The Winds of War
by Stephen Lendman
When Washington plans regime change, wars are waged if other methods fail.
For over a year, Western-generated violence ravaged Syria. Assad remains firmly in control. As a result, expect war. All signs suggest it.
Annan’s so-called peace plan is sham cover for what’s planned. A longstanding imperial tool, he’s part of the problem, not the solution. Instead of pointing fingers the right way, he blames Syria for insurgent crimes.
So does Ban Ki-moon, calling Assad “fully accountable for grave violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.” He added that government forces are using the so-called April 10 halt to violence deadline as an “excuse” to increase it.
Assad deplores it and accepted deadline terms provided both sides comply. Under orders, Western-controlled insurgents refuse. Peace and stability assure status quo conditions Washington rejects. Regime change requires violence, the more the better.
On April 8, Itar-Tass headlined, “Syrian opposition refuses to give authorities guarantees on ceasefire,” saying:
Free Syrian Army (FSA) commander Colonel Riad al-Asaad said the FSA “does not recognize the (Assad) regime and will not give any guarantees.”
Disingenuously he added that if government forces withdraw from cities, they’ll lay down arms. Doing so lets insurgents regain control over areas they previously held. Letting them assures continued violence, including appalling atrocities.
As a result, Syrian authorities responsibly demand written ceasefire guarantees. They only work when both sides comply. Insurgents refuse. Conflict won’t end. War winds blow stronger. Washington’s dirty hands escalate them.
Already waging multiple wars and numerous proxy ones, Obama craves more. While disingenuously supporting peace, Washington, rogue NATO partners, and regional allies continue arming, funding, training, and actively aiding insurgents other ways to violently oust Assad.
So-called Friends of Syria support “measures by the Syrian population to protect themselves.” In other words, they’re armed and supported to subvert, not advance, peace.
At the same time, on April 7, ahead of Easter Sunday, Obama’s holiday message belied his rage for war and violence. Wishing everyone “joy,” he’s planning more carnage and destruction.
Peace won’t be tolerated. War is policy. Mass killing always follows. At issue is global dominance. Body counts don’t matter. No holds barred hardball tactics escalate violence. Blame game strategy holds victims responsible. Fingers point the wrong way.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) Reverts to Form
After accusing insurgents of targeted killings, summary executions, kidnappings for ransom, torture, hostage taking, and other violent crimes, HRW reverted to form as a reliable imperial ally. For decades, it served the same purpose. It’s doing it again now.
In late March, it accused government forces of using local residents as human shields. So-called witnesses say so. Who they represent wasn’t explained.
On April 9, HRW went further headlining, “Syria: Extrajudicial Executions,” saying:
“Syrian security forces summarily executed over 100 – and possibly many more – civilians and wounded or captured opposition fighters during recent attacks on cities and towns….”
“Government and pro-government forces not only executed opposition fighters they had captured, or who had otherwise stopped fighting and posed no threat, but also civilians who likewise posed no threat to the security forces.”
Well-documented accounts report mass executions and atrocities carried out by insurgents. HRW, in fact, provided some evidence. Now it shifted gears. It’s blaming victims, not aggressors.
Its report titled, “In Cold Blood: Summary Executions by Syrian Security Forces and Pro-Government Militias” focused solely on Assad. Insurgent crimes were excluded. Doing so shows what’s involved.
War winds blow harder. HRW’s a willing agent. Being one leaves its hands bloodstained. It played that role many previous times.
No End of Violence in Sight
Ahead of the so-called April 10 deadline for both sides to halt violence, killer gang violence rages. Aleppo’s military headquarters was attacked. So was the nearby Minakh Air Base.
Daily, civilian and security force deaths mount. On April 8, the Syrian Human Rights Network (SHRN) called Western and regional insurgency support blatant hypocrisy.
It stressed that US control assures “double-standards” and “unipolar” policies. It added that supporting armed terrorist groups violates international law and UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Resolution 1373.
Adopted unanimously on September 28, 2001, it calls for confronting international terrorism by “suppressing financing” and “criminaliz(ing) the willful provision or collection of funds for such acts.”
It addition, it said “States should also refrain from providing any form of support to entities or persons involved in terrorist acts; take the necessary steps to prevent the commission of terrorist acts; deny safe haven to those who finance, plan, support, commit terrorist acts and provide safe havens as well.”
The Security Council “expressed its determination to take all necessary steps to fully implement the current resolution.”
In fact, Washington, Britain, France, and other SC allies, did precisely the opposite. They reigned terror across North Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia. They lurched from one war to another. They plan more now.
On Saturday before Easter Sunday, Gregory III Laham, Melkite Greek Catholic Church Patriarch of Antioch, said Syrians are united against plots targeting their country.
