by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
Russia has been a stalwart for peace in the Syria crisis. “It is their insistence on defending Syria which has brought the world from the brink and forced the president to postpone the congressional vote that he so badly wanted.” The contrasts are striking. “Vladimir Putin is trying to stop a wider war but the Nobel Peace Prize winning Barack Obama is trying to start one.”
Freedom Rider: Obama Comes Undone
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
“Even if a diplomatic process begins, the United States and the other NATO nations will try something else to bring about the regime change.”
The United States is the clear loser in the battle to destroy the Syrian government. For the past two weeks the president and the secretary of state have publicly said that a military attack on Syria was imminent. They kept up the steady drumbeat of claims that the Syrian government committed atrocities against civilians and they tried to round up support for military action both in the American congress and around the world. Now the president has announced that he is postponing a congressional vote and sending John Kerry off to Russia to talk to the Russians who so shrewdly stopped them in their tracks.
The support part of the equation didn’t quite work out the way they planned. First the British parliament refused to take part in the scheme. The ghosts of Tony Blair and George W. Bush had yet to be exercised and the representatives of the British public were unwilling to give another American president carte blanche to include them in an act of criminality.
The feelings of the American people range from skepticism to outright hostility to the idea of yet another military action. Their reasons may not have the purity of opposition to American aggression and notions of supremacy, but as the president and secretary of state repeated ad nauseam, people are sick of war and they weren’t shy about telling their elected representatives how they felt.
Fortunately for everyone on planet earth, there are nations willing and able to resist the American empire. President Assad’s army was able to resist the American and gulf monarchy onslaught, which is why the Syrian president now stands accused of carrying out the chemical weapons attack. Humanity is also fortunate that Assad has a reliable ally in the Russian Federation, which used diplomatic skill and American stupidity to get the administration to back off from its plan to kill more Syrians.
“The White House and State Department back pedaled furiously from Kerry’s comment.”
Evidence of sketchy claims and lack of support for them came very early on in the propaganda process. The president and secretary of state made their initial appeal by claiming there would be no “boots on the ground.” The horrendously Orwellian phrase was meant to give them cover from criticism and get hesitant congress members on board. But when asked at a Senate hearing, Kerry hedged. “ I don't want to take off the table an option that might or might not be available to a president of the United States to secure our country.” The so-called gaffes were constant. When a reporter asked if the United States would be amenable to forsaking an attack if Assad gave up weapons, Kerry initially said it would be acceptable.
“Sure, if he could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community, in the next week, turn it over. All of it, without delay and allow a full and total accounting for that, but he isn't about to do it, and it can't be done, obviously.”
The White House and State Department back pedaled furiously from Kerry’s comment. His own spokesperson said that the secretary “was not making a proposal." The evil doers had exposed themselves as the aggressors that they are. They admitted to the world community that the stated reason for going to war is a sham and that there is nothing Assad can do to call off the dogs. Even if a diplomatic process begins, the United States and the other NATO nations will try something else to bring about the regime change that they claim not to want in Syria.
Assad must know this better than anyone else. He watched Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi give up efforts to achieve nuclear capability, only to be picked off when the United States determined it was time for them to go. The Russians aren’t stupid either and it is their insistence on defending Syria which has brought the world from the brink and forced the president to postpone the congressional vote that he so badly wanted.
“There are serious cracks in the support the president would need in order to pull off getting rid of Assad.”
The talking heads on American networks tried to put the best face on the president’s remarks and come up with nonsensical claims that president got what he wanted all along when in fact he had his head handed to him. Lack of support first from the British parliament, a skeptical American public, and an intransigent Russia caused the president to back off from his pronouncements and keep talking.
The White House isn’t fooling anyone who matters. Despite claims of knowing what Assad has done, they refused an Associated Press request for proof of the intelligence they said was so clear. The constant shifting in what will be acceptable shows that there are serious cracks in the support the president would need in order to pull off getting rid of Assad.
Assad lives another day but our government is desperate to continue making war. Notions of good and bad must be forgotten if the world is to be free of American aggression. The former head of the KGB, Vladimir Putin, is trying to stop a wider war but the Nobel Peace Prize winning Barack Obama is trying to start one. The supposedly evil Russians offered to assist in giving up Syrian chemical weapons but the virtuous Americans initially said no to the offer. The ironies abound.
The common phrase among American politicians is that Russia “sticks its finger in America’s eye.” That is true and something to be grateful for. We must be grateful for our own opposition within but also to the people outside of our country who will stand up to the bully that is Uncle Sam. The sight of an American president coming on television and announcing that there won’t be a war is a singular event. It is not what our system demands but then we all live to see another day.
Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as at http://freedomrider.blogspot.com. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.