Stephen Lendman, Contributing Writer
On January 28, Arab League monitors suspended operations in Syria. In early February, they’ll decide whether to end them altogether. League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby blamed Assad for “resort(ing) to escalating the military option in complete violation of (his) commitments.”
In fact, he’s contesting a Western-generated insurgency. League despots support it. They also condoned NATO’s Libya war, including massacres too great to ignore. They back NATO’s plan to colonize, occupy and plunder Middle East states, including Iraq, Libya, Syria and Iran, as well as ongoing atrocities in Bahrain, Yemen, Somalia, Palestine, and elsewhere in the region.
On December 26, Arab League observers began monitoring Syrian cities. Sudanese General Mohammed Ahmed Mustafa al-Dabi led them. Instead of delivering the goods as planned, he called Assad “cooperative.”
Ergo, end the mission. Initiate Plan B.
After ravaging Libya and toppling Gaddafi, Syria was next. For months, Western-backed insurgents killed thousands. No one knows how many. UN estimates lack credibility by pointing fingers the wrong way.
Washington wants Assad vilified, delegitimized, weakened and toppled. Tactics include violence, propaganda, and attempts to pass Security Council measures, inching closer to intervention. More on that below.
Whether Assad survives is uncertain. So far he’s hanging on resiliently. Nonetheless, the State Department calls him “dead man walking,” and Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood expects him out in months. In fact, Israel’s Ehud Barak thinks in weeks. Don’t bet on it.
For now, he successfully resisted Western efforts to topple him with Russian, Chinese, and internal popular support. Syria’s military is also strong and supportive. Loyalists run it with much to gain by standing fast, not yielding to opposition pressure. In contrast, so-called Free Syrian Army ranks are weak by comparison.
In addition, anti-Assad elements are divided and disorganized. Internal National Coordination Body for Democratic Change ones oppose foreign intervention and conflict. They want grievances settled politically and diplomatically.
In contrast, Turkey-based Syrian National Council (SNC) officials support it. They claim Syria’s situation replicates Libya’s. They also represent Western imperialism against the rights and interests of most Syrians.
Nonetheless, they’re also internally split, unable to agree on a common agenda. Many don’t trust SNC leader Burhan Ghalioun. Some call him authoritarian for unilaterally wanting SNC/NCB unity.
So far, Western and/or regional states haven’t directly intervened. Whether that continues is uncertain. The longer Assad holds on, the greater the pressure to do so. Behind the scenes, Washington, rogue NATO allies and Israel seek ways to replicate Libya’s model, either alone using regional proxies and/or by direct NATO intervention. The situation remains tense.
Strong Russian/Chinese Opposition
So far, Russia and China firmly oppose intervention. As a result, Western Security Council resolutions failed. Russia’s against a new draft. On January 27, Itar Tass headlined, “Western draft resolution on Syria in UN SC unacceptable for Russia,” saying:
Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said Russia won’t support it. It “almost does not take into account our position,” he said. “The document lacks key aspects, which are essential for us.”
At issue is preventing military intervention and assuring UN Charter provisions aren’t violated. It’s also about vague language like in Resolution 1973 against Libya, smoothing the way to war. It says “additional measures will be considered” if Assad doesn’t comply.
What measures, asked Gatilov? As a result, he said the “current draft resolution is unacceptable for us.”
Washington rejected Russia’s draft. It focuses on “the need to launch political negotiations between the government and opposition….” It also stresses ending violence.
RIA Novosti quoted Russia’s UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin saying:
“I made it clear that we, the Russian delegation, did not see that draft as a basis on which we can agree.” However, it “doesn’t mean that we refuse to engage.”
Specifically, he’s concerned about similarities to Washington’s October resolution Russia and China vetoed. Its language potentially facilitates a “Libya scenario” both countries reject.
Russia also opposes Washington/EU unilateral sanctions. On January 26, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow will “stonewall attempts to gain UN approval….”
Washington’s inching closer to direct and/or proxy military intervention. Rogue NATO partners including Turkey, complicit Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, Jordan, and Israel are on board.
Ideas floated include a no-fly zone, a humanitarian corridor between Turkey’s Hatay province and Syria, and direct military intervention.
Turkey’s involved in sponsoring anti-Assad insurgents. Nonetheless, in mid-January, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara will “take a leadership” to prevent “a religious, sectarian, racial war.” Perhaps he means by instigating more conflict than now.
In mid-January, Obama called Syria’s government “unacceptable.” He wants Assad “to step aside.” On December 21, a White House Press Secretary statement said:
….the only way to bring about the change that the Syrian people deserve is for Bashar al-Assad to leave power….The United States is deeply disturbed by credible reports that (his) regime continues to indiscriminately kill scores of civilians and army defectors….Time and again, the Assad regime has demonstrated that it does not deserve to rule Syria.
No matter that most Syrians support Assad. In addition, Washington notoriously backs some of the world’s worst despots, while America’s making enemies faster than friends.
Syria’s targeted to install a pro-Western government and isolate Iran. Russia, China and other key countries oppose it. Nonetheless, New York Times writer Ellen Barry says few “world capitals” support Assad.
For months, numerous Times editorials vilified him, stopping just short of advocating war. If Western invention follows, Times’ support is assured. In contrast, Vladimir Putin’s strongly against.
Notably, he accused Washington of “want(ing) to control everything” and make other countries “vassals.” He also cited America’s “missile defense” system targeting Russia, saying:
Obama officials aren’t “prepared to cooperate on equal terms either with Europe or us. Cooperation….means determining threats together and working out a system of response to them together. They flatly reject that.”
They also reject peace. The business of America is war, permanent wars, plundering one nation after another for wealth, power, and dominance while homeland needs go begging. Opposition governments are targeted for regime change.
A Final Comment
Obama’s America’s latest warrior president. He spurns peace to fuel conflicts. He supports preemptive wars, using first-strike nuclear and other terror weapons “to keep the American people safe (and advance) the nation’s values and ideals.”
Unstated, they include unchallengeable global/space dominance, ruling by intimidation and war, and making the world safe for capital.
As a result, America’s permanent war doctrine threatens humanity. No matter. It doesn’t stop deranged officials from pursuing it — Republicans and Democrats.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also 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. http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/