“Syria is a central and pivotal country, which explains why the world’s countries are ganging up on it.” He added that they won’t prevail, that Syrians are united to protect their national identity, and they’re entitled to defend themselves against terrorist crimes.
Syria’s Grand Mufti, Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun, said common sacrifice will let Syria emerge victorious. He added that “the blood of these martyrs will be a light and an illumination for all Syrians and a fire that burns those who sent weapons or wished destruction upon this country.”
The forces of evil will be defeated, he stressed. Syrians certainly hope so. The know the stakes and who’s at fault.
On April 8, Today’s Zaman headlined, “Military intervention in Syria not completely ruled out,” saying:
According to Ankara-based Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies (ORSAM) regional expert Veysel Ayhan:
“The situation in Syria could evolve into a military intervention with the support of global powers.” Arming insurgents subverts peace, he added. “If the Syrian opposition received armed support, then nobody should expect a truce at the end.”
Indeed not because Washington won’t tolerate it. On April 8, Ria Novosti said Annan’s plan won’t stop violence “because opponents of the Syrian Government are funding armed opposition in the country” while claiming to want peace.
According to Moscow State University’s Vladimir Bartenev:
“The situation is a mockery of the very idea of conflict settlement.”
He added that Assad had to accept Annan’s plan because rejecting it would have made matters worse.
Moscow Carnegie Center’s Alexei Malashenko said:
“The schizophrenic situation will go on while Assad is scrambling for a way to survive.”
Days earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused Assad opponents of “egging on” violence. He added that efforts to oust him have little chance to succeed without direct NATO intervention.
Moscow-based Middle East Studies Institute head Yevgeny Satanovsky agrees, saying Assad so far prevails. He controls major cities. Insurgents were pushed out. They’re resorting to guerilla war.
At the same time, both analysts think Assad won’t survive long-term. Constitutional reform alone may replace him. Syrians will choose their own leaders. It’s their choice, not outsiders. Whether they’ll get it remains to be seen.
Washington has other ideas. Another client state is planned. Getting one assures the worst for Syrians. Most understand. Why else would Assad have majority support.
The longer Western backed violence rages, the more it grows. Alone, it’s not enough. It didn’t save Gaddafi. NATO, not insurgents, ousted him.
As a result, direct Western intervention against Assad is coming. When isn’t clear. It may happen sooner than imagined.
Washington wants regime change. When other tactics fail, war’s the final option. Expect it.
A Final Comment
Violence won’t end unless both sides agree. Syria justifiably wants written ceasefire guarantees. Opposition forces refuse.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland dismissed the demand. She called it “more chaff being thrown up in the air at the last minute to deflect attention from the fact that the regime is not meeting (its) commitments….”
Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said Assad began fulfilling Annan’s peace plan. He noted his active cooperation.
Nuland reveals Washington’s hand. It rejects Syrian good faith efforts. It blames Assad for insurgent violence. It plans greater intervention.
Turkey’s involved. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants a new Security Council resolution. Violence continues, he said, including cross-border clashes. Syrian fire allegedly hit a Turkish refugee camp.
He accused Assad of violating his territory. He warned that Ankara will “use its rights as guaranteed by international law,” without further elaboration.
He wants SC members “tak(ing) whatever steps they ought to under these circumstances.” He considers all options open and nothing ruled out. He may be following orders from Washington and other NATO powers.
Perhaps they plan a 1999 Yugoslavia-type intervention. Without Security Council authorization, NATO acted on its own. Mass killing and destruction followed.
Syria may be ravaged the same way. Erdogan’s comments suggest he’s on board. In 2011, he participated with Western powers against Gaddafi.
On April 10, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem affirmed government forces withdrew from some provinces. Nonetheless, opposition violence continues.
Lavrov agrees. Over 100,000 Russians live in Syria. It’s embassy got reliable information about insurgent landmines, explosives, heavy weapons use, and terrorist attacks on civilians and state security forces, in violation of Annan’s peace plan.
Responding to Erdogan, al-Moallem said Syria is entitled to defend its sovereignty. Turkey’s involved in the violence. It hosts insurgent forces. It lets them conduct cross-border raids. It supplies them with weapons. Doing so violates international law and hopes for peace.
Lavrov wants insurgents pressured to halt violence. Washington’s involved in arming them. It eggs them on. It wants protracted violence. It spurns peace and stability. So do other NATO powers and supportive regional states.
April 10 came and went. Violence continues. Signs suggest greater intervention. Washington holds back nothing for what it wants. It’s about total regional dominance to China and Russia’s borders, no matter the body count. Expect war. It’s coming.
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.