The US and its NATO allies continue to insist on a military option in Syria, with demands becoming more urgent as a fragile calm continues to greet the arrival of UN observers. This past week, US defense secretary Leon Panetta told the House Armed Services Committee that "our recent experience in Libya is helping to inform the approach of the United States to Syria."
In other words, those who saw the Kofi Annan plan as designed to fail (Kofi has always served his paymasters well), sadly, may be correct. Hillary Clinton's "friends of Syria" were plotting an invasion this week even as relative calm prevailed. As the rebel Free Syrian Army turns up the temperature with open calls for “countries friendly to the Syrian people” to attack Syria even without UN Security Council approval — while continuing to bomb government figures and civilians — Secretary Clinton announced this week that "we need to start moving very vigorously in the Security Council for a Chapter Seven sanctions resolution, including travel, financial sanctions and arms embargo. We have to keep Assad off balance by leaving options on the table.”
Do those sound like the words of an honest broker seeking in earnest a halt to the violence in Syria?
Do those sound like the words of an administration willing to allow the "Annan Plan" to bring about some sort of reconciliation in Syria? Or do those sound like the words of those who know the plan is bound to fail because it was designed to fail so as to give the appearance that all options have been exhausted and that the military option is the only one remaining. Imagine their shock and disappointment that for the most part the plan has not failed, that Syrian forces seem to have respected the terms of the agreement. What to do now?
For his part, Western-friendly UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon floated a very revealing idea that the EU would provide military helicopters rather than UN-rented civilian helicopters for the monitoring mission. Writes the MoA blog:
"those helicopters Ban Ki-moon is dreaming of would be military helicopters from EU countries with military pilots and NATO standard encrypted radios. The same EU countries that have put sanctions on Syria because it cracks down on an foreign paid insurgency.
"This at the same times as the U.S. has pledged 'communication equipment' to the insurgents in Syria. The helicopter pilots could thereby direct the insurgents around military concentrations and roadblocks towards their targets."
Meanwhile, Israel openly admits the benefits it would reap from a regime change operation in Syria. Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak was not shy about expressing his government's true interest in a NATO attack on Syria: "The toppling of Assad will be ... a major blow to Iran,” Barak told CNN. “It will be very positive event.”
How interesting and revealing it is, veteran Indian diplomat M K Bhadrakumar points out, that the bogeymen "Muslim Brotherhood" who have risen to the top in Egypt after our "Arab Spring" and who seek to come out on top in Syria seem to have a foreign policy in lock step with the US and its allies.
Writes the always sober and astute Bhadrakumar:
"A senior politician from Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, currently visiting the United States, has publicly pledged that the Brothers can learn to live with Egypt’s peace accord with Israel. He told Washington Times newspaper, 'We respect international obligations. Period.'
"...A bonus is that Israel heaves a sigh of relief and the political dividend accrues to Obama in the election year. Besides, the MB’s Syrian offshoot is also the ally of Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with which the US partners in the enterprise to overthrow the regime in Damascus. There have been reports that Syria’s Brothers have sat down secretly with Israel’s operatives. Thus, it is in many ways a small world indeed."
Amazing how this works.
Meanwhile, Libya is touted as the US model for Syria. Let's have a look at what "liberation" looks like:
(h/t Land Destroyer for pic)