March to Disaster
By Eric Margolis
Clearing House -
Recalling the massacres
and destruction during the 1820’s Greek war of independence from
the Ottoman Empire, then Victor Hugo wrote, “the Turks have
passed by here – All is in ruins and mourning.”
Today, the nations in ruins and mourning are Iraq, Sudan,
Afghanistan, and, to a lesser degree, Libya, all dismembered or
broken up by the power of the mighty American Raj.
Syria is clearly the next target of the American imperial
bulldozer. After two years of brutal rebellion armed and
financed by the US and its regional allies, Syria now faces
A campaign of air-strikes and missiles will crush Syria’s air
force, tanks, artillery and communications. Israel stands ready
to sweep up the ruins of Syria.
Pure black comedy. Shamelessly stealing Bush administration
propaganda, the Obama White House has been actually warning that
Syria’s chemical weapons (most of their raw materials came from
Europe) pose a dire threat to the United States. Syria acquired
chemical weapons to counter Israel’s large arsenal of nuclear
weapons, originally supplied by France.
Failure to act will be another Munch appeasement, warns Obama.
But the US Congress could not take action because it was still
on summer vacation.
President Obama even allowed there was no urgency for action.
The important thing he declared was that America’s “credibility”
was at stake. Politicians invoke credibility as a excuse after
they have made a huge blunder –notably Obama’s foolish “red
lines” in Syria that boxed the president into a corner of his
What we are seeing is the latest, 21st century version of the
new era of colonialism and imperialism, with a touch of Crusader
zeal thrown in.
Today, the favored euphemism is humanitarian intervention, but
the song remains the same. Syria is not about poison gas or
human rights: it’s about a proxy war against Iran, the only
nation now challenging total US and Israel military domination
of the Mideast.
For France, it’s about reasserting its former colonial rule in
Syria and Lebanon
In 1857, a Chinese baker in Hong Kong tried to poison the
British trade superintendent. Britain’s parliament was summoned
to vote on retaliation against China. The vote did not pass. But
soon after a new parliament with more conservatives voted for
France rushed to join Britain, citing the killing of a French
missionary. Russia and the US joined. The Second Opium War had
begun. China was quickly defeated by the western powers and
forced to open it ports to their commerce and begin consuming
highly addictive opium grown in the British Indian Raj.
Look at current events in Syria in this historical light rather
than all the indignation over chemical weapons in Syria.
Besides, given that the weird Japanese cult, Aum Shinrikyo,
managed to produce home-made Sarin ( I just barley missed its
attack on Tokyo’s subway), how do we know who really made
Far more important, the US Congress has become seriously
corrupted by special interest money – and that’s putting it
gently. How else did all the Wall Street bankers escape
punishment for their egregious financial frauds and theft?
Now, other wealthy special interest in America are beating the
war drums and pulling the strings of their legislators. Israel
is pushing the US hard to destroy its old foe Syria – which
would remove the last Arab state capable of offering even modest
military resistance to Israel.
So it seems likely the upcoming Congressional vote may approve a
“limited” war. But remember “mission creep” from Vietnam days?
Previous estimates of a so-called limited air campaign against
Iran called for over 3,200 targets to be hit repeatedly.
And who will rule Syria after President Bashar Assad is deposed
or killed? Today’s Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan hardly offer a
promising example of Washington-guided democracy.
Washington is still trying to figure out what happened to
Herzegovina – it’s not ready for Syria’s maddening complexity.
In fact, I’d wager that most members of the US Congress could
not find Syria on a map. Ordinary taxpaying Americans, polls
show, are totally against yet another jolly little war that has
no sense to it, no exit strategy, and that offers only mayhem
But the US chariot of the Juggernaut just jeeps rolling along.
Margolis is an award-winning, internationally syndicated
columnist. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, the
International Herald Tribune the Los Angeles Times, Times of
London, the Gulf Times, the Khaleej Times, Nation – Pakistan,
Hurriyet, – Turkey, Sun Times Malaysia and other news sites in
© 2013 Eric Margolis
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