Syria: Plan B

The United States and Russia agreed today on an “outline” for the identification and destruction of Syrian chemical weapons (CW) and said Syria must turn over an accounting of its arsenal within a week.

Obama is now trying to, on the one hand, get credit for trying “diplomacy”, which was imposed on, rather than adopted by him, of his own volition, and continue to legitimate the use of force, on the other, which will come later. “In part because of the credible threat of U.S. military force,” he said in a statement issued by the White House, “we now have the opportunity to achieve our objectives through diplomacy.”

He makes it sound like the threat of military force was the means to achieve the elimination of Syrian CW, through diplomacy. That is just not true and his statement which has also been said by other Administration officials is a twisting of the facts. The military action was actually attempted, not as a threat for the sake of diplomacy or to eliminate the threat of CW, but to actually attack Syria with missiles and heavy bombardment. The reason they “paused” was not to give diplomacy a chance and to see if they could get rid of the cW, peacefully. The reason for the “pause” was the public opinion and lack of support for the attack, both internationally and at home. Diplomacy was not their first choice, but was rather imposed on them, which they’re now trying to get credit for.

What they’re also trying to do with this talking point is to legitimize military attack as the only effective way. The truth is however that, to their own admission, a military attack would not destroy the CW, though it wound destroy other types of weapons, mostly defensive, which Syria could use in the future, against a possible, or rather likely, US or Israeli attack, which is still the US plan. The diplomacy is their way of reaching the point when they can justify the attack on the grounds that the regime did not cooperate as promised, which is easy to claim, as was done in Iraq.

Even if the regime lets the inspectors go anywhere they want to go and see whatever they want to see, and destroys all the cW it possesses, it’s always easy to argue non-compliance.
Their objective is not to just eliminate the regime’s CW, but to help topple it. The military attack that was planned and is still planned, albeit with a delay, is to help bring about that end. The CW is the pretext, just as WMD’s were for the Iraq war.

“The United States is not taking its separate threat to use military force off the table”, Kerry said, after his agreement with his Russian counterpart in Geneva. Syrian rebel commander Gen. Salim Idriss also said that Kerry had informed him by telephone that the option of military strikes had not been ruled out.

Notwithstanding the question over the veracity of US claim that it was the Assad regime that committed that horrible massacre, we, as people, may want to intervene to prevent such massacres in the future, but not on the terms decided and dictated by the corporate government that cares not the least for people and their lives, but only for power and profits, and certainly not through bombing and killing more people, as the government keeps doing. Let’s not forget that this same government that wants a war because of a chemical attack in Syria, not only did not utter a word when Iraq was using it against Iran during the 8-year Iran-Iraq war in 1980’s, but was actually aiding Iraq in their use of chemical weapons. It’s also the government that dropped agent orange in Vietnam and gave white phosphorous to Israel to drop on Palestinians and used depleted uranium in Serbia, Iraq, Libya and elsewhere. It’s also been a partner to many massacres through the world, especially in Central and South America and has aided and abetted in Israel’s genocide against Palestinians. It’s also the government that destroyed Iraq and killed a million people on false pretext and has killed thousands of innocent people, including hundreds of children in several Muslim countries using drones, and many others in numerous wars and bombings it has committed in the past 60 years, including in Southeast Asia, especially in Vietnam and Korea, not to mention Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

What moral right does this government have to express outrage about killings in Syria? And what’s their solution? Bombing and killing more people. You cannot send in criminals to go help victims of a crime, or rapists to go help rape victims, not on their terms and conditions, anyway. The way to help is to push for ending the war, which is being waged mostly and predominantly by jihadis from several countries who are being financed, trained and armed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Turkey, UAE and the CIA. The answer is not the escalation of the war, but to end it.

We must be vigilant in coming weeks and months as the inspections of the CW sites are conducted, to oppose war on Syria under any pretext. War is not the answer. No more war, anywhere, anytime! Hands off Syria and the entire Middle East!

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