They published the article in seven parts in ICH. Here is part 7.
I am studying it for myself and put in some colors and bolding and underlining.
If it bothers you: read the ICH version.
The Debate on the Imperialist Violence in Syria
The Imperialist Violence in Syria, Part 1 of 7
The Imperialist Violence in Syria, Part 1 of 7
By Kim Petersen and B. J. Sabri
"I cannot help asking those who have forced that situation: Do you realize what you have done?"
— Russian President Vladimir Putin pointing to the US policy in the Middle East, address to the United Nations General Assembly, 2015, excerpts on CNBC
"Americans Have Constantly Destroyed Others."
— French actor Gerard Depardieu
— French actor Gerard Depardieu
January 06, 2015 "Information Clearing House" - Is it best for the world to remain on the sidelines or engage in nugatory “peace” negotiations while the United States, Britain, France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, Israel, and their terrorist groups destroy Syria with fire and violence? How would the entry of Russia at the side of the legitimate Syrian government affect the situation?1Would it add to the death and destruction or end them?
Now that Russia is committed to eliminating all armed opposition groups (except the so-called Free Syrian Army for political calculations), while knowing that civilians will die in the process, does it make sense to ask it to stop its violence—though legal and legitimate under the U.N. Charter—because it might take out “a few innocent kids along the way”? Aside from calls to stop the carnage, we believe that the wider debate should focus on one major aspect of the conflict: why and who planned the violence and made it a daily scene of Syrian life for over four and half years?
A great number of progressive analysts have written about Syria. Recently, Joshua Frank, the managing editor of Counterpunch, asked, "Are we to ignore the geopolitical situation and just back Russia’s bombings because IS is so damn evil, even if Russia takes out a few innocent Syrian kidsalong the way?”2 In a rebuttal to Franks' position, T.P. Wilkinson published an article where he expressed criticism of Frank’s views.3 Whether the news of a few innocent Syrian kids killed by the Russians is true or false, the fact remains Syrians are being killed every day. We are not suggesting that Russia's air strikes are not causing civilian deaths. Even if Russia hits only armed groups' infrastructures and compounds, civilians nearby at the time might die. What we want to emphasize though is that the Syrian people will continue to die in great numbers unless someone stops the violence. More importantly, because the United States is conducting its war against Syria through proxies, Russia is the only other world power that can effectively defeat these proxies, stop the killing, and impose a political solution. U.N. Security Council Resolution 2254—despite shortcomings—passed on December 18, 2015 adduces our point. (To evaluate media news reporting on victims killed by Russia's airstrikes, read, “Information Warfare? Russia accused of killing civilians in Syria”).
Frank's statement begs the question of whether or not saving the lives of the many deserves consideration over the possible deaths of “the few,” albeit innocent kids. Let us debate this point without equivocation: if a Russian military intervention could save tens-of-thousands of Syrian lives while also taking the lives of a “few innocent Syrian kids,” would it have been better to be a non-interventionist anti-war dissident and allow thousands to be killed—including, likeliest, some innocent kids—at the hands of rebels and mercenaries?
Frank wraps up his article with this thought: “Those are a few of the questions we should be asking while we oppose all international military involvement in Syria as well as Assad’s murderous human rights violations. It’s time to demand the impossible. It’s time to demand the U.S. and Russia get out of Syria. If the anti-imperialist Left doesn’t do it, who will?”
Although some of Frank's conclusions needs to be fully debated, his take on the topic of war casualties—regardless of who is causing them—is forceful. However, any meaningful discussions on Syria must take into account the history of plans and motivations that shaped and caused the ongoing tragedy.
For starters, Frank asks, "If the anti-imperialist Left doesn’t do it, who will?" This comes across with conviction. He urges the Left to take action due to its stance as the prominent front concerned with war and peace issues. There is a problem though. First, we need to define what the Left is. Second, a cohesive, organized anti-imperialist Left does not exist. Therefore, a unifying Leftist political platform advocating universal issues—such as stopping wars or violence—does not exist either. As a consolation, there are countless anti-imperialist writers and thinkers—although not all of them can be ascribed to the traditional Left in Marxist context or even in its diluted version of social democracy. Third, the qualifier Left is no magic potion leading to mass mobilization of antiwar activists capable of stopping aggressions or reversing injustices.
In situations like Syria, there is a need to see things in depth before proceeding any further. Also, considering the scale of sheer violence, nightmarish devastation, and colossal displacement of population that has been taking place in over four years of a catastrophic upheaval designed and fueled by Western and regional interventions, calls to end the slaughter of the Syrian people are a matter of elementary human decency.
Is it not odd that since the start of conflict (including 14 months of US, Emirati, and Turkish bombardment of Syrian territory under the pretext of fighting the so-called Islamic State), we rarely heard voices calling for the United States to quit Syria? Yet, not even a day after Russia started hitting terrorist groups supported and armed by the US via client states, the gates of indignation exploded and everyone on the side of US imperialism wants Russia to quit that bleeding country.
Consequently, when antiwar activists call on both the US and Russia to get out of Syria, we understand that in an ideal situation this should be the right option. Is it? The answer is no for one important reason: the US plan for Syria is at such an advanced stage of completion that only Russia can stop it, and may even reverse it. There is no doubt that calls for foreign powers to leave Syria have serious merit. Nonetheless, such merit instantly expires considering the evolving realities of the conflict and the actors involved. What we see in Syria today goes beyond the fortunes of a legitimate government fighting armed groups financed and trained by the West and Arab lackeys. To describe it properly, it is a violent power struggle between a mad neocon superpower wanting to overthrow a sovereign government and destroy the country, and all those who resist its onslaught.
As we reject US claims of moral legitimacy to intervene in Syria, we might want to ask if the United States (an imperialist aggressor state guilty of serial war crimes), its absolutist partners (Gulf states) chauvinist Turkey, and the Zionist occupation regime) have any mandate under the international law to decide the fate of a sovereign nation. Because no world authority (e.g., the United Nations) has ever conferred such a mandate, one might think that the lack of authorization would make it easy for the emerging anti-imperialist front to demand a stop to the senseless mass killing and destruction of Syria. Would that be the logical thing to demand?
Theoretically, the answer should be yes. But calls to stop the wars of imperialism and violence are one thing, bringing an end to the warring is another. We know in advance that all non-Syrian entities operating in Syria have stakes in the mayhem. Given that, is it possible that the Left or mass protests could stop the carnage? Are those who foment the violence willing to lift their hands off Syria? Will Obama, Al Saud following, Qatar, and Erdogan stop recruiting, training, and paying for killers and mercenaries? (Note on the diction: Al Saud. Al means clan in Arabic. In this series, we occasionally refer to the House of Saud as Al Saud, meaning, the Al Saud clan or the Saud ruling family. This diction is widely used in the Arab world to denote the tyrannical rule and corruption of the House of Saud.)
As a reminder, did the international protests against the looming invasion of Iraq in 2003 succeed in stopping the United States from invading it? After he ordered the invasion of Iraq, and in response to calls for the US to withdraw from it, war criminal George W. Bush told Bob Woodward, “I will not withdraw, even if Laura and Barney [his dog] are the only ones supporting me.”4
Incidentally, to whom should we address our stop-the-killing appeal? To the US, Britain, France, or Germany who are busy overseeing the execution of the plan to remake the Middle East to meet Western and Israeli hegemonic criteria? Would despotic Turkey (despite ostentatious democracy), Jordan, Saudi Arabia, or Qatar be receptive or amenable to such an appeal? Or maybe we can discuss the matter with the American-controlled United Nations? Better yet, maybe we can talk with the American-made ISIS or the Saudi al-Nusra Front (widely considered as "al-Qaeda") and sister groups. Could the Syrian government (desperately engaged in the defense of the country, as well as of itself) help us realize our appeal? More importantly, would the United States, which is promoting and directing the vicious mercenaries and volunteers, listen to any anti-violence plea?
Who then has the ability to stop the violence?
Could it be the world at large? Can we, for example, take our appeal to all nations and ask them to rise against a nightmare called regime change in Syria at any cost? This is romanticism. Do we not all realize that in a world permeated by insouciance, fear, psychological subjugation, and consumed by the daily struggle against the crises of capitalism, corporate globalization, and escalating poverty, that too few might protest? If facts matter, the world today is not the world of the 1950-1980s, and it is not the world of Nasser, Gandhi, Mao, Ho Chi Minh, Castro, and el Che. Do we not all know that after the collapse of Communism and the emergence of the United States as a globally unchallenged hegemon, that a great majority of nations—even Viet Nam—succumbed to American diktat, and in the process revolutionary fervor and anti-establishment discontent entered into a deep hibernation?
Is it possible to stop the violence in Syria at this stage of the conflict without first militarily defeating the international armada of Saudi- and Qatari-armed groups? Thus far, realistically, the answer is no based on continuing anti-Bashar pronouncements by Saudis, Turks, Qataris, and by a duplicitous United States that continues to play all of her regional pawns according to predetermined schemes.
We are told that the House of Saud and the United States want to see Assad and his regime gone before they decide to stop the violence. We are also told that Russia must target ISIS but spare all other Islamist factions that the US, Turkey, and Gulf states support. This is nonsense. In practical terms, it means a cruel game with a clear purpose: continue with the violence regardless of human cost until regime change is achieved. Russia's entry into the war foiled this objective.
Regarding the issue of Assad leaving, we have a question: why should the leader of a recognized sovereign nation, his political entourage, and government leave in obedience to foreign diktat? Is this not a matter to be decided by the Syrian people and the Syrian people alone? Why demand the departure of one person as a condition to halt the mass killing and destruction of an entire country by foreign governments, outsiders, and mercenaries? Another question to ponder: Which is the greater evil, engaging in mass killing and creating a mass exodus of refugees to carry out the illegal act of imposing a change of government on a sovereign state by foreign powers, or leaving the fate of Bashar al Assad and his government to the Syrian people to decide? These writers submit that this should be self-evident to everyone. So why then are western state/corporate media focused on the demand for carrying out an illegal act rather than preventing it?
A logical alternative to this imperialist coercion to end the war exists. We can ask the United States (and its lackeys) to stop interfering in Syria, cut off financing and weapon supplies to their mercenaries thus allowing them to return to where they came from. As a result, the Syrian people will be able to decide their own fate, form of government, and future. After the US destroyed Iraq and Libya (and now Yemen via Saudi Arabia and the UAE), does anyone think that it would tip its hat, show remorse, and put an end to the imperialistic violence it unleashed on Syria? As we stated, before the Russian intervention, the game to smash and partition Syria was approaching completion. It is certain that notwithstanding this intervention, the US and vassals would continue with their plan for some time before they would capitulate to the objective reality on the ground.
Short of an overwhelming mass mobilization of the world's citizenry demanding all non-Syrian state actors desist from interference in Syrian affairs, we cannot advise on solutions (solutions that require immediacy in implementation) to stop the violence in Syria. But at this stage, we can predict this: based on developments in the conflict, and seeing that the US is persisting with its ISIS and al-Nusra-linked strategies to destroy Syria and remove its legitimate government, it seems—paradoxically—that only violence with a purpose can end US imperialist violence. Like it or not, Russia's decisive entry into the conflict to eradicate all forms of terrorism against the Syrian people and its government fits this purpose despite the fact that more people would die.
This sounds perhaps cynical and heartless. Are we suggesting that some Syrian civilians should accept their death as a price to save what remains of their country? Are we borrowing from the American imperialist notion of "collateral damage" or proposing sustained war by Syria and its legitimate allies to end this war regardless of human costs? No, but considering the forces involved and their declared aims to bring about a new regime at any cost, this appears to be the least bad immediate (the clock will not stop for the killing) solution with the minimal casualties, and the entry of Russia has become the decisive factor in this direction. Will Russia succeed at imposing a political solution with its intervention? Based on the conferences and events of the last two months, this seems possible.
Why is Russia intervening anyway?
The Russian president used soft exaggeration to depict the reach of "Islamist terrorism." He said, "What we are trying to achieve is to contribute to the fight against terrorism, which is a threat to both the United States to Russia to European countries and the whole world."5 His prime minister was forthcoming. He spoke in terms taken directly from the American interventionist lexicon, “We are not fighting for specific leaders, we are defending our national interests.”6
We do not have to speculate that Putin and Medvedev have indeed told us something that went beyond the appearance of words. This is how we interpret Medvedev's notion of Russia's national interests: contrary to circulating western insinuations, Russia is not that intimated by the return of Islamist militants to the Russian Federation. For instance, Bandar Bin Sultan, a member of the Saudi ruling family and former Saudi intelligence chief with strong ties to Washington, tried to buy Putin by asking him to abandon support for Syria in exchange for Saudi (and American, of course) manipulation of oil prices. Most important, he implicitly threatened Putin. He said, “I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us.”7 With this statement, Bin Sultan unequivocally confirmed that Saudi Arabia finances and directs the international movements of Islamist militants in the pursuit of a policy conceived by the US and Israel but implemented by his government. Did Bandar's bribe or blackmail work? No, which means Russian leaders are not overly concerned about Islamist fighters being mobilized against their territory. Russian motives for intervening in Syria are much deeper. So, why is Russia concerned about US-promoted violence Syria?
