by Stephen Lendman
Electoral priorities feature rhetoric, not new adventurism advocacy likely to rile voters. Post-election, anything goes.
The Middle East pot boils. Endless conflicts persists. Car bombings, other violence, and instability are daily Iraqi realities. Afghanistan is America's longest war. It was lost long ago. Nonetheless, it shows no signs of ending.
Libya is a raging cauldron. US-led NATO ravaged the country. Fighting continues. Washington's puppet regime has no legitimacy or control. Jamahiriya resistance wants it ousted.
Libyan freedom fighters have good reason. Western stooges represent NATO, not liberation. Their nation lies in ruins. Voice of Russia  cited a new book by Russian Middle East expert Anatoli Yegorin.
He said NATO's campaign did seven times more damage than WW II. Billions of dollars in stolen Libyan wealth hasn't been returned. Post-Gaddafi Libya is ungovernable.
NATO doesn't solve problems. It creates them. Everywhere it shows up, death, destruction, and unspeakable human misery follow. Liberation isn't in its vocabulary. Conquest, occupation, and exploitation are prioritized.
Former Russian Libya ambassador, Vladimir Charmov, said the worst of his expectations came true. Bani Walid symbolically represents a ravaged country in ruins.
Libyan puppets admit they have no control over the city. Defense minister Osama al-Jueili  said:
"The chief of staff has no control over the town and therefore armed men are able to prevent families from coming back."
Bani Walid resembles a ghost town. It was ravaged and destroyed. Thousands likely died. Many more were wounded. Residents able to escape fighting left. Militia fighters prevent them from returning.
Other areas face turmoil. On October 30, AFP  headlined "Libya assembly stormed in new blow to forming government," saying:
Protesters stormed Tripoli's national assembly. A scheduled cabinet vote was prevented. Assembly president Mohammed Megaryef cancelled the session. He had no choice. "Out of control" chaos raged.
Libyans burst in and disrupted proceedings. Live television showed it. It wasn't the first time this happened. It won't be the last. Megaryef and assembly members have no control.
"What happened constitutes psychological pressure on the members of the congress," said Megaryef. "Let it be known to all Libyans and to the whole world in what conditions we are working. The situation is out of control."
On October 31, Russia Today  (rt.com) headlined "Protesters storm Libyan parliament," saying:
Protesters oppose nominated ministers. They represent Western interests, not theirs.
Puppet officials have no legitimacy. They can't even control Tripoli. They're unwanted and impotent elsewhere. Expect protracted liberating struggle to continue.
At the same time, death squad terror stalks the country. Militias, Jamahiriya freedom fighters, and government forces battle for control. Perhaps full-blown NATO intervention again looms. Anything is possible next year.
On October 30, Voice of Russia headlined, "Middle East in anticipation of war, reaching its peak after US elections,” saying:
Israel, not Iran or Syria, is the region's existential threat. It's been that way for decades. Conditions now are worse than earlier.
"(S)ome political experts claim there will be a risk that a new 'big wave' in the Middle East could reach its peak after the American presidential elections, and that the region might plummet into the abyss. They say that Israel is ready to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities."
Commenting on regional conditions, Iranian/US relations specialist Irina Fedorova expressed concerns, saying:
"The issue that will influence the US president’s opinion on the possibility of a military strike against Iran will be the crisis in Syria, including the problem of Bashar al-Assad. Until those problems are resolved, the US president’s attention will be focused on Syria."
Hawks dominate Israeli and US politics. War plans are prepared. Military exercises and bombing a Khartoum weapons facility may have been "rehersal(s) of sorts."
Iran's well aware of the risks. It prepared long ago. "There can be unpredictable decisions in politics and it is possible that the situation could arise when the Israeli military, without Washington’s approval, would start an operation against Iran. In that case the USA would, without doubt, support Israel."
Post-US elections some observers expect this to happen. In fact, Israel won't go it alone. Netanyahu wants Washington taking the lead. He prefers riding shotgun.
At issue, of course, is the madness of attacking Iran. Odds favor it next year. Potentially catastrophic consequences may follow.
At the same time, Syria remains embroiled in conflict. Western-backed death squads violated an Eid al-Adha truce multiple times.
On October 30, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA)  headlined "Premier al-Halqi Condemns Terrorist Groups' Violations during Eid al-Adha," saying:
Syria's Armed Forces "will continue work on consolidating security and stability" across the country. At the same time, the government "will continue providing all kinds of services and needs to the citizens and work on rehabilitating what the terrorist groups have damaged."
