Increasingly war looks likely. Earlier Obama said “the Assad regime must come to an end.”
In early June, White House press secretary Jay Carney said “bloody sectarian war will be diminished if Assad removes himself from power or is no longer in power.”
“It is essential that the world community come together and unify to pressure Assad and isolate Assad and help precipitate a situation where that political transition can take place.”
Hillary Clinton accused Russia of keeping Assad in power. Putin faces heavy pressure to bow to Western demands. Will he yield or hold firm?
Moscow signed a Security Council statement condemning the Houla massacre. Unlike Washington, Western partners, and regional allies, it points fingers both ways.
Along with China and Cuba, it rejected the Human Rights Council’s (HRC) decision to condemn Syria for Houla killings. It called doing it “imbalanced and biased.” More on that below.
Moscow also repudiates regime change. Putin believes national sovereignty is inviolable. He opposes intervention and war. He rejects Libya 2.0. He supports ending conflict and restoring peace. Succeeding is another matter.
On June 5, Putin arrived in Beijing for an official state visit. Discussions will focus on mutual economic and geopolitical interests and concerns.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said both nations oppose intervention in Syria or plans for regime change by force. They support dialogue for conflict resolution.
On June 4, Assad addressed the People’s Assembly. He minced no words for good reason. Since last year, he’s been wrongly blamed for Western-instigated violence. It continues daily.
Pro-Assad loyalists, other civilians, and security forces are targeted and killed in cold blood. Houla was the most extreme incident.
An Islamist group called Jabhat al-Nusra (Al-Nusra Front) claimed responsibility for May Damascus bombings. Dozens were killed, many others wounded. The group also said it killed 13 civilians in Deir Ezzor province last week. They were shot at close range in the head. Their hands were tied behind their backs.
Many other incidents claimed smaller tolls. Body counts mount. Syrians are terrorized. Most blame outside forces, not their government.
Washington, key NATO partners, and regional allies bear full responsibility. Out-of-control violence won’t stop. They won’t let it. Death and destruction continues.
Fabricated reports and lies blame Assad. On June 4, he responded, saying:
“Since the early days of this crisis, we announced a number of clear political steps to enhance the development process through popular participation in order to undercut all those who tried to hide under slogans of reform and make use of the events for unpatriotic and dishonourable objectives.”
“Despite the denials of these achievements in the political sphere on the part of foreign and domestic powers….we have never stopped carrying out what we announced and what we started.”
“Laws have been passed, local administration elections have been held, and later on there was a referendum on the constitution in response to those attempts.”
“The international role in what is happening is already well-known not only for decades, but for centuries past. And I don’t think it’s going to change in the foreseeable future. Colonialism is still colonialism. It only changed in terms of methods and ways of attack.”
“The political process is moving forward, but terrorism is growing and hasn’t subsided. The laws which have been passed since the beginning of the crisis haven’t made an impact on terrorism and made it subside.”
“Terrorists are concerned neither with reform nor with dialogue. They are criminals who have set themselves a task….They will never stop unless we stop them.”
“What we are facing is a project of internal sedition aiming at the destruction of the homeland. The instrument of this sedition is terrorism.”
“We are now facing a real war waged from outside. And dealing with a war is different from dealing with an internal conflict or dealing with Syrian parties. This point should be very clear.”
“Terrorism is not related to the political process. It targets all the homeland, its institutions and its parties.”
“Today we are defending a cause and a homeland. We are not doing what we are doing because we love blood. A battle has been forced on us, and the result was the blood which has been spilled. “
“Last week, after the atrocious al-Houla massacre, they accused the armed forces of committing it. In the beginning they said that it is the result of artillery and tank shelling, but later they retreated (and accused) pro-government militias….”
“What happened in al-Houla, al-Qazzaz, al-Midan, Deir Ezzour, Aleppo, and many other places in Syria, and which we described as brutal, heinous and ugly massacres, is in real fact very difficult to describe. Even beasts do not do such things, particularly what happened in al-Houla.”
“With our will we shall overcome this crisis, with our unity we shall vanquish our enemies, and all the noise will not be able to suppress the voice of right.”
In January, Assad spoke at Damascus University, saying:
“External conspiring is no longer a secret because what is being plotted in the pal talk rooms has started to be clearly revealed before the eyes of the people.”
“It is not possible anymore to deceive others except for those who do not want to listen or see; as the tears shed by the dealers of freedom and democracy for our own victims can no longer conceal the role they played in the bloodshed which they tried to use for their own purposes.”
“Here comes the foreign role after they failed in all attempts….What is taking place in Syria is part of what has been planned for the region for tens of years, as the dream of partition is still haunting the grandchildren of Sykes–Picot. But today their dream turns into a nightmare….”
“This is not a revolution. Can a revolutionary work for the enemy – a revolutionary and a traitor at the same time? This is impossible.”
“The question is a race between the terrorists and reform. Terrorism and those standing behind it don’t want reform and want to reach a stage where we say there is no time for reform. Let’s deal with terrorism.”
