by Stephen Lendman
Morning headlines again falsely accused Assad of mass killings in Qubeir village in central Hama province.
Houla-style slaughter was repeated. Reports said as many as 78 civilians were killed. Half were women and children. Around 35 members of one family were murdered in cold blood.
Victims were shot at close range and/or stabbed. Some bodies were burned. Independent reports haven't explained what eventually will come out. Pro-Assad loyalists were targeted for assassination. At issue also is creating pretexts for Libyan-style intervention.
Western-recruited death squads bear full responsibility. Syrian state TV said an "armed terror group" committed the "horrifying crime....What a few media have reported (is) completely false. (They're) contributing to spilling the blood of Syrians."
Responding to calls for help, government forces headed for Qubeir. State TV said they "raided a terrorist cell and killed a number of them and confiscated their weapons."
At issue is Obama advancing the ball closer to war. Washington readied plans long ago. Timing alone remains undecided. Plans now may be set. Most likely the Serbia/Kosovo/Iraq/Libya model will be repeated.
In 1999, Washington bypassed Security Council approval. It claimed NATO authorization alone mattered. It set a precedent. Henceforth international and constitutional law could be circumvented. Going to war became as simple as ordering bombs away.
On June 6, Hillary Clinton suggested it's coming. Her official State Department press release said:
"Recent events, including the killings at Houla, have exposed the Asad regime's determination to continue waging war on the Syrian people."
"The international community cannot sit idly by, and we won't...."
Clinton stressed "transition(ing)" to a new Syria. At issue is regime change. Earlier she said Washington and the "international community" must "intensify" pressure on Assad "whose rule by murder must come to an end."
Heated rhetoric advances the ball for war. So do Western-directed death squad massacres falsely blamed on Assad.
In late May, Joint Chiefs head General Martin Dempsey said there's "always a military option....(I)t may come to a point with Syria because of the atrocities."
Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and other Gulf Council states also urge direct military intervention. So do Western-recruited Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Syrian National Council (SNC) members.
Russia and China remain firm against foreign intervention. On June 5, Itar Tass said:
"Russia calls impermissible and dangerous the refusal of the Syrian armed opposition to follow the plan of UN/LAS Envoy Kofi Annan, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told reporters on Tuesday...."
"That is a very bad and dangerous trend." So is "the establishment of another illegal armed unit, the so-called Syrian Insurgent Army of 12,000 solders, was announced on June 4."
"The international community should have learned the no-fly zone lesson from the Libyan events."
"Such a scenario is possible only if the illegal armed units receive moral support from abroad and are supplied with arms, munitions and money. We have repeatedly declared that such a situation was impermissible and we continue to call on the Syrian sides and the external forces to stick with the logic of the Annan plan...."
"Moscow hopes that the leading world capitals will fully realize the danger and amorality of preparations for an even bigger bloodshed in Syria and the leading of that country to a civil war, which may spread outside of the national territory and spill blood throughout the Middle East."
On June 7, Reuters said Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) members urged dialogue, not confrontation, saying:
SCO "member states are against military interference in the affairs of this region, enforced 'handover of power', and unilateral sanctions."
"Member states stress the need to stop any violence on the territory of Syria wherever it is coming from. They respect broad nationwide dialogue, based on independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty of Syria."
Obama's rhetoric barely conceals intent for direct intervention. Plans are ready to be implemented. Earlier patterns are being repeated. Propaganda wars precede hot ones.
NATO intervention followed falsified Serbian atrocity reports. Occupation, colonization and exploitation were planned. So was expanding NATO and enhancing US dominance.
New World Order strategy dictates war. Puppet regimes called democracies are established. Serbia/Kosovo aggression became the operative model. America's Project for a New Middle East replicates it.
9/11 was the bogus pretext for attacking and occupying Afghanistan. So were nonexistent WMDs for war on Iraq. Falsified Gaddafi atrocities produced bombs away. Syria follows the same pattern.
