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US 'Military Support' in Syria Will Lead to Full-Scale War, Critics Warn

World  (tags: 'HUMANRIGHTS!', children, conflict, death, government, iran, iraq, middle-east, politics, Refugees&Relief, society, Syria, violence, war )

- 1806 days ago -
Cockburn hightlighted the complexities of the conflict, of which the U.S., Russia, and others have already involved themselves in several ways. According to Cockburn, the conflict has become a "proxy war" between several foreign interests vying for power:

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Kit B (276)
Saturday June 15, 2013, 5:20 am
Photo Credit: A Syrian boy sits in the rubble of house in the town of Taftanaz, Syria. (AP)

As Western leaders and major media outlets rushed to back the White House's recent claim that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons against its rebel forces—urging increased U.S. "military support" for the rebels—progressive voices emerged Friday to warn against U.S. intervention, which would only escalate the conflict and lead to an even greater loss of life in the region.

Firstly, speaking on Democracy Now! Friday morning, Patrick Cockburn reminded viewers that very similar claims, which proved to be false, were made before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq:

Well, there must be, you know, some doubts about this. You know, they [The White House] say this in a sure voice, but it’s a sure voice which reminds me of what they were saying in 2002 and 2003 about Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction.

Both Syria and its close ally Russia—who promised to send air-defense missiles to the Syrian government in the wake of Western powers lifting the ban on arms shipments to rebels in the region—denied the accusations Friday.

Alexei Pushkov, leader of the Russian lower house’s international affairs committee, accused the US of fabricating evidence, comparing it to America's incorrect claims of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq in 2003.

“Information about the usage of chemical weapons by [Syrian President Bashar al] Assad is fabricated in the same way as the lie about [Saddam] Hussein's weapons of mass destruction [in Iraq],” Pushkov tweeted.

Cockburn hightlighted the complexities of the conflict, of which the U.S., Russia, and others have already involved themselves in several ways. According to Cockburn, the conflict has become a "proxy war" between several foreign interests vying for power:

Cockburn states:

Yeah, it already has turned into a proxy war. You can see that with—Hezbollah and Iran were involved, but also the U.S. was—had already combined with Qatar to send weapons. Qatar has sent up to $3 billion to the rebels, 70 loads of flights of weapons, organized by—with the CIA. So, that was already happening. I think one of the—you know, what ought to happen would be to go down the diplomatic road to try and have a ceasefire. I don’t think you can have any solution at this moment in time, because you people are too involved in the war, they hate each other. But they should push for a ceasefire, and then there might be the basis for some talks afterwards. But the decision by the U.S. looks as though it’s going to push this into an all-out and long-running conflict.

Likewise, Phyllis Bennis, Fellow and the Director of the New Internationalism Project, told the Real News Network Friday that "this has been in the works for a while," including recent U.S. troop movements in Syria's neighbor, Jordan.

More recently, just in the last few days, we've seen 5,000 U.S. troops, as well as a group of Patriot missiles, sent off to Jordan on the Syrian border for a long-planned but conveniently timed, let's say, military exercise that's involving troops from a number of countries. But it's quite likely that at least some of those troops and all of the Patriot missiles that are being sent will be remaining in Jordan after the two-week long exercise is over as part of the preparation for a possible direct military intervention.

Bennis went on to insist that there is absolutely no military "solution" in the region—that increased loss in human life is more than likely, as well as a long drawn out occupation:

The problem here, of course, is that they're acting as if there is a military solution in Syria when in fact there is no military solution. And the possibility of negotiations in Geneva, something that the U.S. and Russia jointly have been working towards and calling for, is now looking less and less likely, with moves towards escalating the arms sales on both sides. [...]

It can absolutely get worse. And it probably will, unfortunately. The reality is that civil wars--and this is partly a civil war. It's also now a proxy war. There's actually five separate wars being waged in Syria. But part of it is a civil war. Civil wars, if one side doesn't qualitatively destroy the other, end with negotiated settlements. The question is: do those negotiations begin now, or do we wait until there's another 70,000 or 80,000 or 100,000 Syrian casualties before going ahead with negotiations?

"So, I think once you get entangled in this," Cockburn continued, "rather like Iraq, it’s very different to—difficult to disentangle yourself, and this could go on for years."

Similarly, Bob Dreyfuss, writing for the Nation, described further U.S. involvement as a "slippery slope" that could lead to all out war:

So yesterday the White House decided to send weapons to the rebels. Reading the White House’s statement on the matter, it’s clear that they’re not quite ready to go all in, but that’s the problem with a slippery slope: once you send in small arms and ammunition, next comes anti-tank weapons, shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles and – oops! – before you know it, you’re bombing Syrian airports and imposing a no-fly zone. [...]