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov  blamed Western nations for hindering dialogue and conflict resolution, saying:
"Now we seek to carry out the Geneva agreement, and the first step is to halt violence by all sides which requires international supervision….We must work to move events in the right direction and speak in one voice, particularly foreign players."
Russia tried to broker peace for months. Washington most of all blocks it. Obama bears full responsibility for what's ongoing. Longstanding US plans call for regime change.
Conflict could continue for years. The death and destruction toll already is horrific. Expect worse to come. Washington is directly involved in recruiting, arming, funding, and directing militant extremists.
Al Qaeda, Salafists, Wahabists, and others are part of America's strategy to topple Assad. It hasn't worked so far and won't short of full-scale NATO intervention. Perhaps it's next.
At the same time, civilians suffer most. They're willfully marked for death. Most Syrians support Assad. They're most vulnerable.
On October 30, Foreign Policy  headlined "Obama administration works to launch new Syrian opposition council," saying:
In early November, Syrian opposition leaders will meet in Qatar. At issue is "form(ing) a new leadership body to subsume the opposition Syrian National Council (SNC)."
It's been ineffective. It's beset by infighting. It has little, if any, popular support. Obama officials want change. In September, Hillary Clinton met with Syrian dissidents. They were flown to New York.
SNC leaders believe Obama officials are "trying to undermine" them. Changing the guard plans confirm his view. Washington hopes to have new dissidents in charge by November 7. US elections occur the previous day.
"The Obama administration sees the new council as a potential interim government that could negotiate with both the international community and - down the line - perhaps also the Syrian regime."
"The SNC will have a minority stake in the new body, but some opposition leaders are still skeptical that the effort will succeed."
"The Qatar meeting will include dozens of opposition leaders from inside Syria, including from the provincial revolutionary councils, the local 'coordination committees' of activists, and select people from the newly established local administrative councils."
Washington calls the initiative the "Riad Seif plan." He's a former Syrian parliamentarian/dissident now living outside the country.
Obama officials call him "central" to forming a new opposition council. They claim he has broad support. Previous efforts to pick leaders fell flat. This time likely won't be different.
Libyans want conflict ended. Violence and instability further Washington's plans. Syrians supporting it will be spurned. Popular sentiment wants peace, not war. Don't expect them to get it.
In 2009, the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) reinvented itself as the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI). Policies remain unchanged. Syrian and Iranian regime change is prioritized. Direct intervention is urged.
On October 16, FPI  headlined "Now is the Time for a Safe Zone in Syria," saying:
Things are spinning of control. Omitted is why and who bears responsibility. Instead FPI accuses "dictator" Assad of what foreign invaders inflict on Syrians daily.
What else would PNAC say! It supports stepped up intervention. Diplomacy and sanctions haven't worked, it said.
"Instead, the United States - working with European allies, Turkey, and other regional partners - should advance a new strategy that uses combined airpower to impose a safe zone in northern Syria, where the country’s armed opposition groups have de facto control of large territory, and the Assad regime’s air defense systems are weaker and fewer in number."
PNAC wants both no-fly and safe zones imposed. Either or both are acts of war. Interventionists, of course, want pro-Western puppet governance replacing Assad. PNAC doesn't disguise its advocacy.
Accusations it makes are spurious. Western leaders make the same ones. "As the crisis in Syria worsens, sitting on the sidelines is no longer a feasible option for the United States," it says.
Washington, of course, was been directly involved since conflict erupted in early 2011. Obama officials planned it. Full-scale intervention assures Libya 2.0. Intervening in the internal affairs of other countries directly or through proxie violates fundamental international law.
PNAC left those facts unexplained. Instead it says US-recruited death squads "are bravely standing up to the Assad regime's escalating use of force against his own people."
He's defending, not attacking, them. All responsible leaders would do the same thing. PNAC, Washington, and other Western countries call self-defense aggression. What else would you expect them to say?
Syrians want foreign invaders defeated. They're grateful to have Assad defending them. Expect protracted conflict ahead. Syria's crisis won't be resolved easily or quickly. Success depends on defeating NATO's scourge.
A Final Comment
Western-recruited death squads attacked Kurds in Northwestern Syria in and around Aleppo. Reportedly ceasefire terms are being discussed.
Militants attacked Kurdish neighborhoods. Dozens were kidnapped. At least one man held was tortured to death. Kurdish fighters retaliated. A militia called the Popular Protection Unit (YPG) is involved. It was formed in 2004 to safeguard Kurdish communities.
Syria's Kurdish minority lives mostly along the Turkish/Iraqi borders. Many live in and around Aleppo. They comprise about 10% of Syria's population.
They've mostly stayed neutral in the conflict. They won't remain on the sidelines if they're attacked. The situation bears watching.
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.