by Stephen Lendman
He's done it since day one in office. It rages nonstop. War on Afghanistan could continue for another decade or longer.
Iraq and Libya are out-of control cauldrons of violence. Syria's the current eye of the storm. Obama intends escalating what's ongoing. Iran's turn awaits.
Syria's Ministry of Information addressed how ordinary Syrians are affected. Obama bears full responsibility.
Sabotage damaged vital infrastructure. "Power nets, oil and gas pipelines, hospitals and schools" are affected.
"(M)ore than 1,700 schools, with losses of about 500 million Syrian pounds, have been devastated, besides targeting the teaching staff that has lost (dozens of) martyrs murdered by the treacherous terror(ists) wanting to take Syrian citizens back to the ages of ignorance and backwardness."
Universal free healthcare's compromised. Hospitals and health centers were "robbed and burnt out." Medical professionals were murdered.
"More than 38 hospitals and 132 health centers (were) attacked and damaged by armed terrorist groups."
Twenty-five hospitals were rehabilitated. Healthcare sector losses exceed 3.5 billion Syrian pounds. Electricity, oil and gas, as well as other sectors are affected.
Economic sanctions hurt. They're fundamentally unjust. They're punitive. They're illegal. They harm ordinary Syrians most.
Government services are provided as well as possible. Syria's committed to freeing the country of terrorists. A long struggle ahead remains.
About one in ten Americans support Obama's planned escalation. About one-fourth of Brits back their own government's involvement.
Nearly two-thirds of French people oppose Hollande partnering with Obama. In June, his popularity hit a record low. A scant one-fourth of France supports him.
On September 3, London's Telegraph headlined "US general says Syria action could be 'more substantial than thought.' "
Former Army Vice Chief of Staff General Jack Keane said he spoke to Republican senators. On Monday, Obama briefed them. He said he "planned to do significant damage to the forces of Bashar al-Assad."
Publicly he suggested token strikes. Keane said he intends something much more robust. They include "much more substance than we were led to believe."
"What he won't do is topple the regime," he added. "There's a distinction here."
Toppling comes later. Regime change is planned. Directly intervening heads toward that goal.
"What he has told the two senators is that he also intends to assist the opposition forces, so he is going to degrade Assad's military capacity and he is going to assist and upgrade the opposition forces with training assistance," Keane said.
Obama was stunned by Britain's parliamentary nay vote. It opted out of partnering with his attack plans. According to Keane:
"We operate side by side with the UK, and we know who our closest ally is. We certainly would much rather do this with the UK side by side. That's how the military feels. I really think the leaders of the country feel" this way.
"I think, if I may use some rich language here, the humiliating defeat the Prime Minister suffered in Parliament, I can only surmise was stunning to the President and I think it impacted on him."
"I think that's one of the motivations that introduced what I call palpable fear and one of the reasons why he is seeking political cover himself."
Congressional support appears rubber-stamp. On Tuesday, House Speaker John Boehner said he'll "support (Obama's) call to action."
French President Francois Holland said he won't intervene unilaterally. "If the (congressional) decision (is) not positive, then we would not act alone, but we would not shirk our responsibilities, by supporting the opposition in Syria in such a way that would provide a response," he said.
France has been involved since conflict began in March 2011. It's prepared to intervene directly now.
War's taken a terrible toll on ordinary Syrians. According to UNHCR:
"The war is now well into its third year, and Syria is hemorrhaging women, children and men who cross borders often with little more than the clothes on their backs."
Over two million Syrians fled the country. Another 4.25 million are internally displaced. UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres calls Syria's refugee crisis "unparalleled in recent history." It promises to get worse, not better.
A separate article discussed Washington's participation in Israel's Tuesday missile launch. Allegedly it was to test its missile defense systems. The timing is suspect. It raises disturbing questions. They're unanswered.
Voice of Russia (VOR) quoted Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Oriental Studies director Vitaly Naumkin saying:
"Such tests are absolutely out of place as they can incite an extremely nervous reaction in the region given the current situation surrounding Syria. Probably it was a provocative move."
If it tried to intimidate Assad, it failed, he added. "Putting pressure on (him) like that will obviously not bring the desired effect."
Institute of Middle East Studies president Yevgeny Satanovky doubts what happened will change what's ongoing.
"First, the information alleging these targets were launched by Israel is hypothetical, and there are no data that could be 100 percent guaranteed."
"But even if this is so, Israel conducts missile and antimissile system tests rather often. I don't see anything new here."
"The incident only confirmed the Russian systems' effective capability to detect such launches."
Russia Today suggested a joint US/Israeli purpose perhaps was to see how quickly Moscow's able to detect missile launches.
They likely already know. Russian technology's very sophisticated. It's very much focused on what's unfolding.
