by Stephen Lendman
On June 17, G8 leaders began two days of talks in Northern Ireland. Seven nations want escalated war on Syria. Putin’s alone. He’s an outlier for peaceful conflict resolution. Obama’s hands are bloodrenched. He bears full responsibility for ravaging Syria. It’s been ongoing since early 2011. It was planned many years earlier.
On Monday, Obama lied saying:
“We’re not taking sides in a religious war. Really, what we’re trying to do is take sides against extremists of all sorts and in favor of people who are in favor of moderation, tolerance, representative government, and over the long-term, stability and prosperity for the people of Syria.”
“We share an interest in reducing the violence, securing chemical weapons and ensuring that they are neither used nor are they subject to proliferation.”[pullquote] “Washington’s crazed, demented drive for world hegemony is bringing unsuspecting Americans up against two countries with hydrogen bombs whose combined population is five times the US population. In such a conflict everyone dies.” [/pullquote]
“We want to try to resolve the issue through political means if possible, so we will instruct our teams to continue to work on the potential of a Geneva follow-up.”
Since conflict began, America’s been arming, training, funding and directing death squad fighters in Syria. They’re imported from dozens of regional and other countries. According to Mossad-connected DEBKA file (DF):
“NATO and a number of European governments, most significantly the UK, have started airlifting heavy weapons to the Syrian rebels poised in Aleppo to fend off a major Syrian army offensive.”
On June 17, “first shipments” arrived. They were airlifted to Turkey and Jordan. They include “anti-air and tank missiles as well as recoilless 120 mm cannons mounted on jeeps.”
They’re heading for insurgents in southern Syria and Aleppo. More weapons arrived Tuesday.
According to DF, “27 aircraft landings were counted in the last few days.” Expect more to follow.
Obama’s in Northern Ireland talking peace. He does so duplicitously. He prioritizes war. He bears full responsibility for raging conflict. He’s doing it in multiple theaters. He’s escalating it in Syria. America’s on a precipitous slippery slope. Obama’s heading it for full-blown tyranny. He leads a nation in decline. It began long before his presidency. He’s escalating what others began. He’s menacing humanity in the process.
According to Immanuel Wallerstein, Syria’s a “no win for the West.”
“Whatever the United States and western European states do (will) have dire negative consequences for them. This is a perfect lose-lose situation for the dominant forces in the world.”
“The war is already spreading and could get totally out of control. It is not at all impossible that the interveners win out, and the whole of the Middle East finds itself in one gigantic, uncontrollable, endless war.”
“The key phrase is ‘out of control.’ ” America and complicit partners can’t succeed. Escalated conflict is a lose-lose for the West and regional nations. Gideon Rachman is Financial Times chief foreign affairs commentator. On June 17, he headlined “The west’s dominance of the Middle East is ending,” saying:
“Those calling for deeper US involvement in the Syrian conflict are living in the past.” America’s military is still the world’s mightiest. Its influence is ebbing. It ravages and destroys countries easily. It’s inept at nation-building. Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya explain best. Puppet regimes are hated. Daily violence persists. US dominance is resisted. People want their sovereignty respected. “The era of direct colonialism in the Middle East ended decades ago,” said Rachman.[pullquote] The late Chalmers Johnson perhaps explained best. “We have met the enemy and he is us,” he said. He quoted Pogo saying so. America’s policies have been arrogant and misguided for decades. It’s too late for scattered reforms. Hegemonic overreach is too deep-seated. America’s plagued by the same dynamic that doomed past empires. It’s unwilling to change. It’s headed for isolation, bankruptcy and tyranny. [/pullquote]
“The era of informal empire is now coming to a close.”
The late Chalmers Johnson perhaps explained best. “We have met the enemy and he is us,” he said. He quoted Pogo saying so. America’s policies have been arrogant and misguided for decades. It’s too late for scattered reforms. Hegemonic overreach is too deep-seated. America’s plagued by the same dynamic that doomed past empires. It’s unwilling to change. It’s headed for isolation, bankruptcy and tyranny.
It’s permanently at war despite no enemies. It’s secretive, lawless, duplicitous and unaccountable. It’s totally out-of-control. It’s republic hangs by a thread. It makes more enemies than friends.
Paul Craig Roberts calls Washington “insane.” Its ‘double-speak is now obvious to the world.’ Obama threatens possible WW III. Doing so “means the end of life on earth.” Russia and China know if Syria falls, Iran’s next. If puppet leaders replace the Islamic Republic’s independent government, Moscow and Beijing are Washington’s next targets.
Roberts believes both countries are preparing for an eventual showdown. The prospect should terrify everyone.
