by Stephen Lendman
It doesn't surprise. Regime change was planned years ago. Washington tolerates no independent states. It doesn't matter if they're democratic, despotic or anything in between.
America seeks unchallenged world dominance. It's waging war on humanity to achieve it. It bears repeating. Syria's in the eye of the storm.
Washington's determined to oust Assad. It doesn't matter how faithfully he abides by the US/Russia chemical weapons disarmament agreement.
All indications show he's doing so. He's got every incentive to do it. He's got every reason to scrupulously avoid violating it.
It doesn't matter. Washington targets him for removal. Pretexts for war are easy to create. False flags are a US tradition. They've been used many times before.
They date from at least the mid-19th century. They were used repeatedly thereafter. Ghouta's August 21 gas attack was the latest example.
Assad had nothing to do with it. Insurgents bear full responsibility. Washington's Big Lie is pretext for war. Plans are firm. Timing alone changed.
Heavy-handed pressure is being brought to bear on Russia. Washington wants Security Council authorization for war. Passing a UN Charter Chapter VII one assures it.
Russia resolutely rejects doing so. It vetoed three previous attempts. It courageously resists US bullying. It's the last line of defense for world peace.
On September 22, Russia Today headlined "Lavrov: US pressuring Russia into passing UN resolution under Chapter 7," saying:
Washington wants Moscow to approve "military intervention in Syria, in exchange for American support of Syria's accession to OPCW, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said."
Lavrov appeared on Russia's Channel 1 Sunday Time program.
"Our American partners are starting to blackmail us," he said. " 'If Russia does not support a resolution under Chapter 7, then we will withdraw our support for Syria's entry into the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).' "
" 'This is a complete departure from what I agreed with Secretary of State John Kerry' " in Geneva, he stressed.
Chapter 7 assures war. Kerry knows it. So do Russian officials. Lavrov was uncharacteristically blunt saying:
"Our (Western) partners are blinded by (their) ideological mission for regime change. They cannot admit they have made another mistake."
"I am convinced that the West is doing this to demonstrate that they call the shots in the Middle East. This is a totally politicized approach."
"'Our Western partners are nervous as they understand: if Chapter VII is mentioned, this is a chance to get a justification from the UN Security Council for their unilateral actions."
"We advise them to save their nerves and adhere to the international law - the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), and not devise resolutions, which in fact put this convention on the back burner and put forward their personal or geopolitical and national ambitions."
Foreign intervention assures another Libya or Iraq. If Washington sought peace, it wouldn't prioritize Assad's ouster. It would work cooperatively with him.
It would halt all support for opposition forces. It would demand peaceful conflict resolution. It would endorse Security Council action for it. Unanimous SC support would be guaranteed.
Doing this would be out of character for America. It deplores peace. It urges war. It wages one after another. It does so relentlessly. It risks WW III. It risks humanity's survival.
It doesn't matter. Unchallenged global dominance counts most. Hegemons think this way. America is the most dangerous in world history.
Rule of law principles are for others to obey. Washington plays by its own rules. What we say goes defines them. If they prevail, Syria's sovereignty and secularism will be lost.
Radical Islamists will run things. Chaos will prevail. Syria will be an unending cauldron of violence. It'll replicate things in Iraq and Libya. Both countries are ungovernable.
Dozens die daily. Many more are injured or displaced. Charnel house conditions prevail. Law and order are convenient illusions. So are rule of law principles and other democratic values.
Global Research reposted Abdel Bari Atwan September 16 article headlining "Welcome to the New Libya, a Country 'Liberated' by NATO: No Oil Revenues, No Security, No Water, No Electricity."
Iraq is no better. It's a virtual war zone. Conditions reflect violence, devastation, deprivation, and deplorable human misery. American-style liberation assures none at all.
The cradle of civilization no longer exists. Mass killing, destruction, state terror, occupation, environmental contamination, and an epidemic of virtually every known illness and disease replaced it.
America's toxic legacy includes birth defects too gruesome to view. Chemical, biological and radiological weapons caused it.
Children born with two heads reflect it. So do others born with tails. Others had legs grown together. They're half fish, half human. Newborns with one eye are common. Missing sockets look like the inside of an oyster. They're milky and shapeless.
