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Are Westerners Ready to Bomb Syria?

Pretending to believe in a chemical attack by the Syrian government against its own people, Washington, London and Paris are beating the drums of war. Should we take these threats seriously coming from states having announced as imminent the fall of Syria for more than two years? Although one should not exclude this option, Thierry Meyssan thinks it is less likely that an intervention organized by Saudi Arabia. Western agitation would rather aim to test the responses of Russia and Iran.

| Damascus (Syria)
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Damascus, August 27, - What bee has the Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Barack Obama, got in his bonnet? Sunday, August 25, the White House issued a statement in which an anonymous senior official said that there is "little doubt" of the use by Syria of chemical weapons against its opposition. The statement added that Syria ’s agreement to let the UN inspectors in the area is "too late to be credible ."

If the use of chemical weapons on the outskirts of Damascus, Wednesday, August 21, 2013 is likely, the Security Council of the United Nations has not concluded that it was the work of the Syrian government. At an emergency meeting held at the request of the West, the ambassadors were surprised to see their Russian colleague present satellite photos showing the firing of two rounds at 1:35 am from the rebel zone Duma in rebel areas affected by gas (at Jobar and between Arbin and Zamalka ) at times coinciding with the related disorders. The pictures do not tell us whether they were chemical shells, but they suggest that the "Brigade of Islam", which occupies Duma, has hit three birds with the same stone: first, to remove the support of its rivals in the opposition; second, accuse Syria of using chemical weapons; finally, disrupt the offensive of the Syrian Arab army clearing the capital.

If the Syrian government, similar to its enemy, Israel, is not a signatory to the Convention against chemical weapons and has large stocks, the jihadists also have some, as confirmed by Carla Del Ponte, to the fury of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. In December, the Free Syrian Army released a video showing a chemical laboratory and threatening the Alawites. This week, the government discovered several caches of chemical weapons, gas masks and antidotes in the suburbs of Damascus. The products came from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United States and the Netherlands. Also, it is at the request of the Syrian government, not the West, that UN inspectors are present in Syria for two weeks to investigate allegations of use. Finally, on 29 May 29, 2013, the Turkish police arrested a dozen members of the Al-Nosra Front and seized chemical weapons that were to be used in Syria.

However, on Friday, President Obama met his National Security Council to review the attack options against Syria in the presence of Ambassador Samantha Power, leader of liberal hawks. He decided to strengthen the U.S. military presence in the Mediterranean by sending a fourth destroyer, loaded with cruise missiles, the USS Ramage. This is in addition to the USS Gravely, the USS Barry and USS Mahan, which remains in the zone when it should return to port.

Saturday, he called British Prime Minister David Cameron on the phone. And on Sunday, he spoke with French President Francois Hollande. The three men agreed that intervention was necessary without specifying how. Sunday again, the Secretary of State John Kerry called his British, French, Canadian and Russian counterparts to say that the United States was convinced that Syria had crossed the "red line". If the first three speakers listened at attention, Russia’s Sergey Lavrov expressed surprise that Washington pronounced itself before the report of the UN inspectors. He referred to the "extremely grave consequences" that would result form an intervention in the region.

Monday, the French defense minister, Jean -Yves Le Drian, was in Qatar and was to go to the UAE to coordinate with them. While the Israeli national security adviser, General Yaakov Amidror, was received at the White House. During a telephone conversation between the British Prime Minister David Cameron and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the latter stressed that there was no evidence of use of chemical weapons by Syria. For his part, the Chinese Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Li Baodong, called his U.S. counterpart, Wendy R. Sherman, to urge the United States to exercise restraint. Aware of the risk of a regional war in which Christians would suffer, Pope Francis reiterated his call for peace.

Should we therefore think that the West will go to war without a mandate from the Security Council, as NATO did in Yugoslavia? This is unlikely because at the time Russia was in ruins. Today, after issuing three vetoes to protect Syria, it must intervene or forsake any international action. However Sergey Lavrov has wisely rejected a Third World War. He said that his country was not ready to go to war against anyone, even over Syria. It could therefore be an indirect intervention in support of Syria, as China did during the Vietnam War .

Iran then, through its Deputy Chief of Staff, Massoud Jazayeri, indicated that the attack on Syria would be crossing the "red line" and that if it took this step, the White House would endure "serious consequences." Though Iran has neither the resources of Russia, nor alliances, it is certainly one of the top 10 global military powers. Therefore, to attack Syria is to run the risk of retaliation against Israel and uprisings in much of the Arab world, including Saudi Arabia. The recent intervention of the Lebanese Hezbollah and the statements of its Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, such as the Palestinian organization PFLP- General Command, leave no doubt.