“And glory to our proud people who reject defeat in the age of collapse and who say to their enemies, ‘never will we be defeated!’ “
Assad implemented important reforms. More remains to be done. Justifiable criticisms are warranted. Blaming him for Western-instigated violence is unconscionable.
Fingers pointing the right way name Washington. Long-planned regime change plans were implemented. Thousands of Syrians died. Multiple rounds of sanctions harm ordinary people most. Western-generated terror bears full responsibility for crimes of war and against humanity.
On June 1, the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) concluded its special session on Syria. Focus was on Houla killings. Truth and full disclosure were suppressed. Fingers pointed the wrong way. Doing so mocked human rights, justice, and peace.
A final resolution was adopted. Forty-one voted yes. Russia, China and Cuba rejected one-way responsibility. Two nations abstained.
Harsh language blamed Assad. Perhaps Washington speech writers wrote it. Killer gangs weren’t mentioned. It condemned the Houla massacre, “ongoing arbitrary detentions, hindered access for the media, and restrictions of the right to peaceful assembly.”
It accused Assad of failing “to protect and promote the rights of all Syrians, including through systematic and repeated violations of human rights.”
It called for holding those responsible accountable. It ignored foreign mercenaries terrorizing people for months, external funding and heavy weapons they’re supplied, and covert Western special forces choosing targets and directing them.
It said nothing about Turkish safe zones. It implied self-defense is criminal. As head of state, Assad is obligated to confront killer gangs responsibly. Leaders everywhere would do the same thing.
It deplored the “deteriorating situation of human rights.” It shamelessly assigned blame. It condemned “the wanton killing of civilians….”
It said Houla deaths involved “shooting at close range (and) severe physical abuse by pro-regime elements and a series of Government artillery and tank shellings of a residential neighborhood….”
Independent eye witness and survivor testimonies refuted HRC accusations. Pro-Assad loyalists were targeted. External death squads were responsible. Journalist Marat Musin called them “bandits and mercenaries.” He provided credible firsthand information.
He called artillery and tank fire “a bad joke.” Evidence was absent. Buildings weren’t damaged. Craters weren’t found. Assad’s forces were miles away.
The Human Rights Council mocked its mandate. It blamed victims, not perpetrators. Conflict resolution remains distant. War looms likely. Nations blaming Assad and HRC officials bear responsibility if it’s launched.
A Final Comment
On June 2, DebkaFile (DF) headlined “Turkey ditches Syrian rebels. Will Israel attack Hizballah’s Scuds?” saying:
“In an astonishing about face, Turkey has just turned away from its 14-month support for the anti-Assad revolt alongside the West and made common cause with Russia, i.e. Bashar Assad.”
DF accuracy is mixed. It’s connected to Israel’s Mossad. Turkey just indicted four ex-senior Israeli commanders for Mavi Marmara killings.
Maybe DF’s report is retribution. Separating facts from propaganda is challenging. The above headline is astonishing. Credible evidence wasn’t presented.
DF also said Hezbollah scuds are being transferred from Syria to Lebanon. At issue is doing it safely, it said.
“One plan is to enlist the Palestinian Jihad Islami in the Gaza Strip and exploit a clash over the Scuds’ transfer as a trigger for an all round military offensive against Israel.”
“It would be timed for the moment the Western-Arab intervention in Syria against President Assad crosses the line between covert and overt military action and begins an operation to establish safe zones as bases for rebel operation.”
“Washington, London and Paris began rushing forward contingency plans for this eventuality upon discovering that Ankara had secretly notified leaders of the rebel Free Syrian Army Thursday, May 31, that it had withdrawn permission for them to launch operations against the Assad regime from Turkish soil.”
DF accused Turkey of “prop(ping up) Assad at the very moment his regime” might be close to buckling.
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was quoted on Turkish NTV, saying:
“We have never advised either the Syrian National Council or the Syrian administration to conduct an armed fight, and we will never do so.”
“The Syrian people will be the driving force that eventually topples the Syrian regime. Assad will leave as a result of the people’s will.”
“For the time being,” said DF, “the pro-Assad Moscow-Tehran front, bolstered now by Ankara, has got the better of Western and Arab polices for Syria.”
DF also accused Hezbollah of targeting Israel with scuds. If Obama’s reluctant to respond, Assad, Hezbollah and Tehran “will be awarded a winning hand – and not only in Syria.”
DF’s report promotes war. Britain’s Daily Star cited unnamed Whitehall sources saying “SAS troops and MI6 are in the country ready to help rebels if civil war breaks out as expected this weekend.”
UK and US special forces, as well as CIA and MI6 operatives have operated covertly in Syria for months. They actively supplied insurgents with weapons, munitions, equipment, funding, training, and direction. Whether something more aggressive is imminent isn’t known.
America wants Assad replaced with a pro-Western puppet. Israel wants a regional rival removed. DF is a complicit attack dog. With or without it, war looks likely.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”
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.