Phony pretexts for regime change

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Canada’s initiative at the United Nations to sanction aggression against Syria violates the UN Charter, which states that its very raison d’être is to uphold the sovereignty of nations. Canada is basing itself on the lie that what it calls diplomatic options are exhausted. The U.S. imperialists complain bitterly that Syria has not accepted voluntarily that the U.S. and NATO countries should dictate its destiny, and that institutions such as the UN cannot be used to undermine the sovereignty of its members. As part of creating pretexts for direct aggression against Syria, the U.S. and its NATO allies are taking measures that are falsely called diplomatic. These include sanctions on Syria and Russia, UN Security Council resolutions, the U.S. feigned commitment to ceasefires involving its sponsored fighters, as well as fraudulent accusations and provocations against the Syrian government. When the “diplomatic” measures do not succeed in accomplishing U.S. aims, the foremost aim of which is U.S. domination, then the imperialists assert that diplomacy has failed and aggression is justified.

The hysteria and threats have increased in direct proportion to the liberation of Syrian territory by the Syrian army and its allies from foreign-sponsored death squads. The situation in Aleppo is the particular obsession of the imperialists. There, approximately 1.5 million people live in the government-held western part of the city and some 250,000 people live under the rule of armed groups in the east, and the Syrian army is retaking territory lost as far back as 2012. Aleppo is viewed as a prized possession by the imperialists to use as leverage in devising a “settlement” of the Syria issue based on dividing the country and parcelling out territory to regional powers and imposing regime change to install a “friendly” government. Rather than supporting humanitarian measures such as ceasefires to permit the evacuation of armed groups and the safe passage of civilians out of Aleppo, as well as the entry of humanitarian aid, the U.S. is increasingly desperate to prevent the liberation of the city.

The increasing efforts to create pretexts for intervention come more than three years after planned U.S. attacks against the Syrian government fell apart. In August 2012, the U.S. administration declared a “red line,” that it would intervene militarily if it found “chemical weapons moving around or being utilized.” One year later the pretext came in the form of a sarin gas attack in a suburb of Damascus, which was immediately blamed on the Syrian army. However, the “evidence” for the claim was described as “not a slam dunk” by U.S. intelligence and it became clear to the world that the attack was a provocation from a U.S.-supported armed group hoping to trigger military intervention. Splits within the U.S. ruling elite led to hesitation and the British government then lost a House of Commons vote to authorize its military intervention and the U.S. was forced to back down, instead accepting a proposal for the Syrian government to relinquish all chemical weapons.

Subsequently the U.S. and NATO member states intervened in Syria as part of the “Global Coalition to Counter ISIL.” Under the cover of this mission to “degrade” ISIL, U.S. and British special forces are operating in Syria providing direct assistance to anti-government rebel groups. Syria has also been subjected to ground incursions by Turkey and Saudi Arabia and parts of Syrian airspace have been declared to be under U.S. control. Meanwhile, Syria and others have questioned the U.S. commitment to fighting ISIL, particularly in light of the U.S. killing of more than 100 Syrian soldiers in bombings on September 17, directly assisting ISIL in capturing territory.

The U.S., British and other NATO governments are now again speaking openly about aggression against Syria. British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnston told the British Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee on October 13 that “more kinetic options, the military options” are being considered. U.S. media report that officials from the State Department, the CIA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff have again discussed “limited military strikes” including bombing of civil and military aviation infrastructure in the same manner as the first phase of the “no-fly zone” in Libya in 2011. A “senior administration figure” told U.S. media that there is “an increased mood in support of kinetic actions against the regime” and that the liberation of Aleppo by the Syrian army would “undermine America’s counterterrorism goals.”

In a taped conversation released by the New York Times on September 30, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told a group advocating for military intervention in Syria that he supports launching attacks, but has so far “lost the argument.” Another problem Kerry raised was the lack of a legal basis for the U.S. to attack the Syrian government. Kerry also lamented the fact that “A lot of Americans don’t believe that we should be fighting and sending young Americans over to die in another country.” One way to overcome these problems being discussed is to “carry out the strikes covertly and without public acknowledgment,” U.S. media say.

Source: TML Weekly, October 22, 2016, No. 41

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Filed under Canada, West Asia (Middle East)

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