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Obama Heading for War on Syria?

by Stephen Lendman Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014 at 3:22 AM


Obama Heading for War on Syria?

by Stephen Lendman

In early 2011, Obama initiated proxy war on Syria. It remains ongoing.

Insurgent extremists are recruited, funded, trained, armed and imported from dozens of countries.

Key NATO partners, rogue Arab states and Israel are involved. The same dirty game repeats with disturbing regularity.

Washington targets all independent states. It wants pro-Western stooge regimes replacing them.

It wants unchallenged global control. Direct and proxy wars of aggression are waged for it. Syria remains in the eye of the storm.

Ongoing conflict isn't civil. Not when mostly imported proxies are used. Most Syrians deplore violence.

They oppose internal and external groups committing it. They want peaceful conflict resolution.

They support Bashir Assad overwhelmingly. In a June 3, 2014 election independently judged open, free and fair, they reelected him by an 88.7% majority.

On July 16, his new term began. Following his swearing-in ceremony, he saluted the Syrian people, saying:

"A few years ago, some called for freedom. Your response was to remain free in the age of subservience, to be master in the age of slaves."

"They patronized you with their calls for democracy. Your response was to show your will in the most democratic manner possible and refuse foreign intervention in your national affairs."

"You chose your constitution. You chose your parliament. You chose your president."  

"Throughout, the decision was yours and your will has created our democracy."

"You defied the storm…You stood like spears in the face of treachery."

"You achieved your goal. You raised the voice of justice above all the lies, hypocrisy, distortion and deception."

"For us citizens, these elections were a true declaration of belonging to our homeland…"

"They were a battle to defend our sovereignty, legitimacy, national decision-making, and the dignity of our people."

"The (US-led proxy) war waged against the Syrian people is a dirty war."

"Syrians didn't give up or give in…There cannot be a civil war or a real division when the army is united."

"The institutions are united. The Syrian street is united (in the face of) states that continue to support terrorism in Syria (and) tried to destroy all aspects of life within it."

Washington is lawless. It's ruthless. It's barbaric. It's relentless. It never quits. Pretexts for war are invented when none exist.

Obama wants Assad forcibly ousted. Direct US intervention nearly happened last September.

Overwhelming public opposition erupted. House and Senate members were carpet-bombed with anti-war phone calls, letters and emails.

Direct intervention didn't happen. It wasn't stopped. It was postponed. The idea resurfaced. The Islamic State (aka ISIS or ISIL) is a convenient pretext.

At an August 21 Pentagon news conference, Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey and Defense Secretary both spoke.

According to Dempsey, Islamic State fighters can't be defeated in Iraq unless they're confronted in Syria.

Doing so "requires a variety of instruments, only one small part of which is airstrikes," he said.

"I'm not predicting those will occur in Syria, at least not by the United States of America," he added.

"But it requires the application of all of the tools of national power - diplomatic, economic, information, military."

"Islamic State fighters can be contained, but not in perpetuity."

"This is an organization that has an apocalyptic, end-of-days strategic vision and which will eventually have to be defeated."

"Can they be defeated without addressing that part of the organization which resides in Syria? The answer is no."

"That will have to be addressed on both sides of what is essentially at this point a nonexistent border."

Asked if Washington planned airstrikes in Syria, Hagel called the Islamic State "an imminent threat to every interest we have, whether it's in Iraq or anywhere else."

"(W)e're looking at all options," he added. At the same time, deputy national security advisor, Ben Rhodes, said US confrontation with the Islamic State wouldn't be restricted "by geographic boundaries."

No decision for "additional action" was made so far, he added.

Last August, Dempsey was very leery of direct intervention. "Once we take action, we should be prepared for what comes next," he said.

"Deeper involvement is hard to avoid." Options aren't cheap.

Dempsey estimated at least billion a month for air strikes and no-fly zone implementation.

He said they'll involve "hundreds of aircraft, ships, submarines, and other enablers," as well as "thousands" of US troops.

At the same time, best laid plans often fail. Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya are Exhibits A, B and C.

