'US Planned To Oust Assad Long Before
WikiLeaks founder reveals fostering Shia, Sunni tension from plan’s
‘most serious part’
By Daily Times
Clearing House" - "Daily
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has opened up about
his new book, 'The WikiLeaks Files', saying that Washington had
plans to overthrow Syria's government long before the 2011 uprising
began, the Russia Today channel reported on Thursday.
Assange referred to the chapter on Syria, which goes
back to 2006. In that chapter is a cable from US Ambassador William
Roebuck - who was stationed in Damascus - which apparently discusses
a plan for the overthrow of the Assad government in Syria.
“That plan was to use a number of different
factors to create paranoia within the Syrian government; to push it
to overreact, to make it fear there's a coup...so in theory it says
'We have a problem with extremists crossing over the border with
Iraq, and we're taking actions against them to take this information
and make the Syrian government look weak, the fact that it is
dealing with extremists at all,'” he said.
He added that the most serious part of the plan
was to “foster tensions between Shiites and Sunnis. In particular,
to take rumors that are known to be false...or exaggerations and
promote them – that Iran is trying to convert poor Sunnis, and to
work with Saudi and Egypt to foster that perception in order to make
it harder for Iran to have influence, and also harder for the
government to have influence in the population”.
Assange stressed that this particular cable was
“quite concerning”, adding that while you often have to read between
the lines in cables, “it’s all hanging out” in that one. “To
understand what is happening in and around Syria, one must look at
regional alliances,” he said.
“Part of the problem in Syria is that you have a
number of US allies surrounding it, principally Saudi and Qatar, who
are funneling in weapons. Turkey as well [is] a very serious actor!
[They] each have their own hegemonic ambitions in the region. Israel
also, no doubt, if Syria sufficiently destabilised, it might be in a
position where it can keep the Golan Heights forever, or even
advance that territory. So you've got a number of players around
Syria, who are looking to bite off pieces,” he added.
- 'US is an empire' -
Assange said that when the US wants something, it
brings together the various arms of American power – including
military, intelligence, financial, and commercial, as well as its
informational and diplomatic power, in order to “push” on a country.
But Washington's habits don't pay off so easily in
South America, according to Assange. He said the US empire's
influence was harder to achieve there, because those nations were
surrounded by relatively supportive states.
One cable in Assange's book details an instance
when the US went to Brazil, telling the country that it wanted to
reign in Venezuela. Brazil responded with a resounding “no”. But
while Assange maintains that the US is indeed an empire, he says
it's not one in the classical sense. Instead, its imperialism lies
in over 1,400 US military bases in more than 120 countries, as well
in its trade deals.
“It uses these mechanisms of its embassies, of its
military bases, of its presence in organisations like the United
Nations and the International Monetary Fund, in order to secure
advantageous deals and structures for the largest American
companies,” he said.