Washington’s Total War on Syria
by Stephen Lendman
Syria attacked no one. It threatens no one. It’s victimized by naked Western aggression. Proxy death squads are used. They’re armed, funded, trained, and directed by regional and Western states.
Washington’s scorched earth mass killing and destruction constitutes total war. It’s US policy in all conflicts. Syrians struggle to survive. They’re proud, partisan, and not about to roll over for America.
High stakes define the conflict. At issue is freedom or neoserfdom slavery. Meanwhile, Washington’s turning another regional country into charnel house hell. At the same time, it has other targets in mind.
So far Syrian strategy failed. Stepped up violence is certain. More sanctions are planned. Russia and China vetoed Security Council authorization. On August 2, the General Assembly votes.
Saudi Arabia openly supports mass Syrian killing and destruction. It’s supplying heavy weapons and funding. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon ignores it.
At the same time, Saudi officials drafted a resolution condemning Security Council inaction. It calls for illegal sanctions. It points fingers the wrong way. It blames Assad for Saudi crimes and death squads it supports.
Moscow and Beijing stand firmly opposed. On July 28, Itar Tass headlined “Additional sanctions against Syria violate sovereignty of that country,” saying:
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said:
“We would like to confirm our principle and steady position of unacceptable unilateral sanctions against Syria.”
“We consider their implementation as actions, violating sovereignty of the country, the principle of non-interference in home affairs, as well as the prerogative of the UN Security Council in supporting international peace and security.”
“We are not intending to participate in an activities in pursuance of decisions of the European Union aimed against Syria, and we shall not consider applications or agree to examine ships carrying the Russian flag, or use of any limiting measures to them.”
Proposed sanctions include more strictly embargoing arms at the same time Western and regional allies supply heavy weapons to death squads murdering civilians.
Other sanctions include inspecting Syrian-bound ships and planes, 26 new names and three organizations added to Washington’s black list, and targeting Damascus’ defense and interior ministries.
Earlier, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said new sanctions violate previous agreements, “including with the United Nations.” He stressed Russia’s opposition to “unilateral sanctions.”
A separate Foreign Ministry statement called new measures a “sea and air blockade of Syria.”
Blockades are acts of war. International and US law call them:
- surrounding a nation or objective with hostile forces;
- measures to isolate an enemy;
- encirclement and besieging;
- preventing the passage in or out of supplies, military forces or aid in time of or as an act of war; and
- an act of naval warfare to block access to an enemy’s coastline and deny entry to all vessels and aircraft.
The 1856 Declaration of Paris and 1909 Declaration of London called blockades acts of war. America approved them. Under the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, they’re binding US law.
Dwight Eisenhower and Jack Kennedy called blockades acts of war. So did the US Supreme Court. In Bas v. Tingy (1800), it called seizing a French vessel “an act of hostility or reprisal requiring congressional authorization.”
In Little v. Barreme (1804), the Court ruled that even presidential orders don’t justify violating laws and customs of warfare.
Chief Justice John Marshall said a US warship captain could be held personally liable for acting without congressional approval.
The 1963 Prize Cases are definitive. Lincoln ordered Confederate state coastlines blockaded. The Supreme Court called doing so an act of war permitted only if constitutionally authorized.
Blockading a nonbelligerent country clearly breaches international and constitutional law. All UN member states are bound by inviolable legal principles.
General Assembly blockade authorization is nonbinding and illegal. On August 2, it may approve it. It shocks the conscience to wonder why independent states would willfully endorse lawless measures harming their credibility and interests.
Syria attacked no one. It threatens no one. It’s victimized by lawless aggression. Destroying and suffocating it by violence, blockading its coasts and air space, and other lawless acts constitutes high crimes against peace.
The UN is sworn to oppose them. All Secretary-Generals take oaths to uphold UN Charter principles. They include affirming peace, opposing war, supporting human rights, and respecting fundamental international laws.
Ban Ki-moon violates his mandate. So did Kofi Annan. They’re imperial tools. They support lawless aggression. They blame victims of Western crimes. They mock law and order principles and justice.
They hypocritically express concern for violence and bloodshed. At the same time, they point fingers the wrong way. They back Western aggression and mass killing. They lost credibility. So did the world body long ago.
Syrians are struggling to survive. They’re on their own without UN help. On August 1, Bashar al-Assad addressed Syria’s army on the 67th anniversary of Army Foundation Day.
He said foreign “enemies wanted to prevent our people from their national decision but they were surprised by the Syrian people who stood as one man against their schemes and defeated them, leading them to look for a way out of their defeats, plot more schemes and assign the task of carrying out such schemes to local agents.”
“You wrote the greatest epic of heroism and pride and proved through facing the war waged against our country and confronting the criminal terrorist gangs that you are entrusted with the values of our people to whom you belong and faithful to their history and civilization.”
“You represent the aspiration of our people in defending their dignity and honor and restoring stability and security of the homeland due to your determination to implement your sacred duty towards the homeland.”
He expressed confidence that armed forces readiness and resilience will continue defending Syria’s homeland courageously. He “greeted the spirits of our martyrs who sacrificed their souls” to stay free.
The struggle to defeat foreign invaders continues.
Defense Minister Lt. General Fahd Jassem al-Freij said armed terrorist groups, their funders and suppliers “are deluded (to) think that by having money and arms flowed from Gulf, regional and international governments upon hirelings could ever deviate Syria, leadership, people and army, from its approach of resistance, adherence to rights and rejection of all forms of subordination and surrender.”
He expressed confidence in Syria’s ability to resist and prevail. He said “victory over the conspiracy hatched against the homeland is close….”
Minister of Awqaf (Religious Endowments) Mohammad Abdul-Sattar al-Sayyed denounced “a huge conspiracy targeting Arabism and the existence of the Syrian people.”
He blamed America, other Western nations and Israel. He urged patience. He said Syria will emerge victorious. Security and stability will be restored.
Success won’t come easily or quickly. Millions of Syrians face the “mother of all struggles” to stay free.
People living outside war zones can’t imagine what they endure. Hopefully they’ll persist and prevail. The alternative is too grim to accept.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”
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.