Should We Support US War on Syria: A Historical and Geopolitical View

According to Guardian newspaper, Islamist groups in Syria have become stronger and tend to be better armed and financed than others. One of the strongest is Jabhat al-Nusra which is linked to al-Qaida. “JAN insists on a future Syria becoming an Islamic state under sharia law, and has openly pledged its allegiance to the al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri”.

It continues: “It has previously been reported that members of the al-Nusra front were caught with sarin nerve gas in Turkey. Dale Gavlak, an independent journalist, has reported that nerve agents used in Ghouta were supplied by Saudi Arabia”.

Guardian’s Web site refers the reader to the following report:
“The head of the UN commission investigating the use of chemical weapons near Aleppo, Carla Del Ponte, stated in her report, that much to her surprise, the chemical weapons used in Aleppo were fired from an area that was being held by “rebel forces” at that time, and that evidence indicates that the chemical weapons may have arrived via, or even have been provided by Turkey.

“Del Ponte´s suggestion was supported by Turkish law-enforcement officers who arrested 12 members of the Jabhat al-Nusrah, in possession of metal cylinders with 2 kg of Sarin. The Turkish authorities have, however not been forthcoming with additional and detailed information.

“While the latest cases involving Sarin all seem to lead to Turkey, also Saudi-Arabia is under suspicion of having provided chemical weapons capabilities to al-Qaeda associated fighters in Syria. Suspicion of Saudi-Arabian involvement was raised after several videos surfaced, featuring opposition fighters showing small laboratories which they claimed to have received from Saudi-Arabia. Other videos featured “rebels” killing rabbits with chemical weapons, threatening that Alawites and all Syrians who did not join the opposition would suffer the same fate as the murdered animals.

“Saudi-Arabia has reportedly re-activated old smuggling routes which were used to support the al-Qaeda insurgency during the US occupation of Iraq to support the Syrian opposition, and lately, increasingly also to destabilize Iraq.

“Yet another trace of circumstantial, but strong and verifiable evidence is leading to al-Qaeda operatives in Malaysia. In February 2013 Malaysian police in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur arrested and charged the former Malaysian army captain Yazzid Sufaat and his female associate Halimah Hussein for recruiting Malaysian youth for mercenary service in Syria. Both were charged with aiding and abetting al-Qaeda associated terrorist organizations.

“The former army captain Yazzid Sufaat has previously been tied to an al-Qaeda chemical weapons program. In 2001 Yazzid Sufaat was arrested after returning from Afghanistan. During his 2001 arrest, Sufaat was under suspicion of working on a biological and chemical weapons program for al-Qaeda”.

Back in March, Syrian government complained to the UN that the opposition fighters had used the sarin gas in Syria and requested that the UN investigate to determine A. whether chemical weapons had been used and B. who used it. US, Britain and France agreed with A but opposed B. The US vetoed it. Why? Wouldn’t the US want to know who did it? Not if they knew it was done by the “rebels” whom the US supports.

Confused? You shouldn’t be. The US, its European allies and Israel want a weakened Syrian government, engaged in long, protracted and devastating war which takes its toll on the regime, as well as the Islamist fighters. In other words, in the short run, they want the two sides to keep killing each other because neither is “friendly” to the West. To them “friendly” is anyone who cooperates with the US and its allies, including Israel, towards imperialist plans and hegemony in the region. That’s why the US keeps opposing peaceful negations. It’s also why Obama has said he doesn’t want to overthrow the government, but to downgrade its military capabilities. In the longer term, their goal is regime change which the short term plan of weakening it would facilitate.

