The American Bear

Sunshine/Lollipops

Ukraine: the Waiting Game | Pepe Escobar

Everything one needs to know about mediocre political elites allegedly representing the “values” of Western civilization has been laid bare by their reaction to the referendums in Donetsk and Lugansk.

The referendums may have been a last-minute affair; organized in a rush; in the middle of a de facto civil war; and on top of it at gunpoint – supplied by the Kiev NATO neo-liberal neo-fascist junta, which even managed to kill some voters in Mariupol. An imperfect process? Yes. But absolutely perfect in terms of graphically depicting a mass movement in favor of self-rule and political independence from Kiev.

This was direct democracy in action; no wonder the US State Department hated it with a vengeance.

Turnout was huge. The landslide victory for independence was out of the question. Same for transparency; a public vote, in glass ballot boxes, with monitoring provided by Western journalists – mostly from major German media but also from the Kyodo News Agency or the Washington Post.

What should come after the Donetsk People’s Republic proclaimed itself a sovereign state, and asked Moscow to consider its accession into Russia, is not secession, nor outright civil war, but a negotiation.

That’s clear by the Kremlin’s measured official reaction: “Moscow respects the will of the people in Donetsk and Lugansk and hopes that the practical realization of the outcome of the referendums will be carried out in a civilized manner.”

The cautious tone is also reflected by the Kremlin urging the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to help broker the negotiation.

Yet once again, there’s concrete proof that the NATO neo-liberal neo-fascist junta does not want to negotiate anything. Farcical “acting” President Oleksandr Turchynov labeled the exercise in direct democracy a “farce, which terrorists call the referendum”; and Washington and Brussels branded it “illegal”.

And all this after the Odessa massacre; after the deployment of neo-nazi paramilitaries disguised as a “National Guard” (the goons US corporate media calls “Ukrainian nationalists”); dozens of CIA and FBI agents on the ground; plus 300 of the inevitable Academi – former Blackwater – mercenaries. What else to expect when the current Ukrainian Secretary for National Security is neo-nazi Andriy Parubiy, the previous commander of the Maidan’s “self-defense forces” and a cheerleader of World War II nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera.

Banderastan – with its remix of 1980s Central American-style death squads – doesn’t do referendums; they’d rather burn to death ethnic Russian civilian “insects” who dare to occupy buildings.

So this is the key message of the referendums. We reject the Kiev NATO neo-liberal neo-fascist junta. It’s an illegal “government” of putschists. We are not “pro-Russian” separatists. We don’t want to secede. What we want is a unified, federal and civilized Ukraine, with strong autonomous provinces.

… The Empire of Chaos wants – what else – chaos. Crucially, the Empire of Chaos now blatantly supports the deployment of an “army against their own population”; this was strictly verboten – punishable by NATO bombs or NATO-enabled jihad – in Libya and Syria, but now is just the new normal in Ukraine. [continue]

Humanitarian Intervention: The Gift That Keeps on Giving to U.S. Imperialism | Ajamu Baraka

With the announcement by the Obama administration that it intends to launch an attack on Syria in response to the chemical attack alleged to have been carried out by the Syrian government, the U.S. Administration has again assumed for itself the role of global “gendarme,” policing, punishing, and as its drone warfare program demonstrates, even executing the natives of the global village at will. In its single-minded dedication to this global role, the Obama administration has also freed itself from the constraints of international law as the President shamelessly declared that he was “comfortable” operating outside of the global legal frameworks that the U.S. itself helped craft.

How is it that the administration can announce to the world its intentions to circumvent, and by doing so, subvert international prohibitions on war? By wrapping itself in the false flag of humanitarian concerns for the suffering masses in Syria. President Obama, the corporate and financial elite’s most effective propaganda weapon since Ronald Reagan, explains to the world that it is only the plight of people in Syria that drives the U.S. decision to attack the country.

No one asks the President to explain to the innocent human beings who are walking around today alive, but who will be the dead and maimed “collateral damage” of this pending attack, why their sacrifice is for the greater good of humanity.

