US Implementing Afghanistan, Kosovo Models For Syria
Rick Rozoff, Stop NATO, Jun 18 2012
Rick Rozoff, Stop NATO, Jun 18 2012
In a feature entitled The ‘Kosovo Road’ to Syria in The Gulf Today, a website based in the UAE, author Hichem Karoui succeeded in identifying the template being employed by the US to effect the overthrow of the Syrian government through the time-tested combination of supporting armed insurgents on the ground while plotting a concomitant air war. The two go hand-in-hand and the first is the necessary precondition for implementing the other. The writer also detailed the precise models being used: Those in Afghanistan from 1978-1992 and in the Serbian province of Kosovo in 1999. Karoui toed the line of his state’s government, that of Qatar, which is arming and in other manners assisting the so-called Free Syrian Army in its armed uprising against the Syrian government, in no way questioning the basic assumption of Gulf states elites and their Western allies that Assad must be forced out of office and be replaced by a regime supported by the Gulf monarchies and NATO powers. However, he let several important cats out of the bag in his brief feature. For example, he mentioned meeting with Burhan Ghalioun, until Jun 10 the president of the opposition Syrian National Council, in the Qatari capital Doha a few days earlier. Karoui asked Ghalioun, a professor of sociology at the Sorbonne in Paris:
Is it true that there is a scenario resembling the fight against the Soviets in Afghanistan: funds from the Arabs, and weapons from the USA and its allies for the forces resisting Assad and his Russian allies?
His interlocutor responded with an evasive and in fact non sequitur statement, but the question was sufficient on its own merits as it contained within itself the only possible answer: The US and its chief allies in the Arab world, the hereditary leaders of the GCC (Qatar, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman) are replicating the joint strategy used against the government of Afghanistan and its Soviet allies in the last quarter of the 20th century. The Gulf monarchies, sheikhdoms and emirates are supplying the funds as well as many of the arms and recruiting foreign religious extremists as fighters; the US and its NATO allies are preparing to arm anti-government forces with more advanced weaponry and train and advise them with Western special forces personnel. As Pakistan was used as the base of operations for attacks inside Afghanistan from the late 1970s to the early 1990s, so now Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq are used for the same purpose vis-a-vis Syria. Now that the term civil war has been used by Western and UN officials, a threshold has been crossed wherein the US and NATO can claim to be intervening in an armed conflict between warring parties as it did in Bosnia in 1995 and in Kosovo in 1999. As an alleged disinterested third party, even as a “peacekeeping” force. In fact, the author also stated:
We have seen cases where wars and regime change are conducted as undercover operations, sometimes with the full knowledge of powerful Congressmen. This may happen again, not to mention the Kosovo crisis when Nato launched a military intervention against Russia’s strongest objections.
He recalled that former US ambassador to the UN Bill Richardson recently asserted that Washington should openly enter the fray in Syria and that NATO should consider arming and training the rebels, citing the discredited canard of Russia supplying the government with attack helicopters as the impetus to do so. Richardson told Fox News’ Juan Williams:
If the Russians get in there, and there’s evidence of that, I think that would be the defining step to move forward with arming the rebels.
Karoui also reminded his readers that the US Senate’s roving war-inciting trio of McCain, Lieberman and Graham visited the border of Turkey and Syria in April and met with the Free Syrian Army’s General Mustafa al-Sheikh and Colonel Riad al-Asaad (the ranks they formerly held in the Syrian armed forces), with McCain issuing the following alarmist and inflammatory comment:
Make no mistake. The situation in Syria is an armed conflict. This is a war.
The disinformation concerning Russian helicopters, first voiced by Sec State Clinton on Jun 12 and immediately parroted by State Dept spokeswoman Nuland (a US ambassador to NATO in the Bush 43 administration), also serves as the pretext for the US and NATO to push for the enforcement of a no-fly zone and the provision of ground-to-air missiles to the Free Syrian Army, reminiscent of Washington supplying Stinger missiles to the Pakistan-based Afghan mujahidin in the 1980s. Whether or not US government officials pretend to believe their casus belli, that Russian helicopter gunships necessitate direct involvement in the name of protecting civilians, supplying the means to shoot them down is an additional provocation toward Russia, already at loggerheads with the US over the latter’s interceptor missile system deployments on and near its western and southern borders. The implementation of a no-fly zone over parts or the entirety of Syria by the US and its NATO allies and Gulf partners would have to occur without a UNSCR, as any effort to authorize it in the UNSC would be blocked by Russia and China. Hence the reference to the 1999 Kosovo precedent. A more recent example exists as well. Last year the US, NATO and its Gulf partners Qatar and the UAE exploited language contained in UNSCR1973 “to establish a ban on all flights in the airspace of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in order to help protect civilians” to wage an unrelenting six-month air war against the government of the country with over 26,000 air missions and almost 10,000 strike sorties in addition to as many as 150 cruise missile attacks.
The Kosovo model pertains to another component of Western plots against Syria. In late April, Syrian opposition figures led by Ammar Abdulhamid, who has lived in Washington since 2005 and is a former visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, left the US capital for the capital of Kosovo, Pristina, where they consulted with former members of the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army on whose behalf the US and NATO bombed the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia for 78 days in 1999. Abdulhamid told AP:
We are here to learn. Kosovo has gone through an experience that I think will be very useful to us in terms of how the different armed groups that formed the KLA organized themselves.
That he and his fellow anti-government leaders made such a trip with so explicit a purpose without the express consent of, or without the visit being arranged by the White House and State Dept is inconceivable. The pattern of Washington working in unison with multinational, cross-border armed extremists, with (if the word has any meaning) terrorists, has now been revealed as a global phenomenon. While working with the Afghan mujahidin operating from within Pakistan 30 years ago, the US and its Arab allies particularly favored what were arguably the two most ruthless leaders, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Jalaluddin Haqqani, whose respective groups, the Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin and the Haqqani network, are currently fighting against their erstwhile paymasters and arms suppliers. In fact the above organizations represent two-thirds of the groups the US and NATO state they are waging the over decade-long war in Afghanistan against.
The Pentagon and the CIA also assisted foreign, primarily Arab, fighters in Pakistan engaged in the earlier Afghan war, including Osama bin Laden and his Maktab al-Khidamat as well as a Libyan named Abdelhakim Belhadj. The latter followed the traditional route through Saudi Arabia to Pakistan for the US proxy war with the former Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Later he returned to his homeland where he founded the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group of which he was the designated emir. During last year’s air war against Libya conducted by the US and NATO, Belhadj was the chief military commander of the Western-supported rebels and until recently the commander of the Tripoli Military Council. Last November the Arabic-language press reported that 600 Libyan fighters formerly under his command entered through Turkey to Syria to fight against the government. The US continues to employ the services of Saudi-backed armed Wahhabi extremists as it did in South Asia starting over 30 years ago. Today the target is Syria. Tomorrow it will be another nation whose government is marked by Washington for regime change. In most cosmogonies order emerges from chaos. The US and its allies are frantically attempting to reverse the causality.