- Syria and Iran are targeted. Regime change is planned.
At issue is replacing them with client ones, controlling the region's strategic
resources, and depriving key rivals China and Russia from access.
- Pressure keeps building relentlessly. For months, Syria's
been ravaged by externally generated violence. Its economy's also suffered
enormously. According to a Damascus University assessment:
- "The general financial situation of the country
is suffering from the inability of the state budget because of the inability
of the general revenue to cover expenses."
- Moreover, conditions ahead look worse because tax revenues
are half what's needed. Economic sanctions also impede oil revenues. As
a result, the estimated 2012 budget deficit will be about 529 billion Syrian
pounds ($9 billion dollars) out of a total $1,316 billion budget. A 40%
revenue shortfall amounts to 18% of GDP.
- Combined with accumulated deficits, financial strain
is hugely disruptive. Syria's been cut off from credit markets. Traditionally,
Central Bank loans funded deficits. However, sufficient reserves are lacking.
Prices keep rising. Purchasing power further erodes. In the past six years,
it's fallen 40 - 50%.
- The solution requires banks and corporate Syria to help.
They're able to provide considerable government funding from their "enormous
profits during the economic reform and liberalization process." Doing
this can be done through laws specifying amounts, rates and terms.
- Syria can only raise 60% of budget needs. It can't borrow
so needs other ways to cover the shortfall. Currently, 59 Syrian pounds
= one US dollar. So far, economic collapse has been prevented. However,
it's coming without help, and with it greater pressure on an already beleaguered
- Washington Intervention Looms
- In mid-December, State Department official Fred Hof called
Syria a "dead man walking," saying it can't hang on much longer.
More serious are reports of Washington preparing to intervene.
- Options include a no-fly zone, a humanitarian corridor
or safe zone along the Syrian/Turkish border, increasing aid to insurgent
forces, bring in greater numbers, tightening sanctions further, perhaps
a blockade, and if other measures fail, then war.
- In fact, under international law, blockades are acts
of war. They're variously defined as:
- surrounding a nation or objective with hostile forces;
- measures to isolate an enemy;
- encirclement and besieging;
- preventing the passage in or out of supplies, military
forces or aid in time of or as an act of war; and
- an act of naval warfare to block access to an enemy's
coastline and deny entry to all vessels and aircraft.
- So far, it's not imposed, but anything ahead is possible.
- On December 27, State Department spokesman Mark Toner
- "If the Syrian regime continues to resist and disregard
Arab League efforts, the international community will consider other means
to protect Syrian civilians."
- An opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) policy paper
titled, "Safe Area for Syria," calls for armed intervention,
- "The (SNC) is entering a critical phase in the Syrian
revolution whereby the hope of a continued campaign of passive resistance
to an exceptionally brutal and unrestrained regime is becoming more and
more akin to a suicide pact."
- The paper was produced by the US funded London-based
Strategic Research and Communication Center. Its head, Ausama Monajed,
formerly ran Barada TV. Covert State Department funding backs it. It's
closely affiliated with pro-Western Syrian exiles. It beams anti-government
propaganda to Syria.
- For now, Washington's relying on Arab League monitors
to provide reasons for direct intervention. Regimes headed by pro-Western
despots condoned Libya's ravaging, including massacres too great to ignore.
Since March, they supported Western-backed anti-Syrian insurgents.
- Nonetheless, at first, monitors reported calm in Homs.
According to Sudanese General Mohamed al-Dabi, its mission head:
- "There were some places where the situation was
not good. But there wasn't anything frightening at least while we were
there. Things were calm and there were no clashes."
- On December 31, Press TV reported 150 monitors saying
Syrian officials were cooperating. As al-Dabi said, they found normal conditions
in Homs, the epicenter of unrest. It confirms independent reports of an
externally generated insurgency if violence there resumes.
- Al-Dabi also said more investigation is needed. Ahead
of year end, monitors headed for Idlib, Hama and Daraa. They'll also cover
Damascus, its suburbs and surrounding areas. Complying with Arab League
conditions, Syria released 1,180 prisoners in November. In late December,
another 755 were freed.
- Russia urged Syrian compliance. Foreign Minister Sergei
- "We constantly work with the Syrian leadership calling
on it to fully cooperate with observers from the Arab League and to create
work condition that are as comfortable and free as possible."
- Expect future monitor reports to comply with Washington's
wishes. On December 31, Haaretz said Arab League observers "called
on the government to remove 'immediately' snipers from rooftops of buildings."
- According to a delegation source:
- "The observers saw the snipers with their own eyes
in Douma," a town on the outskirts of Damascus. In fact, insurgents
positioned on rooftops and elsewhere are responsible for much violence.
They're killing civilians and security forces.
- Expect Arab League monitors to report otherwise. If not
Al-Dabi, then others sent to say what Washington wants to hear. Al-Dabi
will be discredited or ignored. Western media scoundrels will regurgitate
propaganda. When America goes to war or plans it, pack journalism follows
- A Final Comment
- Increasing Syrian destabilization looms. Expect intervention
to follow, perhaps a blockade or war like against Libya. On December 27,
the Mossad-connected DEBKAfile said Qatar was involved in building a "Sunni
intervention force of Libyan, Iraqi terrorists against Assad."
- Numbering 2,500, they include 1,000 Islamic Fighting
Group Libya (IFGL) Al Qaeda-linked insurgents. In Libya, Qatar actively
aided NATO, providing weapons, training and communications, linking insurgents
with NATO forces. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Jordan and Egypt were also involved.
At least the Saudis, Jordanians, Turks, Israelis, and Lebanon's Hariri
March 14 alliance are involved in Syria.
- Reports indicate Tripoli insurgent military commander,
Abdelhakim Belhadj (a former Al Qaeda leader), now heads anti-Assad elements
- On December 19, Voltaire Network's Thierry Meyssan reported
eyewitnesses saying they survived attacks by foreign gangs. They called
them Iraqis, Jordanians, Libyans and Pashtuns. He also said other reports
suggest up to 1,500 Al Qaeda linked Islamic Fighting Group in Libya insurgents
operating in Syria.
- In 2012, pressure's building for a confrontational showdown.
If Assad's successfully ousted, Iran's likely next. General war may follow
if China and Russia intervene to protect their regional interests.
- Extreme dangers can't be underestimated, especially if
nuclear weapons are used. More reports will follow this volatile situation.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
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