FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

War With Syria and its Repercussions

by SHAMUS COOKE

A U.S. invasion of Syria could be the first war based on a Youtube video.  After a video was released showing victims of an alleged chemical weapons attack, England immediately declared the Syrian government responsible, while Obama began drawing up military plans, saying there was “little doubt” the Syrian Government was at fault (zero evidence currently exists to suggest this). An extra U.S. warship has already been deployed in response.

Instead of responsibly waiting for the UN chemical weapons team — which is already in Syria — to investigate the incident, the Obama administration has already stated that such an investigation is “too late to be credible,” because:

“The evidence available has been significantly corrupted as a result of the regime’s persistent shelling and other intentional actions over the last five days.”

Of course, this is for the UN to decide. The Obama administration is already creating a justification for war that circumvents the UN, like Bush before him.

After the recent chemical weapons incident occurred, Obama falsely accused the Syrian government of not allowing the UN team into the new area (which is in a rebel controlled area). After the Syrian government gave permission to the UN to investigate, Obama then said it’s “too late”, and accused the Syrian government of destroying the evidence.

Americans are well versed with this type of deceitful warmongering, since Bush Jr. spewed the same nonsense in his quest to invade Iraq: making up lies, skewing facts, accusing without evidence, etc.

Obama quickly forgot that he already lost all credibility in Syria after previously having accused the Syrian Government of a chemical weapons attack, an attack that UN investigator Carla del Ponte blamed on the U.S.-backed rebels, who receive money, guns, training, and media and diplomatic promotion from Obama.

By now, most people understand that Obama’s rebels are dominated by Islamic extremists aiming to transform Syria into a fundamentalist version of an Islamic State, which would likely mimic the despicable totalitarian dictatorships of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, who are also giving massive aid to the rebels.

Any person using the slightest bit of common sense would not assume the Syrian Government is responsible for the recent chemical weapons attack. For example, the UN is currently in Syria — invited by Assad — investigating a previous chemical weapons attack, since Assad blamed the previous attacks on the US backed rebels. It’s possible that the most recent chemical weapons attack also serves to distract from the ongoing UN investigation that would have proved Assad right.

Of course Assad would have no motive to launch a massive chemical weapons attack just miles from where the UN is currently investigating the previous attack, especially when Assad is handily defeating Obama’s rebels using conventional weaponry. Obama’s rebels are the only ones who would benefit from such an attack.

Ultimately, we’ll have to wait to see what the UN says about the recent attacks, assuming they are given the time to do a proper investigation.  But following in Bush, Jr.’s footsteps, Obama looks poised to do his own investigation, using his own “evidence,” and then acting as judge, jury and executioner.

For example, the Guardian newspaper reported that there is a “summit” in Jordan this week, likely to be attended by the U.S. and its allies to decide what to do next in Syria. The Guardian ominously reported that the U.S. is already collecting its own “evidence,” no doubt to be used as a justification for war that avoids the pesky UN:

“Biological samples taken from victims and survivors of the attack have now been passed to western officials [U.S. and allies] in Jordan after having been smuggled out of Syria over the past 72 hours. Unmarked questionnaires have been distributed to officials in the three most affected communities, asking for forensic and environmental details, as well as for organ tissue and clothing worn by victims.”

So the U.S. and its allies are using their own “evidence” and will come to their own conclusions, likely much faster than the UN is able to investigate. Obama will then say that Syria poses an “immediate threat” and that there is no time for the UN to investigate. It’s sadly predictable; we’ve seen it all before.

Of course, the Obama administration and its anti-Syrian allies cannot act as an objective party in this matter, since they have been directly backing the Syrian rebels.   Nor can Obama be trusted that his “evidence” that was “smuggled” out of Syria is any evidence at all.  Again, this is why there is the UN: to perform an impartial investigation.   Even if there were evidence of a chemical weapons attack — which looks likely — such evidence doesn’t say who launched the attack, which, of course, is the key issue.

Why would Obama risk directly entering the Syria maelstrom at this point? Several reasons:

1) Assad is winning the war against Obama’s Islamic extremist rebels.  Bombing Assad will thus give the rebels a boost, extending the war (assuming there is not a full US invasion).

2) Obama has invested much political capital into the conflict; if he backs out now, he loses political credibility domestically and internationally.  When a U.S. president doesn’t back up his threats, he looks weak; and “projected strength” is now a backbone of U.S. foreign policy, which keeps weaker nations aligned and “rival” nations submissive.

3) Destroying or weakening Syria will drastically weaken Obama’s two other regional rivals: Iran and Hezbollah.

4) Most importantly, the landscape of the Middle East is changing fast, and U.S. influence in the region is quickly deteriorating. An action in Syria will remind the region that the U.S. is intent on staying, and that its threats are to be respected. Obama will not simply preside over a dying empire; he must go “all in” to secure U.S. “national interests” in the region.

For these reasons and others Obama seems intent on going to war with Syria, although it won’t be called a war. Obama will say that he’s declaring a “no fly zone” over parts of Syria to provide a “humanitarian corridor” for refugees, which requires that he destroy the Syrian air force, ground to air weaponry, and other military facilities, i.e., war.

These plans have already been mapped out by the U.S. military, and to make matters even more imminent, the Obama administration is dabbling with a “legal justification” for waging what would be, by definition, an illegal war (any war not approved by the UN is de facto illegal).

