Monday, November 12, 2012

Syrian Opposition Unity Deal


Syrian Opposition Unity Deal

by Stephen Lendman

Last week, Doha hosted Washington's reinvented scheme to forge new Syrian opposition unity. Only pro-Western puppets need apply. So-called Friends of Syria are its enemies. 

Most live outside the country. They haven't been there for months or years. They're out of touch. They have no connection to what most Syrians support. They're involved for whatever benefits them at the expense of the majority of the population that opposes their agenda.

Many opposition figures boycotted the meeting. They want no part of Washington's scheme. Movement for a Peaceful Settlement in Syria leader, Fateh al-Jamus, told Voice of Russia (VOR):

"We are holding back our opinion of the external opposition. Any action taken by an organization outside the borders of our country can not make a difference." 

"This activity leads to a dependence on foreign players from a geopolitical and a financial point of view. The work of a true opposition must be implemented from within the country." 

"As for external conferences, they have shown that they only contribute to strife amidst the opposition, and do not unite it. Such conferences cause a distorted view of the regime."

VOR cited Whitehall sources saying UK special forces are actively involved in training opposition death squads. Assassinating Assad is prioritized. SAS, SBS, and Special Reconnaissance Regiment elements are involved.

Expect US special forces and CIA elements to be part of this as well. Washington heads all regime change efforts.

Prime Minister David Cameron "is preparing to use the RAF to enforce no-fly zones…." Doing so effectively declares war. It initiates Libya 2.0 without Security Council authorization.

Cameron and Obama are "considering military action and officially arming rebels." Unofficially they've been doing it all along.

"The first stage of the plan involves a no-fly zone that will be patrolled by British, US and French forces. Safe havens will be set up in Syria, Turkey, and Jordan."

If VOR is right, all-out war looms. Perhaps it's Obama's way of celebrating electoral victory.

On November 12, Russia Today (RT) headlined "Britain could intervene in Syria within months - top UK general," saying:

Britain's Chief of the Defense Staff General David Richards said:

"The situation this winter I think may deteriorate and may well provoke calls to intervene in a limited way. It's my job….to make sure these options are continually brushed over to make sure we can deliver them."

Britain's Defense Secretary Phillip Hammond also suggested direct intervention can't be ruled out. "At the moment," he said, "we don't have a legal basis for delivering military assistance to the rebels." 

"This is something the prime minister keeps asking us to test - the legal position, the practical military position, and we will continue to look at all options."

Politics First editor, Marcus Papadopoulous, disagrees, saying:

"I think (what's said is) more designed to actually invigorate the Syrian militants - who are, of course, (Western) proxies - and at the same time to try and scare (Assad's) government (and) try to demoralize the Syrian armed forces…."

The London Guardian said London will "host talks on further support for opposition" on Friday. Foreign Secretary William Hague said Britain "will host a meeting (of) donors and coalition representatives which will consider further support to the Syrian opposition at this critical time."

These and similar reports are worrisome. It suggests full-scale war looms. It could happen before yearend or early next year. If so, all bets are off. Neighboring countries and perhaps the entire region will be affected. 

The new opposition organization replaces the Syrian National Council (SNC). It's called the Syrian National Coalition for the Forces of the Opposition and the Revolution (SNC 2.0).

Syrian loyalists want no part of foreign interference. Doha attendees have no legitimacy whatever.

Done deal, said Reuters. "Syria's opposition groups strike unity deal against Assad."

US strong-arming forced agreement. Days of dissension and wrangling succumbed to pressure. A so-called government in exile was formed. 

Muslim Brotherhood leader/Syrian exile attendee Sadr el-Din Bayanouni said, "We have agreed on the broad platform and all (opposition) parties, without any exception, support this initiative."

He meant, of course, opposition elements favoring violence and instability. Those wanting diplomacy and peace boycotted Doha.

Moaz al Khatib heads SNC 2.0. Until July, he was Damascus Umayyad mosque imam. He favors Sharia law governance. Most Syrians oppose it. 

