WAR BY ANOTHER NAME" The Obama Administration prepares a "Marshall Plan" to reconstruct Syria, but not for the Syrians
".Economic imperialism to achieve what funding and arming the Gulf sponsored rebels could not?
The Group of Eight leaders meeting in Lough Erne , Northern Ireland, having called for an international conference on the ongoing crisis in Syria to be held "as soon as possible" could not agree on much else that might end the civil war anytime soon there. The White House now is reportedly in private agreement with Russia and Iran that the Assad government will remain in power until next year's election.
Consequently, an 18 month old US-led Plan B has been dusted off by the Obama administration according to Washington Congressional and Beirut diplomatic sources. If successful, there is growing confidence among pro-Zionist neocons in Congress that while Syrian regime-change has failed for several reasons that thwarted the Gulf funded military campaign, Syria can still be brought to heel through an economic campaign dressed to look, well, down right "humanitarian."
The term "equivalent of the Marshall Plan" is being employed by some in the White House and Pentagon this month to describe a proposed large-scale "humanitarian rescue program" being prepared for Syria, according to some Western diplomats based in Lebanon.
However, the 1948 Marshall Plan (officially the European Recovery Program or ERP) was an American program to aid Europe , through which the United States provided $ 13 billion, in today's monetary terms, approximately 100 billion dollars of economic support, to help rebuild European economies devastated by war.
With respect to Syria, the " equivalent of the Marshall Plan" currently being finalized is very different from what General George |C. Marshall explained to his Harvard University audience, 66 years ago this month, when he announced the post WW II initiative.
The already project Syria amounts to 19th century economic imperialism as a means to achieve control of Syria by hijacking its economy while shielding Israel from the rising tide of protests in this region, as armed groups across the spectrum are beginning to focus on directly confronting the Zionist theft and continuing occupation of Palestine.
What Washington has in mind constitutes an attempt to gain control over Syria by controlling its economy via contracts for rebuilding the country and "lending" the hoped for post-Assad Syrian government as much as 300 billion dollars to be secured by Syrian assets. IMF economists estimate the value of the public sector in Syria, exceeds half a trillion dollars. Under the US-led pan, creditors can take control of ownership of the public sectior, if Syria accepts the plan for pledges to secure debt. The buyers of the debt will be largely American and indirectly Israeli businessmen as well as from the Gulf. Qatar specifically is gambling on this plan, to work with "international parties", to immerse Syria in debt, and then drive the country to sell the private sector at a very small fraction of their true values.
Some who are warning against the scheme point out that Syrians are capable of rebuilding their own country and have the labor force and raw materials to do it. Foreign aid will be welcomed by the Syrian government but not at the price of ceding the Arab Syrian Republic to a new western crafted economic order. What is hidden in the war on Syria is reported to be much bigger than has been divulged to date, and involves winding down the military actions in favor of economic aggression against the Syrian population which the layers of US sanctions to date is just a harbinger.
In this context, according to Western Diplomatic sources, the US government and some Gulf countries have tried to bribe Rami Makhlouf, a cousin of Syria's President, to break with the government and leave the country. Some other well-known figues have also been offered large sums of cash to break ranks. Last month, one prominent Syrian nationalist who works with the government told this observer of receiving a $ 50 million dollar offer to defect and leave Syria. The official rejected the bribe and ridiculed the government that made the offer by explaining that as proud Syrian nationalists, no amount of money would break the sacred bond between Syrians and their country.
With respect to Mr. Maklouf, he did not react to being placed on the US Treasury Department's " Specially Designated Nationals" (SDN) list which blocks assets and prohibits, under severe penalties, U.S. citizens from dealing with them, nor did he dignify an American clemency offer with even a reply. Rather he has maintained his steadfast support for Syria in the face of several attempts to assassinate him as well as targeting him, as a leader of the Syrian business community, with American orchestrated (OFAC) defamatory media campaigns, to pressure Presidenrt Bashar al-Assad to break with him. Rather than rejecting Syria for American offers of protection, Makhlouf channeled much of his assets for the benefit of domestic charities and rehabilitative projects, providing jobs for the unemployed and loans for small investors as well as "at cost" family housing for many of the internally displaced. This initiative continues. Makhlouf has provided his borse shares in the largest telecommunications companies in Syria to charity associations in order to insure financial independence and resources that the Authority can rely upon, to ease somewhat, the devastating effects on the current crisis on the Syrian civil society.
According to analysts among the Western diplomatic corps in Beirut, many wealthy Syrian capitalists fell into the U.S. trap, wherein SDN economic sanctions prompted them to leave Syria and defect from the regime. The United States and its European partners continue to wage an economic war against Syria by imposing crippling sanctions which are affecting the lives of ordinary citizens in many ways from food and fuel costs to medical care.
Why Rami Makhlouf and other strong nationalists in Syria's business community are being targeted as a prelude to fully launching the US-led "Syrian Marshall Plan" is that their bonds with Syria as well as their business acumen are blocking the Western scheme because they provide the Syrian government with much needed additional financial strength to rebuild Syria, in cooperation with other countries, but without being subject to the economically fatal conditions the US-led plan envisages. Many in the financial and academic community view the proposed SMP plan as nearly certain to hold the Syrian economy hostage to foreigners for scores of years.
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