The Grim, Relentless March to War with Syria

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Polls show Americans overwhelmingly reject any form of US military intervention in Syria’s civil war, with as little as 4% support for an invasion.  Peace protests have sprung up, with further demonstrations planned this weekend ahead of a likely war vote in both houses of Congress next week.

obama-war-is-peace

Even active military service members have asserted a resounding rejection of this

conflict, some photographing themselves holding signs in front of their faces to avoid retaliation.  Images posted to Twitter, Facebook and the wider web state that, “I will not fight for Al Qaeda in Syria.”

Reports out of the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg show similar rejection of this proposed action.  Only France seems ready to commit to the US coalition.  Russia has stood firmly against the US demands, and the Chinese spokesman argued that the price of oil would spike in the event of a new war.  The Pope urged politicians to “lay aside the futile pursuit of a military solution.”  As details of the meetings emerged, Time assessed that, “Apart from France, no one was ready to take up arms with the U.S. in Syria.”

Despite massive public opposition to any military action against the Assad government, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a hastily-assembled war authorization resolution on Wednesday.

“Al Qaeda?”

The Syrian opposition rebels’ long string of atrocities has not inspired confidence for their cause in the west, as genocidal massacres in rebel held areas continue to be reported.

“U.N. investigators released a particularly detailed and horrific report that slams both sides, accusing rebels fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad of murder, rape, torture and forced disappearances.”

Ethnic cleansing and summary executions of civilians and captured soldiers have been reported since 2011.  Invading Sunni militias have repeatedly targeted government loyalists, non-Muslims and non-Sunni Muslims.  A recent report dramatizes the situation on the ground:

“We are still finding people who were killed in their homes, and bodies left in bushes,” said Sheikh Mohammed Reda Hatem, an Alawite religious leader in Latakia.  “Until now 150 Alawites from the villages have been kidnapped. There are women and children among them.”

Even the Obama Administration acknowledged that the Al Nusra Front inside Syria are terrorists and placed the group and its affiliates on the State Department’s terrorism list in December of 2012.  Yet, the administration insists on aiding these same rebel opposition forces on the grounds that they are a minority of the opposition fighters.

Secretary of State John Kerry claimed:

“Maybe 15% to 25% might be in one group or another who are what we would deem to be bad guys.”

This vague claim of Al Nusra/Al Qaeda minority status has been made without any corroborating evidence.  Yet even John Kerry concedes that up to one in four of the people who will militarily benefit from a US bombing campaign against Syria are “bad guys.”

Consider this: By America’s own laws, providing any aid at all to a designated terrorist organization would be considered “material support for terrorism.”  Nevertheless, the U.S. and its allies in the region have directly supported these designated Al Nusra terrorist organizations and currently seek to increase this aid by orders of magnitude.

Grayson v. Hagel

As the debate over Syria moved into the Congress, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel made his case for attacking Syria.  When confronted by Representative Alan Grayson (D, FL-9th), Hagel responded with some of the most intriguing testimony to date.

GRAYSON: Secretary Hagel, there’s been a report in the media that the administration has mischaracterized post-attack Syrian military communications, and that these communications actually express surprise about the attack.  This is a very serious charge.  Can you please release the original transcripts so that the American people can make their own judgment about that important issue?

HAGEL: What um, transcripts are you referring to?

Hagel expresses complete ignorance of the alleged evidence against the Syrian government that his direct boss, President Obama, has told the world is central to their case for war:

“Our intelligence shows the Assad regime and its forces preparing to use chemical weapons, launching rockets in the highly populated suburbs of Damascus, and acknowledging that a chemical weapons attack took place.”
-Barack Obama, August 31, 2013

Representative Grayson repeated the request to Hagel.

GRAYSON: The transcripts that were reported that took place after the attack in which the government has suggested that they confirm the existence of an attack, but actually it’s been reported that Syrian commanders expressed surprise about the attack having taken place, not confirmed it.

HAGEL: Well, that’s probably classified.  Uh congressman, I’d have to go back and review exactly what you’re referring to.

GRAYSON: Well, you will agree that it’s important that the administration not mislead the public in any way about these reports, won’t you?

Hagel finished up the round by stating, “I have no idea what exactly you’re talking about…”  Taking the United States Secretary of Defense at face value, if he sincerely has no idea about any details of the actual alleged evidence against the Syrian state, a UN signatory, one might ask why he’s found it a matter of national urgency to launch a military attack on that nation, in clear violation of international law.

International Law: Putin v. Obama

As agreed to by all parties concerned, in the United Nations Charter, the Russian President Putin had this to say:

“…(A)nything that is outside the U.N. Security Council is aggression, except self-defense. Now what Congress and the U.S. Senate are doing in essence is legitimizing aggression. This is inadmissible in principle.”

Beyond the legal realm, Putin escalated his rhetoric and verbal attack on the US administration.

“They lie beautifully, of course. I saw debates in Congress. A congressman asks Mr Kerry: ‘Is al Qaeda there?’ He says: ‘No, I am telling you responsibly that it is not’ … Al Qaeda units are the main military echelon, and they know this … But he is lying and knows he is lying.  It’s sad.”

Tensions between the nuclear-armed powers are currently at dangerous levels.  The US delegate to the UN, Samantha Power, fired back at the Russians, claiming:

“In the wake of the flagrant shattering of the international norm against chemical weapons use, Russia continues to hold the council hostage and shirk its international responsibilities…”

Power signaled that the UN Security Council would no longer be relevant to US decisions on Syria.  This breakdown in the established international order may have numerous ramifications and unintended consequences as this crisis unfolds.

The United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, responded to the impending US military action:

“The use of force is lawful only when in exercise of self-defense in accordance with article 51 of the United Nations Charter and or when the Security Council approves such action.”

Both the U.S. and Russia continue to relocate warships into the waters around Syria, with recent reports of four additional Russian vessels including an intelligence platform and landing craft.  Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov described the move as a stabilizing action:

“Our navy vessels are a guarantee of stability, guarantee of peace, an attempt to hold back other forces ready to start military action in the region.”

The US placed at least five destroyers, equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles and helicopters as well as a landing vessel manned by US Marines into the eastern Mediterranean.  US diplomats have now been recalled from Lebanon.

Other regional powers have taken steps in preparation for a wider war in Syria.  Israel called up its army reserves and began distributing gas masks to the public.  Iran has reportedly ordered some militants in Iraq to retaliate in the event of a US assault on neighboring Syria.  Unnamed US sources have claimed that this Iranian edict would prompt military actions against the, “U.S. Embassy and other American interests in Baghdad.”

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0 responses to “The Grim, Relentless March to War with Syria”

  1. Title

    […]usually posts some really intriguing stuff like this. If you’re new to this site[…]

  2. d b says:

    If I may look on the bright side for a moment, I suggest this phrase to keep in mind at the next election “lesser of two evils.” I personally oppose all US wars in the middle east and in fact I think the US should bring all its troops home from Germany, Japan, Korea and the other 100 world-wide bases. Neither Obama nor any other prominent politician reaches that level of dovishness, but Obama is the best we’ve gotten in many years.
    Consider:
    -troops removed from Iraq, no residual troops
    -Afghan war winding down, with the dreaded “end date” not seeming to make much difference
    -involvement in Libya limited to short duration (remember: lesser of two evils !!) with no US ground troops, no US deaths
    -Obama resisted invovement in Syria for over 2 years until his casual “red line” comment got him roped in to taking military action, which even now he’s struggling to replace with a UN resolution.
    Also, to contradict Giambrone, we are not in a relentless march to war. Obama will continue in Syria, as he did in Libya, to refuse to agree to enter into a US ground war.
    Compare all that to the 2 trillion-plus dollar wars in the prior administratiaon and I think we’re headed in the right direction.

  3. Zack B says:

    It doesn’t matter what the American people think. Pepe Escobar at Asia Times said it best:

    There is nothing tragic about the Obama presidency, capable of drawing the analytical talents of a neo-Plutarch or a neo-Gibbon. This is more like a Pirandello farce, a sort of Character in Search of An Author.

    Candidates to Author are well documented – from the Israel
    lobby to the House of Saud, from a select elite of the
    industrial-military-security complex to, most of all, the rarified
    banking/financial elite, the real Masters of the Universe. Poor Barack is just a cipher, a functionary of empire, whose ”deciding” repertoire barely extends to what trademark smile to flash at the requisite
    photo-ops.

    For the full article: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MID-03-090913.html

  4. r-man says:

    fellas might wanna read the straight stuff from the Russians…read every line and forget about ahmurkinexceptionalism and think real.

    http://www.sras.org/military_doctrine_russian_federation_2010

    “…21. The Russian Federation regards an armed attack on a Union State member or any actions involving the utilization of military force against it as an act of aggression against the Union State and will carry out retaliatory measures…”

    “…16. Nuclear weapons will remain an important factor for preventing the outbreak of nuclear military conflicts and military conflicts involving the use of conventional means of attack (a large-scale war or regional war).

    In the event of the outbreak of a military conflict involving the
    utilization of conventional means of attack (a large-scale war or
    regional war) and imperiling the very existence of the state, the
    possession of nuclear weapons may lead to such a military conflict developing into a nuclear military conflict…”

  5. whatwaysup says:

    We are two days away from 911.
    12 years of relentless aggressive war against three quarters of the Muslim world backed ENTIRELY on OCT narrative alQaeda terrorists RESPONSIBLE for 911.
    That the informed world know of as the false flag attack of 911.
    Now US readies to ally with alQaeda and the disgusting alNusra Brigades, known users of Sarin at Houla and totally suspect users of Sarin at Gouta. That the Military Forces of the United States of America are about to FORMALLY enter battle in alliance with the terrorists held accountable for 9 1 1.
    Sing THAT song at ground zero day after tomorrow.
    Sing it in sorrow.

    Whoever signs onto this action, is identifying themselves in an international conspiracy to commit a war crime.

  6. sat says:

    gee, sounds like it might be “material support for T” to (a) vote for force and/or (b) pay taxes. really, a fella couldn’t make these stories up….

  7. Bruce says:

    DingleBarry: Strike Walmart; NOT Syria!
    FucKerry: Stand DOWN from SyriNam!!
    NO Dying for A MISTAKE!!!

  8. sulphurdunn says:

    If launching an offensive but limited attack against Syria is not an act of war, then 911 was not an act of war, and there is no War on Terror.

  9. Oscar Romero says:

    Don’t you think that they realize that people are getting sick of the “War on Terror” so they are now reverting back to the Cold War?

    • Kevin Schmidt says:

      With dozens of US and Russian war ships in the Mediterranean Sea, and Iran threatening to attack both the US and Israel if the US attacks Syria, the Cold War is getting too HOT.
      Perhaps we could rename it the Cold World War III.

    • cruz_ctrl says:

      “Iran threatening to attack .. the US”

      attack US interests. a big difference.

    • Kevin Schmidt says:

      Not really. You’re quibbling over my point that this is not a continuation of the Cold War but actually an escalation to a real war that could quickly escalate further into a world war.