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Commentary :: War and Militarism
Brookings: A Reliable Imperial Tool
12 May 2012
anti-war
Brookings: A Reliable Imperial Tool

by Stephen Lendman

Brookings calls itself a Washington-based NGO "conducting high-quality, independent research" to advance three goals: democracy, economic and social welfare for all, and a "more safe, prosperous and cooperative international system."

In fact, it's a corporate financed imperial tool. It serves wealth and power. It deplores democracy, social welfare, and equal opportunity. It supports Washington's longstanding Syria and Iran regime change agenda. Doing so ignores rule of law principles.

In June 2009, its report titled "Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy Toward Iran" was a regime change policy paper. Six pro-Israeli right-wing ideologues prepared it.

Topics addressed included military options for disarming Iran, invasion, air strikes, allowing or encouraging an Israeli attack, regime change, and containment.

It falsely accused Tehran of developing nuclear weapons, supporting terrorist groups, and engaging in "wider efforts to overturn the regional status quo."

It claimed "incontrovertible" evidence that "Iran has aided groups seeking to overthrow the governments of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Bahrain (and arguably Lebanon and Israel as well) at various times," but didn't reveal any.

It said Iran helped derail Israeli/Palestinian peace talks. It asked if Washington "should (be) willing to accept the Islamic Republic at all." It stressed "ticking clock" urgency to act. It stopped just short of demanding war.

It ignored over 200 years of Iranian history. For generations, Tehran neither attacked or threatened other nations. It doesn't now.

It ignored other issues mattering most. It does what its corporate backers wish. It's well financed to lie, deceive, misreport, and support imperial lawlessness.

In March 2012, its report titled "Saving Syria: Assessing Options for Regime Change" targeted Assad. Four contributors prepared it. Two helped write the Iranian one, including:

Kenneth Pollack: He's a former CIA analyst and National Security Council staff member. He's now a Council on Foreign Relations member and Brookings Saban Center for Middle East Policy research director.

Daniel Byman: He's a former 9/11 Commission staff member. Currently he's Brookings Saban Center for Middle East Policy research director and Georgetown University security studies professor.

Two other contributors included:

Michael Doran: He's a former deputy assistant defense secretary and National Security Council senior director. He now serves as Brookings Saban Center senior fellow, specializing in Middle East security issues.

Salman Shaikh: Formerly he served in Qatar's Office of Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned. Qatar's a rogue state. It also supports US imperial wars. Shaikh also held UN posts. He's now Brookings Doha Center director, focusing on Middle East policy.

Their report claims "Syria is trapped on a crumbling precipice, and however it might fall will entail significant risks for the United States and for the Syrian people."

They accused Assad of using military force and "sectarian thugs to crush the opposition and reassert its tyranny."

It ignored Washington's longstanding regime change plans. America's a global menace. Obama outrageously calls Assad an "unusual and extraordinary threat." He, Hillary Clinton, and UN envoy Susan Rice demand he step down. Doing so defies international and US constitutional law.

Western-generated violence rages. It's been ongoing for 15 months. Syria was calm and peaceful until America, key NATO partners, and rogue regional allies intervened.

Qatar's very much involved. So aren't Saudi Arabia, other Gulf States, Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon's March 14 alliance, and Israel. Washington's dirty hands orchestrate everything.

Most Syrians support Assad. A new constitution passed overwhelmingly by national referendum. No Western society dares hold them. Populist voices for change are denied.

On May 7, Syrians voted for the first time in parliamentary elections. It was a milestone political event. Independent candidates participated. It's too early to know what's ahead, but open elections are a good start.

Despite ongoing insurgent violence, turnout was high. Voting went smoothly. Independent monitors supervised the process. They included intellectuals, legislators and judicial authorities from other countries.

For Syrians, it was historic. Washington called elections farcical. US and other Western reports mocked them. In lock step, scoundrel media regurgitate official lies. They ignore their own tainted political process.

Americans especially have no choice. Money power runs things. People have no say. Elections are theater, not real. The entire process is tainted, corrupted and dysfunctional.

On issues mattering most, Republicans and Democrats agree. Anti-populism, corporate empowerment, and imperial lawless define their agenda. Ordinary people lose out.

Brookings reported ahead of Syrian elections. It focused on supporting regime change. Doing so ignores international law. No nation may interfere internally in others. For Washington and think tanks like Brookings, its policy.

