August 31, 2013

Let’s face some hard facts about the vicious conflict in Syria.

If the US directly attacks Syria, the real cause will not be the recent chemical attacks. What are 300 or so dead in a 2-year old war fuelled by the western powers that has so far killed over 100,000?

Chemical weapons are horrible. So are bullets, shells, bombs, cluster bombs, fuel-air explosive, white phosphorus, and napalm. All wars are crime writ large.

We don’t yet know if the recent chemical massacre in Damascus was a real chemical attack using Sarin nerve gas, a rebel provocation, an industrial accident, or an attack by rogue Syrian army units? After Iraq, we can’t trust western intelligence and so-called evidence.

This is not even the main issue at hand though it makes an excellent pretext for outside powers to intervene.

The Syrian conflict is a proxy war being waged against Iran by the United States, conservative Arab oil producers, and three former Mideast colonial powers, Britain, France and Turkey who are seeking to restore their domination in the region. Israel, hoping to isolate Hezbollah and cement its annexation of Syria’s Golan Heights, cheers from the sidelines. Syria and Hezbollah are Iran’s only Arab friends.

The US and allies ignited the anti-Assad uprising two years ago, using the underground Syrian Muslim Brotherhood and imported jihadis. But Assad’s forces, with some limited help from Russia, Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah, held on and are now beating the US-backed rebels.

As a result, the Obama administration is now leaning towards direct US military intervention to stave off defeat of its proxies by neutralizing Assad’s air force, armor and artillery. As for Syria’s chemical weapons, they were developed as a counter to Israel large nuclear and chemical arsenal.

Back in 1990, I was in Baghdad covering the lead-up to the first US war against Iraq. I found four British scientific technicians who told me – and showed documents – that they had been sent by Her Majesty’s government to help Iraq’s biowarfare programs.

The four scientists were stationed at Salman Pak laboratories to manufacture four types of germ weapons for Iraq for use against Iran, including anthrax and q-fever. The feeder stocks for the germ weapons came from a US lab in Maryland; their export was ok’d by Washington. I repeatedly reported on this grim discovery.

During the long, bloody Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), the US, Britain, Italy and Germany exported chemical weapons plants and raw material to Iraq that produced Sarin nerve gas and burning mustard gas. Many thousands of Iranian soldiers were killed, horribly burned or blinded by these western-supplied weapons.

So a little less western moral outrage, please, particularly from the Brits whose own sainted Winston Churchill authorized the use of poison gas against rebellious Iraqi and Afghan tribesmen.

Let’s also recall how North Vietnam was drenched with the toxic Agent Orange, how the resisting Iraq city of Falluja was showered by white phosphorous, how Iraq was permanently contaminated by radioactive depleted uranium. These foul weapons also kill babies.

At least many Americans seem to have learned caution from the campaign of neocon lies that led them into the 2003 Iraq invasion, one of the biggest disasters and shames in US history. Even some usually bellicose Republicans are urging the Nobel Peace prize winner in the White House and his entourage of bloodthirsty liberals to slow his rush to war and consult Congress.

More tellingly, Gen. Colin Powell, who disgraced himself before the world by parroting the Bush administration’s lies about Iraq now also urges caution over Syria.

Powell is right. The US has lost its last two “crusades” in Afghanistan and Iraq. The US has no strategic interests in Syria beyond an obsession to overthrow Iran’s disobedient government.

Washington’s Syrian misadventure threatens to put the US on a very perilous collision course with Russia, Syria’s close ally. So far, Russia has sought a diplomatic solution, but it’s most unwise to push tough Vladimir Putin too hard. Syria is as close to Russia as northern Mexico is to the United States.

Courting even the remote threat of a possible nuclear confrontation with Russia just to overthrow President Assad, a former US ally, is the height of irresponsibility.

copyright Eric S. Margolis 2013

This post is in: Afghanistan, Great Britain, Iran, Iraq, Russia, Syria, USA


  1. All that will possibly happen is that the U.S. will lob some missles into Syria and say “bad boy”. The U.S. cannot afford to have that war won by Islamisists. So all it will do is have a show of moral superiority by lobbing a few missles, and that will be all. Until there is a West friendly alternative to Assad, that war will keep on keepin’ on. The best solution for all would be if Russia moved in to dethrone Assad. That would secure their position in that country, with their naval base intact and a pro-Russian government replacing Assad. Russia is now in a better financial position than the U.S. and can better afford such an action. But Russia is punch-shy after their experience in Afganistan.

    • The problem is not Assad, although we are supposed to believe that. No, Assad does not want to sell out his country to the international bankers, just like Iran and that is what it is all about. Why would Putin oust his friend?

  2. kennymac825 says:

    Obama should never have uttered publicly his “…crossing a red line” He has painted himself, and America into a corner with no credible way out. It showed a complete lack of judgement on his part. For a second- term President it appears he has learned very little.

  3. For the last couple of weeks Syria has been front and center in the MSM. It is logical, that one starts to research what is really going on and what causes this confrontation and what are the implications and consequences. Someone suggested to search for the common denominator in all these wars, that the US has found itself caught up in. Funny, how the international bankers stand out like a sore thumb, because they are the only ones, who profit from every war being fought. An other point came to light. There are only a few countries left, that are not under the control of the international bankers and ‘coincidently’, they are all enemies of the US and painted as terrorists. Then I found, that Gaddafi was toying with the idea to create the United States of Africa and at the same time expressed desire to get paid in gold for his oil. Saddam also said he wanted to get paid in Euro`s for his oil. And look what happened to the both of them.
    Assad has to be eliminated to weaken Iran, because Iran is too much to bite off at once. The US is still choking on what they bit off in Afghanistan and Iraq. Syria on top of that would choke them for sure. But in desperation they seem to be prepared to cut off their nose to spite their face. I don`t think, that Obama is willing to take the same risks as JFK once did.
    What puzzles me is, that so many people can still be fooled into believing all the lies being spread by the MSM, even after they found out, that the WMD`s in Iraq were a hoax, just like the Bay of Tonkin incident and that cradle fable in Kuwait.
    And why would Assad use chemical weapons, knowing about that ‘red line’ and while he had the upper hand in the fight already.
    If you try to feed me a line, make sure it is based on proven facts without any doublespeak and other subterfuge.
    “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me”.

  4. George Rizk says:

    Please send this or something like it to all your congressional
    representative/new papers, and friends.

    It is important not to attack Syria, and to allow a political solution to
    settle the hostilities in that country. It is also very important not
    support the al Qaeda and Islamist militant insurgency in Syria. The U S must
    take the lead to make this proxy war unacceptable, by letting Qatar, Saudi
    Arabia, and Turkey stop exporting hate and destruction to secular Syria.

    The Islamists mercenaries in Aleppo have committed more inhumane crimes,
    which were not publicized widely in our media; for example cannabalizm,
    beheading of priests, burning churches, and raping of nuns. Many of these
    acts have been documented by these terrorists on their cell phones and
    posted on web sites to terrorize the frightened minority Christians.

    It is important that America protect the minority Christians in Syria,
    rather than looking the other way as they are systematically targeted by the
    imported Islamists.

    Red line or not, chemical weapons, or false flag entrapment to affect the
    outcome of trouble in Syria is unacceptable by most of the American people.
    We are aware of lies, and entrapment! I have seen video clips of Islamists
    flying the al Qaeda flags in Syria and committing barbaric acts. 80% of the
    American public have seen some of the inhuman behaviors of the Saudi funded
    mercenaries. It has been estimated that there were more than 28 different
    nationalities among the extremist imported fighters.

    If President Obama wants to be on the wrong side of history by attacking
    Syria, you don’t want to be part of that as I, and many American Christians
    will make every effort to help defeat any congressperson who vote to approve
    any strike against Syria.

    Please have mercy on the minority Christians in Syria, and vote no on any
    attempt to punish Assad.

    Thank you very much

    George Rizk

  5. Has anyone else noted the pure arrogant hypocrisy of how America went so ape shit over one bomb in Boston, cannot wait to drop thousands of bombs on everyone else? Over their history they dropped millions of bombs on others.
    The worst was listening to them crying about how they were an innocent victim and “What did we do to deserve this?”. Sit I even saw a T shirt on someone declaring we will never for get Boston.
    This is exactly the aspect of every bully who loves to beat up everyone else, cries when one of his victims has the nerve to hit him back.

  6. Mike Smith says:

    Why I like Vladimir Putin…
    “If there is evidence it should be presented,” Putin said. “If it is not presented, that means it does not exist.” Hoe many wars could the world have avoided if that was a universal truth.
    In addition to the list of outrages the US has committed, I’ll bring up the 500,000 plus children that died in Iraq as a result of the US led sanctions. ( UN supplied numbers )
    Denying medicine and water purification during a Cholera outbreak should be considered bio warfare.
    At least MPs in the UK had the resolve to separate their country from this mess, I hope France does the same ( even if the current Government has to fall to get there )

  7. I’m not sure about the spin:
    John Kerry knows there were exactly 1429 people killed by the nerve agent attack. The precision is ‘boggling’.
    Syria said it has found canisters with Saudi markings.
    I don’t know why the UN inspectors were invited and promptly asked to leave. Almost reminds me of Blix and Iraq.
    The Russian window is lost… they should have been supplying Assad with surface to air missles; it’s likely too late. The attack, if or when it comes will initially be by air with thousands of civillian casualties. The Americans, once again, are meddling in the Middle East for long term business goals. The hypocracy oozes, and none of the other ‘civilised’ nations are prepared to tell the Americans to stop! They have become world class ‘superbullies’.
    Chemical weapons, including nerve agents, are horrible weapons and should be outright banned. They are inexpensive, relatively, and afford ‘small nations’ some manner of security. They are easily and quickly deployed. They are outright lethal, most nerve gasses work by ‘shutting down’ the body’s neuro-muscular control… like terminal ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) in minutes.
    Many nations still retain stockpiles of these chemicals. The quantities are staggering; for example, after getting rid of 75% of the American stock, they still retain hundreds of metric tonnes of the material… with some of the products, a single ‘drop’ on the skin can be lethal.
    The Americans and France have aligned themselves to start another war, this one with a greater potential for igniting an outright Middle East battle engulfing many nations… In addition to Eric’s list, I would include China… an excellent chance for them to check out their new navy.


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