Syria, World-scale war

1. Syria, Gore Vidal and the Lame Left

2. Full-Scale War in Syria


1. Syria, Gore Vidal and the Lame Left

    Posted by: "Rick Rozoff" rwrozoff at rwrozoff
    Date: Thu Aug 9, 2012 8:03 am ((PDT))

The Taylor Report
August 6, 2012

Applying Vidal lessons to Syria, noting the Euro-American feckless "left"
Phil Taylor

With the passing of Gore Vidal, the matter of Syria comes to mind. It was
Vidal's thesis that the urge to be an empire eclipsed the democratic and
egalitarian spirit behind the war of independence and the civil war.

Witnessing the assaults on Syria inspired by Gulf monarchs and NATO states
Vidal would put his finger on the problem, America's urge to be the
"indispensible nation", an empire. Tragically, many, not all, of the
American "left" has long since picked-up the empire virus.

Obama says Assad must go and the little (left) Obamas agree. Writing in
Counterpunch (August 1, 2012) Phyllis Bennis and Shahab Jafry quibble
about details and add charges against Assad and then say Assad must go
(and perhaps be punished by some appropriate European "international"
court). Vidal always laughed wickedly at empire helpers such as these. He
had read, and written, a history book or two.

While Vidal said clearly that the US is not interested in promoting
democracy or stability (witness the removal of Aristide in Haiti and the
NATO bombing zone of Libya) the American and European left have bumped
around in their damp ideological basements arguing over which foreigner
needs removing; they can't get out of their own way, perhaps from love or
fear of their own masters.

Meanwhile states such as Cuba and Venezuela, also out of step with
American dictates, are urging Syria to resist. Each knows the
"humanitarian" goliath wants to kick in their doors.

Actually, Syria faces long odds against wealthy and implacable enemies,
but if the rebels were defeated Assad would likely be a highly appreciated
"strong-man" for defying the dictates of the empire. And the royalists of
the Gulf and the NATO parties of Turkey might begin to feel some heat. A
very good thing indeed.

So let us avoid the lame left which always follows the agenda and
nomenclature of Bush/Obama land and instead demand an end to the conceit
of empire, telling the NATO hoodlums to keep their hands to themselves.

And thank Vidal for presenting a clear picture of the real world.


2. Full-Scale War in Syria

    Posted by: "Rick Rozoff" rwrozoff at rwrozoff
    Date: Thu Aug 9, 2012 6:23 am ((PDT))

August 9, 2012

Full-Scale War in Syria
By Stephen Lendman

Former Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov calls it "full-scale civil
war." It's full-scale but not civil.

Syria's been invaded. Civil war implies two internal warring sides. That's
very much not the case. Primakov said:

"Mercenaries and volunteers from other states are fighting (Assad) jointly
with" violent internal forces. Most Syria opponents are nonviolent. They
want peaceful conflict resolution. Washington has other ideas. 

"President Obama has given a direct order to the CIA to support the Syrian

"That is flagrant interference in internal affairs of a sovereign state,
which does not endanger the United States or anyone else." 

"Saudi Arabia and Qatar are funding militants. Turkey is giving them
active support." So are other regional countries.

"Russia holds the only correct position," he added. "We have a moral
position: we care for life and security of millions of people and for
stability of the huge and important region."

Syria is strategically important for Moscow. Tartus is its only
Mediterranean base. Protecting it is key. Assad is a valued regional ally.
It's in Russia's interest to support him.

Moscow backed Annan's peace plan dependent on keeping him in power and
having Syrian sovereignty be respected. Its strategy also lets other
global allies know it's committed to back them if needed. Some have their
own internal problems and need reassurance. 

Regional economic interests are also important. Much more is involved than

Russia constructed Iran's Bushehr nuclear facility and agreed to build
three more. Both countries have strategic ties. They also have other
economic relations.

Russian Federation regions have additional ones. Both countries cooperate
on oil and gas interests.

Russian expertise and technology helped build Syrian infrastructure. It's
also responsible for dozens of industrial facilities. It includes about
one-third of its electrical power capacity, another third of its
oil-related operations, and help building the Euphrates dam.

Maritime interests are important. Linking Latakia, Syria with
Novorossiysk, Russia on the Black Sea facilitates cargo shipments. Gazprom
has oil and gas development operations. 

Both countries have nuclear energy ties. They also cooperate on other
commercial, scientific, military, and environmental issues.

Russia and Syria enjoyed strategic relations for decades. Patrick Seale
called Moscow Hafez Assad's main ally. Given Washington's regional
ambitions, both countries serve each other strategically.

Greater Washington Eurasian control threatens Moscow directly. Preventing
it is key. Standing firm on Syria and Iran is vital. 

