US House Members Up the Stakes in Syria

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US House Members Up the Stakes in Syria
by Stephen Lendman
On November 15, House members unanimously approved legislation for new sanctions on Syria and its supporters, pointing fingers at Russia, Iran and Hezbollah – illegal if imposed without Security Council authorization.
HR 5732, The Ceasar Syria Civilian Protection Act, requires reports on human rights violators (excluding war crimes by America, its rogue allies and terrorist foot soldiers called moderates), “abuse of cross-border assistance, and the feasibility of (establishing) a no-fly zone or safe zone over” the country – a declaration of war on Syria and Russia if imposed.
Photographer Ceasar produced thousands of fake photos with CIA help, purporting to show Syrian torture victims to undermine 2014 Geneva conflict resolution talks.
Neocon co-sponsor Rep. Eliot Engel (D. NY), speaking on the House floor, distorted reality, saying  “(s)omething needs to jolt this crisis out of its bloody status quo.” 
“This bill would give the Administration more tools to do so. It would impose new sanctions on any parties that continue to do business with the Assad regime.” 
“We want to go after the things driving the war machine: money, airplanes, spare parts, oil, the military supply chain.” 
“And yes, we want to go after Assad’s partners in violence. Under this legislation, if you’re acting as a lifeline to the Assad regime, you risk getting caught up in the net of our sanctions.”
House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Rep. Ed Royce compounded Engel’s deplorable lies, saying “(c)hemical weapons, starvation, and barrel bombs are just a few of the gruesome and brutal tactics millions of innocent Syrians face daily.”  
“Yet as the violence worsens, the administration has failed to use the tools it already has to crack down on Assad and his regime. These atrocities have gone on for far too long.”  
“Vital US national security interests are at stake, which is why we are acting today to see that Assad’s war machine cannot rain down on the people of Syria unrelentingly.”
Senate members haven’t yet addressed the measure. If passage follows before the current Congress adjourns by at least a two-thirds majority, HR 5732 will be veto-proof.
With Obama’s tenure ending in January, it remains to be seen if Trump fulfills his pledge to cooperate with Russia against terrorism, instead of pursuing regime change like Obama.
A lot rides on whether his geopolitical agenda shifts from war to diplomacy – along with combating terrorism instead of supporting it.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.