Part 2 of 7 will be posted January 07, 2015
Kim Petersen is a former editor of the Dissident Voice newsletter. He can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org
B. J. Sabri is an observer of the politics of modern colonialism, imperialism, Zionism, and of contemporary Arab issues. He can be reached at email@example.com
1. Tons of philosophical, political, and jurisprudential studies have been made on the concept of legitimacy and legitimate government. Being of elusive nature and speculative interpretations that depends on who is defining it and in what context, we think, for the purpose of this work, that a dictionary meaning would suffice. Dictionary.com has compiled a succinct definition for "Legitimate government.” It defines it as, A government generally acknowledged as being in control of a nation and deserving formal recognition, which is symbolized by the exchange of diplomats between that government and the governments of other countries. By dint of this pragmatic definition, the Syrian government satisfies this condition. (It is brazen hypocrisy that Obama keeps blaring that Bashar Assad lost his legitimacy, yet he still maintains an embassy in Damascus.)
2. Joshua Frank, “The Need to Oppose All Foreign Intervention in Syria,” Counterpunch, 2 October 2015.
3. T.P. Wilkinson, “Saving Private al-Baghdadi,” Dissident Voice, 4 October 2015 Note: while the authors agree with the brunt of the logic in Wilkerson’s essay, they would submit it was overly critical toward Frank and bordered on ad hominem. Some criticism is weak; e.g., Wilkerson chides Frank: “Needless to say the ‘Free World’ has been extinct since 1989 but Frank hasn’t noticed.” However, the fact that Frank used quotation marks around free world indicates he regards the term scathingly.
4. CBS 60 Minutes, Bob Woodward, "Bush Says . . .," 28 March 2015.
5. Russia Today, “ISIS calls on ‘Islamic youth’ to ignite holy war against Russians& Americans,” 14 October 2015.
6. The Tribune, “Russia: Defending national interests in Syria, not Assad,” 18 October 2015
7. Geoffrey Ingersoll, “REPORT: The Saudis Offered Mafia-Style 'Protection' Against Terrorist Attacks At Sochi Olympics,” 27 August 2015
The Broader Design of the Anti-Syria Forces
The Imperialist Violence in Syria, Part 2 of 7 - Part 1
By Kim Petersen and B. J. Sabri
January 09, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - Previously, we asked, why is Russia concerned about US-promoted violence Syria?
In a news dispatch, "Why Russia is standing by Syria's Assad," BBC, the voice of British imperialism, answers our question with these words, "By standing up for Damascus, the Kremlin is telling the world that neither the UN, nor any other body or group of countries has the right to decide who should or should not govern a sovereign state." The writers agree with the expressed sentiment; however, Russia's position on the Syrian conflict should be looked at from a different perspective. A principled Russia appears to have concluded that the US-engineered violence in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Ukraine, and other parts of the world is a means to implement a longstanding agenda: global US imperialist domination. We, therefore, view Russia's intervention in Syria as a way to stop the United States from carrying out its plans for devouring the world, one country at a time. If the relentless US attempts to place world nations under its control or tutelage are allowed to go unchallenged, Russia and China will be left completely isolated to defend their own people, territory, history, culture, economy, aspirations, and way of life from American imperialist predation.
Most notably, after Russian jets started hitting terrorist camps and infrastructures regardless of their "Islamic" or "secular" affiliations or the phony distinction between "extremist" and "moderate," many voices, especially American and those of her Arab and European vassals, clamored against its entry in Syria. Their objection is preposterous: that Russia's involvement is an aggravating factor leading to the prolongation of war.
First, if that were so, why did the West and co-actors allow the carnage to continue before Russia called their bluff? Second, the US is not interested in ending the war on the Arabs even if Assad falls. There is no reason to doubt that after Assad, ISIS and sisters would take his place in the American agenda as evidenced by US officials repeatedly declaring that defeating ISIS would take 10 to 30 years. However, 30 years later and long after ISIS has disappeared from the news, it is expected—based on the historical record—that the United States would continue to create pretexts and persist in its interventionist policies. Emphatically, deciding how this conflict should end must never be allowed to rest in the hands of US imperialists and Zionist neocons—and this is what Russia is trying to do. In essence, starting with Syria, Russia is powerfully moving to end US hegemony. Second, the clamor seems to suggest that only the United States (and its European vassals) should enjoy the unrequested privilege to fly sorties against targets of its choosing—like hitting bare dunes or insignificant targets instead of encamped or convoyed armed groups. This can explain why after 14 months of American bombardment of Syria and Iraq, US-trained groups (like ISIS, al-Nusra, etc.) were still doing well and expanding.
Curiously, did analysts ever point to the fact that western air campaigns, regardless of who carries them out, are destroying Syria's civilian and economic infrastructures? Consider this: While Russia is confining itself to hitting the military structures and transport logistics of ISIS and affiliated organizations, the West pursued an extremist agenda to bring about the dissolution of the current Syrian state: namely, the systematic destruction of its economic assets. When the Pentagon brags "Most of Islamic State’s oil refineries in Syria have been destroyed,” when Britain's RAF bombs ISIS "oil fields,” and when France joins in the wanton destruction, the fact remains: there is no "Islamic State" except in name. And there are no refineries belonging to it—snatching them is another issue. However, what the US, British, and French jetfighters—and as of late even Russia, as reported by the Independent—destroyed were expensive oil-refining structures, facilities, and oil trucks belonging to the Syrian people.
Ample evidence suggests that the West created so-called ISIS as a pretext to attack Syria (and partition Iraq) without a declaration of war. As for the denomination of "Islamic State," we should mention that, besides how this terrorist organization likes to call itself, only the West emphasizes it is a "state" and capitalizes both noun and adjective. Most Arab media, on the other hand, correctly call it "the organization of the islamic state." (Notes: 1) there is no capitalization in the Arabic language, 2) the present writers call it islamist state without capitalization because this western creation has nothing to do with Islam, hence it should not share its adjective; in addition, it is not a state.)
Based on our observations of the military developments just after the entry of Russia, we could say that the US was in a race with time to destroy Syria before Russia destroys the foreign-backed Islamist groups. Secretary of State John Kerry explained this design in a twisted way. He recently said, "US wants to avoid total destruction of Syria." What he essentially meant was this: the United States wants the destruction of Syria but not all the way to total. Besides, why did he say this just now and not immediately after becoming State Secretary?
Recently, 55 Wahhabist and Muslim Brothers "scholars" in Saudi Arabia issued a so-called jihad fatwa against the "Russian Orthodox Crusaders."1 Well, during the past 14 months of illegal US bombardment of Syria (and now of ground troops in the guise of advisors to their terrorist groups), we never heard these dubious characters releasing even a whisper against the "American multi-religion Crusaders." This episode can tell us just a little bit, as to who is directing Saudi Wahhabists and associates.
Writing about violence in Syria without investigating first the forces that created and shaped it is similar to investigating ocean tides without mentioning the role of the moon in creating them. Accordingly, we must attempt to frame the issue of violence in Syria in exacting terms: who is turning Syria into a wasteland and theater of death similar to those the United States and Britain created in Iraq, to a slightly lesser extent in Libya, and now in Yemen via the fascist Wahhabi state of Saudi Arabia?
Let us begin by citing the Syrian regime's harsh response (resulting in deaths) to the anti-regime protests in Daraa. First, that Daraa was the starting point of the protests is by itself very suspicious for one good reason. Daraa is a border city with Jordan. This means many foreign intelligence services in cooperation with the sold-to-imperialism Jordanian regime had easy access to foment protests under the guise of the so-called Arab Spring.
Our question: who, just three weeks after that response, poured gasoline on the fire and began installing tent cities in Turkey and Jordan in expectation of refugees? This suggests that someone was expecting mass violence to erupt and refugees to start escaping to neighboring countries. Who then sent Saudi, European, Chechen, and others Islamists to Syria, armed them with heavy weapons, anti-tank missiles, gave them salaries, dressed them with Afghani garbs, made them carry black banners with religious themes taken from the Saudi flag, and topped all that with convoys of brand-new shimmering Toyota trucks?2
What should be done if the anti-war front does not possess the material means to end the bloodshed? How to stop the tens of thousands of foreign groups paid for and armed mostly by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and trained by the US and its regional clients Turkey and Jordan? Is it not ludicrous to watch killers coming to Syria from every corner of the world to overthrow the Syrian government under the banners of an Islam turned into a cult and re-defined and supported by the Wahhabis of the Gulf, by the United States, by the West, and of course by Israel?
To emphasize our point: the unspeakable destruction of Syria is not a Syrian-made event. Those who are destroying Syria and killing its people are doing it following a precise imperialist design using tried-and-tested violence carried out before in many parts of the world. The pain of the Syrian people is undoubtedly real. While the present writers express our deepest sorrow for all those who have died and empathy with all those who are still alive but may still die senselessly pending a solution, we need to uncover more facts.
For instance, we noticed that those who armed the domestic opponents of the Syrian regime— such as so-called free Syrian army (composed of defectors and other unknown elements), as well as foreign islamist terrorists, and non-Muslim mercenaries—never tire from repeating that they are fighting in response to the Syrian regime's atrocities. Yet, they themselves are the direct cause of atrocities and terrorism.
We also noticed that the US and its Arab and Turkish instruments are in the sleazy habit of saying they support freedom in Syria. We wonder, since when have the rulers of Americans, Turks, Saudis, Qataris, and Emiratis ever cared about freedom, democracy, human rights, and the prosperity of nations? Where is meaningful evidence for this? What is the broader design of the forces that organized international death legions and ordered them to destroy Syria under the pretext of fighting a bad regime?
While we are on the subject, since the objective of US imperialism is known: global, unrestrained hegemony, why is Syria in the bullseye of countries like Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar? Have these countries, known for their dreadful suppression of freedom and political rights become overnight the standard-bearers of humanist values, personal freedoms, and political emancipation!
From the Right, Left, and from everywhere, genuine and crocodile tears had been shed for the victims of violence in Syria; sincere but also fake grief had been heaped on the plight of refugees. Yet, with all exceptions considered, the near generalized destruction of Syria and its rich historical and human heritage is obliquely mentioned. And, we see images of cities destroyed, heads decapitated, people thrown from rooftops, captives burnt alive, women raped, and men and women (accused of “illicit sex”) stoned to death, the blame in western media and Arab news outlets (mostly owned by Saudi Arabia and Qatar) invariably goes to the Syrian regime—but never to terrorist groups and their backers.
Is it not odd that the Qatari ruling family supports the Muslim Brothers in Syria with all means possible while its governing system, besides housing American military bases, is void of any sign of the Brothers' values?
Saudi Arabia is another ridiculous story. It proselytizes Wahhabism, arms and trains the inductees, put them at the service of the United States to conduct terrorism—especially in the Arab states that oppose US hegemony, but then it boasts it is fighting a Syrian regime that kills its people!
From our side, we shall never tire from repeatedly posing the same questions: who wants to see Syria destroyed and why? Unless one posits a pathological intolerance and hatred for Syria's government, it is hard to come up with an elucidating rationale for Saudi Arabia's violent animus. This leads us to consider an outside agent. What caused the Saudi rulers to assume a primary role in the destruction of Syria, and before it a role in the destruction of Iraq, then Libya, and now Yemen? Who is destroying the Arab lands with their marvelous cultural, ethnic, and religious mosaics? How could anyone understand anything about violence in Syria if the prevailing tendency to analyze it is focused on flash news and made-for-mass-media stories? Overlooking related facts—by design, conformity, lack of specific knowledge, or just plain powerlessness—has also become a trend. This has not only caused the roots of the conflict to be eventually oversimplified, but it has also diluted the long documented history behind the war's growth and expansion. In short, who wants to see Syria destroyed and why? Let us investigate.
In a 2007 TV interview, Gen. Wesley Clark stated the following:
About ten days after 9/11, I went through the Pentagon and I saw Secretary Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz. I went downstairs just to say ‘hello’ to some of the people in the joint staff who used to work for me, and one of the Generals called me in. He said, ‘Sir, you’ve got to come in and talk to me for a second.’ I said, ‘You’re too busy.’ He said, ‘No. We have made the decision we’re going to war with Iraq.’ I said, ‘We’re going to war with Iraq? Why?’ He said, ‘I don’t know, I guess they don’t know what else to do.’ So I said, ‘Well did they find some information connecting Saddam to Al-Qaeda?’ He said, ‘No, there’s nothing new that way, they just made the decision to go to war with Iraq.’ So I came back to see the same guy a few weeks later, and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan. I said, ‘Are we still going to war with Iraq?’ And he said, ‘Oh it’s worse than that.’ And he reached over to his desk, picked up a piece of paper and he said, ‘I’ve just got this down from upstairs.’ (Meaning the Secretary of Defence’s [sic] office) and he said, ‘This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran.’ I said, ‘Is it classified?’ He said, ‘Yes, sir.’ I said, ‘Well don’t show it to me.’ And I saw him a year or so later and I said, ‘You remember that…?’ He said, ‘Sir, I didn’t show you that memo. I didn’t show it to you.3
In a TV interview that took place two years before large-scale violence exploded in Syria, Roland Dumas, former French Foreign Minister said the following:
I’m going to tell you something. I was in England, two years before the violence in Syria, on other business. I met with top British officials who confessed to me that they were preparing something in Syria. This was in Britain, not in America. Britain was organizing an invasion of rebels into Syria. They even asked me, although I was no longer Minister for Foreign Affairs, if I would like to participate.” Responding to a question on the motive behind inciting violence in Syria, Dumas said, “Very simple, with a very simple aim – to overthrow the Syrian government because in the region it’s important to understand that the Syrian regime makes anti-Israeli talk.” And then the former Foreign Minister added that he’d been told, by an Israeli Prime Minister a long time ago, that Tel Aviv would seek to destroy any country that did not get along with it in the region. It is not just about Israel, it is about the acquisition of country after country across the Middle and Near East, North Africa and then going deeper and deeper South into Africa. This has been planned for decades.4
Next: Part 3 of 7
1. Al Monitor, “Saudi religious scholars enraged over Moscow's recent Syria strikes.”
2. For reading: “Obama Proposes $500 Million to Aid Syrian Rebels”; “The nations that sent arms and money to Syria”; “Where Does ISIS Get Those Wonderful Toys?”; “See other "ISIS" convoys.”
