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Man behind the Curtain for al-Qaeda in Syria is Assad

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad wanted the recent Geneva II peace conference to focus on terrorism. He says terrorism is the main problem a...

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The role of US Imperialism in Syria and the Left's Dilemma

US President Barack Obama's air war in Syria has been a long time in the making. I wrote about it more than 18 months ago in a blog post titled Obama planning drone strikes against Assad's opposition in Syria, 16 March 2013. I reported then:
From the LA Times today we have breaking news that the Obama Administration is presently in the planning stages for direct US armed intervention into the Syrian civil war. The plan will be to intervene on the side of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with a series of armed drone strikes against his opposition.
...
While drone strikes against Islamist militants fighting Assad may be taken in the name of saving US lives in some hypothetical future, they won't save any Syrian lives now or hinder Assad's massive "Death from Above" campaign against Syrian civilians. Actually, since al-Nustra has been most effective in relieving Assad of bases for his air operations and is attempting to implement a "no-fly zone" over Syria, any Obama attack against al-Nusra would certainly be most welcomed by the embattled Assad regime.
Now those strikes have come, the danger to US lives has been declared "imminent," and not just drones are being used, but the whole range of the US air arsenal is being employed. I was banned from blogging at the Daily Kos for talk like that, but as I predicted, these strikes are against Assad's opposition, have not interfered with his own air campaign of bombing hospitals, schools and breadlines, and have been most heartily welcomed by the regime.

The same day Obama killed 50 al Nusra militants and 27 civilians, including at least 6 children and 4 women, Assad continued his own devastating air campaign against those seeking to end his 42 year old dictatorship, and this US intervention was most welcomed by the Assad regime. The New York Times reported:
A Syrian diplomat crowed to a pro-government newspaper that “the U.S. military leadership is now fighting in the same trenches with the Syrian generals, in a war on terrorism inside Syria.” And in New York, the new Iraqi prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, said in an interview that he had delivered a private message to Mr. Assad on behalf of Washington, reassuring him that the Syrian government was not the target of American-led air strikes.
...
“Of course coordination exists,” said a pro-government Syrian journalist speaking on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution, who had criticized the prospect of the strikes but turned practically jubilant once they began. “How else do you explain the strikes on Nusra?”
Ali Haidar, Assad's minister for national reconciliation, told Reuters on Wednesday:
"As for the raids in Syria, I say that what has happened so far is proceeding in the right direction in terms of informing the Syrian government and by not targeting Syrian military installations and not targeting civilians," he said.

"Notification of the Syrian government happened," he said. "Confirmation that they would not target Syrian military installations, and confirmation they would not target civilians happened."
Targeting civilians is what the Assad regime does best, and having been assured by Obama that US warplanes were not entering Syrian air space to interference with that, Assad has felt free to continue his own campaign of "Death from Above." Reuters reported on Friday
Assad steps up bombing as West strikes militants in Syria

U.S.-led forces hit Islamic State bases in eastern Syria on Friday and a monitoring group said the Syrian army had intensified its bombing campaign in the west. More...
From Syrian Observatory for Human Rights we get a more detailed look at what Assad's air force has been free to do as it shares its air space with the US allies. By the numbers:

Tuesday 23 September 2014 On the day the US strikes started, this is what Assad's air force did:
[1]: Aleppo Province: Helicopters dropped 2 barrel bombs onto areas near al Imam al Nawawi mosque in the neighborhood of Tariq al Bab leading to the injury of some people. Two other barrels were dropped onto the neighborhoods of Masaken Hanano and Jabal Badro in the east of Aleppo.

[2]: Idleb Province: Some surface-to-surface missiles struck areas in the city of Khan Sheikhon followed by the dropping of barrel bombs onto the city killing a man, his daughter and a woman while others were injured. Helicopters dropped barrel bombs onto areas in the town of Saraqeb with no information about casualties.

[3]: Helicopters dropped 5 barrel bombs onto areas in the west of Khan al Shih Camp and 5 barrels onto places in Bet Sayer in the Western Ghouta,  casualties were reported in Bet Sayer.

[4]: Idleb Province: Warplanes carried out a raid on the town of Ma’er Zayta in the southern countryside of Idleb.

