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Commentary :: War and Militarism
War on Syria Looms
27 Aug 2013
War on Syria Looms

by Stephen Lendman

Russia's gone all out to prevent it. Best efforts aren't working. Last Wednesday's false flag explains. It's pretext for waging war.

Dmitry Rogozin is Moscow's former NATO envoy. He's currently Deputy Prime Minister.

He said belligerent Western powers treat Muslim countries like a "monkey with a hand grenade." Earlier he criticized "Anglo-Saxon" plans to attack Syria.

NBC and CNBC headlined "US strike against Syria 'as early as Thursday.' " Unnamed senior US officials were cited.

They said "three days" of attacks are planned. They'll be limited in scope. They'll send Assad a message.

Command and control bunkers, airfields and artillery will be targeted.

Reuters said US forces are "ready to go." They can attack as soon as ordered. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was cited.

On Monday, Syrian opposition leaders met with Washington and other anti-Assad officials. They did so in Istanbul. They were told military action is imminent. According to one source:

"The opposition was told in clear terms that action to deter further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime could come as early as in the next few days, and that they should still prepare for peace talks at Geneva."

Following Ghouta's incident, opposition Syrian National Coalition (SNC) secretary general Badr Jamous abandoned peace discussions.

He called for "punish(ing) this dictator, Bashar the chemist…and then we can discuss Geneva."

He wants to negotiate from strength, not weakness. Death squad insurgents are no match against Syria's superior military. He hopes air power will change things. Token strikes won't accomplish much.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Ghouta was strategically timed. It "suited" the opposition. They "obviously do not want to negotiate peacefully." They want talks "sabotage(d)."

"Why go to a conference if you believe that the regime's infrastructure will all be destroyed anyway by allies, and then you can just march into Damascus unopposed, and take control," he asked?

Russia Today suggested attacks aren't likely until UN inspectors leave. They're scheduled to remain until Sunday.

On August 27, London's Telegraph headlined "Syria: Russia evacuates citizens ahead of military strikes in the 'next few days,' " saying:

"A Russian emergency situations ministry aircraft carrying aid landed in Syria on Tuesday, and is set to take Russians and other CIS citizens out of the country on its return flight."

"The Ilyushin-76 jet landed at the Latakia airport with 20 tons of humanitarian aid, mostly consisting of tinned foods and sugar, a ministry spokeswoman said."

"About 180 people who 'have expressed a desire to leave Syria,' 100 of them Russian, are set to leave on the return flight."

"Russia said it had evacuated all of its defence personnel from Syria in June, but a foreign ministry spokesman said at the time that about 30,000 other Russians were still living across the country."

Downing Street confirmed plans for war. A separate Telegraph report headlined "MPs demand a vote on Syria as No. 10 considers recalling Parliament."

More than 50 MPs demanded debate. Eighty-one Torries signed a letter before recess. They said parliament must be consulted before Britain becomes more deeply embroiled.

MP Andrew Bridgen said:

"We live in a parliamentary democracy, not a dictatorship."

"I would imagine that if colleagues wanted to have a debate about arming rebels they would certainly want to have one about the potential for a cruise missile or tomahawk missile strike."

Prime Minister David Cameron can authorize force with or without debate. He can do so whether or not parliament approves. Doing it risks vote of confidence ouster. It's unlikely. It's a small risk to take.

On August 27, Itar Tass headlined "NATO might hold emergency meeting on Syria on August 29," saying:

It's planning "to discuss the situation in Syria in the wake of the chemical attack in suburban Damascus on August 21."

Perhaps war plans will be finalized.

"NATO's press service told Tass it could not confirm this information as yet."

"The leading NATO countries including the USA, France and Great Britain, have announced that they have been considering possible options of military intervention in Syria."

"Until recently, NATO, as an organization, has adhered to the position of noninterference in this conflict."

Perhaps policy's about to change.

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Araqchi strongly "warn(ed) against any military attack in Syria. There will definitely be perilous consequences for the region," he stressed.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said all means will be used for self-defense. "We will not hesitate to use any means available," he stressed.