3. Reported at Humans Are Free website, “The Hidden Truth Behind Syria and the Arab Spring.”
4. Reported at Humans Are Free website, “The Hidden Truth Behind Syria and the Arab Spring.”
Kim Petersen is a former editor of the Dissident Voice newsletter. He can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org
B. J. Sabri is an observer of the politics of modern colonialism, imperialism, Zionism, and of contemporary Arab issues. He can be reached at email@example.com
Divide et Impera
The Imperialist Violence in Syria, Part 3 of 7 - Part 1
By Kim Petersen and B. J. Sabri
From The WikiLeaks Files:
A December 13, 2006 cable, "Influencing the SARG [Syrian government] in the End of 2006," indicates that, as far back as 2006 - five years before "Arab Spring" protests in Syria - destabilizing the Syrian government was a central motivation of US policy. The author of the cable was William Roebuck, at the time chargé d'affaires at the US embassy in Damascus. The cable outlines strategies for destabilizing the Syrian government. In his summary of the cable, Roebuck wrote:
We believe Bashar's weaknesses are in how he chooses to react to looming issues, both perceived and real, such as the conflict between economic reform steps (however limited) and entrenched, corrupt forces, the Kurdish question, and the potential threat to the regime from the increasing presence of transiting Islamist extremists. This cable summarizes our assessment of these vulnerabilities and suggests that there may be actions, statements, and signals that the USG can send that will improve the likelihood of such opportunities arising.
This cable suggests that the US goal in December 2006 was to undermine the Syrian government by any available means, and that what mattered was whether US action would help destabilize the government, not what other impacts the action might have. In public the US was in favor of economic reform, but in private the US saw conflict between economic reform and "entrenched, corrupt forces" as an "opportunity." In public, the US was opposed to "Islamist extremists" everywhere; but in private it saw the "potential threat to the regime from the increasing presence of transiting Islamist extremists" as an "opportunity" that the US should take action to try to increase.
Roebuck lists Syria's relationship with Iran as a "vulnerability" that the US should try to "exploit." His suggested means of doing so are instructive:
PLAY ON SUNNI FEARS OF IRANIAN INFLUENCE: There are fears in Syria that the Iranians are active in both Shia proselytizing and conversion of, mostly poor, Sunnis. Though often exaggerated, such fears reflect an element of the Sunni community in Syria that is increasingly upset by and focused on the spread of Iranian influence in their country through activities ranging from mosque construction to business....
Roebuck thus argued that the US should try to destabilize the Syrian government by coordinating more closely with Egypt and Saudi Arabia to fan sectarian tensions between Sunni and Shia, including by the promotion of "exaggerated" fears of Shia proselytizing of Sunnis, and of concern about "the spread of Iranian influence" in Syria in the form of mosque construction and business activity.
By 2014, the sectarian Sunni-Shia character of the civil war in Syria was bemoaned in the United States as an unfortunate development. But in December 2006, the man heading the US embassy in Syria advocated in a cable to the secretary of state and the White House that the US government collaborate with Saudi Arabia and Egypt to promote sectarian conflict in Syria between Sunni and Shia as a means of destabilizing the Syrian government. At that time, no one in the US government could credibly have claimed innocence of the possible implications of such a policy...
It was easy to predict then that, while a strategy of promoting sectarian conflict in Syria might indeed help undermine the Syrian government, it could also help destroy Syrian society. But this consideration does not appear in Roebuck's memo at all, as he recommends that the US government cooperate with Saudi Arabia and Egypt to promote sectarian tensions.1
From the US Congress
The US path to destroy Syria is long. On 12 April 2003, twenty-four days after the US invasion of Iraq, a Zionist representative from New York, Eliot T. Engle, sponsored the Syria Accountability Act (SAA). The charge was Syria's involvement of terrorism, aiding Saddam Hussein (meaning Iraq) escaping sanctions, helping the insurgency against the US invasion of Iraq, supporting of Hezbollah, chemical weapons, and so on. (We have to go on record on an important issue. Saying "a Zionist representative" is not a vacuous namedropping—it is a political statement indicative of how Israel passes its policy aims in Syria and the Arab world through the American legislative system.) The Act was passed in December 2003. Invoking the omnipresent pretext of American national security and pretending "constitutional" presidential privileges on foreign policy, George Bush essentially turned the Israeli policy toward Syria into a policy of the United States. (For reading: Statement by the President on H.R. 1828)
In his article, “The Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003: Two Years On,” David Schenker, from the Zionist-imperialist think tank, the Washington Institute, recalled his experience in testifying before the House of Representatives (7 June 2006). He wrote, “Syria has proven a tough nut to crack. The SAA has helped, although the Legislation itself is not sufficient to compel a change in Syrian behavior. The Bush Administration has adopted some steps, but the challenge is how to leverage the SAA in conjunction with other tools at the Administration’s disposal—multilateral efforts in particular—to ratchet up the pressure on Syria to force behavioral change.” “Ratchet up pressure” is the key phrase as to what US neocons/Zionists believe they must do in Syria, not only in connection to Lebanon, but also, obviously, in relation what Syria represents for Israel—a rejectionist state of Israel that must be destroyed.
The Assassination of Rafiq Hariri
The assassination of Rafiq Hariri (a billionaire, dual citizen of Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, and a former prime minister of Lebanon) on 14 February 2005 is the paramount example of how the United States, Western Europe, and Israel plan their subversion against the Arab states that do not obey US diktat, or resist US-backed Israeli colonialist-imperialism. The assassination offers a very interesting angle with regard how pretexts are developed and used. Let us see why Hariri was killed. On 2 September 2004, the UNSC issued resolution 1559 calling on Syria to withdraw its remaining forces from Lebanon. Syria complied but only partially and slowly.
The ruse to get Syria out of Lebanon—which was a part of Greater Syria in history until France, using its Sykes-Picot mandate over Syria, severed it and made it an independent state in 1943—had, therefore, to be achieved by other means. The assassination of Hariri was that specific means. With the accusation that Syria was behind the assassination, the stage was set to force Syria's complete withdrawal from Lebanon under the threat of enforcing resolution 1559 by military means. Forty-five days after the assassination (5 April 2005), Syria began its withdrawal from Lebanon and completed it by the end of that month.
Who ordered the assassination of Hariri?
Since neither Syria nor Hezbollah had stakes in the assassination of Hariri, who benefited from it? Our logical answer is Israel and the United States.  Considering the long list of objectives of these two states in the situation of all Arab states, proving this assertion is a matter of deductive reasoning.
Having briefly described the path the United States took in the quest to destabilize Syria, it is important to see its current methods of war. If the US plans in Syria were insufficient to raise alarm, we have to deal with other features applied on the Syrian theater of death (and before that in Afghanistan and Iraq). We are talking about an imperialist instrument of war: vocabulary as a weapon of mass confusion. Many terms and phrases had been coined to make people conform to Washington's indoctrination. But do terms such as "moderate," "extremist," "moderate Arab states—who are they?", "Islamic," Islamist," "dictator," "democracy," "no role for Assad in the future of Syria," "Sunni," "Alawite," "Shiite," "ISIS," "stop the Iranian occupation of Syria," "IS," "DAESH," "U.S. hitting ISIS," etc., have any tangible meaning outside the world of imperialist propaganda?
Let us examine some of these terms. Does the diction "a future for Syria without Assad" have any meaning? Would that be a re-made Syria with a bankrupt sectarian system similar to the one a criminal named George W. Bush and his Zionist neocons installed in Iraq? Would the US bringNoah Feldman or others to write a "constitution" for Syria? (Feldman is a Zionist lawyer from New York and a theoretician on "Islamic terrorism," "Jihad," and on so-called Islamic democracy. He authored the sectarian constitution for Iraq while this was under active US military occupation led by Paul Bremer. Bremer's constitution, as the Iraqis call it, has become the cornerstone and foundation for the partition of Iraq on approximate confessional and ethnic lines.3
Or, would it be a so-called Islamic state swearing allegiance to US imperialism, to Al Saud, and to the British-installed al-Thani ruling family of Qatar? What is the implication of saying that Assad is the problem, yet names behind state policies such as Obama, Erdogan, Hollande, Merkel, Turki al-Faisal, or Bandar Bin Sultan go unmentioned in this context? What does the Syrian "moderate opposition" mean in the US imperialist lexicon, if not groups financed and supported by Washington? And for clarity's sake, we ask, moderate in what?
Again, what is the US game in Syria?
Let us cite Condoleezza Rice. Rice is the quintessential dual-face American hypocrite when the issue is US interventions. Although the first quotation we cite below is about Iraq, its philosophy and intent applies to US policy in Syria.
Rice, describing in petty melodramatic terms (similar to those one can find in a cheap romance novel) how she confronted her master criminal boss on the sectarian violence that the United States designed and implemented in Iraq, wrote the following [Italics are ours]:
"So what's your plan, Condi?" The president was suddenly edgy and annoyed. "We'll just let them kill each other, and we'll standby and try to pick the pieces?"
I was furious at the implication…."No, Mr. President," I said, trying to stay calm. "We just can't win by putting our forces in the middle of their blood feud. If they want to have a civil war we're going to have to let them."4
Comment: 1) Rice is shameful. She made her criminal boss look caring. 2) Rice, daughter of a Presbyterian minister who presumably taught her not to lie, lied big. First, calling sectarian infighting "civil war" is deception because these are two different entities. Sectarian strife within a nation pits a community against another with dissimilar beliefs or ethnic origins. Civil conflict is between political factions within a nation regardless of sectarian or confessional beliefs. The US uses both terms interchangeably to obfuscate the nature of its interference in the pursuit of specific policy objectives. Besides, there never was any sectarian infighting between Arab Sunni and Shiite Muslims in Iraq until the US invasion and occupation fomented it to preempt resistance to its occupation. 3) Rice and her neocon masters thrive when sectors of a nation they occupy engage in violent infighting—it provides them easier means of control. This happened in the Philippines, Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq, and it is now happening in Libya and Syria through mercenaries and proxies. That is why we often hear US imperialists and Arab stooges talking about things like "Assad wants to make an Alawite state," "ISIS is a fact," "Kurds want their own state and so do the Assyrians and the Armenians," and so on. Regardless of terminology or concepts, the US strategy is unexceptional—it is an ancient Roman imperial and military strategy: Divide et Impera.
With regard to how US duality works in the Syrian example, let us consider the exchange she had with Syrian Foreign Minister, Walid Muollem:
"... I delivered my point about Syria's interference in Lebanon, and its failure to stop terrorists in their country from crossing their borders into Iraq."
"it's hard to stop them," he said, but I was having none of it.
"They're coming through Damascus airport," I countered.5
Comment: We know what US exceptionalism means: it is okay for the US to interfere in the affairs of every country in the world, but others are not permitted to do so except with US approval. It is not okay that volunteers cross Syria into Iraq to fight the US invasion force, but it is okay for America's stooges to allow weapons and mercenaries to Syria through Turkish and Jordanian airports.
In recalling the documented history of US interference in the affairs of myriad countries including its staunchest ally Britain (read, “Harold Wilson, Lyndon Johnson and the Vietnam War, 1964-68”), the present authors state the following:
The violence in Syria is not an accidental product of uncontrolled events, is not a result of a civil war, is not because the Syrian state is ruled by despotic elites—but it is a result of a combined American-Israeli geopolitical strategy to install a new Syrian regime at the order of Tel Aviv and Washington. Syria, therefore, is not but another link—after Iraq, Libya, and Yemen— in the US and Israeli quest to dismantle the Arab system of nation, and to end the Palestinian Question permanently.
Let us now examine what was cooking in the US pot against Syria 60 years ago. In his outstanding research on the CIA plotting and machinations against the Arab nations including Syria during the 1950s, California State University history professor, Hugh Wilford, wrote the following:
On August 21, 1956, Foster Dulles convened GAMMA, a top-secret task force with representatives from State, Defense, and the CIA ... GAMMA's main contribution was to agree to a proposal to send the eminent foreign service veteran Loy Henderson on a tour of the Middle East that seemed intended to incite military aggression against Syria by its Arab neighbors.... Henderson told a meeting in the White House that he had discovered a deep sense of anxiety about Syria in the region, yet little concerted will to act; only Turkey, a NATO ally, showed much appetite for intervention...."6
Let us fast forward to the US occupation of Iraq.
