Anglo-Saudis Go In for
the Kill Against Syria
by Nancy Spannaus
March 26—In a major escalation of the Anglo-Saudi drive to destroy the nation of Syria in pursuit of its global geopolitical aims, a suicide bomber entered Eman mosque in Damascus during prayers on March 21, and detonated his explosive, killing more than 45 people. Among the dead was Syrian scholar Sheikh Mohammed Sa'id Ramadhan al-Bouti, the most important Sunni cleric speaking out against the destabilization of Syria under the mantle of religious war. Al-Bouti had angered the notorious Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood cleric Yousef al-Qaradhawi, with his polemics against the fanatic jihadi campaign to destroy Syria, thus making himself a target of the fatwa which Qaradhawi had issued against anyone working with the Assad government.
Despite this blatant al-Qaeda-style terrorist act in a religious setting, neither the United States nor the United Kingdom have condemned the perpetrators, preferring to blame all mayhem in Syria on the Assad government.
This atrocity represents a dramatic shift in the drive for all-out religious war in Syria and the region, at the very point that the Anglo-Saudi-supported "opposition," newly exposed as a fraud by intense in-fighting and resignations, is being pushed by the British, the Gulf States, and the Obama Administration to take over government responsibility within the country.
In support of that push, there is a growing drumbeat by leading U.S. Senators, Democratic and Republican, for the U.S. to begin an allegedly "limited" military intervention into Syria, which includes precisely the kind of air campaign which was undertaken against Libya, and to provide "more robust assistance" to opposition groups, including facilitating the creation of a "safe haven" on Syrian territory. The fact that such action represents an alliance of the United States with the very al-Qaeda terrorist groups that attacked the United States on 9/11/2001, and 2012, seems not to concern these politicians in the least.
Thus, the British imperial drive for using the Middle East cockpit as a trigger for both unending religious war, and confrontation with those defenders of the nation-state system, Russia and China, has taken a dramatic step forward. Leaders in the U.S. military and diplomatic corps are speaking out against the potentially apocalyptic consequences of such action (see National), but they themselves cannot stop this momentum. That will take an unprecedented mobilization by patriotic citizens determined to stop the Empire in its tracks, through the measures it fears the most—starting with Glass-Steagall banking separation.
Jihadis in Control
The killing of Dr. al-Bouti is simply the most dramatic example of the process which insurgents in Syria, funded and often manned by British pawns in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have been carrying out for more than two years now. Thousands of jihadis, led by al-Qaeda in Iraq, have been sent into the country to wage war against the rival Shi'as, and seek the imposition of a new Islamic caliphate in the region. Recruits even include individuals who have been sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia for various crimes—and then given the option to go to war in Syria, rather than face their sentence.
As EIR has reported from its Washington sources, and as otherwise publicly acknowledged, these radical jihadis dominate the fighting against the Assad government, and have basically pushed the more moderate or secular opposition figures out of the way. The "Free Syrian Army" doesn't really exist, as President Assad correctly said a couple weeks ago; only a grouping of various militias, criminals, and terrorist bands, who fight among themselves as well as against the regime. In areas of the country which have been "liberated," including large regions around the Syrian borders with Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan, the radical jihadists are systematically seeking to impose Sharia law, and carrying out a campaign of ethnic cleansing against other Islamic sects and Christians. Tens of thousands of Christians have been forced to flee Aleppo, for example, not due to Assad's alleged depredations, but rather, those of the "liberators."
Meanwhile, as reported again in the March 24 New York Times, the CIA is "coordinating" a massive campaign of arms shipments from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Jordan, through Turkey, into the Syrian armed fighters, which it "vets" as approved recipients. The Times reckoned there had been more than 160 cargo flights since January 2012, a figure estimated by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, which monitors illicit arms transfers. "A conservative estimate of the payload of these flights would be 3500 tons of military equipment," said Hugh Griffiths of SIPRI to the Times.
Not only is this massive amount of armaments most likely an understatement, but the idea that the arms go to the "moderate" groups is absurd. On top of that, as the Russian government has consistently charged, arms shipments to insurgent groups, against a legitimate government, are against international law, and escalate the very bloody outcome they purport to be against.
