-Western elements.
Syrians indeed want democratic change nonviolently. “(A)rmed groups operating from behind the screen of the demonstrations have no interest in reform.” Representing Western interests, “(t)hey want to destroy the government.”
In contrast, large segments of Syria support it. Externally supported “armed gangs” fueled anger over “their country (being) the target of an international conspiracy.”
Heavily armed insurgents “killed hundreds of police, soldiers and civilians, in total probably (around) 1,000….” Those killed include “university professors, doctors, and (recently) the son of the Grand Mufti of the Republic.”
Armed gangs “massacred, ambushed, assassinated, attacked government buildings and sabotaged railway lines.”
Clearly Western intervention is involved in what’s tearing apart the country.
Assad “has a strong base of personal popularity. (It’s) misleading to call him a dictator.” Decades long regime power is authoritarian and dictatorial. Clearly it resists change. Assad supports it.
After earlier demonstrations, his government proposed reforms. Opposition elements rejected them out of hand. “No attempt was even made to test the bona fides of the government.”
Instead, insurgents fueled violence since protests began last winter. They’re funded, “well armed and well organized. Large shipments of weapons have been smuggled (in) from Lebanon and Turkey.”
They include “pump action shotguns, machine guns, Kalashnikovs, RPG launchers, Israeli-made hand grenades, and numerous other explosives.”
Western intervention fueled violence for regime change. Once initiated, it’s hard shutting it off. Media scoundrels regurgitate official lies, including the New York Times on its Syria page.
Ignoring a Western backed insurgency, it accused Assad of “launching….a series of withering crackdowns, sending tanks into restive cities as security forces opened fire on demonstrators.”
“Syria’s crackdown has been condemned internationally, as has Assad….”
As explained above, Assad responded to well-armed insurgents brought in from outside Syria to stoke violence and reject mediation efforts to stop it.
Western countries are behind so-called international condemnation – the same ones responsible for instigating violence for regime change.
Salt agreed that Western media Libya and Syria coverage “has been appalling.” NATO intervention everywhere causes mass death, destruction and human misery.
Western Media distortions and lies blame victims, not perpetrators. Al Jazeera notably “lost all credibility.” America’s media and BBC never had any. Their Libya and Syria reporting reflects “blind support of anything that discredits” governments Western nations oppose.
Washington “is doing its utmost to drive Syria into a corner,” including financing its opposition and using proxy sources to arm insurgents.
Security Council efforts may try instituting a no-fly zone, “opening the door to foreign attack” like against Libya. So far, Russia and China strongly oppose turning Syria into another charnel house.
Knowing their long interventionist histories, it’s “inconceivable that the US and Israel, along with France and Britain” aren’t behind violence in Syria for regime change.
If Washington, its Western allies, and Israel succeed, “every last Baathist and Alawi will be hunted down” the way Gaddafi loyalists have been arrested or murdered in cold blood.
Supportive of Israel, Washington’s wanted Syria’s government ousted “for twenty years. The dismantling of unified Arab states along ethno-religious lines has been an aim of Israel’s for decades.”
Whatever Israel wants from Washington it gets, including unqualified support for its worst crimes of war and against humanity.
If Syria’s Baathist government falls, it will be “a strategic victory of unsurpassed value to the US and Israel. (The) strategic relationship between Iran, Syria and Hizbullah will have been destroyed….”
Lebanon and Iran will be more vulnerable to Washington and Israeli attacks. General war could erupt, destabilizing the entire region and beyond if Russia and China decide to defend their interests.
Syrians deserve democratic reforms. Western intervention won’t tolerate them. Washington, Britain, France and Israel assure unconscionable state terrorism wherever they intervene.
Syrians know what happened elsewhere in the region. It’s their choice to rally against it at home.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.