by Stephen Lendman
Western media misreport what's happening in Syria and why. Propaganda substitutes for truth and full disclosure.
Syrians are struggling to prevent Western conquest, exploitation, and control. They're fighting for their lives to stay free.
At issue isn't whether Assad's government is democratic, despotic or anything in between. Its sovereign independence made it vulnerable.
Washington tolerates no governments it doesn't control. Replacing them with puppet regimes is policy. Whether Assad can hold out and prevail isn't known. Most Syrians depend on him.
The longer conflict persists, the greater his support. Who else can Syrians turn to for help? They want no part of becoming another pro-Western vassal state. They know the daily horrors Afghans, Iraqis and Libyans face.
Syria was calm and peaceful until Washington unleashed its dogs last year. Daily violence, mass killing and destruction followed. It's the American way. Media scoundrels support it.
Syria's conflict isn't an uprising, revolution or civil war. These characterizations distort reality. There's nothing civil about what's ongoing. Washington orchestrated everything. Its bloodstained hands control the conflict.
At issue is naked Washington-led Western aggression. Key NATO allies and regional partners are involved. Insurgents are Washington proxies. Protracted violence and bloodshed persist.
Imperial wars are called liberating ones. Western end game strategy calls for total war if other methods fail. Washington wages them two ways. In Afghanistan and Iraq, US forces are involved.
In Libya, a combination of air assets and ground proxies were used. Protracted conflict persists. Daily violence ravages the country. Media scoundrels ignore it.
They report little about Iraq and Afghanistan. They let nightmarish conditions pass beneath their radar. Only wealth, privilege and dominance matter. Charnel house conditions go unacknowledged.
So far, Western proxies alone battle Syrian forces. Despite heavy weapons, training and direction, military regulars outmatch them. Expect eventual direct Western intervention. Electoral politics dictates timing.
Voltaire Network's Thierry Meyssan is right. Reagan's Contra war 2.0 ravages Syria. Death squads employed are today's Contras. In the 1980s, they battled Nicaragua's Sandinista government. Washington enlisted, armed, trained, funded and directed them.
Anastasio Somoza ruled Nicaragua despotically. He ran it like a US colony. In 1979, the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) ousted his regime after years of conflict.
In 1981, Reagan authorized covert CIA intervention. Sandinistas were falsely called Moscow puppets. Contrarevolucionarios (Contras) were recruited. Many were former cutthroat Somoza National Guard regulars.
They became Washington proxy death squads. Contra wars raged throughout the decade. From Honduran bases they conducted cross-border terrorist raids. Nicaraguans suffered greatly. Many thousands died.
Managua's economy was devastated. Resources needed for defense left little for domestic needs. In 1988, A New York Times op-ed headlined "Wrong From the Start; Reagan's Contra War, Reagan's Failure," saying:
Reagan's "seven-year record in Nicaragua is a chronicle of deceit and incompetence in pursuit of an unwinnable war."
Expect nothing comparable today about Obama's war on Syria. Times correspondents, commentators and editorial writers march in lockstep. They supported Reagan throughout the decade. Perhaps Iran-Contra caused the above change of heart.
Washington prevailed when Violeta Chamorro defeated Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega electorally in 1990.
The FSLN remained one of Nicargua's two main parties. Washington manipulated electoral politics until Daniel Ortega was reelected president in 2006. He and FSLN parliamentarians prevailed again in November 2011.
They're a shadow of their former selves. They're more right of center than left. Ortega sought alliances with the conservative Catholic Church and Nicaraguan business interests. FSLN governance became more bourgeois than progressive.
Washington Consensus interventionism replaced counterinsurgency belligerence. Neoliberalism is America's regional weapon. Finance is a new form of warfare. End results resemble military conquest without the death and destruction.
Modern-day Contras are jihadi extremists. They replicate Al Qaeda-linked Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) insurgents. In December 2004, the US Treasury designation LIFG a Foreign Terrorist Organization, saying it:
"threatens global safety and stability through the use of violence and its ideological alliance with (Al Qaeda) and other brutal terrorist organizations."
