US-Israeli Strategy For Syria
Despite US claims that the chemical weapons were fired by the Assad regime, there are reports, including by Turkish independent journalists (I previously posted one on my Facebook wall and referred to it in my blog: http://sakosefiani.com), that the sarin gas used in Syria came from Turkey. Turkish military garrison in Antakya, Hatay Province, is now used as the command center and headquarters of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and their foreign sponsors. FSA fighters routinely enter Turkey and return to Syria with all kinds of weapons. A dozen former US intelligence officers and CIA agents concur. They published an open letter to President Obama cautioning him of that. “There is a growing body of evidence from numerous sources in the Middle East — mostly affiliated with the Syrian opposition and its supporters — providing a strong circumstantial case that the August 21 chemical incident was a pre-planned provocation by the Syrian opposition and its Saudi and Turkish supporters”, noted these intelligence professionals. “Although the ‘Government Assessment’ is being sold to the media as an ‘intelligence summary,’ it is a political, not an intelligence document. The drafters, massagers, and fixers avoided presenting essential detail. Moreover, they conceded upfront that, though they pinned ‘high confidence’ on the assessment, it still fell ‘short of confirmation.’
Whatever one may think of the credibility of the Administration’s claim that the Syrian army was behind the attack, what is clear and irrefutable is that Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan and UAE want a regime change in Syria. They, as well as the CIA, have been supplying the opposition fighters with weapons, money and training. In addition to Turkey, Jordan also has dedicated training and camping grounds for the fighters. For Saudis and Qataris who are the main financiers of the war against Syria, the issue is incongruity of Assad government with their politics in the region. Assad sides with Iran, Hezbollah of Lebanon and Hamas in Palestine, which as an anti-US and anti-Israeli front is also viewed as a threat or challenge to the rule of the Gulf sheikdoms which are benefiting from the hegemony of US imperialism in the region. Just as the apartheid Israel owes its existence as a colonial-settler state to imperialism, so do these despotic medieval kingdoms for their unchallenged and lucrative rule. The Iran-Syria-Hezbollah front represent a cog in US-Israel-Saudi wheel and must be dealt with. In addition to the above geopolitics, Turkey, also, has its eyes on Syrian Kurds who, together with its own Kurdish population, have aspirations for an independent Kurdistan which Turkey wants to make sure never materializes.
Now, what about Israel? What do they want to see happen in Syria? Reporter Judi Rudoren, writing from Jerusalem in an article titled “Israel Backs Limited Strike Against Syria,” in Friday’s New York Times notes that:
“For Jerusalem, the status quo, horrific as it may be from a humanitarian perspective, seems preferable to either a victory by Mr. Assad’s government and his Iranian backers or a strengthening of rebel groups, increasingly dominated by Sunni jihadis.
“‘This is a playoff situation in which you need both teams to lose, but at least you don’t want one to win — we’ll settle for a tie,’ said Alon Pinkas, a former Israeli consul general in New York. ‘Let them both bleed, hemorrhage to death: that’s the strategic thinking here. As long as this lingers, there’s no real threat from Syria.’”
That’s why Obama insists he doesn’t want to overthrow the regime in Syria, but to handicap its military. The purpose is to maintain some kind of equilibrium between the two sides to let the bleeding continue. That’s also why the US has opposed any negotiated settlement to the war that has killed about 100,000 and displaced two million people. Understandably, Obama stopped short of saying outright that that’s what the US and Israel wanted to see.
This brings to mind the US and Israeli policy about the Iran-Iraq war which began in 1980, as a result of a US supported invasion of Iran by Saddam Hussein and lasted until 1988. There too, US and Israeli policy was: let them kill each other. The US was supplying weapons to Saddam and Iran was buying US made and supplied weapons from Israel. US weapons were being used to kill people on both sides. The US even supplied Iraq with chemical weapons which it was using against Iranian soldiers. When Iran seemed to be getting the upper hand in pushing Iraqi invaders out of their land, the US started providing Saddam with coordinates of Iran’s troop locations so Iraqis could hit them with chemical weapons more efficiently.
As the US plans to bomb another Muslim country, it should also be noted that such acts of terror and violence and killing of innocent people have their blowback and further incite anger and resentment among the people of the region and beyond. Such policies that are strictly based on long terms plans of US corporate empire will continue to make the world less safe, including for Americans who will see more embassy closures around the world and more erosion of their civil and privacy rights. Less safe, less privacy rights, more wars and war crimes, more acts of terror, less money for education, healthcare, retirement, jobs, feeding the hungry and sheltering the homeless. This is the picture of a world the US and its allies are painting for the people of the world. This is what we’re dealing with. Those who make peaceful change impossible make violent revolutions inevitable.
Demonstration planned for today at 2:00 pm at Hollywood and Vine in Hollywood. Look for similar demonstrations in your city.
Hands off Syria! US out of Middle East!