“Washington’s crazed, demented drive for world hegemony is bringing unsuspecting Americans up against two countries with hydrogen bombs whose combined population is five times the US population. In such a conflict everyone dies.”
Obama’s heading America for more war. He’s doing so unconscionably. He’s doing it based on lies. He blames Assad for US-sponsored crimes. He’s done it since conflict began. Putin’s alone among G8 leaders. He wants him stopped. He and Obama met privately for two hours. They’re deeply divided on Syria. London’s Telegraph highlighted their differences.
On June 17, it headlined “G8: Barak Obama and Vladimir Putin grim-faced on Syria disagreements,” saying:
Their views are polar opposite. “In a photo-op after talks there was no sign of the chumminess that characterised meetings between Obama and Medvedev, who once went for lunch at a burger joint outside Washington.”
Relations are increasingly frosty. Brave face pretense can’t conceal it. Obama demands Assad must go. Putin insists Syrians alone must decide who’ll lead them. He wants escalated conflict stopped. Obama prioritizes it. Libya 2.0 looms.
On June 18, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) headlined “President al-Assad gives interview to the German Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper.”
Syria’s “dealing with a form of guerrilla warfare,” he said. Government forces are prevailing. They’re doing so decisively.
“We are confident that we can successfully fight terrorism in Syria, but the bigger issue is the ensuing damage and its cost.”
“The crisis has already had a heavy toll but our biggest challenges will come once the crisis is over.”
“(F)oreign interference” bears full responsibility for ongoing conflict.
“Nobody can know what the Middle East will look like should there be an attempt to re-draw the map of the region.”
“However, most likely that map will be one of multiple wars, which would transcend the Middle East spanning the Atlantic to the Pacific, which nobody can stop.”
It’s happening now, he said. Ahead he expects much worse. We’re “witness(ing) the domino effect of widespread extremism, chaos and fragmentation.”
America, Britain and France want regional “puppets and dummies to do their bidding and serve their interests without question.”
“We have consistently rejected this. We will always be independent and free.”
Escalating conflict will backfire. Heavier weapons sent terrorists assure blowback. “Europe’s back garden will become a hub for terrorism and chaos, which leads to deprivation and poverty.”
“Europe will pay the price and forfeit an important market. (T)errorism will not stop here. It will spread to your countries.”
“It will export itself through illegal immigration or through the same terrorists who returned to their original countries after being indoctrinated and trained more potently.”
Allegations of Syrian chemical weapons use are “ludicrous,” Assad said. Where’s the proof, he stressed?
“Had they obtained a single strand of evidence that we had used chemical weapons, do you not think they would have made a song and dance about it to the whole world?”
“Then where is the chain of custody that led them to a such result?”
“The terrorist groups used chemical weapons in Aleppo. Subsequently we sent an official letter to the United Nations requesting a formal investigation into the incident.”
“Britain and France blocked this investigation because it would have proven the chemical attacks were carried out by terrorist groups and hence provided conclusive evidence that they (Britain and France) were lying.”
“We invited them to investigate the incident, but instead they wanted the inspectors to have unconditional access to locations across Syria, parallel to what inspectors did in Iraq and delved into other unrelated issues.”
“We are a sovereign state. We have an army and all matters considered classified will never be accessible neither to the UN, nor Britain, nor France.”
“They will only be allowed access to investigate the incident that occurred in Aleppo.”
Chemical weapons allegations reflect “an extension of the continuous American and Western fabrication of the actual situation in Syria.”
“Its sole aim is to justify their policies to their public opinion and use the claim as a pretext for more military intervention and bloodshed in Syria.”
Assad wants conflict resolved diplomatically. He’s eager for legitimate dialogue to do so. He won’t negotiate with terrorists. No one should! Doing so assures greater conflict, not less. He calls legitimate opposition parties ones against terrorism. Their aims are political, not belligerent. He rejects foreign interference.
He wants Syria’s sovereignty respected. He wants Syrians alone to choose who’ll lead them. International law supports him. In 2014, his term ends. “When the country is in a crisis, the president is expected to shoulder the burden of responsibility and resolve the situation, not abandon his duties and leave.
He calls doing so “treason.” Syria’s “biggest challenge is extremism,” he says. He’s committed to defeating it. Polls show Syrians overwhelmingly support him. They do so for good reason. The alternative is Western domination. It assures protracted violence and instability. It’ll replicate conditions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Palestine.
Syrians want peace and stability. Achieving them requires routing death squad invaders. It means thwarting imperial Washington. It menaces humanity wherever it shows up. Imagine if Syria was its Waterloo. If that’s not worth fighting for, what is?
