Battleground Syria

Recent events in Syria and on the international scene clearly show that President Bashar Assad is destined to be the next “bloody dictator” overthrown by his own people for the sake of restoring democracy, freedom, equality, and other dubious values promoted by the West.

Latest statements by US President Barack Obama, the EU’s chief executives and leaders of international organizations leave no doubt that the Western coalition needs to have a revolution and a civil war, not reforms and negotiations for settling the disputes in Syria peacefully.

On August 16, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu called on Syria to unconditionally cease the bloody crackdown on mass protests. “This is our final word to the Syrian authorities: our first expectation is that these operations stop immediately and unconditionally,” Davutoğlu said at a news conference. “If the operations do not end, there would be nothing more to discuss about steps that would be taken,” he added, without specifying what that action might entail.

On August 17, the United States and other NATO countries announced that they were tightening the sanctions against Syria’s “bloody” regime. The following day, Obama, joined by a group of European heads of state, urged Assad to resign and accused him of crimes against humanity.

On the same day, the UN Commission on Human Rights released a report on human rights violations in Syria that accused the country’s leadership of mass repressions, forced disappearances and summary executions. The Commission recommended that the UN Security Council refer the report to the International Criminal Court.

The UN Human Rights Council considered the issue of human rights violations in Syria on August 23 and voted to conduct an international investigation.

Rather than identify what kind of humanitarian assistance the people in areas suffering from actions by the army need, a special UN commission on humanitarian cooperation subsequently concluded that there is an “urgent need to protect the civilian population” from the excessive use of force.

And finally, on September 15, we learned that a Syrian National Council had been formed in Turkey. Its membership includes both opposition leaders from Syria and their well-wishers and dissidents who have been living in the United States and Western Europe for decades. Analysts believe that the “national council” is nothing but a tool to provide the appearance of legitimacy for NATO actions in the event that the UN Security Council fails to pass a resolution on Syria.

Otherwise, an agreement on actions to be taken cannot be said to be the result of coordinated consultations. Meanwhile, all of these statements and measures are intended not to resolve the situation but to add fuel to the fire and continue fanning the flames of revolution in this Middle Eastern country. After all, the first thing that needs to be done to stop the bloodshed is to encourage the parties to come to the negotiating table, arrange a meeting between the opposition leaders and Syrian leaders, discuss the issues, and find a peaceful solution to the situation. But we hear nothing like that from Western politicians.

No one in the West is interested in the protesters’ demands; no one is considering the reform program initiated by President Assad. The US-led Western coalition needs another Arab revolution, another source of instability in the region; and statements by policy makers and international institutions are only part of the actions taken by “agitators,” the tip of the iceberg, one might say…

The instigators of the Arab revolutions are armed with a powerful system for firing salvos called the “Independent Media.” This weapon has already proved its worth in supporting the Libyan opposition—consider just the video of the capture of Tripoli, which, as we later learned, was made in Qatar on a set built especially for that purpose. Or the image of rebels defeating regular Libyan Army units while fighting in flip-flops, ironed trousers and shirts.

Independent media has already “shone” with regard to Syria: former Al Jazeera presenter Lina Zahir al-Din said that the network’s silence about crimes committed by terrorists in Syria is part of a plan to deceive the world’s public about what is happening in that country. She noted that Al Jazeera cannot be considered a truthful source of information because it has lost its “neutrality and impartiality in presenting facts”—and that is an understatement. Like much of the Western media, Al Jazeera distorts and falsifies the news.

Residents of the Lebanese village of Wadi Khaled near the Syrian border were very surprised when film crews from several Arab and foreign television networks arrived and set up their equipment. Everything became clear when a small group of women and children, supposedly refugees from the Syrian city of Tel Qalah, arrived several hours later. That confirms that this action was also planned in advance. The Lebanese Al Diyar newspaper said that for some reason the employees of those networks who arrived before the arrival of the “refugees” stopped shooting before they returned to Syria.

I could cite many more examples of lies by the “independent” media, but the instigators of revolutions have more effective methods in their arsenal.

