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Syria

A No-Fly Zone is an Act of War

Syrianofly
(click to enlarge)

Failure of the US policy of regime change in Syria is leding once again to the contemplation of "options."  One of those that is much discussed is that of a no-fly zone covering all of Syria.  Let's be clear as to what would be involved in that option:
  • All Syrian ground based air defense would have to be suppressed and kept suppressed.
  • All Syrian airfields would have to be wrecked with runways cratered, maintenance facilities destroyed, etc.
  • All Syrian Air Force aircraft would have to be destroyed in air to air combat or on the ground.
  • Search Air Rescue operations would have to be carried out wherever in Syria we lost aircraft.
  • Aviators might be captured.  Their possession would be a strong element of leverage in the hands of the Syrian government.

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Western Imperialism’s Creative Destruction in Syria

Jihad

US-led Western regime change in Syria might be described as a process of creative destruction. Like Schumpeter’s economic concept of cyclical creative destruction, so too Washington’s political machinations in Syria seem to be playing out likewise.

We begin with the premise that the humanitarian crisis in Syria over the past nearly three years is largely as a result of a Western covert proxy war inflicted on that country. The objective is to destabilize, terrorize and eventuate regime change in the Arab country…

The crisis afflicting Syria with over 130,000 dead and nearly nine million people displaced from their homes – nearly 40 per cent of the total population – would not be occurring if it were not for the infiltration of that country with massive flows of weapons, fighting funds and foreign mercenary brigades. US and NATO Special Forces, along with Western military intelligence, have worked with Saudi, Qatari, Jordanian, Israeli and Turk allies to foment this externally driven insurgency. All under the cover of an Arab Spring revolt.


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America and the Arab Awakening: Déjà Vu?

Three years ago, Washington experienced its own dose of “shock and awe” — the PR phrase used to sanitise its brutal invasion of Iraq — when hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of ordinary Arabs took to the streets to demand the overthrow of leaders more interested in Washington’s approval than that of their own peoples. But American policy elites’ professed surprise was primarily a function of their own self-imposed amnesia and delusion.

No one in Washington seemed to realise or care that Egyptians forced their pro-American dictator from power on February 11, 2011 — 32 years to the day after the Shah of Iran’s military conceded to the will of the Iranian people, giving birth to the Islamic Republic of Iran and bringing down a pillar of American dominance in the region.
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The Ugly American (and Friends) in Geneva

Kerryqatar

US Secretary of State John Kerry's delusions continued as he arrived in Montreux, Switzerland to open the "Geneva II" talks on the ongoing conflict in Syria. Having successfully bullied UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon into rescinding the invitation previously extended to Iran to attend, Kerry proceeded to bully and blunder his way through the pre-opening of the conference.

"We need to deal with reality here," Kerry said on the eve of the conference. "Bashar Assad will not be part of that transition government."

Kerry's pressure on Ban to uninvite Iran to the conference — though Iran is far more affected by the crisis than the majority of countries invited to participate — was based on Iran's refusal to endorse the pre-condition of support for "regime change" in Syria as the goal of the conference. At least "regime change" was the US interpretation of the Geneva I Communique issued after that conference in 2012.
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The US Wager on Moderate Islam in Syria an Utter Failure

Islamicfront

On the eve of the international Middle East peace conference scheduled to take place January 22 in Geneva, the situation in Syria has again abruptly taken a turn for the worse. Various groups of Islamists have entered into a fierce armed conflict. Casualties on both sides have already greatly exceeded 1000 people.

The troublemaker was the Islamic Front (IF), formed around two months ago from several groups and numbering approximately 50,000-60,000 fighters. On January 3 its troops attacked armed groups from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which has proclaimed itself part of al-Qaeda and is estimated to number up to 22,500 fighters, in several places… 

It was immediately obvious that it was on the IF that the West had placed its bets in the Syrian civil war after the Free Syrian Army (FSA) lost its fighting effectiveness in conflicts with government troops. In early December 2013 the leaders of the IF met with U.S. and British representatives in Ankara, mediated by Qatar; here, in the opinion of experts, they were promised military assistance and participation in the division of power in exchange for forcing "open al-Qaedaites" out of the country.
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The Reactionary Essence of the Syrian Insurgency

Al Nusra Execution

Western corporate media, its Oil and Gas counterparts (GCC), and the various acolytes and paid-propagandists in the “tailored analysis” industry, are once again attempting to bolster and rebrand the public image of the fundamentalist rebels in Syria.