Because a war on Syria would be illegal, Obama’s “legal” justification will be  —according to an unnamed “White House official” — based on Bill Clinton’s illegal war against Yugoslavia. The New York Times reports:

“It’s a step too far to say we’re [the Obama administration] drawing up legal justifications for an action [against Syria], given that the president hasn’t made a decision,” said the [White House] official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the deliberations. “But Kosovo, of course, is a precedent of something that is perhaps similar.”

Kosovo is being picked as a legal precedent because it was considered the last “good war” that the U.S. waged. But as Diane Johnston explains in her excellent book, Fools Crusade, the U.S.-led NATO war against Yugoslavia was a war of aggression based on the very false premise of “humanitarian intervention.” The many lies that were generated to “liberate” Slovenia, Croatia, and Kosovo from Yugoslavia are now being copied and pasted onto Syria.

Obama has not told Americans about the potential ramifications that war with Syria could produce. For example, Iran’s military chief recently promised “harsh consequences” if the U.S. intervened militarily; Russia too is strongly backing the Syrian regime and could easily be drawn into any conflict. Israel is already involved in Syria’s conflict, having made several bombing missions this year. At the same time new massive shipments of arms have made their way to the Syrian rebels, possibly in time for a U.S. “no fly zone.”

The whole region is a smoldering tinderbox, and Obama seems intent on pouring fuel on the flames. The many Americans who thought that such a war was impossible will have to think again.  And although Obama will hide the war behind a Bush-like “coalition” of Europe, Arab and Israeli allies, the U.S. will be leading this puppet coalition while pushing an already unstable Middle East into full fledged regional chaos, which could instantly take on an international character.Shamus Cooke is a social service worker and an elected officer of SEIU 503. He can be reached at shamuscooke@gmail.com

Shamus Cooke is a social service worker, trade unionist, and writer for Workers Action (www.workerscompass.org). He can be reached at shamuscooke@gmail.com

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

Weekend Edition
September 23, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
The Meaning of the Trump Surge
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: More Pricks Than Kicks
Mike Whitney
Oh, Say Can You See the Carnage? Why Stand for a Country That Can Gun You Down in Cold Blood?
Chris Welzenbach
The Diminution of Chris Hayes
Vincent Emanuele
The Riots Will Continue
Rob Urie
A Scam Too Far
Pepe Escobar
Les Deplorables
Patrick Cockburn
Airstrikes, Obfuscation and Propaganda in Syria
Timothy Braatz
The Quarterback and the Propaganda
Sheldon Richman
Obama Rewards Israel’s Bad Behavior
Libby Lunstrum - Patrick Bond
Militarizing Game Parks and Marketing Wildlife are Unsustainable Strategies
Andy Thayer
More Cops Will Worsen, Not Help, Chicago’s Violence Problem
Louis Yako
Can Westerners Help Refugees from War-torn Countries?
David Rosen
Rudy Giuliani & Trump’s Possible Cabinet
Joyce Nelson
TISA and the Privatization of Public Services
Pete Dolack
Global Warming Will Accelerate as Oceans Reach Limits of Remediation
Franklin Lamb
34 Years After the Sabra-Shatila Massacre
Cesar Chelala
How One Man Held off Nuclear War
Norman Pollack
Sovereign Immunity, War Crimes, and Compensation to 9/11 Families
Lamont Lilly
Standing Rock Stakes Claim for Sovereignty: Eyewitness Report From North Dakota
Barbara G. Ellis
A Sandernista Priority: Push Bernie’s Planks!
Hiroyuki Hamada
How Do We Dream the Dream of Peace Together?
Russell Mokhiber
From Rags and Robes to Speedos and Thongs: Why Trump is Crushing Clinton in WV
Julian Vigo
Living La Vida Loca
Aidan O'Brien
Where is Europe’s Duterte? 
Abel Cohen
Russia’s Improbable Role in Everything
Ron Jacobs
A Change Has Gotta’ Come
Uri Avnery
Shimon Peres and the Saga of Sisyphus
Graham Peebles
Ethiopian’s Crying out for Freedom and Justice
Robert Koehler
Stop the Killing
Thomas Knapp
Election 2016: Of Dog Legs and “Debates”
Yves Engler
The Media’s Biased Perspective
Victor Grossman
Omens From Berlin
Christopher Brauchli
Wells Fargo as Metaphor for the Trump Campaign
Nyla Ali Khan
War of Words Between India and Pakistan at the United Nations
Tom Barnard
Block the Bunker! Historic Victory Against Police Boondoggle in Seattle
James Rothenberg
Bullshit Recognition as Survival Tactic
Ed Rampell
A Tale of Billionaires & Ballot Bandits
Kristine Mattis
Persnickety Publishing Pet-Peeves
Charles R. Larson
Review: Helen Dewitt’s “The Last Samurai”
David Yearsley
Torture Chamber Music
September 22, 2016
Dave Lindorff
Wells Fargo’s Stumpf Leads the Way
Stan Cox
If There’s a World War II-Style Climate Mobilization, It has to Go All the Way—and Then Some
Binoy Kampmark
Source Betrayed: the Washington Post and Edward Snowden
John W. Whitehead
Wards of the Nanny State
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail