Aefterlitha starts 23/6/12
Monthly Archives: June 2012
By Clara Weiss
Given the worsening crisis in Syria, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper reported that the Russian army is apparently being prepared for a mission in Syria. Citing anonymous sources in the military leadership, the newspaper said that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the general staff to work out a plan for military operations outside Russia, including in Syria.
The units being prepared for an intervention are the 76th Division of airborne forces (an especially experienced unit of the Russian army), the 15th Army Division, as well as special forces from a brigade of the Black Sea fleet, which has a base in the Syrian port of Tartus.
The details of the operational plan are being prepared by the working parties of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, to which most of the post-Soviet states belong, as well as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, to which China and Russia belong.
According to the newspaper report, deployment depends on the decision of the Russian government and the UN. However, the plans also foresee that the troops might intervene without UN approval. The Russian government has so far not confirmed the report.
On Monday last week, three Russian warships were sighted off the Syrian coast. An anonymous source from the Russian government told the Iranian newspaper Tehran Times that Moscow wants to show NATO that it will not allow any military operation against Damascus under the guise of a humanitarian mission.
Earlier, the secretary-general of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, Nikolai Bordjusha, had held out the possibility of using “peacekeepers” in Syria. “The task in Syria is likely to be to impose peace—primarily against the insurgents, who use weapons to solve political problems.”
Russia and China strongly oppose a military intervention by NATO in Syria, and have already blocked two UN resolutions on the issue. The US and its allies, especially Turkey, Saudi Arabia and France, have stoked up a civil war in Syria and are systematically arming the so-called rebels, who consist mainly of Islamists, ex-members of the government, or Al Qaeda terrorists. Turkey is increasingly in the leadership of the US proxy war in Syria.
In recent weeks calls for a military intervention in Syria have increased. After the massacre in Houla, French President Francois Hollande spoke out in favour of military intervention. The West blamed the government of Bashar al-Assad for this massacre without any clear evidence. The German elite is also openly discussing a possible military intervention; Berlin has tried unsuccessfully to push Russia to make concessions on the issue.
Russia has not excluded a “political solution”, i.e., the slow transition from the Assad regime to another government. At all costs, however, the Kremlin wants to avoid the violent overthrow of Assad by the West for several reasons, whether it is through direct military intervention by NATO or is brought about by the rebels armed by the West. Two weeks ago, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev warned that a military intervention in Syria could quickly escalate and lead to the use of nuclear weapons.
Since Soviet times, Moscow and Syria have maintained close ties, especially in military and economic matters. More importantly, however, a war against Syria means a ramping up of US aggression in the Middle East. The US has already significantly extended its influence in the region through the wars against Afghanistan and Iraq. They also have military bases in almost every country in the area: Pakistan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Turkmenistan, as well as some in other smaller states. Meanwhile, Syria and Iran, which are virtually surrounded by US military bases, have become the last bastions of Russia and China in the Middle East against the encroachment of the United States.
A regime change in Damascus would probably bring a Sunni government to power, which would work closely with Saudi Arabia and the United States against Russia and China. Moreover, an escalation of the civil war in Syria—which is already well underway—and a military intervention would set the entire Middle East ablaze. A NATO-led war against Syria would be an immediate prelude to a war against Iran. An attack on Iran would mean another step toward a military escalation of tensions between Washington and Beijing.
While China obtains a significant portion of its raw material imports from Iran, Tehran is Russia’s most important ally in the Caucasus and the Caspian Sea to counter the influence of the US and Israel. Both Moscow and Tehran oppose the construction of a trans-Caspian pipeline by the West. They also reject the massive military rearmament of Azerbaijan, which is promoted by the United States, Israel and Turkey. The Caspian region is of key geopolitical importance because it links resource-rich Central Asia with Europe, and because it also has extensive oil and gas reserves.
The growing threat of war in the Middle East—and the fact that the European countries, including Germany and France, are siding with the United States—is increasingly driving Russia into a military alliance with China.