[5]: Warplanes carried out a raid on al Dokhaneyyi area and 9 raids on the Wastelands of al Qalamun.

[6]: Idleb Province: Warplanes carried out 3 raids on areas in the town of Khan al Sobol, 2 raids on the town of Madaya in the southern countryside, a raid on the outskirts of al Hbet town, a raid on the southern outskirts of Ma’arret al Nu’man, a raid on the town of al Rkaya and a raid on the town of Deir Sonbol leading to the killing of 2 children from the same family in Khan al Sobol. They also attacked areas in the town of al Taman’a.

[7]: Daraa Province: Warplanes carried out a raid on an area in the town of Kafar Nasej.

Wednesday 24 September 2014
[8]: Helicopters dropped barrel bombs onto areas in Handarat Camp. Two barrel bombs dropped near the Central Prison of Aleppo. A woman died while other were injured due to air raids launched on the town of Qbasin near the city of al Bab.

Most telling about the unity that has developed between the US air force and Assad's is that in one case the SOHR had to report: "It is unknown till the moment whether the aircrafts that attacked the area are affiliated to the Syrian regime or to the International-Arab Coalition."

[9]: Deir Ezzor Province: Warplanes attacked areas in the village of al Shola with no information about casualties. They also carried out a raid in the vicinity of Deir Ezzor airbase.

[10]: Helicopters dropped 7 barrel bombs onto the city of al Rastan with no information about casualties.

[11]: Helicopters dropped 2 barrel bombs onto areas in the town of Allatamneh.

[12]: Helicopters dropped 4 explosive barrels on al-Zabdani, no reports of losses.

Thursday 25 September 2014
[13]: 8 civilians ( 3 children and a woman ), killed by aerial bombardment on Duma, a man killed by regime's bombardment on Duma, a woman killed by air strikes on Arbin, and a man from al-Abada town.

Apparently, in the first days of US air strikes, Assad didn't entirely trust the US promise that he could carry on with his usual routine. The SOHR reported: "The provinces of Deir Ezzor, al Raqqa, al Hasaka, Homs, Aleppo and Idleb have witnessed a significant reduction in the regime’s aerial bombardment, where the rate of strikes has declined since the beginning of the International- Arab Coalition aerial strikes 2 days ago. There have been only few sorties during the last two days while aerial bombardment stopped completely in some provinces." That changed as his confidence built that the US was not going to interfere with his carnage.

Friday 26 September 2014
[14]: Homs Province: Helicopters dropped 4 barrel bombs onto the city of al Rastan causing the death of 7 people while others were injured.

[15]: A man was killed by aerial bombardment on Ein Terma in eastern Ghouta.

[16]: Homs Province: Helicopters dropped 4 barrel bombs onto the city of al Rastan causing the death of 5 men while 5 others at least were injured.

[17]: Al Qunaytera Province: Warplanes carried out a raid on the town of Swisah in the southern countryside causing material damages to people’s properties. They also attacked areas in the villages and town of the countryside of al Qunaytera.

[18]: Daraa Province: Helicopters dropped several barrel bombs onto areas in the town of Alma causing material damages to people’s properties, while 2 other barrels fell onto the town of Tafas and a barrel onto the town of Bosra al Harir killing a man and a woman in Tafas. Warplanes carried out a raid on Daraa al Balad in the city of Daraa and a raid on the town of Syada.


[19]: Lattakia Province: Warplanes carried out 2 raids onto areas on the outskirts of Salma town and other areas in the villages of al Akrad Mountain.

[20]: Rif Dimashq Province: Helicopters dropped 2 barrel bombs onto the city of al Zabadani yesterday night.

[21]: Helicopters dropped yesterday night 2 barrel bombs onto the city of Ankhel and a barrel onto the town of Otman.

Saturday 27 September 2014
[22]: Hama Province: Warplanes carried out raids onto the towns of Kafar Zayta and Allatamneh with no information about victims.

[23]: Idleb Province: Warplanes carried out a raid on places near the town of Abo al Dohur and a raid on places on the road of al Debsheyyi- Abo al Dohur, amid bombardment on al Debsheyyi area by the regime forces. They also carried out a raid on the northern outskirts of the city of Khan Sheikhon.

