by Stephen Lendman
International law prohibits interfering in the internal affairs of other states. For Washington, it's official policy. Post-9/11, multiples countries were targeted, including Iran and Syria.
Regime change plans remain on track by any means, including war. If other methods fail against either or both countries, expect it.
Actions against Iran so far stop short of generating violence. It's coming once Syria's resolved. The road to Tehran runs through Damascus. Since last March, Washington-orchestrated Western-led insurgency wracked the country.
Libya's model was replicated. So far it's short of bombs away. Expect it if current measures fail. So far, Assad's prevailed. He wants peaceful resolution, not conflict. Insurgents reject it. They're resolved to fight and are well armed, trained and funded to do it.
Late Friday, Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad al-Makdissi expressed optimism saying:
"The battle to topple the state is over. Our goal now is to ensure stability and create a perspective for reform and development in Syria while preventing others from sabotaging the path of reform."
"When security can be maintained for civilians, the army will leave. This is a Syrian matter."
While calling for a ceasefire on both sides, Annan's six-point peace plan states:
"The Syrian government should immediately cease troop movements towards, end the use of heavy weapons in population centers, and begin pullback of military concentrations in and around population centers."
"As these actions are being taken on the ground, the Syrian government should work with the envoy to bring about a sustained cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties with an effective United Nations supervision mechanism."
Annan's spokesman Ahmad Fawzi said "(w)e expect (Assad) to implement this plan immediately. The deadline is now. (He) must stop first and then discuss a cessation of hostilities with the other side and with the mediator."
He's more victim than villain. But he's blamed for insurgent violence and asked to stop defending his people while they continue killing them. Annan picked up where he left off as UN Secretary-General. For a decade, he supported imperial wars and did nothing to secure peace.
Unaddressed now is Assad's responsibility to stop insurgent violence. Pulling back while it rages facilitates more. He's obligated to protect his people. If not him, who?
At the same time, America, rogue NATO partners, and complicit regional states want Assad toppled violently. Peaceful resolution is smoke screen deception. It camouflages greater planned conflict.
Peace shifts conditions back to square one with Assad firmly in control. Longstanding Washington plans call for replacing him with a pro-Western regime. Achieving it requires conflict, not diplomacy. It's raged for over 12 months and won't end now.
On April 1, US-led "Friends of Syria" meet in Istanbul. At issue is war, not peace, toppling Assad, isolating Iran, and consolidating greater US regional control.
Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said 74 countries confirmed they're coming. Hillary Clinton will represent Washington. She's arriving from Saudi Arabia. She and King Abdullah discussed conflict, not peace, strategies. Their meeting included private one-on-one talks.
On Saturday, Clinton said:
"The commitment of the United States to the people and the nations of the Gulf is rock-solid and unwavering. Our strong bilateral relationships are a rock of stability in the region."
Washington, of course, needs instability and violence. Peace defeats its regime change agenda. Syria and Iran are next. America will keep ravaging the region until it achieves unchallenged control. It may end up destroying it in the process along with millions more lives.
Expect Assad to be condemned for continuing to confront insurgents. On March 30, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich effectively accused the "Friends of Syria" of being up to no good. He said they plan to condemn him for continuing to confront insurgent violence instead of unilaterally pulling back.
Partners are required for peace. One without the other assures failure. Washington-backed insurgents plan stepping up, not halting violence. Arms flow in to help them. Humanitarian "safe zones" in Syrian territory are planned. Assad won't tolerate what he knows assures greater violence and likely NATO intervention.
At the same time, he'll be blamed for violating Annan's peace plan he committed to observe. Although it commits both sides "to stop the fighting and achieve urgently an effective United Nations supervised cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties to protect civilians and stabilize the country," one side can't do it without the other.
Insurgents intend to keep fighting. Assad's obligated to confront them. Failure is dereliction of duty. No responsible leader would refuse. Nonetheless, he's condemned for doing his job.
Turkey's Turkish language broadsheet Radikal explained how planned insurgency will continue, saying:
"Senior Turkish officials are saying this: the unification of all the disparate and independently acting groups in Syria, each of which calls itself the Free Syria Army, under a single 'command and control mechanism' and to do whatever is needed, including the provision of the necessary tools and means, to achieve this."
Free Syrian Army insurgents are readying for more conflict from a Hatay Province, Turkey location. Dialogue's not on their agenda, nor on Washington's to discuss with so-called "Friends of Syria."
These type "friends" assure conflict, not resolution. Assad faces protracted belligerence with no assurance how it'll end.
Expect lots more lost lives blamed on him despite his commitment to end bloodshed, restore calm, stability, and initiate popular reforms.
Washington wants none of them. Its own agenda involves controlling and exploiting Syria like Iraq, Libya and other regional client states by one means or other.
Most Syrians understand and support Assad. They won't tolerate becoming another US client state, especially a colonized and/or exploited one. That's what imperial's all about. Their struggle to stay free from it continues.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.