by Brian Cantin
The point of the Empire’s sword is directed toward Syria. San Pedro
Neighbors for Peace and Justice is planning a coffee klatch to discuss
issues related to the Syrian intervention. The following is a
prospective issues list, and a selection of relevant articles.
Comments are welcome.
* Sanctions always hurt civilian populations. Carried to an extreme,
as with Iraq, sanctions can decimate the population of a nation. In
addition, sanctions do not hit the privileged elites anywhere near as
hard as they do the general population.
* Military intervention always hurts civilian populations. The Western
powers are already intervening in Syria, with disastrous results for
the Syrian people.
* Attacks on Syria by Western powers strengthen domestic support for
the Assad regime. The Syrian people rightly perceive foreign assaults
as being imperialistic.
* Much of the reporting on Syria consists of dubious propaganda. Both
sides of the civil war lie, but the Western media plays up the side of
the Syrian opposition without applying any appropriate degree of
* Syria is a stepping stone on the path to regime change in Iran. Not
only is Syria an Iranian ally, Syria also funnels arms into Lebanon.
Those arms could be used against Israel if Israel attacks Iran. Thus,
the Western powers want Syria out of the way in order to facilitate
regime change in Iran.
* Sunni/Shia divisions – Syria, Iran, Lebanon(mixed), and Iraq form a
Shia alliance. Saudi Arabia leads a Sunni alliance(Turkey, Bahrain,
Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates) that wants to break up
the Shia alliance. The Western powers want to play up the divide, in a
classical imperialist manner, in order to maintain and extend hegemony
over the Middle East.
* It is a grievous mistake to align yourself with any government. The
Syrian government, the United States government, the Russian
government, the Saudi Arabian government, etc., all have their own
agenda that has nothing to do with the welfare of the Syrian
people. The critical point is to allow the Syrians, and everybody
else, to determine their own fate.
* The assault on the Syrian government is straining the relationship
between the United States and Russia, a Syrian ally. Anything that
strains the relationship between the two nuclear superpowers is a bad
* Foreign powers are funneling arms to the Syrian rebels. The result
is not only an increase in violence, but the whole opposition movement
is being taken over by the most violent elements.
* Imposing regime change on Syria is likely to have dire consequences
for religious minorities. For example, religious minorities in Iraq
suffered enormously after the fall of Saddam Hussein.
* In a time when the United States government is running deficits of
over a trillion dollars a year in order to prop up its teetering
economy, and the European banking system is in danger of collapse,
do the Western powers really need to take on the expense of imposing
regime change in Syria?
* Do the actions of the United States toward Syria conform to
* What should opponents of a Syrian intervention do to stem the
assault? At the risk of quoting Lenin, what should be done?
WEBBED ARTICLES ON THE SYRIAN INTERVENTION
Propaganda Is the Name of the Game in Media Reports of Atrocities in
by Jeremy R. Hammond
The article analyzes claims of atrocities propagated by Western
governments and media.
In Syria, foreign intervention will only shed more blood
“In other words, the US and its allies are sponsoring regime change
through civil war.”
The article emphasizes the importance of the Sunni/Shia conflict.
The Bloody Road to Damascus by James Petras
Mr. Petras describes the goals of the various parties attempting
to bring down the Syrian regime.
SYRIA: NATO’s Next “Humanitarian” War? by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky
Mr. Chossudovsky describes the genesis, and character, of the Syrian
opposition. The article describes, in some detail, how the U.S. has
worked to destabilize the Syrian regime, and the use of propaganda.
Starving the Syrians for Human Rights – Physicians for Human Rights
Supports Tougher U.S. Sanctions on Syria by John Walsh
Mr. Walsh describes how sanctions hurt ordinary Syrians.
The article also elaborates on how NGOs are corrupted by the Empire.
NATO’s Slow Genocide in Libya: Syria is Next by Tony Cartalucci
Mr. Cartalucci describes how Human Rights Watch and Amnesty
International became part of the propaganda machine that supports wars
in Libya and Syria.
Military Intervention in Syria is a Bad Idea by Stephen Zunes
Mr. Zunes says that intervention will raise the overall level of
violence in Syria. Violence plays into the hands of the Syrian
regime, and the most violent elements of the opposition.
What Is Really Going On in Syria by Eric Margolis
“There are no clean hands in Syria.”
Syria: Armed Opposition Groups Committing Abuses
Human Rights Watch describes abuses that include kidnappings,
torture, and murder.
Syria: Straining credulity? by Alastair Crooke
Mr. Crooke examines the uses of emotion in propaganda, and the
purposes that such a strategy serves.
Stratfor Emails: Covert Special Ops Inside Syria Since December
by John Glaser
A private conversation with Pentagon officials suggested US
and allied troops were on the ground in Syria.
Road to Damascus… and on to Armageddon? by Diana Johnstone
“Which is more important, ensuring disgruntled Islamists freedom to
overthrow the secular regime in Syria, or avoiding World War Three?”
Ms. Johnstone sees civil war in Syria, and an attempt by the Western
powers to shift the balance of power against Iran, Russia, and China.
Syria: Clinton Admits US On Same Side As Al Qaeda To Destabilize
Assad Government by Michel Chossudovsky and Finian Cunningham
The article avers that Al Qaeda elements are committing
terrorist acts, and that the result could be a wider war.
Exposed: The Arab agenda in Syria by Pedro Escobar
The article describes the machinations of the Arab League
against the Syrian government.
Russ Baker on the roots of the foreign intervention in Syria.
The article describes the overweening hypocrisy of the U.S.
government, the operations of Al Qaeda, and the role of the Arab
The Syrian Crucible by Justin Raimondo
The article covers omnipresent U.S. government hypocrisy,
the Movement for Justice and Development, the Free Syrian Army,
the movement of arms, the National Transitional Council(supported
by foreign governments), the Abu Bakr Brigade, and the uses of so
called soft power.
CIA Funneling Arms to Syrian Rebels Through Turkey by Jason Ditz
CIA officers are engaged in a supposed vetting process for which
fighters get arms.
Be careful what you wish for: the Friends of Syria are no friends at all
by Lindsey German
The article covers the operations of NATO, the history of recent wars,
and the hypocrisy of the major players.
Ankara ups the ante on Syria by Jacques N Couvas
The article includes a lengthy history of the Turkish/Syrian
relationship, a discussion of the role of the Kurds, and a brief
description of the Sunni anti Syrian coalition.
Al-Qaida affiliates operating in Syria, says William Hague
by Nicholas Watt and Martin Chulov
The article describes arms smuggling into Syria, and the operations of
the Free Syria Army.
Why we should stay out of Syria by Steve Chapman
The article compares the Syrian intervention unfavorably with the
Libyan intervention based on practical considerations.
C.I.A. Said to Aid in Steering Arms to Syrian Opposition by Eric Schmitt
Given that the Russians and Chinese are blocking direct military
intervention, the Empire is attempting to destabilize the Syrian
regime via indirect military means.
‘Simply put, no one is in charge.’ by John Glaser
Mr. Glaser discusses the fractured and brutal nature of the Syrian
opposition, the foreign military support for the opposition, and the
US holds high-level talks with Syrian rebels seeking weapons
in Washington by Peter Foster and Ruth Sherlock
The United States keeps progressing toward direct intervention.