Okay, so Pope Benedict (Ratz), Dick Cheney, and Jerry Sandusky walk into a bar. After a few drinks, a twinkle appears in the former Vice President’s eye and he says to Sandusky with a wink, “Say, why don’t we rape the hell out of Syria?” When Sandusky and Cheney can’t stop guffawing and hooting, Benedict brings down his papal staff, BAM! “Gentlemen, please! Do what you will, but keep it quiet — I’d hate to have to ask either of you to relocate under a cloud of secrecy.” Wink!
Well, imagine how funny today’s CIVIL WAR must be to Syria’s decades-old resistance, the diverse, Syria-based, peaceful dialogue-seeking National Coordination Committee (NCC)… which is actually the bitter nemesis of the freshly contrived U.S. favorite, the Syrian National Council (SNC), headed by assorted Syrian-Western émigrés — a Swede here, a Frenchwoman there — mostly based in Europe and Turkey. This nominally Syrian organization (with scant few ties inside Syria when all this started) has been embraced by Western media, which has awarded the American neocon-advised rebels the status of “Syria’s main opposition group” or simply “the opposition.” Thanks to the MSM’s skewed coverage, the SNC is the only opposition group most Americans ever hear of — or, more importantly, hear from, with their leaders’ unending calls for WAR, WAR, WAR: no dialogue, no compromise, and increased militarization, with an expanded role for NATO (all understandably terrifying prospects to most Syrians).
How did we arrive at this dismal point?
Syria’s established resistance began their chapter of the Arab Spring in early 2011, peacefully advocating for elections and seeking direct negotiations with the Assad regime. And they were getting somewhere, too, winning a promise for multi-party elections in three months and a constitutional referendum that essentially ended one-party rule in Syria and limited any future president to two seven-year terms (this constitutional concession — denied the Egyptian revolution to this day — was dismissed out of hand by the inchoate SNC and the West, interested only in Bashar Assad’s head).
Then, in February of 2011, external elements (more sham “oppressed Syrian lesbians”?) tried to manufacture a Facebook/Twitter revolution (a la Iran in 2009), calling for a “Day of Rage” that, lacking grassroots support, ultimately failed to materialize. The outsiders’ campaign was directed specifically at Sunnis and seemed to invite a bloody, sectarian civil war. Syrians were decidedly not interested.
But the neocons don’t give up easily, not with the full weight of the American foreign policy establishment behind them (for their “ideology” and “deeply held convictions” make the MIC’s profits possible). Over the last year, America and its allies have aggressively co-opted Syria’s peaceful revolution, relentlessly turning the country toward civil war with millions of dollars, covert military aid to various armed groups, and a slick, media-facilitated propaganda campaign that has all but ignored Syria’s organic Arab Spring in favor of war-clamoring, U.S. think tank-affiliated exiles (think Ahmed Chalabi and his Iraqi National Congress and Ayad Allawi and his Iraqi National Accord — these were the neocons’ primary “Iraqi” tools in 2002 — Londoners, really, their organizations not merely the pawns, but the inventions of Western intelligence agencies; those “Iraqis” were so eager to see Mesopotamia invaded by the power-promising neocons that they fed the Bushies every WMD lie they asked for — that’s love of country, for ya!).
Yes, we’ve been here before, and didn’t that work out great! Hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis; thousands of killed and maimed Americans; America’s reputation, resources, and credibility devastated; war crimes to fuel decades of terrorism; looming climate catastrophe, water crisis, and crumbling infrastructure utterly neglected…
But wait, it gets even funnier.
With the exception of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood (Sunni) — which, like al Qaeda’s current figurehead, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, has decided to support America’s push for regime change — Syria’s indigenous resistance (the NCC) has vehemently rejected the idea of foreign military intervention, including supposedly limited tactics such as arming/equipping the regime’s enemies and imposing a no-fly zone. It is the SNC’s calls for these specific, American neocon-authored, militarist “solutions” that have prompted members of the actual Syrian resistance to refer to the SNC as “a Washington club” — as in a club that Washington’s warmongers will gladly use to beat Syria into an Iraq-like pulp. (Already Syria has begun to resemble her fragmented, hyper-sectarian, war torn and utterly devastated neighbor, having gushed scores of thousands of refugees in recent weeks.)
