Love the War Powers Act or hate it, it’s believed to be the law of the land. There are those who believe the War Powers Act is unconstitutional — such as all recent presidents — and the Obama administration has refused to say whether it believes the WPA is constitutional.
But the fact that a lot of people think a law is unconstitutional does not necessarily make it unconstitutional. (Right now, many people think Obamacare is unconstitutional, but five Supreme Court justices ruled otherwise.) If it is indeed unconstitutional, it would be good to get the Supreme Court to sort this out tout de suite. Because if it isn’t, it has been violated fairly regularly, and we may see it violated again soon.
The War Powers Act doesn’t allow a president to use force absent authorization from Congress unless there is a “national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces” — a threshold Syria simply does not meet. If Assad’s forces shoot at our ships offshore, Obama can rain hell down upon him, but absent that “national emergency,” he suppose to go to Congress. But will he?
A picture released by the US Navy shows an F/A-18C Hornet
assigned to the Rampagers of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 83 preparing to launch from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69)
on June 17, 2013
in the Mediterranean Sea. (AFP Photo/US Navy)
As the United States, along with its European and “Israeli allies,” prepares to launch yet another illegal war of aggression in the Middle East, the geopolitics of the US strategy could not be more apparent.
Despite the high-minded talk of “humanitarianism,” the US is advancing a transparently neo–colonialist agenda aimed at securing hegemony in the region by destroying what little opposition remains.
The images and videos flooding the internet since last week purport to show ‘evidence’ of a chemical weapons attack perpetrated by the Assad regime. This development neatly and conveniently coincides with the declaration by the Obama administration that the use of such weapons constitutes a ‘red line’, merely a euphemism for the point at which the US would feel emboldened to militarily intervene on behalf of the rebels.
And so, as news outlets report on the ‘likely use of chemical weapons’ by Damascus without anything other than unverifiable hearsay and ambiguous video footage, the drumbeat of war gets louder and louder.
A clear-thinking and rational political analyst would immediately be suspicious about the attack considering the presence of international chemical weapons investigators in Syria, as well as the fact that Damascus was undeniably winning the war against the jihadi rebel factions in cities like Qussair, Homs, Aleppo and elsewhere. That Assad would sabotage his own military victories and provide the perfect pretext for a foreign intervention is not only far-fetched, it runs contrary to his own record throughout this conflict. Remember that Damascus has shown restraint in the face of international war crimes committed against it by Israel, Turkey and other regional actors who have been fomenting the conflict in Syria for more than two years.
And so we see once again that we are living in what French philosopher and cultural critic Guy Debord called ‘The Society of the Spectacle’ – a world in which representation of truth is more important than truth itself, where videos of unknown origin and without verification take the place of authentic evidence and investigation, where wars that will destroy millions of lives and future generations are manufactured by paid actors on television who merely masquerade as journalists.
All this leads many to wonder whether the United States is really as stupid as it seems. Could Washington actually believe that a war in Syria will actually benefit the US and its interests? Could they truly be so short-sighted and unwilling to learn from past mistakes? Although these questions would seem entirely valid, they presuppose that a war with Syria is actually the goal of a war with Syria. On the contrary, this illegal aggression against the sovereign Syrian Arab Republic is merely the opening phase of a greater regional war with the ultimate target being the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Smashing the Shiite crescent
In the decades since the revolution of 1979 which created the modern Islamic Republic of Iran, the US policy toward that country has been antagonistic and belligerent to such a degree that Iran has been forced, out of sheer necessity, to rely very heavily on its few regional and international allies. And so, given the political posture of Bashar Assad, like that of his father before him, Damascus has been viewed as Iran’s key political partner, providing Iran with a crucial ally along the border with Israel and a bridge to the Hezbollah organization in Southern Lebanon. Additionally, a multi-ethnic society like Syria with a dominant Shiite, Alawite demographic presents itself as a natural friend to Shiite Iran. However, the importance of this relationship does not stop at mere similarities.
Since the United States imposed draconian sanctions against Tehran, ostensibly over Iran’s alleged nuclear program, the economics of the Iran-Syria relationship have become even more significant. As Tehran has been increasingly frozen out of world energy markets due to US and European sanctions that make it difficult if not impossible to settle international debts with the Islamic Republic, it has been forced to find alternative methods and infrastructure to sell its oil and gas and maintain its fragile economy.
A centerpiece of this strategy is the Iran–Iraq–Syria Pipeline deal signed last month. Intended to provide Iran with a new delivery route to the Mediterranean coast, giving it renewed access to the Eurasian landmass and markets, the pipeline is obviously a blow to US-Israeli attempts to strangle the regime in Iran economically. Syria, being the critical linchpin in this deal, figures significantly in the Iranian strategy to survive the sanctions, thereby necessitating Iranian involvement in the conflict if only to provide the critical support Assad needs to maintain control of the security of the country.
