Pressure Builds for War on Syria
Pressure Builds for War on Syria
by Stephen Lendman
It's baked in the cake. Preparations began months ago. Regime change plans are longstanding. The road to Tehran runs through Damascus.
Washington runs everything. It controls the process. At stake is regional dominance. Key also is shutting out Russia and China.
War is the strategy of choice when other methods fail. Insurgent attacks won't oust Assad. Increasingly war looks likely. Only its timing is unknown.
For months, regional states, including Israel, have been supplying insurgents with weapons. They're entering cross border. Lebanon's Khamat Airport is used. It borders Syria. It underwent reconstruction for reasons other than commercial development.
Retired Lebanese General Amin Khteit explained months earlier. He said official reasons for using the airport belie its real purpose. "(P)roven reports" say its a "transshipment base" to supply Syrian insurgents with weapons.
On June 10, Haaretz headlined "Netanyahu: Assad slaughtering Syrian civilians with the aid of Iran, Hezbollah," saying:
On Sunday, he accused Assad of carrying out recent massacres. "We see horrid pictures of children and the elderly."
"The massacre is not only carried out by the Syrian government, but is also aided by Iran and Hezbollah. The world must see this axis of evil so everyone would understand in what world we live in."
Like Obama and top US officials, Neyanyahu is a serial liar and war criminal multiple times over.
Earlier Sunday, Vice Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz also pointed fingers at Assad. He accused Russia of arming him. He called for direct military intervention.
Earlier, Israeli officials stayed mostly silent. Going public may prove significant. Hindsight will explain more than now known.
War winds have blown for months. Now they're reaching gale force. Direct intervention could come any time.
On June 11, Press TV headlined "Israel engages in publicity stunt to encourage military intervention in Syria," saying Likud party MK Ayood Kara claimed:
"....(R)ecent reports indicated that the armed groups fighting against the Syrian government have found access to and plan to use chemical weapons, acquired from Libya."
"According to a June 10 report by Russia Today, the armed rebels plan to use the chemical weapons against civilians and then attempt to blame Damascus for the atrocity."
Another same day Press TV report explained that Israeli planes are "smuggling weapons into Iraq's Kurdistan region...." They're transshipped to Syria with Qatari help.
President Massoud Barzani is involved. He's "facilitat(ing) the operations of illegal Israeli firms in the region."
Washington is training Al Qaeda elements in European countries. They're sent to Syria to commit violence.
On Press TV, this writer pointed fingers the right way. America bears full responsibility. At issue is replacing Assad with a pro-Western puppet regime.
US, UK, and other foreign special forces are involved. They're training, arming, funding, and directing insurgent strikes. So are CIA and MI6 operatives. Pro-Assad loyalists are targeted as well as strategic sites. Direct intervention approaches.
On May 27, London Guardian writer Patrick Seale headlined "In Syria, this is no plan for peace," saying:
"After the Houla massacre, it's clear that outside funding of the anti-Assad rebels is undermining efforts to end the conflict."
Unless stopped, Seale predicts "full-scale civil war." Western-sponsored insurgency to topple Assad is more accurate.
War will destroy Syria, he said. It "could destabilize the whole Levant." Assad's waging a battle for survival.
Separately he asked "What Is US Game Plan?" Drone attacks build "fierce anti-American sentiment...." Peace initiatives are sabotaged. Instead of engaging Iran responsibly, confrontational policies continue. Syrian violence increasingly spins more out of control.
"So what is Obama up to?" He adopted Israel's hardline view on most everything. Instead of solving problems, he escalates them. He pays lip service to one thing but does another.
He "embraced the argument of Israeli hawks and American neoconservatives that (toppling Assad) is the best way to weaken and isolate" Iran, "sever its ties to" Hezbollah and "Palestinian resistance movements, and eventually bring about a regime change in Tehran."
Obama, in fact, had these views throughout his tenure. He replicates America's most hardline elements. He's waging more direct and proxy wars than any US president in history.
He itches for more. He abhors peace, calm and stability. Syria is target one, then Iran, followed by other states to be named later. No end game whatever is in sight. Perpetual conflicts continue. So does mass killing and destruction.
It's shocking how few Americans understand what's going on and how it affects them directly.
On June 11, the Mossad DEBKAfile (DF) headlined "Obama speeds up limited air strike, no fly-zones preparations for Syria," saying:
He ordered "the US Navy and Air Force to accelerate preparations for a limited air offensive against the Assad regime and the imposition of no-fly zones over Syria..."
Strategy involves destroying "Assad's central regime and military command centers...."