After three and a half years of proxy war on Syria, Assad's steadfastness, military strength, and overwhelming popular support show he's stronger than ever.

Syrians can't imagine anyone else leading them. They want nothing to do with Islamic State extremists.

They blame Washington, complicit NATO partners, Israel and rogue Arab states for war without mercy.

Will or won't Obama intervene directly? Will he use the beheading of journalist James Foley as a pretext?

Will his war against Islamic State fighters in Iraq be used as justification to target Assad directly?

Hawkish MSM editorials urge it when polls show the vast majority of Americans want peace, not war.

Media scoundrels say about Washington using extremist groups like Al Qaeda and the Islamic State as both allies and enemies in different war theaters.

The monster America attacks in Iraq and may serve as pretext for direct intervention against Syria is its own creation.

On March 5, 2007, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh headlined "The Redirection." He asked if the Bush administration's "new policy (was) benefitting our enemies in the war on terrorism?"

To undermine predominantly Shiite Iran, it decided "to reconfigure" its regional priorities.

It allied with Saudi Arabia against Hezbollah in Lebanon. It undertook "clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria."

"A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda."

In March 2013, The New York Times headlined "Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, With Aid From CIA."

Airlifting arms, munitions and supplies began "in early 2012," said The Times.

Washington initiated conflict. Claims about supplying non-lethal aid alone ring hollow.

Intervention now includes "more than 160 military cargo flights by Jordanian, Saudi and Qatari military-style cargo planes landing at Esenboga Airport near Ankara, and, to a lesser degree, at other Turkish and Jordanian airports," said The Times.

CIA operatives are involved. They're working closely with Turkey and Arab governments.

"From offices at secret locations, American intelligence officers have helped the Arab governments shop for weapons, including a large procurement from Croatia, and have vetted rebel commanders and groups to determine who should receive (them) as they arrive," said The Times.

According to one analyst, "(t)he intensity and frequency of these flights are suggestive of a well-planned and coordinated clandestine military logistics operation."

The Times and other reports show Washington's claims about supplying only non-lethal aid are false. So is the notion of only supporting moderate groups.

Bush administration officials wanted Assad's ties to Iran and Hezbollah undermined. Doing so involved aiding Al Qaeda and other extremist groups.

Efforts went on covertly. Congress wasn't told. Saudi money was used. Israel was involved.

What Bush began, Obama continues. Strategy includes death squad diplomacy. It's standard practice in all US direct and proxy wars.

Mass murder, targeted assassinations, unspeakable atrocities, intimidation, and terrorizing America's enemies into submission reflect official policy.

So is arming, funding, training and directing extremist elements to fight America's dirty wars. Libya and Syria are Exhibits A and B.

In 2007, Hersh quoted Intelligence Committee member Senator Ron Wyden (D. OR), saying:

"The Bush Administration has frequently failed to meet its legal obligation to keep the Intelligence Committee fully and currently informed."

"Time and again, the answer has been 'Trust us.' It is hard for me to trust the Administration." The same holds for Obama and then some.

He's a war criminal multiple times over. He presides over a homeland police state apparatus.

He's waging war on freedom. He's a serial liar. He broke every major promise made.

He threatens world peace. His confrontation with Russia risks the unthinkable.

He wants Assad ousted. He appears headed toward direct intervention.

Claims about an Islamic State threat provide a convenient pretext.

Syrian sovereignty is the real target.

It bears repeating. Washington wants pro-Western stooge regimes replacing independent governments. War is the option of choice when other methods fail.

Don't expect media scoundrels to explain. Or expose the hypocrisy of so-called US humanitarian intervention.

Or explain Washington's permanent war agenda. How it justifies the unjustifiable. How it risks the unthinkable.

Its abhorrence of peace. Its strategy to stoke violence and instability.

Its appalling human and civil rights record. Its spurning of fundamental rule of law principles. Its unaccountability.

Its contempt for democratic values at home and abroad. Its reckless abandonment of claimed principles.

Its longstanding war on humanity for unchallenged global dominance. Its willingness to use nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction.

How it threatens humanity's survival. Why stopping its madness matters most of all.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at

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

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

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