When one looks at the players involved in the war in Syria, it becomes clear that the Sunni monarchies – Saudi Arabia and Qatar primarily – have committed to the war in order to ensure their own continued hegemony, especially in terms of energy production. Qatar, being one of the world’s wealthiest gas exporters, views the growing relationship between Iran and Syria, especially the gas pipeline deal, as an existential threat to their own standing. The Saudis, long since mortal enemies and rivals of the Shia Iranians, also have come to view Syria as merely a battleground in the larger proxy war with Iran.
And then of course, there’s Israel. Perched comfortably on Syria’s border, Israel has played a key role in stoking tensions and fomenting unrest on the other side of the Golan Heights. Not only did Israel carry out a number of blatantly illegal bombings inside Syria’s borders, there have been dozens of mainstream accounts, including videos, of Israeli Special forces commandos inside of Syria. Naturally, Israeli intentions are to further their own interests which for decades have been centered on the destruction of Iran, their main regional competitor and rival.
Furthermore, as renowned author and geopolitical analyst F. William Engdahl has noted, Israel’s new gas discoveries off the Mediterranean coast add a new dimension to the struggle for dominance in the region. Engdahl writes, “Now Israel faces a strategic and very dangerous dilemma. Naturally, Israel is none too excited to see Assad’s Syria, linked to Israel’s arch foe Iran, and Iraq and Lebanon out-compete an Israeli Gas Exports to the EU markets. This could explain why Israel’s Netanyahu government has been messing inside Syria in the anti-Assad forces.”
Of course, Israel is not an entirely independent actor. As a principal player in the US-dominated imperial system, Israel serves as the bad cop to Washington’s good cop on Iran. While the warmongers in Tel Aviv call for Iranian blood, the US is able to feign interest in nuclear negotiations to resolve the conflict and lift the sanctions. At the very same moment, the US, EU and Israel instigate civil war in Syria precisely to weaken the Iranians, already isolated politically and economically, thereby showing that not only are they not interested in peace with Iran, they are implementing a multi-phased strategy to destroy that country.
Adding insult to injury, the continued instability and violence in Iraq has politically weakened Prime Minister Maliki, a key Iranian ally. With Baghdad and Damascus in chaos, Tehran will find it very difficult to continue to support Hezbollah, another important piece on the chessboard. So one can see without great difficulty that the war in Syria is, at a fundamental level, a means to an end – the end being the total destruction of the Shia Crescent insofar as it represents resistance to the hegemonic designs of the US, Israel, and their puppet Sunni monarchies.
The enemies have been scheming for a long time … and have accumulated huge and influential material wealth. With their money, they took control of the world media… With their money they stirred revolutions in various parts of the globe… They stood behind the French Revolution, the Communist Revolution and most of the revolutions we hear about… With their money, they formed secret organizations – such as the Freemasons, Rotary Clubs and the Lions – which are spreading around the world, in order to destroy societies and carry out Zionist interests… They stood behind World War I …and formed the League of Nations through which they could rule the world. They were behind World War II, through which they made huge financial gains… There is no war going on anywhere without them having their finger in it. [The Covenant of the Hamas -Article 22]
What has become ever more apparent in recent weeks and months is that the conflict in Syria is much larger than Syria itself. Like the Balkans almost exactly 100 years ago, Syria has become the proverbial powder keg in which Western leaders play with matches. Tragically, the diplomatic brinksmanship of the imperial powers in 1914 unleashed upon the world one of the greatest tragedies in the history of humanity: the First World War. As the United States prepares to commence yet another war, let us hope that world war is not once again the outcome.
Was the August 21 chemical attack a false flag event?
As the term is used in contemporary America, a “false flag” incident is some traumatic public event that is:
- False: The public are given an untruthful version of the event by the government and the media. The falsity can range from no one actually had been killed or hurt (it was all theater); to some of the alleged victims are real; to all the alleged victims are real but the alleged perpetrator(s) is a fall guy who was set up by the “real” conspirators behind the scenes.
- Results in a “rallying around the flag” effect: Whatever the true nature of the “False flag” event, the objective is to arouse and manipulate the emotions (fear, anger, outrage, indignation) of the American people so that they’ll “rally around the flag” in an outburst of patriotism, supplying the current White House occupant and his (and his party’s) policies with their support and loyalty.
I propose that we approach the question of whether the August 21 Syrian chemical attack was a false flag by asking these questions:
- Who has the motive?
- Who has the means?
- Who has a prior record (precedent) of instigating chemical attacks?
- What evidence do we have that the rebels perpetrated the Aug. 21 chemical attack?
- What does the Obama regime intend to accomplish with a military “intervention”?
1. Who has the motive?
As discussed above, Syrian government forces have been winning the civil war since June. It makes no sense for the winning side to suddenly up the stakes by resorting to chemical weapons, especially since Obama had declared the use of the same chemical weapons to be the “red line” that will trigger the United States’ intervention. In other words, by resorting to chemical weapons, Assad has everything to lose and nothing to gain. As Stratfor’s George Friedman puts it:
“Al Assad is a ruthless man: He would not hesitate to use chemical weapons if he had to. He is also a very rational man: He would use chemical weapons only if that were his sole option. At the moment, it is difficult to see what desperate situation would have caused him to use chemical weapons and risk the worst.”