On page 473 of his book, The Twilight War
(Penguin Press, New York, 2012), David Crist
(a historian from the US imperialist establishment) writes, “'Recock' (de haan van het geweer opnieuw spannen) became the word of the day at CENTCOM.
The United States would get out of Iraq and prepare for the next war in the global fight against terrorism, with rumors circulating that Syria was next. The U.S. military concurred.”
Why Syria "was next" on the US list of priorities?
Has Syria ever harmed or threatened the national security of the United States? No.
But because Israel strongly influences US foreign policy (read, John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt, “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy”) toward the Arab states, and because Syria is the last Arab state resisting Israeli imperialism there are two concrete answers.7
First, Israel wants to weaken Syria and dismember it, as it wanted done to Iraq by American neocon Zionists. Dismembering Syria should expose the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah that depends on Syria for support.
The second is more complex. First, controlling Syria enters in the logic of American quest of global hegemony. Second, to carve out a Kurdish autonomous region to be joined with the areas controlled by Iraqi Kurds creating a Kurdish State potentially at the service of US imperialism and Israel.8, 9 Third, Syria's eastern regions and Israeli-occupied Golan Heights have sizeable oil deposits. (Read, “World powers must recognize Israeli annexation of Golan Heights”; “Huge oil discovery in Golan Heights - Israeli media”). 4) From an imperialist perspective, the geopolitical re-design of the region would help expand plans for the strategic control of world resources and distribution.
Crist's revelation impels (zet ons aan om) us to reflect on the motives and ideologies that underlie all anti-Arab actions taken by the United States.
What we have today in Syria (and Iraq, Yemen, Sudan, Libya, and Palestine) is an accurate reproduction of age-old tested policies by the West at the expense of nations targeted for reasons rooted in the politics of imperialism, colonialism, Zionism, and piracy of resources.
In Syria, however, the situation is a little bit more intricate (ingewikkeld) due to the presence of a long list of operators never seen before in a single regional war, not even in Afghanistan.
Kim Petersen is a former editor of the Dissident Voice newsletter. He can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org
B. J. Sabri is an observer of the politics of modern colonialism, imperialism, Zionism, and of contemporary Arab issues. He can be reached at email@example.com
Next: Part 4 of 7
1. Robert Naiman, “WikiLeaks Reveals How the US Aggressively Pursued Regime Change in Syria, Igniting a Bloodbath,”Truth-out, 9 October 2015
3. See Kim Petersen, “Syria in the Imperialist Crosshairs,” Dissident Voice, 26 October 2005.
4. Note: since the dawn of Islam in Iraq (early 7th century) until the US invasion (2003), and regardless what administrative geopolitical form distinguished it, there have never been confessional lines in all Arab regions of Iraq or ethnic lines separating the various communities. However, historically, and during the rule of the Ottoman Turks, Arab Shiite Muslims formed a relative majority in the South of Iraq and Sunnis in the rest. After WWII, the lines between Arab Shiite and Sunni Muslims became integrated due to internal migrations and economic development. The US deliberately created the lines when it imposed a No-Fly Zone on specific regions of Iraq in 1991 after the war for Kuwait. As for the Kurdish regions, with the exception of Sulaymaniya and Erbil with a Kurdish Majority, most of the north of Iraq was inhabited by a mixture of ethnic Groups including Arabs, Assyrians, Armenians, Turkoman, Kurds, and Yezidis. The US arbitrarily delineated Kurdish areas when it imposed the non-fly Zone on the north of Iraq in 1991.
5. Condoleezza Rice, No Higher Honor, Crown Publishers, New York, 2011, p. 544, 561
6. Rice, 561
7. Hugh Wilford, America's Great Game: The CIA's Secret Arabists and the Shaping of the Modern Middle East, Basic Books, New York, 2013, p. 273
8. Note: Lebanon cannot be described as a resister state. Resistance to Israel in Lebanon follows confessional lines. 1) The Saudi-controlled faction led by Saad Hariri is in line with the policy of accommodation adapted by Al Saud vs. Israel. 2) Christians are divided in two camps: the Faranjia and Aoun camp that opposes Israel; and the Geagea and Jmail (supported by Saudi Arabia) that seeks accommodation and had very close relations with Ariel Sharon and Menachem Begin during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon). The Jumblatt Druze faction (supported by Al Saud) has been known for continuous zigzagging on the issue of the resistance to Israel. This leaves only Hezbollah as the real opponent of Israeli settler-imperialism. Outside the Arab world, Iran is the only other remaining state that opposes Israel.
9. The Kurdish Question in Iraq goes beyond the scope of this work. Succinctly, there is a US-Kurdish connection in the context of imperialism, dependency; Iraqi Kurdish politician Masoud Barzani has collaborated in turning a potential Kurdish state into a tool at the service of US imperialism and Israel.
10.In his article, “To defeat ISIS, Create a Sunni State,” John Bolton stated, "The Kurds still face enormous challenges, with dangerously uncertain borders, especially with Turkey. But an independent Kurdistan that has international recognition could work in America’s favor." [Italics added]
Exceptionalism: A Wile for Imperialism (a wile = een list)
The Imperialist Violence in Syria, Part 4 of 7 - Part 1
By Kim Petersen and B. J. Sabri
January 13, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - So far, we have argued that international and regional interventions brought Syria to the present violent point and that Western imperialist and regional objectives (American, Israeli, European, Saudi, Turkish, etc.) are at work throughout the Arab world. It is also self-evident that all of America's wars after WWII were about imposing its dominance and confirming its aspiration to be a super-hegemon. Moreover, American imperialism (hyper-imperialism1) is not only the model driving its interventions, but also a mechanism to change political and economic systems of other sovereign nations to suite its imperialistic and economic interests. The central motor of this type of imperialism is the Zionist neocon doctrine to expand the boundaries of American Empire and the strategy to implement it—especially in the Arab World.2
Four forces have been driving the rabid course of the United States since the collapse of the Soviet Union: aggressive, hyper-militarized capitalism; belligerent ideology of empire; Israel and Zionism; and a psychopathic sense of exceptionalism, with this not being a force per se but an expedient to a wider purpose. That is, America's claim of exceptionalism is only a ruse to promote an artificial notion of supremacism and thus entitlement.
As for the role of Zionism, and how it is shaping the other three driving forces, this is a topic requiring discussion beyond the scope of the present essay. However, briefly described, Israel and Zionism have become so entrenched inside the American ruling system that all US policies regarding relations with the Arab states are viewed with a Zionist Israeli bias.
With regard to US global outlook: while the American system with its war machine, particular brand of capitalism, and intimate ties with the military industry is the soul of its imperialism, its ideology of empire and creed of exceptionalism is the religion. An added aggravating factor is the unrestrained willingness—since the foundation of the so-called republic—to inflict massive death and destruction on others whenever recalcitrance or disobedience arises. The mantra for this genocidal lust is "Bomb them back into the Stone Age"—used first by Gen. Curtis LeMay in his 1965 autobiography, and then repeated by every US military commander till this very day whenever the US wants to intimidate those who oppose it.3
For US imperialism to impose its global hegemony, it needs superior military power and an unrestrained willingness for violence and aggression. A neocon thinker of the Brookings Institution, Bruce Jones, expressed the imperialistic passion with a 4-word book title, "Still Ours to Lead" while using 214 pages of text to detail ways for protracted control.
To begin answering the question "why Syria?" let us consider the following topic from recent American political history. In the memoir of his White House years (Waging Peace, Double Day & Company, New York, 1965), President Dwight Eisenhower denigrated President Gamal Abdul Nasser of Egypt with unkind epithets and proposed that Saudi Arabia and its kings become the spiritual leaders and rulers of the Arab world. Eisenhower's aversion toward Nasser was mainly motivated by the latter's revolutionary decision to put Egypt on a course independent from American and British interests such as seeking the USSR's financing and technology to build the Aswan Dam.
Eisenhower even called the revolutionary transformation of Egypt from a monarchy to a republic (1952) as a change to dictatorship. The motive behind what Eisenhower thought of Nasser and of the new Egypt is transparent. Nasser embraced Egyptian and Arab nationalism as catalysts for the new course of Egypt and called for union between Arab states. A union between Arab states is anathema to Washington; Eisenhower saw it as a challenge to American interests.
What kind of man was Eisenhower? He was the Commander of the Occupation Force in Germany that intentionally exterminated (in the period 1944-49) over one million German prisoners of war in American and French camps through starvation, extreme calorie restriction, and disease.4
What is the connection between Eisenhower's position vis-à-vis Nasser and Eisenhower's conduct in Germany? How does this relate to violence in Syria?
Eisenhower clearly embodied the violent bent of American militarism and imperialism to impose its policies regardless of cost. When the US decides something, retreat is unlikely despite external objections. He set the policy to confront Egypt and the Arab world if these countries sought independence from Western control. He portrayed Israel as a state surrounded by enemies without ever spending a word on how it came about to be a state. And he never mentioned the name of Palestine or its adjective Palestinian in his 700-page book. But Eisenhower's treatment of German prisoners of war set the precedent for George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush to impose a 13-year near total blockade of Iraq that caused the death of over one million Iraqis from malnutrition and lack of medicine. Eisenhower's impulse for criminality is the same impulse that drives all successive presidents including the incumbent Barack Obama.
These criminal American presidents cannot imagine retreating from mass killing and mass destruction. Obama's criminal policy in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Sudan, Palestine, and Afghanistan is no different from his predecessors. George H. W. Bush expressed no retreat with his words, "I will never apologize for the United States." Mitt Romney echoed Bush's words almost verbatim, "I will never apologize for America."
In the Egyptian example, when Nasser turned to the Soviet Union, Eisenhower and the Dulles brothers charged that Nasser was spreading communism; hence, stopping his influence in the Arab world should become a US priority. Yet, in suggesting that the Saud clan become the rulers of the Arabs, Eisenhower displayed historical illiteracy of the Arab nations and their aspirations. Essentially, by consigning the Arabs to the rule of Wahhabi rulers—whose hallmarks are corruption, suppression of political dissent, fake Islamic values cast to serve the ruling clan, buying off foreign governments, lust for concubines, and beheading of convicted inmates in public squares.5
Eisenhower's idea was, however, not accidental. He envisioned that the Al Saud's "appeal" as the "custodians of Islamic shrines" would sedate the Arab Muslim masses yearning for independence and a decent life. In other words, the US of Eisenhower was already thinking to turn Wahhabism into ersatz Islam and use it as the Trojan horse to control the Arab nations from inside by echoing the Marxist axiom, "Religion is the opium of people." We can deduce what Eisenhower was aiming to accomplish. He was implicitly fantasizing to make Wahhabism the dominant confessional ideology of Arabs and Muslims. In this way, Arabs would be dominated through the Wahhabist tool.
Can we read Wahhabism as an imperialist tool of control?
Colonialist Britain and its offshoot, the United States, share the same culture, same background and ideology of empire, same intelligence gathering, same supremacism, and similar history of colonialism, imperialism, militarism, and resort to genocide. When Eisenhower advocated Al Saud to rule the Arabs, he considered how to control Saudi oil of which ARAMCO owned fifty percent at the time of its founding in 1933. Wahhabism, therefore, was that single imperialist tool to fend off any attack against US imperialist interests in that region. In doing so, Eisenhower was following in the footsteps of Britain. Britain, as a former occupier of most of the eastern and southern shores of the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf, helped in the promotion and spread of Wahhabism in the mid-19th century6 to harass and weaken the Ottoman Empire that was occupying the rest of the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq, and greater Syria.
But to see Wahhabism as an imperialist tool, we need to know what motivates US imperialism. Particularly since Manifest Destiny, the American culture of domination has been fixated on the notion that the world is an object that only powerful, blessed-by-god US hands can reshape, civilize, and democratize. Following in the footsteps of countless American figures who mythologized the stature of the American empire, Zionist neocon Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz have joined the brigade of US aggrandizers with their recent book, Exceptional: Why the World Needs a Powerful America. Conclusively, exceptionalism is not just an artifice to dominate based on supremacist notions of self—it is a tool to expand the boundaries of US domination.
For example, after the United Stated had invaded and occupied Afghanistan in 2001, it did not ask the Afghani people to vote; it used a tool of Afghani tradition, the Loya Jirga (Council), to select Hamid Karzai—from the majority Pashtuns—as a "president" of the American-shaped "democratic" Afghanistan. And when the United States occupied Iraq, it used the tool of the Shiite Marjaeya(highest body legislating Islamic Shiite edicts) to preempt the Iraqi Arab Shiite Muslims from rising against the US occupation. On that occasion, the Marjaeya abstained from issuing any fatwa to resist the invaders. Shiite clerics Jawad al-Khalisi and Muqtada al‑Sadr were the exception. And with that abstention, it agreed with the Americans via Ahmad Chalabi and the al-Hakim clan, and the US managed to impose its occupation regime on Iraq.
Shaping a country or region according to imperialist models, however, requires control by many means including military. To achieve such control, American ideologues of empire have created operative rules to facilitate the launching of wars and interventions. Specific objectives of an imperialist phase, their long-term benefits, and tools needed to implement them, are just a limited sampling of such rules.