Questioned by the Russian press, Syrian President Bashar al -Assad, said: "The statements made by US politicians, Western and other countries is an insult to common sense and an expression of contempt for the public opinion of their peoples. This is nonsense: first accuse, then gather evidence. This task is carried out by a powerful country, the United States ( ... ) This kind of accusation is a purely political response to the series of victories won by government forces against the terrorists. "

In Russia, the President of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Duma, the journalist and geopolitician, Alexei Pushkov, commented on his Twitter account : " Washington and London have pronounced Assad guilty before the conclusions of UN inspectors . They will accept nothing but a guilty verdict . Any other verdict will be rejected. "

The notion of a new war in Syria squares badly with the economic problems of the United States and Europe. If selling weapons is a way to earn money, destroying a state without hope of return in the short or medium term can worsen the situation.

According to a Reuters / Ipsos poll conducted after the August 21st attack, 60% of the US public opposed intervention in Syria against 9% who supported it . If they were convinced of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, they remained 46% in opposition to the war and 25% in support. The same survey indicates that U.S. respondents are even less fond of secret war : 89 % said the US should not arm the rebels, against 11% who want to arm them more. Finally, four options were offered to respondents : airstrikes ( supported by 12%), creating a no-fly zone ( 11%), the financing of a multinational force ( 9%), and direct U.S. action ( 4%).

In France, Le Figaro, published by the arms dealer Dassault, asked its readers and, at the end of the day, 79.60 % opposed the war versus 20.40% in support. It will certainly be difficult to reverse public opinion and go to war.

Another interpretation of events is possible: some videos showing the victims of chemical attacks actually circulated on the Internet a few hours before the attacks. It will always be possible for Westerners to "discover" the deception in time and backtrack. However, the case of chemical weapons in Iraq has shown that Westerners could lie to the international community and escape with impunity once their evil deed is accomplished.

The charges from jihadists and their Western sponsors emerged while the Syrian Arab Army launched a major offensive, "Shield of Damascus" to free the capital. The shot of the two shells of the "Brigade of Islam" came at the beginning of the offensive, which continued for 5 days and resulted in significant losses among jihadists (at least 1,500 killed and wounded of the about 25,000 present). All this agitation may be only psychological warfare to both hide this defeat and attempt to cripple the Syrian offensive. This is especially a way for Washington to test the Iranian response after the election of Sheikh Hassan Rohani to his presidency. And it is now clear that the latter will not oppose the policy of the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

However, during the war against Libya, I had underestimated the ability of the United States to violate all the rules, including those of NATO. Basing myself on documents from the Atlantic Alliance, I insisted on the long resilience of the Libyan Jamahiriya confronting its armed opposition. I ignored the holding of a secret meeting on the NATO base in Naples behind the back of the Atlantic Council. At the time, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Denmark, Turkey, Israel, Qatar and Jordan secretly planned the use of Alliance assets to bomb Tripoli. Not trusting their allies, whom they knew would be opposed to an attack so costly in human lives, they had not informed them. The Atlantic Alliance was no longer an Alliance proper but an ad hoc coalition. In a few days, the taking of Tripoli caused at least 40,000 deaths, according to internal reports of the Red Cross. Such a manoeuvre may be being organized : the Chiefs of Staff of approximately the same states, plus Saudi Arabia and Canada, are gathered since Sunday and until tonight in Amman under the chairmanship of the CentCom commander, General Lloyd J. Austin III. They are considering five options: supplying weapons to the Contras, targeted bombings, creating a no-fly zone, establishment of buffer zones and land invasion.

The Atlanticist press calls to war. The London Times ad .

President Barack Obama could well follow the war plan drawn up by his predecessor George W. Bush on 15 September 2001, who foresaw, in addition to attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq, those of Libya and Syria, as was revealed by the former Commander of NATO, General Wesley Clark. Except that, for the first time, the target has serious allies.

However, the new U.S. rhetoric contradicts all the efforts of the Obama administration for the last year that sought to eliminate obstacles to the holding of the Geneva 2 Conference: resignation of General David Petraeus and supporters of the secret war, non-reappointment of Hillary Clinton and the ultra-Zionists ; indictment of irreducible opponents of an alliance with Russia, especially within NATO and the missile shield . It also contradicts the efforts of John Brennan to cause clashes in the Syrian armed opposition to demand the abdication of the Emir of Qatar, and to threaten Saudi Arabia.

On the Syrian side, they are preparing as much as is possible for any eventuality, including the NATO bombing of command centers and ministries coordinated with an assault by jihadists against the capital. However, the most likely option is not triggering a regional war that would overwhelm the Western powers. It is an attack in the fall, supervised by Saudi Arabia and endorsed by the fighters it is currently recruiting . Eventually, this operation could be supported by the Arab League.

Translation
Roger Lagassé

Thierry Meyssan

Thierry Meyssan French intellectual, founder and chairman of Voltaire Network and the Axis for Peace Conference. His columns specializing in international relations feature in daily newspapers and weekly magazines in Arabic, Spanish and Russian. His last two books published in English : 9/11 the Big Lie and Pentagate.

 
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