America infests the region with military bases. Offensive missile shield
installations target Russia and China. Both countries partnered with
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan in a Shanghai
Cooperation Organization (SCO) alliance.

India, Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, and Mongolia have observer status.
Belarus and Sri Lanka are dialogue partners. Expanding the organization is

SCO supports economic cooperation, peace, and national sovereignty. Member
states are a potential bulwark against Washington-led NATO aggression. 

On June 6 and 7, members met in Beijing. Security and economic cooperation
issues were discussed. Washington's missile shield was condemned. 

Its North Africa/Eurasian militarization threatens Russia, China, Iran,
and other countries. Syria is ground zero. Holding the line is vital. Odds
of succeeding are uncertain. Washington doesn't quit once strategic plans
are implemented.

Assad promises to try. On August 8, SANA state media said he's determined
to defeat terrorists responsible for mass killings and atrocities.

He spoke during a meeting with Iran's Supreme National Security Council
Secretary Saeed Jalili. They met on issues affecting both countries. They
agreed that resolving Syria's crisis depends on internal solutions.

Separately, SANA reported Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi
warning about:

"plots which aim at destabilizing peace and stability in the region,
instigate conflicts among the minorities and sects which lived together in
peace in order to change the situations in the region."

Salehi met with Turkish officials in Ankara. They discussed 48 Iranian
visitors abducted by Syrian insurgents. At issue is ensuring their safety
and release. Reportedly three were killed.

Syrian captors said one was a Russian general. They identified him as
Major General Vladimir Kuzheez. Moscow's Defense Ministry called the claim
"complete lies." An official statement added:

"The goal of broadcasting such statements is not just to cause a
sensation, but a clear attempt at a slur toward the Russian Army."

Kuzheev is very much alive. He met with journalists and dismissed reports
of his death, saying:

"I want to express thanks to the media for their attention to my
person....I want to confirm that I am well and alive in Moscow....I
realize that this information is a provocation not only against me but
against my country."

Saudi controlled Al Arabiya broadcast a video featuring Free Syrian Army
representatives claiming Kuzheev was killed. They showed what they called
his photo ID identity card. It was fake. 

The battle for Aleppo continues. Government forces cleared insurgents from
Salaheddin. They're gaining the upper hand. Reports are the city is

Five Saudi and two Turkish military officers were captured. One was a
Turkish general. Earlier insurgent claims about controlling most of the
city were false. 

They're outmanned, outgunned, and outmaneuvered. They're being defeated.
Nonetheless, clearing them from neighborhoods takes time.

Press TV cited reports about insurgents supplied with chemical weapons. It
said Turkey gave them surface-to-air Stinger missiles. They came with
"thermal rockets and sophisticated weaponry."

"More than 100 Turkish troops backed with armored vehicles and helicopters
entered the Syrian border town of Cerablos in the Kurdish region of Kobani
on Tuesday."

"A spokesman for the Kurdish militias in the border towns of Kobani and
Efrin accused the Turkish forces of supplying arms and ammunition to
insurgents fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad´s government."

"NBC News also reported on July 31 that nearly two dozen MANPADs
(man-portable air-defense systems) have been delivered to the insurgents
in Syria by Turkey."

Rick Rozoff also said Turkey has troops in Syria. They threatened to use
them to protect a site agreed to in 1921.

Ankara was guaranteed the right to station forces at the Suleyman Shah
mausoleum. He's the grandfather of Ottoman Empire founder Osman I (Osman

Turkey considers the site and surrounding area sovereign territory. A
small military contingent protects it. Whether it's a wedge for larger
numbers and planned belligerency remains to be seen.

Rozoff said the site was "proclaimed a NATO outpost in Syria."
Developments ahead warrant close monitoring. Incrementally they head
toward Western and/or regional intervention.

On August 6, Ron Paul warned about more war, saying:

"The administration seems determined to fight yet another war in Syria
that has nothing to do with American national interests."

"Neoconservatives have long demanded that we overthrow the Syrian
government before moving on to war against Iran. This bellicosity
continues regardless of which party is in the White House."

"In Syria we see once again we see how our interventionist policies
backfire and make us less secure."

Washington has no business being involved in Syria, he added. "When will
we learn our lesson and stop intervening in conflicts....having nothing to
do with American national interests?"

Republican and Democrat hawks way outnumber Paul and other congressional
doves. Obama heads toward war. Electoral politics dictate timing.
Post-election may be planned. He and Romney are like-minded.

It doesn't matter who wins. Both men support war. Expect it. Only its
timing is unknown. Catastrophic consequences look certain.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
lendmanstephen at 

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

Visit his blog site at 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

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