Now, in trying to understand what Eisenhower was thinking about how the Arab nations should be ruled, we must mention that his approach for control by proxy, cohabitation, or auxiliary means, has been applied before by all European colonialist powers in the territories they colonized and before them by many other powerful states and empires throughout history. Moreover, we look at Eisenhower's idea of control via auxiliary means (using religions, ethnic animosities, sectarian rivalries, etc.) from a conventional perspective: the American system (from Washington to Obama) deliberately misreads how the world works. Meaning, US ruling classes and their capitalistic orders know that world societies want to be free in choosing their path for change and progress
The plan to reshape the Arab nations from within is in tune with the basic American modalities of domination. The Eisenhower administration considered the use of the Wahhabi tool along these lines: because Wahhabism's primary precept requires people's total obedience to their rulers, controlling the Arab and Muslim masses through proxy Wahhabist regimes would be easier to accomplish. So this American generalissimo had a vision: submitting the Arab Muslims to the will (via religious fatwas and edicts) of a Saudi "king" indirectly implies obedience to the United States, which protects Saudi rulers. (Note: obedience to rulers is cited in the Quran [An-nisa Surah: 4:59]. However, the concept was taken out of context since the verse of the Surah puts conditions on how obedience is applied and what types of rulers deserve it.)
This is how Al Saud generated obedience: the foundation of the Saudi state (1932) was based on a pact between them and the Wahhabi religious establishment—thriving since the mid-19th century with the help of Britain, which physically occupied most of the Arabian Peninsula—that they rule while Wahhabi clerics control all religious aspects of the state. These include teaching their brand of Islam and interpretation of the Islamic sharia (laws), school religious curricula, graduating imams and muftis, proselytizing, raising funds, but most importantly: providing absolute obedience by the people to the state. The direct result of such an arrangement was that any resistance to or criticism of the Saudi clan is automatically translated into contravention of Islamic laws and even defection from Islam. (For expanded information, and to understand how Saudi rulers use Wahhabism (conveniently named, "Islam") as an instrument of absolute state power, read footnote # 7)
Still, to render the idea of how Wahhabism controls the Saudi people on behalf of Al Saud, consider the two following examples. When over 500,000 US soldiers camped in Saudi Arabia under the pretext of defending it from an Iraqi threat (Operation Desert Shield, 1990), Al Saud reined in the objections of the citizenry via the Wahhabi clergy. They issued fatwas supporting the US military buildup and the looming American war under the justification that Iraq was atheist because of the Baath ideology of Arab Socialism.8
Unlike the official Wahhabi establishment paid for and controlled by the House of Saud—thus keeping the establishment is in line with the aims and policies of the United States via the ruling family—mainstream Wahhabism broadly defined as Salafism is militant and follows a pan-Islamic ideology. This pan-Islamic ideology is not necessarily anti-West or East. Rather it is centered on one purported tenet: "defending Muslims" and their lands anywhere in the world using the strictest interpretations of Islamic sharia.
No one harnessed the power of militant ideological Wahhabism better than the United States of Jimmy Carter and Zbigniew Brzezinski. With the House of Saud ready, for any number of reasons, to spend billions of dollars in support of the US aims in Soviet-invaded Afghanistan, Carter and Brzezinski transformed Wahhabism from a creed mostly concerned with the strict interpretations of the Quran and dogmatic application of Islam into a warring ideology (jihad) to fight the "atheist" Russians. Some 30 years after the Soviet Union left Afghanistan, new teams of US imperialists, neocon Zionists, and Saudi rulers amplified the objectives of "Afghanist" Wahhabism to create another tool whose declared aim, as demonstrated by events, is the disintegration of the Arab system of nations.9 The occasion leading to this planned disintegration was the so-called Arab "spring". Aside from the genuine Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings (later contained and reversed by the West and Saudi Arabia), it was not surprising that the successive violent waves of that "spring" hit only selected Arab countries (Libya, Syria, Yemen) not yet subjugated to the US and Israel. Not only that, but militant Saudi Wahhabism has gone beyond its Afghanist model to become a multi-national force directed specifically against the Arab Muslims. Thus, after over 1400 years from converting to Islam, Arab Muslims are now accused of apostasy and deviation from Islam.
The reason that we do not see the banners of armed Wahhabi militants anywhere except in those selected Arab states, is an evidence that their use is politically and strategically coordinated between the US and Saudi Arabia. It also points to a reasoned conclusion: because these two countries are fighting for similar objectives in Syria—removal of Bashar Assad by means of armed groups financed and trained by both, and isolation of Hezbollah to finish it off—then these objectives unify them on three fronts. 1) The US (and Israel) and the House of Saud converged their forces to implement the US plans for the partition of Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen. 2) To reward the Saudis for their role in implementing these plans, the US would ease its pressure on them while promoting their sense of becoming a regional military power as evidenced by their war of aggression against Yemen—publically justified as an opposition to Iran's assumed penetration in the Arab world. But the threatening Saudi stance against Iran has a hidden target: destroying Islam from within by openly declaring the Shiite Muslims as apostate and heretic. This has radicalized the conflict within Islam and within the Arab nations, divided Muslims in good and bad according to Wahhabi metrics, and made religious violence an acceptable way to resolve political problems. 3) The redesign of the Middle East would make of Saudi Arabia and Israel the pivot of a new alliance that would define the future of the Palestinian Issue and the Arab world. (For more information on the emerging alliance between Saudi Arabia and Israel, read note 10.) (For an overview on Saudi animosity toward Shiism, which is incidentally the official confessional creed of Iran, see note 11, 12.)
With regard to how the US strategically spreads spurious "Jihadist ideologies", we must mentions that immediately after 9/11, new terms started to circulate massively—Islamic, jihad, radical Islam, holy war, etc. (We do not know who are the people editing the website Washington's Blog.com. But the article, “Sleeping With the Devil: How U.S. and Saudi Backing of Al Qaeda Led to 9/11,” gives considerable information on how the United States used Saudi Wahhabism in its wars. More information can be searched online.)
While controlling the Arab masses from within (as with the examples of the Gulf Sheikdoms now called emirates, states, or kingdoms) has been an effective method, controlling them by external means is direct, violent, and has all the imprints of classical colonialist imperialism. Comprehending how these policies work brings us a step closer to understand the wider meaning of violence in Syria. Consequently, we must bring into the discussion another issue: the plan behind the systematic destruction of Syria (and Iraq, Libya, and Yemen) and the destabilizations of all Arab states cannot be separated from the general plan to dismantle and destroy the Arab system of nations called the Arab world. And, although not Arab, Iran belongs in this mix as its inclusion points to a dynamic used in pushing imperialist aims—dividing and conquering—through amplification and demonization of confessional differences.
From the moment in which Britain promised Palestine to the Zionist movement, from the moment oil was discovered under Arab soils, and considering the quasi homogeneity of Arab societies across their vast lands, devising a plan to keep them under continuous Western colonialist control has been an objective. In such a plan, any of the following items is equally important: 1) preventing projects of Arab unity to weaken their collective power, 2) promoting sectarian and ethnic conflicts as a means to erode state power, 3) destabilizing the Arab system through Israel, 3) preventing solutions to the Palestinian issue to antagonize the Arabs and pushed them into Western hands, and 4) imperialist control of oil and other resources.
As for Arab unity, the plan has been around since the secret British-French Sykes-Picot Agreement in 1916 to partition the previous Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire. Yet, with all Arab nations in Western Asia and North Africa obtaining their independence from European colonialism after WWI and WWII, the idea of Arab nationalism and unity survived the Western plan to partition them into separate entities and continued to be an unconquerable ideological force. Above all, the single most important catalyst that pushed the Arabs to a common ground was their rejection of a Jewish Zionist European state on Arab Palestine.
1. B. J. Sabri, The Hyper-Imperialist Paradigm, Parts Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Dissident Voice, 2003
2. Free Republic, Empire Builders: Neoconservatives and their Blueprint for U.S. Power, Note: originally published by theChristian Science Monitor in 2003
3. Quoted in the New York Times Obituary, Gen. Curtis LeMay, an Architect Of Strategic Air Power, Dies at 83, 2 October 1990. Quoted in Spartacus Educational, “Curtis LeMay.” Quoted in History News Network, “Bomb them Back to the Stone Age: An Etymology.”
4. James Bacque, Other Losses, Third Edition, Talonbooks, Vancouver, 2011.
6. David Livingstone, Globalists created Wahhabi Terrorism to Destroy Islam and Justify a Global State .
8. Judith Miller, WAR IN THE GULF: Muslims; Saudis Decree Holy War on Hussein,” New York Times, 20 January 1991.
9. "The Greater Middle East Project” (An extensive multi-link document)
* For an American Zionist view, Atlantic piece, Israel and Saudi Arabia: Togetherish at Last?
* For an imperialist view, WSJ piece, Saudi Arabia Reluctantly Finds Common Ground With Israel About Iran.
* For an imperialist view, WSJ piece, Saudi Arabia Reluctantly Finds Common Ground With Israel About Iran.
* For an Israeli perspective, Jerusalem Post, "Israeli-Saudi relations best kept quiet"
* The Times of Israel: In very rare public meet, Israeli, Saudi officials name Iran as common foe
* Arutz Sheva, Saudi Official Shakes Hands with Israelis in Rare Meeting
11.Al-Monitor.com, Why Salafists see Shiites as their greatest enemy
12.Washingtonsblog, The Real Reasons Saudi Arabia Hates Iran
Whose Violence and Why?
The Imperialist Violence in Syria, Part 5 - Part 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 -7
By Kim Petersen and B. J. Sabri
The Imperialist Violence in Syria, Part 5 - Part 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 -7
By Kim Petersen and B. J. Sabri
January 15, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - As viewed from American, European, and Israeli angles, a system of united Arab states presaged a challenge mainly on three issues: the primacy of imperialism, Zionism, and anti-communism in their geopolitical agenda. This explains why the West has consistently adopted anti-Arab policies. For the imperialist West, accepting the emergence of unified or even confederated Arab states means dealing with the largest political entity on earth sitting on an enormous land mass in excess of five million square miles stretching from the Arab-Persian Gulf to the Atlantic Ocean and having the vastest wealth imaginable.
As a reflection of American long-term planning, consider the following: when Syria and Egypt merged in a union as the United Arab Republic in 1958, Allen Dulles, Eisenhower's CIA chief, had this to say in a NSC briefing in 1958:
The United States agreed that union between Syria and Egypt would be dangerous to all our interests and if we remained passive it would expand and would shortly take in Jordan and the Lebanon and ultimately Saudi Arabia and Iraq leaving us with a single Arab State ostensibly under Nasser but ultimately under the Soviet Union.... In this view, if we were going to oppose it effectively we must do so very rapidly.... It might be that some parts of Syria might wish to secede and join Iraq. If there were such an idea, Iraq should follow it up and could count on the United States backing.1
We see, therefore, the United States and the West manufacturing events in the Arab world to serve cumulative objectives. As such, in no particular order, the Zionist rape of Palestine; the US virtual invasion of Lebanon in coordination with Camille Chamoun in 1958; the fomenting of ethnic strife inside Arab states with large ethnic minorities; Britain-France-Israel's war on Egypt in 1956; the CIA-organized Baathist coup against Abdul Kareem Qasim in 1963; Israel's war against Syria, Egypt, and Jordan in 1967; King Hussein's war against the PLO in 1970; the Lebanese civil war; Iraq's invasion of Iran and Kuwait; the Egypt-Israel peace treaty; the destruction of Iraq in 1991; the 13 years of sanctions on Iraq; Algeria's civil war; the suspicious event of 9/11; the US invasion of Iraq in 2003; the partition of Sudan; Israel's repeated devastation of Lebanon and Gaza; and the destruction of Libya and Yemen are but a few chapters in the long road to dismantle and subjugate the Arab nations.
Within all these events, other chapters (after WWI) set the stage for the next phases of the future American-British-French-European-Israeli onslaught against the Arab states. Here is how it happened. Arab states situated in Western Asia: Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine, as well as the Arabic Peninsula have international borders designed by colonialist Britain and France. This is standard practice by western colonialism; it divided all of Africa, the western hemisphere, and some parts of Asia into colonies, political states, enclaves, and protectorates. The modern history of what the West now calls the Middle East—instead of Arabia—to allow for the insertion of a European settler state in the body of the Arab lands cannot be separated from oil, Israel, and geo-strategic location in relation to competing powers.
When the early objectives of Britain and France (1920-1950s) in Arabia (current Middle East) and Arab North Africa met the objectives of US imperialism in ascendency after WWII, the results would be devastating—for the Arabs only—until this very day. The dreadful plight of the Arab nation states today was caused, to varying degrees, by the unrepentant West (ends justifying the means) as well as despotic Arab rulers and their regimes of the past 100 years.
We can identify some of the primary objectives of Western imperialism in the Arab world as follows: 1) perpetually keeping Arab nations under direct/indirect colonialist or imperialist control; 2) installing military bases as outposts for empire's expansions and local control; 3) installing a Zionist state on Palestine and using it as a destabilizing factor; 4) imposing mandatory protection regimes on oil-producing countries; 5) controlling oil, gas, and other resources; 6) keeping oil money in Western banks; 6) re-absorbing oil money through sale of advanced weapons systems; 7) keeping the Arab masses from rebelling against the status quo through deals with rulers; 8) employing the Divide and Rule model as a means of political and physical control; 9) igniting sectarian and ethnic strife to destabilize established political orders and forestall progress; 10) impeding the project of Arab unity by promoting Wahhabism, Muslim Brothers, and Salafism—these currents and movements vehemently oppose the notion of one Arab nation, but endorse the notion of one Islamic nation. (Note: Muslim Brothers and Wahhabism are forms of Salafism. Salafism can stand alone as an "Islamist" religious ideology but not as Islam—the religion founded by Mohammad. (Discussing the differences among these creeds goes beyond the scope of this work.)