U.S. escalation is certain to make things worse for Syrians, Dreyfuss warns:

Saying “coming weeks” makes it sound as if adding the weapons isn’t all that urgent, but the message is clear: the United States will be arming the Supreme Military Council, and it will get worse.

An unnamed "Western diplomat" told Reuters Friday that the U.S. is considering a no-fly zone in Syria.

"Washington is considering a no-fly zone to help Assad's opponents," one diplomat said. He said it would be limited "time-wise and area-wise, possibly near the Jordanian border," giving no further details.

As many Common Dreams contributors have pointed out in the past, including Bennis, a no-fly zone is synonymous with an aggressive air bombing campaign, which often escalates quickly into a full scale invasion.

"How many civilians would die in that bombardment," asked Bennis recently, "given the widespread presence of anti-aircraft facilities across the country, including in populated areas?"

Watch Bennis on the Real News below: * See Videos at VISIT SITE*

By: Jacob Chamberlain, staff writer | Common Dreams |

Gene J (290)
Saturday June 15, 2013, 9:19 am
"The problem here, of course, is that they're acting as if there is a military solution in Syria when in fact there is no military solution. And the possibility of negotiations in Geneva, something that the U.S. and Russia jointly have been working towards and calling for, is now looking less and less likely, with moves towards escalating the arms sales on both sides."

I really, really do not like this at all. I simply can't believe we will arm a group that we claim to be at war with. Al-Qaeda is all over the insurrection. If they win, we get another implacable, brutal enemy installed as the government. If they lose, we have the same situation. This has the potential to blow up in everyone's face and I don't think it a good idea in any way for anyone, particularly the women and children of Syria. We should be about the business of disarming the world, not arming it. Love is the answer to every question and I find none in this answer. Not for anyone, including US...

JL A (281)
Saturday June 15, 2013, 12:55 pm
Such scary disconnects from reality at the expense of lives.

Veronica C (22)
Saturday June 15, 2013, 2:58 pm
I'm actually surprised it hasn't happened already.

paula eaton (30)
Saturday June 15, 2013, 3:23 pm
Of course it will lead to war. Give the citizens this information bit by bit and it will be easier to swallow.

Mike M (40)
Saturday June 15, 2013, 3:43 pm
It is a no win situation that shows the stupidity, greed and hatred of the human ego

Jelica R (144)
Saturday June 15, 2013, 3:47 pm
Reuters: U.N. has testimony that Syrian rebels used sarin gas: investigator; Sun May 5, 2013 6:13pm EDT

The United Nations independent commission of inquiry on Syria has not yet seen evidence of government forces having used chemical weapons, which are banned under international law, said commission member Carla Del Ponte.

"Our investigators have been in neighboring countries interviewing victims, doctors and field hospitals and, according to their report of last week which I have seen, there are strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof of the use of sarin gas, from the way the victims were treated," Del Ponte said in an interview with Swiss-Italian television.

"This was use on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities," she added, speaking in Italian.

Past Member (0)
Saturday June 15, 2013, 3:48 pm
WHY can't we learn to keep our noses OUT of other countries affairs!!!!!!!!! We can't even take care of our own, we're broke, we're hungry, we don't have resources for this! And we shouldn't aid another war under ANY FRIGGIN circumstances!!!!!!!!

Jelica R (144)
Saturday June 15, 2013, 3:48 pm
EuroNews: The realities of the Syrian conflict: Carla del Ponte - italk; Jun 10, 2013

Isabelle Kumar, euronews:
Back in May you caused some controversy with your statements when you said there was evidence that the rebels had been using chemical weapons, do you regret having said that?

Carla del Ponte:
No absolutely not and I confirm that, but of course there is not conclusive evidence. There are first elements of an investigation and so let's see what will happen during the investigation but we have some elements, of course, otherwise I would not speak about it.

Marie Russell-Barker (13)
Saturday June 15, 2013, 4:30 pm
I am not ready for another war in the middle east. I am not sure that President Obama is either. People like McCain and Clinton should respect the fact that we only have one president at a time. For instant why did McCain go to talk to the rebals and why did President. Clinton take to the air to speak about getting involved with Syrians wars if I remember correctly these same people stated at the beginning that they did not want Americas help, now all of a sudden they want America to get involved. This little country is in a civil war and are confusing who are these people who are asking for guns and are they friends or not. Two questions that should be answered another thing we do not need to wind up in another ten year war. My thoughts keep out of it.

Lois Jordan (63)
Saturday June 15, 2013, 5:34 pm
We should definitely not be sticking our U.S. noses into this, and I'm against a "no-fly zone." McShame couldn't even keep his photo op free of controversy. And, I also agree with others that Clinton shouldn't stick his nose into this. I hope most Americans have finally learned something from the last decade of madness, chaos, violence, death and outright lies.

