by Stephen Lendman
They're merciless cutthroat murderers. They commit grotesque atrocities. Torture, beheadings, and other monstrous savagery are all in a day's work.
They're Washington favorites. They're recruited, heavily armed, trained, funded and directed in all US regional wars. Ronald Reagan called earlier equivalents "freedom fighters." Some got White House visits.
A March 1983 photo showed Afghan Mujahideen fighters there. Reagan called them "an inspiration to those who love freedom."
He called Nicaraguan Contra killers "our brothers, these freedom fighters and we owe them our help. They are the moral equal of our founding fathers."
History doesn't just rhyme. It repeats in horrifyingly disturbing ways.
Wherever America shows up, deaths, mass destruction, and brutal atrocities follow. Countries are ravaged one at a time or in multiples. Millions die. Appalling crimes are committed.
Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya tasted US-style liberation. Since winter 2011, Syria's been systematically ravaged. No end of conflict appears near. Many dozens or hundreds die daily. The worst is yet to come.
On December 15, China's Xinhau headlined "Growing Presence of Extremists Sends Chills Down Syrians' Spines," saying:
Syrians now experience what's happened regionally for years. Media scoundrels suppress it. They call mass slaughter and destruction liberation. They give short shrift to cutthroat mercenaries.
Syrians fear for their lives and country. They ask how things got this far. Many understand Washington's responsibility. Complicit with key NATO partners, regional allies, and Israel, they're systematically destroying Syria.
Many Syrians able to leave do so. Most end up in wretched refugee camps. More affluent ones find favorable safe havens. They'd rather be home. They leave to stay alive.
Forty-six year old engineer Maher perhaps spoke for others.
"Why would I stay here now that I can afford living in a neighboring country," he said. "I could save my family some avoidable consequences."
He hopes Syria won't be another Afghanistan or Iraq. He prays for a miracle to save his country.
If Assad is ousted, many Syrians worry what's next. Potential Islamofascist governance assures continuation of what's now ongoing.
Raging Libyan violence reflects it. Syria's turn perhaps is next. Washington bears full responsibility. It planned violent regime change years ago.
Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad's recent comment offered hope, saying:
"The government is strong. The Syrian army is strong, and the Syrian people are still rallying behind President Assad. That's why President Assad and the political system are still surviving and they will still survive."
Hopefully the fullness of time will prove him right. Daily violence casts a pall over Syria's future.
Iran and others warn that offensive Patriot missiles in Turkey on Syria's border threaten possible global war. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad cancelled a planned Ankara visit. He condemned a dangerous provocation.
Tehran's armed forces chief of staff, General Hassan Firouzabadi, called each missile "a black dot on the map." They head events toward global conflict.
"This is very dangerous for everyone," he stressed, "and even for the future of Europe." They'll be installed in January. Offensive provocations may follow.
On December 14, NATO commander Admiral James Stavridis accused Assad of firing scud missiles inside Syria. Several landed close to Turkey's border, he claimed.
Damascus denounced alleged attacks as false. Syrian authorities called reports provocative and untrue.
On Friday, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta visited US forces at Turkey's Incirlik Air Base. Washington shares it. He said Patriot batteries can shoot down aircraft and short-range missiles.
Deploying them, he claimed, will "help Turkey have the kind of missile defense it may very well need to deal with the threats coming out of Syria."
None exist. He knows it. He's fooling no one. Patriot batteries are provocative. Installing them is for offense, not defense. Doing so heightens risks. In place, they'll likely be used. Full-scale intervention may follow.
Deputy NATO Secretary-General Jesper Vahr warned Syria that "messing with Turkey means messing with NATO." He barely stopped short of declaring war. Doing it perhaps is imminent. Events bear close watching. Post-holiday season may prove most threatening.
Michel Chossudovsky suggests possible "military escalation" and "Russia-US confrontation."
What's now ongoing is long-planned "US-NATO-Israeli led insurgency against Syria."
French, British, Turkish, Qatari, and very likely US Special Forces are involved. US and UK intelligence operatives have been all along. Perhaps French, Mossad, and other regional elements with them.
Washington plays hard ball for keeps. Ravaging Syria won't stop until the entire country is destroyed or enough of it to matter.
Western and regional Special Forces "are 'embedded' within rebel ranks." They're training and directing them. They choose targets and coordinate what happens.
They operate "in liaison with NATO." The North Atlantic Alliance is a longstanding imperial killing machine. Its mission is slaughter, mass destruction, and regime change.
Led by Washington, it's systematically dismantling and ravaging Syria. It has other targets in mind. NATO killers never rest.
Ambitious goals drive them. Unchallenged global dominance is planned. Aims to achieve it perhaps involve laying waste to planet earth.
Proxy cutthroat killers commit daily terrorism. Patriot missiles plan their own version.
Preparing for what's coming, Chossudovsky said "Russia delivered advanced Iskander missiles to Syria (and) Russian defense system Pechora 2M."
They're fully operational. What's next bears watching. January events may signal what follows.
Russian/US relations are at a "dangerous crossroads." Russian citizens in Syria are targeted. So are foreign journalists.
In September, Press TV's Maya Naser was murdered in cold blood. At the same time, its Damascus bureau chief Hosein Mortada was shot in the back and wounded. Both reporters were covering Damascus bomb blasts when targeted.
They and other independent journalists receive frequent death threats. They courageously stay and do their job. Some like Maya pay with their lives. Hosein was flown to Tehran for surgery.
Syria is one of the world's most dangerous places for journalists. Those doing their job responsibly are most vulnerable. Cutthroat killers target them.
Washington decides which ones. NATO partners and Israel choose their favorites. Truth-tellers beware.
Since conflict erupted last year, around six dozen journalists died. Many independent ones succumbed. Major media ones included London Sunday Times reporter Marie Colvin and New York Times columnist Anthony Shadid. Officially an asthma attack took him. Death by drowning is more likely.
Alawites and others considered Assad loyalists are imperiled. Many bravely hold firm. The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) said residents of Aleppo's al-Sabil neighborhood turned out in force.
A massive pro-Assad rally was held. Support was expressed for Syria's army. Expelling foreign terrorists was urged. Syrians know who's friend and foe. They stuck their necks out saying so.
Syria's conflict indeed may be at a dangerous crossroads. What affects Assad's government imperils the region. It can't avoid what Washington plans. Nor can other nations if conditions escalate out of control. The possibility is real and ominous.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
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.