Note: Summit leaders ended two days of talks. Their final communique stressed holding peace talks as soon as possible. No mention of Assad was made. Putin won’t endorse his stepping down. Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov explained. He did so separately, saying:
“This would be not just unacceptable for the Russian side, but we are convinced that it would be utterly wrong, harmful, and would completely upset the political balance.”
The final communique text can be read in full.
A Final Comment
Dam Press’ June 17 Arabic language article was translated into English. It’s important reading. Ahead of meeting G8 leaders, Putin visited David Cameron in London. He delivered a message. It’s meant for America, Britain, France, and other anti-Assad belligerents. It’s unambiguous. Russian S-300 missiles in Syria will target Washington’s Patriot installations if used against Assad.
More advanced S-400s may be delivered. They’re by far the most advanced air defense system. They exceed anything America or other Western countries have. They’re extremely effective. So are S-300s.
Moscow will also supply Assad with state-of-the-art 24-Barrell rocket launchers. They’re considered the most advanced artillery weapon of its kind. They are able to destroy threatening targets on Syria’s borders.
He may send other sophisticated weapons. He opposes arming insurgents. He deplores sending them heavier weapons. He’s against Obama’s planned escalation. He’s drawn his own red line. He won’t tolerate crossing it. Russia’s a powerful adversary. Its nuclear arsenal matches America’s. Its weapons are very sophisticated. It has regional interests vital to protect.
It’s concerned about Washington’s longstanding intentions. If Syria, Iran, and other independent countries become US vassal states, targeting Russia and China follow.
Assad wants Syria’s sovereignty respected. Iran’s President-Elect Hassan Rohani demands the same. Both leaders have every right to do so. They prioritize independence and freedom. So do Moscow and Beijing. It remains to be seen what follows.
Take No. 2—
High Level Opposition to Escalating Syria’s Conflict
by Stephen Lendman
Dozens of responsible world leaders oppose Washington’s war on Syria. They do so for good reason. They want peaceful conflict resolution. They’re against greater escalation. Few say so publicly.
On May 15, the UN General Assembly adopted an anti-Assad resolution. It’s non-binding. It was Arab League-led. Washington co-sponsored it. It followed four others since 2011.
It passed 107 – 12. Over 70 nations refused support. They endorse peace, not war. They oppose greater foreign intervention. Russia called the measure “counterproductive and irresponsible.”
Assad expressed views many other leaders share. Few air them publicly. He warned about longterm regional destabilization, saying:
“If the unrest in Syria leads to the partitioning of the country, or if the terrorist forces take controlâ€¦.the situation will inevitably spill over into neighboring countries and create a domino effect throughout the Middle East and beyond.”
Most Americans oppose greater intervention. Most polls consistently say so. Pew Research shows overwhelming Arab street unease. At issue is Syrian violence spreading cross-borders.
High-level Pentagon officials express concerns. Greater Syrian intervention’s much more daunting than Libya. Last March, Joint Chiefs Chairman General Martin Dempsey said “We can do anything” if asked.
At the same time, he repeatedly opposed greater US involvement. He’s against escalated conflict. Endgame consequences worry him most. Before acting, “we have to be prepared for what comes next,” he warns.
Attacking Syria won’t be easy, he added. Russian-supplied air defenses are formidable. They’re located close to major population centers.
Syrian opposition is splintered. Many insurgents are known terrorists. Hezbollah supports Syria. So does Iran. Russia may intervene supportively.
“Whether the military effect would produce the kind of outcome I think that not only members of Congress but all of us would desire – which is an end to the violence, some kind of political reconciliation among the parties, and a stable Syria – that’s the reason I’ve been cautious about the application of the military instrument of power…. It’s not clear to me that it would produce that outcome,” he said.
On June 17, Al Manar headlined “Russia: We Won’t Allow Imposing a no-Fly Zone in Syria,” saying:
Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Ocahevch said:
“We will not permit such scenarios, and these maneuvers on a fly-zone and humanitarian passages in Syria are caused by the lack of respect for the International Law.”
“We have seen how they imposed no-fly zones in Libya, so we will not allow repeating the same scenarios in Syria.”
“The Syrian crisis cannot be settled by double stances – refusing the military track on one hand and arming the militants on the other.”
A same day Al Manar article headlined “Putin: Russia Arming Legitimate Gov’t in Syria, West Arming Organ-Eaters,” saying:
“You will not deny that one does not really need to support the people who not only kill their enemies, but open up their bodies, eat their intestines in front of the public and cameras.”
“Are these the people you want to support? Is it them who you want to supply with weapons? Then this probably has little relation to humanitarian values that have been preached in Europe for hundreds of years.”