Helping maintain a balance and stalemate between two warring sides which results in continued killing and maiming of thousands of people is an extremely cold and inhuman strategy, but it’s not the first time the US employs it. It was done during the 8 year war between Iran and Iraq, after the latter, with US support, invaded the former and occupied parts of its southern oil rich territories. US strategy there was indeed: hope they kill each other. Besides, since that was an invasion and occupation the US supported, not only there was no speeches on national TV by members of the Administration calling it “unprovoked aggression” that “must not stand”, but they were actually aiding the Iraqi aggressors by supplying them with weapons, which included among others – any guesses? – the sarin nerve gas. That’s right: the Reagan Administration supplied the Saddam regime with chemical weapons to use against Iran in their unprovoked invasion of that country. Later in the war, as the Iranians began to get the upper hand, the US would give Iraqis Iran’s troop location coordinates who wound then fire chemical weapons at. Compare that with today’s passionate and strong indignation by US officials about Syria’s use of the nerve has which as I mentioned above, they haven’t even proven which of the warring sides did it.

Or compare that to much closer event to Iran-Iraq war, another similar event that took place only 3 years after the end of that war. As the 80’s were drawing to a close, it was decided in Washington that oil, which there was so much of in just the three adjacent nations of Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait, was too important for US and its allies to leave its fields unattended and uncontrolled by US marines. So, Saddam was tricked and given assurances of non-intervention – he didn’t realize this was not like Iran – into invading and occupying Kuwait which he knew he could easily do and did do in 1991.

Whereas during his invasion of Iran, US media barely even mentioned the aggression, this time, cries of outrage and indignation filled US papers and airwaves and Bush Sr. quickly got an “international coalition” together and pounded Iraq, crippling its military and killing Iraqi soldiers, who were defenseless against US military and especially air power, as if they were killing ants. The operation looked nothing like a war and everything like a cold-blooded massacre. When Saddam realized what was about to occur, he tried to offer some face saving withdrawal, which was repeatedly and promptly rejected.

Iraq was to be punished, but that wasn’t all. Always, look at the end result of such events to understand the original plan: ten thousand US troops got stationed on Saudi Arabian land. Outraged by seeing “infidel” soldiers on Saudi holy lands, a wealthy Saudi individual would start a campaign to kick Americans out. His name was Osama Bin Laden, who single handedly managed to change the world, as we knew it. Things become much less understandable when you cut parts of history out. Bin Laden himself used to be a US ally when he and other Saudi Islamists were fighting Soviet infidels in Afghanistan. He turned his attention to the Americans when they invaded his own country.

The point is: it’s never about an aggression here or a war there or a terrorist attack on World Trade Center or weapons of mass destruction or a regime gassing its people. There is always an infinite number of pretexts to choose from or manufacture. In 1964, it was the lie about Gulf of Tonkin incident; in 1991, the lie about Iraqi soldiers killing Kuwaiti babies; n 2003, the lie about Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction and now, it’s about Assad gassing his people which is anything but clear.

The long term goal of overthrowing Assad is also shared by the Gulf states, especially, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan and UAE, who see Shiite Iran and its ally Syria as a threat to their Sunni kingdoms which are allied with and protected militarily by US. Those states, as well as Turkey, are all actively supporting and aiding the opposition fighters in Syria. Saudi Arabia and Qatar are the main financiers with Turkey and Jordan providing near-border camps, facilities and weapons. CIA is also heavily involved at those borders, especially in Turkey, helping vet recipients of weapons and money.

Given the US position on the war, its plans to take out any government in the region that refuses to comply with its wishes and plans, and its history of lies and fabrications, it’s the least credible government or entity to ask us to believe it when it says: “we know” who did it, especially since it says the evidence is classified and cannot be revealed.

But, even if one were to give them the benefit of the doubt and believe them, how is it logical, legal or moral to violate “international laws and norms” to punish someone for violating “international laws and norms”? And how is it logical, legal or ethical to kill people as punishment for killing people?

In response to Assad’s denial that his government used chemical weapons, the White House said: “It’s not surprising that a regime that kills hundreds of children, would also lie about it”. I agree. The US has indeed killed hundreds of children – in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, and tens of thousands in Iraq, not to mention Vietnam and Korea. Indeed, how could anyone believe such a government?

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