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Syria on the Boil

by Stephen Lendman Tuesday, Oct. 09, 2012 at 4:01 AM


Syria on the Boil

By Stephen Lendman

What's been ongoing for over 18 months looks all too familiar. It could continue for some time. It took most of the 1990s to fully balkanize Yugoslavia. America was the lead belligerent.

Whether or not Washington plans the same for Syria remains to be seen. Only the fullness of time will tell. For sure regime change is prioritized. Ravaging the country ruthlessly continues.

If full-scale war erupts, perhaps hundreds of thousands may die. America doesn't keep count or care. Unchallenged dominance alone matters.

Mass slaughter and destruction are means to very ugly ends. Whether or not achieved, ruins and human misery testify to America's ruthlessness. That's how imperialism works. It terrorizes humanity everywhere it targets.

Syria may or may not be ground zero. It's hard to tell. Washington wages so many direct and proxy wars. It's official policy to ravage one country after another or in multiples.

No nation ever threatened human survival more than America. It's no idle speculation. Mushroom cloud determination may decide things one way or another. Forget about who's president next year. Policies remain the same.

Duopoly power mandates it. Permanent war is policy. World dominance is prioritized. Imagine what's coming if not stopped.

NATO is very much involved. It's a killing machine. It's a dagger pointed at humanity's heart. Any conflict America wages involves all 28 member countries if asked to participate.

Turkey is Washington's lead regional belligerent. It's playing with fire. It stands to lose much more than anything gained. Policy makers going along should be impeached and removed.

It's hard imagining anyone in Ankara wanting war unless pushed by Washington. Bet on that behind the latest provocation.

Syria had nothing to do with mortar rounds landing in Turkish territory. Free Syrian Army militants admitted responsibility. A previous article discussed it.

Washington gave the orders. Turkey saluted and obeyed. Weapons were smuggled to Free Syrian Army (FSA) militants on Syrian territory they controlled. The provocation followed. Turkey shelled Syria border areas in response. Tit for tat has gone on for five days.

That's how wars start. One thing leads to another and then full-scale fighting erupts. On October 6, the Tehran Times headlined "NATO preparing the ground for intervention in Syria: Leader's advisor," saying:

Ali Akbar Velayati formerly was Iran's foreign minister. On October 6, he spoke in Tehran and explained what's going on. Turkey is America's lead regional stalking horse. At issue is instigating full-scale war on Syria.

False flags often start them. The latest border incident is Exhibit A. Syria has gone out of its way to avoid conflict with Turkey and other neighbors. It doesn't matter when it's wrongly blamed for something it didn't do.

According to Velayati:

"Today, NATO is ready to issue a threat against Syria and intends to enter Syria under the pretext that one of the members of this organization….the neighboring country, has been threatened." Washington and other Western countries have this in mind.

"The West is digging a hole so that Turkey, Syria, and the entire region will become stuck in it and the Islamic Awakening will be overshadowed."

"Regional countries, including Syria, Turkey, and Iraq, should remain vigilant because the United States and its allies have plots for regional countries."

Israel is very much involved. Its ambitions exceed its capabilities. It seeks regional dominance. It needs America's help and acquiescence. It wants Washington to do its heavy lifting.

Plots are involved "to break up Syria and Afghanistan and create unrest in Pakistan," added Velayati. Balkanization very much is policy. Iraq was targeted. So is Afghanistan and Pakistan. Perhaps Syria also, then Iran.

Washington planned war on Syria, said Velayati. It doesn't matter that most Syrians support Assad. Foreign mercenaries were recruited and imported. Regional countries were "encouraged….to support them."

"We have helped and are helping and will support Syria’s territorial integrity and the interests of the people and the government, provided that the reforms continue."

Yevgeny Satanovsky heads the Moscow-based Middle East Institute. Ankara sees Syria as a "Turkish province, annexed by rebellious Arab rulers," he believes.

On October 5, NATO belligerently called the border provocation a threat to the entire alliance. Reasons for such an incendiary comment weren't given.

On October 6, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned that conflict between Turkey and Syria may escalate. Perhaps he knows something he's not explaining. For sure he's concealing Washington's lead role in what's ongoing and planned.

On October 6, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) headlined "Austrian Newspaper: Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia Responsible for Increasing Casualties in Syria," saying:

Die Presse blamed them for providing weapons and safe haven protection.

"In an article published on Saturday, the newspaper warned against Turkey's attempt to use the last case of tension on the Syrian-Turkish borders as a pretext for a military intervention that is meant to achieve special objectives, pointing out to the repeated calls of Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan for establishing a no-fly zone over Syria."