He unequivocal on Russian policy. He wants conflict ended. He wants it diplomatically resolved. He wants Syrians alone to decide who’ll govern them. Let them defeat foreign “extremists,” he stresses.
On June 17, Lebanon’s Daily Star quoted Assad saying:
“If the Europeans deliver weapons, the backyard of Europe will become terrorist and Europe will pay the price for it.”
At issue is exporting “terrorism” to Europe. “Terrorists will gain experience in combat and return with extremist ideologies,” he warned.
On June 16, London’s Telegraph headlined “Boris Johnson: Don’t arm the Syria maniacs,” saying:
London’s mayor warned David Cameron. Don’t use Syria for “political point-scoring or muscle-flexing.” Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg echoed similar sentiments.
So did former army head Lord Dannatt and Archbishop of York John Sentamu. Johnson urged “total ceasefire. This is the moment (to) end.the madness.”
Cameron faces growing internal opposition. Associates warn he faces a no-confidence defeat.
Clegg insists Britain won’t arm insurgents. “We’ve taken no decision to provide lethal assistance, so we clearly don’t think it is the right thing to do now, otherwise we would have decided to do it,” he said.
Tory MP Julian Lewis spoke for others saying arming insurgents would be “suicidal.” Cameron will “struggle” to get parliamentary approval.
Shadow foreign minister Douglas Alexander said MPs from all parties express unease.
“For months Labour has called on the government to answer basic questions about their approach, such as how the prime minister would ensure that weapons supplied did not fall into the wrong hands, and how this step would help to de-escalate the conflict rather than prolong it.”
Unnamed US defense officials warn that creating safe or protected areas inside Syria involve enormous complexities. Thousands of US ground forces may be needed to enforce them. Deploying them involves invasion and occupation. A protracted quagmire may follow.
No-fly zone imposition is just as daunting. Justifiable Syrian responses will follow.
On June 14, Foreign Policy’s Gordon Lubold headlined “Why the Pentagon really, really doesn’t want to get involved in Syria,” saying:
“Top Pentagon brass have been ambivalent in the extreme about getting involved in the Syrian crisis since it began more than two years ago.”
“And now, even as the Obama administration signals its intention to provide direct military aid to opponents of the Syrian regime, there remains deep skepticism across the military that it will work.”
Escalating conflict entails enormous risks. Success is unlikely. “(T)op brass is extremely reluctant to commit assets.” According to an unnamed senior Pentagon commander:
“There is no way to ensure” that arming insurgents won’t make matters worse. Supplying heavier weapons, no-fly zone protection and safe areas sound good on paper.
Reality suggests otherwise. Failure’s more likely than success. Former head of US European Operation Command and Supreme Allied Commander, Europe General Philip Breedlove sees “no military value in no-fly zone imposition inside northern Syria.
Northern and Southern Watch over Iraq was operationally exhausting and expensive. Military intervention entails unintended consequences. Afghanistan and Iraq are protracted quagmires. Libya’s a cauldron of violence.
Syria could be worse. Cross-border fallout could be disastrous. Escalated conflict affects Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, and perhaps other regional countries. On June 14, Politico headlined “DOD brass has long urged caution on Syria,” saying:
Obama’s planned greater involvement reflects what Pentagon brass warned against for months. At issue is another protracted quagmire.
“In hearings, speeches and interviews, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey have been deeply skeptical every time they’ve been asked about potential US involvement in Syria.”
Unintended consequences worry planners most. They’ve seen it all before. They’re loathe to repeat past mistakes. National security/military strategist Micah Zenko said:
“I’ve never spoken to anyone at the (military) O-5 level or above who thinks intervening in Syria is a good idea.”
Hagel warned that military intervention “could embroil the United States in a significant, lengthy, and uncertain military commitment.”
It could have “the unintended consequence of bringing the United States into a broader regional conflict or proxy war.”
“You better be damn sure, as sure as you can be, before you get into something, because once you’re into it, there isn’t any backing out, whether it’s a no-fly zone, safe zone, protect these – whatever it is.”
“Once you’re in, you can’t unwind it. You can’t just say, ‘Well, it’s not going as well as I thought it would go, so we’re going to get out.’ ”
Dempsey said supplying insurgents heavier weapons won’t make a difference. “Not in my military judgment,” he stressed. Don’t expect Syria to take escalation lightly, he added.
“I have to assume, as the military member with responsibility for these kind of activities, that the potential adversary isn’t just going to sit back and allow us to impose our will on them, that they could in fact take exception, and act outside of their borders with long-range rockets and missiles and artillery and even asymmetrical threats.”
In other words, be careful what you wish for. Best laid plans often fail. US military history reflects failure. Quagmires more than victories result.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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