Syria: Tightening the Noose
by Stephen Lendman
Since conflict erupted last year, Washington, other NATO states, and regional allies recruited, armed, funded, trained and directed Syrian insurgents.
Public admissions emerge slowly. Language conceals what’s been ongoing all the time. On November 29, CNN said Washington is “weighing whether or not to provide arms to the Syrian opposition.”
US Syrian ambassador, Robert Ford, said Obama “never (took) the provision of arms off the table.” They’ve been supplied regularly under it covertly.
On December 9, Los Angeles Times columnist Doyle McManus headlined “A call to arms for Syria’s rebels.”
Within days, Washington is expected to recognize the illegitimate opposition coalition as the “legitimate representative of the Syrian people.” In November, Britain and France announced support.
The EU moved closer to official recognition. Member state foreign ministers extended their endorsement. At the same time, Germany expelled four Syrian embassy staff members.
Assad’s ambassador was forced out in May. Britain, France, Italy and Spain took similar actions.
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said:
“Shortly ahead of” the December 12 Friends of Syria meeting in Morocco, “the EU has given another clear signal of the upgrade and support of the coalition.”
He added that doing so “promote(s) the erosion of the Assad regime.”
EU members previously accepted Syrian National Council (SNC) 2.0 members (National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces) as representatives of Syrian “aspirations.”
They did so despite strong internal Assad support. Majority “aspirations” don’t matter. Washington diktats overrule them. That’s how imperialism works.
Increased funding and other aid will be provided. US officials argue “that the new national coalition won’t succeed in winning support on the ground unless it amasses more of the currency of power in any insurrection: military supplies.”
Until September, Frederic C. Hof helped direct State Department policy on Syria. “We need to exercise some leadership and a management role in the arms business,” he said.
“We need to try to dominate the logistics and the decision making on who gets what and who doesn’t. We need to do it working hand in glove with others; you don’t want it to be seen as an exclusively American effort.”
He added that public posturing about not wanting to “further militarize the situation….no longer (is) relevant.” Of course, it never was. The mask slowly comes off. Reasons why conflict erupted and continues are suppressed.
On December 9, the London Sunday Times said Washington decided to supply Syrian insurgents with heavy weapons. They include rocket-propelled grenades, anti-tank missiles, and anti-aircraft heat-seeking SA-7 missiles.
State Department officials maintain daily contact with insurgent commanders. Obama authorized covert CIA and special forces help months earlier. It’s been ongoing for months. Increased aid is planned.
On December 10, the London Guardian headlined “Army’s plans to support Syrian rebels,” saying:
UK military chiefs drew up “contingency plans to provide Syrian rebels with maritime, and possibly air, power in response to a request from (Prime Minister) David Cameron, senior defense sources said on Monday night.”
They added that Britain won’t intervene unless America does. At the same time, concerns about doing so were raised.
One unnamed source said, “We are a long way from doing anything. The US is leading the way. We are not there yet.”
In November, UK defense chief General David Richards met with senior military officials from America, France, Turkey, Jordan, Qatar, and other Gulf states. Strategy was discussed at length.
Other UK officials have been meeting with Western and regional counterparts. At issue is destroying Syria entirely.
Most high-level UK military officials say intervening is far more complex than against Libya last year.
On December 11, the London Independent headlined “Exclusive: UK military in talks to help Syria rebels,” saying:
An “independent coalition including Britain” plans to support Syrian insurgents “with air and naval power….”
Washington, key NATO partners, and Gulf allies believe conflict “reached a tipping point and it has become imperative” to help insurgents “make a final push against” Assad.
Western boots on the ground aren’t planned. Libya 2.0 appears likely. Doing so will circumvent Security Council authorization.
Installing offensive Patriot missiles in Turkey “camouflage(s) intervention.” Claims about doing so for defensive purposes don’t wash.
US, British, French, and other NATO officials say intervention “is now inevitable.” It’s just a matter of when.