It is significant that Vladimir Putin’s first foreign visit since taking office was to Belarus, and that he then only spent a few hours in Berlin and Paris before going on to Central Asia. The highlight of his visit abroad was in China, where he met with the Chinese president, and then took part at the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on June 6 and 7. In addition to Russia and China, the Central Asian states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan also belong to this organization; Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India have “observer” status.
As was the case at the previous meeting of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, discussion at the SCO summit centred on military and economic cooperation. The summit adopted a declaration on the “establishment of a region of lasting peace and common prosperity”. Military intervention against Syria or Iran was explicitly rejected.
The declaration also condemns the establishment of the NATO missile defence system in Europe, which is directed primarily against Russia and has led to severe tensions between Washington and both Europe and Moscow. In future, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is planning to cooperate militarily more closely on issues of “regional security”.
During his two-day visit to Beijing, Putin had previously agreed with Chinese President Hu Jintao to jointly strengthen “security in the Asia-Pacific region”. Both countries intend to hold frequent joint military exercises in the Pacific, after holding joint naval exercises in the Yellow Sea in the spring. The United States is increasingly focussing its military build-up in the Asian Pacific region in preparation for a military confrontation with China.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is calling for an R2P humanitarian military intervention in Syria to curb the atrocities allegedly ordered by the government of president Bashar Al Assad. In a twisted logic, Clinton recognizes that while “opposition forces” are integrated by Al Qaeda affiliated terrorists, the government rather than the terrorists is held responsible, without a shred of evidence, for the ongoingmassacre of civilians.
Amply documented, these sectarian killings and atrocities are being committed by foreign mercenaries and militia which are armed and supported by the Western military alliance.
The killings are carried out quite deliberately as part of a diabolical covert operation. The enemy is then blamed for the resulting atrocities. The objective is to justify a military agenda on humanitarian grounds.
In US military jargon, it’s called a “massive casualty producing event”, the historical origins of which go back to “Operation Northwoods”, an infamous 1962 Pentagon Plan, consisting in killing civilians in the Miami Cuban community, with a view to justifying a war on Cuba. (See Michel Chossudovsky, SYRIA: Killing Innocent Civilians as part of a US Covert Op. Mobilizing Public Support for a R2P War against Syria, Global Research, May 30, 2012)
“Code named Operation Northwoods, the plans reportedly included the possible assassination of Cuban émigrés, sinking boats of Cuban refugees on the high seas, hijacking planes, blowing up a U.S. ship,and even orchestrating violent terrorism in U.S. cities.
The plans were developed as ways to trick the American public and the international community into supporting a war to oust Cuba’s then new leader, communist Fidel Castro.” (U.S. Military Wanted to Provoke War With Cuba – ABC News emphasis added. This Secret Pentagon document was declassified and can be readily consulted, See Operation Northwoods, See also National Security Archive, 30 April 2001)
In the logic of Operation Northwoods, the killings in Syria are carried out to “create a helpful wave of indignation”, to drum up public opinion in favor of an R2P US-NATO operation against Syria. “The international community cannot sit idly by, and we won’t”, said US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
What lies behind this outburst of humanitarian concern by “the international community”. Is America coming to the rescue of the Syrian people? What is the real reason for America’s war on Syria?
This question is addressed in a lead article by James P. Rubin, a Bloomberg executive editor and former State department official under the Clinton administration. The article appears in this month’s Foreign PolicyMagazine under the clear-cut title: “The Real Reason to Intervene in Syria“
In an unusual twist, “the answer to the question”, namely “the real reason” is provided in the article’s subtitle: “Cutting Iran’s link to the Mediterranean Sea is a strategic prize worth the risk.”.
The subtitle should dispel –in the eyes of the reader– the illusion that US foreign policy has an underlying “humanitarian mandate”. Pentagon and US State department documents as well as independent reports confirm that military action against Syria has been contemplated by Washington and Tel Aviv for more than 20 years.