This justification for this latest breech of international law is yet another example of the sham that is “humanitarian intervention.” [++]

Stumbling Into Syria | David Bromwich

[…] Reporters working in Syria—most recently Robert Worth in an article in The New York Times Magazine—have converged on a single unhappy perception: far and away the largest and most capable groups of rebels are jihadists. That is a central fact of this uprising. But the fall of the town of Qusair to Hezbollah forces, in the first week of June, and the realization that Aleppo is also in jeopardy have turned the war so heavily in Assad’s favor that an all-out campaign for French, British, and American intervention has now been launched. The French “new philosopher” and journalist Bernard-Henri Levy did much to persuade Nicholas Sarkozy of the propriety of organizing a NATO war to overthrow Qaddafi; in a characteristic recent column for The Daily Beast, Levy nicknames Assad “the Syrian killer” and speaks of the danger that now threatens the morale and substance of the West:

The surrender of Aleppo to the death squads of Hezbollah would be a fresh eruption of carnage whose victims would be heaped atop the hundred thousand already claimed by this atrocious war against a civilian population.

He affirms that “Aleppo belongs not to Syria but to the world”—a stirring phrase of ambiguous import—and he numbers the recent crimes against civilization by Serbs and Islamists: “those past crimes haunt our collective conscience.” The failures of the West have all been failures to wage the necessary humanitarian wars against Slavic or Islamist fanatics.

It must be admitted that American policy has fallen short of demands like these. We sided with Islamist rebels in Afghanistan, under the name of Mujahideen fighters, and against the same rebels under the names of Taliban and al-Qaeda; we fought against them in Iraq during the 2004 insurgency, and stood at their side as paymasters and allies when they became the “Sunni Awakening” in 2007; we were against them in Mali, Somalia, and Yemen, but allied with them as the courageous militias in Libya; and now in Syria, we are both for them and against them—allies insofar as they agree with us in attacking the government, but opponents because they want to dominate or kill the moderate rebels to whom we intend to ship arms. We will wage war against them after they help us to win the war against Assad.

Still, the force of an impassioned and moralistic appeal for Western involvement in religious wars should not be underrated. The view a man like Levy espouses is just one remove from a policy-maker like Susan Rice, the president’s new national security adviser; and the liberal interventionists since 1999 have formed a section of the policy elite very proficient at linking war with conscience. They combine the adjective humanitarian and the noun war as glibly as the Communists a generation ago matched the word people’s with republic. In a proxy war like Syria—with France, Britain, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the US supporting the insurgents, and Russia, Hezbollah, and Iran (along with Iraqi and other foreign Shia militias) supporting the Syrian government—a policy of humanitarian war promises to double or triple the toll of human lives. Obama’s bad decision will only intensify the flow of arms from the puppet-masters. The external powers may snap their fingers at the idea of a regional conflict, but such a conflict is in progress, and the only question is whether it will be stopped early at the conference table, or late by a remnant of survivors picking among the rubble. The slide into this war by the US has been gradual, treacherous, and avoidable. It will be a long climb getting back out, and it will need the assistance of countries we prefer not to call friends. But after all Aleppo belongs to the people who live there and not the people we pay to die.

US to Leave 1,000 Combat Troops Along Syria’s Border | Antiwar.com

The “Eager Lion” military exercise in Jordan was already used as a shoehorn to get US Patriot missile batteries and warplanes into the country, but with the drill finally coming to an end, the US dropped the revelation that 700 combat troops, supposedly sent there just for the two weeks, aren’t leaving either.

Instead, President Obama has announced that those 700 troops are just going to stay in Jordan, along with the about 300 that were already there, right along the Syrian border, until some unspecified future date when the “security situation will allow for their departure.” This means an open-ended deployment of 1,000 troops overall to the cusp of a warzone.

The whole “Eager Lion” drill centered around the notion of attacking Syria, and keeping the US combat troops who participated in that drill will only underscore that fact, and the prospect that they may march in at any moment.

On Obama and the Syrian Rebels

Syria is in the throes of a civil war. The government is winning, thanks in some part to the recent entrance of Hezbollah forces into the battle. The rebellion which began almost three years ago as popular protests against a repressive regime sold to the neoliberal marketplace has long since stopped being what it originally was. The violent repression of those protests by the Assad government provoked a violent response and the formation of what is called the Free Syrian Army. Since that time, various regional governments and groups with their own agendas have sent in fighters, provided funds and weapons, and generally helped expand the conflict into almost every sector of Syrian society. The politics of the rebel forces grow murkier each day while the influence of outside forces seems to grow. This latter phenomenon will grow exponentially once Washington begins to play its latest hand. There will be no progressive secular government in Syria after the bloodshed ends. Indeed, there may not even be the nation the world now knows as Syria.

