What’s Next for Syria?
by Stephen Lendman
Conflict drags on interminably. Dozens or more die daily. Syrian forces outmatch Western-backed death squad terrorists. They’re not rebels. They’re lawless invaders.
They’re US proxy fighters. They’re imported from dozens of countries. They’re waging war against sovereign Syrian independence. Don’t expect duplicitous Western politicians or media scoundrels to explain.
Assad’s military outguns and outflanks Washington’s shock troops. Reinforcements keep coming. Libya 2.0 looks possible. Perhaps likely.
Russia hopes for a September international peace conference. Originally a June one was planned. Why bother when Washington prioritizes war. It spurns peace. Last year’s conference failed.
Expect nothing different this time. Peace remains elusive. Advocates have no partners.
According to European Council president Herman Van Rompuy:
“A military solution to the crisis is impossible. (T)he solution is only diplomatic.” Conflict can end soon. It can happen if Washington calls off its dogs. It shouldn’t have unleashed them in the first place.
Syria is Obama’s war. He began it. He can end it. Not according to some reports. On July 18, London’s Guardian headlined “Obama considering military power in Syria, top general tells Senate.”
Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey said he provided Obama with “options for the use of force.” He declined to explain more.
“(I)t would be inappropriate for me to try to influence the decision with me rendering an opinion in public about what kind of force we should use.”
John McCain’s super-hawkish. He’s not alone. He asked the wrong question. He asked Dempsey what carries greater risk: continued limited Washington intervention or more robust tactics.
He favors more heavily arming terrorist fighters. They’re getting plenty of weapons already. He wants no-fly zone protection implemented.
Doing so’s an act of war. It’s illegal without Security Council authorization. So is meddling in Syria’s internal affairs politically, economically, and/or militarily (directly or indirectly).
McCain’s dismissive of international law. So are other congressional hawks. Dempsey said he favors “building a moderate opposition and supporting it.”
“The question whether to support it with direct kinetic strikesâ€¦is a decision for our elected officials, not for the senior military leader of the nation.”
Kinetic strikes refer to missiles, bombs, drone attacks, and other military initiatives. According to Dempsey, they’re “under deliberation inside of our agencies of government.”
Asked about Dempsey’s comments, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama always asks military commanders for options. It’s “true in an arena like Syria” and elsewhere.
Obama’s reviewing them, he added. According to Vice Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral James Winnefeld:
“There are a whole range of options that are out there. We are ready to act if we’re called on to act.”
These type comments aren’t new. Whether direct US intervention follows remains to be seen.
Senator Carl Levin wants it. He wants Syria bombed. He urged Obama to attack “airfields, airplanes and massed artillery.” He supports terrorist insurgent invaders. He does so shamelessly. More on him below.
Armed Services Committee members are considering whether to renominate Dempsey and Winnefield for second terms. McCain’s opposed.
Democrats have majority say. Expect both top commanders to be approved.
At the same time, anti-Assad forces are fighting each other. Extremist Al Nusra insurgents are clashing with Free Syria Army elements. Unity remains elusive.
Things escalated dramatically. Whether full-scale internecine conflict follows remains to be seen. If so, maybe each side will annihilate the other. That’s one way to wind things down.
On July 19, Russia Today headlined “Al Qaeda’s planned emirate in Syria is West’s own doing.” Syrians want a secular state.
Al Qaeda wants its own. Syrian unity is threatened. So far insurgent extremists lack enough strength to prevail.
Assad forces consistently rout them. Without US intervention, they don’t have a chance. They can prolong conflict.
They can cause many more deaths, injuries and displacements. They can’t prevail without Libya 2.0 help.
On July 17, London’s Telegraph headlined “Army chief: We risk war with Syria.”
General David Richards is UK outgoing armed forces chief. Britain must be prepared to “go to war” with Syria, he said. “(I)f you want to have the material impact on the Syrian regime’s calculations that some people seek…ground targets” must be “hit.”
“There is a lack of international consensus on how to take this forward,” he said.
“We are trying to cohere the opposition groups, but they are difficult to cohere because there are many different dimensions to them.”
“So it is work in progress. So I am very clear in my military advice to the government that we need to understand what the political objective is before we can sensibly recommend what military effort and forces should be applied to it.”
“That is something we debate a lot, from the Prime Minister downwards. We also need to do this with our allies.”
“Allies have different views on the way ahead. Understandably there is a great reluctance to see Western boots on the ground in a place like Syria.”
“If you wanted to have the material impact on the Syrian regime’s calculations that some people seek, a no fly zone per se is insufficient.”
“You have to be able, as we did successfully in Libya, to hit ground targets.”
“You have to establish a ground control zone. You have to take out their air defences.”
