Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Syria and Arizona's McCain

Syria’s great historic cities of Aleppo and Damascus have been virtually destroyed – along with its lesser towns and villages and nearly the entirety of its economy. There are 400,000 dead and 11 million internal and external refugees from an original population of hardly 18 million. The human toll of death, displacement, disease and disorder which has been inflicted on this hapless land staggers the imagination.
Yet at bottom this crime against humanity – there is no other word for it – is not mainly Assad’s or Putin’s doing. It can be properly described as "McCain’s War" in the manner in which (Congressman) Charlie Wilson’s War in Afghanistan during the 1980’s created the monster which became Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda.
Even the fact that the butchers of ISIS were able to establish a temporary foothold in the Sunni villages and towns of the Upper Euphrates portion of Syria is the direct doing of McCain, Lindsay Graham and their War Party confederates in the Congress and the national security apparatus. That’s because Syria’s air force and army would have stopped ISIS cold when it invaded in 2014 if it had not been weakened and beleaguered by Washington’s oppositions armies.
But why did Washington launch McCain’s War in the first place?
The government of Syria has never, ever done harm to the American homeland. It has no military capacity to attack anything much beyond its own borders – including Israel, which could dispatch Assad’s aging air force without breaking a sweat.
Moreover, even if a purely sectarian civil war in this strategically irrelevant land was any of Imperial Washington’s business, which it isn’t, Senator McCain and his War Party confederates have been on the wrong side from the get-go. The Assad regime going back to the 1970 was Arab Baathist – a form of nationalistic and anti-colonial socialism that was secular and inclusive in its religious orientation.
Indeed, as representatives of the minority Alawite tribes (15% of the population, at best), the Assad regime was based on Syria’s non-Sunni Arab minorities – including Christians, Druze, Kurds, Jews, Yazidis, Turkomans, and sundry others. Never once did the Assad’s seek to impose religious conformity – to say nothing of the harsh regime of Sharia Law and medieval religious observance demanded by the Sunni jihadists.
The point is, the Syrian opposition recruited by Washington for McCain’s War exploited the grievances of ordinary Sunni citizens, but it was led by radical jihadist military commanders. Washington’s endless charade of "vetting" these opposition fighters to ensure that aid only went to "moderates" was a sick joke.
Such moderates as existed were mainly opportunistic politicians who operated far from the battle in Turkish safe havens – or even from temporary residences in the beltway. It is a proven fact that most of the weapons supplied by the CIA and the gulf states were either sold to the Nusra Front and other jihadist factions or ended up in their hands when the CIA’s "moderate" trainees defected to the radicals.
So the question recurs. Why did Washington embark on this tremendous, pointless folly?
The answer is straight forward. Washington has become an Imperial City populated by a permanent class of sunshine patriots and self-appointed global field marshals like Senator McCain, who do the bidding of the military/industrial complex and its far-flung Warfare State apparatus.
That is, they identify and demonize the enemies and villains that are needed to keep the money flowing into the Empire’s $700 billion budget. In this case, Assad drew the short straw because as a member of the greater Shiite confession in the Islamic world he was naturally allied with the Shiite regime of Iran.

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