If we are to use recent history as an example, the rationale of the previous statement is clear. Iraq, a once secular state run by an authoritarian Baathist government is now a fragmented collection of regions controlled by local rulers often at odds with the nominally central government in Baghdad. The reasons for Iraq’s current situation are related directly to Washington’s 1991 invasion, a decade of low-intensity warfare against Iraq, and the culminating invasion by US forces in 2003. Since none of these series of actions were able to install a regime beholden to Washington, the resulting fragmentation has had to do. If nothing else, it has made the once regional power of Iraq a non-factor. This pleases not only Washington and Tel Aviv, but Saudi Arabia and the other emirates as well. If Washington is unable to install a client government in Damascus, one imagines that a weakened and fragmented Syria will suffice. Given the current role of Hezbollah, one assumes that Washington also hopes to weaken its role in the region.

These are at least some of Washington’s desired goals. After all, Assad’s authoritarian rule has never been too much of a problem before, especially when one understands that Washington maintained relations of various kinds with the Assad regime until quite recently. Much like the relationship various US administrations shared with Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein, the commonality of interests and enemies insured numerous joint ventures between Damascus and Washington, including the rendition of US captives to Syria for interrogation under torture. Now, however, it appears that Washington is going to throw its lot in with whatever lies past the long and brutal history of the Assads. Like Libya and Iraq, this decision means that Washington’s new commitment will be broader than it is letting on to the US public. What are now small arms shipments to certain groups in Syria could soon become no-fly zones and bombing raids; drone strikes and helicopter gunships; bombardment from the sea and Marines on the ground. If the usual contingencies are being followed, it is fairly safe to assume that special forces and CIA paramilitaries are already involved inside Syria. If the military piece of this war continues like it has, Syrian government forces and their allies will continue to win. That, in turn, means that the only way in which the forces Washington prefers can win is with ever greater US support. If the scenario begins to include Iranian forces and more sophisticated Russian weaponry, all bets are off.

The decision by Obama and his henchmen to arm Syrian rebels came in the wake of those forces suffering some major defeats. It also makes the moves toward negotiations touted about a couple weeks ago moot. In other words, Washington has chosen war over negotiation once again. The reasons are numerous and certainly include a desire to decrease Iran’s stature in the Middle East. The lives of the Syrians, already made cheap by the armed assaults of their government, have been made even cheaper by this decision. There is nothing noble in Obama’s decision. Like so many US leaders before him, he has chosen to expand a war instead of negotiating to end it. In doing so, he has calculated that the Syrian people will continue to pay the ultimate price in hopes that Washington’s hegemony in the region can continue.

There are those on the left who are convinced that the rebel forces they support can accept arms from Washington and maintain their hopes for a progressive, secular and democratic government when all the killing is done. This type of thinking is as naive as that of the liberals who believe Washington’s entrance into the war is a humanitarian act devoid of imperial machinations. The plain truth is that imperialism never acts from pure humanitarian motives. Its very nature demands that any action it takes, especially in the arena of warfare, is taken to further its goal of hegemony. You can bet your bottom dollar that Barack Obama understands this. No matter what he or any of his spokespeople say in the upcoming months regarding the US commitment in Syria, the fact is that his decision is based on his understanding of the risks involved and the potential benefits to be gained–for Washington, Tel Aviv, himself and whomever else he and his regime are beholden to (and that doesn’t include the US public.)

Friedersdorf is being generous by taking humanitarian interventionists at their word about what drives their arguments for war. It’s fair to assume that many American citizens who advocate humanitarian intervention actually have humanitarian concerns. But for most policymakers and think-tank experts, humanitarianism is merely a pretext to justify war for other reasons. … [T]he most vocal advocates of U.S. military intervention in Syria have said all along that taking out the Assad regime would be a major geo-political blow for Iran in the same breath as ‘we have to stop the killing.’ While the death count in Syria is horrifying, there are other conflicts currently plaguing the Earth that are far bloodier, like in the Congo, that garner no [‘humanitarian’] arguments for U.S. intervention. You see, for a humanitarian crisis to be worthy of an American military response, the location has to be strategically vital. In case you haven’t got the point yet: the interests of the state are paramount, while appeals to save lives merely help legitimize the case for war.

The ‘Humanitarian’ Pretext: Why Applying Moral Purpose to the Warfare State is Absurd

Good piece from John Glaser - I’d just add that while there are no calls for “humanitarian” intervention in the Congo, we (the U.S.) are most certainly intervening in the resource rich area by proxy.

