Top US officials have called for the urgent provision of weapons, intelligence and funds to the Syrian opposition for use against President Bashar al-Assad.
Press TV has interviewed Dr. Webster Griffin Tarpley, an author and a historian, in New York who emphasizes that the violence and upheaval in Syria are not caused by indigenous rebellion and discusses reports that French and British forces are now training rebel Syrians. What follows is an approximate transcript of the interview.
Press TV: Looking at the history of US and Syria relations beset with attempted coups etc., how should we look at the current crisis within Syria and the US role in pursuing regime change there?
Tarpley: I think it’s important that this representative that you mentioned has made this point in front of this conference, the so-called Friends of Syria, but we should remember that the entire destabilization of Syria is nothing but a foreign interference. That’s really 90 percent of all there has ever been.
This is not an indigenous rebellion. There is no uprising. There is no widespread political opposition willing to go all the way to fighting and killing.
Rather, these are death squads; they are deployed by NATO; they’ve been armed by NATO. We have reports of British and French officers commanding units of the rebel Syrian… Free Syrian Army; we’ve got reports of foreign fighters like the infamous Belhadj from Libya commanding groups of Libyans that have been deployed in this fight.
We’ve got reports of CIA Joint Special Operations Command; assets being committed to this; we’ve got reports of rebel units – the Free Syrian Army once again with uzi machine guns that they could only have gotten from the Israelis or indeed being armed with Milan anti-tank missiles, which are pretty much NATO state-of-the-art, so it is a foreign intervention.
The goal of this conference, this gaggle in Tunisia – they call it Friends of Syria – again, with friends like that you don’t need enemies. The Russian Foreign Ministry said we’d better call this the Enemies of Syria because what they want to bring is bombing, civil war followed by a failed state.
The point of this conference was not to increase the smuggling and shipment of weapons because that’s been going on pervasively, they wanted to gin up, and still want to gin up, because there are two more days of this conference, hysteria to launch an armed invasion. In other words, they’re trying to assemble a coalition of the willing, of the type we saw in Iraq and carry out an armed invasion with a bombing campaign and then a ground war if that proves to be necessary, at it will in this case, or it would.
So, that’s what they aimed for. Now I think their conference has turned out to be a fiasco; Russia didn’t come; China didn’t come; Lebanon didn’t come. They wanted 70 countries… as of yesterday they thought they’d get 70 countries, then it went down to 67 and I think the actual total is about 50.
And of those that came, Saudi Arabia then walked out saying that this conference was not good enough; it was not imperialist enough; it was not aggressive enough; there wasn’t enough effort behind the overthrow of the Assad government, which seems to be the obsession of the Saudi royals.
And then what actually went on was also… there was no… it was disappointing for the imperialists in the sense that there was no Syrian government representative. And they were not able to agree on the Syrian National Council because you’ve got all of these contending groups: you’ve got Gallion of the Syrian National Council; you’ve got Rahman of the Syrian Observatory; you’ve got Kadaam; you’ve got all these other groups – they can’t agree.
It’s a splintered, fragmented group and the main force within it would actually seem to be al-Qaeda as al-Zawahiri told us last week and as James Clapper (US National Intelligence Director) here in Washington has confirmed.
I think the first day would have to be scored an absolute fiasco and we had the Arab Street; we had hundreds and hundreds of normal Tunisians coming out against imperialism for Syria and many of them for Assad. The whole thing took place under conditions of siege. Hilary Clinton was forced to retreat to her hotel and cower in her boudoir. This is a pretty sad result for the first day.
Press TV: Let’s discuss another key player in the region, that being Israel. In the 90s, there was talk of peace between Syria and Israel yet now Israel too is of course promoting Assad’s fall. How important is that in this current crisis?
Tarpley: It simply shows, in case there was any doubt, that this is an imperialist operation from the word go. And we even have elements of the Syrian opposition, of this thin layer of political mercenaries that act as front men for what is overwhelmingly a death squad operation, some of these political spokespersons have said if NATO won’t help us and if the UN won’t help us… they’re calling on the Israelis to invade the country, overthrow Assad and then give them I don’t know what freedom. It shows the absolute degeneracy and depravity of these people calling themselves the Syrian opposition.
And once you say that, you want your country bombed, you want your country invaded and not even invaded by NATO, but invaded by the Israelis… this goes beyond all previous definitions of degradation and I think you can see that these are tiny groups that are fomented by organisms like the National Endowment for Democracy and similar groups here in Washington.
Press TV: For the other Arab regimes in the region should the way Syria has been treated by the West be a forewarning that their day, too, is coming soon as loyalty clearly doesn’t exist within the chambers of power in the US?
Tarpley: Absolutely. We have a rampage of the State Department and the CIA, which ultimately targets all independent countries; anybody who has any kind of independence, sovereignty or the ability to say no either to NATO or to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or the World Bank or the World Trade Organization (WTO), those countries are targeted.
Now, for the moment the monarchies have been left alone, but I foresee a time somewhat down the road when that might change and certainly Russia, China and many, many others, Iran, Syria, Pakistan, Algeria and all kinds of other countries, Venezuela have all seen that what’s being attempted here is to institutionalize a kind of a permanent destabilization of the world.
Trotsky had the permanent revolution. A lot of these Neo-Trosky-ites who run US foreign policy seem to want to have the permanent destabilization of all countries; it’s a permanent revolution against the modern state. And that will not spare anybody in the long run.