Targeting Iran, “Protecting Israel”
According to James P. Rubin, the war plans directed against Syria are intimately related to those pertaining to Iran. They are part of the same US-Israeli military agenda which consists in weakening Iran with a view to “protecting Israel”. The latter objective is to be carried out through a pre-emptive attack against Iran: “We’re not done with the possibility of an Israeli strike on Iran” says James P. Rubin.
According to Clifford D. May, president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (“a policy institute focusing on terrorism and Islamism”), the humaniitarian concern is not the primary objective but rather a means to and end: ”If the Arab League is unmoved by the massacres of Syrian women and children (their angry eyes fixed as ever on Israel), and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation doesn’t give a fig about Muslims slaughtering Muslims, why should we Americans expend an ounce of energy? … Because Syria, under the Assad dictatorship, is Iran’s most important ally and asset. And Iran is the single most important strategic threat facing the U.S. — hands down.” (See National Review, May 30, 2012)
The military roadmap to Tehran goes through Damascus. The unspoken objective of the US-NATO-Israeli sponsored insurgency in Syria is to destabilize Syria as a Nation State and undermine Iran’s influence in the region (including its support of the Palestinian Liberation movement and Hezbollah). The underlying objective is also to eliminate all forms of resistance to the Zionist State:
“That is where Syria comes in, says James P, Rubin. It is the strategic relationship between the Islamic Republic and the Assad regime that makes it possible for Iran to undermine Israel’s security. Over the three decades of hostility between Iran and Israel, a direct military confrontation has never occurred — but through Hezbollah, which is sustained and trained by Iran via Syria, the Islamic Republic has proven able to threaten Israeli security interests.
The collapse of the Assad regime would sunder this dangerous alliance. Defense Minister Ehud Barak, arguably the most important Israeli decision-maker on this question, recently told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that the Assad regime’s fall “will be a major blow to the radical axis, major blow to Iran…. It’s the only kind of outpost of the Iranian influence in the Arab world … and it will weaken dramatically both Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza.” (The Real Reason to Intervene in Syria – By James P. Rubin | Foreign Policy, June 2, 2012, emphasis added)
Rubin candidly outlines the contours of US military intervention in Syria, which is to be implemented in close liaison with Israel. A diplomatic solution will not work, nor will economic sanctions: “only the threat or use of force will change the Syrian dictator’s stance” says Rubin:
“U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration has been understandably wary of engaging in an air operation in Syria similar to the campaign in Libya, for three main reasons. Unlike the Libyan opposition forces, the Syrian rebels are not unified and do not hold territory. The Arab League has not called for outside military intervention as it did in Libya. And the Russians, the longtime patron of the Assad regime, are staunchly opposed.” (Ibid)
This “first step” has already been launched. It was implemented at the very outset of the insurgency in March 2012. The US and its allies have been actively supporting the Free Syrian Army (FSA) terrorists for over a year. The organization and training consisted in the deployment of Salafist and Al Qaeda affiliated terrorists, alongside the incursion of French, British, Qatari and Turkish special forces inside Syria. US-NATO sponsored mercenaries are recruted and trained in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Sidetracking the UN
Rubin’s proposed “second step” is “to secure international support for a coalition air operation.” outside the mandate of the United Nations. “Russia will never support such a mission, so there is no point operating through the U.N. Security Council” says Rubin. The air operation contemplated by Rubin is an all out war scenario, similar to the NATO air raids conducted in Libya.
Rubin is not expressing a personal opinion on the role of theUN. The option of “sidetracking” the UN Security Council has already been endorsed by Washington. The violaiton of international law does not seem to be an issue. US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice confirmed in late May, in no uncertain terms, that “the worst and most probable scenario” in Syria might be the option of “acting outside of the UN Security Council’s authority”.
