Clinton: Assad’s Days Are Numbered
Stephen Lendman, Jul 10 2012
At a Tokyo Afghan donor’s conference, Clinton barely stopped short of declaring war, telling reporters:
Time is running out to save Syria. The failure of the Annan plan is a wake-up call for everyone. The sand is running out of the hourglass. It should be abundantly clear to those who support the Assad regime their days are numbered. The sooner there can be an end to the violence and a begetting of a political transition process, not only will fewer people die, but there’s a chance to save the Syrian state from a catastrophic assault that would be dangerous not only to the country, but the region.
Ban Ki-moon marches in lockstep. Like Kofi Annan, he’s a reliable imperial tool. In a separate Sunday news briefing, he said:
It is crucial for the UNSC to pressure the parties to prevent any further escalation of the conflict. Pres Assad must understand that things cannot continue as they are. Fundamental change is needed. Syrian people have suffered too long and too much. I sincerely hope that the member states of the UNSC will look into this issue more seriously, sharing the common responsibility by taking collective action as soon as possible.
The Human Rights Council also runs cover for Washington. On Jul 6, it concluded its 20th regular session. It adopted a resolution on Syria blaming Assad for Western-generated violence, saying:
The Council strongly condemns the widespread, systematic and gross violations of human rights and the continued extrajudicial killings and prosecution of protestors, human rights defenders and journalists. The Council reiterates the importance of bringing to justice those responsible for the use of violence and encourages the international community to ensure against impunity.
Interviewed by Turkey’s Cumhurieyt daily, Assad said:
Washington is part of the conflict. They offer the umbrella and political support to those gangs to destabilize Syria. As long as you offer any kind of support to terrorists, you are their partner, whether you send them armaments or money or public support. It is absolutely clear now that the largest part of the crisis is driven from the outside, and the evidence is the existence of Arab fighters and extremist and Islamist fighters fighting in Syria now. Moreover, there is the sophisticated weapons being smuggled through the borders, and the money being sent from abroad. This has actually changed the convictions of many people inside Syria, both among the opposition and the supporters of the government. The Syrians are defending their country now. The revolution cannot be a revolution of gangs. Terrorists are perpetrating massacres against civilians, and it is our duty to defend civilians. It is our duty as a state. Turkey is turning its borders into venues for smuggling weapons and terrorists to Syria. We talked for years about turning these borders into frontiers of development. But development and terrorism can never meet.
Last August, Russia’s NATO ambassador Dmitry Rogozin said:
NATO is planning a military campaign against Syria to help overthrow the regime of Pres Assad with a long-reaching goal of preparing a beachhead for an attack on Iran. Planning is well underway. Regimes whose views do not coincide with those of the West are targeted. The noose around Iran is tightening. Military planning against Iran is underway. And we are certainly concerned about an escalation of a large-scale war in this huge region. We will continue to oppose a forcible resolution of the situation in Syria.
On Jul 8, Russian journalist Ankhar Kochneva told Russia Today she has proof about a Western invasion by end of summer. “Bloody bandits” are waging war on Syria, she said. She saw what they do to kidnapped people. She said:
I have been to the torture chambers. I have met mothers who saw their children die. The whole country loathes them as bandits. There is nothing worse than being loathed by your own nation. They killed a mufti’s son. They kill Christian priests, and they kidnap and torture children. A few days ago they killed two elder brothers of a five-year-old boy to take vengeance on him for reciting poems at rallies to support Syria. They massacred the whole family of an MP. I have been to homes turned into bandit hideouts. I have seen empty liquor bottles. How does it square with Islam? I have been to churches destroyed by bandits in Homs. I have been under their fire, with grenades dropping right next to me. I have been targeted by snipers who could perfectly see I am a woman, not a soldier. In the bustling street where I lived, near the marketplace, they blew up a few cars. Why blow up civilians shopping for food?
She said accusations that Assad staged public explosions are “ridiculous.” She called reports about a Syrian pilot defecting and landing in Amman highly suspect, saying:
There are reasons to suggest that the incident was thoroughly staged.
She thinks Turkey used Jordanian-supplied deciphered codes in staging its Syrian airspace provocation. Separately, Today’s Zaman headlined Turkey says no sign of missile attack yet in jet incident, quoting Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz as saying:
There is no sign of land-to-air missile or another kind of weapon on found pieces of the plane.
