“Why does the U.S. insist on regime change in Syria?” asked Sonia in The Syrian.

“Syria is the link to Iran,” Tony replied. “The Syrian debacle is really a proxy war between the U.S. and Iran. Both Israel and the U.S. think Iran is trying to undermine Sunni dominance and stir up Arab nationalism and so do Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar. The best way to destabilize Iran is through Syria. If Syria collapses, so the thinking goes, Iran will implode.”

There are only three countries in the Middle East that are not totally within the U.S. orbit —Iran, since the 1979 revolution, Syria, which has experienced rarely-on-and-mostly-off relations with Washington for decades, and Iraq, a bombing target of four U.S. presidents, the object of two wars and years of killer sanctions, now closely tied to Iran. It so happens that these three countries are not only allies, but Iran and Iraq have majority Shiite populations and Syria is led by the Alawite (Shiite derivative) government of President Bashar al-Assad. In addition, these three countries are backed by China and Russia which the U.S. finds intolerable.

Given it’s distain for anything Russian, it is not surprising that the U.S. refused to adopt the Russia-backed U.N. Resolution in 2012, a year after the Syrian war began, which proposed effective measures that could have eliminated the tensions and ended the conflict.

“The interest of the Syrian people was never their first priority,” said former United Nations and Arab League Special Envoy to Syria, Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi who tried to help broker that cease-fire.

In a recent debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Hillary Clinton referenced the 2012 Russian-proposed U.N. Security Council Resolution.

“You know, the Security Council finally got round to adopting a resolution. At the core of that resolution is an agreement I negotiated in June of 2012, which set forth a cease-fire for moving toward a political resolution, trying to bring the parties at stake in Syria together.”

According to Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University in his February 16, 2016 Huffington Post article Hillary Clinton and the Syrian Bloodbath, “Clinton was the obstacle, not the solution, to a ceasefire being negotiated. It was U.S. intransigence—Clinton’ intransigence—that led to the failure of the U.N. Resolution in the spring of 2012, a point well known among diplomats. Despite Clinton’s insinuation, there was no 2012 ceasefire, only escalating carnage. Clinton bears heavy responsibility for that carnage, which has by now displaced more than 10 million Syrians and left more than 250,000 dead.”

 Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Israel have all clamored to remove Iran’s influence in Syria. This is incredibly naïve. Iran has been around as a regional power for about 2,700 years. And Shia Islam is not about to disappear. Clinton joined Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Israel to try to isolate and eventually defeat Iran. In 2010 she supported secret negotiations between Israel and Syria to attempt to wrestle Syria from Iran’s influence. When those talks failed, the CIA and Clinton moved on to Plan B—the overthrow of Assad.

Again, according to Jeffrey Sachs, in early 2011 Turkey and Saudi Arabia leveraged local protests against Assad to try to foment conditions for his ouster. By the spring of 2011, the CIA and the U.S. allies were organizing an armed insurrection against the Assad regime. On August 18, 2011, the U.S. government made public its position: “Assad must go.”

The U.S. policy in Syria has been a massive failure. Assad did not go, and was not defeated. Russia and Iran came to his support. Yet the hubris of the U.S. in its approach to regimes it does not like seems to know no bounds. The tactic of CIA-led regime changes is now so deeply enmeshed as a “normal” instrument of U.S. foreign policy that it is hardly noticed by the American public.