“In the absence of either of those two scenarios, there seems to me to be only one other alternative, and that is indeed the worst case, which seems unfortunately at the present to be the most probable. And that is that the violence escalates, the conflict spreads and intensifies, it reaches a higher degree of severity…The Council’s unity is exploded, the Annan plan is dead and members of this Council and members of the international community are left with the option only of having to consider whether they’re prepared to take actions outside of the Annan plan and the authority of this Council.” Actions outside UN Security Council Likely in Syria – Rice | World | RIA Novosti, May 31, 2012
Rubin also points to “the reluctance of some European states” to participate in an air operation against Syria: “this [military] operation will have to be a unique combination of Western and Middle East countries. Given Syria’s extreme isolation within the Arab League, it should be possible to gain strong support from most Arab countries, led by Saudi Arabia and Turkey. U.S. leadership is indispensable, since most of the key countries will follow only if Washington leads.”
The article calls for continued arming of the Syrian Free Army (FSA) as well carrying out air raids directed against Syria. No ground operations are to be envisaged. The air campaign would be used –as in the case of Libya– to support the FSA foot soldiers integrated by mercenaries and Al Qaeda affiliated brigades:
“Whether an air operation should just create a no-fly zone that grounds the regimes’ aircraft and helicopters or actually conduct air to ground attacks on Syrian tanks and artillery should be the subject of immediate military planning. …
The larger point is that as long as Washington stays firm that no U.S. ground troops will be deployed, à la Kosovo and Libya, the cost to the United States will be limited. Victory may not come quickly or easily, but it will come. And the payoff will be substantial. Iran would be strategically isolated, unable to exert its influence in the Middle East. The resulting regime in Syria will likely regard the United States as more friend than enemy. Washington would gain substantial recognition as fighting for the people in the Arab world, not the corrupt regimes.” (Rubin, op cit)
While the participation of Israel in military operations is not mentioned, the thrust of Rubin’s article points to active cooperation between Washington and Tel Aviv in military and intelligence affairs, including the conduct of covert operations in support of the opposition rebels. This coordination would also be carried out in the context of the bilateral military-intelligence cooperation agreement between Israel and Turkey.
“Coming to the rescue of the Syrian people” under a fake “humanitarian” R2P mandate is intended to destabilize Syria, weaken Iran and enable Israel to exert greater political control and influence over neighboring Arab states including Lebanon and Syria.
A war on Syria is also a war on Palestine. It would weaken the resistance movement in the occupied territories. It would reinforce the Netanyahu government’s ambitions to create a “Greater Israel”, initially, through the outright annexation of the Palestinian territories:
“With the Islamic Republic deprived of its gateway to the Arab world, the Israelis’ rationale for a bolt from the blue attack on its nuclear facilities would diminish. A new Syrian regime might eventually even resume the frozen peace talks regarding the Golan Heights. In Lebanon, Hezbollah would be cut off from its Iranian sponsor, since Syria would no longer be a transit point for Iranian training, assistance, and missiles. All these strategic benefits combined with the moral purpose of saving tens of thousands of civilians from murder at the hands of the Assad regime … make intervention in Syria a calculated risk, but still a risk worth taking.” (Rubin, op cit)
For the last 41 years, Israel’s attack on the USS Liberty has been a taboo topic about which neither the Jewish state nor the US has allowed free and open discussion. Like a paid-off judge in the service of organized crime interests pounding his gavel on the bench, for the last 4 decades Israel and her supporters in the US government have bellowed ‘case closed’ and have raked over the coals anyone–including the survivors of the attack themselves–from arguing otherwise. Realizing the tidal wave of outrage that would occur if the American people were to come of age and lose their innocence in realizing what Israel did in murdering 34 American servicemen 4 decades ago in a premeditated act of war (to say nothing of the cover-up perpetrated by the US government) it has been on the list of forbidden topics……until recently.
