by Stephen Lendman
Syria is target one, then Iran. The road to Tehran runs through Damascus. Western-backed insurgents can't match Assad's security forces.
In 2011, Libyan killer gangs had air force support. Without NATO, they'd have been routed.
Expect stepped up intervention in Syria. All signs suggest it. The April 10 deadline came and went. Assad began pulling back. Insurgent violence continues. He's obligated to confront it. Responsible leaders can do no less. Their people depend on it. If governments won't protect them, who will?
Nonetheless, Assad's vilified for doing his job. Calls for greater intervention grow. Turkey wants a new Security Council resolution. Ankara says Annan's peace plan failed.
Its designed intention was failure, not success. It's sham cover for Washington's longstanding regime change plans. Kofi Annan's imperial tool credentials got him appointed Arab League Syrian envoy.
He keeps pointing fingers the wrong way. His demands on Assad are relentless. He insists he pull back and leave his people defenseless. His comments about insurgent violence are muted, disingenuous, and intended to solve nothing.
In a letter to the Security Council, he accused Assad of failure to comply with peace plan terms. He said he hasn't withdrawn troops or ceased violence. He claimed Syrian forces keep "conduct(ing) rolling military operations in population centers, characterized by troop movements into towns supported by artillery fire."
"While some troops and heavy weapons have been withdrawn from some localities, this appears to be often limited to a repositioning of heavy weapons that keeps cities within firing range."
He added that demanding insurgents provide written ceasefire guarantees jeopardizes conflict resolution. He accused Assad of introducing "ex post facto requirements that are not part of the six-point plan that they agreed to implement."
Doing so ignores the obvious. Peace can't happen unless both sides agree and jointly implement terms, not one, then maybe the other later or not at all.
He also turned a blind eye to ongoing heavy weapons and other equipment supplied insurgents, as well as funding, and US/UK, and perhaps other outside Special Forces on the ground providing training and direction for months.
Under these conditions, conflict resolution's impossible. That's the whole idea. It's part of Annan's mission. Most important is who's in charge for what purpose. Fingers point straight to Washington.
Obama administration dirty hands control things. Events on the ground are manipulated. Calls for greater intervention grow louder. At issue is establishing another client state, isolating Iran, then repeating the same strategy there. All options are open, including war. Eruption in Syria could happen any time.
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's comments suggest it. He warned his military may use force to set up an (illegal) buffer zone in Syria. Doing so assures escalated conflict.
That's the whole idea. Assad won't tolerate it, nor should he. No responsible leader would. If Syrian and Turkish forces clash, all bets are off.
Article 5 of NATO's Charter states:
"The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area."
In other words, NATO's 28 member states are obligated to act by any and all means if one of them is attacked. All for one and one for all. Collective defense is policy. Lawless aggression follows. Countries like Yugoslavia were targeted.
In 1999, with no Security Council authorization, it was lawlessly attacked and ravaged. Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya followed. Perhaps Syria's next, then Iran and other independent states. Washington keeps a list. Among other nations, it includes China and Russia. Both countries know the risk.
Erdogan also wants direct UN Syrian intervention. NATO may be readying to act. War winds blow stronger. Perhaps they're heading for gale force strength. Replicating Libya looks likely.
Nonetheless, Syria's SANA state media reported an official Defense Ministry source saying armed forces agreed "to end missions Thursday morning after they carried out successful missions in combating criminal acts by armed terrorist groups and enforced the authority of the state on all its territories."
They'll remain "on alert to confront any attack by armed terrorist groups against civilians, law-enforcement members, the armed forces and private and public facilities."
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said "it's up to the armed opposition" to cease hostilities beginning 6AM April 12.
Scoundrel Media Hawkishness
Media scoundrels are complicit. When Washington goes to war or plans one, they're out in front cheerleading, no matter how unjust the cause. At issue is dominance, not right or wrong.
