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Issue #1701      September 9, 2015

Australia goes deeper into criminal war against Syria

Australia looks set to join the United States in bombing Syria. Now we have yet another Australian government dragging us into yet another US war.

Bombing in Syria.

The Abbott government wraps its decision in the mantle of supporting the war against the Islamic State (ISIS), which seemingly sprang from nowhere in 2014 to brutally seize large swathes of Iraq and Syria.

However, given that Abbott has apparently demanded a security measure from his bureaucrats each week between now and the next election and it was the government that asked the US administration to send Australia an invitation to invade Syria, along with a reassurance that such an action would be legal, it turns out this war is also for that most base of all reasons – to keep a desperate Prime Minister in power.

ISIS and other Al-Qaeda off-shoots did not even exist in the Middle East until United States and its ‘coalition of the willing’ – including Australia – invaded Iraq in 2003.

And the current coalition to quell ISIS, pulled together by USA in early 2014, includes countries that have backed ISIS and other Al-Qaeda offshoots from the beginning of the strife in Syria – as US Vice President Joe Biden confessed to a gathering of students in October 2014.

The US government is itself in no way innocent of sponsoring terrorists to bring down the Syrian state. As early as August 2012 the US Defence Intelligence Agency welcomed the possibility of ISIS and other terrorist groups creating “salafist principalities” in eastern Syria as the situation “unravelled” and saw this as exactly what the “supporting powers to the opposition want.”

The US Congress’s House Intelligence Committee June 2015 budget discussions revealed the CIA had operated a billion dollar a year budget to train and arm rebels in Syria, as “part of a broader, multibillion-dollar effort involving Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey” over “several years.” In this time the CIA “trained and equipped nearly 10,000 fighters sent into Syria … spending roughly $100,000 per year for every anti-Assad rebel who has gone through the program”.

The CIA defended its expenditure by arguing that much of the CIA money went “toward running secret training camps in Jordan, gathering intelligence to help guide the operations of agency-backed militias and managing a sprawling logistics network used to move fighters, ammunition and weapons into the country.”

These fighters were obviously not being trained to fight ISIS over this time – the US effort, in collaboration with those Joe Biden admitted were backing Islamist terrorist gangs, coincides with ISIS coming to predominance in the region, as the United States had expected and welcomed.

At these hearings the CIA argued its efforts were achieving results: “US-backed insurgents have just begun to emerge as effective fighters”, “the war is approaching a critical stage in which Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is losing territory and strength” (though the government is “not on the verge of defeat”) and “many people are starting to openly talk about an endgame for Assad and Syria.”

Already Turkey and Jordan have announced plans to establish no-fly, or “buffer” zones on Syria’s northern and southern borders.

This indicates that at this stage the Australian government is effectively signing up to bomb Syria, not so much as to destroy ISIS, but to help impose “no fly” zones over Syria as the next step in the country’s subjugation.

The Australian Foreign Minister has hinted at this. In a bizarre call to European countries to join in on the airstrikes against Syria, on the grounds that bombing would relieve their refugee crisis, Julie Bishop claimed such action would resolve the situation “at its source,” by bringing about “a military and political solution for both Syria and Iraq.”

This is code for Syria’s destruction to bring about regime change against the determined resistance of the Syrian people, so both Iraq and Syria can then be redivided in a way that satisfies the ambitions of those who take part in this criminal venture.

It is difficult to characterise the conflict in Syria as primarily a civil war, given the level of covert, outside intervention in the country over the war’s four and a half year duration.

The war against ISIS could be easily won – merely by cutting its supply lines in and out of Jordan and Turkey. Why does this not happen? Because, despite the rhetoric, ISIS is covertly supported by USA, funded by the Gulf countries and “assembled” in Turkey and Jordan under US auspices.

Refugees and the endgame

The cruelty and violence inflicted on Syria and Iraq by ISIS and other Al-Qaeda off-shoots has created an unparalleled refugee crisis.

On the eve of the declared “endgame” of the war against Syria, there has been an outpouring of sympathy for the upsurge of refugees fleeing from the war zones of Syria, Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan into Europe.

This though is being used to justify, not just the escalation of the efforts to shut down ISIS, but to finish of the “Assad regime”, otherwise known as the secular, inclusive state of the sovereign Syrian nation.

The message of this endgame is that refugees should not only be welcomed when they arrive, but the problem that made them leave must be remedied. We must get rid of Assad. We must arm the “rebels” with “anti-aircraft weaponry” and create safe havens and no-fly zones. In order to save the refugees we need more war, not less.

This is the call for regime change, the intent all along of this war by those who have prosecuted it.

The Syrian government has not requested Australia, or the United States to militarily intervene in Syria; it rightly views USA and its allies as responsible for Syria’s infestation with terrorists in the first place. Neither has the United Nations sanctioned action against Syria. This makes the war against Syria not only immoral, but illegal. To take part in such a war is a war crime.

If nothing else, Australia is about to embark on an enormously expensive exercise to destroy another country at the call of our powerful “friend”, using weaponry we purchase from it for the purpose. Meanwhile at home, services are being cut, the economy is tanking and jobs are being destroyed.

Australians must speak up now! We must strongly express our opposition to Australia’s involvement in one more criminal US war. Let us show we are determined to prevent Australia being dragged deeper into the quagmire of war in the Middle East.

Next article – PNG removes appeal rights for asylum seekers

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