Cutting short his trip in Europe the first week of July, recently-appointed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Adm. Mike Mullen flew to Tel Aviv along with an entourage of high-ranking US military personnel and, upon his arrival, rushed to meet with the highest-ranking members of Israel’s military establishment. While this is not unusual (as many such meetings have been taking place as of late) what was unusual was the topic discussed–Israel’s attack on the USS Liberty 41 years ago during the 6 day war and how ‘important’ it was that ‘history not repeat itself,’ given the present tensions existing between Israel and Iran. Considering the subject of that meeting and the well-known cover-up that has taken place these last 41 years, the meeting should have made headline news all over America. Sadly, however, it did not, just another testimony to the fact that America is now officially ‘occupied territory’ every bit as much as Arab Palestine.
The fact that the meeting took place at all is news enough, but what is of even more importance is what can be inferred from the meeting. Given the fact that this brazen 2 hour attack upon the United States has been hushed up these last 41 years, there can be little else to conclude by Mullen’s meeting other than the obvious–That someone from within the intelligence or military apparatus of the United States has looked towards the horizon and concluded that Israel is planning a ‘USS Liberty Pt II,’ meaning an attack on a US ship, most likely in the Persian Gulf, leading to a massive loss of life to be then blamed on Iran. As was intended in 1967 when Israel attacked the Liberty, Americans would be incensed into such a war frenzy that they would demand the ‘obliteration’ (a la Hillary Clinton) of the guilty party, the false identity of which the Jewish media establishment in America would be all too glad to provide. And while all players involved have been tight-lipped about the particulars of this story, what can be concluded nevertheless is that Mullen’s impromptu trip to Israel and subsequent discussion was in effect a stern warning to Israel of ‘Don’t even think about it bubba’.
Those who suspect that Mullen (a company man not cut from the same cloth as the recently ‘retired’ Adm. William Fallon) has been afflicted with a sudden case of patriotic fever should consider this recent news against the more likely backdrop of sheer pragmatism. The sad fact is, patriotism more than likely had little to do with it. The US is having its rear end handed to it in Iraq and Afghanistan and now some in Washington are beginning to realize that they‘ve just put their foot into something nasty with regards to Israel’s dirty wars in the Middle East that will never be finished as long as she exists. With oil and virtually all consumer products skyrocketing in price simultaneous to the US economy going down the drain, some now understand that by signing on as Israel’s pit bull in the Muslim world that America will wind up paying the ultimate price for her devotion to the Jewish state, meaning the complete destruction of her economy and her position as a world power.
It is no secret Mullen is very friendly when it comes to the great experiment in Jewish self rule in the Middle East as well as his willingness to tow the line with regards to the sworn enemies of that great experiment. Immediately after the release of the National Intelligence Estimate in early December of 2007 stating that Iran had no nuclear weapons program America’s highest ranking military officer high-tailed it to Israel (the first Chairman of the Joint Chiefs to do so in a decade) to reassure her of America’s support that would last ‘1,000 years’.
As of late however, America’s top general officer seems to be singing a different tune with regards to widening the present debacle to include war with Iran that stands the very real chance of bringing into the fray nuclear-armed nations such as Russia and China. Out of necessity therefore he has now joined with saner voices both inside and outside the Bush administration who are trying to prevent an otherwise apocalyptic end to America. In discussing an attack on Iran Mullen recently stated that opening a third front would be ‘extremely stressful’ on the US military and added that it would lead to consequences ‘difficult to predict’, adding that “There is need for better clarity, even dialogue at some level.”
And this, added to all the other things taking place these days (not excluding of course the talk of withdrawing US troops from Iraq) is what is making Israel jittery to the point she would contemplate pulling off another ‘USS Liberty’. For the sake of her own survival she simply cannot afford to have her ‘fixer’ in the Middle East walk away from a ‘hit’ to which he has been assigned, and it is for this reason that forward-thinking people in the US are beginning to sense Israel may soon pull a few surprises out of her infamous black bag of dirty tricks.