US intelligence said the same thing. On Jun 29, the WSJ wrote:
The warplane was shot down by shore-based antiaircraft guns while it was inside Syrian airspace, US officials say, a finding in tune with Syria’s account and at odds with Turkey.
Kochneva accused anti-Assad elements and supportive media of spreading misinformation. Reports about attacks on the presidential palace, parts of Syria beyond Damascus’ control, defections of generals, other officers, and whole army units, as well as Russia and China agreeing to remove Assad are completely false, she said. So are claims about “15,000 soldiers in Syria.” So far, only a video showing “five Iranian electricians” has been shown. On Jul 5, DEBKAfile headlined Moscow may hand Iran S-300, breach arms embargo if Assad ousted, quoting Russian defense analyst Ruslan Pukhov, who said:
If the Syrian regime is changed by force or if Russia doesn’t like the outcome, it most likely will respond by selling S-300s to Iran.
Tehran claims already to have the sophisticated air defense “technical accessories.” In 2010 and 2011, Russia trained Iranians in S-300 use. China has the technology. Beijing reportedly is helping Tehran to some degree. Pukhov added:
The fall of the Syrian government would significantly increase the chances of a strike on Iran. Resuming S-300 shipments to Iran may be a very timely decision.
“Resuming” sounds like he knows or believes supplies of these weapons were sent earlier. On Jul 8, DEBKAfile headlined Clinton: Syria on brink of catastrophe as rebels advance. The region in danger. They called her language “over-the-top.” Reports suggest Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar “have substantially stepped up the flow of (weapons and) munitions to the rebels.” They’re getting them both inside Syria and at Turkish military facilities. With no confirmation, DEBKAfile claims 50,000 insurgents operate in 17 brigades and 260 units. Each “consists of one or two battalions.” They range from 1,000-1,500 fighters. Some have up to 3,000. They have sophisticated weapons and hi-tech communications equipment. “A well-organized arms smuggling ring” supplies them. It’s “fed by Turkish, Saudi and Qatari suppliers via Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon and Turkey.” US, UK, French, Turkish, Saudi and Qatari special forces are involved. Anti-Assad insurgents have one objective: “The regime’s overthrow.” Washington planned it over a decade ago. It bears full responsibility for months of violence and thousands of deaths. Expect conflict to continue with no letup. Only imperial dominance matters, not human lives and welfare.
Bullying, Bluster and Imperial Arrogance 101
Stephen Lendman, Jul 8 2012
Hillary Clinton’s outbursts reflect bullying, bluster, and imperial arrogance, not diplomacy. More on her strong-arm tactics below. On Jul 6, Friends of Syria met in Paris. Tunis and Istanbul meetings preceded this one. Conflicting reports said representatives from 60 to around 100 countries attended. EU and Arab League states comprise most of them. Since last year, they’ve been involved in crimes of war and against humanity. Friends like these assure death, destruction, colonization, plunder, exploitation, deprivation, and unspeakable human misery. Russia and China boycotted the meeting. Clinton used the occasion to lambaste both countries. Her comments reflect imperial arrogance, contempt for rule of law principles, and commitment for war, not peace. She’s a war criminal multiple times over. She’s arguably USAia’s most shameless ever Sec State. She’s clearly the most brazen. Her language and attitude exceed the worst of Cold War rhetoric. Her take-no-prisoners thinking, character, and demagoguery reveal a woman addicted to self-aggrandizement and diktat authority. She relishes death, destruction, and the spoils of war. She’s indifferent to human suffering. She’s a monument to wrong over right. She’s a disgrace and embarrassment to her country, position and humanity. A State Dept press release covered her remarks. She said:
Starting in Tunis and then in Istanbul and now in Paris, we are focused on determining what we can do to try to hasten the end of this regime and to provide the circumstances for an effective process of transition and reconciliation.
