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Syria's Qusair Victory Matters

by Stephen Lendman Monday, Jun. 10, 2013 at 1:57 PM


Syria's Qusair Victory Matters

by Stephen Lendman

Qusair's strategically important. Western-backed death squads controlled it for over a year. On June 5, Syrian forces triumphed. Insurgent fighters were routed. Many were killed. Others were captured. Remaining elements fled.

On June 8, Buwayda village was secured. It was the final area-held insurgent position. Syria's in full control. Qusair borders Lebanon. It's in central Homs province. It's part of an important insurgent supply route.

According to General Yahya Suleiman:

"Whoever controls Qusair control the center of the country, and whoever controls the center of the country controls all of Syria."

On June 8, an unnamed senior Syrian military officer said:

"We can now declare Qusair and the surrounding area to be a fully liberated area. We will go after the terrorists wherever they are."

On June 6, the Los Angeles Times headlined "Syria loyalists in Damascus cheered by Qusair victory," saying:

A man called Ali said "(w)e never thought of defeat; now we know the final triumph is coming."

LA Times writers said "victory in Qusair was one of a string of recent battlefield successes that has not only improved the government's strategic position, but also boosted morale among loyalists in the capital and elsewhere."

A previous article cited a recent NATO study. It shows 70% of Syrians support Assad. They do so for good reason. They're outraged about foreign intervention.

Western-backed death squads are responsible for mass killing and destruction. They've committed appalling atrocities. Syrians want them routed and defeated. They want their sovereignty respected. They want peace and stability restored.

Pro-Assad solidarity's increasing. LA Times writers said Syrians "view the president as holding back a wave of Islamic extremists funded by Turkey, Arab states and the West."

Washington's fully in charge. It's running things. It has from inception. It's orchestrating ongoing fighting. LA Times writers didn't explain. A Syrian merchant did, saying "(t)his so-called revolution is not of our making."

What's ahead remains to be seen. Regime change is longstanding US policy. Plans won't change. Conflict continues. It does so despite decisive Syrian victories.

Qusair's most important of all. Other areas have been liberated. Perhaps ahead they all will be. Death squad fighters are no match against superior Syrian military power. Cutthroats excel only in killing civilians and committing gruesome atrocities.

Whether Washington plans US-led NATO intervention bears close watching. Israel's very much involved. Netanyahu actively supports Al Qaeda and other extremist Islamists.

So does Washington. Syria knows its liberating struggle goes on. Conflict could continue for years. It's Washington's call.

Decisions made there matter. Obama officials will decide what follows. Nothing suggests peace and stability breaking out. Plans call for continued death, destruction, subversion and destabilization.

Michel Chossudovsky is right. "The West should pay reparations to Syria," he said. War crimes must be addressed. Washington, key NATO partners, Israel and rogue Arab state allies bear full responsibility.

What's ongoing reflects naked aggression. Syria was invaded. Death squads are Western-backed proxy foot soldiers. There's no ambiguity about Washington's war. Conflict was planned years ago.

Only its timing remained to be determined. When and how it ends isn't known. Ordinary Syrians suffer most. The longer conflict persists, the greater Assad support grows.

Syrians depend on his protection. They deplore Western and/or Israeli control. They value their sovereign independence. They want no part of extremist Islamist governance. They alone deserve the right to choose who'll lead them.

Recent key events are important. For over 10 days, anti-government protests rocked Turkey. Prime Minister Erdogan is Washington's lead attack dog.

Millions of Turks reject his hardline rule. Turkey is more police state than democracy. Dissent isn't tolerated. No country imprisons more journalists than Turkey.

Police brutality is well known. Dissenters are targeted. Civil and human rights abuses are commonplace. Nonviolent protesters are attacked violently.

Turks have multiple reasons for outrage. They reject authoritarian rule. They want social justice. They deplore Erdogan's involvement against Syria. They want regional stability restored.

Perhaps they'll influence Turkish anti-Syrian policy. Erdogan's domestic concerns may compromise his belligerent involvement.

Most Turks want no part of it. They want major internal change. So far they're staying the course. They erected thousands of tents in Istanbul's Gezi Park. They warned authorities against storming it.