On December 9, Mossad-connected DEBKAfile (DF) asked, “What comes first – a Syrian chemical attack or a US-led military showdown?”
Fabricated claims about Assad using chemical weapons continue. DF says US, Israeli, Jordanian and Turkish special forces are operating in Syria.
They’re armed with special protective gear. They’re positioned near alleged “convoys carrying canisters, shells or bombs loaded with poison gas….”
Concerns about non-conventional weapons belie the fact that disquiet about them wasn’t raised before nor was anything done about them. Whether destroying them ahead of full-scale Western intervention remains to be seen.
On December 8, Der Spiegel interviewed Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi. He was asked about looming full-scale war on Syria.
He said Assad poses “no threat to the region or world peace.”
“Military forces infiltrating Syria” want the conflict “internationalize(d). If the region goes up in flames, then they have achieved their objective.”
Without “a sense of proportionality,” Western and regional states “will fall into the trap of the extremists.”
He knows Washington backs them. US hardliners want pro-Western Islamofacist regimes throughout the region. They want Assad and Iran’s government ousted. They’ll stop at nothing to achieve their aims. They risk potentially catastrophic conflict.
On December 10, Voice of Russia (VoR) interviewed Damascus Research Center director Bassam Abu Abdullah. He called so-called Friends of Syria its enemies. Washington largely controls them.
“Their goal is to destroy the country by force and use its strategic geographical location for their own purposes.”
He called supplying humanitarian aid to Syria “one big lie.” So are claims about insurgent successes. Media scoundrel misinformation reports them. It’s done to enlist public support and raise opposition forces’ morale. Seizing one tank means nothing.
“They suffer hundreds of times more losses, but al Jazeera and al Arabiya are keeping silent about this.”
“And as soon as one regular army soldier is killed, they boost, as if they have won a victory over a whole military unit.”
“The only problem of the Syrian army is their infinite number of suicide bombers.”
He repeated what other Syrian officials said many times. Damascus has no intention of using chemical weapons. At the same time, he fears insurgents may use them “to accuse the Syrian regime of doing this.”
Damascus agrees with Russian proposals for peaceful conflict resolution and fair elections. “(T)his is the kind of democracy” that Washington and other Western states forgot, he added.
They deplore it at home and abroad. Washington and key NATO allies want one independent country after another attacked and destroyed. They’re willing to ravage the entire region to control it.
Body counts and human misery don’t matter. Imperial rogues want dominance at any cost. They used death squads against Libyans. They murdered thousands of Syrians.
Civilians suffer most of all. Assad loyalists are most vulnerable. Dozens or hundreds die daily. At the same time, Syrian forces inflict heavy losses on terrorists. Scoundrel media misinformation suppresses what readers and viewers most need to know.
Washington planned war on Syria years ago. Other countries are enlisted, pressured or bullied to go along. Last year it was Libya. Earlier it was Iraq and Afghanistan.
Proxy wars rage against Yemen, Somalia, and drone-targeted Pakistan areas. Occupied Palestine is attacked multiple times daily. America’s dirty hands are involved. US special forces operate covertly in over 120 countries. CIA elements are everywhere.
Longstanding US policy bears full responsibility for regional carnage and beyond. One war begets others. Obama has lots of governments he wants ousted.
He’s got another four years to destroy them one at a time. Perhaps he plans two or more simultaneously. He’s America’s most belligerent president in history.
He outdid George Bush. He’s a war criminal multiple times over. He has years of blood on his hands to answer for. His second term may eclipse his the worst of his first.
At the same time, he’s ravaging social America to feed Washington’s war machine, enrich corporate favorites, and enforce police state harshness on resisters.
Where this ends who knows. It bears repeating. America never was beautiful. It’s no fit place to live in. It’s unsafe for anyone opposing government for the privileged few alone. The worst of times approaches. It won’t be pretty when it arrives.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and 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 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.