Does Syria have the right to defend its sovereignty from imperialist conquest and its population from the total chaos of sectarian warfare and ruin? Does Syria have the right to seek assistance?
Washington and the European Union countries have spent more than four years in an orchestrated effort of “regime change” in Syria. Now they howl in protest because on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, Russia carried out its first airstrikes in Syria against forces trying to overthrow Syria’s government.
Since March 2011, the U.S. and the EU have made relentless demands that the government of President Bashar al-Assad and the Baath Party must step down, resign their positions and hand over power to a regime of Washington’s choice. According to U.S. officials, by authorizing outside invading armies of mercenaries, like those that have brought total destruction to Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, to step into the vacuum, you bring democracy.
U.S. imperialism has been the primary power coordinating a program to fund and equip military units in Syria whose aim is solely destruction. This effort began long before the supposed uprising or rebellion of the Arab Spring in 2011.
On U.S. ‘hit list’ since Sept. 11
Because of its independent economic and political policies and because of its decades of support for the Palestinian struggle, Syria was on the “hit list” slated for U.S. conquest since the George W. Bush administration. That’s what retired four-star General Wesley Clark told Democracy Now! listeners in a March 2, 2007, interview.
Gen. Clark said that soon after the Sept 11, 2001, events, a general called to tell him that the U.S. was going to invade Iraq and would “take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.”
The Washington Post of April 16, 2011, described how at the beginning of the Syrian “uprising” that “Washington has funneled money to right-wing Syrian opposition groups since at least 2005.”
WikiLeaks posted 7,000 secret U.S. diplomatic reports that confirm from 2006 to 2010 the U.S. spent millions of dollars to support and instigate opposition to the Syrian government.
Julian Assange’s book, “The WikiLeaks Files: The World According to U.S. Empire,” describes how the released files confirm that Washington, while publicly opposing Islamic terrorists, saw their existence as an opportunity it could use to destroy Syria. The files confirm that it was U.S. policy to foster Shia-Sunni tension to destabilize Syria, as the U.S. did in Iraq.
For more than four years Syria has fiercely resisted this foreign aggression. But the destruction has left almost half the population homeless and more than 10 million Syrians internally displaced.
At the same time U.S., Turkish, Saudi, Jordanian and the EU were developing plans for an even more intense push to dismember Syria. Those plans have been pushed back by the developments of the past two weeks. Russia’s ministry of defense announced on Oct. 2 the deployment of its navy cruiser Moskva to Latakia. The Moskva is armed with a complement of 64 S-300 ship-to-air missiles, Russia’s most powerful anti-aircraft weapon.
The Oct. 5 Financial Times reports, “The Russian forces now in place make it very, very obvious that any kind of no-fly zone on the Libyan model imposed by the U.S. and allies is now impossible, unless the coalition is actually willing to shoot down Russian aircraft,” writes Justin Bronk, research analyst at the Royal United Services Institute.
In a Sept. 27 interview with Charlie Rose on CBS News, Russian President Putin explained his view that there is no other solution to the Syrian crisis than strengthening the effective government structures and providing help in fighting terrorism.
The Sept. 27 announcement that Russia, Syria, Iran and Iraq were to cooperate on security issues against the Islamic State took the U.S. war planners totally by surprise. According to the Sept. 27 Wall Street Journal, the Iraq Defense Ministry’s announcement that the country had signed an intelligence and security cooperation pact with Russia, Iran and Syria was a challenge to U.S. influence in the Middle East.
There are also rumors, still unconfirmed by public statements from the various governments, that China will join forces with Syria and, in coordination with Russia and Iran, will participate in the effort to combat the Islamic State.
Washington’s plans are unraveling. But much will depend on how the Pentagon responds to the failure of its plans and to growing international assistance to Syria. An even more dangerous escalation may lie ahead.