Opposition Blowing Apart
As of this writing, the Arab League is holding its yearly summit in Doha, the capital of Qatar, where it has seated the so-called opposition government as the representative of Syria. Such action is supposed to facilitate more international action against Assad, but the fracturing which has accompanied the creation of this "government" is indicative of the reality that such developments will only bring bloody chaos.
On March 18, after postponing the election for months, the Muslim Brotherhood (a/k/a Syrian National Council) finally agreed to name a so-called Syrian "prime minister," as demanded by Western bankrollers of the murderous Syrian armed opposition. The Brotherhood's condition, as reported by Lebanon-based Al-Akhbar, was that opposition "Coalition" head Moaz al-Khatib's two-month-old offer to negotiate with the Syrian government be repudiated, which was the first thing Ghassan Hitto did, after being "elected" on March 18 as prime minister of the provisional government.
Some prominent "Coalition" members, led by veteran dissident Kamal Labwani, walked out before the vote was held, accusing the Brotherhood of imposing Hitto as a candidate. "We don't want what happened in Egypt to happen in Syria," said Labwani. "They hijacked the revolution."
Ghassan holds dual U.S.-Syrian citizenship, and lived in the U.S. for decades as an IT executive and founder of an Islamicist charity and school, until he suddenly quit his job last November to "join the revolution."
Following Ghassan's election, on March 24, Khatib resigned in anger, as head of the SNC, accusing unnamed countries of having left the opposition in the lurch. Then, after Hitto had been invited to the Arab League meeting in Qatar, the Military Council of the Free Syrian Army—which is 100% bought and paid for by Saudi Arabia—announced through its spokesman Louay Mekdad that it does not recognize Hitto.
On March 24, Amr al-Azm, a history professor at Shawnee State University in Ohio, who is Syrian, and supports the opposition, told the Wall Street Journal that the "coalition is on the verge of disintegrating. It's a big mess."
Senators Gone Insane
Yet, at the very time that the Syrian opposition is exposed as both dominated by al-Qaeda-linked jihadis and in disarray, top U.S. Senators have decided to push for an escalation from the U.S.
On March 21, Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) joined Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in sending a letter to President Obama demanding that Obama "lead an effort, together with our friends and allies" to "degrade" Syria's air power and air defenses, using both the Patriot missile batteries deployed in southern Turkey and precision air strikes, and to establish a safe zone inside Syria.
The letter, which is posted on Levin's website, claims that the Patriots, deployed by NATO in Turkey, can be used to deny airspace in northern Syria to the Assad government's aircraft, and to defend against the government's use of Scud missiles.
"Finally, we urge you to provide more robust assistance directly to vetted opposition groups. We believe such assistance should include tactical intelligence and increased deliveries of food and medicine, fuel, communications equipment, medical care for the wounded, and other humanitarian assistance. To this end, establishing a safe haven inside Syria would also serve the important goal of delivering humanitarian assistance more effectively."
While McCain has been consistently promoting military action in Syria, Levin's move is a change from his previous views. The alleged trigger for the shift was the totally unverified report last week that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons—or, as the Western warmongers also charge, the government had "allowed" the opposition to seize and use such weapons. In fact, it was the Syrian government which first charged that the rebels had used chemical warfare, and called for a UN investigation of what had happened. Yet, President Obama, on his March 20-21 trip to Israel, issued new threats against President Assad, implying Assad would use such weapons.
On March 22, several additional Senators joined the war chorus, including Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), also spoke out in favor of air activity or a no-fly zone, although Blunt continued to reject the use of U.S. troops in Syria. Recall, however, that such a "restraint" was also in effect in Libya—where the U.S. had no "boots on the ground," but ran the air and supply campaign that backed al-Qaeda's campaign to overthrow Qaddafi, and turn the nation over to the jihadi gangs.
Do these Senators know they are supporting al-Qaeda? LaRouche PAC organizers in Washington have certainly provided the material that makes a conclusive case. And some Congressmen, such as House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), have gone to so far as to admit as much. Rogers said, on CBS-TV's Face the Nation March 24, that the U.S. had to militarily connect with the key "ground fighters" against Assad, while he explicitly acknowledged the prominent role of the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front among these fighters on the ground!
Michele Steinberg and Tony Papert contributed to this report.