Miscarriages are frequent. Hundreds of newborns have cleft pallets, elongated heads, overgrown or short limbs, and other malformed body parts.
What kind of nation inflicts this on others? Imagine what Syrians can expect. According to Lavrov, "someone is attempting to create a guided chaos." They're doing so for their own self-interest.
At the same time, he sees no way Western countries can gain from instability. "There's only an attempt to grasp a straw, and turn a blind eye to the fact that the world is changing and becoming multipolar."
In 2012, Geneva I failed. Talks were called a "last-ditch effort" to halt violence. Similar headlines followed Annan's peace plan. Today things are worse than ever.
When last year's Geneva discussions ended, Washington and Moscow issued contradictory statements. Lavrov was "delighted" that no preconditions were set. Nothing was done to "impose a process" on Syria, he stressed.
Then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said:
"Assad will still have to go. What we have done here is to strip away the fiction that he and those with blood on their hands can stay in power."
Washington's position remains firm. Regime change remains longstanding US policy. War is America's option of choice. Obama intends to wage it.
Post-Geneva I, Washington demanded Chapter VII authorization for war. "History is repeating itself," said Lavrov.
"Once again in Geneva an agreement has been reached which does not contain any mention of Chapter 7."
America wants Security Council resolution language including it. Russia rejects doing so. Lavrov called on Western powers to observe international laws.
He wants them to curb their "geopolitical ambitions." He wants both sides to "hand over their chemical weapons."
"The solutions currently being worked out at the OPCW suggest that all stocks of Syrian chemical weapons must be brought under control and ultimately destroyed," he stressed.
He said Western powers aren't "telling the whole story." Claiming Assad alone has chemical weapons doesn't wash.
Insurgents are known to have them. They've been caught red-handed using them.
"According to our estimates," said Lavrov, "there is a strong probability that" opposition militants produce chemical weapons in "home-grown labs."
"Preparatory work for OPCW inspectors to assume control of chemical weapons storage sites requires that those who fund and sponsor opposition groups - including extremists - demand that they hand over the (arms) which have been seized so that they can be destroyed, pursuant to the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons."
Russia and America differ markedly on Security Council language. Moscow wants peaceful conflict resolution. Washington wants war.
Russia provided Security Council members with evidence that insurgents used chemical weapons. Syria supplied "purely technical" documents.
They were carefully examined. According to Lavrov:
Data supplied are "an addition to what we already know and to what is known to independent experts who give their assessments and confirm that the opposition regularly resorts to provocations."
Doing so "attempt(s) to accuse the regime of using chemical weapons." It's pretext for military intervention. It's how Washington hopes to achieve regime change.
Moscow expects UN inspectors to return to Syria. It wants other chemical weapons incidents investigated. Recent ones occurred on August 22, 24 and 25.
According to Lavrov, insurgents attacked Syrian forces. They used poison gas. The time frame established for destroying Syria's chemical weapons is unrealistic, he added.
"The overwhelming majority of the figures as per timing, term, beginning, finishing of the mission have been suggested by the American side," he explained.
"When OPCW experts visit Syria and view the storage sites for chemical weapons, they will understand what can be destroyed on the spot (and this is also possible) with the use of mobile equipment which a number of states have, and those where special factories need to be built, as we did when destroying Soviet chemical weapons stockpiles."
"But for those which need to be taken out of the country - toxic substances - will require a special decision, because the convention considers it essential that the destruction takes place on the territory of that country which possesses the chemical weapons," he stressed.
Legal grounds must be established to move forward. If all sides agree in principle, a binding legal document will follow.
Providing OPCW experts with security is essential, Lavrov said.
"We've considered that an international presence will be demanded in those areas where experts are working," he explained.
"We are prepared to allocate our own servicemen or military police to take part in those efforts."
"I do not believe it is necessary to send in a strong (military force). It seems to me that it will be sufficient to send in military observers."
"It will be necessary to do it in such a way that the observers will come from all permanent members of the UN Security Council, Arab states and Turkey, so that all conflicting sides in Syria understand that this contingent represents all external forces who are collaborating with one or the other conflicting sides in Syriaâ€¦so that they don't resort to provocations."
Every side involved must avoid initiating them. Don't expect Washington to comply. Regime change plans remain firm. Obama's not about to reverse course.
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.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.