[24]: Helicopters dropped 2 barrel bombs onto areas in the town of Otman followed by launching shells on the town by the regime forces.

[25]: Rif Dimashq Province: Warplanes carried out several raids on the Wasteland of the town of Qara.

[26]: Deir Ezzor Province: Warplanes carried out 2 raids on the vicinity of the airbase of Deir Ezzor.

[27]: Hama Province: Helicopters dropped barrel bombs onto areas in the village of al Masasnah in the northern countryside.

[28]: Warplanes carried out a raid on an area in the city of al Bab in the east of Aleppo, initial information reported the injury of some people.

[29]: Idleb Province: Aircrafts carried out 3 raids on the villages of al Taman’ah, al Hbet and Hafsarjeh as well as a raid on the northern neighborhood of the city of Ma’arret al N’man causing material damages to people’s properties.

[30]: Deir Ezzor Province: Warplanes carried out 2 raids on the Granaries Area on the outskirts of al Husayneyyi as well as 2 raids on areas near the School and the Club in the city of Mo Hasan. They also strafed areas in the village of al Jnayneh.

[31]: Hama Province: Warplanes carried out raids onto the towns of Kafar Zayta and Allatamneh with no information about victims.

[32]: Daraa Province: Warplanes carried out a raid on an area on the town of Aqraba with no information about casualties. Helicopters dropped a barrel bomb onto the northern neighborhood of the city of Nawa, 2 barrels onto areas in the town of Deir al Adas, 2 barrel onto the northern neighborhood of the city of Bosra al Sham and 2 barrels onto the city of Ankel.

[33]: Helicopters dropped 4 barrel bombs onto the city of Darayya and 2 barrels onto the eastern mountain of the city of al Zabadani causing material damages. A woman died of wounds due to the regime’s bombardment on the city of Doma.

Sunday 28 September 2014
[34]: Helicopters dropped 2 barrel bombs yesterday night onto the eastern mountain of al Zabadani city.

This happened before the first US bombs fell on Syria.

This is the daily slaughter that the US Media and the US Left have been ignoring for years.

Assad could be finding it increasingly difficult to get his pilots to bomb their own people. Last month, he executed three military pilots, two of them Alawites, for refusing orders. This may be another reason he welcomes the intervention of US pilots who historically have shown few qualms about bombing foreigners.

The Obama may have intervened in Syria to fight "terrorism" but as we have seen from its assaults in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, the US has never considered aerial bombardment of civilians terrorism.
ANSWER & Code Pink Protest Syria Bombing at the White House | 9/24/2014
Of course, these weren't the air strikes they were protesting. In more than three years, and two hundred thousand Syrian lives later, they have never seen the need to protest Assad's air strikes. In fact ANSWER Coalition has long been outspoken in its support for the Assad regime, and now Code Pink is standing with them.

With their pro-Qaddafi, pro-Assad, pro-Putin interpretation of anti-imperialism in the 21st century, and their demonization of all those who disagree with them, they have succeeded in reducing the anti-war movement to a shadow if its former self.
Washington, DC March against the Iraq War - 15 September 2007
The Free Syrian Army and other opposition forces that have been under Assad's daily aerial bombardment for years have long pleaded with the NATO powers to provide them with modern air defense weapons so that they could put an end to Assad indiscriminate bombing campaigns. No such weapons have been forth coming. They were also terribly disappointed when Obama reneged on his promise to strike Assad if he used banned chemical weapons to increase his kill rate. Now that Obama has intervened in Syria on the side of the regime, they are speaking out against it.

Zaman al Wasl, founder of the FSA sees in Obama's intervention an attempt to crush the Syrian opposition and Syrian Arab Army defector, Colonel Raid al-Asaad, was downright pessimistic about Obama's "War on Terror" in Syria, telling Zamam al-Wasl the "Syrian revolution will be eliminated under this pretext." He should learn from the Vietnamese experience; that is more easily said than done.  

The fact that Assad's supporters back Obama's intervention while his opposition opposes it, gives you the real skinny. SYRIA:direct said 24 September 2014:
Harakat Hazm, a moderate-leaning rebel coalition that has received aid from the United States, called the strikes an act of “aggression towards national sovereignty” in a press release widely circulated Tuesday on social media websites.

