Michael Parenti: The Sarin Mysteries: Syria, Sarin, and Casus Belli
Remember the Casus Belli
It is difficult for me to accept the charge that on August 21 the Syrian government waged a chemical onslaught in Ghouta against its own people in a situation that was bound to backfire in the worst possible way---by handing over to the U.S. war hawks a casus belli, a perfect excuse to wreak retaliatory "humanitarian" death and destruction upon Syria. This is the last thing the Assad government wants.
Remember how the Spaniards asked the Americans not to send the USS Maine to Havana Harbor in 1898. They feared that something might happen to the ship and the U.S. would use that mishap as a casus belli, putting the blame on Spain. Sure enough, the Maine blew up while sitting in the harbor, sending U.S. public opinion into a jingoistic fury against the Spaniards. But why would Spaniards perpetrate the very act that would give the Americans an excuse and an inducement to wage a war that Spain most certainly did not want and could not win? And let us not forget the hundreds of imaginary Kuwaiti babies torn from incubators and dashed upon hospital floors by snarling, maniacal Iraqi soldiers. And remember the never-to-be-found weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) that Saddam supposedly was preparing to use but never got around to doing so. And then there's that Serbian general---never identified or located---who purportedly told his troops (also never identified) to "go forth and rape." And Qaddafi who reportedly handed out Viagra to his Libyan troops so they could go forth and rape with a drug-driven vigor, a story so obviously fabricated that it was dropped after two days.Choice: Satellite or EnemyWhy do (some) U.S. leaders seek war against Syria? Like Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya and dozens of other countries that have felt America's terrible swift sword---Syria has been committing economic nationalism, trying to chart its own course rather than putting itself in service to the western plutocracy. Like Iran, China, Russia and some other nations, Syria has currency controls and other restrictions on foreign investments. Like those other nations, Syria lacks the proper submissiveness. It is not a satellite to the U.S. imperium. And any nation that is not under the politico-economic sway of the U.S. global plutocracy is considered an enemy or a potential enemy. The Assad government had social programs for its people, far from perfect services but still better than what might be found in many U.S. satellite countries. When Iraqi refugees fled to Syria to escape U.S. military destruction, the Assad government gave them full benefits. So with the Libyan refugees who crossed over a few years later. Generally Damascus presided over a multi-ethnic society, relatively free of sectarian intolerance and violence.Syria has been ruled by the Ba'ath Party which has dominated the country's parliament and military for half a century. The party's slogan is "Unity, Freedom, Socialism." Socialism? Now that gets us closer to why the trigger-happy boys in Washington will continue to pursue a "humanitarian war" of attrition and a prolonged campaign of demonization against Assad and his "regime."
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