On April 9, a New York Times editorial headlined, "President Assad's Latest Bluff," saying:
"The international community's latest attempt to stop (Assad's) reign of terror in Syria is failing. Instead of abiding by a commitment to a cease-fire negotiated with the United Nations, he has kept his killing machine rolling, raising the death toll to an estimated 9,000 Syrians in the year since the start of the uprising."
Insurgents killed most Syrians. No one knows the death toll. UN and other official reports are baseless. Citing them is scandalous. Blaming Assad for self-defense is outrageous. Times editors, writers, and commentators do it regularly.
The Security Council should "take tough and unified action against (Assad) and his forces." Russia and China "must stop protecting this brutal regime."
"Any chance of ousting (Assad) - and restoring stability to Syria - will require (both countries) ending their cynical and perilous game."
So far, Russia and China alone prevented war. Whether they'll be as successful ahead looks shaky. They have major interests to protect. As a result, they've stood firm despite relentless scoundrel media criticism and less than diplomatic Washington disapproval.
Calling for Assad's ouster violates international law. Syria's sovereignty is inviolable. Its people alone may decide who leads them. For sure not The New York Times or other governments.
On April 10, a Times Asli Bali/Aziz Rana op-ed headlined, "To Stop the Killing, Deal with Assad," saying:
In Syria, "(a)n authoritarian regime is engaged in brutal repression and large-scale human rights violations."
The same unverified death toll was cited. So were other inaccurate comments.
"....large sections of the country oppose" Assad. (A)ll segments of the civilian population would welcome intervention."
In fact, independent polls show most Syrians support him. The longer Western-generated violence rages, the more it grows. Perhaps both contributors consider it an inconvenient truth. In addition, Syrians deplore intervention and rely on Assad for protection. So do nonviolent internal opposition groups.
Both contributors do favor peaceful resolution, not taking sides in an internal conflict. However, they avoid saying who's responsible, and that international law affirms the right of self-defense.
Moreover, calling Annan's peace plan "a good starting point" misses the issue altogether as explained above. It's not about peace. It's cover for greater intervention, perhaps war.
Syrians indeed are "caught in the cross-fire." Who's responsible wasn't mentioned.
Both contributors are law professors. Imagine what students get in their classes.
On April 9, a Washington Post editorial headlined, "The UN's failed plan for Syrian peace," saying:
"....(T) entirely predictable outcome of (Annan's peace plan) ought now to be recognized: (Annan) and his backers have merely provided cover for (Assad) to go on slaughtering his own people."
He imposed "new conditions for a cease-fire and has continued (his) assaults on residential areas with artillery and tanks."
In fact, he's wrongly blamed for insurgent caused deaths.
"It was clear from the outset (he'd) never implement the U.N. terms, including a cease-fire and tolerance of peaceful assembly, because to do so would cause the collapse of his regime."
"The question now facing the administration and the Security Council is also familiar: how to respond to (his) double-cross."
"The inescapable reality is that Mr. Assad will go on killing unless and until he is faced with a more formidable military opposition. That is why the shortest way to the end of the Syrian crisis is the one (Obama) is resisting: military support for the opposition and, if necessary, intervention by NATO."
Material discussed above exposes commentary this wrongheaded and scandalous. Truth is nowhere in sight. Lies segue to new ones. The dirty game involved is clear. Blame the victim. Support imperial lawlessness.
Like The Times and other scoundrel media, Post editors, writers, and op-ed contributors specialize in managed news misinformation. They support wealth and power, wrong over right, and war as an option of choice.
Never mind international as well as constitutional and US statute laws. Never mind what Syrians want or the large majority of Americans opposing intervention and wanting Washington's Afghan involvement ended. Instead of explaining what's really going on and stakes too important to ignore, doing so's avoided.
Media scoundrels won't quit until NATO ravages Syria like Libya and other targeted countries. Their support makes war more likely. With it comes mass deaths, destruction, exploitation, resource theft, and human misery.
How much more blood on their hands will they tolerate? Apparently no amount's enough to satisfy them. Their appetite's insatiable. They keep craving more.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also 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.