In writing about what is happening in Syria, it is necessary, to recall how the events of the past 100 years have unfolded. We know that Syria (and all other Middle Eastern Arab states) exists as a modern state with its current borders because it was carved out of pan-Arabia by British-French secret collusion: the Sykes-Picot Agreement (approved by the Wilson Administration). After these states became independent nations, citing Sykes-Picot is relevant as a reminder of how the Arab lands and peoples have been divided and individually controlled by various Western colonialist states. Also, let us not forget that the Agreement was conceived to allow for the creation of Zionist state in Palestine.
Notwithstanding the above, considering the unremitting global objectives of US imperialism and European vassals, the Sykes-Picot Agreement that divided the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire is now as relevant as ever. In simple words, it adduces that American, British, and French imperialist schemes to divide and conquer have become permanently ingrained in their ideological makeup. To substantiate our statement, when the United States and European vassals prepared to attack Iraq in 1991 consequent to the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait, ear-piercing Western voices shouted that Iraq was an artificial state created by Britain—although as a state, Iraq has been around in different political forms for the past 6000 years. Well, simple logic has it that being an "artificial" or "natural" state is an irrelevant fact vis-à-vis the crime of occupation.
When Tony Blair rubbed shoulders with the US to invade Iraq in 2003, imperialist operatives in Europe and the US summoned the spirits of Sykes-Picot. This how Britain did it. Besides the spurious charge that Saddam could hit Britain with his "ballistic missiles" within 45 minutes of an order, a so-called scholar, Christopher Catherwood, an advisor to Blair on Iraq, provided him with another rationale. He went as far as stating, in not too many words, that without Winston Churchill's miscalculation to create Iraq, all that was about to happen would not have happened.2
Considering the game plan of western colonialist imperialism, we can understand how Catherwood reached the conclusion that the events leading to Iraq's invasion were due to Churchill's folly instead of plans stipulated by Britain and the United States. To conclude, Catherwood and thousands like him want to indoctrinate that Iraq's troubles did not stem from plans by US neocon imperialism but from whims of a former British prime minister who designed its new administrative borders by turning it from a Turkish province into a state under British mandate.3
We can state unequivocally that whatever Sykes-Picot designed has been converted into a pretext for continuous wars and intervention in Asian Arabia. It is beside the point to say that whenever imperialist objectives target an Arab country, Western historians, politicians, commentators, blabbering heads, and so-called experts promptly call in the teachings of Sykes-Picot with the purpose to help them apply its core schemes on the designated victim. This happened in Iraq and Libya (this country was not part of the Agreement, but after the NATO bombardment of Libya and the murder of Muammar Gaddafi, Western imperialists summoned the Sykes-Picot model by saying that Libya was made out three provinces which Italy had joined).
Syria is no exception. That is why a re-invented Sykes-Picot model aimed at partition is being invoked frequently.
The history of Europe and the US in the Arab regions is one of aggressions, colonialist occupations, and encroachment. Take for example the European influx that was granted a "homeland" on the land of Palestinians without asking the Indigenous residents and in total disregard of their sovereignty, to which the United Nations, a body representing the interests of so-called winners of WWII acquiesced in 1948.
We see Syria as a chapter in the long list of Western aggressions—particularly American— around the world. It is instructive to recall that after WWII, the US embarked on a series of direct aggressions and wars in many places: Korea, Viet Nam, Panama, Grenada, Iraq, Afghanistan, and several more.4 The Soviet Union also was involved in aggression outside its territory. We also remember that following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia was promised by US administration officials that NATO would not intrude into former Soviet territory.5 The US reneged on its word and has been ever since in an unremitting expansionist mode.
Pointedly, the United States has an agenda: re-shuffling the configuration of the existing order of independent nations to create a new geopolitical arrangement amenable to its global interests. Also, it is clear that the US has a plan to redraw borders.6 The US is keen at changing this government or that regime without scruples or concerns for the destruction and violence that ensues. The US has a predilection for domestically cultivated dictators and collaborators (examples: Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in Iran, Ngo Dinh Diem in South Viet Nam, Sygnman Rhee in South Korea. Curiously about Iraq, when the US failed to install its point man, Ahmed Chalabi, another point man, Ayad Allawi took his place, and when this did not take hold, other collaborators entered the scenes. )
Psychologically, regime change is an American neurotic fixation whereby the US uses its military power, directly or through proxy, to put a new regime in place. Recently, the US has been behind regime changes in Afghanistan, Haiti, Iraq, and Libya. Afterwards, the objective grew to Ukraine, a former Soviet state, and now it is aggrandizing and moving threateningly toward Russia and China. In its criminal game to be the sole gendarme of the Arab states and the world, the US is using killers of all stripes, creating fake "Islamic" groups to discredit Muslims, and importing mercenaries through regional players.
As stated, Syria is a serious geo-political pawn in the attempt to build a lasting American Empire. In addition, Syria is an opponent of the Zionist state. It has relations with the Lebanese resistance movement, Hezbollah, Iraq (which, although inserted inside the US orbit after the invasion, has good relations with Iran—influencing its cohabitation with the United States), as well as itself having relations with Iran which, for ideological and political reasons, opposes the US and Israel. If Syria were to fall to western imperialism, it is very conceivable that a widening encirclement of Russia would be enabled, as well as control of pipelines and fossil fuels. This would all be to Russia’s economic detriment–brought about not by open economic competition, but militarism. (We will leave China out of the discussion, although it is important to state that China is also being encircled and threatened as well.)
At this point, what are the interests of the United States, Israel, France, Britain, Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar in launching their combined war of aggression against Syria?
The United States and Violence in Syria
If one wants to know what US imperialists are thinking at a given moment, the shortest way is to read their dedicated media. In 2013, Robin Wright, a columnist of the unofficial voice of American Zionism, the New York Times, joined in the battle to partition several Arab states with her article, “Imagining a Remapped Middle East,” and added a larger map (How 5 Countries Could Become 14) with notes detailing rehashed arguments proposed by the Zionist "historian" Bernard Lewis, and by Ralph Peters, a novelist and a rabidly-frothing military commentator on Iraqi and Arab affairs. Peters was the author of “Blood Borders: How a better Middle East would look.” (See his map).
In her article here above mentioned, Wright presented her version of Peters' map with unsurpassed imperialistic clarity. She wrote, "A different map would be a strategic game changer for just about everybody, potentially reconfiguring alliances, security challenges, trade and energy flows for much of the world, too." [Italics added]. In essence, from the comfort of her New York City office, this Zionist decreed—just like Peters—that thousands upon thousands of Syrians would become pawns on the imperialist chessboard, shunted aside, and as is clear seeking checkmate involves entails genocide, all in the name of "reconfiguring alliances (alliances between who and who?), security challenges [security for whom?), trade and energy for much of the world (but can all these be achieved without changing borders and the killing of 250,000 Syrians and over two million Iraqis before that?)
Let us examine Wright's map. Notably, she expanded on Peters' map by partitioning Saudi Arabia into five states instead of Peter's four. (See Wright's map, compare it Peters' map, and then compare them to the map created by Oded Yinon in 1982 to reflect Theodor Herzl's idea for a greater Jewish state on Arab lands. Why Saudi Arabia, America's favorite ally after Israel, was the primary target designated by the map? The answer is simple, with Iraq and Syria no longer relevant on the Arab arena, Saudi Arabia is rich, has oil, and easily pliable for American demands. An attentive analysis of Peter and Wright's articles and related maps would reveal that the United States was sending a specific message7 whose implied threat was unmistakable: the kingdom could be partitioned unless the Saudis bent to US objectives on Syria as they did before in Libya. In the public realm, there was utter silence from the House of Saud on the proposed partition of their country. Since the US calls Saudi Arabia an ally, then what is the purpose of divulging plans to partition it? And why partition a homogeneous country, despite confessional differences, that has been stable since its foundation in 1932?
While Saudi rulers remained undisturbed by Peter's plan, Turkey, reacted with anger, and the US responded with typical dissociation from Peters' map. In its editorial, “Carved-up Map of Turkey at NATO Prompts US Apology,” the Turkish paper, Today's Zaman, wrote, "The U.S. State Department assured Ankara that the map did not reflect the official American view, and denounced it as unacceptable." For a department used to deception, the ploy was evident. "Did not reflect the official American view," the Americans said. Why apologize for something you had no part in? And nine years after that phony apology, the pending partition of Iraq and the still unaborted plan to partition Syria lends credence to Peters and Wright as media mouthpieces for what is cooking the US imperialist oven. The story then is simple: faithful to its tradition, US imperialism sends trial balloons before implementation of its designs.
Further, in comparing Wright's map to that of Peters', we noticed that Wright focused only on Arab states (Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Libya), decreased the size of Jordan, increased Kurdish areas taken from Syria and Iraq, and, as we stated, increased the partition of Saudi Arabia from four to five states. Wright embodied the cynicism of American Zionist imperialism. In reading her map, we cannot but notice that she used the Urdu-Persian suffix "stan" [meaning place or land] to denote the planned partition of the Arabs. She called regions with mostly Arab Shiite Muslims, "Shiitestan", and regions with Arab Saudis assumed collectively to adhere to Wahhabism, "Wahhabsitan", then we read "Sunnistan", Alawitestan.
Seeing and reading about all this redistribution of peoples and lands, an imperative question arises: based on what authority did a journalist and a former army officer decide to re-draw maps and partition nations? The answer is pragmatic and it is based on our knowledge of how the imperialism state works: the orders to partition the Arab nations have come from a consortium of the decision makers outlining prescribed goals and agendas. Consequently, Wright and Peters are spokespersons for the American imperialist systems and its ruling elites. Unlike Peters, Wright's proposed partition of Syria, and the establishment of a Kurdish State excluded Turkish territory with Kurdish majorities. The reason is easy to guess. The US does not want to antagonize Turkey for the time being. This explains why Turkey is now ready to recognize a Kurdish state in Iraq but only in exchange for the US promise not to join parts of its own territory to the proposed Kurdish state in Iraq.
The larger geopolitical scenario is this: with a Kurdish state being imposed on Iraq and Syria, and with Syria under its control, the US will order Qatar to proceed with its gas pipeline to the Mediterranean in a move meant to push the Russian gas out of the European markets. Ultimately (prior to the Russian intervention), once Syria vanishes as a cohesive independent state, the US would finally deal a massive blow to the Arab resistance against Israel (i.e., historical Palestine under Zionist occupation) thus facilitating control of the Arab world. Syria, therefore, is no more than another stage in the US (and Israeli) calculation of global hegemony.
To conclude, regardless of its political system, Syria is the only remaining Arab state that is embracing Arab nationalism, independence, and resistance against US imperialism and Israel. If Syria were to fall, Arab aspirations for emancipation from imperialist control would likely die for a long time to come. The US intent to dismember Syria is multi-pronged: 1) remove Syria as a threat to Israel, 2) isolate Hezbollah and prepare it for elimination, 3) carve out a portion of Syrian territory and make it an extension to a potential Kurdish state in Iraq,8 4) make Syria a transit station of oil from Syrian and Iraqi oil fields, and 5) allow Qatar to pass gas pipes through.
Israel and Violence in Syria
Talking about Israel in the Middle East requires separate treatment. With Syria gone as a centralized state, Israel is intended to be the master of the region. It will permanently annex the Syrian Golan Heights (already annexed by Israel in 1981). Most importantly, if Syria falls, the Lebanese Resistance will be exposed, and the Jewish-Zionist occupation of Palestine will be resolved according to Israel's liking.9
Europe (especially Britain and France) and Violence in Syria
Capitalist Europe has two pathetic features: obedience to the United States and a keen appetite to share in the spoils of war and business contracts with a new Syria (as they did in Iraq and Libya) under American hegemony. We should mention that the Eastern regions of Syria have oil deposits that could rival those of Iraq and Kuwait combined.10
Turkey and Violence in Syria
Recep Erdogan and his Muslim Brothers have three objectives. 1) Revive Ottoman post-WWI claims on the province of Aleppo.11 2) Revive the Ottoman imperialist posture toward the Arab countries, over which it ruled more than four centuries.12 3) See the Muslim Brothers in power everywhere to vindicate the "Islamic model" invented by his Justice and Development Party—favored by the US since it offers a model of submission to religious themes in tune with Washington designs.13
For the record, when Assad rejected his proposal to share power with the Syrian Muslim Brothers, Erdogan turned against him. Before that, to use Erdogan's slogan "Zero problems with neighbors," relations and trade between Syria and Turkey were at their best.14 Indeed Erdogan's ambitions show little restraint as Turkey has now provoked the military might of Russia—something not sanely imaginable unless hiding under the skirt of NATO.