But the U.S. media basically does not cover the pleas of the NCC, the Syrian resisters who’ve been jailed and persecuted for decades, and who worked and hoped for political reforms without all the blood and horror. Like the CIA’s old partner-in-torture, Bashar Assad, we’ve marginalized Syria’s dissenters practically out of existence. Near as I can tell, our media exists chiefly to serve the daft, war-fostering neocon narratives that still, after all their egregious failures, dominate our discourse with ignorance and lies. Washington, too, as if completely unaware of the neocons’ appalling record over the last decade, continues to follow the precise neocon (PNAC) program that began with the Iraq War in 2003: 1) invade Iraq (no defenses, oil-rich, first to go); and 2) use the momentum created by the Iraq War “victory” (hah!) to unseat Assad in Damascus, isolating Iran; and, finally, 3) depose the regime in Tehran, yielding payback for 1979 and the ultimate prize: control over two of the world’s very largest proven reserves of light sweet crude.
This “Clean Break” approach to redrawing the map of the Middle East (the neocons’ dark fantasy, hatched in the late 1990s) is a sick, frankly racist, anachronistically (and in other ways) fucked dream of imperialism and world conquest — appallingly evil nonsense which supposedly died during the first administration of George W. Bush, back when the neocons were given enough rope to hang themselves and promptly did so (before a knight in liberal’s clothing rode in to rescue them… and their lousy, crusading agenda).
* * *
“Bandar and other Saudis have assured the White House… ‘We’ve created this movement, and we can control it.’ It’s not that we don’t want the Salafis to throw bombs; it’s who they throw them at—Hezbollah, Moqtada al-Sadr, Iran, and at the Syrians…”
– Seymour Hersh’s article “The Redirection” (The New Yorker, 3/5/07)
Okay, here’s another funny, funny joke (okay, not really): What kind of groups are among America’s primary allies in Syria and Lebanon, these days? Did you say “al Qaeda-affiliated Sunni militants whose suicide bombings and journalist-murdering, civilian-targeting tactics evoke those of ‘the terrorists’ — the jihadis who hate America and Israel at least as much as they hate Syria’s Alawite regime?”
No??? You didn’t say that, because the very thought of America partnering with al Qaeda in any way/shape/form is manifestly insane? Well, too bad (but thanks for playing), because that is the right answer after all, according to recent reports about America’s Syrian pals. These are the kinds of surprising (some would say revolting) alliances that Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh began to detail some five years ago in his essential article, “The Redirection,” which explained how George W. Bush — in the wake of an Iraq War that had inadvertently benefited Iran enormously — began supporting (through proxies, especially Riyadh) al Qaeda-affiliated Sunni militants in Lebanon and beyond. (It’s called “strategery,” and Obama has run with it — like most everything he inherited from his moronic, language and humanity-butchering predecessor.)
And now, with the help of those Salafists and their ilk, America (directing our Saudi, Qatari, Lebanese, and Turkish partners) has brought to Syria the bloody civil war that the resistance never wanted, arming a sectarian/Sunni-dominated regime hit squad — populated by violent, significantly foreign, radical jihadis (think 1980s mujahedeen) — who in the past few months have repeatedly terrorized Syria’s capital and minority populations, especially Syria’s Christians (in one recent instance cleansing 80,000 Christians from the city of Homs, virtually overnight, with a series of raids; the Christian population of Qusair has had a similar experience, with most of their 10,000 residents fleeing the U.S.-backed sectarian rebels).
So where are Congress’s alleged “Christians” in the aftermath of these U.S. policy-initiated atrocities? Where are they when the secretary-general of the U.N. reports that the rebels are using child soldiers? Well, they’re right where they usually are: standing firmly in the corner of perpetual war, terrorism, suicide bombers, and the despotic, post-9/11 American way… only today a bunch of drone-loving Democrats stand with them, silent as Karl Rove responding to a Congressional subpoena.
Clearly, we are talking about a STRIKING lack of empathy…
Next: A Striking Lack of Empathy, Part IV: Stop Enabling the Recidivist Sandusky Neocons or Don the Miter of Shame!