What if, in Cathy Sultan’s latest book An Ambassador to Syria, it was the mission of the new U.S. Ambassador to dismantle the Syrian State. What if the issue was not even Syria but about dealing a crippling blow to Iran and Hezbollah, and Syria, their linchpin, needed to be taken out, even if such actions were to trigger a wider conflict.
John Bolton, serving at the time under George W. Bush, had already designated Syria as one of a handful of rogue states that, like Iraq, could expect to eventually become a U.S. target. By the time Bashar Assad became fully aware of the US plan, he was powerless to do anything about it. But there he was, the new U.S. Ambassador, Robert Jenkins, an American patriot, confident in his mission, ready to see it through for the destruction of Syria was an integral part of preserving American hegemony across the Middle East.
Why would the CIA continue to repeat its regime change efforts? This was a question President Assad asked of the new ambassador because that same intelligence agency had been at it for the last seventy years, attempting coups and assassinations, and never succeeding. Why did they think this time would be any different? Even President Obama commissioned a report on the CIA’s track record on covert activity and concluded such efforts seldom worked and yet, he went ahead and approved their operation in Syria. Why?
Using lies as a point of war is unconscionable yet wars are premised on lies, and the Syrian conflict a prime example. Truth is war’s first casualty. It’s naïve to think otherwise. No doubt, the propensity for lying has expanded because of the internet. It is Pandora’s box, and it may seem an invaluable instrument, but it is a curse, and we won’t continue to evolve if we can’t control our penchant for lying. We’ve already seen what happened in Iraq. The lies about Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction. Wasn’t that enough of a debacle to know that regime change in Syria wouldn’t work especially with a president who was well liked by his people and who had the full support of his army? And yet, from day one of the uprising in March 2011, the key narrative was Bashar Assad, a brutal dictator killing his own people in a peaceful, popular revolution and he needed to be taken down. When Bashar blamed the presence of foreign fighters, his accusations were rejected as propaganda. And the reforms he had initiated? Dismissed as “too late” and “window-dressing.” Eighty-eight soldiers had been killed in the first month of protests. Who cared? Weren’t they the same Syrian soldiers who had been killing innocent civilians? Journalists, whether from The New York Times, The Washington Post, the major U.S. channels, were complicit, too, as Ambassador Jenkins knew they would be, all pretty much relying on the same sources—the White House, the Pentagon, and the State Department—reporting, as if on cue, their government’s script—Assad killing his own people.
Years earlier, according to WikiLeaks, the U.S. State Department had already been funneling millions of dollars to the Movement for Justice and Development, a London-based dissident organization, which broadcast anti-government news into Syria. When questioned about this, a State Department spokesperson said the Syrian government would undoubtedly view any U.S. funds going to illegal political groups as tantamount to supporting regime change. So what if he did?
Additional cables released by WikiLeaks revealed that as early as 1996, under Netanyahu’s first term as prime minister, Israel had hatched a plan to overthrow Assad by engineering sectarian strife in the country and isolating Syria from its strongest regional ally, Iran. Leaked emails belonging to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton seem to confirm Israel’s current role in covertly creating the conflict and securing the involvement of the U.S. According to Clinton, bringing down Assad would not only be a massive boon for Israel’s security, such a plan would also ease Israel’s understandable fear of losing its nuclear deterrence to Iran.
In light of such revelations, made fifteen years before the actual uprising, wouldn’t it be natural, then, for Bashar Assad to assume, when the protests began, that this was a deliberate plan by the US to trigger social chaos, to discredit his government, and ultimately dismantle the Syrian state.
Cathy Sultan’s new book An Ambassador to Syria is available for purchase on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/1950743624/ref