Foreign intervention “will harm the revolution, especially seeing as the international community continues to ignore revolutionary forces' calls for weapons,” the group said, adding that “the only side to benefit... is the Assad regime, without any real strategy to bring about its downfall.”
Even as the pro-government news network Damascus Now cheered on the US air strikes, calling this a historic moment, in which “happiness was etched on the faces of the majority of Syrians, because they found international support towards eradicating a cancer which has been rooted in the diseased Syrian body,” referring to the rebels.

Michael Karadjis writes in his well researched and very informative:
Syrian rebels overwhelmingly condemn
US bombing as an attack on revolution

25 September 2014
...
In particular, given the grave situation in Aleppo, where the revolutionary forces are being jointly besieged from the south and the north-east by Assad and ISIS, the fact that the first US attacks were on JaN inside Aleppo – where JaN is playing an important role in the epic defense of the rebel-held, working-class, half of that city, alongside the FSA and other Islamist groups – is perhaps the most blatant attack on the revolution possible.
...
The Assad regime must be very pleased with having acquired for itself a new air force. More...
These developments pose a serious dilemma for the US "anti-imperialist" Left that has long maintained that the Syrian rebels were a "US backed" attempt to overthrow one of the essential partners in the "axis of resistance" to US imperialism.

Is the US Left going the way of the 9/11 Truth movement - increasingly irrelevant to anyone?

For years now it has largely ignored the growing conflict in Syria and when it has spoken out, it has been to oppose what it believed was US support of opposition to the Syrian government and military support for the rebels, but now, after three and a half years of conflict, when that military intervention comes in the familiar form of air strikes, and it is being welcomed by the regime and condemned by its opposition, there can be little doubt which side Obama is on.

A year ago they took to the streets, wrote their congresspeople and made as much noise as they could to oppose air strikes threaten against the Assad government for killing more than 1400 Syrians with sarin. Really they were demanding that Obama do what he intended to do all along, which was nothing. They spread 9/11 like conspiracy theories, but this time about how the government didn't do it. And when Qbama sent the matter to congress for a vote he knew he was going to lose, they hailed it as a great victory and a testimony to their growing strength.

18 months ago when I was blogging at the Daily Kos and saying that in spite of his fine words, Obama supported the Assad regime and was working to undermine the Syrian revolutionaries, that he was playing "good cop" to Putin's "bad cop", I was roundly criticized. Now it must be becoming increasingly obvious, even to them, that by opposing the Syrian insurgency, the "anti-imperialists" have been supporting the imperialist game all along.

Like I've been saying for a couple of years now:
Barack Obama's Courtship of Bashar al-Assad
Barack Obama's Courtship of Bashar al-Assad Exposed!
Obama "green lights" Assad's slaughter in Syria
How Obama helps Assad: US tried to start war between FSA & al Nusra Front
How Obama has supported Assad's gas murder always
Obama's Real Syria Policy: Endless War
The Courtship Continues: Obama stopped French strike on Assad
The Courtship Continues: Obama's New Gift to Assad
How Obama Helped Assad Kill with Poison Gas in Syria
Win-Win for Assad as Obama Response to CW Mass Murder Put on Hold
Obama Denied Gas Masks to Assad's Victims
Obama's Dilemma and Assad's Opportunity
Assad's Redline and Obama's Greenlight!
Chemical weapons use in Syria, Has Obama's red-line has been crossed?
AP weighs in on Obama's Green Light for Assad's slaughter in Syria
Syria: Obama's moves Assad's "red line" back as SOHR reports 42,000 dead!
SecState John Kerry and his "dear friend" Bashar al-Assad
How Obama's 'No MANPADS for you' policy in Syria is backfiring
More thoughts on Obama's 'No MANPADS for you!' policy
Obama: Did the CIA betray Assad's opposition in Syria?
Obama planning drone strikes against Assad's opposition in Syria

Click here for a list of my other blogs on Syria
 
PS: The Lockheed Martin F-22 saw its first combat flights this week over Syria. It is a very expensive aircraft, costing $178 million each, but that pales in comparison to the next generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at $337 million a piece. The electronics design magazine ECN writes "according to one estimate, the money spent on the program could buy every homeless person in the U.S. a $600,00 mansion."

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