In the space of a week, two new formations of armed rebels mysteriously appeared across the mass-media lexicon and declared war on the dominant extremists through the usual “activist” social media accounts. The new brigades have virtually no historical record in the conflict, and appear to be largely a creation of the impotent exile opposition and its western sponsors. An abundance of reports relay stories of the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS) simply abandoning their posts and being turned over by this supposedly “moderate” new force.

Yet, in reality, the most predominant militia in Syria – those of a Salafi-Wahhabi fundamentalist bent, who now fight under the umbrella of the Islamic Front (IF), and are led by Hassan Abboud of Ahrar al-Sham, and Zahran Alloush of Liwa al-Islam – have made a concerted effort to avoid sowing discord between themselves and the overt Al Qaeda affiliates of ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra (JaN).
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Iraq: The ‘Liberation’ Neocons Would Rather Forget

Remember Fallujah? Shortly after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the US military fired on unarmed protestors, killing as many as 20 and wounding dozens. In retaliation, local Iraqis attacked a convoy of US military contractors, killing four. The US then launched a full attack on Fallujah to regain control, which left perhaps 700 Iraqis dead and the city virtually destroyed.

According to press reports last weekend, Fallujah is now under the control of al-Qaeda affiliates. The Anbar province, where Fallujah is located, is under siege by al-Qaeda. During the 2007 “surge,” more than 1,000 US troops were killed “pacifying” the Anbar province.  Although al-Qaeda was not in Iraq before the US invasion, it is now conducting its own surge in Anbar.
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Turkey’s Role in Syria’s Unfolding Crisis

Obamaerdogan

Under Prime Minister Erdogan, Turkey became directly involved in the Syrian crisis as his support for the Muslim Brotherhood brought an ideological context to Turkey’s hostile stance against Assad’s government.

At the beginning of 2011, continuing protests against Assad finally led to the end of the 48-year state of emergency in Syria and an amnesty for political prisoners, not without US and EU pressure. But several months later a well-known US whistleblower Sibel Edmonds claimed that the US and Turkey have been giving logistic aid and military training to the Syrian armed opposition since “April-May 2011”. Edmonds even declared that the US Air Force base in İncirlik (Turkey) was used as a training facility for the so-called Free Syrian Army and other opponents of the Damascus regime – in her own words, “the dissident base in Syria.”

In June 2011, the Assad government declared that 120 members of its security forces were killed by “armed gangs” in the northwestern town of Jisr al-Shughour, located about 16 kilometers from Turkey’s Hatay region. Assad’s troops laid siege to the town and more than 10,000 people subsequently fled to Turkey.
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Progress Toward Peace in 2013, But Dark Clouds Remain

It is the time of year we feel a sense of joy and optimism. We are preparing for the holidays and looking to spend time with our families and friends. This year as we look back we see several developments that leave us feeling optimistic.

A US attack on Syria was averted to a large degree because the American people did not want another Middle Eastern war. Public pressure was so strong that President Obama was forced to back down from his threats to launch missiles at Syria over an alleged Syrian government chemical attack.
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Syria Conflict: You Can’t Make Sound Policy by Disregarding Reality

Syria Destruction

The U.S. posture toward the conflict in Syria exemplifies some of the worst aspects of America’s Middle East policy. In recent years, the limits on America’s ability to shape important outcomes in the region unilaterally have been dramatically underscored by strategically failed military interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya.

Just this year, President Obama’s largely self-inflicted debacle over his publicly declared intention to attack Syria after chemical weapons were used there on August 21 made it abundantly clear that the United States can no longer credibly threaten the effective use of military force in the Middle East. Nevertheless, American foreign policy elites persist in thinking that it is up to them to dictate Syria’s future—and with it the future of the Middle East.

This outlook is epitomized by Obama’s August 2011 declaration that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad “must go”—even though the Obama administration’s preferred strategy of working with the Syrian “opposition” to effect Assad’s departure was, from the outset, doomed to fail, as we have predicted for more than two and a half years.
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