Washington strategically uses Al Qaeda fighters as allies and enemies. They're assailed publicly while used against US enemies. They helped ravage Libya. They're waging bloody war in Syria. They're used as long as needed.
They're allies of convenience. They're returned to enemy status when services rendered no longer are needed.
After Syrian officials were killed at Damascus National Security headquarters, they launched Operation Damascus Volcano. Instead of "liberating" Damascus as planned, they were routed.
Official reports, media scoundrels, pro-Western observers, and hangers on proclaimed a conflict turning point. Syrian forces, in fact, have things well in hand.
Mostly calm returned to Damascus. Fighting shifted to Aleppo. It's Syria's largest city and commercial hub. Battles persist. Expect a similar outcome as Damascus. Western misinformation distorts what's happening and why it matters.
Claims about Syria destabilized and Assad fleeing the country were falsified. Propaganda wars try to offset military failures. In confrontations against insurgents, Syrian forces consistently prevail.
Daily State Department press briefings combine imperial arrogance and misinformation. On July 24, spokeswoman Victoria Nuland claimed Assad "is increasingly losing control of swaths of territory, and clearly the opposition is trying to consolidate so it can have a base from which to operate."
Washington is "committed to helping" them, she added. She left unaddressed in what ways, and that so far what's been tried failed. What's ahead remains to be seen.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta urges more "aggressive" international action. On July 24, Foreign Policy contributor Josh Rogin headlined "Conservatives call on Obama to establish 'safe zones' in Syria," saying:
A Foreign Policy Initiative/Foundation for the Defense of Democracies letter said:
"We believe it is clear that multilateral diplomacy and non-military pressure, by themselves, will neither compel Assad to step down nor ensure that America's national security interests in Syria and the wider region are protected."
"America's national security interests are intertwined with the fate of the Syrian people and the wider region."
"The longer we wait to act, the more others with interests contrary to ours will fill the void, limiting America's ability to ensure a multi-sectarian pluralistic Syria."
"We therefore believe it is long past due for the United States to adopt a strategy that will help the Syrian people to quickly end the Assad regime and actively promote order and stability after the regime's fall."
A rogue's gallery of co-signers included Karl Rove, Elliot Abrams, Douglas Feith, Paul Bremer, and Robert Kagan, among others.
They support war and imperial conquest. Their letter also said inaction means "complicity in oppression."
Mitt Romney made similar accusations, saying:
"While Russia and Iran have rushed to support Bashar al-Assad and thousands have been slaughtered, President Obama has abdicated leadership and subcontracted US policy to Kofi Annan and the United Nations."
"Under this president, American influence and respect for our position around the world is at a low ebb."
Safe zones are ground-based no-fly replicas. Both are acts of war. They're belligerent and lawless. They assure full-scale intervention.
Co-signer hawks said "multilateral diplomacy and non-military pressure (won't) compel Assad to step down nor ensure (US) national security interests in Syria and the wider region...."
They want war. So does Obama. Only their timetables differ. Post-election, expect the worst.
Perhaps Russia foresees it. On the one hand, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was clear and unequivocal. He condemned US support for terrorism.
He referred to Washington's failure to denounce insurgents attacking Syria's National Security headquarters, saying:
"This is quite an awful position, I cannot even find the words to make clear how we feel. This is directly justifying terrorism. How can this be understood?"
"In other words, to say it in plain Russian, this means 'we (the United States) will continue to support such terrorist acts for as long as the UN Security Council has not done what we want.' "
Lavrov also criticized UN envoy Susan Rice's hostile comments and Arab League leaders for pressuring Assad to step down.
Russia's Ministry of Defense said warships entered the Mediterranean. Three vessels carry marines. They'll rendezvous with other Russian ships off Syria's coast.
Perhaps they'll be positioned at Tartus. Moscow maintains its only Mediterranean base there. It's strategic importance may be used. What's planned remains unknown.
Russia has vital regional interests. So does China. Hopefully both countries will go all out to protect them and make their intentions known. Perhaps doing so can prevent war. There may be no other way.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com.
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.