Jordan and Violence in Syria
The Jordanian monarchy has one purpose: to survive as a monarchy. To do that, however, it feels it must appease Britain, Israel, and the United States before any others. Meaning that Jordan's monarchs do what they are told to do. Moreover, if Israel is the paradigm of a parasitic regime, Jordan is the model for disgusting regime opportunism. Curtly, Jordan will work for whoever pays it. From the early days of the conflict in Syria, Jordan's "king" has changed his positions several times; yet he was always on the side of Britain and the United States when forced to take sides. When the US invaded Iraq in 2003, its forces invaded coming from Jordan. (This was despite the fact that during the Iraq-Iran war, Iraq gave Jordan free oil, not to mention a $12 billion investment in the al-Aqaba port). Jordan supplied massive support for the anti-Syrian front through facilitating military training and the passage of weapons and armed groups.
SAUDI ARABIA AND VIOLENCE IN SYRIA
Saudi Arabia's violence in Syria stems from a complex platform. There were no specific reason or pressing national interests for Saudi Arabia to be a major co-player in the destruction of Iraq, Libya, Syria, and now Yemen. So what are the Saudi explanations for the violence and destruction they are inflicting on Syria? 1) To be accepted as the "indispensable" ally of the United States. 2) To destroy what remains of the concept of Arab nationalism, which, not a long time ago, was a major force opposing Al Saud and their relentless efforts to destabilize progressive Arab regimes. 3) The Saudi rationale for fighting Iran in Syria is ludicrous, and the irrational stance against the Arab Alawites, because they mix Shi'ism with Sunnism, is both criminal and pathetic. The fact is they want the head of Bashar Assad because he, during the Israeli aggression against Gaza in 2008, demeaned them by calling them “half-men.” 4) Saudi Arabia used aid as an enticement to make Syria sever relations with Iran and Hezbollah.
Many factors caused the open hostility between Saudi Arabia and Syria. Principal among these: 1) Iran being acknowledged as a nuclear state and its coming exit from the sanction regime—this will allow it to compete with Saudi oil on the international market. It also means more money to Syria and Hezbollah. 2) Syria's dependence on Iran for assistance against Israeli aggression. 3) Syrian ties to Hezbollah—receives assistance from Iran—as an anti-Israeli ally. 5) Syria's refusal to align its regional policy (Iraq and Lebanon) with that of Saudi Arabia. 5) By spreading Wahhabism, Saudi Arabia is seeking hegemony over Arab and Islamic countries including, of course, Syria. 6) Saudi Arabia's intense animosity toward Syria is old. It started when Syria refused to back Iraq's was against Iran. This had a consequence for the dogmatic Saudis: the friend of my enemy is my enemy. In addition, Saudi Arabia's intense animosity toward both Syria (the Sunni controls the economic life, while Alawites' elite controls the political one) and Iran (predominately Shiite) is not about Shi'a-Sunni antagonism as the West likes to repeatedly state. Instead, it is due to Iran's appeal (after the Iranian revolution of 1979) to the Muslim people of Saudi Arabia to rise against the pro-American corrupt Saudi ruling family. 7) Saudi Arabia has been actively seeking to partition Iraq, and it wants to partition Syria to appease its own goals—weaken its strong neighbors—and US hegemonic goals.
QATAR AND VIOLENCE IN SYRIA
First, Qatar is the unofficial spokesperson of US policy in the Arab world. Second, from the viewpoint of strategic or military value, and excluding gas output, tiny Qatar (barely 4,400 square miles; native population 278,000) should have little regional or international relevance. We do not disparage any nation because of size or population count, but on the chessboard of intentional relations, tiny Qatar must stop thinking of itself as a giant, just because its rulers are billionaires. The fact is that Qatar, a powerless pawn in US hands, speaks and acts tough because the US installed its Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia's CENTCOM on its territory. Take the gas out; and abolish the regimes' propaganda outlet, the Al-Jazeera network; and Qatar will have nothing to show except idiotic machismo.
Recently, Qatari foreign minister Khalid al-Attiya roared that Assad will leave whether by force or by diplomacy. Well, and who is going to make Assad leave: him, the Qatari armed forces, ISIS, or Saudi Arabia? Qatar's quarrel with Bashar Assad is well known. First, Syria refused the Qatari proposal to allow gas to duct through Syria in exchange for Syria severing relations with Iran and Hezbollah. Second, Syria refused the Qatari request that Bashar allow the Muslim Brothers to have a political voice in Syria. (While open political discussion is preferable, the close relations between the United States and the Muslim Brother of Yusuf al-Qaradawi go beyond the scope of this work.) In essence, what applies to Saudi Arabia vis-à-vis Syria applies to Qatar with the difference that while Saudi Arabia, according to some pundits, is being strong-armed to enact a proxy war on behalf of the United States, Qatar is a willing executioner of the US agenda. As for the issue of the Muslim Bothers in Syria, this is only a flimsy rationalization because the Qatari ruling family and the country do not adhere to or practice their ideology—it only uses it in coordination with the US.
Next: Part 6 of 7
1. Quoted in Malik Mufti, Sovereign Creations: Pan-Arabism and Political Order in Syria and Iraq, Cornell University Press, 1996, p. 100
2. Christopher Catherwood, Churchill's Folly, Barnes & Noble, New York, 2004
3. For a comprehensive understanding of how the British colonialist mind works and how it interprets Arab history, politics, and power in terms of utility to British and Western imperialist systems, we recommend the work by J.B. Kelly: Arabia, the Gulf, & the West.
4. See William Blum, Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower (Monroe, ME: Common Courage Press, 2000).
5. Walter C. Uhler, “The Hypocritical United States of Amnesia and Russia,” Dissident Voice, 15 March 15 2014.
6. See Kim Petersen, “A Bloody Border Project,” Dissident Voice, 5 July 2007.
7. American political science professor James Lee Ray pointed to US government using the media to convey its foreign policy objectives in his book, American Foreign Policy and Political Ambition (2007): “[T]he media serves as a tool that the government can use to communicate to the public about foreign policy issues, as well as persuade the public and important, influential elements within it that its policy choices are prudent and their impacts beneficial.” (164-165)
8. For a comprehensive view, read, “Plans for Redrawing the Middle East: The Project for a 'New Middle East”
9. Read: “Syria’s future: Israel favors fragmentation while Saudis want reliable counter to Iran”; “Partitioning Syria“ by the imperialist think tank: foreign Policy Research Institute.
10.See map, also read: “How the War in Syria is About Oil, not ISIS” and “Migrant Crisis & Syria War Fueled By Competing Gas Pipelines”
11.Christina Lin, "NATO, Turkey, annexation of north Syria like north Cyprus?", Asia Times, 25 November 2015.
12.http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/22243. (Arab media). Nicola Nasser, “Syria, Egypt Reveal Erdogan’s Hidden 'Neo-Ottoman Agenda'” Global Research, 20 November 2013.
13.Thierry Meyssan, "The uprising against Brother Erdogan," Voltairenet, 10 June 2013. Thomas Seibert, "Turkey is a model for every Muslim state, Recep Erdogan says," National, 1 October 2013.
14.Read these two informative articles: Erdogan's Syria Policy: Wrong from the Start and Why Erdogan Would Benefit from Bashar al-Assad’s Fall?
A Russian White Knight or an Interventionist Power?
“It is noteworthy that the only government objecting to the substance of our initiative is the United States, which for many years has stood in almost complete isolation trying to block successive efforts of the international community to prevent an arms race in outer space.”1
– statement by Russian Foreign Ministry on resolution for no first deployment of weapons into outer space which was approved by UN General Assembly on 8 December 2015.
By Kim Petersen and B. J. Sabri
January 16, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - Unlike the 4-year US active involvement in every aspect of the Syrian conflict, Russia's direct intervention started just recently (30 September 2015). Russia's intervention is important to distinguish under international law: unlike the US illegal bombardment of Syria, unlike the antics of states like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar who operate in Syria in contravention to international agreements between sovereign states, Russia was invited by the legitimate government of Syria to assist in defeating the mercenary insurrection. Do we need to debate that the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia were not invited to assist—which would be ludicrous on its face: a regime asking states seeking its overthrow to assist it? (The latest news is that Obama is putting US boots on Syrian soil unbidden by that sovereign nation. Imagine the response by the US regime if, for example, in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, Africa unilaterally placed troops on US soil to protect African-American lives?)
It is also important to note that if the US regime and its anti-Assad instruments had not participated in the aggression against Syria, then there likeliest would have been no Russian involvement, and Syrians might have been able to settle the matter for themselves. Logically, any blame for casualties resulting from Russian military involvement must be directly attributed to the anti-Syrian regime coalition—it is the law of action and reaction. In the end, we see that the ultimate culpability for all those who died in Syria rests exclusively with those who initiated the violence in the first place.
About Russia: it can be argued that from the time of Gorbachev until the overthrow of the legitimate Ukrainian government by the CIA and its Ukrainian operatives, Russia had allowed the world to be damaged through passivity against American imperialist expansions. The present authors understand why that happened and realize the constraints put on Russia since the Yeltsin years. But when the imperialist heat reached its borders, Russia awakened. Honestly, we cannot ask too much of Russia (all countries threatened by the US's march to absolutist empire must take their share of responsibility) and we cannot blame Russia for the treason committed by Gorbachev and Yeltsin. But we can blame it, under the first Putin presidency, for consenting to the joint US-British occupation of Iraq after strenuously opposing the planned invasion of 2003. We are also extremely critical of Russia's consent, under the second Putin presidency, to UN Resolution 2216 that sanctioned an already started American-Saudi aggression against Yemen—an aggression that has thus far killed thousands of Yemenis, and destroyed much of the country. We have other problems with Russian policy, but this is not the forum.
Still, from our viewpoint as inflexible opponents of American imperialism, we are convinced that Russia's entry to the side of the Syrian government has great potential for finally stopping the US from treating the world as a stepping-stone to unchallenged global hegemony. What was Russia supposed to do: wait for the US (and its anti-Assad allies) to enact regime change in Damascus and moving thereafter to its borders? Above all, what could be more dictatorial than outsiders determining by military means and violence who should govern a sovereign nation?
Russia's intervention has another angle—it exposed the cruel geopolitical game the United States has been playing in Iraq and Syria. For openers, the United States is not bombing both countries to rid them of so-called ISIS; gargantuan evidence points to the contrary. This could not be otherwise—the US founded, armed, and trained this "state," and it needs it as a means to destabilize and break up all Arab states.
Strong suspicions surround the US conduct toward ISIS thus leading to one unavoidable conclusion: ISIS is a multinational enterprise that the United States, the West, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar created, financed, and armed to fight both the Syrian and Iraqi governments according to predefined objectives. For instance, when ISIS emerged as a military power and crossed into Iraq from Syria, the US did nothing to stop it. And when it moved its convoys to occupy the city of Mosul, then descending south to occupy the city of Baiji that houses Iraq's largest oil refinery, the US and vassals just reported the news. And when ISIS occupied Tikrit and Ramadi, the only reaction coming from the US and its regional supporters was to portray the American-trained Iraqi army as inept. And when ISIS was almost on the gates of Baghdad, the US and company just spoke of its imminent fall.
Something disrupted this chain of events though. In Iraq, ISIS sacked the Yezidi areas and moved their Toyota convoys toward Erbil, which the Kurds consider their provisional capital, and almost seized the oil-rich, multi-ethnic city of Kirkuk that the Kurds consider their future capital. In Syria, ISIS entered Ain al-Arab (Kobane) thus disrupting the connection between Iraqi Kurds and Syrian Kurds. At that point, the US, the West, European volunteers, and the Kurds made their combined moves to drive ISIS out of Kirkuk, Erbil, and Kobane. In the meanwhile, no action was taken to remove ISIS from the cities and territory it occupied in Iraq and Syria.
This must be by design. In fact, once the US started pounding ISIS forces entrenched near Kirkuk and Erbil, the Kurds—who have been claiming Kirkuk as theirs since the US invasion of Iraq—moved their Peshmerga forces to occupy the city immediately. At which point, the Baghdad government, itself a servant of Washington, declared the Kurdish occupation of Kirkuk null and promised to retake it once it finishes its business with ISIS.
What to conclude from all this is simple: For the US, disrupting the scheme to create a Kurdish state extending from Iraq to the Mediterranean while taking territory from Turkey and Syria was a red line that ISIS crossed. This explains why Turkey supports ISIS against Kurdish separatists. And it explains why Saudi Arabia supports ISIS under the pretext to fight Iran in Iraq and Syria. And when the Kurds declare that any area they "liberate" from ISIS become a Kurdish territory (as when they took, with American air support, the multi-ethnic cities of Duhok and Sinjar), then we cannot but conclude that ISIS is a player created by the West and regional powers to facilitate the partition of the Arab states in Western Asia. Kurds should not rejoice. The history of imperialism and colonialism warns that the final aim of the US and the West is not about caring for the national aspirations of the Kurds. Creating a Kurdish state at the service of American and Israeli objectives is the target. And the Kurds are moving into this trap. (Discussing the Kurdish issue goes beyond the scope of this work.)
Let us recap the ISIS move against Arab, Kurdish, Assyrian, and Yezidi areas in Iraq and Syria areas. Although ISIS is an American (and Saudi creation)—it provided the United States with the operational rationales for massive intervention in Iraq and Syria—its moves and attacks suggest one of two things: either it has developed a separate agenda, or it is following American orders as a part of a plan to rein in the moves of the Kurds. In the end, the US reasons for allowing ISIS to survive and expand despite pretentious bombardment and publicity balloons is all too evident: the US and Israel want to create a Kurdish state from parts taken out of Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and Iran,2 and ISIS is the means to implement it.