Billie C (2)
Saturday June 15, 2013, 8:18 pm
at this rate thanks to a bunch of idiot muslims we will have the 3rd world war. let them work it out without our help or involvement. it's not worth any of our kids getting hurt or killed. let the whole region rot just don't let any of them in our country.

Irene S (69)
Sunday June 16, 2013, 4:00 am
Lead to full scaled war? What would you call it now? The government bombing and gasing their own population. It is a tragedy now and what ever a foreign state will do or not, the syrian people will pay the prize.

Past Member (0)
Sunday June 16, 2013, 4:46 am
Sadly---I already see this as war. How can one see it otherwise...given all the casualties and destruction. Thx Kit

Kit B (276)
Sunday June 16, 2013, 11:09 am

It's been reported that as many 40 different groups of rebels are in the opposition fighting Bashar al-Assad. Which one does the US seem to be backing? In a play on irony, we may be backing al Qaeda.

bob m (32)
Sunday June 16, 2013, 7:27 pm

cockroaches in the Whitehouse..toss the loaded dice... Chief amongst them says... as long as I am president.. I will always side with islam.......... reboot ye idealists.

bob m (32)
Sunday June 16, 2013, 7:30 pm

no fly zone?.. flies will be blackening the skies as this plays out.

bob m (32)
Friday June 21, 2013, 3:58 pm

I hear that a line has been crossed .. really?.. Mr. O?.. it can be postulated that "opposition forces" MAY BE STAGING THESE SMALL CHEM ATTACKS........ BUT I SEE DAILY LINES CROSSED ON "REBEL" JIHADI" sites of boasting singing filmed proud Islamic warriors from hell cutting heads off people and shooting little girls... (see..barenakedislam).. but of course this evil behavior which assad early warned of is of no consequence to you it?.. you merely blink at Cristian and other slaughters of non muslims in Islamic circles in search of virgins in paradise. .. But now Assad.. who protected Christians has crossed a line you say... and you now intend to add weapons capability to these monsters .. you fool!.... you reap the are in league with darkness to no good end.

Jelica R (144)
Saturday June 22, 2013, 6:12 pm
This Tuesday on G8 meeting in Ireland, Putin said that they know that Al-Nusrah fighters used sarin. According to Russian Intelligence, sarin is produced in illegal factory in northern Iraq. Also, Putin told that Turkey has intercepted two attempts to smuggle sarin from Iraq to Syria over Turkish territory. FYI, Turkey is a member of NATO and is obligated to inform it's partners and UN bodies about gross violations of International Conventions on banned chemical WMDs, and I am sure that such reports were submitted. Furthermore, UN has investigated claims of sarin used in Syria and their inspectors and experts were not so eager to blame Assad for it. Some of the most prominent experts expressed their opinion on this issue and their statements can be found on-line.

Here are some relevant links:

Syria and Sarin: Skepticism Still Warranted; FAIR; Jun 17, 2013

Moscow unconvinced by US evidence of Syrian chemical weapons use; Veterans Today; June 14th, 2013
Although I searched I didn't found a link for that "illegal chemical factory in Iraq". This might be something I've read on The Veterans site or in Pravda.

Jelica R (144)
Sunday June 23, 2013, 12:47 pm
Got that link:

FNA Report Confirmed by Putin’s Statement on Chemical Weapons Production for Syrian Rebels; Veterans Today; June 19th, 2013

TEHRAN (FNA) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said chemical laboratories in Iraq are producing chemical weapons for the terrorists in Syria, confirming a detailed report by the FNA last month which said former Ba’ath regime officials are involved in the production and procurement of such weapons to the Syrian terrorists.

“We know that Opposition Fighters were detained on Turkish territory with chemical weapons,” Mr. Putin told a press conference in Lough Erne, Northern Ireland after meeting the leaders of the industrialized nations in a G8 Summit.

“We have information out of Iraq that a laboratory was discovered there for the production of chemical weapons by the opposition. All this evidence needs to be studied most seriously,” he continued.
Putin questioned the credibility of allegations by the US, UK and France that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s forces had used chemical weapons, and attributed equivalent horrors to the forces supported by the West.
... ...
There's much more on the article.

Kit B (276)
Sunday June 23, 2013, 1:34 pm

Thanks Jelica - great links.

bob m (32)
Monday June 24, 2013, 1:09 pm

I watching the boastful f$cktard islamist postings of execution THEY proudly post daily for allah; the hacking and demon worship pouring out of their pieholes kind of trumps this other "story".... sorry about my language in describing these beasts... the English language just fails me .. I CAN'T FIND WORDS THAT GO DEEP ENOUGH INTO THE MUCK TO DESCRIBE THEM.. AL ACKBART INDEED............Maranatha... Come Lamb of God.
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