by Stephen Lendman
His fears are well-founded. He knows what he's up against. Longstanding US plans call for regime change. They remain firm.
Assad's willingness to destroy his chemical weapons delayed US action. It didn't deter it.
On September 25, Latin America's TeleSUR TV interviewed him in Damascus. "(T)he potential for a military offensive will always be present," he said.
It can come "(e)ither under the pretext of chemical weapons, or at other times under different pretexts." More on what he said below.
Permanent UN Security Council members continue discussing resolution language on Syria. Itar Tass quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov saying negotiations are "going quite well."
Draft resolution language should be finalized "very soon - within the next two days." Gatilov said it will include a UN Charter Chapter VII reference short of authorizing military force.
A separate resolution would be required to do so. Russia forthrightly opposes force. It wants Syria's crisis resolved diplomatically. It wants Syrians alone deciding who'll lead them. It wants no external interference in their internal affairs.
AP said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and John Kerry met for nearly 90 minutes in New York. They did so on the sidelines of the General Assembly meeting.
While "progress (was made) in some areas, they couldn't agree on the text, which the US (insists must be) enforceable," said AP.
Reuters headlined "Western envoys tout deal on core of UN Syria draft, Russia denies it." Work is "still going on."
"A Western diplomatic source said: 'It seems that things are moving forward,' adding that there was 'an agreement among the five on the core.' "
" 'We are closer on all the key points.' " An unnamed Russian spokesman disagreed, saying:
"This is just their wishful thinking. It is not the reality. The work on the draft resolution is still going on."
Key for America is Chapter VII authorization for military force. Russia forthrightly rejects it.
Other key sticking points involve the UN role in destroying Syria's CWs as well as what constitutes non-compliance.
Washington wants the Security Council to have final say. Russia wants the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in charge.
According to an unnamed diplomat Reuters cited, "(t)he latest draft has the council determining non-compliance."
He added that reference to Chapter VII came at the text's end. It states in case of non-compliance, the Security Council should "impose measures" under Chapter VII.
Doing so would require a second resolution. Language in the current draft "is identical to what would normally be in a Chapter 7 resolution," said Reuters. It cited the unnamed diplomat as its source.
Whether resolution language will be finalized and when remains to be seen. Key is preventing US aggression. Stopping Obama's rage for war won't be easy. Russia's going all out to do so.
Assad welcomed TeleSUR to Syria. He commented on Obama's UN speech, saying:
It "was more of the same - full of allegations based on fabrications and lies."
"In general, most statements made by American officials, whether in the current or previous administrations, do not have the least bit of credibility."
US policy is "based on lies. The administration has not provided any evidence to support its claims."
"As for their talk about invoking Chapter Seven, this does not concern us in Syria."
"First since independence, it is well known that Syria has always committed to all agreements it signs."
"Second, today there is balance in the Security Council which prevents the United States - as was the case in the past, from using the Security Council as an instrument to achieve its special agendas, including toppling regimes and destroying states as was the case in 1990s."
"As for the possibility of an American aggression, if you look back at the wars waged by the United States and American policies - at least since the early 1950s, you find that it has always been a policy of one aggression after another - starting with Korea, then Vietnam, Lebanon, Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq; this is the American policy."
"We also cannot forget American policy in South America where it instigated military coups and caused the deaths of millions; tens of governments were toppled as a result of American policy."
"For decades this has been their policy, which continues today - unchanged..."
War is an American obsession. It's addicted to war. Nothing ahead suggests change. Pretexts are concocted to justify planned aggression.
They're easy to create. They're based on Big Lies. The same pattern repeats with disturbing regularity. Only the pretexts change.
In Iraq it was nonexistent WMDs. For Syria it's lies about its military using chemical weapons. "(N)ext time it will be something else," said Assad.
"The more important element in all of this is that for decades, the United States has been superseding the Security Council, superseding the UN Charter, superseding the sovereignty of states and superseding all human and moral conventions," he stressed.
"It doesn't concern us for a simple reason: Syria has been independent for generations - for more than five decades, the United States has not toppled a president in Syria and has not brought any official to a position of power."
"So the United States cannot presume now that it has the right to decide, on behalf of the Syrian people who is in power and who isn't."
"This issue is decided upon one hundred percent by the wishes of the Syrian people; even friendly countries have no say in this matter."
"This is determined by the desires of the Syrian people, which are solely expressed through the ballot box."
"When the Syrian people don't want you, you should leave immediately; and the opposite is true."
"Regardless of what the United States says or does in this regard, it has no role whatsoever. That's why these statements are of no significance to us."
Obama said "the world is better now thanks to the United States."
Let's talk facts, said Assad. Is Iraq better? Is Afghanistan? Is Libya? Is Tunisia? Is Syria? Were any other nations following US intervention?
The record speaks for itself. When America shows up, mass slaughter and destruction follow. So does appalling levels of human suffering and misery.
America is a scourge on humanity. It's always been so. It's true now more than ever.
"What we want from the United States is for it not to interfere in the affairs of other countries, then, the world will certainly be better," said Assad.
Asked about Obama's comments on Iran, he said:
"Regardless of whether American statements are positive or negative, whether they praise, criticize, condemn or denounce - nobody believes them."
Iran's experience is like Syria's. America's word isn't its bond. It's not worth the paper it's written on. Obama's a notorious liar.
He lacks credibility. Nothing he says can believed. Actions speak louder than words. America interferes in the internal affairs of other countries ad nauseam.
