|Southwest Asia News Digest
EIR's Steinberg: Regime Change in Washington Before Syria
June 20 (EIRNS)Speaking on Press-TV June 20, EIR Editorial Board member Jeffrey Steinberg emphasized that President Barack Obama is being sued by a bipartisan group of 10 members of the House of Representatives for violations of the U.S. Constitution with an illegal war for regime change in Libya, at the same time that the Obama Administration is demanding that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad be ousted.
"I think the White House is in a desperate flight forward for swthe simple reason that President Obama himself may be facing constitutional regime change," Steinberg said, when asked if Washington would go to war to oust President Assad.
"Why, on the very day that President Assad laid out an ambitious public reform plan should the White House come in and start talking about regime change?" Steinberg asked.
"Give the guy a chance to demonstrate that he's serious about these reforms. There have been a number of changes in the law; the Syrian government has ended the emergency rule; they say they are going to disband the security court and revert purely to civil court; and they're talking about allowing new political parties to come into existence.
"So, it seems to me that there's a real double standard here. We tried to get Saudi Arabia to take some of these steps and the Saudi Arabians shot us down, and said adamantly 'No,' and yet we don't hear a peep about regime change in Saudi Arabia.
"It's a very self-serving and double-standard policy, and I would not be surprised if there is regime change by constitutional means in Washington before there's any change in the regime other than reform of the system in Syria."
Steinberg also accused the U.S. of having a double standard in allowing the rich Persian Gulf oil states like Bahrain and Saudi Arabia to imprison and kill dissidents, while threatening Syria.
"Syria doesn't have a large reserve of oil. The U.S. does have a double standard," charged Steinberg. "Back about six or eight months ago we tried to encourage the Saudis to institute political reforms there. We supported the idea of a move towards a constitutional form of monarchy in Bahrain, and even in Jordan, and we got very serious pushback from the Saudis, who really don't want a momentum to be built up towards reforming these military or monarchist regimes throughout the Persian Gulf area and quite frankly the U.S., under threats and pressure from Riyadh, decided to back down."
Who Killed 120 Syrian Military Personnel in Jisr-al Shugur?
June 18 (EIRNS)"Southeastern Turkey is the badlands of Asia Minora forbidding, sparsely populated region of parched plains and spiny, 10,000-foot mountains, of swirling dust and barely passable roads. It is an inhospitable land to everybody except bandits and smugglers," wrote Time magazine over 40 years ago, in 1964, in an article titled, "Turkey: I Am But a Simple Murderer." That article profiled the tribal smuggling operations that existed on the Turkey-Syria border at that time, and still exist today, especially with world opium production in Southwest Asia and Afghanistan at the highest level in history.
The town of Jisr-al Shugur, where 120 Syrian military troops were massacred by armed assailants in several attacks June 4-6, lies on the Syrian side of that border. But whether the "armed gangs" who killed the Syrian government troops were such tribal smugglers, or well-financed Salafis (Islamic extremists) supported by Saudi Arabia or others remains to be determined.
One thing is certain, according to well-informed U.S. veteran military officers: there is no way such an operation against the Syrian army could have been conducted by an "angry crowd" of pro-democracy dissidents. Instead, the attacks have been described as well-planned ambushes by well-armed, and well-trained forces.
While U.S. and European media have repeatedly played up the humanitarian crisis at the Syrian-Turkish border as thousands of Syrians fled the violence, there has been little attention paid to answering these crucial questions: Who killed the government troops? How widespread and well-financed are the armed insurgents? And, who is financing them?