By Michael Collins
“Our sense is right now he’s very much in charge,” of their military operations, one U.S. official said. Another noted, “He (Assad) might survive this.” The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information. Matthew Schofield, McClatchy DC Bureau Feb 9
Violating the basic tenets of international law by attacking nations that pose no imminent threat and the use of excessive force are the signatures of United States foreign policy since the presidency of George H.W. Bush. (Image)
Bush I mounted a devastating attack on Iraq for invading Kuwait after his ambassador gave Saddam Hussein a virtual green light to launch the invasion. Bush then initiated across the board sanctions and began bombing Iraq on a daily basis.
President Bill Clinton took on the role as thug in chief by ratcheting up the sanctions and continuing the bombing declaring Saddam Hussein a threat to the region. The results were devastating. For example, nearly 225,000 children under five died as a result of the sanctions.
George W. Bush literally laid the nation into war by hiding the findings of the National Intelligence Estimate of Iraq’s threat to the U.S. He and his cabinet lied about the threat of WMD. One million Iraqi civilians are dead as a result of that invasion.
President Barack Obama began a leisurely withdrawal of sorts from Iraq but upped the ante in Afghanistan. His big move in Afghanistan came after so after stellar advice to the contrary from his ambassador, the former military commander that country, General Karl Eikenberry. The general told his president, a corrupt government (i.e., Karzai) can never produce a positive outcome.
Obama couldn’t resist picking up the baton of thug like behavior. His strategy of attacking a nation without provocation was realized in Libya by NATO along with Qatar. The results are still under cover but ethnic cleansing, torture, and violence seem to be a common occurrence.
Chief executives who use their power and abuse the military in this way are nothing but thugs.
But things may come to a screeching halt based on the tactical leak by the not-for-attribution source in the government: “He (Assad) might survive this.”
Later in the McClatchy article, we see this:
“The Syrian conflict is seen as a struggle of Assad’s Alawite Shiite minority against the majority Sunni population. But the officials said that while the military’s leadership ranks are largely Alawite, the bulk of the soldiers carrying out orders are Sunni conscripts. Yet the military remains cohesive, they said.
“One official noted that other minority Syrian populations ”” Christians, Kurds and Druze ”” ‘have not abandoned the regime yet.’” Matthew Schofield, McClatchy DC Bureau Feb 9
The minority populations are probably well informed on the outcome of the not so glorious Libyan revolution which resulted with Al Qaeda sympathizers running key components of the military and torture and retributions commonplace.
But what about those “Sunni conscripts” who form “bulk of the soldiers carrying out orders?” We hear that there are some defections from the army to the rebels. But the vast majority of conscripts are still in place fighting for the Syrian government.
Could it be that there’s a massive distortion of events in Syria by the corporate media?
If the current government in Syria survives, it will be the first time in decades that a high profile hit operation against an undesired foreign leader has failed. It will be the exception that calls into question the current doctrine of presidential rub outs that violate the norms of international law, civility, and involve lots of bombing, maiming and killing.
Who do these presidents think they are making up their own rules and engaging in massive violence, death, and destruction? What gives them the right to ignore the rules and do as they desire? Are they above any expectations for moral reasoning and civilized behavior?
Were we to read about the machinations and violent crimes in our communities similar to those committed by these presidents, there would be a label for it – gang violence.
Bring the troop’s home, all of them. Abandon the 700 or so bases around the world. Make the rule breaking presidents behave. Most importantly, pay attention to the needs of the citizens of the United States for a change.