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  1. Refugees rights – the ethical dilemma
    Dr Younes M SHEIKH
    Individual refugees, do not pose any big social or economic burden on the host population, however exodus of large population poses a heavy burden. Yet, huge exodus of immigrants is not a usual phenomenon, except at the time of disasters like revolutions, genocides, famine, mass-murderous wars and civil conflicts as of French, Polish, Gypsies and Jews during WWII, during civil wars as in Bosnia, N. Ireland, Cyprus, East Pakistan, Congo, Afghanistan etc., after defeat in wars as of Germans from Poland, Czechoslovakia and other European colonies after WWI and WWII.
    However, such conflicts are not always natural and sudden but have often been pre-planned. For example, it was a standard policy of the ancient Roman Empire to displace whole conquered nations into other lands, to plant them into new lands and socially rearranged according to Roman social conventions and under Roman hierarchy. Jews after Roman conquest of Judea 70 CE were enslaved and planted as Romans agents, mostly in Germany and other parts of Europe. Such policy continued in the Byzantine Empire, and the other sub-centers of the Holy Roman Empire: French, German, British, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch and now the American empires. Those who refused were slaughtered en masse as Saxons were under Charlemagne. Similar was the fate of rebellious German women who neither fled nor yet accepted Pope and Emperors’ hegemony; 100,000 German women were arrested, investigated and tortured by the priests, monks and Jesuits, 50,ooo of whom were burnt alive or drowned. The same tactics were used against the unwilling Red Indians in America famously known as “Trail of Tears” for their 1000 miles long travel on foot.
    New powers displaced unfavorable populations and planted their favorite tribes and nations in their areas of influence, this creating exodus of large population e.g. wars by Byzantine and the Osmania Islamic Empires created waves of exodus of refugees which crossed the mountain range and arrived in Indian planes further displacing the local populations.
    According to Professor Asher Susser of the Tel Aviv University, the Jewish refugees started arriving in Palestine after WWI in accordance with the British mid-war promise of creation of Israel, there started the emigration of Palestinians. Soon after WWII as Israel started its nationhood in 1948, it started expanding, particularly after the Arab-Israel wars, Israel controlled most of Palestine and parts of Syria and had a strong influence in Lebanon, and other countries around.
    As the politically inexperienced and an eye surgeon Bashar el-Assad took over as the president of Syria and allied himself with Iran, the delicate balance of power in Middle East started crumbling.
    Saudi Arabia, had been able to create its vast Islamic Sunni spiritual Empire, it recently bought a huge amount of weapons, translating its spiritual empire into a physical empire, on the line of Byzantine and Osmania Empires. While Iran with Shia powers and populations is proving to be a challenge to it.
    Direct destabilization and destruction of Iraq by the US and its indirect support for the civil wars in Syria, Yemen and Libya has turned the whole area into turbulence. ISIL duly resulted as a reaction to the US destruction of Iraq and it has started killing Syrians and Iraqis en masse; Israel sees this as its area of expansion. Suddenly there were strategic Paris and Brussel bombings after which thousands of Jews immigrated to Israel, as have happened after pre-planned anti-Jewish bombs and harassment of Jews in Middle East, as Israel needed more Jewish refugees for its expansion.
    ISIL, the American supported anti-Assad rebels and Israeli undercovers and Western Christian mercenaries started killing people en masse while the Western Christian powers like US, Britain, France, Canada, Australia, France, The Netherlands and other members of NATO started indiscriminate mass-murders and destruction, killing people by unjustified aerial bombardments, forcing large number of people to seek refuge in Turkey, Jordan, Germany and other European countries. And it is a pity that it is their only chance of survival….
    Implications on the host countries: Germany and some other countries have welcomed refugees with open arms, however, such a large number of refugees means a whole lot of problems with economy, health, housing, food, clothing, transport and policing etc. Some of these problems may be seen as temporary, which education, assimilation, integration and later return of refugees may solve, however, problems of national identity and culture of the host countries may find itself under attack. Lebanon’s culture and identity changed from Shia to Sunni because of the influx of a large number of Palestinian refugees, a strategy already applied during Western Christian wars of Counter-Reformation. Some may say that the influx of huge number of less developed refugees may be as challenging as the influx of less sophisticated Germanic tribes into the Roman Empire.
    The rights of refugees have to be balanced with the right of the host population, and that is the dilemma, which always have two horns.

    1. Abba Eban : A History of Jewsish Civilization
    2. Professor Asher Susser, Tel Aviv Universizy ; The Emergence of Modern Middle East, Coursera-Part I, II
    3. Christopher Kelly, The Roman Empire: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2006),
    4. Adrian Goldsworth, How Rome Fell: Death of a Superpower (Yale University Press, 2009)
    5. Luttwak, The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire
    6. Angelov, Dimiter (2007). Imperial Ideology and Political Thought in Byzantium (1204–1330). Cambridge, United Kingdom:
    7. The Great Partition: The Making of India and Pakistan by Yasmin Khan
    8. Smith, Morton (1999). “The Gentiles in Judaism, 125 BCE – 66 CE”.
    9. Palestine”. Britannica. Retrieved 2007-08-14.
    10. Hitti, Phillip K. (1 January 2004). History of Syria, Including Lebanon and Palestine.


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