The Least of All Possible Evils: Humanitarian Violence from Arendt to Gaza | Lisa Hajjar

“The principle of the lesser evil is often presented as a dilemma between two or more bad choices in situations where available options are, or seem to be, limited….Both aspects of the principle are understood as taking place within a closed system in which those posing the dilemma, the options available for choice, the factors to be calculated and the very parameters of calculation are unchallenged. Each calculation is taken anew, as if the previous accumulation of events has not taken place, and the future implications are out of bounds.” - Eyal Weizman

[…] The siege of Gaza was part of a larger transformation of Israeli power and control, from direct physical occupation to “unilateral” withdrawal in 2005 and “humanitarian management” thereafter. In 2007, Israel decreed Gaza a “hostile entity,” and imposed tight restrictions on the inflow of all essential resources. The stated objective was to “put Gaza on a diet” while preventing a “humanitarian crisis,” which was understood as mass starvation. Gaza became a walled-in laboratory within which thresholds of suffering could be tested and pushed. The proportionality algebraists worked to determine the contents of a humanitarian minimum, a concept that does not exist in IHL. To challenge the siege in the HCJ, as Adalah and eleven other human rights organizations did, lawyers had to wrangle with the Israeli military over how little—calories, vitamins, electricity, building materials—was too little to avert crisis. In larger terms, Israel’s obligations as an occupying state were pushed aside by the cult of proportionality.

The growing field of humanitarian forensic architecture and the proportionality assessment of ruins evince a larger transformation by which “the expression of care for victims was replaced by attempts to uncover the mechanisms of violations.” Marc Garlasco has become the preeminent practitioner in this field and the best example of the kinds of collusions between humanitarians and militaries that define the humanitarian present. Garlasco served for seven years as a US military expert in targeting and “battle damage assessment.” He acquired the skills to predict the likely number of civilian casualties in specific bombings, and how to calibrate the amount of force and the directionality of strikes to achieve “pinpoint” effects. In 2003, he joined Human Rights Watch, where his expertise was used to “interrogate” ruins. This information was the substance of assessments and allegations of violations of proportionality. After Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in the winter of 2008-9, the United Nations sent an investigating commission headed by Richard Goldstone. Garlasco’s reading of the ruins for Human Rights Watch formed a significant empirical element of the Goldstone Report.

Weizman sums up the trajectory of the humanitarian present that culminates in forensic architecture: Developments in precision bombing ushered in aerial targeted assassinations, along with capacities to predict civilian casualties. Together, these allowed for proportionality analysis prior to bombings and ex post facto assessments by humanitarians who could study and interpret the details of attacks. The result is that “today’s forensic investigators of violence move alongside its perpetrators.”

Read

America's hidden agenda in Syria's war | Phil Sands

Priorities:

It was some six months ago that Syrian rebel commanders met US intelligence officers in Jordan to discuss the status of the war and, the rebels hoped, to secure supplies of the sophisticated weapons they need to overthrow President Bashar Al Assad.

But according to one of the commanders present at the meeting, the Americans were more interested in talking about Jabhat Al Nusra, the Al Qaeda-affiliated group waging war on the Syrian regime than they were in helping the rebels advance on Damascus.

The commander - a moderate Sunni and an influential rebel leader from Damascus who said he has met intelligence operatives from Western and Arab states - said the US officials were especially keen to obtain information about the identities of Al Nusra insurgents and the locations of their bases.

Then, by the rebel commander’s account, the discussion took an unexpected turn.

The Americans began discussing the possibility of drone strikes on Al Nusra camps inside Syria and tried to enlist the rebels to fight their fellow insurgents.

“The US intelligence officer said, ‘We can train 30 of your fighters a month, and we want you to fight Al Nusra’,” the rebel commander recalled.

Opposition forces should be uniting against Mr Al Assad’s more powerful and better-equipped army, not waging war among themselves, the rebel commander replied. The response from a senior US intelligence officer was blunt.

“I’m not going to lie to you. We’d prefer you fight Al Nusra now, and then fight Assad’s army. You should kill these Nusra people. We’ll do it if you don’t,” the rebel leader quoted the officer as saying. [continue]

see also: How to Use “Intelligence” to Justify a Larger US Role in Syria and Syria Special: Did Jabhat al-Nusra Pledge Allegiance to Al Qa’eda?

The Roadmap to the Destruction of Syria | Pepe Escobar

Just when the red line charade was reaching fever pitch – but still buried in the sand – and he had to choose between the US “exercising restraint” or “directly involving itself” in the Syrian war, (see The Syria-Iran red line show, Asia Times Online, May 2, 2013) President Obama was saved by Bibi Netanyahu’s Israeli government.