It reflects Senator J. William Fulbright's sentiment. In 1966, he addressed "the arrogance of power."
He called it "the tendency of great nations to equate (it) with virtue and major responsibilities with a universal mission."
He questioned America's involvement in Vietnam. "Our handicap is well expressed in the pungent Chinese proverb," he said. "In shallow waters, dragons become the sport of shrimps."
Saigon residents burned American jeeps. They tried assaulting US soldiers. They shouted "Down with the American imperialists."
At issue, said Fulbright, isn't Washington's "deficiency of power." It's using it the wrong way. It's making things worse, not better.
If America has "a service to perform in the world," he stressed, it's setting the right example.
"In our excessive involvement in the affairs of other countries, we are not only living off our assets and denying our own people the proper enjoyment of their resources; we are also denying the world the example of a free society enjoying its freedom to the fullest."
"This is regrettable indeed for a nation that aspires to teach democracy to other nations, because, as Burke said! "Example is the school of mankind, and they will learn at no other."
John Quincy Adams said America should be "the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all (and) champion and vindicator only of her own."
"If we can bring ourselves so to act, we will have overcome the dangers of the arrogance of power," said Fulbright.
"It will involve, no doubt, the loss of certain glories, but that seems a price worth paying for the probable rewards, which are the happiness of America and the peace of the world."
Imagine what Fulbright and others like him would say now. Perhaps they'd join growing numbers demanding Obama's impeachment.
Former French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau (1841 - 1929) once said it's "easier to make war than make peace."
He also said "America is the only nation in history which miraculously has gone directly from barbarism to degeneration without the usual interval of civilization."
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900) said the same thing. He also called patriotism "the virtue of the vicious."
George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950) called democracy "a form of government that substitutes election by the incompetent many for the appointment of the corrupt few."
Perhaps he had Obama in mind. His rap sheet already exceeds all his predecessors. He's got three and a half years left to add more. He'll take full advantage.
He's got lots more warmaking in mind. He plans hardening America's police state apparatus. He wants dissent silenced. He wants opposition crushed. He wants freedom destroyed.
He's ruthless. He agenda depends on bullying, intimidating and lies. He's waging war on humanity. He risks extinguishing it altogether.
Paul Craig Roberts calls America the world's greatest danger. It threatens potential nuclear annihilation. Obama's madness may hasten it. Stopping him matters most.
Power depends on public support. Withholding it causes its demise. Extinguishing fire requires not adding fuel. It dies when its energy wanes.
A Final Comment
On September 2, McClatchy headined "To some, US case for Syrian gas attack, strike has too many holes," saying:
It's based "mainly on circumstantial evidence." It's disputed by UN officials. It differs from British and French reports. It "lack(s) sufficient transparency" for credibility.
"(I)nternational chemical experts (don't) accept (it) at face value." After the fabricated evidence on Iraq, "the threshold for evidence to support intervention is exceedingly high."
Growing calls urge independent analysis. UN spokesman Farhan Haq called it "rare" for an investigation to begin faster than what UN inspectors initiated.
They arrived within 48 hours of Ghouta's incident. Sarin can be detected months after use. Delayed biomedical sample analysis works.
In 1992, northern Iraq forensic work found sarin and mustard gas traces four years after they were used.
Britain's late August intelligence summary said:
"There is no immediate time limit over which environmental or physiological samples would have degraded beyond usefulness."
Center for Strategic and International Studies analyst Anthony Cordesman criticized Kerry's assessment. He said he was "sandbagged into using an absurdly over-precise" 1,429 death count.
It differed from Britain's "at least 350" estimate. France said it confirmed 281. Others claimed around 200 - 300. No verifiable number is known.
Kerry claimed sarin use without documentation. His word lacks credibility. It's worthless without hard, independently verifiable proof. It's entirely lacking.
According to McClatchy:
"Another eyebrow-raising administration claim was that US intelligence had 'collected streams of human, signals and geospatial intelligence' that showed the regime preparing for an attack three days before the event."
The US assessment says regime personnel were in an area known to be used to 'mix chemical weapons, including sarin, and that regime forces prepared for the Aug. 21 attack by putting on gas masks."
"That claim raises two questions: Why didn't the US warn rebels about the impending attack and save hundreds of lives?"
"(W)hy did the administration keep mum about the suspicious activity when on at least one previous occasion US officials have raised an international fuss when they (claimed they) observed similar actions?"
Chemical weapons experts raise disturbing questions. So do other analysts. There's no there there to Kerry's claims.
They lack verifiable corroboration. It's his word without any. It's duplicitousness writ large. It's heading America for more lawless aggression.
It assures more will follow. It threatens world peace. It hangs by a thread. It risks armageddon. It's risked based on lies.
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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