U.S. Campaign Against Syria: Years In The Making
Those occupying seats of power in Western capitals and their complicit film editors of politics and history in the corporate mass media, who decide when the narrative begins, how it proceeds and where it inevitably ends, have provided the world with a crude but consistent account of the current Syrian crisis. It is a sequel to, or better a remake of, last year's Libyan crusade, a six-month NATO bombing onslaught and naval blockade culminating in the gruesome slaying of the nation's head of state and the securing of Western control of the country and its resources.
The script reads as follows, with a signal absence of subplots, reversals, believable characterizations, political verisimilitude and the merest hint of complexity or subtlety:
Peaceful demonstrations by Syrian opposition forces last year met with a disproportionate and ruthless crackdown by government security and military personnel, who embarked on a gratuitous bloodbath against the Syrian population as whole. A scenario that might evoke, for the uninstructed observer, the situations in Bahrain and now Saudi Arabia, but which is to be applied exclusively to Syria for the moment"until it's revived for the next targeted government in the Middle East or elsewhere.
One of the myriad problems with that version of affairs is that U.S. and allied attempts to effect regime change in Damascus precede by several years what NATO powers portray as its opening scene.
From President Dwight D. Eisenhower dispatching the U.S. Sixth Fleet and 15,000 troops to Lebanon in 1958 to counteract Syrian influence in the nation to the 2004 move in the United Nations Security Council by the U.S. and its NATO allies to secure the withdrawal of Syrian armed forces from Lebanon, there is plentiful thematic material for what in contemporary cinema lingo would be deemed a prequel.
The campaign for overthrowing the Syrian government is part, is the current phase, of the relentless project to supplant ruling powers and substitute a new generation of political vassals and military clients in what Washington has alternatively referred to as the Greater, Broader and New Middle East -- from Mauritania on the Atlantic Ocean to Kazakhstan on the Chinese and Russian borders.
Syria being only one of four Mediterranean Sea littoral and islands nations not a member of NATO and its Partnership for Peace and Mediterranean Dialogue programs -- the others are, though for how long is not certain, Libya, Lebanon and Cyprus -- its incorporation into the U.S.-led military bloc is a necessary Western objective. Libya is on its way to joining the Mediterranean Dialogue, Cyprus is being pressured to join the Partnership for Peace and Lebanon will follow Syria into the Mediterranean Dialogue if Western plans proceed as planned, thus completing the transformation of the Mediterranean into a private NATO preserve.
Russia will lose its only military facility outside former Soviet space and its only firm ally in the Arab world; Iran will lose its only governmental ally in the Arab World as well. Both will be driven out of the Mediterranean, which will be patrolled uncontested by the U.S. Sixth Fleet and NATO's Operation Active Endeavor naval forces.
Almost eight years ago the U.S. and France, Syria's former colonial master, introduced a resolution in the United Nations Security Council which called on "all remaining foreign forces to withdraw from Lebanon."
NATO allies Britain, Germany, Romania and Spain voted for what became Resolution 1559 in September 2004 and Russia, China and Algeria were among six Security Council members abstaining.
Five months later former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri was killed in a bomb attack against his motorcade in Beirut, which his supporters and the West attempted to blame on both Hezbollah and Syria and which resulted in the so-called Cedar Revolution which brought about the collapse of a pro-Syrian government.
By April 26 Syria had withdrawn all 14,000 troops it had stationed in Lebanon, ending a 29-year mission. Israeli troops remain in the Shebaa Farms area in Southern Lebanon and fifteen months after the last Syrian troops departed the nation Israel launched 34 days of air and artillery attacks and a ground invasion in Lebanon, as there were then no "remaining foreign forces" in the country.
A week and a half after the completion of the Syrian withdrawal then-President George W. Bush extended sanctions against Syria, claiming the nation of slightly over 20 million people continued to present a threat to American national security by allegedly "supporting terrorism" and "by continuing its invasion in Lebanon, and weapons of mass destruction and missile programs." Bush could not have been unaware of the fact that no Syrian forces remained in Lebanon as he issued his denunciation and barely veiled threat, all the more serious and urgent because of its mention of weapons of mass destruction, along with "supporting terrorism" the pretext employed to invade neighboring Iraq only two years before.