Saturday, October 03, 2015

Polar Opposite US Russian Agendas in Syria

Polar Opposite US/Russian Agendas in Syria

by Stephen Lendman

Washington wants regime change, replacing Bashar al-Assad with a US selected puppet. Its strategy features naked aggression, transforming a peaceful nation threatening no one into an endless cauldron of violence, chaos and instability, causing enormous harm to millions of Syrians.

Words can’t explain their suffering. US imperial policy bears full responsibility, complicit with Israel, wanting a regional rival removed, more Syrian territory stolen, both nations pursuing their Greater Middle East agenda, strategies involving endless wars of aggression.

Russian policy is polar opposite. Putin, Dmitry Medvedev, Sergey Lavrov and other officials are firm - supporting Syrians’ exclusive right to choose who’ll lead them, opposing foreign powers wanting their will imposed, going all-out to resolve things diplomatically, now confronting the scourge of terrorism head-on, what the entire free world applauds, directly contesting US imperial ruthlessness.

Sergey Lavrov explained, saying:

“Rampage by Jabhat al-Nusra and Al Qaeda in Iraq, Al Qaeda in the Maghreb countries, the Yemeni branch of Al Qaeda, Somalia’s Al Shabaab and Boko Haram and other groups have paled into insignificance against the expansion of the so-called Islamic State.” 

“On vast territories of Iraq and Syria, the IS has in fact created an extremist quasi state having a well-oiled repressive machinery, stable sources of incomes, well-equipped army and elements of weapons of mass destruction.” 

“IS cells are establishing themselves in Libya, Afghanistan and other countries, and openly declaring they have plans for seizing Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem, and spreading their ominous activities to Europe, Central and Southeast Asia and Russia.”

They’re “carrying out mass executions and atrocities. They jeopardize the very existence of various ethnic and confessional groups, including Christians, Kurds and Alawites. (They have) a professional propaganda machinery operating in a dozen languages.”

Defeating their scourge is essential. Putin and Lavrov urge the formation of an international coalition united for one purpose, eliminating this menace entirely.

“Our stance is clear,” said Lavrov. “We seek no regime change. Nor do we discuss the fate of the legitimate president of a sovereign country. Citizens of the country…should determine the fate of their president,” no one else.

On Friday, Russia’s Defense Ministry announced its air group now fully deployed, using state-of-the-art warplanes fitted with precision-strike weapons, able to hit targets with pinpoint accuracy.

Claims about causing civilian casualties are fabricated. No evidence suggests any. Reconnaissance drone intelligence precedes targeted strikes to assure chosen ISIS targets are accurately hit. 

Russian Air Force spokesman Col. Igor Klimov said aerial missions target “ISIL infrastructure, such as command centers, headquarters, communication nodes, arms, ammo and fuel depots, labs producing IEDs and car bombs for terrorist attacks.”

Missions last around 30 minutes, operate on “a tight schedule. All identified targets get destroyed.” Russia’s strategy aims to aid Syrian Army operations on the ground - polar opposite US policy, using ISIS and other takfiri terrorists against the interests and welfare of the Syrian people, its bombing campaign supporting them.

Russian operations began on Wednesday. They continue into their fourth day - on Friday conducting 14 sorties, including reconnaissance, destroying an Idlib province ISIS command center, among other targets struck.

On Saturday, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said “(w)e are protecting Russian people from a terrorist threat because it is better to do this abroad than to fight terrorism within the country.”

Ultimately, things can only be resolved diplomatically, he explained. The first task is defeating terrorism. Russian air power supporting Syrian, Hezbollah and perhaps contingents of Iranian ground forces have the best chance to succeed.

A Final Comment

It bears repeating. Russia aircraft strike ISIS targets with pinpoint accuracy. Every effort is made to avoid civilian casualties - in contrast to indiscriminate US bombing, harming noncombatants mostly, causing enormous amounts of so-called “collateral damage,” Orwellian language for mass slaughter and destruction.

Again on Saturday. US warplanes bombed a Kunduz, Afghanistan hospital, causing major damage, Western and Russian media reporting nine Doctors Without Borders (MSF) staff killed. The organization’s Saturday press release said:

“At 2:10 AM local time on Saturday October 3, the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières’ (MSF) Trauma center in Kunduz was hit several times during sustained bombing and was very badly damaged.”

“Three MSF staff are confirmed dead and more than 30 are unaccounted for. The medical team is working around the clock to do everything possible for the safety of patients and hospital staff.”

“We are deeply shocked by the attack, the killing of our staff and patients and the heavy toll it has inflicted on healthcare in Kunduz,” MSF Director of Operations Bart Janssens said. 

“We do not yet have the final casualty figures, but our medical team is providing first aid and treating the injured patients and MSF personnel and accounting for the deceased. We urge all parties to respect the safety of health facilities and staff.”

America and Israel consider civilians and non-military infrastructure legitimate targets - polar opposite Russia’s campaign in Syria.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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