So-called limited air attacks and no fly zones mean full scale war. Libyan-style mass killing and destruction will follow.
DF also said rebels will be supplied with greater amounts of arms and munitions. Enhanced professional training will be provided. At issue is ousting Assad more quickly.
How Moscow and Beijing react remains unclear. Both countries have vital regional interests. Losing them is unacceptable.
On June 10, Voice of Russia quoted Russian political analyst Georgi Mirsky, saying:
"The rebels are hoping to secure Western air support of their armed campaign against the Syrian government. Safe havens would be established, used by the Free Syrian Army as well as fleeing civilians."
"The Syrian army would have to attack these FSA bases, triggering an opposition appeal to the United Nations. Russia and China, however, would certainly block any intervention motion."
"NATO would probably intervene on its own, launching a massive air campaign. And once started, this new NATO war would draw in Iran."
According to Moscow-based Arab Studies Centre regional expert Boris Dolgov:
"The armed rebels are the main destabilizing force in Syria. During our January visit to that country, we found out that they do not have popular support."
"The majority of the Syrian people support President Assad and his reforms, which include the adoption of a new constitution and the introduction of multiparty democracy."
"Importantly, Syria has already held multiparty elections and formed a broad-based government. The Syrian opposition, however, is after toppling the Assad regime. It continues to stubbornly decline any dialogue with it."
Iran's FARS news agency said insurgents plan using chemical weapons smuggled from Libya. At issue is blaming Assad as a pretext for war.
FARS also reported Qatar's involvement with Israel in transshipping weapons to insurgents. Syrian security forces "discovered a large cache of weapons, explosives and ammunitions piled up and used by terrorist groups."
"(M)aterial is being stockpiled in Damascus, in Idlib near the Turkish border, and in Zabadani on the Lebanese border."
On Al-Manar Satellite channel, Lebanon's Defense Minister Fayez Ghosn said weapons smuggling continues illegally across his country's borders into Syria.
Tripoli is a base. "The armed men, coming from Turkey, Iraq and other parts, running away from Syria inflame Tripoli and Lebanon in general in implementation for premeditated schemes," he added.
Lebanon's army is doing what it can against elements destabilizing the country.
Earlier, Lebanon's navy seized a cargo ship carrying heavy machine guns, artillery shells, rockets, rocket launchers, and other explosives.
Its crew was arrested. It got permission to enter Tripoli. It originated from Libya. En route, it docked at Alexandria, Egypt. Other weapons caches were also interdicted. Large supplies are sent Syrian insurgents regularly.
On June 11, Now Lebanon headlined "Israel says Syria has the world's biggest chemical arsenal," saying:
Israeli General Staff Deputy Chief, Major General Yair Naveh claims Syrian chemical weapons, missiles and rockets can strike "any part of Israeli territory."
His remarks were broadcast Monday over Israeli military radio. He claimed Assad won't be restrained from attacking Israel. He said Syria stockpiled sarin and other nerve gas weapons.
On Sunday, the Syrian National Council (SNC) appointed a new leader. Former head Burhan Ghalioun was forced out.
Kurdish academic Abdelbaset Sayda replaced him. He lived in exile in Sweden. He told reporters at a news conference:
"We will expand and extend the base of the council so it will take on its role as an umbrella under which all the opposition will seek shade."
At issue is enlisting anti-Assad support from Syria's 1.5 million Kurds. Throughout the conflict, they've been largely neutral. He has no links to Syrian Kurds. Neither do most other SNC members. Whether the scheme works remains unclear.
Prominent dissident Fawaz Tello ended his SNC affiliation last year. At issue was Ghalioun's autocratic leadership. He said Syrian Kurds don't support Sayda.
He added that SNC members who resigned consider him weak and ineffective. "They never considered him as a candidate," they said. He doesn't represent Kurds, they claimed.
Ankara-based Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies (ORSAM) Syrian expert Oytun Orhan agreed, saying:
Sayda "does not represent the Kurds in the SNC. He is an independent member." He has no base among Syria's Kurdish population.
He was a compromise choice. One reason he was chosen "was to gain the support of the Kurds. From the very beginning, Kurds did not seriously participate (in) the opposition movement."
Kurdish SNC members dispute openly with other group members over issues vital to them. They deeply resent Sunni Arab SNC dominance. They support interests harming Kurdish interests.
Oytun added that it's hard imagining Kurdish political parties are happy about Sayda's appointment. What he can accomplish seems doubtful.
What's ahead for Syria appears clearer. Obama wants more war intends to get it. More mass killing and destruction will follow. It's how ugly imperialism always works.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.