Its report said removing Assad won't be easy. It accused him of murdering his own people, injuring many more, and torturing opposition forces trying to topple him. It presented no evidence whatever.

It ignored Assad's obligation to confront insurgent violence. They're responsible for most killing, destruction, atrocities, and other terror directed at civilians and security forces. No responsible leader dares leave his or her people unprotected. Most Syrians welcome his efforts.

To "protect US interests," said Brookings, Assad can't be allowed to triumph. America must remove him. Six options were proposed:

(1) diplomacy;

(2) coercion and diplomatic isolation;

(3) providing full support for opposition forces to oust him;

(4) a Libya-style air campaign;

(5) invasion "with US-led forces;" and

(6) a "multilateral, NATO-led (regime change) effort."

International law is clear. No nation may interfere in the internal affairs of others. Doing so forcefully is strictly prohibited.

Aggression is an international crime. UN Charter Articles 2(3) and 33(1) require peaceful settlements of international disputes. Article 2(4) prohibits force or its threatened use, including no-fly zone acts of war.

Articles 2(3), 2(4), and 33 absolutely prohibit any unilateral or other external threat or use of force not specifically allowed under Article 51 or otherwise authorized by the Security Council in accordance with UN Charter provisions.

Article 2(7) states:

"Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter; but this principle shall not prejudice the application of enforcement measures under Chapter Vll."

Article 51 permits force only in self-defense if attacked until the Security Council acts. It has final say.

Brookings called options it proposed "complex." Except for diplomacy, they're outrageous and lawless. Supporting illegal acts is criminal.

On the one hand, it recommends giving diplomacy "one last chance." On the other, it dismissed it out of hand. It said it "failed to keep up with the increasingly bloody and militarized situation...." As a result, it's unlikely "diplomacy alone can resolve the crisis."

Fingers were pointed the wrong way. Washington, not Assad, created crisis conditions. The Obama administration bears full responsibility. It led efforts to oust Gaddafi. It turned Libya into charnel house hell. Violence still rages out of control.

Short of direct intervention, it's replicating the Libyan model in Syria. It's responsible for most deaths and destruction. Calling off its dogs would stop it. Greater violence likely is planned. Perhaps all-out war looms.

Brookings called Russia and China "the biggest obstacle to international unity." Together they blocked more bloody conflict. For how much longer is doubtful. When Washington plans regime change, all options are open. International law is ignored.

Brookings called no US Syria option cost-free. "Several steps are vital for almost any conceivable effort to oust Asad." It proposed bolstering support for opposition fighters, providing more arms for greater effectiveness, and getting Turkey to assume more responsibility, whether or not it "take(s) the lead."

It said Washington must intervene "to protect (its) many interests affected by the bloodshed of Syria." It stopped short of admitting America's longstanding goal is unchallenged global dominance by any means necessary. Brookings, of course, supports it.

A Final Comment

On May 10, two powerful explosions rocked Damascus. They occurred during morning rush hour when workers and students were heading for jobs or school. Reuters reported 55 killed and 372 injured, some severely.

Insurgent violence was responsible. Washington's dirty hands got more bloodstained. Western sources blame Assad. Syrians point fingers the right way.

Images showed bodies with severed limbs. Body parts were visible. Vehicles were mangled, burned and smoldering. Human remains were inside. One explosion left a ten foot crater deep in the road. Walls of adjacent buildings collapsed. Shooting was audible.

These type attacks are sophisticated. They take planning. Targets are chosen. Timing's important. US and UK Special Forces are involved. So are CIA and MI6 operatives. Earlier, Syrian forces captured French soldiers. Western-generated violence isn't happenstance.

The previous day, a blast targeted a Syrian military truck seconds after Norwegian General Robert Mood, UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) head, passed in a convoy.

Syrians face similar threats daily. Most know who's responsible and condemn it. Conflict rages. Kofi Annan's peace plan is more sham than real.

Russia and China provide support short of direct intervention. Assad resists Washington's plan to transform Syria into another US puppet state. Ordinary people most harmed support him.

Expect no end of conflict soon. How it ends remains uncertain. War is a real risk given Obama's rage to wage them. Future articles will update developments.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen (at) sbcglobal.net.

His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"

http://www.claritypress.com/Lendman.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour.
See also:
http://sjlendman.blogspot.com

This work is in the public domain
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