According to the Lebanese newspaper Al Akhbar, “Lebanese military intelligence intercepted a covert shipment of 1000 assault rifles intended for opposition forces in the Syrian city of Banias.” Military investigators say they uncovered ties between the smugglers and the political entourage of former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who is backed by the United States and Saudi Arabia.

According to the Canadian online journal Global Research, NATO Headquarters in Brussels and Turkey’s High Command are drawing up plans to arm the rebels with weapons for fighting Syrian tanks and helicopters. Instead of repeating the Libyan model of airstrikes, NATO strategists are planning to send large numbers of anti-tank rockets and anti-aircraft missiles, mortars and heavy machine guns into the protest centers for repelling attacks by government armed forces.

It became clear with publication of the articles about arms deliveries why more than 500 of the 2000 people killed in opposition demonstrations in Syria have been law enforcement, army and security personnel.

In addition, documents published by Julian Assange on his WikiLeaks site revealed that the US State Department has given opponents of the Syrian regime and opposition forces millions of dollars since 2005. Members of the Movement for Justice and Development, which brings together Syrian opposition leaders in exile, have received money from the United States. US diplomatic cables describe the movement’s leaders as “liberal, moderate Islamists,” who are former members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The actions by the Western coalition are nothing less than interference in the country’s internal affairs—they not only violate international agreements and treaties, they disrupt the very foundations of international law. The “Bulwark of Democracy” shows the world that the territorial integrity and sovereignty of other countries are no hindrance to the United States and NATO in achieving their goals.

NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen made a statement that reveals the essence of the alliance’s current thinking about international law. He has been quoted as saying that the conditions have not been met for beginning NATO military operations in Syria. It would be superfluous to comment on that—when the head of NATO, an organization conceived as a defensive alliance, starts talking about the possibility of military intervention in third countries that are unrelated to Europe and threaten none of its members, it suggests that international law as it was previously understood is finished.

Opposition demonstrations are taking place in many countries, but only a few conclude with revolution and a change in leadership. The events in Libya have shown that the escalation of opposition demonstrations into open clashes with security forces followed by revolution is less dependent on a current government’s credibility and popularity with the people than on the strength of external support for the opposition.

In Libya, where Muammar Gadhafi enjoyed broad popular support, the opposition forces lacked sufficient political, financial and even military support to take power—as demonstrated by the fact that the coalition forces had to conduct a ground operation in order to capture the capital city of Tripoli.

The situation with the opposition in Syria is very similar to that in Libya: victory over the regime is impossible without outside intervention. With the Libyan operation, NATO’s hands previously were tied, and it had no forces to spare for Syria. But after Tripoli fell, part of the coalition force’s fleet can be redeployed to the Syrian coast; then after a few months we may be witnessing the Syrian opposition’s victorious march in Damascus.

The US State Department’s formal appeal for its citizens to leave Syria because of “the unstable situation in the country” confirms that this scenario could unfold in the near future.

However, many people would not like to see a repetition of the Libyan scenario. Especially Russia and China, which boycotted the UN Security Council session where the draft resolution on Syria proposed by the European Union and the United States was discussed. Continuing the policy of fomenting revolutions, the West favors tough sanctions against Assad and his government. The Americans and the EU advocate freezing all foreign assets belonging to Assad’s brother Maher, who commands Syrian army units, and an additional 21 members of the government. The resolution would also impose an arms embargo. Russia has announced a diplomatic initiative to end the violence in Syria and has introduced a draft UN Security Council resolution that urges the Syrian government “to expedite the promised reforms to meet the legitimate expectations and allay the fears” of the Syrian people. Russia in essence is suggesting that the Syrian opposition began holding a dialogue with the government.

In this situation, much depends on how successful the diplomatic efforts by Moscow and Beijing to resolve the situation will be. If the NATO military machine cannot be stopped in Syria, Iran will be at risk, followed by the entire Middle East that borders on the countries of the post-Soviet space. Therefore, resolution of the situation in Syria and prevention of new Arab revolutions should be a foreign policy priority not just for Russia and China, but for all countries and governments interested in stability and order, both in the Middle East and in their own countries.

Source: New Eastern Outlook

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