U.S. Moves Closer to Attack on Syria
June 2, 2012
Standing outside the headquarters of the bankrupt solar energy company Solyndra on Thursday, the hand-picked Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney praised recent developments in Syria.
“I hope we understand that Syria and what’s going on there is a a ray of sunshine in the Middle East because you have a very dangerous tyrant, who has allied his country with Iran, which is seeking to become a dominant power in the middle east,” Romney said.
“Syria is the headquarters of Hamas in the middle east. It is Iran’s only Arab ally. Syria is the route for arming Hezbollah in Lebanon. It is important to see a change in leadership in Syria,” Romney added.
He then dissed the United Nations and its lopsided Kofi Annan peace plan because it is not “advancing in the way I think we could be advancing,” or rather the way his neocon foreign policy advisers think it should advance.
It is hardly surprising that, for Romney and the establishment, the massacre in al-Houla and the estimated 20,000 dead (according to the United Nations) since the color revolution ordered by former Secretary of Defense Gates was launched in January of 2011 represent a “ray of sunshine.”
Evidence indicates the CIA’s proxy the Free Syrian Army is responsible for the massacre in al-Houla, not al-Assad’s military. But despite this, the establishment – including the Obama administration Romney lambasted for “policy of paralysis” – is slowly wending its way toward the sort of bloody solution imposed in Libya (30,000 dead), including the murder of its leader. The only substantial difference between Obama and Romney is the latter would attack Syria next week and the former in a month or two.
The establishment and the Pentagon obsessed over the military “option” all week long. “As you know, my job is to provide the commander-in-chief with options,” said Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “I think the military option should be considered.”
The presence of Syrian National Transitional Council head Bassma Kodmani at the 2012 Bilderberg conference also indicates an attack is squarely on the front-burner. Kodmani is the Head of Foreign Affairs with the SNC, a coalition of Syrian opposition groups based in Istanbul, Turkey.
“Kodmani is a darling of the establishment, having written op-eds for the New York Times calling for the overthrow of Assad. In recent months her position has become increasingly hardline and pro-NATO intervention. In January she called for “greater militarization of local resistance or foreign intervention.” Kodmani has also called for Syria to form an alliance with Israel,” writes Paul Joseph Watson today.
Meanwhile, Republican Mike Rogers, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said the United States has the resources for attacking Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
“There are certain things and capabilities that the United States has that can, in conjunction with our Arab League partners, could provide a tipping point so it would provide certain capabilities to units that we know who are trying to overthrow the Assad regime that we can vet, that we can test, that we can understand who completely that they are,” Rogers said on Wednesday.
The “certain capabilities” Rogers mentioned are now in the formulation process. Joe Lieberman, the Democrat party outcast and senator from Connecticut, told Fox News on Saturday that he believes the Obama administration is moving closer to attacking Syria. He met with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at the Shangri-La Dialogue, a prominent military-industrial complex conference held in Singapore.
“The Secretary of Defense made clear to me his department has a series of plans that they can implement whenever the president as Commander in Chief gives various levels of military support to the Syrian opposition,” Lieberman said. “I don’t think anybody expects that those plans would include American troops on the ground in Syria nor will they require the U.S. to take on the fight against Assad alone.”
In other words, the Libyan model will be used in Syria – NATO will conduct bombing sorties directed by the Pentagon and logistical support will be given to the Free Syrian Army as it conducts a terror campaign against Syrian citizens loyal to al-Assad.
Lieberman also addressed the Russian problem and the paralysis of the United Nations Security Council. “If we to continue to say that we won’t do anything to help the Syrian people unless there is U.N. Security Council authorization that is essentially saying to the Russians you can block the world from coming to the aid of these people in Syria against your ally Assad and that is exactly the wrong thing to do,” Lieberman said.
It is a forgone conclusion that the Syrian military cannot be overthrown by the rag-tag FSA despite its backing by the CIA and training by British and U.S. special forces.
The U.S. ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, said in October that Syria’s security forces “are still very strong, and there is not an armed opposition that is capable of overthrowing the Syrian government.” In short, if al-Assad is going to be deposed it will have to be accomplished by direct military intervention by the NATO and the United States, not its weakling proxies.
In March, the Associated Press reported that “the Syrian leader commands a formidable army that is unlikely to turn on him, an inner circle that has stayed loyal and a Syrian elite that still supports his rule.”
The FSA is no match for al-Assad’s military:
Intelligence analysts have concluded that the disorganized Syrian opposition is providing little challenge to the regime, with political leaders of the Syrian National Council proving more apt at picking ego-driven fights among themselves than working as a team. The self-styled Syrian Free Army is made up of a ragtag “Star Wars” bar of disparate local groups, lightly armed with rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and homemade improvised explosive devices. The fighters arm themselves by seizing weapons from military warehouses, staging raids on army outposts or smuggling the weapons in. The rebel army has thus far rejected the political leadership of the rebel political movement.
Arrayed against them is a highly professional, 330,000-man army plus reserves that was built and trained to invade Israel. While under strain, it is nowhere near collapse, the officials said.
The Syrian military has 4,500 tanks and approximately 500 aircraft, including armed helicopters. A Libyan-style “no-fly zone” would be difficult – and so would the sort of NATO bombing sorties that destroyed the far less effective Libyan military. Syria has hundreds of anti-aircraft artillery batteries and thousands of shoulder-fired missiles.
On Friday, British Foreign Secretary William Hague admitted that any military action against Syria would “be on a vastly greater scale than was the case in Libya and it would have to enjoy broad international support,” according to The Sun.