It does so lawlessly. It does it aggressively. It's policy is longstanding. It's worse than ever now.
It's waging war on humanity. It's doing so by ravaging one country after another. Syria is in the eye of the storm. Iran's turn awaits. Other targets will follow.
Wars never end. "I can't imagine that the United States has abandoned its principle of resorting to military force," said Assad.
History proves him right. Earlier it was gunboat diplomacy. Cruise missiles and other weapons of mass destruction are its modern day equivalent.
Regarding Syria's CWs, Assad said:
"Our relationship on this issue will be with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)."
"Syria is not required to provide guarantees to the world or to the organization."
"It is required to deal with specific mechanisms or to abide by specific mechanisms stipulated in the chemical weapons convention."
"And as I said before, Syria is committed to all agreements it signs." It submitted "required data to the OPCW."
Its experts will soon visit Syria. They'll do so "to familiarize themselves with the status of these weapons."
Assad's main concern is that terrorists may obstruct their work. They may stage new CW attacks. At issue is blaming Syria. Doing so would be pretext for US aggression.
Syria and Russia have convincing evidence of prior use of CWs by insurgents. "Of course, we have both evidence and indicators," said Assad.
Nothing suggests Syrian forces used CWs any time throughout months of conflict.
"When a crime is committed," said Assad "the first questions a detective asks is who" benefits.
"It is very clear that the terrorists have an interest in this crime, particularly when these allegations coincide with the investigating team's mission to Syria," he said.
"Can you really believe that the Syrian government invites an investigation mission, only to use chemical weapons so that the mission can investigate their use?"
"This is unbelievable, totally illogical. All the indicators show that the Syrian government did not use them, and all tangible evidence shows that it was the terrorists who used the chemical weapons near Damascus."
TeleSUR addressed Israel's role in the conflict. "Israel is an aggressive state," said Assad.
"It was created based on expansion. It occupies other people's land and kills the people surrounding it."
"It has killed numerous Palestinians for over six decades."
"It killed numerous Lebanese and many Egyptians, Syrians and others using assassinations, bombing, terrorism and other methods."
"Today it plays the same role by supporting the terrorists directly in the areas adjacent to the Syrian front, i.e. near the occupied Golan, where it provides them with logistic and medical support and also with information, weapons and ammunition."
Nobody talks about its crimes or nuclear weapons, he added. It's because Israel has full US support. It's worst offenses are whitewashed.
"This is the prevailing logic in the world, the logic of hegemony, of colonialism, the logic of force."
In contrast, Syria wants its conflict resolved diplomatically, Assad said. It supports Geneva II. It does so with no preconditions.
It rejects violence. It's forced to act against terrorist invaders. Failing to would be irresponsible.
Syrians depend on military action for protection. Otherwise things would be much worse.
Assad's willing to negotiate with Syrian opposition groups. He rejects doing so with extremist invaders representing foreign interests.
He's firm on wanting Syrians alone to resolve all issues concerning their country. Other nations and elements representing them have no right to do so.
TeleSUR asked about Hugo Chavez's visit to Syria before his death. At the time he said:
"Nothing human or humanitarian can be used to justify an attack and an aggression against Syria."
"How can we not support the Syrian government? How can we not support the government of President Bashar al-Assad? How can they support armed groups?"
Assad responded saying Chavez and Fidel Castro are "two symbols" of Latin and Central American independence.
Their actions improved things for their people.
"I believe that South America in general, Venezuela and President Chavez, and before him President Castro, are important role models to be followed on the road towards independence and freedom sought by nations trying to shrug off Western hegemony in the form of long decades of direct colonization and, today, indirect colonization," said Assad.
He praised Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Both leaders know each other. Assad called him "a resilient and proud leader who has a clear understanding of our region."
"I am sure that he will continue to lead Venezuela to the path of independence. I believe that as Arab states, we should follow the path of Latin America if we want to make a mark in the world, to be independent and advanced."
He added that he's "not only defending Syria," its interests and principles, he's "defending the future of our children and the future of the whole region - and this region is the heart of the world."
"An unstable Middle East undermines the stability of the world," even its remote parts," he stressed.
He intends to continue asserting Syrian independence. He wants to "reduce the space of colonization represented by the West and the United States in particular."
Separately, Press TV said Maduro cancelled his planned UN General Assembly participation.
He just returned from China. On Wednesday, he lay over in Vancouver, BC. Intelligence he obtained described "two highly serious provocations."
Information required canceling his trip. "When I got into Vancouver, I evaluated the intelligence which we received from several sources," said Maduro.
"I decided then and there to continue back to Caracas and drop the New York trip to protect a key goal: safeguarding my physical integrity, protecting my life," he added.
One provocation was planned against his "physical integrity." The other may have involved violence in New York.
Weeks earlier, Maduro said Washington plans to "collapse" his economy by October.
"I have data about a meeting at the White House, the full names of those who attended. I know what plans they made for the total collapse," he explained.
"They think that Venezuela will collapse in October, so long as they plan for it by sabotaging the people's food, electricity, fuel and refineries," he added.
In early September, he said opposition elements sabotaged Venezuela's electrical power grid. Doing so left 70% of the nation without power for several hours.
"The empire will fall before Venezuela, which won't collapse, by sabotage or anything," Maduro stressed.
He knows his main enemy is Washington. Assad understands the same thing. Both leaders are united to resist. They have strong public support.
They deserve it universally. Preventing US aggression matters most.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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.