The temptation was oh so great for Obama to replay Ronald Reagan and gloriously wear the mantle of Obama The Syrian Mujahid, just as Reagan did in the 1980s with his beloved freedom fighters of the Afghan jihad. That will have to wait – perhaps not too long.

Let’s cut to the chase. Israel’s bombing of Syrian army installations at Jamraya near Damascus is a provocation and an act of war. Israel acted as a Washington proxy – which may have even provided the list of targets. And Washington – not to mention those useless puppets in Brussels – won’t condemn the bombing, which for the umpteenth time makes a mockery of international law.

… [A]fter much huff and puff, Obama ended up with something way more comfortable than a no-fly zone: targeted strikes – with jets and/or missiles, conducted by the Israelis. The blueprint could be Operation Desert Fox (the Bill Clinton-ordered bombing of Iraq in 1998.) The objective, to “send a clear message” to Syria.

The next bombings may target airfields, concentrations of aircraft, more weapons depots, tanks and artillery. Collateral damage, inevitably, will soar, proportionately to the level of provocation.

Former US ambassador to the UN Bill Richardson, very close to the Clinton clan, has already gamed on ABC News that Obama is “leaning towards aerial strikes”. Yes; this is just the beginning. Mini-Shock and Awes await.

The question is why did it take so long. The destruction of Syria – as conceptualized by Sheikh Nasrallah – with the West once more collaborating with jihadi gangs, has been in the cards for years. See how Seymour Hersh outlined it in 2007. And see how badly the bipartisan Washington establishment craves regime change.

And Damascus, of course, is just a stop towards Tehran. The proverbial anonymous sources have leaked to the Rupert Murdoch-ownedSunday Timesin London that a “Defense Crescent” is becoming a reality.

The west and its allies cynically bleed Syria to weaken Iran | Seumas Milne

If anyone had doubts that Syria’s gruesome civil war is already spinning into a wider Middle East conflict, the events of the past few days should have laid them to rest. Most ominous was Israel’s string of aerial attacks on Syrian military installations near Damascus, reportedly killing more than 100.

The bombing raids, unprovoked and illegal, were of course immediately supported by the US and British governments. Since Israel has illegally occupied Syria’s Golan Heights for 46 years, perhaps the legitimacy of a few more air raids hardly merited serious consideration.

But it’s only necessary to consider what the western reaction would have been if Syria, let alone Iran, had launched such an attack on Israel – or one of the Arab regimes currently arming the Syrian rebels – to realise how little these positions have to do with international legality, equity or rights of self-defence.

Israeli officials have let it be known that the attacks, launched from Lebanese airspace, were aimed at stockpiles of Iranian missiles bound for Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shia resistance movement and governing party. They were not, it was said, intended as an intervention in Syria’s civil war – but as a warning to Iran and protection against Hezbollah attacks in a future conflict.

That’s not how it seemed to the Syrian rebel fighters on the ground, filmed greeting the attacks with cries of “Allahu akbar”, unaware of who had actually carried them out. By bombing the Syrian army, which has recently made advances in some rebel-held areas, Israel is clearly intervening in the war.

The raids follow the public declaration by Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah last week that his fighters are supporting government forces inside Syria – which are also backed by Iran, Russia and China. It is Syria’s role as the pivot of Iranian influence across the Middle East that has turned the Syrian war into a potential regional conflagration.

Having hedged its bets, Israel has now started to make clear it regards the prospect of Islamist and jihadist groups taking over from the Assad regime as less threatening than the existing “Syria-Iran-Hezbollah axis”, as the Israeli defence ministry official Amos Gilad put it recently.

… [W]hat began in Syria more than two years ago as a brutally repressed popular uprising has long since morphed into a vicious sectarian war, manipulated by outside forces to change the regional balance of power and already dangerously spilling over into neighbouring Lebanon and Iraq.

The consequences for Syria have been multiple massacres, ethnic cleansing, torture, a humanitarian crisis and the risk of the country’s breakup. The longer the war, the greater the danger of a Yugoslavian-style fragmentation into sectarian and ethnic enclaves.

The Assad regime bears responsibility for that, of course. But so do those who have funded and fuelled the war, bleeding Syria and weakening the Arab world in the process. The demand by Cameron and other western politicians to increase the flow of arms is reckless and cynical.

The result will certainly be to ratchet up the death toll and spread the war. If they were genuinely interested in saving lives – instead of neutralising Syria to undermine Iran – western leaders would be using their leverage with the rebels’ regional sponsors to negotiate a political settlement that would allow Syrians to determine their own future.