Mass slaughter and destruction follow. Human misery replaces peace and calm. Washington bears direct responsibility for millions of deaths. Only imperial dominance matters, not body counts.
Imagine what's coming if not stopped. America's rage to kill and destroy is insatiable. War on Syria approaches, then Iran, then new targeted states.
In 2001, the SCO expanded from its 1996-founded Shanghai Five alliance. Currently its members include China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Observers include India, Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, and Mongolia. Dialogue partners include Belarus and Sri Lanka. Expanding the organization is planned.
Its member states and observers comprise around half the world's population. They counterbalance Washington and other NATO states. They oppose US hegemony.
They endorse non-alignment, non-confrontation, non-interference, non-intervention, inviolable national sovereignty, and economic cooperation. They support peace, not war, to resolve national differences.
On June 6 and 7, SCO members held their 12th summit in Beijing. China's Xinhua News Agency said the organization "reshaped the global strategic landscape and reshifted the balance of power."
Summit goals include adopting a "Strategic Plan for the Medium-Term Development of the SCO." China's Vice Foreign Minister, Cheng Guoping, said:
"It is no exaggeration to say the adoption of this document will have far-reaching influence on the SCO's development."
Security and economic cooperation are prioritized. Beijing's summit "will be a milestone in the SCO history, and is sure to give new impetus to the development of the six-member bloc."
China and Russia especially oppose belligerent US policies. Encroaching near their territory raises concerns. Washington's missile shield represents a direct threat. It targets Russia and China, not Iran, North Korea, or other nations.
Washington's military buildup across North Africa, the Middle East, Central and East Asia threaten both countries.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has been touring East and South Asia. He seeks new basing rights and closer military alliances. Addressing the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, he said:
"Defense policy in the region calls for the U.S. military to expand military-to-military relationships well beyond the traditional treaty allies."
"By 2020, the Navy will reposture its forces from today's roughly 50/50 split between the Atlantic and Pacific to about a 60/40 split between those oceans - including six aircraft carriers, a majority of our cruisers, destroyers, littoral combat ships and submarines."
At issue is enhancing Washington's regional influence and strength at the expense of China. Russia is Washington's main military rival. Between them, they have about 97% of the world's nuclear arsenal. In addition, they've got sophisticated delivery systems able to target each other's strategic sites.
China also has significant military strength. According to a 2009 Pentagon report, its naval forces alone are formidable.They number at least 260 vessels, including 75 or more major warships and over 60 submarines.
It also has hundreds of nuclear warheads, sophisticated delivery systems, and other strategic weapons. It's a regional super-power. It's also positioned to surpass America as the world's dominant economy before decade's end.
During last year's November Bali summit, Obama sought anti-China coalition partners. Panetta's on the same mission. America's aim is unchallenged global dominance.
Middle East/Central Asian wars rage for it. More are planned. An eventual Russia/China showdown looms. Each side seeks strategic partnerships against the other. How it plays out ahead remains to be seen.
It's hard imagining Washington wants war with any nation able to give as much as it takes. War was never an option under conditions of "mutually assured destruction (MAD)."
It's not likely now, but events sometimes overtake policies. Extremist US hawks believe wars solve all problems. Earlier ones felt the same way.
In 1961, General Curtis LeMay believed nuclear war with Soviet Russia was inevitable. He argued for preemptively launching thousands of missiles to destroy its nuclear capability. He believed losing a few US cities was a price worth paying.
General Lyman Lemnitzer held the same view. He presented it at a National Security Council meeting. Thankfully, Jack Kennedy was president. He was so disgusted he walked out.
Today America has no JFK. He wanted the Cold War and America's involvement in Vietnam ended. Those views got him killed. Current US leaders crave more wars. That mindset could assure mutual destruction.
Syria's a stepping stone to Iran and other targeted states. Russia and China represent the final frontier. Anything ahead is possible given Washington's rage for dominance no matter the risks. Imagine leaders willing to take them.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"
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.