On Tuesday, Moallem again said Syria didn't use chemical weapons any time throughout months of conflict.

"I assure the residents of Damascus that the objective of the Armed Forces' military efforts taking place currently is to ensure their safety, so the endeavor will not be halted, and (Western and regional opposition) will not limit the Army's victory," he added.

He called Washington's accusations "categorically baseless."

"Since the beginning, we have doubted the US intentions towards Geneva Conference, and we told our Russian friends we trust you but we do not trust the USA because it does not want a political solution and the reason is clear which is that Israel does not want this solution, but rather it wants the continuation of violence and terrorism."

"If the countries which want to launch a military strike against Syria believe that such a strike will affect the military operations in Ghouta, then these countries are mistaken."

They "aim firstly at launching preemptive strikes to the schemes of invading Damascus and secondly protecting the civilians in Damascus neighborhoods from the terrorist rockets launched by the terrorists."

On August 26, CBS News headlined "Obama orders release of report justifying Syria strike," saying:

It's coming by around mid-week. On Saturday, his national security team met. Members unanimously agreed. A military response is necessary, they said.

Obama ordered legal justification prepared. Doing so turns fundamental law principles on their head. It doesn't matter. Hegemons do what they please.

Their rules alone matter. What America says goes. Attacking Syria's virtually certain. Only its timing remains unknown.

Cruise missile diplomacy won't be announced. Explosions will explain when attacks begin. So will mass casualties. Civilians always suffer most.

Extremist neocons run the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI). It's the Project for the New American Century's successor organization.

On August 27, it headlined "Foreign Policy Experts Urge President Obama to Respond to Assad's Chemical Weapons Attack," saying:

"Sixty-six former US government officials and foreign policy experts sent a bipartisan letter to President Barack Obama today…"

They want war, not peace. "Left unanswered, the Assad regime's mounting attacks with chemical weapons will show the world that America's red lines are only empty threats," they said.

"It is therefore time for the United States to take meaningful and decisive actions to stem the Assad regime's relentless aggression, and help shape and influence the foundations for the post-Assad Syria that you have said is inevitable."

A rogue's gallery of scoundrels signed it. They include:

Ammar Abdulhamid
Robert Kagan

Elliott Abrams
Lawrence F. Kaplan

Fouad Ajami
James Kirchick

Michael Auslin
Irina Krasovskaya

Gary Bauer
William Kristol

Paul Berman
Bernard-Henri Levy

Max Boot
Robert J. Lieber

Ellen Bork
Former Senator Joseph Lieberman

Paul Bremer
Tod Lindberg

Matthew R. J. Brodsky
Thomas G. Mahnken

Eliot A. Cohen
Michael Makovsky

Former Senator Norm Coleman
Ann Marlowe

William Courtney
Clifford D. May

Seth Cropsey
Alan Mendoza

James S. Denton
Joshua Muravchik

Paula A. DeSutter
Former Governor Tim Pawlenty

Larry Diamond
Martin Peretz

Paula J. Dobriansky
Danielle Pletka

Thomas Donnelly
David Pollock

Michael Doran
Arch Puddington

Mark Dubowitz
Karl Rove

Colin Dueck
Randy Scheunemann

Nicholas Eberstadt
Dan Senor

Eric S. Edelman
John Shattuck

Reuel Marc Gerecht
Lee Smith

Abe Greenwald
Henry D. Sokolski

Christopher J. Griffin
James Traub

John P. Hannah
Mark D. Wallace

Bruce Pitcairn Jackson
Michael Weiss

Ash Jain
Leon Wieseltier

Kenneth Jensen
Khawla Yusuf

Allison Johnson
Robert Zarate

Robert G. Joseph
Radwan Ziadeh

War appears virtually certain. It's America's option of choice. It's longstanding policy. Iran awaits after Syria's destroyed.

A permanent cycle of violence persists. Big Lies facilitate it. No end in sight looms.

Either ways are found to end wars or they'll end us. Mushroom shaped cloud finality may have final say. Forewarned is forearmed.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen (at)

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
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