Libya faces growing Islamist threat | The Guardian

Western intervention in Libya leads to blowback in Mali, leads to intervention in Mali, leads to blowback in Libya, leads to …

Diplomats are warning of growing Islamist violence against western targets in Libya as blowback from the war in Mali, following last week’s attack on the French embassy in Tripoli.

The bomb blast that wrecked much of the embassy is seen as a reprisal by Libyan militants for the decision by Paris the day before to extend its military mission against fellow jihadists in Mali.

The Guardian has learned that jihadist groups ejected from their Timbuktu stronghold have moved north, crossing the Sahara through Algeria and Niger to Libya, fuelling a growing Islamist insurgency.

“There are established links between groups in both Mali and Libya – we know there are established routes,” said a western diplomat in Tripoli. “There is an anxiety among the political class here that Mali is blowing back on them.”

That anxiety escalated last week after militants detonated a car bomb outside the French embassy, wounding two French guards and a Libyan student, the first such attack on a western target in the Libyan capital since the end of the 2011 Arab spring revolution.

“The armed groups we are fighting are fleeing to Libya,” said Colonel Keba Sangare, commander of Mali’s army garrison in Timbuktu. “We have captured Libyans in this region, as well as Algerians, Nigerians, French and other European dual-nationals.”

continue

Powerful sections of the ruling strata in the United States are determined to provoke a direct US military intervention and are flogging the poison gas pretext for all it is worth. Much of the corporate media is demanding that the Obama administration make good on its threat to treat the use of chemical weapons in Syria as a ‘red line’ and a ‘game changer.’

But what gives the US the moral authority to proclaim ‘red lines’ on this issue? In its nearly nine-year war in Iraq, the US military used chemical weapons to devastating effect. In its barbaric siege of Fallujah, it employed white phosphorus shells and an advanced form of napalm, both banned by international conventions, to burn men, women and children alive.

The legacy of these weapons continues to plague the Iraqi people—with huge increases in child leukemia and cancer, and an epidemic of nightmarish birth defects in Fallujah, Basra and other cities subjected to US military siege.

It should also be recalled that it was the British who introduced chemical warfare to the Middle East, dropping mustard gas bombs on Iraqi tribes that resisted British colonial rule. Winston Churchill, then secretary of state for war and air, declared at the time: ‘I am strongly in favor of using poisoned gas against uncivilized tribes…[to] spread a lively terror.’

Bill Van Auken

Washington fabricates chemical weapons pretext for war against Syria | Bill Van Auken

Behind the sudden turn to promoting the chemical weapons pretext for direct military intervention is the growing frustration of the US and its European allies over the failure of their proxy forces in Syria to make any headway in overthrowing the Assad regime.

This is in large measure because the Syrian government retains a popular base and, even among those who detest the regime, many hate and fear even more the Islamist elements, from the Muslim Brotherhood to Al Qaeda, which are seeking to replace it.

The US and its allies are themselves increasingly wary about the potential “blowback” from the sectarian civil war that they have promoted. The governments in Britain and Germany as well as the European Union have all made statements in the last week warning of the dangers posed by hundreds of Islamists from their own countries going to Syria to join with Al Qaeda elements.

Behind the pretense that the cutthroats that rule the US and Europe are concerned about human rights and Syrian lives, the reality is that they are preparing bombings, the use of cruise missiles and Predator drones, as well as a potential ground invasion that will dramatically increase Syria’s death toll.

The motives underlying such a war have nothing to do with qualms about chemical weapons, but rather concern definite geostrategic interests.

US Pledges Another $100 Million to Syrian Rebels | Antiwar

Another ‘Friends of Syria’ conference, being held seemingly every few weeks lately, has led to another pledge of more US government funding for the Syrian rebellion by Secretary of State John Kerry.

The new pledge will see another $100 million in US aid, including “non-lethal” military equipment, including body armor and night-vision goggles, being provided to the rebels.

The US is already providing training for rebels by way of a camp in Jordan, and has repeatedly offered “humanitarian aid” directly to rebel factions. They have been reluctant to provide US weapons directly, however, preferring to act as an intermediary for Saudi weapons flowing into the nation.

UN Special Envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi has urged a new round of peace talks between the Assad government and the rebels, but with constant increases in aid bolstering rebels’ belief they’ll eventually prevail, there is little interest among them to actually engage in talks.

Also: Kerry: Intervene in Syria or It May Break Up