Are the Kurds and ISIS enemies? There is a plenty of evidence to suggest they were not when ISIS occupied Mosul only. In fact, once Mosul fell to ISIS and the weakness of Baghdad's central government was exposed, it gave Kurds the opportunity to move instantly to occupy Kirkuk (with its Arab, Kurdish, Turkoman, Assyrian, and Armenian population) which Kurds have been claiming as theirs since the American invasion of Iraq. This is reinforced by the fact that when ISIS attacked Ain Al-Arab (a Syrian own with a Kurdish majority), Iraqi Kurds crossed into Syria to fight it.3 One can surmise, therefore, that the US has been effectively coordinating with ISIS to execute the strategic purpose of creating a de facto expansionist Kurdish state.
Overall, the US strategy regarding ISIS is apparent. 1) Keep the "islamic state" in Iraq viable to harass the Iraqi government—under US control, anyway—thus browbeating Iraq's regime to give in to Kurdish demands to secede and form an independent state. 2) Keep “ISIS” strong enough in Syria to help with the toppling of the Assad government. 3) Keep spreading the propaganda that the "Islamic state" is real and here to stay; this will allow for protracted Western military intervention. 4) Continue with current strategy to keep the region—with the exception of Israel—afire and permanently unstable. Ponder: how could we explain the fact that ISIS seems more intent on fighting Arab Muslims than fighting European Zionist Jews or American interests? What drives the rage to re-Islamize Arabs who have been Muslims for over 1500 years unless this drive was designed by Washington and Tel Aviv to discredit Muslims and prepare the path for the final conquest? What should one make of an organization that has no program about anything except making people worship in the regressive and oppressive Wahhabi way? This seems a premeditated plan for the total destruction of the Arab Muslim mind.
Keeping the preceding arguments in perspective, and tying them to the Russian intervention in Syria, we see this intervention in positive way. Unlike all the other uninvited interlopers, Russia intervened at the behest of Syria and its legitimate government. Yet, this is war, and war causes casualties including civilian deaths. However, since it became clear that Russia's approach to eradicate Western-controlled violence was resolute, fake sources were formed to cast doubt on Russia's role including the accusation of causing more civilian deaths than those caused by the US and its terrorist allies. Because we support Russia's intervention to end violence in Syria, as is happening now, some might think that we are defending Russia. This is not the case. A balanced investigation, however, posits that when propaganda and disinformation contradict facts, we must debate it.
One dubious source is Airwars.org. This site reports of “104 incidents of concern in Syria in which Russian aircraft allegedly killed between 528 and 730 non-combatants.” Of those “incidents as fairly reported” there “are likely to have killed between 255 and 375 civilians.”4 The reliability of such reporting does not improve: “The number of Russian airstrikes which caused non-combatant deaths has to an extent been exaggerated.” This is self-contradicted somewhat later by the claims: “Even so, credible allegations of civilian fatalities inflicted by the Russan [sic] Air Force are worryingly high.”
A number of questions arise from such sources. First, for example, what denotes “fairly reported” and who determines what this is? What is the difference between a “credible allegation” and a “fact”? Second, what is one to make of imprecise, waffling phrases as “likely to,” "to an extent," and again who determines this extent and likelihood? Third, who is Airwars.org?
From the source site: “Airwars.org is a collaborative, not-for-profit transparency project aimed both at tracking and archiving the international air war against Islamic State, in both Iraq and Syria. With a dozen nations reportedly bombing – along with the air forces of Iraq, Iran and Syria – there is a pressing public interest need for independent, trustworthy monitoring.” Airwars.org's “data is drawn heavily from US and allied militaries. In addition to tracking the strikes, we also seek to report – and where possible follow up on – credible allegations of civilian casualties.”
Credible? What is the verisimilitude of information disseminated by US and allied militaries?
Nonetheless, even if the present writers were to accept, on its face, everything reported by US propagandists; it does not change the thesis of our argument: regrettably, in warring, civilian casualties are bound to occur. However, casualties occurring after the entrance of Russia to the violence in Syria have to be weighed against the quarter million people killed prior to Russia coming on the scene. Any subsequent deaths attributable to Russia's air warfare against violent armed groups have to be weighed against those who would not have been saved if Russia didn’t enter the fray. Yes, Russia weaponry may have caused civilian deaths, but how does one calculate all the civilians saved from death at the hands of mercenaries and other killers?
Moreover, we are arguing that all deaths since Russia intervention are to be blamed on US-, Saudi-, Gulf state-, Turkey-, and other western-backed mercenaries and terrorists. Had these forces and proxies never invaded Syria and Iraq, and had they never received protection in Turkey and Jordan, then Russian warplanes would not be fighting today.
To conclude our note on Russia, although it entered the war on the side of the legitimate government, Russia has never declared any strategy or long-term objective in Syria except the one supporting a legitimate U.N. member from not being overrun by American/Saudi-supported terrorists and mercenaries. Consequently, Western imperialists and their media stenographers have no moral underpinning or legal standing to criticize Russia.
Next: Part 7 of 7
1. Matthew Bodner, UN Approves Russia-led Proposal To Limit Militarization of Space," Moscow Times, 2 December 2015.
2. Read article "Blood Borders" and see map by Ralph Peters.
4. See Chris Woods, “International airstrikes and civilian casualty claims in Iraq and Syria: October 2015.”
On the Left and Violence in Syria
By Kim Petersen and B. J. Sabri
"You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war."
- Albert Einstein1
January 17, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - When we talk about violence in the context of mortal struggle between or inside nation states, we have to consider the factors that generated it. It is a given that every decent person in the world should decry the killing of kids, women, elderly, and civilians of all ages anywhere. However, our rage, analysis, and criticism should be directed primarily on all those governments whose involvement in imperialism, warring, and killing make tragedies and consume their course. Can we all work to end the bloodshed in Syria and elsewhere? Will humanity have a chance of stopping what our national governments are doing in our name?
In the end, rather than resorting exclusively to meaningless leftist rhetoric, however much one is in agreement with the tenor of the words, bold action is called upon to stop the murderous onslaught of the US hyper-empire, and Russia should be applauded for having the fortitude to stand up to this empire.
First, in addressing the Syrian situation, we do not think it is possible to ignore the geo-political situation of Syria (and the region) even if we want to. Simply put, the complex issue besieging the Arab states cannot allow us to ignore other related realities: Israel and its machinations in the Arab world, for example. Second, theoretically, a nation-state is predicated on doing what is best for that state and its people; i.e., pursuing trade relations that benefit the state and its people, providing jobs and a high quality of life in the state, seeking alliances that provide security for the state, etc. Should that state not pursue objectives that are of benefit to its people and security? Or is the so-called national interest only for the benefit of imperialism, colonialism, corporations, capitalists, and elitists?
To expand on the issue of violence, we propose a new argument. Even if violence among some nations could be prevented through diplomacy and dialogue, and even if violence in and against Syria would end one way or another, there remains in the making a potentially tsunamic violence that US hyper-imperialism, Israel, and lackeys plan to unleash against a world that does not want to be subjugated.2
Leftist Solidarity against War
Progressivism is rooted in principles. However, to view complex geo-political machinations as black-and-white scenarios and pose this to the Left—a complex grouping itself—is superficial analysis.
Clearly, for progressivists war is anathema, and it behooves progressivists to agitate to the utmost so that war may be avoided. In the present case of Syria, warring was already underway before Russia was asked to assist the Syrian government to dispel the mercenaries and terrorists wreaking devastation within Syria (and next door in Iraq as well). Russia did not initiate violence or war in Syria. Russia is there to end the violence and warring. Russia is using violence as a means to end the violence. In so doing, and if effective, Russia will ultimately wind up saving many lives--many more lives saved than the unfortunate civilians who end up killed from being in wrong place at the wrong time. That is the nature of war, violence winds up killing people: combatants and non-combatants. The sad fact is that the best one can hope for in war is to minimize the killing of civilians.
Progressivist principles hold that during a period of non-hostility or relative peace--that is, when there is no state-on-state violence—the initiation of violence, be it militaristic or coercive, is opposed on all levels.
However, once violence has been unleashed by one state actor (de jure or pseudo) against another state, the aggrieved state has a legitimate right to defend itself-- a right anchored in international law by United Nations Charter Article 51.
Indisputably, Syria is a state under attack from mercenaries backed by foreign states. In fact, this constitutes a not-so-stealthy aggression. Consequently, the Syrian state has the right granted under international law to defend itself. Since Syria is under attack by a multitude of hostile state-backed actors, it is entirely understandable and justified that the Syrian government would seek assistance from other friendly state actors, like Russia, to aid in its self-defense. Russia is beyond reproach by leftists, and other critics, because it is engaged in self-defense of an allied state. Russia has not initiated violence; its violence is borne out of a request from a sovereign UN state engaged in self-defense.
It is understandable that progressivists would call for an immediate cessation of violence, but such a call must not be issued in a vacuum. The end of violence does not signal an end for the moral Left. Progressivists must not issue calls upon state actors based in ignorance. In the present case of Syria and assorted state actors, any call must be issued to all belligerent states and their proxies that have harmed another state through initiating violence to cease and desist followed by making restitution and paying reparations to Syria for the crime of war. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states, Turkey, the US and involved western states, along with Israel must be summoned to the docket of a modern-day Nuremberg Tribunal and prosecuted according to Nuremberg Law.
Aggression being the embodiment of evil must not be permitted to coyly disappear into the pages of time unprosecuted and unpunished. That would be a horrible precedent, and already too many such precedents exist. Existing law must be upheld if initiating wars of aggression is to be prevented; otherwise, any deterrence effect for the future launching of wars is damaged. The result of non-prosecution is easily inferred and discernible: increased lawlessness, the persistence of warring and violence to impose hegemonic will on smaller states, and continued mass murder of civilians.
Thus, it is important that leftists not make well-intentioned but flippant statements painting all actors in a violent conflict with the same brush. It is also important to parse disinformation and propaganda from media and state narratives. Usually in a violent conflict, one actor has first resorted to violence. Some leftists point a finger at Bashar al Assad and an alleged heavy-handed response to protests (the western corporate/state media framing of which brought to mind the US-orchestrated and failed right-wing coup in Venezuela in 2002). But as Eva Bartlett pointed out in a brilliant article, that is disinformation and Assad has the backing of the masses of Syrian people.3
However, even if Assad were behind the shooting of protestors, that would no more have granted legitimacy to sending mercenaries and terrorists to shoot up Syria and bring about regime change that it would have granted legitimacy to sending mercenaries and terrorists to shoot up the United States to bring about regime change following the US regime's shooting of Kent State University students protesting the US war against Viet Nam or the shooting of people protesting racial segregation at South Carolina State University.
Can we, the people, stop the violence in Syria and give hope to its people? That will depend on future developments. The Vienna Conference on Syria (October 2015) and follow up in November did not mean that much. It is preposterous that the US and Saudi Arabia define who is a moderate resistance and who is not. It is preposterous that Saudi Arabia hosts the discussion on who represents the "Syrian Opposition." And it is preposterous that a few voices call on the ultra-terrorist Wahhabi al-Nusra front to drop its "al-Qaeda" connections so it can participate in the peace talks. The Turkish downing of a Russian jet fighter allegedly flying in Syrian airspace, perhaps having penetrated for a few seconds in Turkey's airspace, is poised as a harbinger for a major conflagration. Some speak of a World War III. That must be avoided.
History is replete with examples that power resides with the masses. Despite all the differences and embracing all the diversity among peoples, there is an undeniable unifying fact that underneath everything we are all one humanity. Since divide and conquer does not serve the interests of the masses but serves to enrich the capitalists, imperialists, and elitists through immiseration of the masses, the only moral and logical option is for the masses to solidarize and resist. To effectively resist, it is incumbent that people make an effort to know and understand what is happening and why. With epistemological empowerment, humanity can recognize and reject propaganda and disinformation. For the purposes of an effective resistance to warmongers, the Left bears a great responsibility to be informed and make prudent, well thought-out and enlightened statements based in morality that serve the masses of humanity. Then perhaps, most importantly, the enlightened masses can stand together to reject the scourge which has for too long plagued humanity, the scourge of initiating violence and war.
In other words, a revolution. A revolution to tear down the military-industrial conglomerates, to disarm all states, and to rid the world from profiteering through the death and destruction of war.
Idealistic? Perhaps so, but some ideals, some principles, are worth striving for and fighting for.
1. In Einstein: A Portrait (Corte Madera, CA: Pomegranate Artbooks, 1984).
2. The following are just a few examples of what has been simmering in the criminal minds of US imperialists and Zionists.
· Gaspar Weinberger, The Next War, Regnery Publishing, D.C., 1996
· George Friedman and Meredith Lebard, The Coming War With Japan, St. Martin's Press, 1991
· Ted Galen Carpenter, America's Coming War With China, St. Martin's Press, 2006
· Leon Panetta, Worthy Fights, Penguin Press, New York, 2014
· Matthew Kroening, A Time to Attack: The Looming Iranian Nuclear Threat, Palgrave Macmillan, 2014
3. See Eva Bartlett, “Deconstructing the NATO Narrative on Syria,” Dissident Voice, 10 October 2015.