By Christoph R. Hörstel
Whenever the US warns there is an imminent danger of violence, even of a massacre or atrocities, it pays to take notice. Such predictions seem to have an almost uncanny knack of turning out to be accurate. So recent US “concerns” could mean bad news.
The world is just getting over the shock of accounts of massacres emerging from Syria, like the one in al-Houla at the end of May this year. The novelty of the outrage lies in the astonishing fact that from the mainstream conservative German daily FAZ (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) and Christian clergy, a shock wave went through major Western media. New grizzly details of the plot were uncovered, namely that known loyalist families, including dozens of women, children and the elderly, who denied support to the insurgents fell victim to the carnage.
According to intercepted rebel phone calls, massacres and other incidents are being perpetrated with the intention of later putting the blame on the government.
But what happened on Thursday seems to be yet another remarkable pointer as to how far the US is ready to go: “This is the concern, that we will see a massacre in Aleppo, and that’s what the regime appears to be lining up for,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said – and the news spread quickly around the world. The announcement raises global fears as much as disgust, since several recent official international gatherings on the Syrian issue were preceded by mass killings on the ground, whether massacres or house-to-house fighting in major Syrian towns, with the brunt of the blame duly attributed to the Syrian government by the usual suspects in Western mainstream media in the usual media hype style. It seems as if the Kuwaiti “incubator plot” of the “Desert Storm” operation and the Serbian “concentration camps” cast their shadows any time the global community is involved in decision-making in US-claimed areas of interest.
Looking back at recent history, we may summarize thus: ever since Hillary Clinton’s like-minded predecessor, the gifted piano player Condoleezza Rice, threatened the whole Middle East with democracy in 2008, clearly defined strategic steps have been taken by the US to get the process going. Rice received the most popular Egyptian bloggers, whose work helped facilitate the beginning of the so-called “Arab Spring”, which in fact looks more like a blossom time for the CIA and other related US and aligned agencies. However, actions under cover look much more serious: a retired senior officer of the Egyptian army residing in Tunisia appears to have been functional in completing training for US-guided mercenaries and “Al-Qaeda” personnel since 2009. In the same year, the first advance parties of US agents arrived in Turkey to get acquainted with the area and its people. This information was obtained by Syrian officers from the not-so-small number of captured foreign fighters. Their various ID cards from Turkey, Libya, Lebanon and Jordan, among others, have been presented in many TV reports.
About the hundreds of armed but non-uniformed personnel crossing freely, uncounted and unchecked, into Syria across all borders in March 2011 the defected correspondents of Al-Jazeera – among others – have amply spoken out.
Since an operation of this size does not appear to be set up on an ad-hoc basis – nor could it be – it is no wonder that those well-versed in the history of the thought and planning of US foreign policy know that Syria scenarios are more than 100 years old and include complete re-drawings of the regional political map.
Against this background, recent US State Department utterings appear to be little other than a thinly veiled threat to the Syrian people, its rightful government and its international allies. The threat bears all the marks of complete bigotry, since many observers are aware that it is mostly US policy management that stages most of the killings in the region and beyond in the last 20-plus years, cooperation from all sorts of allies notwithstanding. Starting from the Balkans in the late 90s, to the still shadowy 9/11 affair and pumped-up justifications for the 2003 war against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, the US record of staging media hypes looks impressive by now.
Those who wonder about the perfect integration of media, policies, secret services and the military may be advised to help themselves to a most interesting pamphlet on the Internet entitled “Joint Vision 2020”, which, in an update to “Joint Vision 2010”, incorporates asymmetrical warfare and extensive public relations scheming through the reliable media. The main line is that increasingly highly integrated machinery always works. “Peace” has stopped, the US Army fulfils its tasks all the time; war in all shapes and colors is permanent.
What is badly needed is a “joint counter-vision” from those who do not intend to fall victim to this challenge without a struggle. Right now the first challenge is to unify the non-aligned movement to withstand all US/NATO/Arab efforts to win a majority in the UN assembly to back US-led aggression in the region.
As this author has outlined, Syria needs to take successful action on five challenges: public relations in NATO countries; winning back a few members of the defected/disgruntled circles, namely the Islamic movement; large-scale reconstruction on war damages all over the country; large-scale efforts towards better care for refugees and needy people; and indisputable successes against brutalities committed by government-appointed personnel of all sorts and againstrampant corruption.
This outline of Syrian government homework comes with a firm prediction – that failure to achieve two of the five will have dire consequences for the survival of the Assad regime.
The war in Syria will not be won militarily but in the civilian arena. Military contributions can only buy time for implementation. Today’s threats by Syrian insurgents against the Russian naval base in Tartus are just a reminder how far the situation can deteriorate without a firm and sustainable strategy-based response. UN UNSMIS commander General Robert Mood’s statement on the imminent fall of President Assad shows the way.
Those who ponder projects like abandoning Syria may be reminded that Iran and Russia are under direct present threat, while US gunboat diplomacy also starts haunting China’s coastline. Mid-term requirements are that the peacefully-minded global majority develops a coherent joint vision of how to counter the ever-growing challenge by a debt-driven hyper-power in decline. “Crime doesn’t pay” is a central message to maintain state order. The same applies to our troubled blue planet, whether we fight for that or not at all. Troubles unfortunately do not tend to go away if they are ignored.
There are many more people in NATO countries hoping for a stabilizing response than may be assumed today.
Сhristoph R. Hörstel is managing director at Hörstel Networks, Government & Business Consulting. http://syria-help.blogspot.de/
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.