by Stephen Lendman
Obama's already waging multiple direct and proxy wars. He's heading America for more. Media scoundrels support it. They back all US aggression. They're beating the drums again now. They're manipulating public sentiment for support.
Russia, China and most other nations want peace. May 8 commemorates Victory in Europe Day (VE Day). Russia's toll was greatest. For many, war horrors still echo.
On May 9, Russia commemorated Victory Day. Ceremonies included an elaborate Red Square military parade. Vladimir Putin spoke on the occasion. He's mindful of Washington's imperial plans. He stressed Russia's commitment to peace, saying:
"We remember what the tragedy of war means, and we will do everything, everything that we can to ensure that no one ever dares unleash another one, to ensure that no one threatens our children, our home, our land."
"We will do everything to strengthen global security."
Washington, key NATO partners, Israel, and other regional allies threaten it. They're heading incrementally for more war. Ousting Assad remains policy.
On May 9, Secretary of State Kerry reiterated where America stands.
During a meeting with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, he claimed all sides were working to "effect a transition government by mutual consent of both sides, which clearly means that in our judgment President Assad will not be a component of that transitional government."
In other words, Assad must go. Syrians have no say. International law doesn't matter. US-prioritized regime change overrules it. Washington rules alone count. Same old, same old remains policy.
Recent events suggest what's coming. Israel's very much involved. Last weekend's premeditated bombings were a joint US/Israeli operation. Very likely they advanced the ball toward full-scale intervention.
Falsely accusing Syria of using chemical weapons did so further. Western-backed death squad massacres blamed on Assad pile on more.
Bayda is the latest. On May 3, London's Guardian headlined an AP story. It said "Syrian National Coalition (SNC) claims 50 killed in new massacre."
Assad loyalists "were killed with guns, knives and blunt objects." A SNC statement said:
"It is time for the world to intervene and put an end to the grievous crimes of the Assad regime."
Obama said he's considering all options. One got little attention at home. Joe Novotny is House of Representatives reading clerk.
Appearing on C-SPAN, he read Obama's "Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to the Actions of the Government of Syria."
"The President took these actions to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States constituted by the actions of the Government of Syria in supporting terrorism, maintaining its then-existing occupation of Lebanon, pursuing weapons of mass destruction and missile programs, and undermining US and international efforts with respect to the stabilization and reconstruction of Iraq."
He accused Syria of sending "foreign fighters" to Iraq. He claimed Assad did so to destabilize the country. He said:
"While the Syrian regime has reduced the number of foreign fighters bound for Iraq, the regime's own brutality and repression of its citizens who have been calling for freedom and a representative government endangers not only the Syrian people themselves, but could yield greater instability throughout the region."
"The Syrian regime's actions and policies, including obstructing the Lebanese government's ability to function effectively, pursuing chemical and biological weapons, and supporting terrorist organizations, continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States."
"As a result," he extended "the national emergency declared on May 11, 2004." It's been renewed annually since then.
No threat existed earlier. None does now. Obama's manipulating public sentiment. He's selling war. He's claiming a nonexistent national threat. He's extending national emergency powers to address it.
Merriam-Webster defines one as "an unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state that calls for immediate action."
Obama said "the United States condemns the Assad regime's use of brutal violence and human rights abuses and calls on the Assad regime to step aside and immediately begin a transition in Syria to a political process that will forge a credible path to a future of greater freedom, democracy, opportunity, and justice."
"The United States will consider changes in the composition, policies, and actions of the Government of Syria in determining whether to continue or terminate this national emergency in the future."
Testimony during 1973 congressional hearings, said:
A national emergency "denotes the existence of conditions of varying nature, intensity and duration, which are perceived to threaten life or well-being beyond tolerable limits."
Who decides? Most often, checks and balances don't matter. Presidents do what they want. Bush claimed "unitary executive" powers. Congress didn't constrain him.
In times of war or heading toward it, Capitol Hill goes along. Presidents have virtual dictatorial powers. Anything's fair game.
In a post-9/11 environment, national emergency powers can include martial law and suspension of constitutional protections.
Boston experienced them on lockdown. It can happen anywhere or nationwide. Events now head incrementally toward more conflict. War on Syria looms. It has risks. Iran and Hezbollah back Syria. They're committed to defend their ally.
Russia and China want peace. Attacking Syria prevents it. It remains to be seen what steps they'll take. Will either nation or both draw red lines? Will they challenge efforts to cross them?
Will another US war be one too many? Will it spill out of control?
Given Washington's permanent war agenda, its determination to oust Assad, a commitment by Syria's allies to prevent it, and the destructive power of today's weapons, it's terrifying to imagine what's possible.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He 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.
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