Once the stomping grounds solely of ‘anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists’ that the Jewish state might pull a fast one in order to get the US involved in a war for her own interests, now ‘respectable’ people have begun to voice such thoughts openly as well. In a recent piece appearing in an issue of American Conservative Magazine entitled ‘If Iran is Attacking, It Might Really Be Israel’, ex-CIA officer Phillip Giraldi writes as follows–
‘Some intel types are beginning to express concerns that the Israelis might do something completely crazy to get the US involved. There are a number of possible “false flag” scenarios in which the Israelis could stage an incident that they will make to look Iranian, either by employing Iranian weapons or by leaving a communications footprint that points to Tehran’s involvement. Those who argue Israel would never do such a thing should think again. Israel is willing to behave with complete ruthlessness towards the US if they feel that the stakes are high enough. Witness the attack on the USS Liberty and the bombing of the US Consulate in Alexandria in the 1950s. If they now believe that Iran is a threat that must be eliminated it is not implausible to assume they will stop at nothing to get the United States to do it for them, particularly as their air force is only able to damage the Iranian nuclear program, not destroy it…’
Joined alongside Giraldi is former long-time CIA analyst Ray McGovern who in his most recent piece ‘Israel Planning a September/October Surprise?’ writes the following with regards to the US pulling out of the Middle East and what Israel might do as a result–
‘My guess is the Israeli leaders are apoplectic…This dramatic change — or even just the specter of it — greatly increases Israel’s incentive to ensure US involvement in the area that would endure for several years. The Israelis need to create “facts on the ground” — something to guarantee Washington will stand by “our ally.” The legislation drafted by AIPAC calls for a blockade of Iran. That would be one way to entangle; there are many others. The point is that the growing danger the Israelis perceive will probably prompt them to find a way to get the US involved in hostilities with Iran. All Israel has to do is to arrange to be attacked. Not a problem. There are endless possibilities among which Israel can choose to catalyze such a confrontation. Viewed from Tel Aviv it appears an increasingly threatening situation, with more urgent need to “embed” (so to speak) the United States even more deeply in the region — in a confrontation involving both countries with Iran. A perfect storm is brewing…In sum, Israel is likely to be preparing a September/October surprise designed to keep the US bogged down in Iraq and in the wider region by provoking hostilities with Iran. And don’t be surprised if it starts as early as August…
Readers will recall that American Free Press newspaper predicted in the aftermath of the National Intelligence Estimate being released that the prospect of war with Iran being cancelled (or delayed) would likely result in Israel resorting to desperate measures in getting her way. AFP further speculated that the timing of the release of the NIE was suspicious, coming just a few days before Dec 7, the day Americans remember the attack on Pearl Harbor and that possibly the release of the report was timed to prevent a sneak attack by an Israeli sub on a US ship stationed in the Persian Gulf.
For her part, Israel is attempting to play the role of the innocent, cooperative and concerned ally in the wake of Mullen’s meeting by summoning Judge Jay Cristol, a federal bankruptcy judge in Miami and devoted Zionist who wrote a book in 2002 exculpating Israel of any wrongdoing in the Liberty attack. He is lecturing at military academies in Haifa and Ashdod on how to avoid the ‘mistakes’ that led to the attack on the Liberty.
One thing is for certain. Out of all the topics to be discussed with his Israeli counterparts, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mullen picked the topic of the USS Liberty, and not because he felt nostalgic, sentimental or even–Heaven forbid–guilty over the way the Liberty survivors have been treated these last 41 years. He, like many within the military and intelligence establishment, no doubt realizes that America sits at the precipice of destruction and is no doubt trying to pull her back before that proverbial ‘point of no return’ is reached, if in fact it has not been reached already.
And as sobering a theme as all this may be, the fact is that it may turn out to be much worse. What Israel wants, Israel gets, and the fact that an attack on a US ship has been thwarted does not mean that the fat lady has sung, as now the likelihood of a false flag attack on the American mainland has been made all the more probable. This time however, just for good measure and for spite, it might not be a city building coming down after being struck by an airliner, but rather an entire city being consumed in a mushroom cloud, courtesy of a place called Dimona and a criminal organization known as Mossad.
2008 by Mark Glenn