War With Syria: Washington’s Political “Hail Mary”
Time for the people of this country – and the world – to take to the streets, call their Congressmen, do whatever it takes to prevent Washington from going to war. Again. Dust off your “demonstration shoes” – or get a new pair, take out your “No To War,” “No More Middle East U.S. Military Interventions” or “No Military, Only Political Solutions To Syria” signs to build the peace movement once again. Make “peace not war” an issue in the presidential campaign.
“No Fly Zones,” more U.S. troops on the ground, arming what amounts to ISIS like thugs, either indirectly or directly all indicate a “ramping up” of U.S. military policy in Syria just at the moment when ISIS, Nusra and the like are facing imminent defeat in the Aleppo region. The news blackout of the Turkish purge, giving Turkey “the green light” to invade N. Turkey (without which Turkey wouldn’t be there), are the first steps of Washington’s plans to divide Syria into enclaves, nothing else.
The war in Syria has left hundreds of thousands dead, at least four million people displaced as refugees. It is a war that, repeatedly, many have argued there are no military, only political solutions. But the Obama Administration and whomever follows him in office, appear intent on aggravating the military situation rather than accepting a political solution based on the current realities on the ground. In so doing Washington is playing a dangerous game that now threatens to escalate into a much more dangerous regional situation that could involved direct U.S. Russian military confrontation.
With few cards left in their hand to play concerning Syria, in what might be considered a military “Hail Mary” gesture, Washington has reverted to intensified militarization of the conflict. This revived military muscle-flexing brings with it the threat of a more aggressive U.S.-Russian confrontation in the making, with all that it suggests. So here we are again, like Berlin or the Cuban missile crisis, eyeball to eyeball now with post-Soviet Russia in a “game” that is not a game in which the stakes now go far beyond the long-suffering but still standing Syria. Pursuing such a policy will inevitably lead to greater regional destabilization in a region already reeling from Washington’s wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Israel’s continued occupation of Palestinian territories, Saudi Arabia’s war against Yemen.
With few cards left in their hand to play concerning Syria, in what might be considered a military “Hail Mary” gesture, Washington has reverted to intensified militarization of the conflict.
Time to stop blaming it all on the Russians or Iran, painting Assad as a kind of modern-day Hitler and to come to our senses: it is Washington that is supporting “the wrong side” in Syria and always has. But rather than move for a rational solution, for Washington to, frankly, cut its losses and move on, increased military confrontation with all the dangers it entails, is in the air, and the Pentagon planning rooms.
Once again, the neo-cons who have never given up on over-throwing Assad nor torpedoing the Iran nuclear agreement, have the upper hand in Washington DC. Syrian war talk is on the rise everywhere; In Congress there are now more than eighty bills that would sabotage the Iran Nuclear Deal, one of the Obama Administration’s few Middle East foreign policy positive achievements. Despite talk of seeking a political settlement to the Syrian conflict, Washington remains set on overthrowing the Assad government and fracturing Syria as it did Iraq and Libya before into a decentralized, weaker state.
As choices in the presidential election have narrowed to the Republican xenophobic (look it up), racist, misogynist buffoon (the greater of the two evils for sure) or the Democratic AIPAC-aligned hawk and financial-markets’-servant, all the signs are there and coming together that just when the situation on the ground in Syria was moving towards a defeat for ISIS “rebels” that Washington has entered into the fray. Why are all these neo-cons supporting Hillary Clinton? What is it that she has promised them visavis Syria to win the support of Elliot Abrams, Paul Wolfowitz and their band of mishugganahs? Hillary might be calling out Trump, but her rhetoric towards Syria, Iran and Russia have become increasingly shrill and warlike.
In the midst of this Presidential farce, we, the people of the United States and the world as a whole, are being prepared for war…or should I say, more war, the focal point being Syria. The time has come in Washington to herd all those diverse political cats together into one (temporarily) unified movement behind a new war – seemingly the only tool Washington has to unify an increasingly polarized political landscape both domestically and internationally. The ever-increasing drumbeat of anti-Russian hysteria as Russian support for the Assad government has proven effective – the drumbeat of the government, the media, Democrat and Republican leadership alike, and the “humanitarian interventionist” liberals all finding common ground with neo-conservative elements from Thomas Friedman to Paul Wolfowitz.
The timing is not incidental.
The balance of forces on the ground – the military situation has shifted dramatically in the past few years in Syria in favor of the Assad government and its allies, Iran and Russia. The “rebels,”, little more than a hodgepodge of militant Islamic fundamentalists trained, armed, financed by the Saudis, Turkey, Israel (yes, Israel) and ultimately, the United States are being soundly defeated. Indeed their last stand is around Aleppo, about to fall. Just as Aleppo is about to fall to Assad – the United States appears to be engaging in what might be called a ‘political Hail Mary military action” (a term I am borrowing from Coleen Rowley). , is dangerously escalating the conflict. Turkey’s move into N. Syria cannot and did not happen without an OK from Washington. Now we can expect an increased, greatly increased, military presence on the ground. Washington’s sabre rattling, threats against Russia, the usual bullying disguised as humanitarian concern has intensified to something approaching a hysterical pitch.
As with the lead up to the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and the 2011 NATO led (and U.S orchestrated) invasion of Libya once again, American (and world) public opinion is being softened up to garner support of public opinion for war. As they did in the case of Iraq (2003) and Libya (2011) the government, the media, academia have placed the American people on a steady diet of misinformation and lies about Syria, culminating in yet another path to unjustified military intervention and war. That diet has included the usual combination of feigned humanitarian concern, outright lies, false flag operations, and international coordination with “allies. ” Among those countries have proven themselves to be little more than obedient and willing tools of Washington, among them the British, French, Canadian, Australian, Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia (to which now we can add such “superpowers” as Denmark).
If we look closely as to what has transpired in Syria, deconstructing the mainstream narrative on the events what emerges is the following: the United States and its allies tried to get Syria to accept a natural gas pipeline deal that would essentially isolate Iran and Russia; Syria refused and shortly thereafter the United States unleashed its military allies, proxies on the Syrian government and people. Washington’s goal in Syria has been consistent: remove Assad from power and destroy Syria as a centralized (and generally secular) state, replacing it with a “federalized” array of smaller, weaker states in which U.S. allies Turkey, Israel and Jordan would have influence and the Syriabn government itself be transformed into a rump state around Damascus.
Washington’s goal in Syria has been consistent: remove Assad from power and destroy Syria as a centralized (and generally secular) state, replacing it with a “federalized” array of smaller, weaker states in which U.S. allies Turkey, Israel and Jordan would have influence and the Syrian government itself be transformed into a rump state around Damascus.
The Obama Administration’s rhetoric to the country, these twin goals have never changed. First, through proxies and an hypocritical cover of humanitarian concern, Washington hoped to achieve these goals militarily; but as Assad’s forces surround Aleppo, the last bastion of militant Islamic fundamentalist support, it is clear that the military option failed. So John Kerry, essentially Washington’s hawk sometimes disguised as a peacemaker, tried to accomplish the same goals diplomatically that had failed militarily. When one looks at the recent proposals Washington offered the Russians to settle the Syrian conflict, they included removing Assad and decentralizing Syria. but what did not work militarily, failed diplomatically as well as the Russians rejected the American proposals out of hand.