Heading for War on Syria?

Stephen Lendman

Libya's model is being replicated in Syria. So far, it's short of war. For how long is uncertain. Expect it if current tactics fail. More on that below.

At issue is regime change, establishing another client state, and isolating Iran ahead of similar tactics there. It's part of America's Middle East project to redraw the region according to US/Israeli geopolitical aims.

Washington's dirty hands lie behind what's happening. Partners include Israel, Britain, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Lebanon's March 8 Alliance, Jordan, and other despotic Arab League states.

Obama, the peace candidate, wages wars like a crazed psychopath. Already fighting multiple failed ones, he can't wait to start another. Someone please post a sign outside the White House saying stop me before I bomb again.

In mid-November, Russia's Vladimir Putin called NATO's Libyan intervention "a complete affront to the international community."

Meeting with Valdai groups members in Moscow, he warned against similar tactics in Syria. He also accused Washington and other Western states of hypocritically attacking regimes they previously supported.

Saying he'll be as internationally combative if again elected president next March, he stressed that Russia won't support interventionist anti-Syrian Security Council resolutions similar to ones targeting Libya.

Last winter, externally generated Syrian uprisings began. National Security Council strategic communications director Ben Rhodes called the Libyan model a template for future US/NATO interventions, but "(h)ow much we translate to Syria remains to be seen."

"The Syrian opposition doesn't want foreign military forces, but do want more countries to cut trade with the regime and break with it politically." After that, anything is possible, including war.

Throughout the conflict, heavily armed insurgents are de facto death squads. They've targeted civilians, state security forces, and government buildings. Hypocritically, Assad's blamed for confronting them.

Syria remains the region's only independent secular state. Despite legitimate political, economic and social grievances, mass rallies confirm considerable Assad support. Typically this happens during conflicts when people back government efforts against them.

Imported Al Qaeda elements are involved, similar to Libya's insurgency. Their agenda isn't freedom fighting. It's transforming Syria into a Saudi-like sheikdom under Sharia law, much different from what most Syrians know and want.

So far, Assad's military remains largely intact. Ruling Alawites control key units. If loyalty to the regime holds, insurgents without NATO's help won't defeat it.

Stiff sanctions were also imposed. For the most part, civilians are harmed. Deposing governments this way doesn't work. They didn't topple Saddam Hussain or Gaddafi. They haven't unseated governments in Iran or Sudan. Nor in besieged Gaza, despite severe poverty, unemployment, malnutrition, and overall deprivation, compounded by regular Israeli attacks.

International law issues are also raised. Sanctions must conform to international human rights and humanitarian principles so civilian populations aren't harmed.

Specifically, food, medical and other essential supplies and services can't be embargoed. Humanitarian assistance must be offered. Geneva and Additional Protocols call for assurances during armed conflict.

The right to life, medical care, health, food, clothing, housing, and other essentials fall under their principles. As a result, sanctions must include humanitarian considerations. Harm to civilian populations must be minimized. Permitting undo suffering is unacceptable.

Fourth Geneva's Article 33 prohibits collective punishment, saying:

"No protected person may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited....Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited."

Western imposed economic sanctions violate fundamental international law provisions.

Pro-Western Arab League Duplicity

On November 16, Arab League officials proposed deploying 500 civilian and military monitors to assess whether Syria's abiding by their brokered peace plan to end conflict they support.

Syria requested modifications. Arab League officials rejected them. Assad said "(t)h conflict will continue, and the pressure to subjugate Syria will continue. However, I assure you that Syria will not bow down and that it will continue to resist the pressure being imposed on it."

Deployed 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 acceptable 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 any area or facilities therein for its mission, irrespective of FRY laws.

It also required Milosevic's full cooperation. It was an offer designed for rejection. War, mass destruction and slaughter followed. Serbia's sovereign Kosovo territory was lost.

It's now a Washington/NATO occupied colony, home to Camp Bondsteel, one of America's largest military bases. It's run by Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, an unindicted drug trafficker with known organized crime ties.

Washington has 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.

Since March, they supported Western-backed anti-Syrian insurgents. War, occupation, and regional instability may follow.

On and off for months, half or more of League members attacked, killed, arrested, imprisoned, and/or brutalized their own people for protesting against political, economic and social injustice.

Expect them shortly to recognize the illegitimate Syrian National Council. It's similar to Libya's puppet Transitional National Council (TNC). They both abhor democracy. SNC hard-liners support Western military intervention.

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.

Iran's also being pressured. The road to Tehran runs through Damascus. With Arab League backing, general war's possible, no matter how potentially disastrous.

Everything's being orchestrated in Washington. Its agenda includes ravaging the world one country at a time. Syria and Iran are targeted.

As a result, no one anywhere is safe, including Americans ruled by rogue leaders.

Stephen Lendman: I was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. Raised in a modest middle class family, attended public schools, received a BA from Harvard University in 1956 and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of PA in 1960 following 2 years of obligatory military service in the US Army. Spent the next 6 years as a marketing research analyst for several large US corporations before becoming part of a new small family business in 1967, remaining there until retiring at the end of 1999. Have since devoted my time and efforts to the progressive causes and organizations I support, all involved in working for a more humane and just world for all people everywhere, but especially for the most needy, disadvantaged and oppressed. My efforts since summer 2005 have included writing on a broad range of vital topics ranging from war and peace; social, economic and political equity for all; and justice for all the oppressed peoples of the world like the long-suffering people of Haiti and the Palestinians. Also co-hosting The Global Research News Hour, occasional public talks, and frequent appearances on radio and at times television. I also am a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. I live in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit my blog site sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to The Lendman News Hour on RepublicBroadcasting.org Monday - Friday at 10AM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on world and national issues. All programs are archived for easy listening. My new book "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War" can be ordered HERE.

URL: http://www.a-w-i-p.com/index.php/2011/11/24/heading-for-war-on-syria


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