SYRIA: “Bashar Al Assad is Determined to Hold Syria Together”

“Bashar al Assad is determined to hold Syria together. His enemies are determined to pull it apart.”

Jeremy Salt
Palestine Chronicle

The massacre of 106 Syrian soldiers in a US-led air attack brings the Middle East and the world closer to the edge of complete chaos. If Syria can be torn apart, why not your country, or mine? If Syrians can be killed so brutally, and so casually, so dishonestly, so brazenly, so callously, why not all of us? Why should our lives be sacrosanct when theirs are not? 

The policymakers in Washington organizing this destruction are not affected. Their wives and children are safe in their suburban houses in their leafy streets and they cannot imagine themselves or their country being sucked into the vortex of annihilation any more than Hitler did before invading Poland. We are back to the 1930s and no-one should be surprised if this situation ends where the 1930s ended.

But the next war will not end where 1939 ended because it will be nuclear and those smug policymakers in Washington and their wives and children will be burnt to a smudge on the wall like everyone else even if they don’t have the imagination to see it.

The fascists of yesteryear have resurfaced in the liberal democracies of today. The fascists wore uniforms, military jackets, belts and caps in black and brown. The liberal democrats wear uniforms, too, grey or blue suits, white shirts and pastel ties. The fascists killed remorselessly. The liberal democrats kill remorselessly. The fascists tore international law to shreds. The liberal democrats tear international law to shreds. The fascists lied as a matter of course. The liberal democrats lie as a matter of course. The fascist media trumpeted lies around the world. The liberal democrat media trumpets lies around the world.

World order now is being torn apart by the liberal democracies. This was made explicit by Condoleeza Rice during the George W. Bush presidency when, spelling out the national security policy of her country, she said the US would not respect the sovereign rights of countries where they did not deserve to be respected in the opinion and in the interests of the US. Well, the US never did respect the rights of other countries when it did not want to respect them but here was the reality being spelled out, arrogantly and openly, for the world to hear.

The 17th century Treaty of Westphalia, guaranteeing order in the European world and still a foundation of hope for global order, was torn up in a second. We have seen the results: countries destroyed and drone missile attacks ordered on the basis of authorization signed by the US president. What international law might say is irrelevant because this is the exceptional state.

Syria may as well not be a country with borders, sovereign rights and represented at the United Nations by the government in Damascus. There might as well not be a UN as far as Syria is concerned. It has done nothing to save Syria from this tempest of destruction and everything to enable it, in the same way that the feeble League of Nations failed to protect Spaniards, Ethiopians and Chinese from the onslaught of the fascists. There might as well be no international law as far as Syria is concerned.

The only country with the right to position military forces in Syria is Russia. All the others are engaged in the most tremendous violation of international law. Even distant Australia was part of the air attack outside Deir al Zor. The government apologized for the ‘mistake’ and moved on while the real story for the media was not this violation of international law, ending in the killing of 106 Syrians, but the domestic problems of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

The arch villain is the United States. It’s record as an international pirate is seamless. It lives in a permanent state of war with someone, as if this is an existential requirement. The wars began with the wars against the North American Indians, moved on to the war against the colonial British master, then the war against the slaves, then the continuing war against Afro-Americans, then the wars exported around the world, as if the territory of the US was not big enough to contain its inherent violence, as if the belt around a bulging waistline had to be loosened. Wars shipped to Latin America, Southeast Asia and the Middle East: invasions, coups, assassination, economic destabilization and the sponsorship of theft and occupation by the Zionist colonists of Palestine. In the past decade alone the US has torn Iraq and Libya apart and is now trying to finish off Syria.

The attack outside Deir al Zor was not accidental. It was planned, it was deliberate, it was preceded by drone reconnaissance and it lasted for at least an hour, way past the point at which the US would have been informed that it was bombing the wrong target. The aerial assault was immediately followed by an ISIS attack on what was left of the Syrian military installations. In context, the attack was foreshadowed four months ago when 51 State Department personnel petitioned the US government to launch direct attacks on the Syrian military.

It was foreshadowed by the Defence Intelligence Agency evaluation that the establishment of a ‘salafist’ state in eastern Syria would serve US interests: in the form of the Islamic State, this is what the US now has. It was foreshadowed by Hillary Clinton’s statement that if elected president she would authorize direct military attacks on Syrian targets. Finally, after these threats, noone should be surprised that it finally happened.

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