Geneva discussions “enlist(ed) not only all five permanent members of the Security Council including Russia and China, but also important leaders in the region and in the Arab League in support of such a transition.” Russia and China support letting Syrians decide who’ll lead them. Washington and key allies distort Geneva’s final communique language to mean Assad must go. All means will be employed, including war. It’s “imperative to go back to the UNSC for a resolution that imposes real and immediate consequences for non-compliance, including sanctions under Chapter VII.” Friends of Syria demand Russia and China “get off the sidelines and begin to support the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people.” Clinton said:
I don’t think Russia and China believe they are paying any price at all, nothing at all, for standing up on behalf of the Assad regime. The only way that will change is if every nation represented here directly and urgently makes it clear that Russia and China will pay a price, because they are holding up progress, blockading it, that is no longer tolerable. It’s difficult to imagine how the UN supervision mission can fulfill its responsibilities without a Chapter VII enforcement mechanism. We are united in support of the Syrian people and in our absolute resolve to see the end of the Assad regime.
In response, Russia strongly rejected Clinton’s tone, language and bullying. Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said:
Russia, China and other nations refuse participation with the so-called ‘Friends’. They reflect unilateralism, wrong-headedness, and immorality. They present theatrical and political propaganda shows that are similar to conferences of political parties, in which the fate of Syria is discussed in the absence of its main representatives and loud calls are made for the opposition to go into battle to undermine the Syrian leadership.
He also called the duplicitous Jun 27 Human Rights Council report biased, adding:
It will not help launch a political process in the country. The context of the decision didn’t include a condemnation of the armed opposition’s violence once referred to by Head of the UN monitoring mission in Syria Robert Mood.
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said:
I reject strongly that in the situation like that in Syria Russia supports Bashar Assad’s rule. This is not a matter of support for some politicians, but that the settlement process should be put on a normal, political basis. Unfortunately, we cannot attain the basic understanding of various things from our partners, including Western partners. They still use the terms ‘friend or foe’ and who is someone’s ‘client.’ It seemed to Russia that similar terms should be left in the past. If it is still applicable to these politicians, this means that they stayed with their ideas in the past. Russia does not support concrete politicians and political figures in Syria, but works for what, we hope, will help establish such a necessary dialogue with the authorities and the opposition in Syria.
Following the Paris meeting a Statement of Chairman’s conclusions followed,” saying:
All Syrians must have a place in the new Syria, regardless of their origins, affiliations, religion, beliefs or gender.
Assad was blamed for Western-generated violence. Charges against him were spurious and outrageous. Death squad insurgents ravage the country. They’re responsible for thousands of Syrian deaths, atrocities and other high crimes. Western money, arms, training and direction support them. Assad’s blamed for confronting them responsibly. Paris participants committed to support UNSC action under the UN Charter’s Chapter VII. It authorizes “Action with Respect to Threats to the Peace, Breaches of the Peace, and Acts of Aggression.” Article 41 calls for measures short of armed intervention. They “may include complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations.” Article 42 calls for other measures if Article 41 proves inadequate or ineffective. They “may include demonstrations, blockade, and other operations by air, sea, or land forces of Members of the UN.” Subsequent articles authorize the use of force. UN members are invited to participate. Article 46 calls for “plans for the application of armed force be made by the Security Council with the assistance of the Military Staff Committee.”
Friends of Syria called for “perpetrators of crimes” to be punished. It wants “support repression face stiffer and wider sanctions.” It backs the “democratic opposition and local solidarity networks.” They call for “strengthened” “humanitarian assistance.” They said “the international community will stand by the Syrian people as their country is rebuilt.” Another meeting is planned. So-called friends want Syrians treated like ravaged Libyans. Months of insurgent attacks and NATO bombing destroyed the country. Tens of thousands died. Africa’s most developed country became NATO’s latest charnel house. When Washington-led forces intervene, massacres, mass destruction, and indescribable human misery follow. NATO committed a Nuremberg level crime. Libya was terrorized, destroyed, and plundered in the name of liberation. Humanitarian intervention was cover for naked aggression. Washington plans Libya 2.0 for Syrians. So-called friends support it. Who needs enemies with these type scoundrels? Nations supporting USAia’s imperial agenda share responsibility for what’s ongoing and planned. Since the 1990s, NATO ravaged one country after another. Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya no longer exist. Carving up the Syrian corpse will follow more war. It’s coming. Obama plans it. Key NATO partners and rogue Arab states support it. Nations endorsing peaceful conflict resolution incur Clinton’s wrath. She wants unchallenged support for Washington’s imperial agenda. So far they resist. Hopefully they’ll continue doing what it takes to avoid more war. Millions of Syrians depend on them. So does the entire region and beyond.