“You also have to make sure they can’t manoeuvre – which means you have to take out their tanks, and their armoured personnel carriers and all the other things that are actually doing the damage.”
“If you want to have the material effect that people seek you have to be able to hit ground targets and so you would be going to war if that is what you want to do.’
“That is rightly a huge and important decision. There are many arguments for doing it, but there are many arguments for not doing so too.”
Syria’s situation is “highly complex,” he stressed. Escalated war risks cross-border conflict. It’s happening in Lebanon.
It could affect all Syria’s neighbors. Perhaps other regional states. The entire region could become embroiled. Global conflict could follow.
Richards knows the risks. So do other high-level military commanders. They’re warriors, not peacemakers.
Richards called himself a “moral soldier.” His remark is offensive. It’s oxymoronic on its face. He said Afghanistan’s a “good war.”
Others know better. Benjamin Franklin said “(t)here is no such thing as a good war or a bad peace.”
Russia said it won’t let Assad be toppled militarily. It has strategic interests at stake. Perhaps it wants Syria to be Obama’s regional Waterloo.
Halting his imperial rampaging’s important. If Russia and China aren’t committed, who will be? United they stand the best chance. It’s time they stepped up to the plate and acted.
America wages wars on small nations. It prefers weaker ones it can roll over. It abstains from challenging more equal rivals militarily. Bullies operate that way.
Jimmy Carter believes “America does not at the moment have a functioning democracy.” It never had one. Carter didn’t explain.
He’s pessimistic. He’s got good reason to be. He called Snowden’s leaks “beneficial.”
He thinks NSA spying undermines US credibility worldwide. It constitutes “the invasion of human rights and American privacy.” It’s “gone too far.”
“I think that the secrecy that has been surrounding this invasion of privacy has been excessive,” he said.
“So I think that the bringing of it to the public notice has probably been, in the long term, beneficial.”
He criticized Obama’s policies earlier. He condemned his drone attacks. He called targeted assassinations lawless.
Imperial policies undermine America’s “role as the global champion of human rights,” he said.
“America’s violation of international human rights abets our enemies and alienates our friends.”
America lacks moral authority. It lost it multiple ways. Carter’s no saint. Compared to Obama, he looks that way.
A Final Comment
On July 18, Senators Carl Levin (D. MI) and Angus King (I. ME) headlined “For Syria, lessons from the Balkan war.”
Levin chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee. King serves on it with him. Both express hawkish views. They visited the region. They did so for propaganda purposes.
They deplore peace. They support escalated war. They may get what they wish for. They’ll be accountable for lots more blood on their hands.
“We believe the United States should join with its partners and allies in the region and elsewhere to pursue an end to the bloodshed,” they said.
“An international coalition that strengthens the military and political capabilities of thoroughly vetted anti-Assad forces should supply equipment and training.”
“That coalition should also plan for steps that would place even greater military pressure on the Assad regime, including possible strikes against the missiles, aircraft and other heavy weapons that are the instruments of Assad’s campaign of terror.”
Both senators know Washington directly aids Al Qaeda and other extremist groups. They’re supplied weapons, funding, training and direction. It’s been ongoing since conflict began. CIA and US special forces are involved. It’s an open secret.
Levin and King believe the best way to end war is wage more of it. They believe war is peace. They stop short of recommending US boots on the ground. Perhaps they will later. Who knows?
No matter the risks involved, they said, “the costs of inaction are equally high. Assad’s survival, with support from Iran and Hezbollah, would surely strengthen them, to our great detriment.”
They barely stopped short of urging regional war against nonexistent threats.
They blame Assad for Washington’s crimes. It’s standard imperial duplicity. Obama bears full responsibility. Don’t expect them to explain.
“â€¦.US national interests are at stake,” they claim. So are neighboring countries “Israel, Turkey and Jordan.”
They propose international action against Assad. They want “a comprehensive strategy” agreed on as soon as possible.
They want all-out war. They want it against an independent, nonbelligerent sovereign state. They ignore inviolable international law principles.
They turned truth on its head, saying:
A “widespread insurgency has strong popular support.”
False! The vast majority of Syrians support Assad. Independent polls show it. The longer conflict persists, the more his support grows.
Syrians depend on him for whatever protection he can provide. When Syrian forces liberate insurgent held areas, residents express gratitute openly.
Levin and King want America to “help the Syrian people end the senseless slaughter they are suffering” by inflicting more of it.
They, likeminded congressional members, Obama, and complicit administration officials reflect diabolical forces of evil. They’re unmatched in human history.
They’re waging war on humanity. Perhaps they believe the best way to save it is destroy it.
They support permanent war. They want unchallenged US global dominance. They’ll stop at nothing to achieve it.
Imagine the worst ahead. They endorse what’s likely coming. Survival’s up for grabs.
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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