He's relatively unknown abroad. Heading Washington's belligerent regime change agenda won't gain him support at home.

Syrians want no part of Western interference. Khatib sided with the enemy. He’ll have a hard time explaining why. Extremist elements support him.

Syrian businessman and former parliamentarian Riad Seif was Washington's first choice. He declined but agreed to serve as deputy president. 

Suhair al Atassi, a female Assad opponent, was elected second vice president. Businessman Mustafa Sabbagh serves as general secretary.

SNC members secured 22 seats of a new coalition body. SNC secretary-general, Bassam Ishak, said it "will help us mobilize more international support and resources for the Syrian opposition."

Expect the same imperial support as before. It remains to be seen how long so-called unity holds. 

US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said America looks "forward to supporting the National Coalition as it charts a course toward the end of Assad's bloody rule and the start of the peaceful, just, democratic future that all the people of Syria deserve."

Washington, of course, deplores "peaceful, just, democratic" rule. It tolerates none at home or abroad. It wants pro-Western puppets running Syria. 

It wants Iran isolated in preparation for longstanding regime change plans there. Syrians and Iranians have other ideas altogether. They want no part of Western dominance. They'll resist strongly to prevent it. What's ahead remains to be seen.

Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi said individuals who "meet in hotels" abroad are "deluding themselves" if they think they can oust the government.

Consider their arrogance. Syrian loyalists and most others internally have no say in deciding who'll lead them. Dissidents convening abroad have no legitimacy whatever. 

Forming a government in exile violates fundamental international law. There's no ambiguity. It recognizes sovereign states rights, equality among all states, non-interference in their internal affairs, and responsibility to settle disputes peacefully by refraining from threats or use of force.

Under no circumstances may one nation, or combination thereof, intervene in the internal affairs of others except in self-defense if attacked. 

Article 8 of the 1933 Montevideo Convention of Rights and Duties says, "No state has the right to intervene in the internal or external affairs of another."

Under Article 10, differences between states "should be settled by recognized pacific methods."

Article 11 calls sovereign state territory "inviolable...."

Non-intervention is also included in the following charters:

  • the Organization of American States;

  • Organization of African Unity; and

  • League of Arab States.

On November 11, Press TV interviewed London-based Syrian Social Club member Isa Chaer. He said Washington's so-called "government in exile has no basis in Syria."

Doha attendees "represent nothing but themselves. They do not have any representations of the Syrian people."

"In our opinion, this is just another ploy to try to attract attention, the Western-backed attention, to have some kind of a government in exile that has no basis in Syria but has basis and affiliation with the Western countries and their backers in the Persian Gulf region."

Syrians want no part of this. They want peace and stability. They oppose foreign interference. The "voice of dialogue has to override the voice of guns and violence."

Washington depends on conflict to achieve regime change. SNC 2.0 will form a Revolutionary Military Council. It doesn't have peace and stability in mind. Intensified conflict is planned. 

Expect stepped up US aid. CIA elements actively supply opposition fighters with weapons. Expect more of the same ahead.

On November 12, Russia Today headlined "Syrian opposition agrees to form unified coalition," saying:

At best the agreement is paper thin. Washington insisted something get done. Whether Clinton's scheme holds is another matter entirely. Syrians have little respect for foreign opposition elements.

They've got blood on their hands. They're responsible for daily violence. Arab Lawyers Association president Sabah Mukhtar told RT:

Opposition figures are out of touch with what's ongoing in Syria. They had no "credibility before and I don't think they have credibility" now.

Imperial dominance is longstanding US policy. Permanent wars continue. Washington hasn't won one since WW II. It doesn't deter policy makers' rage for more. 

War profiteers demand it. So does Wall Street. All conflicts benefit giant financial interests. The entire Middle East is at risk. Destroying it doesn't matter. Bottom line priorities count most.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"

http://www.claritypress.com/Lendman.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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