So-called pro-Erdogan demonstrations appear government orchestrated. Most people don't endorse thuggish rule. Erdogan's more despot than democrat.

Turkish Nobel Literature Prize laureate Orhan Pamuk expressed alarm. Erdogan's uncompromising attitude worries him most. On June 7, he said:

"I am concerned for my country, and I am following the events with sorrow. There is no signal (for) a peaceful solution (on) the future between the government and demonstrators."

"Everyone who lives in Istanbul has certainly an unforgettable anecdote (re Taksim Square). I understand and embrace people (protesting)."

"Taksim has a huge political past. I saw conservatives, nationalists, socialists, social democrats and the military pass from there. So I hope that this will be solved with peace."

"The government is making a mistake trying to build a shopping center in such a sensitive place."

It's historically important. It's Istanbul's last green space. Artists, intellectuals, students, workers, activists and others want it preserved.

They're outraged about police brutality. They support peaceful demonstrations. Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbas expressed readiness to cancel development plans.

"We are definitely not thinking of building a shopping mall there, no hotel or residence either," he said. "It can be…a city museum or an exhibition center." Erecting an Ottoman era military barracks replica will proceed as planned.

Protests continue nationwide. Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) announced June 15 and 16 counter demonstrations. Doing so throws fuel on the fire. They may incite more violence.

Hell, it's said, hath no fury like a woman's scorn. Perhaps its greater fury erupts against contemptuous disregard for popular concerns. The longer it continues, the harder it is for Erdogan to continue supporting Washington's war most Turks oppose.

It remains to be seen what effect it has on what unfolds. Qusair and other Syrian victories compromised US plans. Western leaders expressed concern.

On June 9, UK Foreign Minister William Hague said Assad's gains make Geneva II "harder to bring about and to make a success."

In other words, it's unlikely he'll capitulate to Western demands. It's harder when most Syrians oppose them.

Assad's in a position of strength. Syrian forces fought hard to achieve it. They're solidifying control over most areas. Supplying more arms to insurgents won't change things.

Direct US-led NATO intervention remains possible. Perhaps it's likely. It's hard imagining America abandoning longstanding regime change plans. The fullness of time will explain what's coming.

If Obama forgoes direct intervention, Assad will emerge victorious. At the same time, conflict may continue longterm. Tens of thousands more may die. Millions will suffer.

Obama bears full responsibility. He's a war criminal multiple times over. He's waging war at home and abroad.

It bears repeating. He belongs in prison, not high office. Impeachment is essential. Crimes too grave to ignore can't be tolerated. They persist globally.

Popular resistance more than ever is needed. Nothing else will stop America's rampage. Hegemons don't quit unless forced to. It's high time Americans said no more.

A Final Comment

Syria's conflict remains unresolved. Salfist violence in Lebanon continues. Israel's a wild card. Netanyahu actively supports extremist Islamist fighters. He launched early May air attacks on Syrian soil. Previous articles discussed them.

Netanyahu goaded Syria to respond. Several times, Israeli forces shelled cross-border. In late May, an Israeli military vehicle provocatively crossed the ceasefire line.

It was captured and displayed. Israeli rocket fire targeted Al-Zubaydiah village. Repeated provocations goad Syria to respond. Doing so would provide pretext for greater intervention.

Events perhaps head toward doing so. Maybe Israel will replace Erdogan as Washington's lead attack dog.

On June 7, UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous addressed a closed emergency Security Council session. He said Israel threatened to launch cross border attacks.

According to Ladsous, Israeli and Syrian clashes nearly erupted. It would have been the first time since the 1973 Yom Kippur War. After insurgents briefly controlled Quneitra demilitarized border areas, Syria deployed tanks and armored personnel carriers in response.

An Israeli Defense Ministry statement followed. It told UNDOF (UN Disengagement Observer Force) that if Syrian tanks continued, "the IDF would take action."

UNDOF's commander informed Syrian authorities. They said Syrian tanks were there to fight insurgents. Being there breached the 1974 disengagement agreement.

Syrian forces regained control hours after insurgents did so. These type incidents are potential flashpoints. Provocations start wars. Key is whether Washington wants full-scale intervention. If so, all bets are off.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."


Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.


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