The ''responsibility to protect'' (R2P) doctrine invoked to legitimize the 2011 war on Libya has just transmogrified into ''responsibility to attack'' (R2A) Syria. Just because the Obama administration says so.
On Sunday, the White House said it had ''very little doubt'' that the Bashar al-Assad government used chemical weapons against its own citizens. On Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry ramped it up to ''undeniable'' - and accused Assad of ''moral obscenity''.
So when the US bombed Fallujah with white phosphorus in late 2004 it was just taking the moral high ground. And when the US helped Saddam Hussein to gas Iranians in 1988 it was also taking the moral high ground. The Obama administration has ruled that Assad allowed UN chemical weapons inspectors into Syria, and to celebrate their arrival unleashed a chemical weapons attack mostly against women and children only 15 kilometers away from the inspectors' hotel. If you don't believe it, you subscribe to a conspiracy theory.
Evidence? Who cares about evidence? Assad's offer of access for the inspectors came ''too late''. Anyway, the UN team is only mandated to determine whether chemical weapons were deployed - but not by who, according to UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon's spokesman.
As far as the Obama administration and UK Prime Minister David ''of Arabia'' Cameron are concerned - supported by a barrage of corporate media missiles - that's irrelevant; Obama's ''red line'' has been crossed by Assad, period. Washington and London are in no-holds-barred mode to dismiss any facts contradicting the decision. Newspeak - of the R2A kind - rules. If this all looks like Iraq 2.0 that's because it is. Time to fix the facts around the policy - all over again. Time for weapons of mass deception - all over again.
The Saudi-Israeli axis of fun
The window of opportunity for war is now. Assad's forces were winning from Qusayr to Homs; pounding ''rebel'' remnants out of the periphery of Damascus; deploying around Der'ah to counterpunch CIA-trained ''rebels'' with advanced weapons crossing the Syrian-Jordanian border; and organizing a push to expel ''rebels'' and jihadis from suburbs of Aleppo.
Now, Israel and Saudi Arabia are oh so excited because they are getting exactly what they dream just by good ol' Wag the Dog methods. Tel Aviv has even telegraphed how it wants it: this Monday, the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper headlined with ''On the Way to Attack'' and even printed the ideal Order of Battle.
Months ago, even AMAN, the Intelligence Directorate of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) concluded that Assad was not a fool to cross Obama's chemical weapon ''red line''. So they came up with the concept of ''two entwined red lines'', the second line being the Syrian government ''losing control of its chemical weapons depots and production sites''. AMAN then proposed different strategies to Washington, from a no-fly zone to actually seizing the weapons (implying a ground attack).
It's now back to the number one option - air strikes on the chemical weapons depots. As if the US - and Israel - had up-to-the-minute intelligence on exactly where they are.
The House of Saud had also telegraphed its wishes - after Prince Bandar bin Sultan, aka Bandar Bush, was appointed by King Abdullah as head of Saudi General Intelligence. Abdullah's hard on is explained by his mother and two of his wives coming from an influential, ultra-conservative Sunni tribe in Syria. As for Bandar Bush, he has more longevity than Rambo or the Terminator; he's back in the same role he played in the 1980s Afghan jihad, when he was the go-to guy helping the CIA to weaponize president president Ronald Reagan's ''freedom fighters''.
Jordan - a fiction of a country totally dependent on the Saudis - was easily manipulated into becoming a ''secret'' war operation center. And who's in charge? No less than Bandar's younger half-brother, and deputy national security adviser, Salman bin Sultan, also known as ''mini-Bandar''. Talk about an Arab version of Dr Evil and Mini Me.
Still, there are more CIA assets than Saudis in the Jordanian front.
The importance of this report cannot be overstated enough. It was initially leaked to Lebanon's Al-Safir newspaper. Here's Bandar's whole strategy, unveiled in his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, already reported by Asia Times Online. After trying - for four hours - to convince Putin to drop Syria, Bandar is adamant: ''There is no escape from the military option.''
Mix Kosovo with Libya and voila!
Former president Bill Clinton resurfaced with perfect timing to compare Obama's options in Syria to Reagan's jihad in Afghanistan. Bubba was right in terms of positioning Bandar's role. But he must have inhaled something if he was thinking in terms of consequences - which include everything from the Taliban to that mythical entity, ''al-Qaeda''. Well, at least al-Qaeda is already active in Syria; they don't need to invent it
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Flickr/Secretary of Defense