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The View from Istanbul

by Stephen Lendman Monday, Apr. 02, 2012 at 9:37 PM


The View from Istanbul

by Stephen Lendman

So-called "Friends of Syria" aren't at all friendly to most Syrians. Syrian National Council/Free Syrian Army hostility is visible in daily violence they commit.

Backed by Washington, Britain, France, and other rogue NATO partners, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and perhaps other regional states supply powerful weapons and munitions to reign terror on ordinary civilians. They've also killed thousands of security forces.

At issue isn't democracy or other high-sounding values. Anti-Assad nations don't tolerate them at home. They're never exported through subversion or barrel of a gun violence. Establishing another pro-Western state's planned, as well as isolating and weakening Iran before targeting its government for regime change.

Behind the scenes, Washington's dirty hands manipulate everything. Longstanding plans called for ousting Assad by any means, including war. Nothing changed.

In pursuit of unchallenged dominance, Syrians and others in the region die daily. That's what imperialism's all about. Body counts don't matter, only wealth and unchallenged power.

Rogue Partners Talk Shop in Istanbul

On April 1, dozens of Western countries discussed ways to control, perhaps divide, and exploit Syria. Regional Arab League despots joined them. Russia and China boycotted the conference for good reason.

The New York Times headlined, "At Summit, Nations Move to Increase Aid for Syrian Rebels," saying:

Washington and others there "moved direct intervention in the fighting in Syria...." It's been raging since violence erupted over a year ago. Admitting it confirms what's already known.

Weapons, munitions, funding, and training are involved. US, UK, French, and perhaps other special forces  participate actively on the ground. So do CIA and MI6 operatives.

Events replicate the early 2011 Libya model. In February, US/UK/French special forces and intelligence operatives actively began helping anti-Gaddafi NATO-backed militants. An armed insurgency followed, including bombing weeks later.

Round two's raging in Syria, short of bombs away. If other methods fail, expect it ahead of moving on to target Iran. Plans are made. Only timing's not known. Election year politics and other issues dictate it.

In Istanbul, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and other Arab states pledged 0 million to bankroll opposition fighters. Doing so means they're on their payroll. They're employees. They're hired guns like Mafia hitmen for much less pay.

Militant "Friends of Syria" want force, not diplomatic resolution. Even The Times admitted it that using it "stretch(es) the definition of humanitarian assistance."

It stopped short of acknowledging the latter’s never involved when Washington intervenes. Responsibility to protect is a thinly veiled regime change scheme by any means.

Free Syrian Army fighters and Syrian National Council (SNC) members are Western tools to achieve it. SNC leader Burhan Ghalioun said "This is high noon for action."

Hillary Clinton told conference attendees that Assad defied Annan's six-point peace plan, saying:

"The world must judge Assad by what he does, not by what he says. And we cannot sit back and wait any longer."

Clinton's a war goddess. She's part and parcel of Washington's plan to instigate and continue violence. Assad's blamed for confronting it. Blame game strategy operates that way.

International involvement inside and outside Syria "drags into a second year," said The Times. It "appears to be deepening."

"We are discussing with our international partners how best to expand support," said Clinton.

Turkey's Today's Zaman quoted Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan saying:

The "legitimate demands of the Syrian people must be met, right here, right now." Suggesting military intervention, he called for international leaders to defend the Syrian people's "right to self-defense" if the Security Council can't provide it. He added:

"A Security Council that has failed to say enough to a regime that has massacred innocent civilians, shelled cities and resorted to brutal violence is clearly incapable of preserving international peace and security."

As long as Washington's a member, the Security Council won't tolerate international peace and security. Violence is standard practice. Targeted regimes are obligated to confront it. Their people expect it.

On April 1, Lebanese Defense Minister Fayez Ghusn stressed what Assad faces, saying:

"Smuggling weapons persists and is in fact increasing; the army is fighting it as much as it can but the smuggling operations are on the rise because they bring lots of profit and money. The army is ready but sometimes there are gaps and problems."

Lebanon's Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour said:

"We deal with Syria....state to state as we deal with all the Arab countries." We stress "the necessity of halting violence and adopting dialogue."

Despite clear evidence Washington supports and perhaps actively participates in arming insurgents, The Times quoted an unnamed "senior American official" saying Washington and other nations agreed Sunday to set up a "working group" to monitor countries involved in arming or otherwise supporting Assad.

They want "to basically name and shame those entities, individuals, and countries, who are evading the sanctions." They also want to "document acts of violence by Syrian forces" to be used later to prosecute Assad and others around him.

Scoundrel Media Assail Him

Their attacks are vicious, relentless, and one-sided. New York Time op-ed contributor Aaron David Miller mocked Annan's peace plan for the wrong reasons. Headlining, "Will Annan Save Assad? he said:

"Although it is well intentioned, Mr. Annan’s plan won’t end the crisis; it will make it worse. The plan is an ill-timed lifeline to a murderous regime that will exploit Mr. Annan’s diplomacy to buy time, to reload and to divide the opposition and the international community."

It offers Assad "time and space to rest and plan." It also "break(s) the momentum of supplying weapons to the Free Syrian Army."

Fact check

Annan's peace plan is a ruse. It's more theater than resolve to end conflict diplomatically. While calling for both sides to stop violence, it insists Assad make the first move.

His government must "immediately cease troop movements towards, end the use of heavy weapons in population centers, and begin pullback of military concentrations in and around population centers."

In other words, it calls on him to stop protecting his own people, leave them on their own unprotected, and let insurgents reign terror unopposed because who'll stop them. No responsible leader would agree.

Moreover, weapons continue flowing freely to opposition fighters. They're supplied regularly through porous borders.

"Assad (will) exploit (Annan's plan) because it is based on a process that doesn't rule out his government's staying in power and indeed might ensure" it. "Suddenly" he's now "part of the solution."

Only Syrians can decide if he stays or goes. International law prohibits outside intervention in any form. Most Syrians support him, especially his reform plans.

It's their choice, and their right to tell less than friendly "friends" to butt out and let them run their own affairs unobstructed.

On March 30, a Washington Post editorial headlined, "Syria's cover for murder," saying:

Days after agreeing to Annan's plan, violence keeps raging. The editorial, of course, blames Assad, not responsible killer gangs. "The results were completely predictable," it said. Annan gave him "cover."

"How much (more) time" should he get? "How many more dead?" The Post's offices are near the White House. Its editors can trot over and ask. Instead, they continue saying:

"The Obama administration’s de facto choice to tolerate the survival of a regime that is Iran’s chief ally in the Middle East and the sponsor of Hamas and Hezbollah might have many motivations. But neither the will to prevent mass murder nor the pursuit of U.S. strategic interests could be among them."

Fact check

Obama, those around him, and most in Congress plan ousting him. Insurgent "mass murder" is part of their scheme.

Washington's "strategic interests" entail installing another pro-Western regime, exploiting Syrians, isolating Iran, replacing its government by any means, reigning terror on the entire region, and controlling it unchallenged.

That's how imperialism works. Media scoundrels support it in lockstep. Body count totals don't matter, just success by any means, fair or foul.

Nearly always the latter way's chosen. Suffering never ends. It increases.

Syrians know Assad's their only hope. They won't tolerate becoming another pro-Western vassal state. It's their country, their government, their choice, and their right.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at

Also visit his blog site at 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.

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