His hawkishness threatens regional peace and stability. Qatar and Saudi Arabia share blame. So do other regional countries and NATO ones. Events advance the ball toward what no one should tolerate. At issue is it too late to stop it?

On October 6, SANA said Defense Minister and Deputy Commander-in-Chief Lt. General Fahd Jassem al-Freij spoke on national television. He said Syria's engaged in global war.

It's defending its homeland and people. He spoke on the 39th anniversary of its Tishreen (October) Liberation War. It restored Syria's "pride, dignity and influential presence."

Israel calls it the Yom Kippur War. It began on October 6, 1973. Al-Freij said Syria again is fighting for justice and international law inviolability. It affirms that no country may interfere in the internal affairs of others.

"Syria's sons today, just like during Tishreen War, are committed to the components of identity and are against all forms of domination and submission."

What's ongoing reflects a "confrontation between the advocates of the Western-U.S.-Zionist project and the advocates of freedom, peace, sovereignty and dignity across the globe."

"Our armed forces today are more resolved to restore security and stability to Syria and cut off the hand of whoever tries to harm it and eliminate the remnants of defeated terrorists wherever they are," he added. Those who take up arms against Syria have no futures, he stressed.

Gareth Jenkins is senior associate fellow for the Stockholm-based Institute for Security & Development's Silk Road Studies Program. On October 5 from Ankara, he told Voice of Russia that Turkish threats can't be dismissed.

He calls the latest border provocation a cause for concern but not panic. It very much may escalate. Turkey is the Free Syrian Army's (FSA) "main platform." Militants move back and forth cross border freely. They're well armed, trained, and treated in Turkish hospitals when wounded.

Whatever Turkey may want, he said, it's very much involved and may "make things worse and they are already bad enough." Anyone, including nations, playing with fire risk getting burned.

If full-scale war on Syria erupts, the entire region may erupt. If Iran is attacked, far worse consequences may follow.

With elections weeks away in America, Obama won't start another war, especially against Iran. It's hard distinguishing between Israeli rhetoric and intentions.

It's certain Netanyahu won't go it alone. He hasn't the capability or intention of further rupturing US-Israeli relations. Amos Harel is Haaretz's military correspondent and defense analyst.

On October 7, he headlined "Israel attack on Iran this fall is no longer in the cards," saying:

Internal unrest caused by a much weaker Iranian rial and high prices changes the equation, he believes. In other words, he's saying, perhaps sanctions really are biting hard enough to matter. They never do enough to topple regimes.

Up to now, Netanyahu downplayed them. Now perhaps he has second thoughts. In June 2013, perhaps another Green Revolution may accompany the presidential election.

The 2009 one achieved nothing. It was made in America. Days of street protests and clashes followed. Regime change plans failed. Washington's fingerprints will be all over a repeat if intended. If so, expect no more success than before.

Iran's well versed in American tactics. It's prepared and ready to react. At the same time, ordinary Iranians are fed up with US imperialism and permanent regional wars. They're not about to roll over supportively for violent regime change.

They want nothing to do with US belligerence. They want to live free and choose their own leaders. They want no outside interference.

Throughout summer 2012, said Harel, headlines speculated on whether "Israel would attack Iran's nuclear facilities before the US elections…." Netanyahu's bluster suggested the possibility. Red lines, deadlines, and timelines dominated news reports.

Things seem less urgent now. Summer 2012 replicated 2010 and 2011. Bluster turned out being smoke and mirrors. "How close were we to really doing it this time," asked Harel?

Some observers thought it possible. More thoughtful ones knew otherwise. Rhetoric now proves them right - at least for the time being. Things can change fast. Post-November 6, anything is possible.

At the same time, internal Israeli opposition is significant. High-level past and current government, military, and intelligence officials strongly oppose war. It's true as well in America. Public opinion in both countries oppose it.

"Netanyahu hasn't abandoned the idea," said Harel. Months from now or sooner, expect it to resurface.

Harel, of course, omitted two vital considerations. Netanyahu wouldn't dare attack Iran or other nation without Washington's approval and support.

At the same time, it's well know, though not publicly admitted or discussed, that Iran's nuclear program is entirely peaceful. The Islamic Republic poses no threat. Saying otherwise is cover for longstanding regime change plans.

One more thing. The road to Tehran runs through Damascus. Waging war on either country risks catastrophe. Doing it against both at the same time assures it.

Will policy makers in both countries weigh these considerations? Will they deter wars on either or both countries? Don't bet that sound policies will prevent madness. They haven't so often before.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at

His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"

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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