White House threatens more strikes on Syria
Bill Van Auken, WSWS, Apr 11 2017
The Trump White House ratcheted up global tensions further on Monday with a threat to carry out new air strikes against Syria, expanding on its attack last Thursday in which the US fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles on a government airbase, killing 14 people, most of them civilians. Sean Spicer stated at a press conference Monday:
The sight of people being gassed and blown away by barrel bombs ensures that if we see this kind of action again, we hold open the possibility of future action.
The statement, invoking “barrel bombs,” the fairly crude explosive devices employed by the Syrian military, raised the prospect that the Pentagon could seize on any military action by Syrian troops as a pretext for further direct Pindo military intervention. Spicer subsequently told the media that his statement did not signal a change in policy, but did so in a manner implying that Trump could launch military action as he saw fit. What he said was:
The president retains the option to act in Syria against the Assad regime whenever it is in the national interest, as was determined following that government’s use of chemical weapons against its own citizens.
Previously, Trump and others had issued statements suggesting that last Thursday’s attack had been justified by Syria’s alleged use of a chemical weapon against civilians in the Islamist-held town of Khan Shiekhoun. Faschingstein has presented no evidence to support its charge, much less any rational motive for the Assad government to carry out such an attack. The alleged incident has all the earmarks of a provocation staged by the CIA and its Islamist proxies to provide the pretext for the first-ever direct Pindosi military attack on Syrian government forces. The new threats from the White House, which follow similarly provocative statements by Nikki Haley at the UNSC advocating regime change in Syria, came on the same day that Russia and Iran issued their own warning that any new act of Pindo aggression will be met with retaliation in kind. The statement came from the joint command center of the Russian and Iranian militaries, the two principal allies of Assad’s Syria. It warned:
What Pindostan waged in an aggression on Syria is a crossing of red lines. From now on we will respond with force to any aggressor or any breach of red lines from whoever it is, and Pindostan knows our ability to respond well.
The warning from the Russian and Iranian militaries followed a somewhat milder statement from Presidents Putin and Rouhani, declaring that the Pindosi airstrike was “not permissible and violated international law,” constituting a “clear violation” of Syrian sovereignty. It called for an “objective” investigation of the Apr 4 attack and warned that Pindosi actions could “create a division among the countries in fighting terrorism.” Conflicting statements emanating from both Faschingstein and Moscow have created an atmosphere of increasing uncertainty, under conditions where relations between the two major nuclear powers are more tense than at any time in over half a century. In Washington, the Trump administration has yet to spell out a coherent policy in relation to Syria, while its actions appear to be increasingly guided by a group of generals who control virtually all the top national security positions within the administration. For Russia’s part, there are no doubt divisions within the ruling elite. Sections of the capitalist oligarchy with ties to Pindosi and international capital are likely fearful of a confrontation, while elements within the military and more nationalist layers may be drawing the obvious conclusion that the promised rapprochement with the coming to power of Trump has proven a dead end and retreat in the face of Pindosi aggression will only invite its escalation.
Rex Tillerson met on Monday with his G7 counterparts in Lucca, Italy, at the opening of a two-day meeting. The conflict in Syria emerged as the overriding issue. Tillerson and the foreign ministers of Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Canada and the EU were reportedly seeking to hammer out a joint position presenting Russia with an ultimatum to accept the Western demand for regime change in Damascus in advance of Tillerson’s meeting Wednesday with Lavrov in Moscow. Tillerson is not scheduled to meet with Putin. Boris Johnson, who had earlier accepted a Pindosi order that he cancel his own planned trip to Moscow so as not to upstage Tillerson, was among the most bellicose voices at the outset of the G7 meeting, declaring that the body had to “make it clear to Putin that the time to back Assad has gone,” and warning that Putin was “damaging Russia.” Johnson suggested that the G7 could reach an agreement to impose the first-ever sanctions against Russia over its role in Syria. Punishing economic sanctions have already been put in place in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea following the Western-orchestrated coup in Ukraine in 2014. The Graun reported Monday, citing a G7 source:
Tillerson plans to offer the Putin regime a bald choice, between cutting Assad loose and being rewarded with a thaw in relations with the West, or continuing to back him and risking a Libyan-style outcome.
In 2011, Pindostan and its NATO vassals carried out a war for regime change in Libya involving massive bombardments and the use of Islamist “rebels” as proxy ground forces. The neocolonial aggression ended with the toppling of the government and the lynch mob murder of Muammar Gaddafi. On Tuesday, the G7 is set to meet with the foreign ministers of the regional powers that along with the CIA and other western intelligence agencies, organized, armed and funded the AQ-linked militias that have been unleashed on Syria over the past six years. On the eve of the G7 meeting, Tillerson participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the village of Sant’Anna di Stazzema, where the Nazis carried out an infamous massacre in 1944. There, he appeared to invoke the “human rights” pretext for global militarism that Trump had opposed during the 2016 election campaign. Tillerson said:
We rededicate ourselves to holding to account any and all who commit crimes against innocents anywhere in the world.
Faschingstein’s continuing slaughter of civilians in its military operations in both Iraq and Syria and its support for the near-genocidal war being waged by the Toads and their vassals against the people of Yemen expose the utter hypocrisy of this statement. Men, women and children continue to die with virtually no reports in the Western media in the Pindo-backed siege of Mosul, where a single Pindo airstrike killed 300 people last month. Over the weekend, a Pindo warplane bombed a boat ferrying 40 civilians attempting to escape fighting near Raqqa. The bodies of a woman and her six children were recovered. Others are still missing. In a separate attack, the Pindo-led coalition killed 14 civilians, including children, in the northern Daesh-held village of Hneida. Statements of support for Trump’s attack on Syria continue to be made by leading Demagogs and former members of the Obama administration most associated with “human rights” imperialism. Typical was the response of Anne-Marie Slaughter, the former director of policy planning at the State Dept. She tweeted:
The bellicose mindset prevailing within both capitalist parties was exposed Monday in the ferocious reaction to one Demagog Congress crittur who dared to question the official story about the Syrian chemical weapons attack and issue a warning over the immense danger posed by the escalating Pindo-Russian conflict. Howard Dean, the former chairman of the DNC, demanded the ouster from Congress of Rep Tulsi Gabbard after she questioned whether the Assad government was behind the chemical weapons incident and revealed that the Trump administration had presented no evidence to Congress to support this claim. Gabbard warned:
What we’re talking about here really is the very high potential for a direct military conflict between Pindostan and Russia, the two world’s nuclear powers, risking, therefore, whether intentional or unintentional, nuclear consequences.
Dean responded by taking to Twitter to demand that Hawaii Democrats throw her out in 2018:
The danger of escalating tensions spinning out of control and producing a direct conflict between Pindostan and Russia is continuing to mount. The Pindo military command in Syria acknowledged Monday that the pace of its air strikes had slackened since Friday’s attack on the Syrian government airbase because of beefed-up “defensive” measures to protect the approximately 1,000 Pindo grunts on the ground in Syria. This means that Pindo warplanes are being deployed to respond to potential attack by either Syrian or Russian fighters. Moscow, for its part, has sent a warship armed with cruise missiles to join the Russian battle group sailing off the coast of Syria, enabling it to retaliate against another Pindo attack.