In contrast, the jihadist rebels have been losing the civil war. Desperate people resort to desperate measures. Launching a chemical attack and killing their own people but putting the blame on the Syrian government, would bring the condemnation of the world as well as the most powerful military in the world, the United States, against their enemy — the Assad regime.
2. Who has the means?
Both the Syrian regime and the rebels have access to chemical weapons.
According to ABC News, April 23, 2013: “Videos have surfaced online of Islamist rebel fighters with vast supplies of chemicals, carrying out experiments on animals and saying they will use chemical weapons against the Assad regime.
The Assad regime is believed to have one of the biggest stockpiles of chemical weapons in the world which contains the VX nerve agent and mustard gas, in addition to sarin.”
3. Who undertook previous chemical attacks?
Previous chemical attacks in the Syrian civil war had been undertaken by the jihadist rebels:
- Sarin attack on March 19, 2013 in Khan al-Asal (near Aleppo): Although Israel, Britain, France and the U.S. blamed Assad, a United Nations investigation found “strong, concrete suspicions” that the rebels were responsible.
- A UN report in June 2013 says a UN panel has compiled evidence that chemical weapons were not used by Assad but instead by the Muslim Brotherhood rebels.
4. Where’s the evidence?
A, Whatever evidence we have all point to the jihadist rebels as the perpetrators:
- Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs says the Aug. 21 chemical weapon (“a homemade missile” with “chemical poison gas”) was shot “from the positions” of the rebels and is similar to the March 19 sarin-gas missile used by Syrian rebels. (Source: Voice of Russia)
- Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich says “there are reports circulating on the Internet, in particular that the materials of the [chemical attack] incident and accusations against government troops had been posted for several hours before the so-called attack.” (Source:Russia Today)
- Syrian Arab News Agency claims that the government had intercepted two phone calls of the rebels which show that the rebels are responsible for the chemical attack. The first phone call was between a rebel and “his boss” or financier from Saudi Arabia, in which the rebel boasted that one of his battalion’s achievements was the Aug. 21 attack. The second phone call revealed the cooperation between two rebel groups in bringing two bottles of sarin gas to Damascus.
- A video from a Syrian TV news report claims to show chemicals and weapons seized by the Syrian government in the rebel stronghold of Jobar. Note at the :10 mark a label that reads: “Saudi Factory for Chlorine and Alkalies”.
- Walid Shoebat’s Shoebat Foundation has several videos uploaded by “Free Syrian” rebels showing them threatening to use chemical weapons, loading a rocket armed with a chemical agent, as well as the voice of a rebel about using sarin gas.
- The behavior of the Assad regime is not consistent with their being the guilty party:
- It was Syrian government soldiers who found the chemical agents in rebel tunnels in Jobar, a suburb of Damascus.
- Assad has allowed — and is allowing — UN experts to investigate sites of chemical weapon attacks. In contrast, the rebels don’t display a similar cooperative willingness.
B. Evidence of the Obama regime training and arming Syrian rebels:
- According to a December 2011 email leaked by Wikileaks (see above), SOF (Special Operations Forces) teams from US, UK, France, Jordan, Turkey are already on the ground in Syria “focused on recce (reconnaissance) missions and training opposition forces.” The email was from a member of Stratfor who had spent an afternoon at the Pentagon with the USAF strategic studies group. From the email: “They [USAF] don’t believe U.S air intervention would happen unless there was enough media attention on a massacre, like the Ghadafi move against Benghazi. They think the US would have a high tolerance for killings as long as it doesn’t reach that very public stage.”
- Even worse, on January 29, 2013, the UK’s Daily Mail published an article on leaked emails proving the White House gave the green light to a chemical weapons attack in Syria that could be blamed on Assad’s regime and in turn, spur international military action against Syria. A week after the Aug. 21 chemical attack, Patriot Action Network discovered that Daily Mail had scrubbed the article. But you can still read the original article on web archive.
Here’s a screenshot of the article as it was published on January 29th, 2013:
5. What does the Obama regime intend to accomplish with a military intervention?
Reportedly, options being considered by the Obama regime include cruise missile strikes, an air campaign, and cross-border shelling, among others.
The day after the chemical attack, on August 22, 2013, Stars and Stripes, an official Defense Department publication, published an AP report saying US officials are divided on how to respond to the chemical attack incident, with “top military leaders” cautioning against even limited action in Syria. Army General Martin E. Dempsey, the Joint Chiefs chairman, said in a letter this week to a congressman that “the US military is clearly capable of taking out Assad’s air force and shifting the balance of the war toward the armed opposition. But such an approach would plunge the US into the war without offering any (end game) strategy.”
In other words, what may begin with air strikes inevitably will lead to the U.S. being stuck in yet another long drawn-out war.
Indeed, I woke up this morning to a reporter on the overnight ABC news saying that U.S. air strikes had never been successful at stopping whatever government from doing anything.
An Aug. 19-23 Reuters/Ipsos poll found that 60% of Americans surveyed said the United States should not intervene in Syria’s civil war, while just 9% thought Obama should act. But Obama and Congress are hell bent on war.
Tell your so-called representatives in D.C. that you don’t want another war!!!!!